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Information for Students

Our staff is committed to assisting students with documented disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations, coordinating services and creating accessibility through assistive technology and other means. The website will acquaint you with the registration process. Additionally, you will be informed of the services the office provides and the assistive technology that is available through our office.

Accommodations are based on disability documentation as well as interactive interviews between students and Disability Services staff. 

The university has the right to approve or deny services requested by students which are not considered reasonable, constitute an undue burden or modify the essential elements of a course/program.

Many of the forms below are in pdf format and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view any pdf files. It can be download for free from the Adobe website.

 Transition From High School To College

The movement from secondary to post-secondary education for students with disabilities involves significant changes in applicable laws and legal rights and responsibilities. In high school, most students with disabilities have been provided services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which is a funding statute requiring schools to identify students with special needs and to provide services (special education) for students with disabilities. IDEA does not apply to post secondary education.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to both secondary education and post-secondary education settings. These statutes are civil rights (non-discrimination) statutes and require the provision of reasonable accommodations for equal access to services and programs for qualified students.

The following pages provide a summary of the major legal differences between high school and college that students with disabilities need to understand.

For further information about services for students with disabilities at UMass Lowell, contact Disability Services. You may also wish to consult the extensive legal information about disability and higher education available from the Council on Law in Higher Education.

Grievance

INTERNAL PROCESS:

Faculty: The staff of Disability Services acts as liaisons between students with disabilities and their faculty members. If a faculty member has a concern regarding classroom or teaching accommodations, we urge them to discuss the concern with Disability Services staff immediately. Disability Services staff will review the concern against the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act to determine how the concern might be resolved.

Student: If you do not believe that your needs are being adequately or appropriately met, you are encouraged to meet with a representative from Disability Services. They will work with you on a case-by-case basis to attempt to resolve your concerns when feasible within the limits established by law for the provision of reasonable accommodations.  If you have a concern or complaint that your rigihts under the Americans with Disability Act have not been met, you may contact Section 504/ADA Coordinators.

SECTION 504 / ADA COORDINATORS

  • Clara I Reynolds - Director, Equal Opportunity and Outreach, Phone: 978-934-3565
  • Donna Vieweg - Deputy 504/ADA Coordinator, Sr. EOO Employment Specialist, Phone: 978-934-3566
  • Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Outreach, Wannalancit Building, 3rd Floor, 600 Suffolk Street, Lowell, MA 01854

EXTERNAL PROCESS:

  • U.S. Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921,  Phone: 617-289-0111, TTY: 800-877-8339,  email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - John F. Kennedy Federal Bldg., 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, Phone: 800-669-4000, TTY: 800-669-6820

Inquiries regarding state laws may be directed to:

  • Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination - 436 Dwight Street, Room 220, Springfield, MA 01103, Phone: 413-739-2145

Please read the: Reasonable Accommodations (pdf) document.

 DISABILITY SERVICES (DS) STUDENT AGREEMENT

Student Responsibilities:

  • Students are responsible for self-identification and providing adequate documentation to demonstrate the existence of a disability as defined under Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Each semester (per Semester Request Process), students must request accommodations on the Accommodate website and follow up with faculty to discuss the details of their accommodations. Retroactive accommodations cannot be implemented.
  • Students are responsible for meeting with faculty to discuss testing related accommodations for the semester. Students and faculty will discuss whether accommodations will take place in the Testing Center or the classroom.
  • Students are responsible for alerting Disability Services if they experience difficulties accessing their accommodations.
  • Once registered with Disability Services, students are eligible to take a reduced course load, but must meet with The Solution Center to discuss issues regarding credit requirements for any scholarships or programs they are part of.
  • Students are expected to adhere to the code of conduct although they may ask to be accommodated during the process. Students are also expected to treat all Disability Services and University Personnel with respect.
  • Students are responsible for communicating with family members/guardians or outside service providers.
  • Students must meet all the requirements for their academic program; and the technical requirements required for graduation.

Disability Services (DS) Responsibilities:

  • The University will provide students with documented disabilities access to all services, programs or activities sponsored by the University.
  • Disability Services will provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to all academic programs.
  • Disability Services will provide students with documented disabilities supportive services during their college tenure.
  • As per FERPA (Right to Privacy Laws), Disability Services staff will only communicate with the student, for privacy protection, unless the student signs a Consent to Release form.
  • With the student's consent, Disability Services staff will work with any third parties (e.g. Commission for the Blind) to ensure a smooth transition to campus life.

 DINING REQUESTS  

Students who dine on campus and have a food allergy or dietary restriction should contact the dietitian to discuss the available options that support their health. You can contact the dietitian by emailing: dietitian@uml.edu.


Requesting Accommodation from Your Professor

Please watch this video for an example of the kind of conversation you should have when you bring your accommodation letter to your professor.