Accessing Accommodations

In order to receive accommodations, students must follow the process summarized below:

Enrolled students with disabilities may be eligible to receive reasonable modifications to policies/procedures that enable them to access University programs. To engage in that process, a student must:

  1. Provide appropriate documentation to the Office of Disability Services (ODS).

    To assist with this process, we have provided possible Documentation Forms to be completed by a health care provider. An appropriately licensed care provider can use these forms, but can submit the same information in a different format if available. Appropriate documentation contains a statement identifying the student’s specific diagnosed medical/mental health condition(s) that relates to the need for accommodation; a statement of the major life functions that are impaired by this condition, and a statement of how that affects their access to Marquette University programming. Care providers are encouraged to suggest accommodations that may mitigate the effects of a student’s disability, allowing them equal access. See below for more information.

Documentation can be submitted to, faxed to 414-288-5799, or dropped off at our office in Room 524 of the 707 Building.

  1. Once received, ODS staff will review the submitted documentation, and will contact the student with next steps;

    Often this is either setting up a time to discuss reasonable accommodations, or guidance on additional documentation that is needed to proceed with this process.
  2. Meet with ODS staff PRIOR to the need for requested accommodations. Learn more about what to expect during an Accommodation Meetings here.

     Typically at this meeting, student and staff will: 
    1. Discuss and confirm appropriate and reasonable accommodations related to their documented disability. 
    2. Review next steps in working with instructors to receive accommodations in each course or elsewhere on campus.
  3. Provide instructors access to Accommodation Letters


  4. Discuss classroom needs with the instructor.

    We recommend having these discussions during office hours or in a one-on-one meeting with the instructor. Actively engaging with each instructor who will be providing accommodations is essential to ensuring that those accommodations are coordinated appropriate. Failure to discuss accommodations with an instructor may lead impede this process.
  5. Alert ODS representatives if accommodations are not working or do not meet your needs.

*Faculty are allotted up to one week to implement any accommodations after receiving and discussing an accommodations letter*

Accessing Accommodations Video Guides:

*For students who have already arranged accommodations with ODS

Accommodations FAQ

Where do I go for accommodations for my disability?

The Office of Disability Services (ODS), located in the 707 Building, Suite 524, is the designated office at Marquette University for the determination of reasonable accommodations for undergraduate and most graduate students. ODS may collaborate with other entities on campus to determine reasonable student-employee accommodations as well as accommodations for non-staff persons needing modification of policy or procedure related to a disability.

*Students enrolled in Marquette professional schools, i.e. Law and Dentistry, must follow the specific procedure outlined for Law and Dental Students at the bottom of this page.

What is disability documentation and how do I get it?

Students must provide relevant documentation of their disability from an appropriate licensed professional source to ODS that gives a diagnosis of the medical or mental health condition and how it impacts their participation in courses, programs, jobs, activities, and facilities at Marquette. Marquette staff respect a student’s right to privacy, and will only request documentation that is related to a student’s specific need(s) for accommodation. If a student has non-pertinent medical information that they would like withheld from documentation, they should speak with their care provider

All Documentation must:

  • Come from care provider licensed to provide a diagnosis in the area of accommodation need,
  • Be completed in an individualized manner, within the ethical guidelines of the practitioner, in a way that allows for the appropriate description of the person’s disability related need.
  • Establish that the student has a disability (a diagnosed medical or mental health impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity), and
  • Describe how the disability impacts the student's participation in campus activities and/or programs

See additional guidelines for acceptable documentation.

To assist health care providers in completing documentation, download Disability Documentation Forms

Documentation is kept securely, by the Office of Disability Services. The information contained within a student’s documentation is necessary for the determination of reasonable accommodations, but is rarely shared outside of our office unless there is a legal need to do so. Most accommodations are coordinated (after approval) without indicating the diagnosed disability.

Why doesn't Marquette automatically provide me a IEP/504 plan like I received in high school?

The areas of disability law guiding high schools require that students with disabilities receive IEP/504 plans designed by parents, teachers, specialists and other administrators to ensure student success. Postsecondary education is guided by different areas of disability law and these laws empower students to choose whether or not to seek assistance for their disabilities. This means that students are now responsible for deciding when to initiate the accommodations process and communicating their specific needs for each class to the appropriate university personnel. At Marquette, that process begins with the student initiating the accommodations process, first by submitting appropriate documentation or reaching our for guidance, and then engaging each semester in which an accommodation is needed to make specific accommodation requests. To learn more about the differences between high school and college for students with disabilities, visit the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) website

When do I seek accommodations?

Accommodations must be requested prior to the need for the requested accommodations(s). In order to initially set up accommodations, students must make an appointment to meet with a representative of the Office of Disability Services to discuss their accommodations needs. Because accommodations requests are not automatic, be sure to provide the Office of Disability Services sufficient time to review documentation, and work with you to discuss and arrange accommodations. Unfortunately, the Office of Disability Services may be unable to ensure last-minute requests that do not provide a reasonable amount of time for implementation; that timeline may vary based on the accommodation needed.

The broad categories of approved accommodations carry over from semester to semester. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services if they are having any issues with the approved accommodations.

