The Office of Accessibility delivers services designed to assist students in maximizing successful participation in college life and in promoting their well-being--academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

In addition to the services we offer, you may also check out resources offered through the Loyola Notre Dame Library.

You Belong Here

Notre Dame of Maryland University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and equal access to its programs and services for people with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Register with the Office of Accessibility 

Schedule an Appointment

As the student, it is your responsibility to make an appointment with the Director of Accessibility to discuss your request and register. It is recommended to schedule an appointment several weeks before classes begin.

Click here to schedule a meeting

Provide Documentation

Services can be accessed when you submit the most current documentation from a licensed or certified professional (e.g. director of special education, audiologist, psychologist, licensed counselor, physician) that describes the specific disability and accommodations needed. A request for accommodations must be for a disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).  

If you do not have sufficient documentation, you may be asked to seek further evaluation/documentation from a certified professional. This information must be sent or provided directly to the Director of Accessibility. All shared information is confidential.

Documentation Guidelines

Meet to Discuss Accommodations

After submitting your paperwork, you will be contacted by the Director of Accessibility to schedule a meeting to discuss accommodation requests through an interactive process. 

An accommodation must be considered reasonable. An accommodation is not considered reasonable if:

  • It is a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • It is a substantial or fundamental change in an essential element of curriculum or there is a substantial alteration in the manner in which services are provided.

Examples of services offered may include but are not limited to:

  • Alternative testing arrangements as needed (e.g. extended time, use of a computer, distraction-free environment)
  • Scribe for notes
  • Access to recorded books
  • Audio capture of lectures
  • Interpreting services
  • Referral to appropriate services 
  • Assistive technology
  • Accessible housing
  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Meal plan accommodations

Click here to schedule a meeting.

Renew Accommodation Letter

Once steps one through three are completed and the student is found eligible for disability support services, the student will receive accommodation letters. It is the student's responsibility to share the accommodation letters with instructors.

The Director of the Office of Accessibility will consult with your instructors on an as-needed basis to provide clarity regarding auxiliary supports/services and accommodations. The discussion focuses on the implementation of accommodations in the classroom. The nature of the disability is not disclosed and remains confidential. 

As you may know, it is important to renew your accommodation letter at the beginning of each semester to ensure that your accommodations are up-to-date and valid. The process is simple - send an email to the Office of Accessibility at accessibility@ndm.edu requesting your letter.

 If changes or additions to your accommodations are requested, the office may request necessary documentation. However, if you are simply requesting the same accommodations as before, an email will suffice.

Follow-Up

It is your responsibility to make an appointment with the Director of Accessibility each semester to request and develop a current accommodation plan and provide updated accommodation letters to your professors. Reasonable accommodations are not retroactive and will not be provided without an updated letter each semester.

Regarding the submission of accommodation letters to faculty:

  • If a reasonable accommodation calls for a note taker, let your instructor know as early as possible. DSS will provide you with a letter to present to your instructor. The instructor will then make an anonymous announcement regarding the need for a note taker and offer a financial stipend. It is up to you whether to remain anonymous or identify yourself to the note taker.
  • For alternative test taking procedures, it is the student’s responsibility to submit the accommodation letter at least 48 hours prior to an exam so that arrangements can be made in a timely fashion.  Additionally, the student should notify the instructor immediately if there is a scheduling conflict so that the student and the professor can coordinate a mutually agreeable time to schedule the exam. Arrive on time for your exam; otherwise, if you are tardy your accommodations for extended time can't be guaranteed or implemented appropriately. 
  • If you use a laptop, software program, or any other assistive technology to take an exam, remind the instructor one week in advance so that arrangements can be made. 
  • In order to receive alternative textbooks in a timely manner, it is necessary to let the office of accessibility know several weeks in advance so that the publisher can be notified. Contact the office of accessibility for instructions on how to proceed with obtaining textbooks in an alternate format.
  • Accommodations are not retroactive; students should submit their letters to professors at the first opportunity.

FAQ

Accessible Housing/Accommodations

Students requesting accessible housing or accommodations based on a documented disability or medical condition must apply through the Office of Accessibility. The housing accommodation request form along with appropriate documentation must be submitted to the Director of Accessibility who works in collaboration with the Director of Housing and Residence Life. Students requesting accessible housing/ accommodations should make an appointment with the Director of Accessibility to discuss the process and the necessary documentation and forms. Please understand that single rooms are limited and may not be available.

