Student Rights and Responsibilities

A student with a disability at Shenandoah University has the right to receive the following services:

  1. Reasonable accommodations according to his or her disability, based on required documentation.
  2. Equitable access to your education.
  3. Equitable and fair treatment.
  4. Confidentiality in all matters of his or her documentation and educational record.

As a student with a disability at Shenandoah University, your responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Requesting accommodations and auxiliary aids in a timely manner from Disability Services. (located in Howe 106).
  2. Working in collaboration with Disability Services staff to determine reasonable accommodations.
  3. Being your own advocate and monitoring your progress.
  4. Providing appropriate documentation of your disability to the Disability Services office.
  5. Requesting and picking up Accommodation Forms from Disability Services and meeting with professors to discuss your accommodation needs at beginning of each semester.
  6. Returning signed Accommodation Form to Disability Services.
  7. Keeping your documentation, contact and disclosure information up to date with the Disability Services.
  8. Advising the Disability Services staff of any disability-related difficulties as early as possible.

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty members have the following rights:

  1. To verify eligibility for accommodations through Disability Services.
  2. To consult with Disability Services about students as appropriate.
  3. To expect students with disabilities to meet the same academic standards as their peers.

Faculty responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. To meet with students confidentially to review and sign their Accommodation Forms and discuss their disability-related needs and accommodations.
  2. To provide classroom materials in an alternative format when specified by the Accommodation Form.
  3. To provide accommodations certified by Disability Services.
  4. To refer students to Disability Services when they suspect a disability.
  5. To contact Disability Services staff with questions as to how to best address problems.

University Rights and Responsibilities

The university has certain rights and responsibilities as well. These rights are executed primarily through Disability Services and by members of the faculty.

Disability Services has the following rights:

  1. It can require students to meet with staff members.
  2. It may require appropriate documentation of a disability.
  3. Deny requested accommodations based upon the timeliness and reasonableness of the request, or the adequacy of the documentation.

Disability Services has responsibilities in order to ensure that students receive equitable and fair treatment at Shenandoah University. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Working with students to determine necessary accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Responding to students’ requests for services and recommending reasonable accommodations.
  3. Ensuring that appropriate aids are available to the student in a timely manner.
  4. Bearing the cost(s) of any accommodation that does not result in a fundamental alteration in program requirements, pose an undo financial burden on the university, and is not considered a personal service.
  5. Teaching advocacy skills to students.
  6. Acting as a mediator and advocate for students when appropriate.
  7. Maintaining the confidentiality of the student.
  8. Referring students to appropriate campus or community resource


In order to receive any accommodation, a student must register with Disability Services and provide documentation of his or her disability. The university is not obligated to provide any accommodation until a student has registered. Students may not receive accommodations retroactively. A student must register with Disability Services prior to receiving any accommodation. Each student is responsible for obtaining and presenting a copy of such documentation to Disability Services. Any questions regarding submitted documentation will be directed to the student. It is the student’s responsibility to acquire additional information or clarification as requested by DS staff. The purpose of documentation is to provide verification that the individual has a disability that meets the definition contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA.

General Documentation Guidelines

Documentation is necessary to establish the presence of a disability and the need for accommodations. Documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits a major life activity. As relevant to the disability, the documentation must include the following seven elements:

  1. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the most current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.
  2. A description of the diagnostic tests, methods, and/or criteria used including specific test results (including standardized testing scores) and the examiner’s narrative.
  3. A description of the current functional impact of the disability. This may be in the form of an examiner’s narrative, and/or an interview, but must have a rational relationship to diagnostic assessments. For learning disabilities, current documentation is defined using adult norms.
  4. A statement indicating treatments, medications, or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use, with a description of the mediating effects and potential side effects from such treatments.
  5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time, particularly the next five years.
  6. A history of previous accommodations and their impact.
  7. The credentials of the diagnosing professional(s). Please note that diagnosing professionals shall not be family members or others with a close personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.