This handbook provides a comprehensive overview
of our policies, procedures and services offered through Student
This handbook is also available as a .pdf. If you have any questions, or would prefer the handbook in an alternative format, please contact us.
Table of Contents
Rights and Responsibilities
Intake and Registration
Documentation of Disability
Confidentiality of Records
Disclosure of Disability Accommodations and Services
Alternate Media Policy
Exam Accommodations Policy
Service Animal Policy
Additional Programs and Opportunities
Dispute Resolution Procedures
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
The University of San Francisco (USF) is committed to providing equal
educational opportunity and full participation for qualified persons
with disabilities. It is the University’s policy that no qualified
person be excluded from participating in any University program or
activity, be declined the benefits of any University program or
activity, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination with regard to
any University program or activity.
The mission of Student Disability Services, (SDS) is to
help USF students with disabilities serve as fully contributing and actively
participating members of the University community while acquiring and developing the
knowledge, skills, values, and sensitivity to become women and men for others. Toward that
end, SDS promotes a fully integrated University experience for students with
disabilities by ensuring that students have equal access to all areas of university life and
receive appropriate educational support and services to foster their academic and personal
SDS functions to determine qualified disability status and
to assist students in obtaining reasonable accommodations and services. SDS strives to
empower each student to become as independent as possible. Our services are
designed to encourage independence, backed by a comprehensive system of supports.
In order to foster self-advocacy skills, students are
expected to articulate their accommodation needs directly to faculty and administrators.
If requested, SDS staff will provide a student with a letter verifying his or her
disability and stating recommended accommodations. In instances where the student requests are
met with questions or concerns regarding provision or appropriateness of the
recommended accommodations, SDS staff will communicate directly with faculty. Students
are expected to adhere to all published deadlines, procedures, and policies for the
provision of services.
All students attending USF, whether or not they have a
disability, typically face challenges associated with attending a selective and
competitive university in an urban setting. Students with disabilities at USF must be able to
function as independently as possible and to seek appropriate assistance in a reasonable
and timely manner. University resources and staff cannot meet all of a student’s needs
associated with managing a disability. USF students with disabilities must follow
appropriate health regimens (e.g., medication compliance) secure appropriate medical and
therapeutic assistance from qualified practitioners, and arrange necessary personal
services (e.g., transportation, individual monitoring of needs, financial assistance,
personal care) that USF does not provide.
Qualified students with disabilities, who are provided
reasonable accommodations, must be able to function in their academic and residential
environments. They must meet the requirements and expectations of their academic programs,
follow established guidelines and procedures for securing and remaining in residential
living spaces, and adhere to the University’s student conduct and discipline codes.
Accessibility: The Key to Equal Opportunity
of San Francisco, in
accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and university policy, does not discriminate on the basis
of disability. Equal educational opportunity is required by federal and
state law, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Acts of 2009, the
Unruh Act, and California
Civil Code Sections 54 through 55.2. Under federal law, a person with a
disability is one who: 1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially
limits one or more major life activities; 2) has a record of such impairment; 3)
is regarded as having such an impairment.
Individuals seeking reasonable accommodations for academic
programs should contact the SDS office on the main campus.
Rights and Responsibilities
A. STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Every qualified student with a documented disability or disabling condition has the right to:
- A timely intake assessment to determine reasonable accommodation eligibility.
- Equal access to University courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities.
- Reasonable academic and physical accommodations, as determined on a
case-by-case basis through an interactive process between the student
and the University.
- Appropriate confidentiality of all information pertaining to his/her disability or condition.
2. Every student with a documented disability or disabling condition has the responsibility to:
- Meet the University’s qualifications and academic standards for
participation in programs and activities with or without reasonable
- Identify him or herself to appropriate University personnel as a student with a disability or a disabling condition.
- Follow the reasonable accommodations eligibility determination procedures outlined in this handbook.
- Provide documentation from a qualified professional source that
verifies the nature of the disability or disabling condition, the
functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabling
condition, and the need for specific requested accommodations.
- Recognize that accommodations cannot be provided, regardless of
eligibility, until the eligibility determination process is completed.
B. INSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. The University of San Francisco has the right to:
- Set and maintain the University’s academic standards.
- Request current, comprehensive documentation to verify a student's need for reasonable accommodations in the University setting.
- Discuss a student’s need for reasonable accommodations with the
professional source of his/her documentation (with the student’s signed
consent authorizing such discussion).
- Discuss the nature of course, curriculum, program or degree
requirements with University personnel responsible for the particular
course, curriculum, program or degree.
- Share information regarding a student’s disability with University
faculty and administrative staff on a need-to-know basis, in order to
facilitate the interactive reasonable accommodation process.
- Designate a student's accommodations from a range of equally effective reasonable accommodations.
- Periodically review recommended reasonable accommodations to ensure
their continued reasonableness in a particular classroom setting or
- Deny a request for a specific accommodation if documentation is
inadequate or not provided in a timely manner, or if an equally
effective accommodation is being offered.
- Deny a request for a specific accommodation if the accommodation is
unreasonable or inappropriate including any that pose a direct threat
to the health and safety of the student or others, fundamentally alter
a course or program, or are unreasonably burdensome.
2. The University of San Francisco has the responsibility to:
- Determine and provide reasonable accommodations in a timely manner
for eligible students with disabilities or disabling conditions.
