A "reasonable accommodation" can be defined as any reasonable adjustment required for a student to have equal access to the university's programs and activities, inside or outside the classroom. Unlike accommodations and modifications provided in the PreK-12 environment via Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), accommodations in higher education must be requested by the student. Reasonable accommodations are intended to provide equal access to services, education, and activities—not to ensure success.
According to the US Department of Education, "Colleges and universities are required to provide students with appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in the school's program. Examples of auxiliary aids that may be required are taped texts, note-takers, interpreters, readers, and specialized computer equipment. Colleges and universities are not required to supply students with attendants, individually-prescribed devices such as hearing aids and wheelchairs, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature." According to the Rehabilitation Act Regulations, postsecondary services are required to provide auxiliary aids, such as taped texts, E-texts, or other alternative formats, to students with disabilities (Rothstein, 1993). These auxiliary aids are referred to in the educational literature as ancillary equipment, adapted computer technology, and assistive technology. Allowing students with disabilities/impairments to use such aids is considered making an academic adjustment or reasonable accommodation. Please note: The College does not provide equipment which may be for exclusive personal use. Such equipment may be available through the student's state rehabilitation agency. Student Accessibility and Accommodations (SAA) staff may assist students in finding equipment and in identifying sources of funding.
An accommodation may be considered unreasonable if it fundamentally alters the nature of the course, program, service, or facility or if it would result in an undue burden for the College. In addition, the College is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified student with a disability/impairment. To determine reasonable accommodations, SAA may seek information from appropriate College personnel regarding essential standards and requirements for courses, programs, services or facilities. SAA staff make final determination of reasonable accommodations.