Students who have approved medical singles via an accommodation letter from the Office of Accessibility will be charged a double rate.

Students are encouraged to apply for housing accommodations as early as possible.  

Dinning Accommodations

NDMU is a residential campus and as such requires that students living in on-campus residences participate in the meal plan offered through dining services. 

Our dining hall offers a wide variety of meal options through its standard meal service. We understand that students may have specific dietary needs or allergies; as such, the dining services online menu has features which allows students to review menu items for safe choices and balanced meal planning as well as to identify ingredients and possible allergens contained within the prepared foods.

If a student requires specific planning, the Food Service Director is also available to meet with the student individually to discuss needs and identify possible hidden allergens. 

Students with a medical condition or disability whose needs can’t be met through the dining selections offered can request a meal plan accommodation. Students requesting such dietary accommodations based on a medical condition or disability should request an appointment with the Director of Accessibility to discuss the process and procedures to request meal plan accommodations. Students must submit appropriate documentation from a licensed physician or dietician. 

  1. The documentation should include a medical diagnosis of the condition or disability.
  2. The diagnosis should be made by an appropriate medical provider, dietician, or specialist in the specific field related to the medical condition or disability. The evaluator’s name, title and professional credentials and affiliations should be included in the documents.
  3. The documentation should include the following information:
    • Duration of the medical condition or disability: Is the condition or disability temporary or permanent? If temporary, an estimate of how long the condition will persist.
    • Stability of the condition or disability: Is the medical condition/disability stable, progressive or fluctuating?
    • Impact of the medical condition or disability
  4. Recommendations for meal plan accommodations will be based on specific symptoms of the medical condition or disability. The documentation must reflect the current status of the medical condition or disability. If the documentation does not reflect the current status, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation.

The Director of Accessibility works in conjunction with the Food Service Director and will collaborate directly with the student to provide any dietary or meal plan accommodations.

Emotional Support Animal

We understand that having an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) can be an important aspect of your overall well-being and mental health. To ensure that your request for an ESA is processed smoothly and efficiently, we have outlined the following guidelines:

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for an Emotional Support Animal, you must have a documented disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and the presence of the animal is necessary to provide emotional support or alleviate symptoms of your disability.
  2. Documentation: You will need to provide documentation from a qualified healthcare professional (such as a licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist) verifying the need for an Emotional Support Animal. This documentation should include information about your disability and how an ESA would benefit you.
  3. Application Process: To request an ESA, please complete the appropriate application form available from the Office of Accessibility. Along with the application, you must submit the required documentation from your healthcare provider.
  4. Review Process: Once we receive your completed application and documentation, our team will review your request and determine if it meets the criteria for an Emotional Support Animal. We may contact you or your healthcare provider for additional information if needed.
  5. Approval: If your request is approved, we will work with you to ensure that appropriate accommodations are made for your ESA. This may include discussing housing arrangements, pet policies, and any necessary accommodations in academic or residential settings.
  6. Responsibilities: As the owner of an Emotional Support Animal, you are responsible for the care and supervision of your animal at all times. You must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and university policies regarding animal ownership and behavior.

Click here for emotional support animal form

Grievance Procedures

Reporting Concerns, Informal Resolution, and Formal Grievance Procedures

NDMU has the following procedures in place to assist individuals in the resolution of any concerns or complaints alleging disability discrimination in violation of the American with Disabilities Act 1990 or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:  

Reporting Concerns:

Any concern should first be brought to the attention of the Director of Accessibility. The Director will discuss the issue with the individual and strive to resolve the concern.

Informal Resolution:

NDMU encourages informal resolution of complaints when possible. If an attempt to resolve the issue with The Office of Disability Support is not viewed as successful, the student may contact the 504/ADA Coordinator at gfitzgerald@ndm.edu. A meeting will be arranged to discuss the individual's concerns.

Formal Grievance Procedures: 

An individual may file a formal, written grievance with the 504/ADA Coordinator after an informal attempt to resolve the concern has been made with DSS and the 504/ ADA Coordinator. The written grievance must include the following:

  • the individual’s name, address, email and phone number
  • a full description of the individual's concern
  • a description of the individual's attempts to resolve the issue with DSS and the 504 /ADA Coordinator
  • a description of the desired remedy to the issue

Once the grievance has been received, the 504/ADA Coordinator will provide written notification of receipt and initiate an investigation expeditiously in accordance with the University’s Non-discrimination policy and procedures. Following the investigation, the 504/ADA Coordinator will prepare a written reply to the individual and to the party to which the grievance was filed.

