Disability Policy Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is the civil rights legislation for persons with disabilities in the U.S.  It provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability.  A "person with a disability" is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities.  A person is considered a "person with a disability" if he/she has a disability, has a record of a disability or is regarded as having a disability.

1.            Procedures for Disclosure

After admission to the program, a student is encouraged to disclose a disability to the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and request accommodations.  The student will be asked to provide documentation of the disability so that appropriate accommodations may be considered.  Requirements for documentation are described below.

2.            Documentation Requirements for Disabilities

Any student requesting an accommodation must present appropriate documentation from a qualified professional, establishing: (a) that the disability exists, and (b) that the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the student with the opportunity to achieve or participate in the program to the same extent as a similarly-situated person without a disability.  The documentation should be provided to IUPUI Adaptive Educational Services within four weeks of the initial meeting with the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the following requirements apply to documentation of disabilities.

Documentation must be provided by a licensed professional who is qualified in the appropriate specialty area and whose primary expertise involves the adult population, and the documentation must establish that the licensed professional's qualifications are in the appropriate specialty area related to the disability.

Documentation must be submitted on letterhead of the professional, be signed by the professional and include a minimum of the following: (a) the specific diagnosis of the disabling condition; (b) a description of the specific way(s) in which the disability limits the student's functions; (c) recommendations for accommodation, including a statement that the professional is aware that the student's environment is a dental school rather than a graduate school, undergraduate school, or secondary school; and (d) a specific explanation of the manner in which the proposed accommodation responds to the student's limitations.  Handwritten documents will not be accepted.

Documentation of a learning disability must include a description of the diagnostic interview, a history of the student's learning disability and any accommodations provided for it, and a specific diagnosis of a generally recognized learning disability.  The cost of providing the necessary documentation will be borne by the student.

3.               Determination of Appropriate Accommodations for Disabilities

Once documentation has been submitted as described above, IUPUI Adaptive Educational Services (AES) will contact the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  AES will review the request and documentation, establish whether the applicant has a disability, and make or confirm recommendations for appropriate accommodations to the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  The process shall be interactive, involving full input from the applicant, appropriate Indiana University School of Dentistry personnel, AES and other IUPUI and external offices possessing the technical, medical, and administrative expertise as needed to evaluate the request.

Should the accommodations recommend revision of the curriculum or program, the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will present the accommodation recommendations to a committee composed of the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, legal counsel, faculty representatives and AES.  This Committee may do one of the following: (a) determine that the recommended accommodations fundamentally alter the nature and substance of the curriculum, present an undue hardship for the institution, pose a direct threat to the safety of patients, or compromise the academic integrity of the program, and therefore should be denied; (b) modify the proposed accommodations because unless modified, they fundamentally alter the nature and substance of the curriculum, present an undue hardship for the institution, pose a direct threat to the safety of patients, or compromise the academic integrity of the program; or (c) approve the accommodations as recommended. The accommodation plan will apply to the student throughout his/her tenure in dental school unless the disability changes.  The student and the student's respective program director and/or Office of Academic Affairs will follow the recommended accommodation for written examinations and other testing situations set forth by AES provided that the recommended accommodation does not significantly alter the goals of the educational program or any specific activity in the program.

Indiana University School of Dentistry will provide reasonable accommodations but is not required to make modifications or provide auxiliary aids or services that would fundamentally alter the nature and substance of the curriculum, present an undue hardship for the institution, pose a direct threat to the safety of patients or others, or compromise the academic integrity of the respective program.  The student must be able to perform the essential skills of the respective curriculum, including the skills described on page 33, with or without accommodation, in order to begin or continue in the program.

There may be components to the curriculum which are areas in which accommodations recommended for a disability may not be applied (e.g. small group activities, oral examinations, clinical exams, clinic, etc.).  Any fundamental change in time allotted, small group and research activities, and assessment methods associated with these components of the program may adversely affect the role of the activity in the curriculum and the expected standards for performance for a student and graduate.  Additionally, changes in timed laboratory examinations or other performance-based demonstrations of competence may not be possible.

Tests or test booklets, instructions and testing procedures will be standardized for all students at IUSD.  If a student's learning disability is accommodated and results in nonstandardized testing administration or environment, the student's performance will be judged on the performance criteria set for all students within the course or curriculum.  Performance standards for all educational activities are regulated by the faculty and apply to all students.

Decisions where a student is denied admission or disenrolled due to undue hardship, safety risk, or significant programmatic changes as a result of an inability to meet these minimum standards for admission or retention will be fully documented.  Documents regarding a student's or applicant's disability and requests for accommodation shall be treated in a confidential manner and maintained  separately from his or her admissions, academic or other files.  IUSD shall maintain files regarding the decision making process with respect to accommodation requests.

For additional information students should consult the Adaptive Educational Services website at .