2020-2021 Catalog

The Reasonable Accommodation of Students with Disabilities


Disability: The presence of sensory, mental or physical impairment (whether temporary or permanent) that 1) is medically cognizable or diagnosable, exists as a record or history, or is known or shows through an interactive process to exist in fact; and 2) has a substantially limiting effect upon the student’s ability to perform and complete the essential elements of the course, program, or activity.

Qualified Student: A qualified student is a student with a disability who continuously meets the essential standards of the relevant University course, program or activity, with or without the benefit of reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation means modifying or adjusting practices, procedures, or policies so that a qualified student with a disability receives equal access to a course, program, or activity. Reasonable accommodations will be implemented as long as 1) they are medically necessary; and 2) they do not impose an undue hardship on the University or result in fundamental alteration of the nature or operation of the institution, program, course, service, or activity. The University does not need to accept the student’s requested accommodation if an alternative accommodation is determined to be equally effective.

Healthcare Professional: A person who is legally competent to diagnose and/or treat the particular medical condition or conditions which are the basis of the accommodation request.

Undue Hardship and Fundamental Alteration: Implementing a requested accommodation that is excessively costly, extensive, substantial, disruptive, or result in fundamental alteration to the nature or operation of the institution, program, or course. In determining whether a requested accommodation poses an undue hardship or fundamental alteration, evaluation may include but is not limited to impact on overall resources, program standards, and or structure of the course and/or activity.

Students with Special Needs

City University of Seattle is committed to providing equal opportunities in higher education to academically qualified students with disabilities who demonstrate a reasonable expectation of college success. Students with disabilities attending this University are integrated as completely as possible into the University environment. City University of Seattle does not offer a specialized curriculum for students with disabilities nor does it assume the role of a rehabilitation center. The University seeks input from students and their healthcare providers to assess individual needs and determines what resources are available for meeting those needs. City University of Seattle has a history of working
successfully with students who have disabilities.

City University of Seattle’s facilities and programs are accessible to persons with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation in higher education refers to an “otherwise qualified” disabled student’s ability to fulfill course requirements in the classroom or through distance learning when faculty and staff provide equal access to learning. Appropriate academic support services are provided while academic standards are maintained.

Students must contact the Disability Support Services Office to request the need for reasonable accommodation(s).  Students should not discuss accommodation with instructors or staff prior to contacting the Disability Support Services Office. Since it is the student’s responsibility to disclose disabilities, the student is asked to provide recent documentation prepared by a qualified professional about any functional limitations so the Disability Support Services Office may make recommendations for the type of reasonable accommodation available to the student. All disability information provided by the student is kept strictly confidential and kept in a separate file from the academic record.  Documentation is considered a record under the Family Education Rights and privacy Act (FERPA).   On a need to know basis, the Disability Support Services Office may share information regarding an accommodation with other University employees to assess, manage, and implement the approved accommodation.

Upon determination of accommodation, written confirmation will be issued to the student.  Each quarter of enrollment, the Disability Support Services Office will notify in writing the students' instructor(s) regarding the approved accommodations(s). 

Students with service animals should contact the Disability Support Services Office so that the office may facilitate and record the need for the use of service animals.  All buildings and structures own, leased, rented and or operated by the University in the U.S. and Canada subscribe to appropriate federal/state/provincial requirements on service animals.

Students who wish to request having a service animal or assistance animal (therapy, emotional support, or comfort animal) in University housing must make a request to the Disability Support Services Office.

Students with impaired sensory, manual language or processing skills will be allowed to use educational auxiliary aids as appropriate. Such aides may include taped texts, readers, interpreters, note-takers, tape recorders, adaptive classroom equipment and other similar services or equipment. If necessary or appropriate, modification of academic requirements may include a change in the length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements, and adaptations in the manner courses are conducted or teaching is demonstrated. Requirements essential to the program of instruction or related to licensing requirements are not regarded as discriminatory.

Examples of reasonable academic accommodations are:

  • Using innovative teaching techniques.
  • Providing access to recorded or electronic texts.
  • Providing access to tutorial assistance and use of technology.
  • Alternative testing arrangements such as adapting tests to assure measurement of a student’s knowledge, not the disability.
  • Flexible timelines for completion of courses, certification and degree requirements.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and relevant federal and state laws, the University will provide pregnant students with reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids necessary to facilitate equal access, as it would other students who have temporary medical conditions.  Students who are seeking accommodations for pregnancy should contact the Disability Support Services Office.

Faculty who have not received official notification from the Disability Support Services Office should refrain from providing an individual student accommodation, but rather should refer the student to the Disability Support Services Office to ensure that the student is receiving a comprehensive support plan for all courses and program of study.

(Policy #2300.08)