SDS Determining Eligibility

About this Page

Whether you had accommodations in high school or you are completely new to the accommodations process, you may be wondering about how eligibility for accommodations works in higher education. This page offers you some basic guidance around the following: 

  • How do I know if I am eligible for accommodations (Determining Eligibility)?
  • What kind of documentation do I need from my provider (Supporting Documentation)? 
  • How do I file a grievance or make an appeal (Grievances and Appeals)? 

Determining Eligibility

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How do I know if I am eligible for accommodations?

Students are eligible for accommodations if they have a physical, mental, or health impairment or other condition that substantially limits one or more "major life activities," such as walking, hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, or learning.

Students are also responsible for completing the steps outlined on the following cards. 


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1: Submit and Accommodation Request

Students must submit a Request for Accommodation through the SDS Accommodate Student Portal.

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2: Upload Supporting Documentation

Upload supporting documentation through the Accommodate Student Portal. SDS will not approve reasonable accommodations without the student providing appropriate supporting documentation. The student is responsible for any expenses incurred in obtaining the supporting documentation.

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Meet with an Accommodation Specialist

Schedule a meeting with a SDS Accommodation Specialist. During this meeting the accommodation specialist and student will engage in the interactive process.


The SDS Accommodation Specialist will either approve or deny accommodation requests and will send the student the Letter of Approved Accommodation (LOAA) via the Accommodate Portal (most typically) at the conclusion of that meeting.

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Send Letters of Approved Accommodation Each Quarter

In order to have academic accommodations implemented, students must send the LOAA to each faculty member via the Accommodate Portal. Faculty are not held responsible for implementing accommodations when the student has not sent the LOAA. Exception:  Sturm College of Law (SCOL) Students do not send the LOAA via the Accommodate Portal. SDS sends the LOAA through the Accommodate Portal to the student and to Student Affairs staff in SCOL. The Student Affairs staff in SCOL implements all accommodations.

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Supporting Documentation

Students must coordinate with their current treatment provider to obtain appropriate documentation.  It is most common for students with learning disabilities or ADHD to submit psychoeducational testing. Please note per the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may not be sufficient for granting accommodations. Documentation may be in the form of diagnostic testing or a letter of support from the current, treating healthcare provider.  Supporting documentation must include the following information:     

  • Submitted on formal letterhead from the treating provider  
  • Include the treating physician's signature and license number 
  • All documentation must be submitted in English 
  • Within a relevant time frame
  • Include a formal diagnosis  

All documentation requires the following elements:    

  • Disability/Diagnosis   
  • Functional limitation based on objective evidence 
  • The need for accommodation(s) based on objective evidence 

Please note that there are additional requirements for students requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).

Grievances and Accommodation Appeals

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Filing a Grievance or Appeal

If you believe your request for accommodation(s) or applicable academic adjustments was unfairly denied by the SDS, or if you disagree with SDS's decision to approve alternate accommodations or academic adjustments different from those requested, or you are dissatisfied with the implementation of approved accommodations or academic adjustments, you are entitled to file a grievance or accommodation appeal. The SDS strives to resolve all disputes both promptly and equitably.