Rights and Responsibilities of Students with Accommodations

Students should read this form carefully and discuss any questions with Student Access ahead of the semester to make sure they fully understand all policies and how to use their accommodations. Students must meet with a Student Access professional staff member before they begin using accommodations to review these procedures and learn how to set up their accommodations as stated in the Letter of Accommodation.

Records and Registration

  • Students must self-identify to Student Access to initiate a request for accommodations. Students must ensure that required documentation regarding their specific disability has been reviewed by the University prior to the initiation of services. Student Access reserves the right to deny any request for support service(s) until complete documentation has been received, reviewed, and approved by the University.
  • Disability services are initiated when the application process is complete and approval is granted by the University through an accommodation outcome letter. Student Access does not provide retroactive accommodations.
  • Some accommodations provided at the secondary school level are not appropriate at the collegiate level and students must prepare accordingly. The Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments focuses on providing access and not success. The University of Tulsa will provide full access to educational programs and opportunities. The University may provide alternative reasonable accommodations rather than the specific accommodation requested by the student and not all requested accommodations will necessarily be approved. Students may wish to provide information about past accommodations to assist in the accommodation request process, and documents such as IEPs and 504 plans may be appropriate documentation in some circumstances. The institution is not required to fundamentally alter its programs in order to accommodate students.
  • Temporary arrangements may be available while the University engages in an interactive process to determine whether ongoing accommodation is appropriate and, if so, which reasonable accommodations are needed; any temporary arrangements do not reflect a determination that ongoing accommodation will be granted and/or which reasonable accommodations are appropriate, and do not create an obligation on the part of the University to continue accommodation. Students who are approved for temporary arrangements for temporary health conditions are only allowed to use those arrangements for a limited time. To get full permanent accommodations, students must have a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments.
  • Students must notify Student Access and the College Advising Office if they need assistance determining appropriate academic course requirements or class schedules.
  • Students are responsible for planning their schedules and meeting with their Academic Advisor in their College to decide what classes to take. Students should take into account any disability issues when scheduling classes (e.g., take classes at ideal times for their medication or disability needs; schedule to allow adequate time to get from class to class throughout the day; schedule in breaks as needed to manage disability issues; consider amount of reading involved in classes, length of class times, class sizes; and schedule classes with enough time in between to enable completion of exams using their extended time—so try to avoid back-to-back classes; etc.) and schedule their classes in ways that will best accommodate their needs.
  • Students should locate their classes ahead of the semester and make sure they are accessible to them (e.g., go inside each classroom and see if it has the things needed, such as special tables, wheelchair access, etc.). If there is a problem with any classroom, students should report the problem to Student Access as soon as possible to receive assistance.
  • Students with disabilities are eligible for priority registration. Students are responsible for making an appointment with their Academic Advisor prior to the regularly scheduled registration date. The College of Law and Graduate School do not offer priority registration.
  • Students are encouraged to proactively discuss their needs privately with instructors for the best support. Dialogue between students and faculty can be key to ensuring accommodations work. Students may voluntarily choose to disclose details in order to facilitate the best assistance from faculty.
  • In the event that a student changes their major, name, address or telephone numbers, they must notify Student Access.
  • To request a change in accommodations, students must complete a Request for Change in Accommodations on the Accessibility Services Portal. This must be accompanied by documentation which demonstrates how the academic demand has been modified and/or how the disabling condition has changed.
  • Student Access administers accommodations for undergraduate students and Graduate School students. The Law School administers accommodations for students in their classes (more information on those processes and procedures is available from the Law School in their policies).
  • If at any point a student has difficulty with their accommodations or additional needs, they should contact Student Access staff as soon as possible for assistance.


  • Student Access is committed to ensuring that all information and communication pertaining to a student’s disability is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law. Our guidelines regarding this information are as follows:
    • No one will have immediate access to student files in this office except appropriate Student Access staff. Any information regarding a disability is considered confidential and can only be shared with others within the University who have a legitimate educational interest. All staff members have received training about protecting student privacy and have agreed not to release any information outside of this office without the permission of a professional staff member.
    • This information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Section 504 of PL.94-142, and the ADA-AA.
    • Students should notify Student Access if they are experiencing a disability-related difficulty with an instructor, an accommodation, or an access barrier.
    • Information in student files will not be released except in accordance with federal and state laws.
    • If a student wishes to have information about his/her disability shared with others outside the University, the student must provide a written request by signing a Release of Information form. The student should understand the purpose of the release and to whom the information is being released.
  • Students who would like to share confidential information with campus personnel or with any other person/agency must initiate this request in writing by completing a Release of Information form available from a Student Access staff or online.