- Provide information regarding policies and procedures to students
with disabilities in a timely manner and in a reasonably accessible
- Evaluate students’ academic progress as fairly as possible, without altering the academic standards for each course.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication
concerning students with disabilities or disabling conditions (except
where disclosure is authorized by the student or required by law).
- Coordinate with faculty and staff to ensure recommended
accommodations are reasonable in each particular situation and if so
that such accommodations are implemented.
Intake and Registration
students with disabilities who are interested in attending USF must
complete the regular admission process prior to accessing SDS services.
Any otherwise qualified student with a documented disability may be
eligible to receive services from SDS. In order to access SDS services,
a student must (a) be either currently enrolled at USF or admitted to
USF and about to attend; and (b) complete the intake and registration
process, which includes presenting appropriate, current documentation
supporting the student’s status as a qualified individual with a
disability and their need for accommodation.
The purpose of
accommodations is to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may
exist because of an individual’s disability. The law does not require
USF to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered
essential to a particular program or degree. Modifications that do not
fundamentally alter a course or program are made on a case-by-case
basis. Students who want to access services must self-identify and
appropriate verification of their disability. Eligibility
for reasonable accommodations will be determined on an individual basis.
the intake and registration interview, the student will participate in
a process of individualized assessment based upon his/her expressed
needs and the documentation of disability he or she presents. A
specialist with expertise in evaluating documentation of a disability
and accommodating student needs will work with the student to develop a
reasonable accommodation plan.
Documentation of a Disabilty
order to qualify for services and accommodations, a student must
provide appropriate documentation of their disability to SDS. SDS will
maintain a copy of these records for seven (7) years after the student
has left the university.
Appropriate documentation will assist
the University and the student in determining reasonable accommodations.
of the intake process, students will be asked to sign an
Authorization to Receive or Release Information form (see Appendix A)
allowing their SDS specialist to communicate with the student’s
evaluator and/or physician, should there be any need for clarification.
Documentation must be recent enough to demonstrate that the disability
is active. The description of functional limitations provided must
specifically state how the disability and/or related medications or
treatments substantially limit current participation in courses,
programs, services, or activities of the university. The cost of
obtaining appropriate documentation is the responsibility of the
student. If the documentation is incomplete or inadequate to support a
request for accommodation, additional documentation may be required. In
such cases, the cost of providing any additional documentation will be
the student’s responsibility.
Different disabilities require
different forms of documentation. There are specific requirements for
documenting physical impairments (e.g., orthopedic, visual, hearing),
psychological disabilities, temporary disabilities, and chronic
illnesses, (see Appendix
B). In some cases it may be acceptable for
students with such disabilities to submit the appropriate SDS
Disability Verification Form (see Appendices
C and D) while awaiting
more complete documentation. There are also specific requirements for
documenting learning disabilities (see Appendix
E) and Attention
Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (see Appendix
F). An Individualized
Education Plan (IEP), Summary of Performance (SOP) or 504 Plan may
contain valuable information but cannot be used as documentation of a
Confidentiality of Records
SDS files are confidential and are not part of a student’s educational
record (as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
(FERPA)) at USF. Information about a student’s disability is not shared
with anyone without the student’s written consent.
Disclosure of Disability
Often, students disclose their disability status directly to SDS, but
sometimes students may disclose directly to their instructor(s) and/or
request specific accommodations from them. However, in order to receive
academic accommodations, students must identify themselves directly to
SDS as a student with a disability. If a student discloses his or her
disability to their instructors and/or requests academic accommodations
from them, the instructors should refer the student to SDS for
reasonable accommodation eligibility determination. Faculty members are
not required to honor a student’s accommodation request before they
receive reasonable accommodation eligibility verification from SDS.
Requests for accommodations must be made in a timely manner so that
appropriate evaluation of and planning for the request can take place,
including consultation between DS and instructors/staff if necessary.
Faculty members are not responsible for retroactively accommodating a
student who has not previously disclosed a disability and made a
request through SDS for an accommodation in a timely fashion.
who complete the intake and eligibility process are advised to obtain a
Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations letter (see
Appendix G) from their SDS specialist that verifies that the student
has a qualified disability and is eligible for appropriate
accommodations. Students need not disclose the specific nature of their
disability to instructors. Students are advised against sharing
documentation directly with instructors, as instructors are not
required to be knowledgeable about disability regulations and
accommodation options. As such, instructors are not responsible for
interpreting, evaluating, or responding to disability documentation.
Accommodations and Services
assists students in obtaining reasonable accommodations and auxiliary
aids. SDS also provides assistance with issues related to on-campus
housing, accessibility, transportation services, and advocacy. Academic
accommodations for qualified students may include, but are not limited
to: extended testing time, interpreters, funding for notetaking
services, scribes, alternative media for coursework, and assistive
SDS also assists students in arranging
services not required by law on a case-by-case basis, and as resources
allow, as a part of a comprehensive program. Such services may include
learning skills assistance, support groups and referral services.
The following accommodations are available:
Accessibility to Programs/Facilities: To request an accommodation for a
University-sponsored program or event, please contact the department
responsible for the event in a timely manner.
