In accordance with the ADA, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the University of Virginia offers an array of individualized accommodations and services to qualified students with disabilities. Accommodations are determined using an interactive process between the student and SDAC staff. Most students will have to submit documentation to be eligible for accommodations. If you have questions or would like to find out more information, please feel free to contact SDAC.
Accommodations may include:
Alternative course materials ( e-text, braille)
Captioning (live and post-production captioning services
Consultations with prospective and incoming students
Exam accommodations (extra time, reduced-distraction environment, etc.)
- Emotional Support Animals on University Property
University policy (SEC-044: Use and Access of Service Animals, Service Dogs in Training, and Emotional Support Animals on University Property or with Respect to University Programs and Activities) “has established requirements that provide consistency in the use and access of service animals, including those in training, and emotional support animals on University property, and with respect to all University programs and activities in the Academic Division.”
SDAC receives requests, reviews documentation, and works with Housing & Residence Life to facilitate accommodations for students with medical conditions or disabilities who are requesting to bring a service animal or emotional support animal to live in on-Grounds housing.
Students with disabilities requesting to bring an Emotional Support Animal into University-Operated Housing should follow the steps below and submit the following forms to determine approval prior to bringing the animal on Grounds:
To be completed by the student:
- Apply for SDAC Services
- Student Request for Housing Accommodation Form
- Animal in On-Grounds Housing Information Form
To be completed by a health care provider:
- World Language
The University of Virginia does not waive its foreign language requirement. Instead, UVA has established a World Language procedure that begins with the intake and eligibility process through SDAC. If the student is determined eligible for accommodations in their foreign language on the basis of disability, then an official memo is sent on behalf of the student to the world language department coordinator. The student is expected to make a good faith effort in a world language course with accommodations. If, after a sufficient trial period, the language coordinator determines that the course is unworkable even with accommodations, they may recommend in writing to the student's Association Dean that the foreign language requirement be modified to allow for a course substitution. The substitutions courses must be approved by the College of Arts & Sciences, but it may be taught in English.
SDAC receives requests, reviews documentation, and works with Housing & Residence Life to facilitate accommodations for students with medical conditions or disabilities who have specific needs, such as wheelchair accessibility, modified safety alarms, kitchen access or access to specific dining halls, single room, a service animal or emotional support animal, etc. Students should adhere to all the standard Housing division policies and deadlines for applications. Note: Disability needs will take priority over specific residence hall and/or roommate requests. (For instance, single rooms are not available in all residence halls.) We do not take requests for assignments to specific locations. As long as the request is submitted by the published Housing and Residence Life deadline, then returning students will be able to select their exact room assignment in their room selection timeslot; incoming students will be assigned aligned as much as possible to their submitted preferences from their housing application submission. If the request is not made in a timely manner, then the University will do whatever it can to meet the accommodation needs, but it will be subject to room availability.
For housing accommodations, we ask that students submit the following:
- Meal Plan Modifications
SDAC works closely with UVA Dining to accommodate students in need of meal plan modifications due to a disability, including severe food allergies or Celiac Disease. We ask that students submit:
- Notetaking Services
The Peer Notetaking Program is a valuable accommodation/resource for students who may have difficulty taking notes while listening to class lecture or have a physical disability prohibiting writing. With these difficulties, provision of class notes may be considered a reasonable accommodation or auxiliary aid under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Notetaking is not a substitute for the student's own attendance and participation in class. We ask that professors make the announcement below, and then send any potential volunteers to sign up to be a volunteer notetaker:
There is a student in our class who needs a copy of the class notes. The Student Disability Access Center is asking for a volunteer notetaker. If you are willing to share your notes on a regular basis, please visit their website to sign up to be a volunteer at www.studenthealth.virginia.edu/SDAC.
- Permission to Record Audio Lectures
University policy (PROV-008: Teaching Courses for Academic Credit – Section 5) “prohibits the recording or transmission of classroom lectures and discussions by students unless written permission from the Instructor has been obtained and all students in the class, as well as guest speakers, have been informed that audio/video recording may occur.”
