Requesting Accommodations

Welcome to the Office of Disability, Access and Inclusion (ODAI). ODAI provides accommodations and collaborates across campus partners on accessibility issues to support our growing and diverse disabled student population.  

The purpose of academic accommodations is to assure there is equal access to and the opportunity to benefit from all educational programs of The University of Colorado Anschutz. These accommodations are granted in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This is a university-wide responsibility and is shared by the faculty, staff, and students and includes the implementation of accommodations in the classroom.  

The Accommodation Process

We are excited to meet with you to understand your access needs and accommodations to remove barriers. Because accommodations do not apply retroactively, we encourage you to begin this process as early as possible.  The steps below to request accommodation for your academic program or activity will take at least 1-2 weeks to complete given availability of Access Coordinators: 

 
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Step One: Complete an Online Access Form and upload documentation

First, we ask you to complete the ODAI Access Form that gathers demographic, program information, disability and prior experiences (if any) with utilizing accommodations. 

As part of the process, we request documentation of your disability to assist with identifying access barriers and determining accommodation. Please see the Documentation Guidelines for more information. If you suspect you have a disability but do not have documentation, we encourage you to continue with the process and make an appointment to discuss your concerns with the access coordinator. 

This information comes directly to our office and no one outside of the ODAI office will see this request. You can discontinue the process at any time and completing this form does not automatically enroll you in our office or necessitate the use of accommodations.
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Step Two: Schedule an Appointment with an Access Coordinator

Next, we ask that you arrange an access meeting with one of our Access Coordinators. You can schedule an access meeting through our “book me now” system or by emailing our office at disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu or contacting us by phone at 303 724 5640. We look forward to meeting with you! 
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Step Three: Meet with your Access Coordinator

During this access meeting, your access coordinator will ask about how your disability impacts you across different settings including the educational, laboratory, and simulation settings. They will also inquire about your access concerns for clinical spaces and let you know about required professional exams specific to your program, referred to as “high-stakes” exams, and the external process for requesting accommodations for these exams. 
 

During this meeting, your access coordinator will also review your documentation, attempt to understand your disability-related needs, and will discuss potential reasonable accommodations or modifications. 

 

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Step Four: Receive Accommodation Decision

You will typically receive a decision about your requested accommodations within about 1 week of completing steps 1-3. Sometimes accommodation decisions require input with program faculty to determine an accommodation decision, which may extend this timeline. If approved for accommodation, you will receive your Faculty Notification Memo (FNM) and move onto the Implementing Accommodations phase.  

If an accommodation request has been denied, your access coordinator will provide you with clear information about why the requested accommodation was denied. You may appeal this decision by contacting the Office of Equity. Whenever possible, your Access Coordinator will try to provide an alternate accommodation if your original request was denied.

Implementing Accommodations

 

Once your Access Coordinator has approved your accommodation(s), you are registered with ODAI as a student with approved disability accommodation(s).  Your accommodation(s) will remain in effect for the duration of your time at CU Anschutz.  Your Faculty Notification Memo, which was sent to you upon the approval of your accommodations, reflects all of your approved accommodations.  If you ever feel as though your accommodations are not effective or need to be modified, you are always welcome to schedule an appointment with your access coordinator to discuss your situation. If your accommodations need to be modified for any reason, you will be issued a new FNM. If you need a copy of your FNM, email disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu.

As a student with accommodations, in most cases, you are responsible for informing faculty in each of your courses of your accommodations each term.  

Program Specific Communication


If you are a student in the CHA/PA Program, your program liaison will notify your faculty of your accommodations, and you do not need to send your FNM to your faculty.   


If you are a student in the College of Nursing, you must email your faculty at least five business days before the start of the course to notify them that you intend to utilize your accommodations in the course. 


If you are a student in the School of Medicine MD Program, you must notify the appropriate faculty and the Associate Dean of Student Life of your accommodations at the beginning of each major component of the curriculum. 