2. Access to Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Devices:
2.1. SDS loans assistive FM listening devices, Daisy players, and
other equipment as available to individual students. Students
eligible for this service must complete an Equipment Agreement Form
(See Appendix I) before borrowing any equipment.
computer lab room in Gleeson Library contains adaptive computer
hardware and software as well as a CCTV. An assistive technology
room in the Zief library contains a CCTV as well as a computer with
some adaptive software.
2.3. A student needing to use
voice-to-text to complete exams will need to use one of the versions of
USF licensed software (see list below). SDS has a limited number of
laptops with this software installed.
available at San Francisco campus (please contact your specialist to
see which version is currently being used by the University):
2.4.1. Dragon Naturally Speaking (Preferred)
2.4.2. Jaws - site license of 5 discrete copies
2.4.3. Kurzweil 3000
2.4.5. Other as deemed appropriate by an SDS specialist
3. Alternate Media: See Section on Alternate Media Policy
Attendant Care: SDS does not provide attendant care for students,
although SDS does assist students in securing additional housing space
for certified attendants if necessary. If is the student’s
responsibility to secure the services of certified attendant care and
make all necessary arrangements including payment for such services.
SDS will assist a student’s certified attendant in accessing housing,
dining, and entry to university buildings, as appropriate.
Audio-Taping of Classes: Students with a documented need to audio-tape
a class may request permission from their instructors with the
Recording Lectures Agreement Form (See Appendix L). SDS will also
provide a letter to an instructor recommending this reasonable
accommodation if it is determined through the interactive process.
While most instructors do not object if students audio-tape class
sessions, an instructor may raise confidentiality or copyright concerns
regarding this practice. In cases where an instructor’s has valid
audio-taping concerns, SDS will work with the student to develop an
equally effective reasonable accommodation alternative to audio-taping.
Books-on-Tape: Students with a documented need for audio-taped course
materials must first meet with their disability specialist to determine
that audio-taped course materials is a reasonable and appropriate
accommodation for them based on their disability, academic program, and
specific individual needs. Students eligible for this service must then
complete an Electronic Text Request Form (See Appendix N). SDS will
also assist qualified students in obtaining individual memberships with
Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D).
Substitutions: Course substitutions may be reasonable accommodations
for some students with disabilities, provided that 1) documentation of
disability clearly supports any request for substitution and 2) the
essential requirements of the University’s program are not compromised.
Student petitions for course substitutions are evaluated on a
8. Equipment Loan: See "Access to Special Adaptive Equipment "
9. Examination Accommodations: See Section on "SDS Examination Service "
Flexibility Regarding Attendance/Assignment Completion Dates: This
accommodation is sometimes considered for students with health-related
or psychiatric disabilities that flare up episodically or require
treatment due to exacerbation of symptoms. Requests for
attendance/assignment flexibility are evaluated on case by case basis
taking into account the essential requirements of the course and any
10.1 The accommodation of
flexibility regarding attendance policies or assignment completion
dates must be an appropriate response to a disability-related need
without compromising academic standards or fundamentally altering
the curriculum. Thus, this accommodation may not be reasonable in
courses where participation is essential, where the student is
supposed to be gaining a given number of hours of experience within a
specified time period, where skills are taught and evaluated
sequentially, where the nature of the program is an accelerated one
(e.g. College of Business and Professional Studies) or where ongoing
feedback is provided. Other options such as taking an incomplete or
withdrawing from the course may be more appropriate alternatives in
11. Housing Accommodations: SDS collaborates
with the Office of Residence Life in providing appropriate reasonable
accommodations for students with disabilities who live on campus. If
you think you may need a campus housing accommodation or physical
modification to your living space, please contact SDS as soon as you
know of your intent to live on campus. Please also see the Office of
Residence Life Viewbook available at: http://www.usfca.edu/residence_life/.
Interpreting/CART/C-Print Services: Depending on the nature of a
student's hearing disability, Student Disability Services (SDS) may
provide a Sign Language Interpreter or Computer Assisted Real-Time
Translation (CART). CART is the instant translation of the spoken word
into English text performed by a CART reporter using a stenotype
machine, notebook computer, and real-time software. The text is then
displayed on the computer monitor for the student to read. This
accommodation provides on-the-spot communication access to information
as it is being given.
A Sign Language Interpreter or CART may be
provided for classroom lectures, fieldwork, meetings with faculty
members, and for any activity directly related for a student's academic
program. Students requesting this accommodation must contact their
Disability Specialist as soon as possible to discuss eligibility for
these accommodations. Students must request Sign Language Interpreting
or CART services for a specific class or event in a timely manner to
ensure availability. Students are required to submit current
documentation consistent with the documentation guidelines for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
documentation is provided, SDS will review the information in
consultation with the student in order to determine reasonable and
appropriate accommodations. In most cases, either CART or Interpreting
Services may be provided to the student as the recommended reasonable
accommodation. It is very rare for CART and Interpreting services to be
provided for the same course simultaneously.
If Sign Language
Interpreting or CART is deemed appropriate, SDS will make arrangements
for the accommodation by hiring qualified Sign Language Interpreters or
CART reporters. Students using CART services may receive a copy of a
'rough edit' transcript after each class and in a timely manner, if
this is determined a necessary part of the reasonable accommodation by
SDS and the student. A qualified note taker may provide the student
written notes instead of a transcript, as a supplement to the
Students are required to notify SDS
and their Sign Language Interpreter or CART reporter if they are unable
to attend class so that the interpreter/reporter may be cancelled for
the day. If students do not notify SDS and their interpreter or
captionist in a timely manner, this accommodation may be subject to
review or suspension. Students are also responsible for notifying SDS
if Sign Language or CART service is not satisfactory, or to discuss any
13. Laboratory Assistants: Student lab
assistants may be provided to students as part of a reasonable
accommodation, to assist with physical manipulations on the lab when
appropriate. This service must be requested and reviewed by SDS and the
student on a case-by-case basis.