How are accommodations determined?

Accommodations are determined through an interactive process with an ODS representative, who takes into consideration the student's documentation, information provided by the student, available resources and the requirements of each class. When determining appropriate modifications, the Office of Disability Services may need to consult with faculty, staff or, with the consent of the student, may consult with the student’s treatment professional. Unlike the high school setting, accommodation requests in the post-secondary setting begin with the student. Student’s must identify the barriers presented by their disability and must engage in the interactive process to determine what accommodations may be appropriate. Marquette is not obligated to proactively identify specific accommodations or students in need of accommodations.

How will I know what accommodations I receive?

A representative of the Office of Disability Services will describe the process for the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations both verbally and in writing to the student. The following issues will be considered in the accommodations decision ­making process:

  • The institutional and the student's rights and responsibilities.
  • What accommodations will be provided,
  • Why they will be provided,
  • When they will be provided,
  • Who is responsible for providing them, and
  • How they will be provided.

Who will know about my disability?

ODS respects students' privacy regarding dissemination of information about their disabilities. Information is shared only with those with a demonstrated need to know, but rarely includes all of the information that ODS may know about a student. Example: an instructor in a course that a student has requested accommodations in has a right to discuss those accommodations with ODS, but does not have a right to know what the student has been diagnosed with. Academic program administrators may be included in a discussion of a novel accommodation request directly related to their department, but do not have a right to know about every other accommodation request a student has made.

What if I choose to wait until later in the semester to ask for accommodations?

Students with disabilities always have the right to decide when to identify themselves as a student with a disability and when to request accommodations. Privacy rights, however, do not change the requirement that no matter when students with disabilities choose to identify themselves, they must still follow the published procedures for requesting accommodations in a timely manner. This means, regardless of when a student requests accommodations, they must provide the Office of Disability Services a reasonable amount of time to implement the process.

Further, retroactive accommodations are not permitted (i.e. those requested after an event has passed, as in the case of requests for attendance consideration for classes already missed, or opportunities to retake exams or change previously awarded grades). If such events as poor performance on exams or missed classes result in students seeking accommodations, ODS will:

  • Work with the student to accommodations future needs, and
  • Refer requests for assistance addressing issues of past performance to the college office and relevant college policies and procedures.


Notifying/ Working with Instructors

How will my instructors know what my accommodations are?

There are two steps in this process:

  1. During the Accommodation Meeting (where the student meets with an ODS staff member to officially arrange accommodations), the student will be provided with information about how provide instructors with access to their Accommodation Letter. The Accommodation Letter verifies that the student has a documented disability but does not list the specific diagnosis/es, and will include a listing of the accommodations(s) which has/have been determined appropriate and reasonable, and
  2. Once the student has given their instructors access to their Accommodation Letter, students are required to contact their instructors personally to discuss their accommodations needs based upon their disabilities and the course expectations. Though an accommodation may be the same across courses, individual instructors often coordinate them in different ways. A student has not fully engaged in the accommodations process if they have not discussed their accommodations directly with their instructor.

What if my instructor has questions about my accommodations that I can’t answer?

The letter stating the accommodations to which students are entitled will also invite faculty to contact the Office of Disability Services if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations. If an initial accommodations decision has been found to be unworkable for legitimate reasons or another type of accommodations is brought to light that would be more effective for a particular course, the ODS representative will reconsider the accommodations decision. Instructors are not required to compromise essential elements of their courses or evaluation standards when accommodations are recommended.

 Can my instructors require me to attend class the same as my peers?


Yes, but with some restrictions. A class-attendance rule may be considered for modification if recommended by the accommodations letter, when attendance is not academically essential to meet course requirements. However, instructors have the right to determine that class attendance is essential when:

  • Class activities include interaction between students and instructor or among students.
  • Student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process.
  • The fundamental nature of the course relies upon student participation as an essential method for learning.
  • The student's failure to attend class constitutes a significant educational loss to other students.
  • Class participation is considered in the assignment of the course grade.

Decisions on whether or not attendance requirements should be modified are made on a case-by-case, course­-by-course basis between the student and the instructor.

Can my instructor require that homework or research assignments be submitted by published due dates?

Yes. However, when a disability factors into delayed completion, consideration of reasonable extensions may be appropriate. When determining whether an extension is reasonable, the ODS asks students and instructors, on a case-by­-case, course-by-course basis to review the following:

  • Published due dates for projects, papers, and other graded activities in the syllabus. The longer students have to complete assignments, the less likelihood of an extension.
  • Whether or not the extension is requested as a result of disability related issues. Students who fall significantly behind due to other factors may be denied an extension request.
  • The length of time requested for making up work or exams. Extensions may not be granted that create an undue administrative burden on the instructor, or if extending the deadline removes the student from timely feedback or from the ability to apply current feedback to time-sensitive tasks that follow.
  • Whether the extension is due to an exacerbation of a disability. Students in these cases may be required to produce additional documentation supporting that request.

Because some courses are less amenable to delays than others, accommodations requests in these cases may be denied. In effect, the inability to meet the published deadline may make the student unqualified to complete the course.


