The Office of Student Disability Services

The Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS) is a division of the Office of Equity and Access (OEA). The OSDS serves undergraduate, graduate, professional and health sciences students across the globe. 

Rights and Responsibilities

Adtalem and its institutions and program are committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with government, state, and local laws as applicable to the student’s program, institution, and location. All accommodations requested are reviewed on an individual basis to determine what is reasonable and appropriate. The student should understand the process is an interactive one that takes time.


Students should apply as early as possible as there may be some situations where a request for accommodation is made at a point where appropriate arrangements cannot practicably or reasonably be made. Reviews may take a minimum of 10 business days once the file is determined complete and status updates are available in your email. Accommodations are not applied retroactively.

Students Have the Right to:

  • An equitable experience to participate in their program
  • An opportunity to learn and receive applicable accommodations, adjustments, aids, and services
  • Confidentiality of records-except where required/permitted by law
  • Information available in formats that are accessible for their needs

Students Have the Responsibility for:

  • Meeting technical standards with or without accommodations
  • Self-identifying when:
    • An accommodation is needed
    • When a concern arises with accommodation
  • Providing documentation from a licensed physician or clinician in a field appropriate to opine on the disability in question. More specifically, the existence of a disability, how that disability limits a major life activity and how it affects participation in the program and the activity for which you are applying for accommodation
  • Following the OSDS published procedures for obtaining services and reasonable accommodations
  • Respectfully interacting with colleagues in all exchanges

Accommodation Request Process

  1. Email the OSDS with your intent to apply for an accommodation
  2. Indicate first and last name, institution, program, term and your preferred method of contact and any supports you require.
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Teams
    • Other-describe
  3. Obtain and fill out the Student Accommodation Request Form
  4. . Gather the information from your physician or clinician applicable to the diagnoses for which you are applying. If there are multiple diagnoses, there may also be paperwork required from multiple specialists.

Notes Regarding the Process:

  • The OSDS will determine if your request is applicable to the office and its services.
    • if yes, OSDS will proceed with interactive process and review.
    • If no, OSDS will refer student to the appropriate supports and services available.
  • Through an interactive process, the OSDS will work with the student to determine if they meet the criteria for accommodations, discuss potential accommodations to address barriers in the academic or clinical setting, and ensure that requested accommodations are reasonable and do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program or technical standard.
  • During the interactive process, the student can expect to get updates on status, such as:
    • In Review - the file is being reviewed by the Accommodation Coordinator
    • Incomplete - the student has not provided enough information for the Accommodation Coordinator to make a determination or there are issues that need to be corrected on the request form.  If the request is Incomplete, OSDS will request additional information and/or inform the student of missing items.
  • Accommodation requests are concluded in one of the following ways:
    • Approved - either as requested or with alternative accommodation. If the request is Approved, OSDS will send the student a notification letter.
    • Denied - based on available information. If the request is Denied based on available information, OSDS will send the student a notification letter and will reach out to the student to setup a phone call for additional assistance.
    • Closed - based on the requested accommodation being available to all matriculated students regardless of disability status. If the accommodation request is closed on this basis, OSDS will send the student information on how to access this resource.

Documentation Expectations

OSDS Request Form:

  • The request form contains 1) a self-report form and 2) a physician/clinician form
  • The physician/clinician form must be completed by a licensed physician or clinician who has expertise applicable to the student’s diagnosis and is familiar with the student’s personal diagnosis and history. The physician/clinician form includes information about:
  • Diagnostic codes
  • Physician/Clinician license numbers and credentials
  • Explanation of how the student’s disability affects a major life activity and is relevant to the student’s need in an academic setting
  • Specific recommendations for accommodation

Supporting Documentation:

Along with the request form, students should submit supporting documentation from their physician/clinician, dated within the last five years, which at a minimum, verifies: 1) the presence of the diagnosed medical condition and 2) the current impact of the diagnosed medical condition. However, if the documents listed below are unavailable to the student, OSDS encourages students to submit documentation available to them along with the request form to help facilitate the process.

If a student does not have supporting documentation or is having difficulty obtaining the supporting documentation from their physician/clinician, or a student is unsure what type of supporting documentation to provide with the request form, OSDS encourages and welcomes the student to schedule an appointment with an OSDS Accommodation Coordinator to further discuss.

Examples of supporting documentation that may be requested include but are not limited to:

  • Audiology Report
  • Ocular Assessment
  • Formal Diagnostic Interviews
  • A Formal Assessment to include:
    • Intellectual functioning
    • Academic Achievement
    • Information processing
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • A signed and dated clinical summary on letterhead

Note: Some requested accommodations may require more detailed documentation to illustrate a connection between the impact of the disability on a major life activity, the described barrier in the academic or clinical setting, and the requested accommodation.

Services Not Covered by OSDS*

  • English as a second language
  • Personal Care Attendants
  • Medical devices personal to the student (glasses, hearing aids etc.)
  • Personal Transportation
  • Services for students who do not have a temporary or long-term disability

    • See FAQ for more information and examples
    • Pregnancy accommodations unrelated to disability
    • Personal Tutoring
    • Religion
      • For assistance, please contact

    *If you would like information for what is available in your community regarding these services you may reach out to OSDS. However, please know OSDS does not recommend and are not affiliated with any of these services which may be available in the community and any responsibility would lie with the third party directly.

Accommodation Decision Appeal Process

Students who wish to formally appeal an accommodation decision made by the Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS) must submit the required form and any necessary documentation within 10 calendar days after receiving their accommodation decision.

Please fill out the form completely and accurately, as information missing from this form may delay the appeal process. Documentation must be submitted in one file to the OSDS. To appeal a decision, your appeal must meet one of the three grounds for appeal as notated in Part C of the request form 1-Procedural error by OSDS during the process that significantly impacted the outcome of the decision. 2-There is new information available that did not exist at the time of the initial request that has the potential to alter the outcome of the decision 3-There is Evidence of bias on the part of the OSDS Accommodation Coordinator that rendered the decision making it impossible to be objective.

*Please know the interactive process is still available to you, for new or alternate requests and does not apply to this process.

If it is determined that the documentation satisfies the appeal process grounds stated previously, the Manager of the OSDS or Designee will review the appeal. Please note that the review of an appeal does not guarantee a reversal of the original decision. If the appeal documentation does not satisfy the process criteria, or the student does not appeal within 10 calendar days, the appeal will be determined to be insufficient for review and the student will forfeit the right to an appeal.

Please note the decision by the Manager of the OSDS or Designee is final and not subject to further review.

Temporary Injury/Illness

Certain life events can adversely affect a student’s ability to participate. Some of the ways we see these temporary circumstances or injuries are broken limbs, strep throat, car accidents, flu, mono, bronchitis. While there may be supports available, the contact for this type of concern would start with faculty and potentially include areas as the institution such as wellness center, Dean, counseling center, etc. Academics may be able to go over leave or incompletes etc. If the concern/impairment in question is not a temporary or permanent disability, OSDS will refer you to the institutional departments.

If you believe you need assistance for a temporary disability that may be severe and pervasive contact the OSDS with questions. Temporary disability requests will be reviewed on an individual basis but generally are for a period of 6 months or greater. Minimally students would be affected for more than one term of their academic study.


Students who believe they have been discriminated against due to a disability should contact Adtalem’s Office of Equity and Access at for assistance or to file a complaint.