14. Learning Specialists: SDS
provides learning specialists to assist students in developing
compensatory learning skills and strategies. Learning specialists
assist students with the development of appropriate study, note taking,
and time management skills to help students improve their writing,
organizational, and study skills.
15. Letters of Verification of
Disability/SDS Recommended Accommodations: A student may request a
letter of verification of disability (i.e. VISA) (See Appendix G) along
with recommended reasonable accommodations from his or her disability
specialist. The letter states that the student is registered with SDS,
although the specific nature of the disability is not discussed.
Students are encouraged to present this letter directly to the
instructor when self-identifying as a student with a disability and
requesting accommodations. Accommodations outlined in the letter may
require further consultation among SDS, the instructor, and the
student. In these cases, the nature and extent of the accommodations
originally recommended may be altered.
16. Note takers: SDS,
where appropriate, may recommend that a student with a qualifying
disability be permitted the use of a note taker for in-class lectures
as a reasonable accommodation. Students qualifying for the use of a
note taker must read, sign and submit the Note Taker Agreement Form
(See Appendix J) before receiving this accommodation through the SDS
office. The appropriateness of a note taker must be discussed with the
student’s disability specialist each semester and for each class in
which a note taker is desired. For each semester that a student expects
to receive note taking services, he/she must fill out a Note Taker
Request Form (See Appendix K) and submit it to the SDS Note Taking
Services Coordinator. Note takers are hired per class and not per
student. Once a note taker has been hired for a class, the requesting
student will be notified and can expect to receive notes at least once
a week and before every exam. The requesting student will pick up their
notes in a timely manner and alert the Note Taking Services Coordinator
if they are not receiving their notes in a satisfactory manner. If
students fail to pick up their notes in a timely manner then they may
be in jeopardy of losing their note taking accommodation. Any questions
or concerns about note taking procedures and policies should be
directed to the Note Taking Services Coordinator.
17. Print Alternatives: See Section on Alternate Media Policy.
Reduced Course Load: Students with disabilities with or without
reasonable accommodations are expected to complete the same course and
credit load and meet the same graduation requirements as students
without disabilities. However, in some cases, less than full time
enrollment may be an appropriate reasonable accommodation. To talk
about this option, please see your Disability Specialist.
Scribing Services: Student scribes may be provided to students with
disabilities as part of a reasonable accommodation during exams or for
homework assignments, as appropriate. This service must be requested by
the student and reviewed by SDS and the student each semester and on a
20. Support Groups/Workshops: SDS
periodically offers support groups and/or workshops for students with
similar types of disability or for students with similar
disability-related issues (e.g., career planning, advocacy skills
improvement). Participation in any support group or workshop is
voluntary and confidential.
21. Transportation: Accessible
campus transportation services are available to students with
disabilities with mobility or chronic health impairments that make
navigating the campus terrain difficult. Eligibility for this service
is determined by SDS and the student, and provided by the Department of
Public Safety. Please see
your Disability Specialist for access to
this service. Students who feel they are in need of this service should
alert SDS as soon as they are aware of their need. Students utilizing
this service should alert their Disability Specialist of any changes in
their needs for this service immediately. Students with disabilities
choosing to park on campus must have a valid USF Campus Parking Permit
and a valid Temporary or Permanent Disability Placard from the
Department of Motor Vehicles in order to park in the blue zones on
22. Tutorial Services: Applicable Federal and
State disability laws do not require funding for tutorial services.
Provision of non-required services (such as tutoring) is determined on
a case-by-case basis, as resources allow.
Alternate Media Policy
Eligibility for this service is determined by SDS and is based in part
on the disability documentation provided by the student.
Students requesting alternative media from SDS must be registered with
SDS and have a disability which prevents them from using printed
3. Receiving materials in alternative
format as an accommodation will be considered and determined each
semester by the SDS professional working with each student requesting
4. Alternate media requests must be
submitted by the student each semester. For each item requested, the
appropriate request form must be filled out and returned to SDS.
Students requesting material in alternative formats must own a physical
copy of the textbook or other course material, and provide SDS with a
copy of the itemized receipt before the alternate media will be
6. SDS will determine the media format for each
text. Although consideration will be given to the format requested by
each student, if SDS considers the requested format unreasonable, and
other reasonable formats are available, one of the other formats will
7. Alternative format requests for texts available at
the USF bookstore must be submitted to SDS as soon as the student is
aware of his/her need. SDS will make a reasonable effort to process
these requests within 3 weeks from date of the request submission;
however turnaround times for alternative format requests are determined
on a case-by-case basis. Upon review of material to be formatted and
converted, the SDS office will notify the student of the projected
completion date. Late requests will be honored provided that the
student making the request understands that the SDS office will set the
timeline for the completion of the work accordingly. The same
guidelines stand for course materials submitted throughout the semester.
