Who Does Student Disability Services (SDS) Serve?

Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities are provided for all UMBC students “qualified” under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

A person with a disability is defined by the ADA as any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, any individual who has a record of such impairment, and any individual who is regarded as having such an impairment.

How do I request accommodations?

Please see our “Getting Started” tab on the Home page.

Why does Student Disability Services need supporting documentation of the disability?

Students who are requesting services from Student Disability Services (SDS) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are required to submit documentation to establish eligibility as a person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and are entitled to reasonable accommodations and the right to equal access to the university’s programs and services.

Student Disability Services acknowledges that once a person is diagnosed as having a disability, the disability is typically viewed as life-long. While the disability will continue, the severity of the condition and/or how it is impacted in different settings may change over time. Therefore, the purpose of requesting documentation is:

  • To consider each student individually and to understand if and how the student is impacted by their disability in a higher education living and learning environment in order to make an informed decision about accommodation access needs.

Accommodation decisions cannot be made until students; 1) submit an online Initial Service Request Form,  and their supporting disability documentation indicating diagnosis and educational access challenges, and 2) schedule and attend an individualized intake meeting to discuss the limitations, challenges or barriers to access with an SDS disability specialist. Please see the information on submitting an initial request for services in Accommodate on our “Getting Started” page.

What is acceptable documentation of a disability?

SDS reviews documentation on a case-by-case basis. However, documentation should reflect the following:

  • The credentials of the evaluator (office letterhead/contact information)
  • A specific disability diagnosis
  • The diagnostic methodology or assessment method used
  • The current functional impact on the individual
  • The expected progression or stability of the disability
  • Current and past accommodations, services, and/or medications
  • Recommendations for academic or housing accommodations

Does UMBC provide testing for learning or other cognitive disabilities?

UMBC does not conduct or pay for testing for learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, or other disability diagnosis. However, we can provide you with a resource list of local educational testing and assessment providers, organizations, and resources our students have used. We can also refer you to UMBC’s Retriever Integrated Health referrals coordinator for assistance in locating providers in your insurance network, but it is important to note that most insurance companies do not cover the costs of psychoeducational or neuropsychological testing.

How does SDS receive my class schedule every semester and notify my instructors of my approved accommodations?

Each semester after completing their course registration, students must complete an SDS Semester Request online in the Accommodate student portal to select which faculty and classes they would like accommodation letters sent to. Once the request is received in SDS, accommodation letters will be emailed to each instructor. It is recommended that students reach out to their instructors 1:1 to discuss their accommodation needs, particularly when using accommodated testing. If students do not submit their semester request until after classes have started, accommodations will not in be place and it may take a few days to implement access solutions depending on the course set-up and course material needs.