Once approved by the University, students retain their accommodations for the duration of their student status at the University of Tulsa. Students are not required to use their approved accommodations.

Accommodation Letters

  • Students must notify instructors or relevant staff (e.g., Housing and Dining) to activate their accommodations. Students are responsible for distributing the emailed letters from Student Access to instructors/staff (by logging on to the Accessibility Services Portal and requesting this by class) at the beginning of each semester or as soon as accommodations have been approved. Only students that have signed the Student Rights and Responsibilities will be able to send Accommodation Letters. These letters describe the student’s individual academic accommodations and special needs, and do not include diagnoses. These letters serve as the only official method of notification to the instructor/staff. Each letter is addressed specifically to an instructor for a particular class. The Accommodation Letter notifies the instructor what accommodations should be provided, and can be discussed with each instructor privately during faculty office hours or before or after class. Students should discuss with instructors/staff the authorized accommodations they would like to have implemented and ensure the instructors/staff did receive the Accommodation Letter via email.  Instructors can access a list of students who have accommodations in their classes by semester in the Accessibility Services Portal, but this does not contain any information beyond accommodations. In the Law School, faculty cannot access lists of students with accommodations and accommodation letters are not sent to faculty and only to the Associate Dean of the Law School or designee for administration.
    Students receiving Housing and Dining accommodations should take their accommodation outcome letter to the Housing and Dining Office to activate and arrange for those accommodations.

Contacting Instructors/Staff Regarding Accommodations

  • Students are encouraged to speak with their instructors regarding their needs to receive the best assistance. Whenever possible, students should contact instructors prior to the start of classes to discuss their needs and ensure that their accommodations can work in the class, particularly if an instructor needs to make any modifications and will need time to accomplish this. Students have multiple methods for communicating with instructors/staff about their needs. Students may meet instructors at class and talk before or after class, e-mail instructors, go to office hours, and/or request a private meeting at a specific time.

Request for Services by Third Parties

  • For special accommodations that require a service provider (such as notetaking assistance, CART, interpreters, CAN, etc.), students must e-mail Student Access (studentaccess@utulsa.edu) a request prior to every semester. Please allow as much time to arrange these services as possible, and see guidelines under each specific accommodation for time frames for submitting this type of request. Services generally take several weeks to coordinate, so students should plan accordingly.