Alternative format requests for materials provided by the instructor
throughout the semester must be submitted immediately after the student
receives the material. Students should speak with their professors at
the beginning of each semester about these types of materials and each
faculty member’s responsibility to comply with the deadlines, outlined
in the Faculty and Staff Responsibilities section in the Verified
Individualized Services and Accommodations, (VISA) letter sent to
9. The student may not copy or reproduce any material
provided by SDS, (Fair Use Act excepted) nor allow anyone else to do
so. Misuse of this material may result in disciplinary action by the
University. These actions will be treated as copyright infringement
and/or theft and dealt with in the same manner as laid out in the
Fogcutter’s Copyright and Standards of Non-Academic Conduct policies
10. Students will be provided with one alternative
format copy for each material required for academic use. This
electronic file is copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed
in a format other than a specialized format exclusively for use by
persons with print disabilities. Any further reproduction or
distribution in a format other than a specialized format is an
infringement of copyright.
11. USF faculty members who expect
students with print-associated disabilities to have access to and
knowledge of standard print materials must submit these materials to
SDS fifteen (15) working days before their initial intended use.
USF Law School faculty members who expect students with print
associated disabilities to have access to and knowledge of standard
print materials must submit these materials to the Law School Registrar
office fifteen (15) working days before their initial intended use. The
Law School Registrar’s office, in turn, is expected to submit these
materials immediately to SDS.
13. Student questions regarding
the provision of alternative format should be addressed directly to the
SDS Alternative Media Coordinator at (415) 422-2613 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exam Accommodations Policy
with disabilities may receive exam accommodations determined on an
individual basis. "Exam," used in this context, refers to quizzes and
examinations taken during the semester in conjunction with an academic
class. In many cases, students eligible for exam accommodations are
able to take their exams with accommodations in
class with their
instructor or in the instructor’s office, when feasible. A student
should present a letter from SDS to the instructor verifying his or her
registration with SDS and recommended accommodations to facilitate this
process. In those cases where an instructor is unable to accommodate a
student’s request for exam accommodations, a student can arrange to
take his/her exam with SDS.
Students should discuss their
specific needs for exam accommodations (e.g. extended time; reduced
distraction environment; use of a computer, etc.) with SDS or their
coordinator within the first two weeks of the beginning of the semester.
and/or provides exam accommodations for students who present
appropriate documentation supporting such needs. Exam accommodations
include, but are not limited to: extended time, a distraction-reduced
room, use of a computer, use of auxiliary aides such as scribe or
reader, use of assistive technology, permission to have food, and
- Exam Accommodation Agreement: Once it is determined that a
student will receive exam
accommodations, the student must read, understand, and sign the Accommodation
Agreement Form (See Appendix
H) indicating that he or she understands and agrees with whatever
specific exam accommodations he or she will be receiving as well as the
SDS exam policies, procedures, and guidelines.
- Required Proctor Sheets:
and Graduate students: Before SDS can proctor an exam, the student and instructor
are required to fill out and return a proctor sheet. This document informs SDS
that the instructor is aware that the student will be taking an accommodated
exam with SDS. It also provides SDS with instructions from the instructor about
the exam. SDS cannot schedule any exam without proctor sheets. It is the
student’s responsibility to return the proctor sheets to SDS in a timely manner
so that SDS can schedule exams.
- Law students:
Law students are not required to fill out and return a proctor sheet, as any
proctoring information is distributed through the Law School Registrar’s
- Scheduling Exam Appointments
- Undergraduate and Graduate students: With the exception of pop quizzes and finals, all
exams must be scheduled at least one week in advance. Due to the lack of space
and staffing issues, SDS cannot guarantee the student an exam appointment if
SDS is not provided with at least one week’s advance notice. If the student’s accommodations
include reading or writing assistance, the use of assistive technology such as
a computer or specific software, please inform SDS of this when you schedule
- Law students: all exam appointments are scheduled through
the Law School Registrar
- Pop Quizzes: Please have your instructor contact us if pop
quizzes are part of the course.
- Delivering Exam Materials:
Exams are to be delivered to SDS as indicated by the instructor on the
proctor sheet. If the student is required to deliver the exam, then the
student must come immediately upon receipt of the exam unless alternative
arrangements have been made.
- Returning Exam Materials: Once the exam is completed, the
exam must be returned as indicated by the instructor on the proctor sheet.
If the student is required to return the exam, then the completed exam
must be returned immediately unless alternative arrangements have been
made. If the student is unable to return the exam, the student is
responsible for returning the exam to SDS and notifying the instructor.
- Undergraduate and Graduate students: Students will receive
a notice via email to sign
up for their finals exam(s) approximately 3-4 weeks before finals. In order to
facilitate the large number of exams, students must return the Final Exam Sign
up Form by 5:00pm on the due date as stated in the notice sent to the student.
If students turn in the Final Exam Sign up Form past the due date, SDS cannot
guarantee the student a time/date to take their exam in the SDS office. Due to the large number of
students taking exams during finals, it may be necessary to reschedule some of
these exams due to staff/space issues. SDS will notify the student regarding
any necessary changes. Students must make sure their contact information is
current and up-to-date.
- Law students: The Law School Registrar informs all students
of the time and venue of final exams.
Students should receive a notice from the law school approximately 3-4 weeks
before finals. Please be aware that every attempt is made to schedule
accommodated exams as close to the original date as possible. However, in some
instances, this is not possible. As such, some exams may take place after (never
before) the original examination period.
