Policies and Procedures. Photographs copyrighted 2009 by Cecile Abigail Adre. Used with permission.

Policies & Procedures

Procedures and Guidelines for the Accommodations Process

Students with disabilities may be entitled to accommodations and/or academic adjustments designed to give them equal access to the university's resources. The procedures guiding the accommodations process are detailed in the section below.

Accommodations Process Summary

In order to receive accommodations, students must:

Where do I go for accommodations for my disability?

The Office of Disability Services (ODS), located in the 707 Building, Suite 503, is the designated office at Marquette University to accommodate accommodations for all undergraduate and graduate* students with identified and documented disabilities who require them. Accommodations determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

*Students enrolled in Marquette professional schools, i.e. Law and Dentistry, must follow the specific procedures for Law and Dental students referenced in item G.

Do I need to provide any information about my disability to ODS?

Students must provide relevant documentation of their disability from an appropriate licensed professional source to ODS that gives a diagnosis of the disability and how it impacts on their participation in courses, programs, jobs, activities and facilities at Marquette. Guidelines for acceptable documentation can be found in the Resource Section. This documentation will be kept confidential and shared with university personnel for educational purposes only with the consent of the student or as permitted or required by law. All disability documentation will be maintained in a locked file in ODS.

Documentation Policy Summary

All documentation must:

The complete documentation policy is located in the Resource Section. (See Section V.A.) (Also found on our Web site at http://www.marquette.edu/disability-services/policies/ds_policy_docguidelines.shtml)

Requesting Accommodations:

Why doesn’t Marquette automatically provide me and IEP/504 plan like I received in high school?

The areas of disability law guiding high schools require that students with disabilities receive IEP/504 plans designed by parents, teachers, specialists and other administrators to assure student success. Postsecondary education is guided by different areas of disability law and these laws empower students to choose whether or not to seek assistance for their disabilities. This means that students are now responsible for deciding when to initiate the accommodations process and communicating their specific needs for each class to the appropriate university personnel. At Marquette, that process begins with the student meeting each semester with an ODS representative who will assist the student in identifying appropriate accommodations for each class. To learn more about the differences between high school and college for students with disabilities visit the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) web site at www.ed.gov/ocr/transition.html.

When do I seek accommodations?

Accommodations must be requested each semester, prior to the need for the requested accommodation(s). Students must make an appointment to meet with a representative of the Office of Disability Services to discuss their accommodation needs for the semester. Because accommodations requests are not automatic, be sure to provide the Office of Disability Services sufficient time to review and implement your requests. Unfortunately, the Office of Disability Services may be unable to provide you last minute requests that do not provide a reasonable amount of time for implementation.

How are accommodations determined?

Each semester, a student with a disability must schedule an appointment to meet with a representative of the Office of Disability Services to discuss the student's disability and how it will impact on the requirements of each of the student's courses. The ODS representative, taking into consideration the student's documentation, the preferences of the student, available resources and the requirements of each class will then make a decision on accommodations. When determining appropriate accommodations, the Office of Disability Services may need to consult with other faculty, staff or, with the consent of the student, may consult with outside professionals or agencies.

How will I know what accommodations I will receive?

A representative of the Office of Disability Services will describe the process for the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations both verbally and in writing to the student. The following issues will be considered in the accommodations decision ­making process:

Who will know about my disability?

ODS respects students' privacy regarding dissemination of information about their disabilities. Information will not be shared with others on the campus without students' permission or as permitted or required by law. The ODS policy on confidentiality is located in the Resource Section (See Section V.B.).

What if I choose until later in the semester to ask for accommodations?

Students with disabilities always have the right to decide when to identify themselves as a student with disabilities and when to request accommodations. Privacy rights, however, do not change the requirement that no matter when students with disabilities choose to identify themselves, they must still follow the published procedures for requesting accommodations in a timely manner. This means, regardless of when a student requests accommodations, they must provide the Office of Disability Services a reasonable amount of time to implement the process.

Further, retroactive accommodations are not permitted (i.e. those requested after an event has passed, as in the case of requests for attendance consideration for classes already missed, or opportunities to retake exams or change previously awarded grades). If such events as poor performance on exams or missed classes result in students seeking accommodations, ODS will:


Notifying/ working with instructors:

How will my instructors know what my accommodations are?

There are two steps in this process:

What if my instructor has questions about my accommodations that I can’t answer?

The letter stating the accommodations to which students are entitled will also invite faculty to contact the Office of Disability Services if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations. If an initial accommodations decision has been found to be unworkable for legitimate reasons or another type of accommodation is brought to light that would be more effective for a particular course, the ODS representative will reconsider the accommodation decision. Instructors are not required to compromise essential elements of their courses or evaluation standards when accommodations are recommended.

Can my instructors require me to attend class the same as my peers?

Yes, but with some restrictions. A class-attendance rule should be modified, if recommended by the accommodation letter, when attendance is not academically essential to meet course requirements. However, federal regulators have indicated that instructors have the right to determine that class attendance is essential when:

Decisions on whether or not attendance requirements should be modified are made on a case-by-case, course­-by-course basis between the student and the instructor.

Can my instructor require that homework or research assignments be submitted by published due dates?

Yes. However, when a disability factors into delayed completion, reasonable extensions may be appropriate. When determining whether an extension is reasonable, the ODS representative examines each request on a case-by­-case, course-by-course basis and reviews the following:

Because some courses are less amenable to delays than others, accommodation requests in these cases may be denied. In effect, the inability to meet the published deadline makes the student unqualified to complete the course.

Resolving problems or concerns with accommodations:

What if my accommodations are not working for me?

