AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT/SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT


USM makes every effort to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504). In order to assist students with disabilities in maximizing their capabilities, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides support.  The office assists students with obtaining academic accommodations according to the ADA and Section 504.  The Academic Resource Center Director is available to answer any questions and can be contacted at (913) 682-5151 ext. 6426 or kolba@stmary.edu.

To begin the process, all USM students seeking accommodations are required to self-identify with the ARC and make a formal, written request for accommodations.  Accommodation requests will be accepted at any time, though students are encouraged to do so as early as possible (even before the semester starts) so that accommodations, if granted, can be implemented in a timely manner.  Accommodations, once granted, do not apply retroactively; this means they cannot be used to retake an exam or redo an assignment.  Once a request has been made, the University will work through the process and make a determination in a reasonable amount of time.  Students who do not make a formal request for accommodations will not receive them.

After a request for accommodations has been made, the director will request documentation from the student to determine if he or she qualifies for accommodations.  The amount and type of documentation requested will vary depending on the situation and claimed disability.  Certain disabilities that are more obvious in nature (e.g., a student who uses a wheelchair) may require less documentation.

After all requested documentation has been submitted, the request will be evaluated.  Accommodation requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Not all accommodation requests will be granted because the University is not required to accommodate students if granting the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or cause an undue hardship.  The University may also make additional requests for documentation to help with its evaluation.

During the evaluation of the request, the student and Director of the Academic Resource Center will work together. If it is determined that an accommodation is reasonable, the student and director will create a detailed action plan specifying the measures that will be implemented and the academic support that will be provided.  The student’s instructors will be notified of a student’s accommodations and will be expected to assist in their implementation.  Students who have not been granted requested accommodations will receive a letter with an explanation.  A student who has been denied accommodations may appeal the determination by giving a written letter of appeal to the President of the University.

The Director of the Academic Resource Center is responsible for documenting the process.  All documentation will be kept in a confidential file and only the student and the University personnel with a need-to-know will have access to such information.


Revised: 08/05/2014