Accommodation Assistance for Students with Disabilities

Definition of Disability

An individual must demonstrate that his/her condition meets the definition of a disability under the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990, and its Amendment, 2008). The term "disability" is defined by the federal government in various ways, depending on the context, for the purposes of federal disability nondiscrimination laws (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), the definition of a person with a disability is typically defined as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more "major life activities," (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

The condition, manner, or duration of an individual’s performance of a major life activity may be useful in determining whether impairment results in a substantial limitation. Generally, the availability of mitigating measures to lessen the effects of a person’s disability will not change the analysis of whether the person has a qualifying disability. Greater information regarding functional limitations in major life activities is required to substantiate a disabling condition relative to most people in the general population.

Accommodation Statement

  • In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the University offers reasonable accommodations to students with eligible documented learning, physical and/or psychological disabilities.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to contact Disability Support Services(DSS) to initiate the process to develop an accommodation plan. This accommodation plan will not be applied retroactively. Appropriate, reasonable accommodations will be made to allow each student to meet course requirements, but no fundamental or substantial alteration of academic standards will be made.
  • Students needing assistance should contact Disability Support Services (256-765-4214). 

Accommodation Requests

  • Disability Support Services determines reasonable academic accommodations for students, based on appropriate documentation and the academic requirements of the individual program. DSS also considers the current academic needs of students as well as accommodations that have been used in previous educational settings. 

How to Register

To register with the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) at the University of North Alabama (UNA), a student must:

  1. Be admitted to the University of North Alabama.
  2. Contact our office at 256-765-4214 or dss@una.edu to arrange for an intake appointment.
  3. Provide the Office of DSS with current documentation of a disability or disabilities.
  4. Complete intake appointment with DSS staff.
  5. Complete Impact Statement.
  6. Accommodations will be approved through Disability Support Services Accommodation Committee.
  7. Meet with DSS staff to review approved Accommodations and pick up Accommodation Forms.

Accommodation Review Panel

According to Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, all institutions are required to have written policies and procedures for review of documentation submitted by students with disabilities. Higher education institutions provide academic accommodations through Disabilities Services Offices or a designated Disability Support Office on campus. The decision on if a condition is substantially limiting to support an accommodation request is made by the appointed qualified professionals on campus. This decision is based upon multiple sources of information using an individualized assessment. Specifically, decisions for system-level accommodations for cognitive/linguistic disabilities (i.e., learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Acquired Brain Injuries, Communication Disorders, and Psychological Disorders, etc.) are made by the Disability Support Service Accommodation Committee (DSSAC). The DSSAC consists of appointed professional faculty and staff across campus, including a medical professional and a licensed professional counselor. All disability eligibility and accommodation decisions on higher education campuses are made on a case-by-case basis.

If you have questions or concerns about the accommodation request process, please contact DSS at: