People with Disabilities, UConn Policy Statement
The University of Connecticut is committed to achieving equal educational and employment opportunity and full participation for persons with disabilities. It is the University's policy that no qualified person be excluded from consideration for employment, participation in any University program or activity, be denied the benefits of any University program or activity, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination with regard to any University program or activity. This policy derives from the University's commitment to nondiscrimination for all persons in employment, academic programs, and access to facilities, programs, activities, and services.
A person with a disability must be ensured the same access to programs, opportunities, and activities at the University as all others. Existing barriers, whether physical, programmatic, or attitudinal must be removed. Further, there must be ongoing vigilance to ensure that new barriers are not erected.
The University's efforts to accommodate people with disabilities must be measured against the goal of full participation and integration. Services and programs to promote these benefits for people with disabilities shall complement and support, but not duplicate, the University's regular services and programs.
Achieving full participation and integration of people with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts of all of the University's departments, offices, and personnel. To this end, the University will continue to strive to achieve excellence in its services and to assure that its services are delivered equitably and efficiently to all of its members.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Every student with a documented disability has the following rights:
- Equal access to courses, program, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the University.
- Reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids determined on a case-by-case, course-by-course basis.
- Confidentiality of all information pertaining to the condition(s) with the choice of whom to disclose disability specific information to except as required by law.
- Information available in accessible formats.
- File a formal grievance through the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and/or through external agencies (e.g., Office of Civil Rights) because of disability discrimination, including the failure to provide reasonable accommodations, and/or discrimination or harassment based on a disability. OIE can be contacted at:
Letissa C. Reid, J.D.
Associate Vice President
Title IX Coordinator & ADA Coordinator
Office of Institutional Equity
Pronouns: She-Her-Hers University of Connecticut – Wood Hall
241 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 4175, Storrs, CT 06269-4175
Phone: (860) 486-2943
Fax: (860) 486-5943
Every student with a disability has the responsibility to:
- Meet the University’s qualifications and essential technical, academic, and institutional standards, including the Student Code.
- Identify oneself as an individual with a disability to the Center for Students with Disabilities when seeking an accommodation. Procedures for registering with the CSD can be found on the Center’s website at: https://csd.uconn.edu/
- Provide documentation from oneself and/or an appropriate professional source as indicated that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
- Participate in an interactive process with CSD staff, faculty, and other University resources as indicated to obtain and coordinate reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
Institutional Rights and Responsibilities
The University of Connecticut, through the Center for Students with Disabilities, has the right to:
- Maintain the University’s academic standards.
- Request information from a student and/or appropriate professional source as indicated to determine the need for reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services .
- Discuss a student’s need for reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services with the student and treatment provider, with the student’s consent authorizing such discussion.
- Make a determination regarding a request for reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services based upon the information provided through the interactive process involving the student, faculty and other appropriate professionals as indicated.
Select among equally effective and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services in consultation with the student, taking into consideration student preference.
- Refuse to provide an accommodation, academic adjustment, policy modification and/or auxiliary aid and service that are inappropriate or unreasonable including any that:
- pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others;
- constitute a substantial change or alteration to an essential element of a course or program; or
- pose undue financial or administrative burden on the University.
 Association on Higher Education and Disability (2012). Supporting accommodation requests: Guidance on documentation practices. Huntersville, NC: AHEAD. https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/professional-resources-accommodations-documentation
The University of Connecticut, through the Center for Students with Disabilities, has the responsibility to:
- Ensure that University courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are offered in the most integrated and appropriate settings.
- Provide information regarding policies and procedures to students with disabilities and assure its availability in accessible formats.
- Engage with students through an interactive process (case-by-case, course-by-course basis) to determine and provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities in a timely manner upon request by a student.
- Notify students, instructors, and other University departments as indicated of approved accommodations, academic adjustments, policy modifications, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Maintain privacy of records and communication concerning students with disabilities except where disclosure is required by law or authorized by the student.
- Inform students with disabilities of University policies and procedures for filing a formal grievance through the Office of Institutional Equity and/or through external agencies (e.g., Office of Civil Rights).
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Faculty members and other teaching professionals have the right to:
- Hold all students to the same essential course requirements and behavior expectations.
- Receive information from the CSD regarding any student approved for accommodations in their course(s), along with information on how to assist with implementing approved accommodations. Information about student approved accommodations is communicated via MyAccess for Instructors
- Give input into the means of implementing an approved accommodation by the CSD; however, faculty may not refuse to provide an accommodation approved by the CSD.
- Contact the CSD if they believe an approved accommodation constitutes a fundamental alteration of the class objectives or program technical standards. Please refer to Procedure for Raising Concerns Regarding Approved Academic Accommodations.
Faculty members and other teaching professionals have the responsibility to:
- Provide approved accommodations specific to the course, either personally, through a Teaching Assistant, or by making arrangements with the CSD.