Resolving problems or concerns with accommodations

What if my accommodations are not working for me?

Although students with disabilities are always encouraged to discuss their concerns directly with their instructors, students are responsible for contacting the Office of Disability Services if agreed-upon accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely way, or if they are experiencing other difficulties related to their accommodations. A representative of ODS will work with University personnel and and the student to resolve disagreements or problems regarding recommended accommodations or other disability-related issues.

Not all class difficulties may be a result of problems with accommodations. Depending upon the issues or concerns, the ODS representative may refer students who have concerns about classroom performance to other campus resources to address the difficulties experienced in courses and coursework. For example, a student reporting that their supplemental class notes are not helpful may be referred to a study skills specialist to address specific strategies for more effective ways of studying from their notes.


Accommodations or needs outside of the classroom

What if I need accommodations outside of the classroom?

For accommodations pertaining to access to the non­academic aspects of the campus community, such as housing, recreation, safety, counseling, financial aid, transportation, health services, employment, insurance and other co-curricular activities, ODS will work with students and appropriate university administrators and staff in making these arrangements.

What if I need help with tutoring or other college success strategies?

Tutoring is not considered an accommodation and is not directly provided by ODS. However, if students are experiencing academic difficulty, ODS offers Supplemental Academic Support meetings for students with disabilities. In addition, students can seek assistance from the Office of Student Educational Services (OSES) which provides tutoring, study skills help, time management skills and test preparation tips.

What if I think or someone suggests I might possess a disability?

Students may be referred to ODS to discuss if they should be tested for a disability that has not been previously documented. Formal testing for a disability is not provided by ODS, but ODS, in conjunction with the Counseling Center, the Center for Psychological Services, the MU Medical Clinic or other campus/community resources may offer free screenings and consultations for students to explore whether testing is an appropriate next step. If interested in this option, schedule an appointment with a representative of the Office of Disability Services at (414) 288-1645, 707 Building Suite 524.


Other frequently asked questions

What role will my parents have in determining my accommodations at Marquette?

During the admissions process, students with disabilities and their parents are welcome and encouraged to meet with a representative of the Office of Disability Services to discuss both the services provided by ODS and the new role students must play in determining and monitoring their accommodations. However, once classes begin, it becomes the student's responsibility to come forward to ODS each semester to request specific accommodations for that semester. Unlike high school, the Office of Disability Services does not provide automatic accommodations, and will only provide specifically requested accommodations for those courses requested by the student for that semester.

Furthermore, once the student begins attending classes, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), ODS cannot disclose student information to parents without the student's written consent. If students with disabilities wish to permit ODS staff to discuss their accommodations with their parents, they must sign a release permitting the ODS to do so. It remains the student’s responsibility to communicate accommodations requests and any other concerns with the accommodations process to a representative of ODS. The Office of Disability Services will consider accommodations requests or complaints/concerns only from the affected students, not from their parents/ advocate, though advocacy support may help the student in communicating their needs to our staff.

If I plan to continue my education after I graduate, can I retrieve my documentation from ODS?

ODS will send students’ files to the University Archives upon their graduation where they will be stored for seven years. After the seven-year period, the records will be destroyed. If students require a copy of their documentation or other information from their ODS file within that seven-year period, they must make their request in writing to the Office of Disability Services. ODS will retrieve the student’s file and forward a copy of the requested information to the student within 45 days of the request.


Specific procedures for students in Law or Dental School

Why is there a specific process for Law and Dental Schools?

Due to the unique nature of the Law and Dental Schools, the process for providing and monitoring appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities enrolled in these programs involves separate procedures and policies. Because programs of this type must adhere closely to external certifying boards that define and test for specific professional, technical and/or clinical requirements, accommodations must be based upon clear and current understanding of the professional standards of these certifying organizations. For more information regarding the specific process for Law or Dental School, go to the Law School website or the School of Dentistry website.

The Law School and the Dental School are housed in their own facilities, creating separate, closed academic communities where all relevant lectures for legal or dental education occur. Some required patient care experiences in dentistry occur at extramural clinical sites. Each school has its own staff in place to serve the needs of that particular student body. Included in that staff is an individual charged to coordinate academic support services for all students in the respective schools.

How does the accommodations process work if I’m accepted into the Dental or Law School?

Determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities enrolled in these specialized settings requires direct involvement of and collaboration with these academic service providers or administrators described above who are familiar with and responsible for assuring completion of the essential academic and/or clinical requirements of these programs. Throughout enrollment in these programs, the student will work with these program liaisons who will follow the published procedures established by these programs to implement, finalize, and/or modify accommodations as necessary. ODS will continue to serve in both an advisory and resource role with these liaisons and with the student and will maintain the student's documentation.  Students in Law School and Dental School will abide by the procedures for academic accommodations in these respective schools as specified. However, the policy items pertaining to all students with disabilities, i.e., the grievance procedure, disability documentation, confidentiality, student rights and responsibilities and institutional rights and responsibilities will similarly apply to Law and Dental students with disabilities.

Dental School specific information can be found here: Dental School Bulletin Information