- Opening Hours and Appointments: SDS is open Monday through
Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, and 8:00am to 7:00pm during final exams. All
exams must end 15min. before closing. If students require proctoring
services beyond regular office hours they must make prior arrangements
with their disability specialist. Students must be on time for
exams. If a student arrives late for an exam, the amount of time may be
deducted from the accommodated time. For instance, if the exam is scheduled to begin at 9:30 and
the student arrives at 10:00, 30 minutes may be deducted from the accommodated
- Proctoring: Proctors observe the tests to ensure security and
the integrity of exams. Students are monitored with security cameras in
each of the testing rooms. All students who take exams under the
supervision of SDS staff agree to follow the instructions of the proctor
and conduct themselves in a responsible and respectful manner. SDS staff
will proctor exams the entire time students are testing. Students will be
asked to use the restroom and get drinks before exams begin. Students
cannot leave the exam room without permission or exams may be terminated
and the professor notified.
If the student receives reading
or writing assistance during their exams as a reasonable accommodation, it is
the student’s responsibility to notify SDS of this when signing up for the
accommodated exam. Failure to give SDS advanced notice may result in not
receiving this accommodation.
If students require
clarification of test questions, SDS staff will assist them in contacting
At the beginning of an exam, SDS
staff will inform students of the start time, scheduled end time and the total
amount of time the student has to complete the exam. SDS has a limited number
of personal timers for student use. At the end of the exam, SDS staff will
collect all materials from the student. The student must stop working on
his/her exam and return all materials at the end of the accommodated time
and/or if directed to by an SDS proctor. If a student refuses to turn in exam
materials, SDS staff will give a warning and notice will be given to the
instructor. The instructor will grade the exam as appropriate.
Unless otherwise stated, no books,
notes, electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, iPods, cd players, PDA’s, etc.)
may be used. If a student is seen using unauthorized materials or electronic
devices, the exam will be terminated and the student’s instructor notified.
Students are expected to adhere to the Academic Honesty policy as stated in the
Fogcutter. Students who violate the Academic Honesty policy during an exam may
be in jeopardy of losing their exam accommodation privileges.
Service Animal Policy
following information is provided to help define the role and the place
of service animals at The University of San Francisco in promoting the
safety, dignity, and independence of persons with disabilities.
established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service
animals may not be excluded from University facilities or activities,
except as provided below. The ADA defines a service animal as:
. . animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the
benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited
to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who
are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal
protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped
To work on campus for the benefit of an individual
with a disability, a service animal must be specifically trained to
perform a service function. If an animal meets this definition, it is
considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed
or certified by a state or local government or a training program.
whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of
others or is disruptive to the campus community may be excluded
regardless of training or certification.
The guidelines below
have been developed with the understanding that most service animals
working on the USF campus will be dogs. If another kind of animal is to
be employed as a service animal on campus, the partner (person with a
disability) should contact Student Disability Services (students) or
the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources (staff, faculty, and visitors to
the university) as soon as possible to explore any additional health or
1. Types of Service Dogs
1.1. Guide Dog
is a carefully trained dog that serves as a travel tool for persons
with severe visual impairments or who are blind.
Hearing Dog is a dog who has been trained to alert a person with
significant hearing loss or who is deaf when a sound, e.g., knock
on the door, occurs.
1.3. Service/Support Dog is a dog that has
been trained to assist a person who has a mobility or health impairment.
Types of duties the dog may perform include carrying,
fetching, opening doors, ringing doorbells, activating elevator
buttons, steadying a person while walking, helping a person up after
the person falls, etc.
1.4. SsigDog is a dog trained to
assist a person with autism. The dog alerts the partner to distracting
repetitive movements common among those with autism, allowing the
person to stop the movement (e.g., hand flapping). A person with
autism may also have problems with sensory input and need the same
support services from a dog that a dog might give to a person who
is blind or deaf.
1.5. Seizure Response Dog is a dog trained to
assist a person with a seizure disorder; how the dog serves the person
depends on the person's needs. The dog may stand guard over
the person during a seizure, or the dog may go for help. A few dogs
have somehow learned to predict a seizure and warn the person in
1.6. Companion or therapy animals are not considered
2. Responsibilities of Faculty/Staff/Students
2.1. Allow a service animal to accompany the disabled partner at
all times and everywhere on campus except, where service animals
are specifically prohibited.
2.2. Do not pet a service animal;
petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the
animal from the task at hand.
2.3. Do not feed a service
animal. The service animal may have specific dietary requirements.
Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to
become ill or to be distracted.
2.4. Do not deliberately startle
a service animal.
2.5. Do not separate or attempt to separate a
partner from her or his service animal.
3. Responsibilities for
Disabled Individuals Using Service Animals On Campus
3.1. A student with a disability who utilizes a service animal must
register with the Student Disability Services office. For use of a
service animal by a resident partner or potential resident partner in
University Housing, see the Accommodations and Services section of this document.
staff, or university visitors who utilize a service animal must contact
the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources.
3.2. The service
animal's partner is at all times solely responsible for the cost of
care, arrangements and responsibilities for the well-being of a
service animal as well as any property damage.
animals on campus must:
3.3.1. Meet Non-University Requirements: All requirements for
the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID
tags, etc.) mandated by state or local
ordinance must be followed.
