Frequently Asked Questions


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 have issues, concerns or problems related to receiving my accommodations, program access, or the accommodation request process?

Students should immediately report the problem, concern or issue to their Coordinator or Director from the Office of Disability Services at the campus the student is currently enrolled.  The student also has the option of utilizing the Informal Resolution Process or the Grievance Process at the University.  

What are some of the services Rutgers offers?

Services differ from student to student.  Accommodations and services are provided on a course by course and case by case basis. Therefore, each student may receive different accommodations based upon their specific needs.  However, for students who have applied and have been approved for accommodations, the most common accommodations and services are: extra time on exams, digital recording devices, note-taking services, and Text in Alternate Format.

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 through the application process. For more information on this process, please go to the "Registering for Services" page.

When should I submit my documentation?

Documentation can be submitted at any time.  Students are encouraged to submit documentation and apply for services as soon as they know they will be attending any Rutgers University campus.  Remember, documentation submission is only one part of the review process to receive accommodations at Rutgers.  

At my high school or secondary school, I received different or more accommodations, why is there such a difference in services between college and my last school?

The requirements under the laws governing secondary schools and postsecondary schools differ greatly.  As a result, the services that a college provides may be different from those that a student received in high school.

For more in-depth information regarding these differences, refer to the U.S. Department of Education's document, "Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know your Rights and Responsibilities."

Is it ever too late to request accommodations?

There are no deadlines for when a student can begin the application process to receive accommodations. However, as mentioned throughout this web site, Rutgers has an approved process for Registering for Services and students must follow these procedures prior to being approved. 

What if I don't ask for accommodations or follow the procedures?  Can I ask for accommodations after the fact?

In order to receive accommodations, students must follow the procedures outlined on the Letter of Accommodation page for every course that accommodations are requested. Accommodations are not retroactive.  This means that for every course a student needs accommodations, the student must follow the procedures outlined in order to receive their approved accommodations. If the procedures are not followed and accommodations are not provided, the student should not ask to retake a course, an exam or re-examine a grade if they did not properly follow the accommodation request process as outlined. It is the student's responsibility to follow the procedures outlined by the University in order to receive their approved accommodations.

Students who have used accommodations at their previous schools and 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 without accommodations. 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 re-examine coursework completed before the student was reviewed and approved for accommodations at Rutgers University.

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

No, students may choose to utilize their accommodations differently depending on the various requirements and components of a specific course.  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. The choice and responsibility to ask for accommodations is up to the student. 

If a student chooses not to use an accommodation in a given class, then that student will not be given the opportunity to retake an exam or to make-up an assignment with accommodations at a later date.  Remember, accommodations are not designed to be retroactive. Students must ask for accommodations utilizing the University procedures in order to receive them for each of their courses. 

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

No. Only students who have gone through the appropriate University procedures and have been approved for accommodations should request academic accommodations utilizing the letter of accommodation request process outlined in this web site.   

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

Students must ask for accommodations utilizing the University procedures in order to receive them for each of their courses. 

As outlined in the Letter of Accommodation page of this web site, it is the student’s responsibility to submit their Letter of Accommodation (LOA) to their professor(s). The student can provide their LOA to their professor in person or via email as an attachment. We encourage each student to request confirmation when submitting LOA via email.

It is important that the student and professor have a clear understanding of what is agreed upon regarding the use and implementation of these accommodations.

Students are encouraged to submit their LOA to their professor as early in the semester as possible.  However, it should be understood that under some circumstances (e.g.., student was approved for accommodations later in the semester, student was recently diagnosed) the student may submit their letter later in the semester.

Students with questions regarding their Letters of Accommodations should contact their coordinator immediately or as soon as possible.

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.