- Inform teaching professionals, such as Teaching Assistants, instructing all or part of a course, of CSD approved accommodations for the student as indicated, and add the teaching professionals as instructors to the Student Administration (PeopleSoft) system so they can access accommodation letters and assist in the coordination of approved accommodations.
- Discuss with the CSD any concerns related to approved accommodation(s), academic adjustments, policy modifications, auxiliary aids and services, or arrangements that have been requested by the student. Should there be a concern that approved academic accommodations constitute a fundamental alteration of the class objectives or program technical standards, follow the Faculty Procedures for Raising Concerns Regarding Approved Academic Accommodations below.
- Refer a student requesting accommodations to the CSD if formal notification has not been received regarding accommodations from the CSD.
- Assure the privacy of information regarding students with disabilities. Any conversation with a student regarding accommodations should be conducted with discretion and in private. Faculty and teaching professionals should refrain from making direct reference to a student’s disability or accommodations in class or in front of others.
Procedure for Raising Concerns Regarding Academic Accommodations
The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is vested by the University with the authority to determine whether an accommodation should be provided to a student. In deciding whether to approve an accommodation, the CSD engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews each request for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case and course-by-course basis. The CSD collaborates with students and their faculty to coordinate approved accommodations and services. Therefore, while faculty and other teaching professionals may have input into the means of implementing an approved accommodation, they may not refuse to provide accommodations approved by the CSD.
If a faculty member or other teaching professional believes an approved accommodation constitutes a fundamental alternation of the class objectives or program technical standards:
- Contact the student’s Disability Services Professional (DSP) identified in the student’s accommodation letter immediately. Faculty should be prepared to explain the basis for their belief that the approved accommodation constitutes a fundamental alteration of the class objectives or program technical standards.
- Because failure to provide a necessary accommodation may deprive a student equal access to an educational program, it is important that any objection to the implementation of an approved accommodation be resolved as soon as possible. The accommodation as approved by the CSD should be implemented while working toward a resolution.
- If the CSD agrees that the accommodation as approved would constitute a fundamental alteration of the class objectives or program technical standards, then the CSD will work with the student and faculty member to find a suitable solution (i.e., alternate accommodation).
In support of the University’s research imitative, the CSD collaborates with researchers on their projects to add to a field’s knowledge base. Following is information regarding the Center’s involvement in research.
Information for Students
The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is responsible for maintaining appropriate confidentiality of records and communication concerning students with disabilities except where disclosure is required by law or authorized by a student. The CSD will not share student information, including names, email addresses, and/or other personal information with researchers or other third parties wishing to conduct research studies. In the case where a research study, approved by the University of Connecticut’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), seeks students with disabilities as participants, CSD will disseminate information regarding details about the research study directly to students that are potential participants.
Personal information including computer IP addresses cannot be collected as part of any study unless authorized by participating students. Participation in research studies is voluntary, and students must be allowed to withdraw from a study at any time. Please see the IRB’s website for detailed policies and procedures regarding research at http://irb.uconn.edu. Students that do not wish to receive information regarding research studies should contact the Center and submit in writing or in a conference with a CSD professional staff member a request to have their names removed from the list of potential research participants.
On occasion, the CSD will survey students that use the Center’s services. The information gathered through these surveys is used for the improvement of programs and services offered by the CSD. The CSD does not collect any personal information from students as part of the survey process.
Information for University of Connecticut Researchers
All University of Connecticut students, including students with disabilities, are considered to be a "vulnerable population". Thus, anyone wishing to include students with disabilities in a research study must receive approval from the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB’s policies and procedures are detailed on the Office of Research Compliance website, http://irb.uconn.edu. Please contact UConn’s IRB directly for forms and approval process information.
Principal Investigators may contact the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) regarding dissemination of University IRB approved recruitment messages to students with disabilities. The CSD will not provide email addresses or other personal information regarding students served by the Center to researchers. However, the CSD will disseminate recruitment messages directly to students who are potential research participants. Personal information including computer IP addresses may not be collected through the Internet or other electronic means unless informed consent is obtained from participating students.
Information for External or Non-University of Connecticut Researchers
Researchers who are unaffiliated with University of Connecticut (UConn) but wish to recruit students with disabilities registered with the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) on the UConn Storrs campus, the four regional campuses, the School of Social Work, or the School of Law, must request permission from the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) before recruiting students on UConn campuses (via poster, flyer, email announcement, or newspaper ad). IRB’s policies and procedures for external investigators are detailed on the Office of Research Compliance website, http://irb.uconn.edu/application.html#a0e.
Principal Investigators should obtain IRB approval for research prior to contacting the CSD. Once a study is approved by the IRB, Principal Investigators may submit the approved IRB research proposal to the CSD for review. Each proposal is reviewed on an individual basis to determine the feasibility of student participation in the study. If a research study is determined feasible, the CSD will disseminate recruitment messages directly to students who are potential research participants. Personal information including computer IP addresses may not be collected through the Internet or other electronic means unless informed consent is obtained from participating students. The CSD will not provide email addresses or other personal information regarding students served by the Center to researchers.