Disabilities Support Services
Disabilities Support Services
University of the Potomac does not discriminate in admission or access to its programs on the basis of age, race, color, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. If a student wishes to request academic adjustment or auxiliary aids, please contact the Disabilities Coordinator listed below. They may request academic adjustments or auxiliary aids at any time. The Disabilities Coordinator is responsible for coordinating compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Applicants, who are persons with disabilities, as defined in paragraph 104.3(j) of the regulation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, may apply for admittance into the program.
Definition of Disability
A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual.
- Major Life Activities: The phrase major life activities refers to normal functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
- Physical Impairment: A physical impairment includes any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory and speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.
- Mental Impairment: A mental impairment includes any mental or psychological disorder such as organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
- Learning disabilities: A learning disability is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders occur in persons of average to very superior intelligence and are presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.
Specific disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Blindness or visual impairment
- Chronic illnesses
- Deafness or hearing impairments
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders
- Neurological and neuromuscular disorders
- Orthopedic impairment
- Psychiatric and emotional disabilities (ADHD, anxiety and related disorders, depression, etc.)
- Specific learning disability
- Speech disorder
- Spinal cord or traumatic brain injury
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment that will enable a qualified student with a disability to participate in a course, program, activity, or service. Reasonable accommodations assure that students with a disability have rights, privileges, and access equal to students without disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may include academic adjustments, auxiliary aids or adaptive technology, outreach services, or physical access modifications.
The university has an obligation to make reasonable accommodations in policies, practices, or procedures when accommodations are needed to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability unless making the accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity, or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens.
Requesting Disability Accommodations
Students requesting academic accommodations for their disability must first contact the Disabilities Coordinator by submitting an Accommodation Request Form.
The University will work with the applicant or student to determine whether reasonable accommodations can be effective and/or are available. Any qualified individual with a disability requesting an accommodation or auxiliary aid or service should follow this procedure:
- Notify the Disabilities Coordinator in writing of the type of accommodation needed, date needed, documentation of the nature and extent of the disability, and of the need for the accommodation or auxiliary aid. The request should be made at least four weeks in advance of the date needed.
- The Disabilities Coordinator will respond within two weeks of receiving the request.
- If the student would like to request reconsideration of the decision regarding his/her request, he/she should contact the Disabilities Coordinator within one week of the date of the response. At that time, the student will be required to provide a statement of why and how the response should be modified.
Washington, DC Campus
Falls Church, VA Campus
Student and Retention Services
1401 H Street, N.W., Suite 100
Washington, D.C. 20005 (202)274-2300
- Once medical documentation is received, the Disabilities Coordinator will review, verify, and assess the documentation. If further information is needed or if the documentation submitted is insufficient, the student will be notified. After the review process is complete, the Disabilities Coordinator will determine what academic accommodations, if any, a student is eligible to receive.
- If a student is eligible to receive academic accommodations in his or her classes, the Disabilities Coordinator will email the student a Student Accommodation Acknowledgement Form. This form will inform the student of what accommodations he or she is eligible to receive, as well as what his or her responsibilities are for receiving the accommodations each sub-term.
- The student must sign the form and return it to the Disabilities Coordinator before accommodations can be made effective. By signing the form, the student acknowledges that he or she is responsible to complete the expected requirements by their due dates in order to receive academic accommodations.
- Academic accommodations cannot be backdated for courses already in progress or completed. If sufficient notice is not given to the Disabilities Coordinator for special accommodations such as an alternate format for textbooks or transcripts for audio files once a student goes on file, these accommodations may be withheld until a later semester when sufficient notice is provided.
- The Disabilities Coordinator will notify the appropriate parties (i.e. publishers, professors, etc.) to ensure that the student receives his or her accommodations. The Disabilities Coordinator is not responsible if a student does not receive academic accommodations in his or her classes due to the student’s failure to notify them of the necessary information by the required due date (i.e. transcript requests two months in advance, accommodation requests one week in advance, etc.).
- If the student’s medical condition changes, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the ODSS staff as soon as possible.
- In accordance with Section 504, medical documentation will be reviewed on a regular basis. If the documentation is outdated or if further information is required at that time, the student will be notified. The student will also be notified if, during the review process, any changes are made to the student’s academic accommodations.