Reasonable Accommodations due to Qualifying Disability
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantee equal access to programs and services to those with disabilities. In order to be a qualified individual subject to the protections of these Acts, a person must demonstrate that he or she has a disability that substantially limits a major life activity (e.g., seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working) and, as such, requires a reasonable accommodation in order to have equal access. This section of the Law School's catalog explains a student's rights and responsibilities in seeking to receive accommodations from the Law School because of a disability. The process and procedures outlined here apply to seeking Law School classroom accommodations, exam accommodations, and accommodations related to accessing the University's facilities.
Rights and Responsibilities in Seeking Accommodations
- A student who believes that he or she has a qualifying disability warranting accommodation for academic programs, exams or access to the University's facilities should notify the Office of Academic Affairs, at email@example.com or (410) 837-4468.
- Students may also reach out directly to Karyn Schulz, Director, Office of Disability and Access Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 837-4141. Students should not go directly to any faculty in an effort to arrange accommodations for disabilities.
- Students seeking classroom accommodations must submit their request 3 weeks before the start of the academic year or semester.
- Students seeking exam accommodations must submit their request no later than 2 weeks after the start of the academic year or semester.
- Requests submitted after the deadlines for classroom and/or exam accommodations may not be granted.
- Following notice, the student and a member of the Office of Disability and Access Services will meet to review the documentation provided to verify the existence of a qualifying disability.
- All documentation submitted, preferably before this meeting, should comply with the documentation guidelines set forth at http://www.ubalt.edu/campus-life/center-for-educational-access/students/documentation-guidelines.cfm and also set forth below. Additional documentation may be requested at any time, as might a request that the student's physician or other licensed health professional speak directly to a staff member.
- If it is determined at this meeting that the student does have a qualifying disability, the Office of Disability and Access Services and the Office of Academic Affairs will meet to discuss suggested reasonable accommodations with respect to the student's courses, exams, and access to university facilities. In assessing the appropriateness of an accommodation, the Office of Disability Services and the Office of Academic Affairs will examine medical and other health professional documentation, the student's history of past accommodations, and the course and exam structure of a particular class.
- If the Office of Disability and Access Services and the Office of Academic Affairs concludes that a student is not a qualified individual with a disability or has not provided reasonable accommodations to the student, the student may appeal the decision to Llatetra Esters Dean of Students for the wider University at 112 Academic Center, University of Baltimore Academic Center, as provided in the Grievance Procedure in the University of Baltimore Student Handbook.
- Accommodations will not be granted if those accommodations "fundamentally alter" the educational program or academic requirements that are essential to a program of study at the University of Baltimore's School of Law as outlined in the Core Competencies (pg. 3) and Standard 301 of the American Bar Association's Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.
- After an accommodation determination has been made by the Office of Disability and Access Services and the Office of Academic Affairs, the student will meet with the Office of Academic Affairs to discuss the expectations of their course load and the implementation of their accommodations in the classroom and during testing.
- Students receiving accommodations during law school should be aware that there is no guarantee they will receive the same accommodations on the bar examination, MPRE, or other professional licensing exams, and bear the responsibility of working directly with the bar exam authorities in the jurisdiction to which the student is seeking admission to request any such accommodations on their own.
- Students considering the Maryland General Bar Exam should review the documentation requirements for receiving accommodations at https://www.courts.state.md.us/sites/default/files/import/ble/pdfs/testaccommodations.pdf
Rights and Responsibilities After Receiving Accommodations
- If a student's condition changes at any time, thereby affecting the nature and extent of his or her disability, the student must notify the Office of Disability and Access Services and the Office of Academic Affairs immediately.
- If there is a problem with any accommodations that a student receives, whether it is related to a course, an exam, or access to a facility, the student must notify the Office of Disability and Access Services and the Office of Academic Affairs promptly so that steps may be taken, to the extent practicable, to resolve the problem.
- Communication regarding accommodations (including exam schedules and room assignments) will be made using the student's UBALT email account. A student is responsible for checking email on a timely basis to determine the status of any issue relating to the accommodation that has been put in place for a particular disability. If the student's disability prevents physical access to email, an alternative method of communication will be determined in consultation with the Office of Disability and Access Services, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the student.
Verification of Disabilities
A student with a disability who requests an accommodation must provide to the Director of the Office of Disability and Access Services or his or her designated representative, professional verification of the necessary modification. Verification may be provided by a licensed physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or other professional who is qualified in the diagnosis of the disability. The verification must reflect the student's present level of functioning in the major life activity or activities affected by the disability. The cost of obtaining the professional verification shall be borne by the student. In instances in which the Office of Disability and Access Services or the Office of Academic Affairs deems appropriate, he or she may consult a qualified person retained by the School of Law for the purpose of evaluating whether a student has a disability.
Verification of Temporary Disability, Illness or Injury
Students seeking accommodations on the basis of a temporary disability must provide, upon request, documentation verifying the nature of the condition, stating the expected duration of the condition, and describing the accommodations deemed necessary. Such verification must be provided by a professional health care provider who is qualified in the diagnosis of such conditions. The cost of obtaining the professional verification shall be borne by the student.