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Prospective Students

Information for Prospective and Incoming Students

The Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) offers a warm welcome to students students in the early stages of considering colleges, transferring, or those offered admission.

The University of Virginia offers an array of individualized accommodations and services to qualified students with disabilities. The SDAC office regularly acts as a liaison between students with disabilities and their instructors, and other University offices, which may include Housing & Residence Life, Parking & Transportation, and Dining Services.

This page includes important information regarding the timeline process, the difference between having accommodations in K-12 versus higher education, and other resources that may be helpful during the college transition and for prospective students.

Please contact SDAC at [email protected] or call 434-243-5180 with any questions or to learn more.

Transition Steps

1. Review Documentation Guidelines: Review the SDAC Documentation Guidelines to ensure students submit all necessary documentation. Please note that an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan often does not provide enough information to meet the documentation requirements.
2. Apply for Services and Upload Documentation: Submit an SDAC Application once students have been accepted to UVA and receive a UVA student computing ID. Students can set up their computing ID from the Student IT Checklist through Orientation.
3. SDAC Reviews Application and Documentation: Reviews will typically begin after the academic semester has ended (Fall and Spring). See important deadlines as listed.
4. SDAC Contacts the Student for a Meeting: Once the application review is complete, an SDAC Advisor will contact the student through their UVA email address(i.e., with instructions to set up an initial meeting.

Important Deadlines

Area Deadline
Housing May 15th: Reach out to SDAC as early as possible, ideally by the deposit deadline. Student Housing Applications for incoming first years are due June 1st. Review the UVA Housing and Residence Life website, as well as the SDAC Housing Accommodation process.
Dining May 15th: Reach out to SDAC as early as possible, ideally by the deposit deadline. Review the UVA Dining website, as well as the SDAC Dietary Accommodation process.
Orientation June 1st: Contact SDAC if students are in need of orientation accommodations, such as captioning, interpreter, transportation, dietary, and housing. If any family members or non-students are in need of accommodations, please reach out to [email protected].
Academic After Student Summer Orientation:  Reach out to SDAC for an initial meeting once the student has registered for Fall classes, unless there are particular accommodations that require more long-term planning. Students are recommended to start the process no less than two weeks before the start of classes.

The Difference Between High School and College

  High School College
  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Responsibilities of the School
  • IDEA: students are entitled to a free appropriate public education
  • Identify students with disabilities
  • Provide assessment of learning disabilities
  • Involve parents or guardians in placement decisions
  • Provide appropriate services by the school nurse or health services
  • Identify students with disabilities
  • Ensure academic success of students
  • ADA & 504: students must be found eligible for services and reasonable accommodations
  • Protect a student's right to privacy and confidentiality, and inform them of their rights and responsibilities (Visit the UVA Registrar FERPA page to learn more about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
  • Provide access to programs and services which are offered to persons without disabilities
  • Make reasonable accommodations for students who meet qualifying criteria while maintaining the fundamental nature of the course
  • Provide reasonable access to program and service offerings made available to students across Grounds
Student Responsibilities
  • Attend classes
  • Begin to learn about self (areas of strength & challenge, etc.)
  • Begin to learn how to take notes, study, and read for information
  • Begin to learn self-advocacy skills
  • Act as an independent adult
  • Continue to develop effective self-advocacy and study skills
  • Disclose their disability to SDAC and provide verifying documentation
  • Contact SDAC each semester to request faculty notification of accommodations
  • Arrange for and access University resources (i.e., Academic Advising)
Faculty/Teacher Responsibilities
  • Initiates help sessions
  • Available for talks before and after class
  • Provides support to parents
  • Advocates for student
  • Reminds student of incomplete work
  • Reviews assignments and due dates
  • Accessible for help during office hours or by appointment
  • Relies on student to communicate regarding accommodation needs
  • Expects student to ask for help, if needed
  • May not provide reminders of due dates
Parent’s Role
  • Parents can see student records, are notified,  and must sign permission for any changes or decisions for the student
  • Due to FERPA, parents do not communicate with professors or have access to grades and student information


Resources for Transition from High School to College