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Reasonable Accommodation

What is a reasonable accommodation?

The University will provide reasonable accommodation(s) upon request to an otherwise qualified employee or student as required by law. Reasonable accommodations ensure equal access to University employment, educational opportunities, programs, services, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the individual’s needs.  The extent of such accommodation(s) cannot impose an undue hardship upon the University, constitute a fundamental alteration to a program, or compromise academic integrity. It is the responsibility of the students and employees to make their disability status and subsequent need for an accommodation known.  Reasonable accommodations do not guarantee success, but do guarantee access.

Examples of reasonable accommodations

Accessible Transportation
Attendance Requirements
Document Conversion
Exam Administration

Accessible Transportation

Disability Resources is available to assist departments and individuals arrange for wheelchair accessible vehicles.

  • Accessible vehicles rent from the UA Motor Pool at the same cost as equivalent, non-accessible vehicles.
  • Instructors who are coordinating transportation for a course activity can arrange for an accessible vehicle through the UA Motor Pool.

Contact Sherry Santee at 520-626-5490 or to facilitate the rental process.

Attendance Requirements

Students who believe that they cannot adhere to an attendance policy because of circumstances directly related to a disability may seek an accommodation. As with all accommodations, the process for students to initiate a request for attendance accommodations is through Disability Resources. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the course instructor.

If you are contacted by DRC about possible flexibility in your attendance policy, we will be interested in understanding the role attendance plays in the design of your course. Specifically, DRC staff will explore:

  • What is the course policy regarding attendance?
  • Is the attendance policy applied consistently?  Are there exceptions to the policy made for extenuating circumstances, such as athletics or religious observation?
  • How much interaction is there between the instructor and students and among students during class?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the design of the course rely on student participation as a significant method for learning? 
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class compromise the educational experience of other students in the class?

If an accommodation is determined to be reasonable, DRC will work with you and the student to clearly specify:

  • How and when the student should inform you when he or she will miss class
  • How the student will make-up missed work
  • The number of absences that would be reasonable
  • Whether a late drop or grade of incomplete would be appropriate should absences become unexpectedly excessive.

Please note:

  • An accommodation in attendance is not reasonable if regular attendance is essential to the course and/or curriculum or the number of accommodated absences becomes excessive.
  • You should never waive essential academic components of the course.
  • Students who receive an attendance accommodation are responsible for all course work and do not have blanket permission to miss class.
  • Requests for flexibility in assignment deadlines will be discussed separately and may or may not be determined to be reasonable. 

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Disability Resources.

Document Conversion

There are several things that you, as an instructor, can do to assure all your students have access to course materials in a format that is accessible with assistive technologies and mobile devices.

  • Select and order your books early
    • You may be contacted by DRC if your order has not been received by the Bookstore by its priority date
    • Ensure an electronic version of the text is accessible for assistive technologies and possibly mobile devices
  • Prepare your course syllabus early.  Be sure to include dates and pages for required readings
  • Assist in locating print materials for conversion
    • Your student or DRC may contact you for a copy of your book, syllabus or online materials in order to scan them and create accessible electronic files
  • Post accessible information on D2L, Blackboard, or course website

More resources on creating accessible course materials and content.

Contact DRC at 626-9409 or if you would like additional information about the accessibility of course materials.


If you have a deaf or hard of hearing student enrolled in your course, Disability Resources may schedule a Sign Language Interpreter or Communication Access Real-Time (CART) writer to facilitate communication in your class

Guidelines for Working with Interpreters/CART Writers:

Before classes begin, Disability Resources may inform you that a deaf student is enrolled and an interpreter/CART writer will be in your class.

Interpreters/CART writers:

  • Will introduce themselves to you and provide any information on the process or deafness in general
  • Follow the Code of Ethics where confidentiality is essential and strictly adhered to
  • Will discuss appropriate seating arrangements with you and the student
  • May not have a background in the course content. Any information you can provide regarding technical vocabulary is helpful
  • Have access to portable lights for occasions when films, slides, etc., are used
  • Should be informed when videos or films will be shown.  DRC can assist in accessing a closed-captioned version of videos
  • Will not provide service when the student does not attend class and will wait for a set length of time if a student is late for class

Working with an interpreter:

  • Speak directly to the student and not to the interpreter
  • When you ask a question or take class comments, allow additional time so the interpreter can interpret your message effectively
  • You may have more than one interpreter present if your class is over one hour in length or particularly challenging

Working with a Communication Access Real-Time (CART) writer:

  • CART writers are trained court writers who use a steno machine, laptop computer and software to record everything you say verbatim and in real-time.
  • At the conclusion of each class, the writer will provide a copy of the lecture text to the student.
  • This copy is for the student only and is not shared with other class members.

Additional Resources:

Orientation to Serving College Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing


Having access to quality class notes is an integral part of learning.  If writing notes in class is a barrier, a note-taking accommodation may be requested.

Learn more about note-taking accessibility here.