FAQs for Students & Parents
Loyola University Chicago's Office of Services for Students with Disabilities coordinates and ensures services and accommodations for registered students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These services provide equal educational opportunities to students by minimizing the impact of functional limitations upon their academic lives..
Any student with an appropriately documented disability is eligible for services. SSWD serves students with permanent disabilities including psychological, medical, physical, visual, hearing and learning disabilities, including ADHD/ADD.
To schedule an appointment, please contact SSWD at 773-508-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office is located in Sullivan Center, suite 117 (by the HUB) on Lake Shore Campus.
No. Some students may choose not to use accommodations and do not register with SSWD or may not have met the eligibility guidelines for services.
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to SSWD staff and the students we serve. Students must sign a release of information form in order for SSWD staff to communicate with anyone regarding a student's disability. The student must designate with whom SSWD can share information. SSWD will not disclose any information regarding the specific nature of the disability. Accommodation letters list the accommodations only, not the specific disability. It is the student's choice to share information regarding his/her disability when he/she feel it is appropriate.
No. Only SSWD should have documentation regarding any disability on file.
SSWD can provide a referral list of providers in the Chicago area who are qualified professionals to administer any needed testing. This list is available upon request. At the university level, it is the student's responsibility to provide appropriate and official documentation of his/her disability that meets the SSWD guidelines. Loyola does not provide, fund or administer testing for any student.
SSWD provides guidelines for documenting various types of disabilities. For a printed copy of the guidelines, contact the SSWD office at: 773.508.3700. Guidelines also are available here.
No. The law requires us to begin with an evaluation of your disability by a licensed professional, so we cannot use your IEP or 504.
For undergraduate students, documentation/evaluation must be dated within three years. For all graduate and professional students, documentation/evaluation must be dated within five years.
No. A prescription note is not a comprehensive evaluation of a student's disability.
Not necessarily. High-school special education programs are required by law to provide whatever service or accommodation a student needs to be successful. Federal law has different requirements for universities. Universities are required by law to provide equal access to education through programs and facilities. We provide this access by using accommodations, not necessarily by providing services or extra help. Access is provided through reasonable and appropriate accommodations. So, for example, personal care attendants that might have been provided by a high school are not provided by a university.
All requests for accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis per the documentation provided by the student. Reasonable accommodations may include academic modifications, auxiliary services and housing accommodations.
Academic accommodations may include:
- Priority registration
- Course substitution
- Extended time on exams
- Provision of a private/semiprivate room
- Rest periods during exams
- Use of a reader or a scribe
- Permission to eat during an exam
Auxiliary services may include:
- Note takers
- Laboratory assistants
- Sign language interpreters
- Real-time captioning
- Assistive technology
- Alternate forms of text
- Photocopy enlargement
Housing accommodations may include:
- Waiver of the on-campus housing requirement
- Visual fire alarms
- TTY machines
- Amplified phones
Loyola does not provide aides, services or devices for personal use or study.
Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of coursework or the materials assigned, or are unduly burdensome financially or administratively will not be provided. Loyola may refuse a housing accommodation request if it is not supported by documentation, if it is ineffective or unreasonable (including any that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others or pose an undue financial or administrative burden) or if other effective accommodations are available. Faculty/staff should only provide accommodations granted by SSWD. Students should bring problems with accommodations to the attention of the faculty member providing the accommodations and/or the SSWD staff.
Self-disclosure and submission of documentation can be initiated any time during the year. However, reasonable time must be allowed before this student can expect accommodations to be in place. Self-disclosure and documentation are required only if students plan to request accommodations.
Students should provide appropriate documentation at a reasonably early date to allow time to determine eligibility. Certain accommodations may take several weeks to arrange, so the sooner we hear from students, the better.
Temporary impairments such as broken bones, temporary illnesses, and recovery from minor surgery are generally not regarded as disabilities. The degree of functional limitation and the duration of such impairments are typically not substantial enough to cause a temporary condition to be considered a disability. Loyola University Chicago does recognize that temporary conditions may cause difficulties related to the student's academic progress in a given semester. The following are some suggestions that might be beneficial for someone who is temporarily incapacitated: Students who are utilizing mobility aids such as wheelchairs, motorized scooters, crutches etc. are advised to research the most accessible route for their needs to get to and from class. SSWD Staff is available to act as a resource to help with planning a route. Students needing information regarding a change in their course load should contact their academic advisor for advice. It is important to communicate with the instructor of the course regarding options of continuing and completing course work. Students may also consider asking a fellow classmate to take notes or obtain copies of notes. Instructors and/or Teaching Assistants may be able to provide suggestions regarding note-taking and testing.
Yes. Students must notify SSWD of any accommodation needs each semester. Once a student has an accommodation letter, it is his/her responsibility to notify SSWD of any changes to their schedule. Accommodations are not retroactive and begin once the student provides the accommodation letter to their instructor.
To request housing accommodations or an exemption to the on-campus housing requirement for freshmen and sophomores based on a documented medical health condition or disability, you must do the following:
1. Obtain information from the appropriate professional/service provider to document your medical condition or disability. The documentation must meet the guidelines for documenting disabilities and medical conditions. Hard copies of the guidelines are available at:
Residence Life: Simpson Living/Learning Center, First Floor, or Sullivan Center, Suite 255
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD): Sullivan Center, Suite 117
Submit the appropriate documentation to the SSWD Staff.
2. Complete the Housing Application and Contract form or the Request for Release from Housing Contract form. Both forms are available from the Residence Life and SSWD offices listed above and online.
In the section on the form stating, "Please use the space provided below to indicate your reasons," write: "Documentation submitted/is being submitted to Services for Students with Disabilities." Submit the appropriate form to one of the Residence Life offices listed above.
You should begin the process to request housing accommodations or an exemption to living on-campus as early as possible. To view Loyola's current housing schedule, visit the Residence Life Website.
Once the SSWD Staff has received and reviewed your documentation, you will be contacted at the e-mail address or telephone number contained in your Housing Application Contract form or the Request for Release from Housing Contract form. The review process usually takes two weeks from the time the appropriate documentation has been received.
If your request for an accommodation has been approved, you will meet with the SSWD Staff to complete required paperwork. The SSWD Staff will notify Residence Life in writing of your accommodation needs, including, if applicable, a release from the housing contract.
If your request for an accommodation has been denied, you will receive notification in writing from the SSWD Staff stating what, if any, additional information is needed from your professional service provider for your request to be reevaluated.
To appeal the decision, please refer to the grievance procedures for services for students with disabilities. To obtain a hard copy of the grievance procedures, contact SSWD at: 773.508.3700.