Students who wish to use disability-based access accommodations in classes or housing at UMBC must be registered with the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS). When possible, students are encouraged to begin the SDS registration process early after admission to UMBC, before their placement testing date.
- To begin your SDS registration process and to request disability-based accommodations, go to the Student Disability Services Registration Form online which uses our secure Accommodate software student portal and your myUMBC log-in. Eligibility for disability services must be established before accommodations can be provided and implemented, i.e., establishing that under the ADA you are “a person with a disability who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”.
You can upload a copy of your documentation of disability/diagnosis from an appropriately qualified provider at the bottom of the online request form. Alternatively, to submit documentation in another way, please see number 2, below.
Disability documentation generally should reflect the following:
- The credentials of the evaluator
- A specific diagnosis/disabling condition on the evaluator’s/agency letterhead
- The diagnostic methodology or assessment method used
- The functional impact on the individual (the description/summary of challenges)
- The expected progression or stability of the disability
- Current and past accommodations, support services, and/or treatment plan
- Specific recommendations for creating access to academic or housing barriers (accommodations/adjustments/modifications)
*Submit what documentation you have. There is not a prescribed amount of time or recency that the assessment or diagnosis must have been made to establish disability in order to get the process started at UMBC.
**For additional information, please see the postsecondary transition information for students with disabilities from the U.S. Department of Education.
- If you cannot attach your supporting documentation through our online system, you may submit it by email at disAbility@umbc.edu. You may also send it via fax or US mail (see our Contact Us page). Providers can also send your disability documentation directly to the SDS email or may submit scanned attached images. (If you do not have a documented disability diagnosis to submit, please contact our SDS Assistant Director for Operations to discuss your individual situation and possible solutions or recommendations.)
- Once the online registration form and disability documentation are received, they will be reviewed by an SDS Disability Specialist. Please allow up to 2 weeks of processing time due to the volume of inquiries submitted. Please read and respond to your UMBC email for communications from SDS.
- INTAKE MEETING: Once your disability documentation has been reviewed, you will receive EMAILED instructions to schedule your intake appointment via your UMBC email address. We strongly recommend that you schedule the intake meeting well in advance of the start of classes to ensure accommodations are in place.
- An interactive intake discussion between the student and a disability specialist is required to best understand the impact of the disability on the educational environment and to then determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations at UMBC. Parents and support persons are welcome to attend these meetings, if the student requests their attendance, however, student participation regarding their skills and disability challenges is essential.
- Intake meetings are held both in-person and virtually. Intakes are conducted through the main campus SDS office for all UMBC main campus and USG (UMBC @ Shady Grove) campus students.
At the intake appointment you will discuss:
Accommodations, services, resources and supports
The student’s strengths, challenges and/or barriers
The student’s history (academic challenges, accommodation use, disability impact…)
SDS policies and procedures
- Once accommodations are approved by SDS, you will receive instructions on completing your “Semester Accommodation Request” in our Accommodate online system. This semester request notifies SDS that you would like your official accommodation letter to be sent to your faculty member(s), i.e. your authorization gives permission each semester to share your letter to the faculty of the classes you are taking. IMPORTANT: This request is done online every semester a student is enrolled and requesting accommodation letters.
- If a student’s status changes, such as a worsening of a medical condition or a new diagnosis is added, a hospitalization occurs, or there is a change from an undergraduate to graduate program, etc.., we request that you notify an SDS staff member so we can best support you and determine if any change in accommodation may be needed.
Students are welcome to meet with SDS staff members by appointment for questions or concerns year-round. We are here to assist you in providing access, resources, and information to help you achieve your academic goals.
If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us in the Student Disability Services main office. We look forward to working with you!
Temporary injury or brief recovery conditions only:
If you are requesting accommodations due to a temporary condition or medical injury, such as a hand surgery, concussion, or pregnancy complication, you can download the Temporary Injury/Condition Request Form for medical verification to be completed by your physician. This form serves as your medical documentation, and is supplemental to the online Student Disability Services Registration Form that is required for all SDS registration and accommodation requests.
Pregnancy support: For general pregnancy-related accommodations not due to a health complication or high-risk condition, please contact the Title IX staff in UMBC’s Office of Equity & Inclusion. The website for information and contacts can be found at https://oei.umbc.edu/pregnancy-and-parenting/
Since student demographic information is imported into our secure Accommodate data management software from UMBC’s PeopleSoft system, it is important to make sure that your academic profile is current, including your preferred name (if different from your legal name), pronouns, and other social identifiers. Visit the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s web page for detailed instructions for updating your academic profile information.