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Reasonable Accommodations

What is a reasonable accommodation?
Reasonable accommodations do not fundamentally alter the nature or essential elements of an academic course, the institution’s policies, and do not place an undue hardship on the institution.

 Accommodations Overview
Academic accommodations are created to remove or reduce barriers in the learning environment to ensure students with disabilities have equal access and opportunity to learn and participate fully in all educational programs at Eastern. They do not guarantee student success and they do not provide an unfair advantage. Accommodations must be reasonable and shall not alter the essential requirements of a course or program of study. 

Documentation Guidelines
The Office of AccessAbility only accepts documentation of a disability from licensed providers. The OAS evaluates all submitted documentation and determines whether an accommodation request is reasonable. The accommodation request should be relevant within the context of the documentation. Course requirements and other resources may also be considered.

 Not all Disabilities are Visible
There are specific documentation criteria for existing disabilities. Refer to the Documentation Guidelines for more information to review eligibility. Accommodations that are approved are always supported by a direct barrier related to a student’s disability. Keep in mind that most accommodations are invisible disabilities, so the need for an accommodation might not be obvious. The specific nature of a student’s disability is confidential. Please do not ask a student to disclose the specific nature of their disability.

Below are some examples of various invisible disabilities that warrant reasonable accommodations:

Crohn’s Disease/Irritable Bowel Syndrome – may often require use of a restroom facility

Diabetes – may require needing to check blood sugar levels and administration of medication

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – may require stepping out of class due to triggers in the classroom, i.e., noises, images, or content

Anxiety Disorder / Panic Disorder – may require stepping out of class to manage symptoms of panic attacks

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – may have difficulty focusing and may require extra processing time

Learning Disability – may struggle with cognitive loads and may need to access recorded lectures more than once


Successful Accommodations

    • Discuss with the student how the approved accommodation will apply within the structure of the course.
    • Hold students accountable to the same academic standards and expectations as any other student.
    • Treat students with the same respect and privacy as all others. Their disability information is confidential. And while they choose to disclose with the OAS to access an accommodation, it does not require they disclose to anyone else. But if they do, treat is as confidential.
    • Submit a semester request for accommodations through OAS using the Accommodate portal.
    • Discuss accommodations with instructions early in the semester even if the instructor will view the Letter of Accommodation to ensure clear communication, parameters, and logistics that may be involved.
    • Maintain proactive communication with all instructors to maximize a successful academic experience.