Academic Accommodation Request: Disclosing a Disability

Effective January 2003

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require the University to make reasonable accommodations for those otherwise qualified individuals with a disability who request accommodations. A reasonable academic accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows an individual to gain equal access and have equal opportunity to participate in the University’s courses, services, activities and use of the facilities. The University is not obligated to provide an accommodation that requires a substantial change in the curriculum or alteration of any essential elements or functions of a program. Students requesting reasonable accommodations must do so by registering with Disability Resources and Services in a timely manner. Students shall also be required to provide documentation of their disability that 1) meets the University of Pittsburgh’s established guidelines for documentation of a disability, and 2) demonstrates or documents how their disability functionally impacts their participation in courses, programs, jobs, activities and/or the use of facilities at the University.

Procedure for Requesting Accommodations

  1. The student schedules an intake interview with Disability Resources and Services (DRS). The disability specialist conducting the interview and the student discuss the condition and its functional limitations. Services are explained and the student’s rights and responsibilities are reviewed.
  2. Students are required to submit documentation of their disability. Documentation must meet the documentation guidelines established by the University of Pittsburgh. The documentation guidelines are available on the DRS website or by contacting DRS at 412-648-7890 • VP: 412-536-5568.
  3. Documentation is reviewed and evaluated.  Students will be notified once their documentation is reviewed as to whether or not the documentation has met the established guidelines and verifies the existence of a disability. The process of determining reasonable accommodations is collaborative among the student, the disability specialist, the professional providing the diagnosis and the course instructor or program director if necessary. A notification of disability memo will be issued to the student once reasonable accommodations are determined.
  4. This process for receiving accommodations is specific to the University of Pittsburgh and, thus, accommodations received at this University may not be applicable to other institutions, professional schools or standardized testing boards.
  5. In the event of a dispute, a student can petition the Academic Accommodations Grievance Committee. The purpose of this committee is to assist the Provost, on a case-by-case basis, in resolving any disagreements that arise concerning specific requests for academic accommodations. The Committee serves as a resource for faculty, academic administrators, and University students for a final review of disagreements concerning specific academic accommodation requests.