Requesting Accommodations

Student Academic Support Services (SASS) provides academic services and accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students disclosing a diagnosed disability with evidence of a functional limitation that impacts the individual in the academic setting will be provided with reasonable accommodations.

Students with disabilities must be able to perform the essential functions (technical standards) of the curriculum with or without accommodations and present no threat to the safety and well-being of others. SASS requires comprehensive documentation of the disability and a personal interview to determine appropriate services and accommodations.

Accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis and are based upon specific, individual needs (based on documentation and history) and upon how well the accommodations meet the curricular goals of the course of studies. Both students and faculty may be engaged in this process through SASS.

It is the responsibility of the individual student to request accommodations, provide documentation, interact with SASS personnel, and to advocate on their behalf.

THE FOLLOWING PROCESS MUST BE FOLLOWED TO REQUEST ACCOMMODATIONS

  1. Documentation and other supporting evidence must be submitted to the SASS. Students should submit their documentation and request for accommodations prior to enrollment whenever possible. Guidelines for documentation are outlined below.
    1. Documentation of disability must be provided by a properly credentialed professional. Additional information may include former IEP's, letters from academic professionals, results of standardized testing and grades.
    2. Documentation should
      1. Establish the existence of an impairment
      2. Indicate the degree to which the student's impairment substantially limits a major life activity
      3. Describe the manner in which the impairment limits the individual's ability to function in the academic environment
    3. Documentation may include but is not limited to
      1. Test scores
      2. Objective medical data
      3. Clinical Observations
      4. Past academic or professional history
      5. The student's actual performance in similar situations
      6. A direct link between the diagnosis and the requested accommodations
    4. Please refer to the Documentation Guidelines for more detailed information.
  2. Students must complete and submit the SASS Self-Disclosure and Accommodation Request Forms. Included in the forms is a Release of Information Form that students should sign to allow the SASS to discuss the student's needs with their medical provider and/or diagnostician and any offices from which they have previously received accommodations. While this release is not required in order to gain accommodations, it may be of significant help in determining appropriate accommodations.
    1. Students must request each accommodation they are seeking. Please provide this specific information on the request forms as each request is taken into consideration during the review of documentation.
    2. Extra time on clinical performance tests is very rarely granted and only after considerate deliberation by the disability consultant, the academic affairs officer of the College, and the course director/clerkship director.
    3. In-class quizzes are often times difficult to provide additional time for due to prohibiting a student from participating in class, but should it become problematic students should contact the Disability Coordinator in SASS.
  3. Upon delivering these forms to the SASS, students must make an appointment for an interview to discuss their disability and specific needs for accommodations. Interviews will take place in person, by phone or through video-conferencing depending on the situation.
  4. Students may be asked for additional information and should respond to all requests as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in a denial and/or delay of the accommodation requests.
  5. Students will be provided with a written decision regarding their accommodations after all requested material has been provided and reviewed.
    1. Please note that we try our best to process the requests for accommodations in a timely fashion, however obtaining accommodations is not immediate and can be a lengthy process at times.
    2. An approved accommodation(s) at UTHSC is not a guarantee that an accommodation(s) would be granted on Board Exams.
  6. Students may appeal the decision regarding accommodations by writing a letter to the Director of Student Academic Support Services. This appeal will be reviewed with the student and appropriate personnel.

Important Information About Applying for Services

  • Accommodations are not retroactive. If you are not sure if you'll need accommodations, it is better to have them in place should the need occur.
  • Accommodations can be requested at any point during the semester. However, it does take time to process the request and review documentation to determine the provision of accommodations. Don't wait until your test is days away. Students should allow at least 10 business days for documentation to be reviewed.
  • A prior history of accommodations in a previous academic environment is not a guarantee that accommodations would be granted. A prior history of accommodations without a demonstration of a current need does not in itself warrant the provision of similar accommodations.
  • For students that have a disability but do not wish to seek accommodations, we still encourage you to register with our office.
  • Self-disclosure of a disability is completely voluntary; however students wishing to request accommodations must self-disclose their disability and make a direct request for accommodations in the SASS.
  • All information is confidential in the SASS. Written consent by the student would be needed for information to be released.
  • Students must be officially approved for accommodations in order for the SASS to provide accommodations.
  • An approved accommodation at UTHSC is not a guarantee that an accommodation(s) would be granted on board exams.


Give Now button

Student Academic
Support Services

8 S. Dunlap GEB, Rm BB9
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-5056
Email: SASS@uthsc.edu