  • The Exam Request is the ONLY notification to Student Access that a student will have an exam. Students should not expect their instructors to make arrangements for them.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to fill out the Exam Request AT LEAST THREE BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE the exam to make arrangements for accommodations.
  • Students must submit Exam Requests (through AIM) AT LEAST THREE BUSINESS DAYS AHEAD of every exam they plan to take with Student Access using accommodations.
  • In the event of multiple exams requiring special services, Student Access reserves the right to require changes in exam times with approval from instructors.
  • More time is needed for scheduling testing accommodations such as a scribe or a reader. Students should submit these requests as early as possible to ensure the accommodation.
  • Student Access administers exams between the hours of 8:00 am -5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Exams outside this time frame cannot be accommodated and need to be rescheduled (with instructor approval).
  • If an exam time is changed by the instructor, the student should modify the Exam Request they have submitted (through the Accessibility Services Portal) – all changes require Student Access approval.
  • In the event a student needs to reschedule an exam for a different date/time than the rest of the class, they should submit an Exam Request for the date/time they need to reschedule for and note the regularly scheduled date/time and reason for rescheduling (on the Exam Request). The Student Access Testing Coordinator will review the request and approve or deny based on information provided by the instructor on the Student Access Exam Administration Form. If approved, the student will receive an email with the proposed date/time from the Student Access Testing Coordinator.
  • Pop quizzes and in-class writing assignments are considered eligible for testing accommodations. In the event of a pop quiz, the student should communicate with the instructor and Student Access Testing Coordinator to make arrangements as advance notice may not be given to the class.
  • Late Exam Requests will not be accepted.
  • A Student Access Exam Administration Form must be filled out for each of the student’s classes. Faculty are sent a link to fill out the Student Access Exam Administration Form when they receive the Faculty Notification Letter (as long as the student has selected that the instructor be notified of their Alternative Testing accommodations). Student Access Exam Administration forms can only be filled out by the instructor.
  • Exam Requests submitted for classes without a Student Access Exam Administration form on file will not be approved.
  • All Exam Requests for finals must be submitted by 11:59 pm on the last day of classes each semester (the day prior to Reading Days).
  • Late arrival for exams will result in an automatic time reduction corresponding to the number of minutes the student is late. Students arriving late to a scheduled exam will adhere to the already scheduled exam end time. In an attempt to duplicate the classroom environment, Student Access cannot allow students to use exam time to study or delay start times to study (or for other reasons) out of fairness to all students. If a student is more than 20 minutes late for an exam, the student will not be allowed to take the exam without approval from the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to ask for approval regarding the missed exam.
  • Breaks to use the restroom or get water will not be permitted unless approved by the instructor on the Student Access Exam Administration Form. Break time is factored into the accommodated testing time and breaks are taken in the testing room. Any exceptions will be determined on a case by case basis by the University utilizing supporting documentation submitted by the student. If a student is approved to leave the testing room for any reason, the student must notify the exam proctor when they leave the testing room.
  • Students agree to abide by all academic policies and academic integrity policies at the University of Tulsa. To promote academic integrity and mimic the classroom environment as closely as possible, students taking exams at Student Access agree to follow certain precautions and cannot bring certain items into the Testing Center. Items prohibited from testing rooms include, but are not limited to, the following: bags/backpacks, purses, electronic devices (e.g., iPads, iPods, cell phones, Smartwatches), jackets/coats, hats. Student Access staff will ask students to empty their pockets and remove hats and jackets prior to the exam, as well as remove electronic devise and turn them completely off (no vibrating or making noise). Students may leave their belongings in a central location with the Student Access Testing Center, but Student Access assumes no responsibility for watching or protecting these items.
  • Student Access staff reserve the right to randomly enter exam rooms to perform academic integrity checks as well as monitor the testing rooms with video surveillance. Proctors may be in the room during the duration of any exam.
  • In the unlikely event that a disturbance occurs during an exam, please notify the Testing Coordinator immediately so that the situation may be remedied. Retroactive modifications to testing conditions are not possible.
  • Students are only entitled to their official university-approved accommodations. If there are special arrangements, faculty will notify Student Access on the Student Access Exam Administration Form (such as use of a computer or more time). However, students are responsible for arranging these special situations (such as bringing their own laptop computer). Student Access will help whenever possible, but, preference is given to students with official accommodations to use our facilities and resources. Student Access reserves the right to audio tape exams if a reader is noted as an appropriate accommodation.
  • Students who do not follow the procedures for scheduling accommodated exams will be sent a warning letter. If it happens again after that, exam accommodations will be suspended until the student meets with a Student Access administrator. The Student Access office reserves the right to deny this service if students have not made the appropriate arrangements before the exam.
  • In general, students are expected to make arrangements to avoid conflicts (such as back-to-back classes) with their accommodations. If there is a conflict, students are expected to take exams at an earlier time or at a time designated by the faculty member to preserve academic integrity. Unless prior approval is granted by both the instructor and Student Access, students must take exams at the same time that the exam is administered to the class.
  • Faculty members provide typical testing durations based on the amount of time it takes most students to complete an exam. In general, extended time is not given for take-home examinations. Any exceptions will be determined on a case by case basis by the University utilizing supporting documentation submitted by the student and information provided by the faculty member about typical test duration.
  • Faculty members and Student Access have the right to refuse testing accommodations if the student fails to provide timely notification (Exam Request and Faculty Notification Letter) of the need for such accommodation. Student Access administers multiple exams with multiple types of accommodations every day, and late requests cannot be set up easily. In the event a student does not provide timely notification of exam needs, the student may also request that the instructor administer accommodations during the regular exam (which may or may not be possible with late notice) or ask if the instructor will give an extension for the exam to be accommodated at a later time at Student Access.

Scribe or Reader

  • Students who qualify for the use of a scribe or reader for exams are responsible for making arrangements with Student Access regarding the recruitment and usage of a scribe/reader. Scribes/readers are requested using the same procedures as requesting exams. Scribes are to be used as your vessels for writing, not your answer keys. Scribes and readers for exams will be provided by Student Access.

