FAQs

STUDENT FAQs

Do I have to disclose my disability to anyone at Rutgers?

You are not required to disclose your disability to the university. However, if you apply to the Office of Disability Services you must provide documentation of your disability. Your disability status will only be shared with relevant Rutgers faculty, staff or administration on a need-to-know basis. After you have been approved for accommodations at Rutgers, you will not receive any retroactive accommodations on the work completed before you were approved for accommodations.

What should I do if I feel I have been discriminated by my professor, or a staff member at Rutgers University, because of my disability?

If you feel that you have been discriminated by your professor or by a member of the Rutgers University Staff, contact your coordinator to discuss the matter.

What are some of the services Rutgers offers?

Services for students approved by the appropriate review committee may include, but are not limited to, the following:  Extra Time for Exams, Recorders, Note Takers, and Text in Alternate Format, etc.

Students are encouraged to talk with a coordinator in the Office of Disability Services to determine what accommodations may be most appropriate and effective. Please note that services and accommodations are only offered to students who are approved for them through the documentation process. For more information on this process, please go to the "Requesting Accommodations" page.

When should I submit my documentation?

The sooner the better, because the documentation review process may take up to 30 business days. Thus, you are encouraged to initiate the process as early as possible.

At my last school, I received different or more accommodations than Rutgers is willing to grant me. Why is there such a difference in services between Rutgers and my last school?

High schools often offer services and accommodations meant to help ensure a student's success. At college, the governing laws dictate that a university simply not discriminate against students with disabilities and provide access to curriculum. As a result, the services that a college provides may be vastly different from those to which you were accustomed in high school.

Similarly, you may find that services at Rutgers are different than those you might have received at another post-secondary institution. This is not unusual; colleges may have differing philosophies on accommodations or some schools may be able to offer access to more extensive services.

If you have been denied an accommodation that you received at a previous school, some of the reasons for this may include the following:

  • The documentation does not meet the university's guidelines for such accommodations
  • The requested accommodation is in conflict with the academic policies of the student's college or professional school
  • Providing the accommodations would fundamentally alter the program, course, or activity
  • The accommodation being requested is not supported by the documentation
  • Providing the accommodation would pose a direct threat to the student or to others
  • Providing the accommodation would constitute an undue administrative or financial burden pursuant to the criteria established under the ADA and/or Section 504
  • The accommodation is in opposition to the educational philosophy of the university

Is it ever too late to request accommodations?

There are no deadlines for when a student can begin the documentation process to apply for accommodations. Some students don't even get identified with a learning disability or other disabling conditions until their senior year. However, as stated elsewhere on this page, accommodations will not be provided retroactively, and grades will not be changed after a student is approved for accommodations. Students who have used accommodations at their previous institution, and who choose not to apply for accommodations when they arrive at Rutgers, should know that there is no opportunity to retake exams or courses if they are unsatisfied with their grades. Even if a student can establish that he or she had a disability at the time of the course in question, or used accommodations at a previous school, Rutgers will generally not expunge or re-examine coursework completed before the student was reviewed and approved for accommodations at Rutgers University.

If you have been approved for accommodations, you will have to abide by certain timelines depending upon the kind of accommodation you need (e.g., exam requests, sign language interpreter, alternate formats).

Do I have to use all of my accommodations in every class?

Some accommodations may not be appropriate for all classes. For example, if you have been approved to use a blank sheet of paper as a placeholder on multiple choice exams, and the instructor gives only essay exams, then the accommodation is irrelevant.

If you choose, however, not to use an accommodation in a given class, then you will not be given the opportunity to retake an exam or to make-up an assignment with accommodations at a later date.

Can I request an accommodation directly from my professor, before I have been approved for accommodations?

No. You should not request academic accommodations from faculty unless you have been approved by the appropriate documentation review committee, and have received a Letter of Accommodations (LOA) from your Coordinator.

If I get approved, who informs my instructors about my accommodations?

You do. If you are approved, you are responsible for promptly picking up your Letter of Accommodation from your Coordinator, meeting with each of your instructors, and providing each of them with a copy of the letter. You and your professor should then discuss how the listed accommodations will be implemented.

What if my professor refuses to provide an accommodation listed on my Letter of Accommodations?

Contact your Coordinator as soon as possible to resolve the matter.