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Frequently Asked Questions – Academic ADA Accommodation

  • How do I know if I have a disability?

    Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that “substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or regarded as having such an impairment.

  • How do I know if I am a "qualified" student with a disability?

    You are qualified student with a disability if you are a student with a disability who possesses the skills, experience, education or other requirements of a program and meet the technical standards of that program with or without reasonable accommodations.

  • How do I obtain disability accommodations?

    To be eligible for reasonable accommodations, you must have an impairment that “substantially limits” a major life activity.

  • What is a major life activity?

    major life activities include breathing, walking, talking, hearing, seeing, eating, learning, reading, concentrating, and thinking.

  • How are accommodations determined?

    In collaboration with the Office of Educational Support Services, the school/program determines if an accommodation is reasonable. An accommodation that removes barriers to accessing the educational program and activity and does not alter the fundamental nature of the program or activity or poses an undue hardship, is reasonable.

  • Is pregnancy considered a disability?

    Pregnancy itself is not considered a disability under the ADA. However, learners who suffer from pregnancy-related conditions such as preeclampsia or diabetes are entitled to reasonable accommodations from the school and/or program of study and educational program. For more information about the University’s pregnant and parenting student accommodation process, click here.

  • What is an “unreasonable” accommodation request?

    A request that fundamentally alters the nature of the educational program or activity or poses an undue hardship is not reasonable. 

  • Can any faculty or staff member approve disability accommodations?

    A student should not request academic accommodations directly from a faculty member. If that occurs, the faculty member should refer the student to Office of Educational Support Services. The Office of Educational Support Services, in conjunction with the school’s designated accommodations liaison, are the only individuals who can approve accommodations on behalf of UT Health San Antonio. 

  • I believe I have a disability, but I do not have documentation to support it. Does UT Health San Antonio provide evaluations to determine a disability?

    Production of supporting documentation is the sole responsibility of the student/requestor. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require colleges or universities to conduct or pay for medical or cognitive evaluations that may be necessary to generate supporting documentation that substantiates a disability accommodation request.

  • When is the best time for me to request accommodations?

    Incoming and transfer learners should submit their request upon admission to the university prior to enrollment or as soon as they realize they have an accommodation need. Returning or continuing learners should submit their request four (4) to six (6) weeks before the start of the semester to ensure ample processing time and implementation of approved accommodation(s).

  • Can I appeal an accommodation determination and what is the process?

    Yes, a student can submit a request for reconsideration or appeal. Please visit the ADA Compliance webpage for more information regarding the appeal process. 

  • Can accommodations change over time?

    The needs of a student may vary according to course requirements, format, and course content. Depending on the documented limitations, accommodations may need to be updated to meet those needs. The learner should submit an addendum to the original request to make changes when appropriate.

  • I have a disability and a history of using accommodations, but I think I can be successful without them. Do I still need to request accommodations?

    Students are not obligated to disclose that they have a disability or request accommodations. Additionally, students with active accommodations may opt out of using their accommodations at any time.

  • What should I do if my approved accommodations or services are not effective, or if my accommodations need to change during an academic period?

    The student is responsible for notifying Office of Educational Support Services regarding any changes to the academic environment or accommodations that are needed. Students have the right to request additional accommodations for which they are eligible at any time. However, it is the student’s responsibility to provide the OESS with “reasonable notice” of perceived ineffectiveness as soon as the student becomes aware that a change is needed. It may be challenging and take more time to correct a long-standing problem. OESS and the student will work collaboratively with school officials, as appropriate, to resolve the concern.

    Timely notice results in reassessment and if necessary, determination of new or alternative accommodation. If  documentation on file does not support the request, a student may be required to provide additional documentation. A student’s timely disclosure of new or alternative accommodations requests can minimize or eliminate delay in implementation. Program faculty/staff will endeavor to implement such accommodations within the desired time frame or by an anticipated event when possible.

  • Once my approved accommodations are implemented, do I have to use them?

    Students are not required to use accommodations during every course or learning experience. Learners have the right to assert/discontinue their accommodations in a timely manner in writing or via email to the Office of Educational Support Services, their school/program, or the course faculty or program director.

  • What if a faculty or staff member does not want to implement my approved accommodations?

    Situations like this often arise due to miscommunication. If any issues arise, please contact the Office of Educational Support Services immediately at 210-450-8131 or Students may also contact Derek Bell at or Juliette Montemayor at 

  • Is my service animal allowed?