Student eligibility process
Requesting accommodations from Disability Resources (D.R.) is a three-part process:
- Providing disability information or documentation
- Intake Interview
Step 1: Self-identify form
The first part of this process is to self-identify as a student with a disability requesting accommodations. Self-identify means the student recognizes they have a disability and would like to request accommodations. Under Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended and A.R.S. § 15-1811 (the primary anti-discrimination laws that apply to students at N.A.U.), if a student with a disability believes they need an accommodation, it is the student’s responsibility to identify themselves as having a disability and making an accommodation request. This is a change from elementary or high school, where the school was responsible for identifying students with disabilities.
To begin this process, please review the instructions and information found in the self-identification process. Once you have become familiar with this process and are ready to begin, you may complete the self-identification form online. Please, if possible, attach your information/documentation to the Self-ID form when submitting.
*IMPORTANT: It may take up to four weeks to review and/or process your information/documentation. Freshman and new students are strongly encouraged to request accommodations from Disability Resources as early as possible prior to attending Northern Arizona University. Current students may request accommodations at any time but are encouraged to make their requests for accommodations as soon as they become aware of a need for one.
Step 2: Providing disability information/documentation
In order to evaluate accommodation and service requests, Disability Resources will need information about two things.
- That you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
- How your disability is likely to impact you here at Northern Arizona University.
We want to understand the relevant impacts of your disability on common tasks that will be part of your academic and campus experience, such as:
- the physical environment
- classroom, laboratory and online learning
Information on the impacts of physical (mobility, dexterity, endurance, etc.), perceptual, cognitive (attention, distractibility, communication, etc.), and behavioral abilities may be helpful as well.
Any information/documentation students can readily share during or prior to the first meeting is helpful and can save the need for follow up meetings with Disability Resources. Disability Resources recognizes that barriers exist and can create hardship for students with regard to having and presenting third party disability documentation. Please don’t delay meeting with us out of concern for not having appropriate paperwork. If you have information or documentation you can submit it to Disability Resources by:
- bringing it to our office in Room 2050 at the Health and Learning Center
- emailing it to DR@nau.edu, fax it to 928-523-8747
- mail it to: Disability Resources, P.O. Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 86011-5633
Under Arizona law, the following types of records which identify a disability, are sufficient to establish that the student qualifies as an individual with a disability.
- past accommodations and services from a public or private school
- past accommodations and services from another college
- past accommodations and services from a state or high stakes testing organization
- formal psychological or medical evaluations from a relevant licensed professional
- letters from past health, education or service providers
- documentation from the uniformed services
D.R. will also consider any additional information a student would like to provide, including but not limited to, your description of the barriers you experience in the academic and campus environment.
While this documentation alone may be sufficient to establish that a student has a disability, that determination is separate and distinct from the determination of the need for a requested accommodation. When necessary, Disability Resources may ask for additional documentation concerning your disability and/or the need for accommodations. When such documentation is necessary, it will be limited to the need for the specific accommodation requested.
These general guidelines were developed to assist you and those in your support network to prepare this information so we can evaluate your request and make recommendations. If you have questions, please contact us at 928-523-8773 or DR@nau.edu.
Step 3: Intake interview
The intake interview is a critical step toward determining eligibility and accommodations. The applicable laws envision a meaningful and informed process with respect to the provision of accommodations, through a collaboration between D.R. and the student. This process is required to be interactive, with information exchanged between the student and D.R. to arrive at a conclusion about the requested accommodation. D.R. is required to evaluate student requests through a fact-specific, case-by-case inquiry. This process may be brief, or it may require various exchanges between the student and D.R. about the nature of the disability and the accommodations requested.
Once a student has completed and submitted their Self-Identification Form, a D.R. Staff member will call or email them to schedule this interview. The purpose of the interview is to learn first-hand, from the student, what functional limitations students are experiencing and what accommodations they may need.
The interview is not dependent on the receipt of information or documentation. This interview can be completed any time after a Self-Identification Form has been submitted.
Determination of Accommodations
D.R. may approve or deny requested accommodations based on the information contained in the documentation supplied under Step 2 and during the interactive process conducted in Step 3.
The factors that will be considered in making accommodation decisions are:
- If the proposed accommodation is necessary to ensure that any academic requirements or technical standards do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of the student’s disability.
- If the proposed accommodation is necessary to provide the student with a disability meaningful access or an equal opportunity to gain the same benefits as their non-disabled peers.
- If the proposed accommodation is logically connected to the impacts of the student’s disability and the barriers to access they experience in the academic and/or campus environment.
- If the proposed accommodation is logically designed to address and remove the identified barrier to access.
- If implemented, the proposed accommodation would be effective in removing the identified barrier to access
- The proposed accommodation does not:
- Lower an essential program standard
- Fundamentally alter an essential program element or requirement
- Pose an undue administrative or financial burden
If you have requested a specific accommodation, NAU may offer that accommodation, or it may offer an effective alternative.
Notification of Eligibility and Accommodations
Within four weeks of submitting your self-identification form and request for accommodations, a letter will be emailed to your NAU email address regarding your eligibility status and accommodation determinations. This email with the attachment will also have further instructions about your next steps in the process for registering with DR.
Considering the length of time it may take to complete an intake interview, and the information and documentation evaluation, students are strongly encouraged to begin the eligibility process as early as possible.
As a service to prospective Northern Arizona University students, Disability Resources will review disability related information/documentation regardless of a prospective student’s admission status.
All information submitted to Northern Arizona University’s Disability Resources becomes part of a student’s “educational record” as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).