The appropriate faculty are as follows:

  • Plains: Assistant Dean of the Pre-clinical Core
  • Foothills: Assistant Dean of the Clinical Core and LIC Director
  • Alpine/Summit:  Assistant Dean of Post Clerkship Curriculum;
  • Fort Collins Branch: Assistant Dean, FCB

If you are a student in the School of Pharmacy, you must notify your course directors of your accommodations. If you have testing accommodations, you must also notify SOP Instructional Design (sop.idesign@cuanschutz.edu).  You must send these notices at least three business days before the start of the course. 


If you are a student in any other program, you must email your faculty at least three business days before the start of the course to notify them that you intend to utilize your accommodations in the course.  



Refer to the Faculty Liaison Contact List for contact information for specific programs and schools.

 

Communication with Faculty

Providing advanced notice to faculty of your accommodations allows time for the faculty to coordinate testing accommodations with ODAI and allows you and your faculty time to have any necessary conversations regarding implementation of other didactic accommodations.  We recommend setting a reminder in your calendar now for the week before the start of each term so you can ensure you will communicate your accommodations with each of your faculty in a timely manner. 

When you email your faculty, it is important to communicate with a professional tone. The sample language below is suggested by ODAI staff. You will need to customize this language based on your own situation – at a minimum, all language in bold and brackets in the emails below should be customized with the relevant information.  Remember that you are not required (and should not feel pressured) to share any information about your disability with anyone outside of ODAI staff, including your faculty.  Instead, you should communicate with faculty, and other appropriate personnel within your program, about your accommodations.  If anyone outside of ODAI staff asks you for information about your disability, please let us know. 

Notifying faculty of your accommodations the first time should be all it takes - you should not need to remind faculty about your accommodations for each exam, class meeting, or clinical. If this becomes a pattern, please contact ODAI so we may address with your faculty and program.  

If you would like additional support and resources to help you communicate with your faculty about your accommodations, please email us at disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu

Didactic (Classroom) Accommodations

If you've requested and been approved for didactic (classroom) accommodations you will find the following procedures and information helpful for each of the types of accommodations you receive. If you have any questions or concerns about the process, please reach out to ODAI at disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu or contact your Access Coordinator directly. 

Clinical Accommodations

Accommodation in clinical, clerkship, practice or external site locations is also available depending upon the essential functions of the activity. Some examples include but are not limited to: 

  • Schedule adjustments for breaks, medication, and/or food intake 
  • Restricted assignment based on geographic location and treatment  
  • Reduced/extended timeframe for completion of clinical hours  

Please note that it is recommended that students request clinical accommodation prior to starting their clinical placement to allow sufficient time for effective planning with their clinical supervisor and placement site.  

Extra-Curricular Accommodations

Equitable participation in CU Anschutz campus and online programs and activities, including admissions, student orientation, campus tours, and events are required by the ADA. If you need disability-related accommodation for any extra-curricular activities outside of the classroom, please contact ODAI at disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu prior to the program or activity to arrange for accommodations.  

 

Service Animals

Students with service animals are welcome on the CU Anschutz campus.  Students should contact ODAI to obtain documentation of their service animal that can be presented to faculty in academic settings.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if there is a question as to whether an animal is a service animal, two questions may be asked:

  • Is the animal a service animal required because of a disability? And
  • What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

At no time may any person outside of the Office of Disability, Access, and Inclusion (ODAI) ask a student with a service animal questions that are intended to cause or have the effect of causing the student to disclose information about their disability.

  • Service animals in CU Anschutz facilities, including classrooms, labs, and simulation spaces, are governed by CU Denver | Anschutz Campus Administrative Policy 3051, Animals on Campus (“the Policy”). 
  • With limited exceptions outlined in the Policy, a student with a service animal may be accompanied by the animal when they are on campus.
  • If another student is adversely impacted by the presence of the service animal due to a severe allergy or other disability-related condition,  the impacted student should contact ODAI at disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu to determine available options.
  • In labs and simulation spaces, if faculty have questions about the logistics of the animal’s placement in the space, they may discuss those logistics with the student; a walkthrough of the lab or simulation space with the student and the animal may be appropriate.
  • If questions arise in the classroom, lab, or simulation space setting, please contact ODAI at disabilityaccess@cuanschutz.edu.