About Accommodations

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that "no otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Section 504, along with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, provide for reasonable accommodations and services to qualified individuals with disabilities. Accommodations and services for students with disabilities are provided to ensure equal access to educational opportunities, programs and activities in the most integrated setting possible.

Reasonable accommodation in higher education, provided by faculty and staff, refers to an otherwise qualified disabled student's ability to fulfill course requirements in the classroom when faculty and staff provide equal access to learning. Faculty and staff accomplish this in the following ways:

  • providing alternative ways to fulfill course requirements
  • using innovative teaching techniques
  • using technology
  • tailoring course requirements to individual needs
  • and adapting tests to assure measurement of a disabled student's knowledge, not the disability.

Additional Resources

Online Resources:

Printed Resources:

  • Gordon, M., & Keiser, S. (1998). Accommodations in higher education under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A no-nonsense guide for clinicians, educators, administrators, and lawyers. DeWitt, NY: GSI Publications.