3.3.2. Be Healthy: The animal
must be in good health.
3.3.3. Be Under Control of Partner: The person with a
disability must be in full control of the animal at all times.
Reasonable behavior is required from service animals while
on campus. If a service dog, for example, exhibits
unacceptable behavior, the partner must employ the proper training
techniques to correct the situation.
3.3.4. Cleanup Rule: The partner must follow local ordinances in
cleaning up after the animal defecates. Individuals
with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own
service animal are not required to pick up and dispose of
4. Removal of Service Animals
Disruption: The partner of an animal that is unruly or disruptive
(e.g., barking, running around, bringing attention to itself)
may be asked to remove the animal from University facilities. If the
improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner may be told not
to bring the animal onto the University campus until the partner takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation can include
muzzling a barking animal or refresher training for both the animal
and the partner.
4.2. Health: Service animals who are ill should
not be taken into public areas. As stated in Section III, only
animals in good health will be permitted on campus. A partner with
an ill animal may be asked to leave University facilities.
4.3. Uncleanliness: Partners with animals that are unclean,
malodorous and/or bedraggled may be asked to leave University
facilities. An animal that becomes wet from walking in the rain or mud
or from being splashed on by a passing automobile, but is otherwise
clean, should be considered a clean animal. Animals that shed in the
spring sometimes look bedraggled. If the animal in question usually
is well groomed, consider the animal tidy even though its spring
coat is uneven and messy appearing or it has become wet from weather or
4.4. If a situation arises
whereas the presence of a service animal threatens the health or safety
of another individual (for example, in the case of a severe
allergic reaction to animal dander), then the concerned parties must contact either Student Disability Services or Human Resources
to mediate the situation on a case by case basis.
5. Areas Off Limits to Service Animals
5.1. Research Laboratories: The natural organisms carried by dogs
and other animals may negatively affect the outcome of the
research. At the same time, the chemicals and/or organisms used in the
research may be harmful to service animals.
Rooms/Custodial Closets: Mechanical rooms, such as boiler rooms,
facility equipment rooms, electric closets, elevator control rooms
and custodial closets, are off-limits to service animals. The machinery and/or chemicals in these rooms may be harmful to animals.
5.3. Areas Where Protective Clothing is Necessary: Any room where
protective clothing is worn is off-limits to service animals.
Examples include the carpenters shop, lock shop, paint shop, and
5.4. Areas Where There is a Danger to
the Service Animal: Any room, including a classroom, where there are sharp metal cuttings or other sharp objects on the floor or
protruding from a surface; where there is hot material on the floor
(e.g., molten metal or glass); where there is a high level of dust; or
where there is moving machinery is off-limits to service animals.
5.5. If a student, faculty, or staff member has an off-campus
internship, clinical lab, service-learning opportunity, or other
university-related activity, then the student, staff, or faculty member
must abide by the service animal policy at the off-campus entity.
5.6.1. A laboratory director may open her or his laboratory to all service animals.
5.6.2. A laboratory director of a research laboratory or an
instructor in a classroom or teaching laboratory with moving
equipment may grant permission to an individual animal/partner team to
enter the research laboratory or classroom or teaching
laboratory with moving machinery. Admission for each team will be
granted or denied on a case-by-case basis. The final
decision shall be made based on the nature of research or machinery and the best interest of the animal. Example: The
machinery in a classroom may have moving parts at a height
such that the tail of a large dog could easily be caught in it; this is
a valid reason for keeping large dogs out. However, a very
small hearing dog may be shorter than any moving part and, therefore,
considered for admission to the classroom.
5.6.3. Access to other designated off-limits areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
6. Service Animals in University Housing
6.1. Service animals may not reside in University Housing without
written approval of University Housing. Such requests will be
processed, as follows:
6.1.1. A requesting individual must
provide the Student Disability Services office appropriate
documentation at least 30 days before prospective housing will
be needed for the service animal.
6.1.2. The Student
Disability Services Office will review the documentation and seek to
arrange a meeting with a University Housing representative,
the person requesting that a service animal be housed in University
Housing, and a Disability Services Office staff person.
(Residence Hall Directors/Managers are not authorized to
approve the housing of service animals in University Housing).
6.1.3. A person who has a service animal on campus (including
University Housing) is financially responsible for property
damage caused by his or her service animal.
service animals to reside in University Housing must meet the following
weight restrictions: at least 8 pounds, but not more than 125
6.1.5. Animals to be housed in University housing
must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
6.2. The Student Disability Services Office,
in consultation with the Director of University Housing, may approve an exception to this policy when an exception is deemed necessary
due to unique circumstances.
partner dissatisfied with a decision made concerning a service animal
should follow the applicable Dispute Resolution Procedures.
Students, please refer to the Fogcutter Services to Persons with
Disabilities Policy Section E or the Student Disability Services
Student Handbook Dispute Resolution Procedure. Staff and faculty members should refer to the appropriate handbook or collective bargaining agreement.
Additional Programs and Opportunities
has various programs and opportunities designed to enrich and
supplement the student’s overall University experience. Assistance with
employment and community outreach opportunities as well as recreational
and group support activities are available. For more information
students are urged to contact their disability specialist.
