The University of Virginia (University) believes that students with a disability represent a form of diversity that enriches and strengthens the excellence of our institution. The University, therefore, seeks to promote a culture of access and inclusion for students with disabilities for all University programs and activities.
On behalf of the University, the primary role of the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) is to ensure access and inclusion for students with disabilities through the approval of academic and other accommodations, as well as through educational outreach and training for the University community.
The University’s efforts are guided by applicable state and federal law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), as well as guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
Eligibility for Disability Services
SDAC facilitates the provision of approved academic accommodations for University students with a disability who are determined to meet the academic and/or technical standards requisite for admission and continued participation in a University program or activity.
While these Procedures and Guidelines focus on academic accommodations, they also apply to accommodations a student with a disability may need to participate in non-academic University programs and activities, such as participation in athletics or another University process.
Students who are employed by the University and seeking workplace accommodations should do so through the Procedures for Employees with Disabilities to Request Workplace Accommodations.
Students with disabilities are admitted to the University under the same requirements and process as other students. A student’s decision to disclose their disability during the admissions process, or at any point during their University enrollment, is voluntary. If a student discloses this information only to SDAC during the admissions process prior to being admitted, SDAC will not share this information with the University’s admission office.
However, post-enrollment, in order to qualify for accommodations, a student must self-identify with a disability and submit appropriate documentation to SDAC in accordance with these Procedures and Guidelines. Documentation submitted to SDAC is considered an educational record, as defined under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It is kept confidential and separate from the student’s general academic file unless the student chooses to also submit it to another University department. SDAC will release information related to a disability only with the permission of the student, as permitted by FERPA, or as necessary to coordinate with other University offices to facilitate an accommodation or the accommodation process. SDAC advises instructors that disability matters are confidential and should not be shared with others, and that academic accommodations should be handled in a discreet manner.
Disclosure of Disability
Students who wish to receive disability accommodations and services are encouraged to initially disclose their disability status directly to SDAC.
Students need not disclose the specific nature of their disability to their instructor, nor does SDAC encourage the instructor to inquire about a potential disability. Students are advised against sharing documentation of their disability directly with their instructor, as instructors are not responsible for interpreting, evaluating, or responding to disability documentation.
When the student discloses their disability status to their instructor rather than SDAC, instructors should immediately refer the student to SDAC to determine the student’s eligibility to receive accommodations.
 EXCEPTION: Given the unique nature of University graduate schools, students in the Darden School of Business, School of Law, or School of Medicine who are seeking accommodations are required to first disclose their disability status to their Dean of Student Affairs, who will then coordinate appropriate services with SDAC.