Students receiving an accommodation that includes the recording of classroom lectures and discussions are exempt from this policy, however, restrictions on distribution do apply. Also, a personal recording of this information is not a transfer of any copyrights.
Instructors may want to include language in their syllabus alerting class members they may be recorded. It is also encouraged that a statement indicating that recording for personal study would be allowed by any class member. Many students who benefit from a later review of recorded lectures do not have a disability or issue that would qualify them for accommodation through SDAC. Providing permission in the syllabus opens that option for all students.
If the broad application is not applicable to your class, a statement allowing recording by permission (per policy direction) should be included.
- Reasonable Modification of Assignment Deadlines
The purpose of this accommodation is to suggest that extended time on course assignments may be a reasonable accommodation when a student’s disability impacts their ability to complete an assignment by the published deadline. If the student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes, the accommodation allows for flexibility in assignment deadlines and makeup work. We recognize that this accommodation is complicated, as what is reasonable for an assignment extension will differ for each assignment. Please see the Reasonable Modification of Assignment Deadlines webpage for more details and guidance.
- Reasonable Modification of Course Attendance Policy
This accommodation is intended to create some flexibility of the attendance policy in the course to allow for a reasonable number of disability-related absences. We recognize that this accommodation is complicated, as what is reasonable for an assignment extension will differ for each assignment. Please see the Reasonable Modification of Course Attendance webpage for more details and guidance.
- Remote Participation
This policy is for for the 2021-22 academic year only. It is subject to change in the 2022-23 academic year as we reevaluate changing pandemic conditions. The University of Virginia will primarily offer in-person instruction in the 2021-2022 academic year. Most of the university’s academic programs have essential in-person components. In certain cases, remote participation can be approved as a pandemic-related modification if a student’s disability makes them unable to participate in-person. Students eligible for remote participation are approved for one semester. Approval is contingent upon determining feasibility for the student’s courses in collaboration with faculty and other University academic officials. This modification is not intended to be used for multiple semesters in a row, nor to convert an in-person program into an all-virtual experience.
- When a student is considered to be an eligible candidate for this possibility, SDAC will contact the student’s professors and an academic official (as designated by the Provost) to initiate discussion about the feasibility of this provision. If the consensus of this working group is that remote participation would be a viable option, they will determine initial details of what remote participation may look like for that course and relay that information to the student for their consideration. The professor and student are then encouraged to work together on the finalized details of the course delivery.
- It is understood that not all courses can feasibly be converted into an online format (e.g., some labs, practicums, etc.)
- It is understood that the provision of remote participation for an on-site class may not look the way it did during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, and will be more limited.
- It is understood that remote participation will likely be a lesser class experience that is only being offered as an attempt to create reasonable options to address students’ unique disability-related situations during the reintegration following the COVID-19 emergency remote teaching period.
- It is understood that this modification may take the form of streamed synchronous access with varying levels of interaction or recorded lectures provided asynchronously after the class. The professor and student must work out details for communicating during and outside of classes.
- In the event that it is not feasible to provide access to remote participation, we will explore possible alternative options in a good-faith effort toward inclusion.
- Approval for Fall 2021 does not imply any potential approval for Spring 2022.
- Any provider submitting a Verification of Disability form in support of such a request shall review the Remote Participation Documentation Addendum for guidance in writing an additional letter of support.
Information for Prospective Students
Whether you are a high school student in the early stages of considering colleges, a student at another college considering transfer, or you have applied and been offered admission - indeed whether you are a prospective student or the parent/guardian of a prospective student, we offer a warm welcome and invite you to contact us (434-243-5180 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if there is any issue you would like to discuss.
Members of the SDAC staff are available to meet with prospective students and their families regarding disability accommodations and support services available through SDAC and through other University agencies. The SDAC regularly acts as a liaison between students with disabilities and other University offices, including Housing, Parking & Transportation, and the Registrar. Every incoming student with a disability is invited to have a consult appointment at the SDAC. Even if you are not planning on using accommodations, it can be useful to review needs and available services and resources. SDAC staff members are also present at every session of the University Summer Orientation programs to answer questions and provide information.