A student may always contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, regarding allegations of disability discrimination in violation of Section 504. See additional information.

Interpreting Services

Services can be accessed when you submit the most current documentation from a licensed or certified professional (e.g. director of special education, audiologist, psychologist, licensed counselor, physician) that describes the specific disability and accommodations needed. A request for accommodations must be for a disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).  

If you do not have sufficient documentation, you may be asked to seek further evaluation/documentation from a certified professional. This information must be sent or provided directly to the Director of Accessibility. All shared information is confidential.

Documentation Guidelines

Medical Single Room Placement Procedure

Notre Dame of Maryland is committed to the support of students with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Fair Housing Act, as amended, and their implementing regulations. A limited number of medical single rooms are available for students with medical, neuro/psychological, psychiatric, mobility, visual, or hearing impairment-related conditions, whose conditions prohibit the student from living with a roommate. A student seeking reasonable housing accommodations must have a qualifying disability. All disabilities must be documented on the specific documentation by a licensed provider with expertise in the area of diagnosis. Notre Dame of Maryland University has a two-year residency requirement for students.

Please note that providing the university with medical information does not guarantee a special housing accommodation and that the desire to have a quiet, undisturbed place to study, for example, is insufficient to warrant a special housing accommodation.

To determine eligibility, the student must meet and self-identify with the Office of Accessibility and provide examples of how the disabling condition impacts their daily life and their ability to live in standard housing. The Director of Accessibility makes the final determination of accommodations. Please be advised that medical single rooms are reserved for individuals who document substantial needs and for whom living with a roommate is not viable.

Examples of conditions that ordinarily do not warrant a medical single.

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Learning Disorders / ADHD
  • Insomnia and sleep problems
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

A recommendation from the Office of Accessibility of a Medical Single room is subject to renewal each academic year as needed unless waived by the Director of Accessibility. Please make sure that your medical/mental health provider provides you with the appropriate and current documentation. 

Office of Accessibility will review your documentation to determine whether you are eligible to receive a Medical Single Room Accommodation. If approved, the Director of Accessibility will notify the relevant offices necessary to implement the accommodation (e.g., Residence Life, Business Office, etc.). Information about the diagnosis and treatment of your condition remains confidential and will not be shared.

The following documents are not considered acceptable forms of documentation if submitted alone:

  • Handwritten patient records or notes from patient charts.
  • Diagnoses on prescription pads.
  • Self-evaluation found on the internet or in any print publication.
  • Research articles.
  • Correspondence from healthcare providers not directly addressed to the Director and/or Notre Dame of Maryland University, Office of Accessibility

To better serve you, the documentation needs to be submitted by the following dates for priority registration:

MARCH 15th FOR ENROLLED STUDENTS, JUNE 15th FOR NEW STUDENTS

While applications submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, we cannot guarantee that NDMU will be able to meet late applicants’ accommodation needs.

Students granted a single room as a medical accommodation shall be billed for the standard double rate associated with their residence hall.

Service Animals

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are permitted in University facilities. A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform specific tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to:

  • guiding individuals with impaired vision
  • alerting individuals with impaired hearing
  • providing minimal rescue or protection work
  • pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items
Temporary Accommodations

Temporary accommodations are available for students experiencing transitory conditions. Students who require temporary accommodations due to an acute physical or medical condition should contact the Office of Accessibility to discuss their needs for accessibility. Students who are pregnant and require accommodations should contact this office as well.  

Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis as related to the functional limitations associated with the student’s temporary condition. Documentation from a medical professional will be required.

Examples of temporary conditions may include but are not limited to:

  • Concussions
  • Pregnancy
  • Impairments following surgery 
  • Hand, wrist, or arm injuries that limits the student’s ability to write

The University has a dedicated lactation room in the UAB.

Reduced Courseload

This policy applies to undergraduate students who wish to take a reduced course load to accommodate a disability. Students with disabilities that significantly limit their ability to manage a full-time course load (12 or more credits) may be accommodated by receiving approval to take a reduced course load. It may be necessary for a student to request a reduced course load because of a more severe academic impact of a significant disability.

Reduce course load Policy
Reduce course load Procedures

 

Contact Us

Appointments available upon request.
Email: accessibility@ndm.edu