» Policy Statement for Assisting Students With Disabilities

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Policy Overview

Chapman University is committed to making its educational and employment opportunities accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. By providing full access to qualified students with disabilities, the University demonstrates its belief that the community will benefit from the skills and talents of these individuals. As an equal opportunity employer, the University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the hiring, promotion, and retention of otherwise qualified faculty and staff. In this regard, Chapman University has implemented the following policies:

  • Chapman University strictly prohibits any form of discrimination on the basis of an individual’s disability.
  • Chapman University offers individualized assessment and reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

These policies apply to every facet of the University’s operations, including but not limited to admissions, academic requirements, financial aid, housing, or any other school-administered program or service.

Chapman University has developed and maintains programs and resources to monitor and to assure compliance with these policies. These include Disability Services, an ADA Compliance Officer, Equal Opportunity Officer, and an ADA Committee. These resources are designed to offer individualized assessment and to provide accommodations in the most integrated setting appropriate.

The Director of Disability Services, who is a standing member of the University’s ADA Committee, administers these policies. Information concerning these policies is maintained in Disability Services. Summaries and references to these policies are provided in the University’s application and admissions materials, and its Student Handbook, as well as its Faculty manual and Staff and Administrative Handbook. Individuals can also obtain information about these policies through the University’s ADA Compliance Officer and Equal Opportunity Officer.


  1. For purposes of this policy, a person with a disability is defined as any person who has a learning, physical, psychological, and/or medical impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment.
  2. For purposes of this policy, an otherwise qualified person with a disability is defined as any individual with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission and participation in the University’s educational program and activities.

Policies and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

1. Non-Discrimination. Chapman University strictly prohibits any form of discrimination against individuals with disabilities in its programs.

2. Reasonable Accommodations for Otherwise Qualified Individuals.

To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws, the University will provide, as necessary, reasonable and readily achievable accommodations, including academic adjustments and auxiliary aids, to ensure otherwise qualified students with disabilities access to the University’s services, programs, and activities. Accommodations will not be provided if they fundamentally alter the nature of the program, if they would be unduly burdensome, either financially or administratively, to the University or if they would result in lowering academic and other essential performance standards. Students with disabilities who require accommodations must make those needs known to Disability Services as soon as possible. Students are responsible for making these needs known in a timely fashion and for providing documentation and evaluation in appropriate cases.

The University seeks to accommodate students with disabilities on an individual basis. Individual students are given reasonable and necessary accommodations based on specific information and assessment data documented by a professional from outside the University, who in the judgment of the University, is qualified to provide such information and assessment. Disability Services makes available information as to the existence and location of services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

3. Verification of Disability

Applicants are not required to notify the University of a disability or need for accommodations prior to admission. Individuals who need accommodations in order to submit an application are invited to contact Chapman University.

Following admission, any student who, because of a disability, needs a special accommodation with respect to any policy, practice, service, or benefit, is requested to notify the University and provide appropriate information including the reason for the request and the specific type of accommodation requested. In order to provide the accommodations on a timely basis, it is recommended that new students inform the University of the need for accommodations well in advance of their matriculation.

A student or applicant requesting special accommodation(s) because of a disability will be required to provide current professional verification by a licensed physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or other professional health care provider who, in the opinion of the University, is qualified in the diagnosis and assessment of the disability. The verification must reflect the student’s present level of functioning of the major life activity affected by the disability. The student must provide the verification documentation to Disability Services or his/her designate. The cost of obtaining the professional verification will be borne by the student.

If the initial documentation is deemed incomplete or inadequate to determine the present extent of the disability and appropriate accommodations, the University reserves the right to require supplemental assessment of the disability. The cost of the supplemental assessment will be borne by the student.

4. Assessment and Accommodation

Requests for accommodation will be reviewed and assessed on an individualized basis by Disability Services.

The University will offer accommodations to otherwise qualified students and applicants unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of its academic programs, impose an undue financial or administrative burden, or would result in lowering academic and other essential performance standards.

Where more than one accommodation is reasonable, preference shall be given to the accommodation that will result in the most integrated setting appropriate for the individual.

5. Records and Privacy

Medical information provided to the University by students as part of a request for accommodation(s) is treated as confidential medical records under applicable laws and school policies. Such information is provided only to individuals who are privileged to receive such information on a need to know basis. Such confidential records shall be separately maintained by the University’s Disability Services. These records shall be archived apart from official transcripts and educational records. All documents produced by consultants in the performance of services for the University will remain the property of Chapman University.

6. Graduate Services

The University will assist students in documenting accommodations received during their previous academic experience as an aid in requesting accommodations for entrance exams for graduate programs.

7. Admissions Policy

The University does not discriminate on the basis of a disability. Any information concerning an applicant’s disability provided during the admissions process is voluntary or optional and is maintained in accordance with laws relating to confidentiality. The University uses this information only for the purpose of avoiding past performance difficulties that the students may have experienced due to disabilities as reflected in their academic records. No limitations are placed on the number or proportion of persons with disabilities who may be admitted or enrolled.

8. Prohibition Against Retaliation

The University strictly prohibits any form of retaliation against any student or applicant who requests an accommodation, reports or participates in the investigation of a complaint, or otherwise exercises rights secured by this policy.

9. Internal Grievance/Appeals Procedures

Students who have concerns about a granted service, accommodation, modification of a University practice or requirement, are encouraged to bring those concerns or complaints to the attention of the appropriate campus personnel, e.g., faculty, dean of students for immediate resolution. Complaints or appeals related specifically to services for students with disabilities provided by Disability Services should be immediately brought to the attention of the Director. He/She will review the matter and attempt to informally resolve the situation. In the event that the matter cannot be resolved, students have the right to use the University’s grievance/appeal procedures.

All grievances or appeals must be in writing. The complaint should include the name and address of the person filing the complaint and describe the alleged complaint or concern. For matters involving a classroom accommodation or a requested classroom service the Director along with the ADA Committee will review and investigate the complaint. The investigation while informal but thorough, will afford the student an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint. In a timely manner the committee will review the matter and respond to the student. The committee will review the petition and forward the petition along with their recommendation to the Student Standards Committee. The Student Standards Committee will approve or deny the petition. If the petition is denied the student may make a personal appeal to the Student Standards Committee.

Any petition, grievance or appeal denied by the Student Standards Committee may further appeal directly to the Office of the Provost for reconsideration. If the student is dissatisfied with decision of the Office of the Provost he/she may file a complaint with the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer (EOO). The EEO will investigate the complaint in accordance with the procedures as set forth in the University’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy.

10. External Grievances

Although students are encouraged to attempt to resolve grievances using the University process, they have the right to file any grievance directly with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Complaints filed with the OCR must be filed within 180 days from the time the incident occurred.