Note Taking Assistance and Lecture Recordings/Speech-to-Text

  • Students who qualify for note taking assistance need to notify Student Access staff to receive note taking assistance at the beginning of each semester through the Accessibility Services Portal. Students should attend a few classes to determine if note taking assistance will be needed in each particular class. Students will receive information about notetaking software which also includes training videos.
  • Student Access staff will provide approved students with certain notetaking accommodations per the Note Taker Policy. A student receiving notes through a 3rd party provider (such as CART) must notify the Student Access staff of any excused absences (refer to absence policy and individual accommodations) in order to receive notes for the missed day. Failure to notify the Student Access staff of an absence without proper documentation will result in the student not receiving notes for the missed day. All students are encouraged to discuss their notetaking preferences with their provider in order to receive notes in the way they most prefer. If there are any issues with notetaking, students should notify Student Access as soon as possible for assistance.
  • Students cannot record lectures at the University of Tulsa without written permission from either Student Access or the faculty member. All students may request this from their instructors, or those with disabilities can be approved for this accommodation through Student Access. Students with an accommodation to record lectures agree that the recording is for their personal use only in pursuit of course objectives and is not to be shared or disseminated in any way to anyone else. In certain situations for confidentiality reasons, faculty may tell students to stop recording or taking notes on certain information and then notify students when they can begin recording again. Faculty reserve the right to ask students to sign additional confidentiality agreements in certain types of classes. Student Access maintains a limited number of recorders that students may check out to use; alternatively, students with approval may use their own recording devices. The student is required to return borrowed recorders to the Student Access office at the end of the semester. Failure to return the recorder will result in the suspension of the student’s lecture recording accommodation until the student has met with a Student Access staff member and resolved the issue. If borrowed recorders or equipment are lost or damaged, it is the student’s responsibility to replace the item with an exact duplicate item or exact cash match of the value of a new item (checks must be made out payable to The University of Tulsa).
  • Recordings may be transcribed to text using various speech-to-text applications (see Student Access for a referral listing). Some faculty use software that records and can transcribe lecture information.

Alternative Formats for Textbooks/Materials

  • Students who are eligible for alternative formats of texts are responsible for obtaining their materials through Learning Ally, Bookshare, or another appropriate resource (see Student Access for a listing of resources for textbooks). In the majority of cases, students can purchase the e-book version and use a screenreader (see Student Access for potential resources). Students need to contact their individual instructors before the start of every semester to find out what books they will need. As many book repositories may take several weeks to locate an alternative format of a textbook, students should plan accordingly and start as early as possible. Students should notify the Student Access office if they cannot locate a copy of a needed textbook. Student Access will attempt to locate books not listed on Learning Ally or Bookshare (or other resources). Students should submit requests for alternative books to v as far in advance as possible since it generally takes several weeks to fill book requests. Students should submit the following information regarding the textbooks they want: Title, Author, ISBN number, Edition, Publication Year. In the event no copy is available, students are responsible for making arrangements with Student Access staff for the recruitment of a reader. Thirty (30) days’ notice prior to the requested finish date is required for any readings that must be read through the Student Access office. For alternative versions of other materials in the class, students will work directly with Student Access staff and their instructor for obtaining alternative versions of materials. One week’s notice is always needed (at a minimum) to modify formats of materials.

Course Substitution

  • Students who receive a course substitution accommodation may substitute a course requirement with another course that demonstrate equivalent knowledge as determined by the College of enrollment. Students must take their Letter of Accommodation to their Collegiate Advising Office to make arrangements for this accommodation.

Notification of Absences and/or Documenting Condition to Instructors

  • Students who qualify for notification of disability-related absences to their instructors are responsible for contacting the Student Access office as well as submitting sufficient documentation to support the absence. Upon notification of an absence, a Student Access staff member will contact the student’s instructor(s) letting them know that the student has been in contact with Student Access and that when documentation is received it will be placed on file with Student Access. The notification to instructors is not an excused absence; it is simply a notification to the instructors. The student is still responsible for contacting the instructor to obtain missed assignments and deadlines, and for contacting a fellow classmate to obtain notes. See the Absence Notification Policy for complete details. For students with ongoing conditions, Student Access can send letters to instructors at the beginning of each semester describing potential functional limitations and needs the student may have should their condition worsen. This is not an excused absence but notifies the instructor that the student may need additional flexibility as permitted with deadlines, attendance, etc. For some classes, participation/attendance are essential requirements that cannot be accommodated or waived. Students should contact all instructors prior to the start of class to find out if attendance/participation is an essential requirement and, if so, contact their Academic Advisor to discuss alternative classes. The accommodations do not enable unlimited absences. More details are located in the individual student’s accommodation letter.

