Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) exists to assist the university with its mission of promoting students' academic success, personal growth, and development of life skills. SSD works to ensure that students with disabilities receive equal access to curricular and co-curricular opportunities in the academic community, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

Under Policy Memorandum 178, the university has given authority to SSD to interpret disability documentation, determine the existence of a disability, and determine appropriate accommodations in this university setting.

Why are we required to accommodate students with disabilities?

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Virginia Tech is committed to ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities have the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary education without barriers to instruction and services. Under Policy Memorandum 178, the university has given authority to Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to interpret disability documentation, determine the existence of a disability, and determine appropriate accommodations in this university setting. Academic accommodations, as determined by SSD, serve to "level the playing field" (by removing barriers) between students with disabilities and students who do not have a documented disability.

Do I have any recourse if I disagree with the requested accommodations?

If a faculty member disagrees with a specific accommodation or believes the specific accommodation will fundamentally alter the essential components of a course, the faculty member should contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 540-231-3788 to discuss the specific nature of the accommodation's impact on the course. Under Policy Memorandum 178, the university has given authority to SSD to interpret disability documentation, determine the existence of a disability, and determine appropriate accommodations in this university setting. Accommodations based on a disability are intended to "level the playing field" (by removing barriers) between students with disabilities and students without diagnosed disabilities.

How do I know if a student is registered with Services for Students with Disabilities?

A faculty member will only know if a student is registered with Services for Students with Disabilities if the student presents an official accommodation letter from the SSD office each semester. Not all students registered with SSD will use academic accommodations. If a student does not have an accommodation letter but has requested academic accommodations, please refer the student to Services for Students with Disabilities, recommending they call 540-231-3788. Faculty members should only provide academic accommodations after receiving an official accommodation letter from SSD.

Does granting accommodations to one student provide an unfair advantage over the other students in that class?

Academic accommodations are based on current and appropriate disability documentation, in accordance with Federal Law, which serves to "level the playing field" (by removing barriers to learning and demonstration of knowledge) between students with disabilities and students without disabilities in the academic setting.