Defining Reasonable Accommodations

Defining Reasonable Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job activity, or facility that ensures an equal opportunity for qualified students with disabilities to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity. Aids, benefits, or services need not produce equal results, but must afford an equal opportunity to achieve equal results. When necessary, OAS staff will consult with faculty regarding whether an accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity or whether an academic requirement is essential to the instruction being pursued or to any directly related licensing requirement. In doing so, OAS will examine the following:

• Barriers between individuals with disabilities and the campus environment in accessing courses, programs, services, jobs, activities or facilities without accommodations;

• Requested modifications, accommodations, and auxiliary aids;

• Whether the proposed accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility;

• Whether an academic requirement is essential to the instruction or to any directly related licensing requirement;

• Whether effective alternatives exist that would allow the individual with a disability to participate without lowering essential requirements or fundamentally altering the nature of the program.

When the University determines that a modification related to facilities or communication would result in a fundamental alteration or undue burden, OAS shall acquire the written opinion of the proper authority, i.e. department chair of impacted discipline, providing the reasoning supporting the decision.