Technology/Special Equipment

  • Students approved to use special technology or equipment are responsible for the maintenance of the equipment while checked out from Student Access and will sign the Equipment Check-Out Form. Students are responsible for returning the equipment in the same condition in which it was loaned, and assume financial responsibility for any damage to the equipment while borrowed from Student Access.

Classroom Needs

Preferential Seating

  • Students who receive preferential seating are required to make arrangements with Student Access to ensure that seating is made available for the student. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of their accommodations to ensure the seat they need.

Classroom/Building Accessibility

  • Students who have an accessibility issue with a particular classroom or building will need to contact the Student Access office to make arrangements for a classroom change. At least two (2) weeks’ prior notification is required for a change of classroom request. Students should enroll and locate their classes as early as possible to ensure their needs are met.


  • Students are encouraged to submit requests for these services to Student Access as soon as possible but, at a minimum, three weeks prior (15 business days) to the start of the semester. Students are urged to finalize their schedules far in advance of the first class day, so that interpreters/CART/CAN can be scheduled according to student preference and availability. Last-minute requests cannot be guaranteed, though attempts will always be made to secure interpreting/CART/CAN services. Students need to provide the course schedule and specify the classes for which they need these services to initiate the process of finding service providers.
  • All non-classroom requests (including meetings with instructors or group meetings with other students for projects or assignments) should be made as far in advance as possible, but at least 10 business days in advance. Last-minute requests cannot be guaranteed, though attempts will always be made to secure services. Tests taken outside of regular class time will be treated as a special request and students should submit requests for review sessions and final exams as far in advance as possible.
  • If students utilize interpreting services, a minimum four (4) hours’ notice of an absence must be given to the interpreter and the Student Access office. If students fail to notify the interpreter and the Student Access office for three consecutive absences, interpreting services will be suspended until a Student Access administrator is contacted and the office provided with appropriate documentation to support absences. Services will resume if appropriate documentation is submitted and if the student meets with a staff member at Student Access to resolve the issues. Please see the Interpreting/CART/CAN Policy for complete information.

Emotional Support Animals

  • Students who are approved to have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) live in campus housing must take their letter of accommodation to the Housing and Dining Office to make arrangements, document the animal, and provide proof of registration and vaccinations as applicable under federal, state, and local ordinances and laws. Students agree to take care of their animal, provide for and ensure its health and wellbeing, and abide by the Service and Assistance Animal Guidelines (available online and at Student Access). In the event a student must leave an animal for an extended period of time (several hours or more), the student must make arrangements for the care of the animal with another person. Students must not leave animals alone over night, over the weekend, or over breaks. Emotional support animals are not allowed in other campus buildings besides the student’s residence without special accommodation for that. If a student with an approved Emotional Support Animal has a roommate(s), the student must speak with the roommate and receive approval for the animal to live in the residence. If an agreement is not reached, students should contact the Housing and Dining staff for assistance.

Other Services

Students who begin to experience difficulty in a course are responsible for informing a staff member at Student Access to allow adequate time to suggest appropriate alternatives. Students with disabilities are encouraged to purchase tuition insurance (see the Bursar) in the event they may need to withdraw based on a health or other issue. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the following related services available to all students at the University:

Student Success Center

  • All students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with and take advantage of services provided by The Student Success Team, including Student Access, Student Success Coaching, and tutoring. To request a student success coach to improve study skills, students should email successcoaches@utulsa.edu.


  • For tutoring, students can directly schedule an appointment with a tutor through the new Tutoring Bookings page.

Other Responsibilities

Students at post-secondary institutions are considered to be adults. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own academic success. Students plan and utilize their own study time and seek help when they feel it is needed.

Personal Services

  • If a student is in need of personal attendants, private one-on-one tutoring, special transportation, assistance with completing homework, assistive technology of a personal nature, or other personal services, it is necessary for the student to arrange for these services on their own as it is not a function of a post-secondary institution to provide them.