To obtain eligibility to receive reasonable accommodations through Student Disability Services (SDS), students will need to follow the Accommodation Process outlined below. There are four steps to receive accommodations at Northeastern:
Understanding the Americans with Disability Act/Section 504: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 / The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and amendments:
This legislation applies to the opportunities that must be available to students choosing to attend an institution of higher education. Under the ADA, students pursuing a post-secondary education are responsible for documenting and requesting accommodations for their specific needs. Students are responsible for identifying themselves as students who have a disability. The student must provide the university with appropriate documentation regarding their disability and recommended accommodations.
Students are responsible for requesting specific academic adjustments or accommodations according to their documented needs.
Eligibility for reasonable accommodations in post-secondary institutions is driven by the federal definition of disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts the conditions, manner or duration under which an average person in the general population can perform a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working or taking care of oneself. In a university setting, students must advocate for their own academic needs.
Students will complete and submit the following forms to SDS, with their supporting documentation:
- Student Request for Accommodations Form: This form is required to be completed by the student; it informs SDS of the accommodations you are requesting, what you've used in the past, and how you describe your disability.
- Authorization for Release of Information Form: This form is mandatory for all students seeking services with SDS. This enables us to read your information and share it with key parties. Key parties are those that need to know what your accommodations may be in order for your accommodations to be implemented effectively. Key parties are trained in FERPA and other privacy mandates. Confidentially is respected at all times.
- Provider Report: This form should be given to your clinician. This form is submitted with your request for accommodations; if you do not have supporting documentation, or your documentation has exceeded the three-year threshold. If you are seeking accommodations for either a learning disability, ADHD, or other psychological disabilities, the form must be completed by a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist.
If you are seeking accommodations for a physical disability (deaf/hard of hearing, low vision, or bone/muscle/neurological disabilities) the Provider Report can be completed by your family doctor. If you do not have a clinician, SDS can supply information for qualified clinicians (not a list of recommendations).
Supporting documentation for your request for accommodations, could be any of the following:
- IEP/504 paperwork with a psychological evaluation embedded within the report
- A letter of approval for accommodations from the College Board
- All documentation must be no older than three years prior to the date of the accommodation request.
- If your documentation is outdated, you may be eligible to receive temporary accommodations while obtaining the updated documentation. (Please contact SDS to see what we would need to grant you temporary accommodations.)
Submit your request for accommodations application forms with supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
SDS will notify you when we have completed our review of your request for accommodations and made our determination. This could take up to ten (10) business days.
SDS will notify you to schedule an appointment with an SDS Specialist, to go over whether your request has been approved or denied.
If your request has been approved, we will discuss:
- How an accommodation can be implemented
- SDS policies for utilizing certain accommodations
- Resources for on and off campus to get a full range of support
- Your Accommodation Determination Letter and how to use it
If your request has been denied, we will discuss:
- The reasons
- Other actions that can be taken or alternative accommodations
- The appeal process
Reasons why accommodations could be denied:
- If making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential nature of a program or element of the curriculum;
- If it poses an undue financial or administrative burden and;
- If they create a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
- Accommodations do not transfer from one place to another.
- Each request is case-by-case, and unique to each environment (i.e., the level of support in high school is vastly different from that in a higher education environment; the level of support from one higher education environment to another can also vary widely.)