Although students with disabilities are always encouraged to discuss their concerns directly with their instructors, students are responsible for contacting the Office of Disability Services if agreed-upon accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely way, or if they are experiencing other difficulties. A representative of ODS will work with university personnel and students to resolve disagreements or problems regarding recommended accommodations or other disability-related issues.

Not all class difficulties may be a result of problems with accommodations. Depending upon the issues or concerns, the ODS representative may refer students who have concerns about classroom performance to other campus resources to address the difficulties experienced in courses and coursework. For example, a student reporting that their supplemental class notes are not helpful may be referred to a study skills specialist to address specific strategies for more effective ways of studying from their notes.

Accommodations or needs outside of the classroom:

What if I need accommodations outside of the classroom?

For accommodations pertaining to access to the non­academic aspects of the campus community, such as housing, recreation, safety, counseling, financial aid, transportation, health services, employment, insurance and other co-curricular activities,ODS will work similarly with students and appropriate university administrators and staff in making these arrangements.

What if I need help with tutoring or other college success strategies?

Tutoring is not considered an accommodation and is not directly provided by ODS. However, if students are experiencing academic difficulty, they can seek assistance from the Office of Student Educational Services (OSES) which provides tutoring, study skills help, time management skills and test preparation tips.

What if I think or someone suggests I might possess a disability?

Students may be referred to ODS to discuss if they should be tested for a disability that has not been previously documented. Formal testing for a disability is not provided by ODS, but ODS, in conjunction with the Counseling Center, may offer free screenings and consultations for students to explore whether testing is an appropriate next step. If interested in this option. Schedule an appointment with a representative of the Office of Disability Services at (414) 288-1645, AMU 317.

If I plan to continue my education after I graduate, can I retrieve my documentation from ODS?

ODS will send students’ files to the University Archives upon their graduation where they will be stored for seven years. After the seven-year period, the records will be destroyed. If students require a copy of their documentation or other information from their ODS file within that seven-year period, they must make their request in writing to the Office of Disability Services. ODS will retrieve the student’s file and forward a copy of the requested information to the student within 45 days of the request.

Other frequently asked questions:

Should I identify my disability when I apply to Marquette?

It is unlawful for admissions decisions to be based on disability. However, students may choose to identify their disability and supply documentation of their disability during the admissions process. The disability specific information will be forwarded to the Office of Disability Services.

Students with disabilities are considered for admission to Marquette the same as their non-disabled peers and must meet the same admissions criteria. The Office of Disability Services does not provide diagnostic treatment or learning support services specifically for students with disabilities.

What role will my parents have in determining my accommodations at Marquette?

During the admissions process, students with disabilities and their parents are welcome and encouraged to meet with a representative of the Office of Disability Services to discuss both the services provided by ODS and the new role students must play in determining and monitoring their accommodations. However, once classes begin, it becomes the student's responsibility to come forward to ODS each semester to request specific accommodations for that semester. Unlike high school, the Office of Disability Services does not provide automatic accommodations, and will only provide specifically requested accommodations for those courses requested by the student for that semester.

Furthermore, once the student begins attending classes, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), ODS cannot disclose student information to parents without the student's written consent. If students with disabilities wish to permit the Associate Director to discuss their accommodations with their parents, they must sign a release permitting the ODS to do so. However, it remains the student’s responsibility to communicate accommodations requests and any other concerns with the accommodations process to a representative of ODS. The Office of Disability Services will consider accommodations requests or complaints/concerns only from the affected students, not from their parents/ advocate.

Specific procedures for students in Law or Dental School:

Why is there a specific process for Law and Dental Schools?

Due to the unique nature of the Law and Dental Schools, the process for providing and monitoring appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities enrolled in these programs involves separate procedures and policies. Because programs of this type must adhere closely to external certifying boards that define and test for specific professional, technical and/or clinical requirements, accommodations must be based upon clear and current understanding of the professional standards of these certifying organizations. For more information regarding the specific process for Law or Dental School, go to http://law.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/site.pl or http://www.marquette.edu/dentistry/

The Law School and the Dental School are housed in their own facilities, creating separate, closed academic communities where all relevant lectures for legal or dental education occur. Some required patient care experiences in dentistry occur at extramural clinical sites. Each school has its own staff in place to serve the needs of that particular student body. Included in that staff is an individual charged to coordinate academic support services for all students in the respective schools.

How does the accommodations process work if I’m accepted into the Dental or Law School?

Determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities enrolled in these specialized settings requires direct involvement of and collaboration with these academic service providers or administrators described above who are familiar with and responsible for assuring completion of the essential academic and/or clinical requirements of these programs. Throughout enrollment in these programs, the student will work with these program liaisons who will follow the published procedures established by these programs to implement, finalize, and/or modify accommodations as necessary. ODS will continue to serve in both an advisory and resource role with these liaisons and with the student and will maintain the student's documentation.  Students in Law School and Dental School will abide by the procedures for academic accommodations in these respective schools as specified. However, the policy items pertaining to all students with disabilities, i.e., the grievance procedure, disability documentation, confidentiality, student rights and responsibilities and institutional rights and responsibilities will similarly apply to Law and Dental students with disabilities.

Dental School specific information can be found through the following links:

Dental School Handbook Information

Dental School Bulletin Information



Our Mission

Marquette University's Office of Disability Services is dedicated to providing equal access within the classroom setting, through the determination of appropriate accommodations, for students with documented disabilities. ODS promotes accessibility awareness through collaboration with campus partners, the development of student self-advocacy, and through consultation with the broader community. Guided by the university's mission, we strive to support the Marquette community in their efforts to educate all students on campus.