Accommodations & Services
A New Model of Disability
Some college students are embarrassed about having a disability.
If this describes you, it's time to think about disability in a whole new way: the Social Model of Disability. In the Social Model of Disability, disability is a facet of diversity and is very normal.
The old, out-dated Medical Model
The new, inclusive Social Model
The Social Model empowers disabled students with independence and dignity. Accommodations remove the barriers- they are not "advantages" or "extra help". Students with disabilities must maintain the same standards as all students, with or without accommodations.
In DR, we strive to make the accommodation process easy and normal as possible, but we can't accommodate a student until we know the student is here and what they need. The student is always in the driver's seat. Only you can make it happen!
Legal Differences between High School and College
One of the differences between high school and college is the disability legislation that protects students. The biggest difference is that the K-12 laws are entitlement laws that guarantee free and appropriate education for all children. K-12 laws guarantee the child's success.
The laws that protect students with disabilities in college mandate access to the University. Accommodations that remove barriers provide access to courses and programs. Because the laws are civil rights laws, denial of accommodations is considered discrimination. To use accommodations, college students must disclose their disabilities and request accommodations.
The table below summarizes the main points of difference between K-12 and Post-secondary laws. If you would like to learn more about disability law, some helpful legal resources are linked to this page.
Adapted from: Kay McVey, Faculty Development Specialist, PROJECT CONNECT, Henderson State University; Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Grievance ProcessIf a student believes reasonable accommodations have not been provided in an effective or timely way, or if they believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability, the following steps should be taken.
1. Discuss the situation with their disability specialist
2. If the situation is not resolved, the DR Director will be brought into the discussion.
3. If still not resolved, the student may consult with the Office of Human Resources for incidents involving faculty or staff, or the Office of Student and Community Standards for incidents involving other students..
Americans with disabilities have been legally protected from discrimination since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 of this act and the ADA/ADAAA guide all college disability support offices, including the Office of Disability Resources at UMD.
Other Legal Resources