Determining Eligibility

To be eligible for accommodation(s) at the University of Denver, students must:

  1. 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. The ADA and Section 504 laws protect students from discrimination on the basis of their disability if they have any of the following conditions:
    • Visual impairment(s)
    • Hearing impairment(s)
    • Mental/emotional health condition(s)
    • Learning disabilities
    • ADD/ADHD
    • Brain injuries, epilepsy
    • Autism spectrum disorder(s), Asperger's syndrome
    • Mobility impairment(s)
    • Other health condition(s) or impairment(s) (e.g. cancer, diabetes, food allergies, etc.)
  2. Self-identify to the Disability Services Program (DSP) by submitting a Request for Accommodation (RFA) through the Accommodate Student Portal.
    • Any student(s) who initially disclose disabilities or impact to faculty or other DU staff should be directed to the DSP office.
    • The student, not the University, is responsible for identifying any reasonable accommodation(s) they may need to support equitable access to the educational opportunity.
  3. Provide supporting documentation:
    • DSP will not approve reasonable accommodation(s) without appropriate supporting documentation provided by the student.
    • The student is responsible for any expense(s) incurred in obtaining this documentation.

Supporting Documentation

To qualify for consideration, all supporting documentation must meet current legal and University standards. For complete details, please refer to the DSP Documentation Guidelines.

The purpose of documentation is to assist the University in understanding the nature of specific disabilities, functional limitations, or their impact on full participation in University courses, programs, services, or activities, and the ways in which accommodation(s) can mitigate this impact.

In order to establish coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or other applicable laws, supporting documentation should indicate that the student's disability imposes a substantial limitation on at least one major life activity.

In general, supporting documentation should include:

  1. Credential(s) of the evaluator
  2. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
  3. A description of the diagnostic methodology used, as appropriate to the disability
  4. Details of current functional limitations
  5. The disability's expected duration, progression, or stability
  6. Description(s) of any current and past accommodation(s), service(s), and/or medication(s)
  7. Recommendation(s) for accommodation(s) and/or service(s)

Documentation must be completed, signed, and dated by a trained and licensed or otherwise appropriately credentialed professional to diagnose the disability(ies), such as a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, therapist, or learning disabilities specialist, with sufficient relevant experience and no personal relationship to the student.

Appropriate supporting documentation must be current — preferably from within the past four (4) years — and should accurately reflect ongoing limitations associated with the student's specific disabilities. Students with disabilities that manifest sporadically or are degenerative or progressive in nature may be required to routinely provide updated documentation in support of any adjustments to existing accommodations.

DSP will evaluate and determine the appropriateness of all supporting documentation on a case-by-case basis. We may also request additional information to establish eligibility for accommodations.

DSP may choose to obtain a further assessment of supporting documentation by appropriate professionals of the University’s choosing. Any expense(s) incurred in the acquisition of this additional review is the responsibility of the University.

Determination and Notification

The determination of reasonable and appropriate accommodation(s) is based on the types of functional limitations manifested by a particular disability, as reflected by supporting documentation and other information, and may differ for each student. Accommodations will be determined on an individual basis and may not be identical to those previously utilized by the student. Accommodations that compromise the integrity of an academic program, impose an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the University, or fundamentally alter programmatic content are neither reasonable nor appropriate.

Once a determination has been made by the DSP Accommodations Specialist of a student's eligibility for academic or programmatic accommodations, an Eligibility Notification will be sent to the student's University email account. This notification will include a list of any and all accommodations for which the student has been approved, along with a referral to the DSP Student Handbook for process and procedure information relevant to their approved accommodations.

Students not approved for requested accommodations will receive either an email or phone call to discuss their request and explain why it was not approved.

Grievances and Appeals

Students who wish to appeal a denial of accommodation(s), or are otherwise dissatisfied with DSP's response to their request can use the grievance process to obtain prompt and equitable resolutions to their concerns.

Emotional Support Animals

The University of Denver engages in an interactive process with students requesting Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) or assistance animals in University-managed housing in order to determine whether the requests are reasonable and will not impose an undue hardship on the University or present a danger to members of the community or their property. This is consistent with the University's obligations under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

For complete details, please see DU's Documentation Guidelines for Emotional Support Animals.