Dispute Resolution Procedures
SDS strives to provide fair and appropriate assistance and services. If a student is dissatisfied with SDS
policies or procedures, or with decisions made regarding disability status or
accommodations, the student is encouraged first to attempt to resolve the
matter by speaking with his or her disability specialist. Equitable resolution
of the matter between the parties should be sought through this discussion. If
after speaking with a specialist the student is still dissatisfied, he or she
should speak with the Director of SDS. If after speaking with the Director of
SDS the student is still dissatisfied with the results and wishes to appeal
that decision, the student should then do the following:
file a complaint contact the supervisor of the department responsible for
arranging the accommodations in dispute as listed below. All informal
complaints will be reviewed within ten (10) working days. All informal
complaints should be submitted in writing, and should include the following
a) Name and address of
b) Date(s) of alleged incident
c) Parties involved
d) Witnesses (if applicable)
e) Specific description of
allegation(s) of discrimination and impact of alleged incident on the learning
f) Signature of
For complaints related to academic or non-academic program accommodations
contact the Program Director of the program involved or:
Dr. Peter Novak
Vice Provost for Student Development
1.2. For complaints related to Employment contact:
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Procedure: to be followed if the above procedure does not result in
satisfactory results. To initiate formal grievance proceedings contact:
LMN 3rd floor
coordinates the ADA-related review committee. This committee consists of a
representative from Human Resources, a designated faculty member, a designated
student, the Vice Provost for Student Development and the Dean of the College
or School in which the student is enrolled. All formal complaints will be
reviewed by the committee within 30 days.
Any student has the right to
file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of
Education. The office will investigate and issue a Letter of Findings either
supporting the student or the institution. To file a complain with the Office
of Civil Rights, please contact: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil
Rights, Wanamaker Bldg., Suite 515, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA
19107; 215-656-8541; TDD: 215-656-8604; Statue of limitations for filing a
complaint is 180 days from the time the incident occurred.
Retaliation against any persons
filing a complaint is prohibited under state and federal law.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
University of San Francisco asks that persons with disabilities learn
and remember features of each building they are in, including
stairways, exits, phone locations, and elevator procedures. It is very
important that persons with disabilities participate in all emergency
drills, to practice procedures. We recommend that individuals with
assume responsibility in identifying several people in their classes
and residence halls or office buildings who are willing to assist them
in case of emergency, and discuss their needs with these individuals
ahead of time. We highly encourage all students with disabilities to
carry a cell phone at all times. In the event of an emergency on
campus, the first step is to contact Public Safety Emergency at (415)
Students living in University Operated Housing
Office of Residence Life (ORL) recommends students with disabilities to
participate fully in all emergency drills. ORL also recommends that
students disclose their needs to their floor Resident Advisor and a few
select and willing floor mates and/or their Residence Hall Director, so
that these individuals are aware of evacuation needs and can inform
officials what assistance may be needed in the event of an emergency.
In the event of a drill, all residents are informed ahead of time of
the occurrence. Students with disabilities who would like
individualized evacuation assistance in advance of the drill may
contact the Office of Residence Life, Student Disability Services or
Basic Fire Techniques in the event of a Fire Alarm
- Everyone should sleep with the bedroom door closed at night. A
closed door will help slow the spread of deadly fire, smoke, and heat.
A person following an escape route should be sure to close the door
behind him/her to slow the spread of fire.
- When the person hears the alarm, s/he should roll out of bed to the
floor whenever possible, get down on hands and knees and crawl to the
door and touch it. No one should stop for clothes, papers, jewelry, or
other personal items.
- If after a few seconds, the person feels no heat from the door,
s/he should open it just a crack to check for smoke. If no smoke is
detected the person should close the door and go to the phone to dial
Public Safety Dispatch at x2911.
- Once on the phone with Public Safety Dispatch, inform the
dispatcher that the fire alarm is going off in the building you are in.
Tell them who you are and where you are located, and that you are a
person with a disability with limited mobility.
- Ask them if they have any information on the alarm at that time,
and that with no sign of immediate danger that you are remaining in
your room with the door closed. If the dispatcher knows that it is a
true fire they will instruct you to the nearest fire exit stairwell to
wait on the landing for an emergency personnel to assist in evacuating
- If they have no information at that time (other than officials are
on their way), hang up and wait in the room. If the phone does not work
and you do not have a cell phone or another way of calling for
assistance, go to the window, if possible, and gain the attention of
someone below (e.g., wave arms, a colorful piece of fabric, etc).
- If during the time in the room you begin to detect smoke or feel
the door and it is now hot, call Public Safety again and get to the
window. Tell them what has changed and you are near the window. If
unable to contact Public Safety, again attempt to gain the attention of
someone below. If possible, grab some towels or clothing and get them
wet with water and shove them around the door to seal the cracks.
- Elevators should not be used when the fire alarm is going off, unless directed by emergency personnel.
Power Outages or Downed Elevators
- In the event of a power outage or downed elevator in University
operated housing, please contact Facilities Management at (415)
422-6464 during business hours, M-F 8am- 4:30pm, and Public Safety
(415) 422-4222 during all other hours of the week.
- Inform officials of the problem, and make sure they know that you
are a person with a disability. Give them your name, telephone number
and location in the building. Ask officials to inform you when the
issue is resolved, as appropriate.
- Stay where you are. If the problem cannot be resolved immediately
and you need to get out of the building for an emergency reason,
contact Public Safety and tell them that you are in need of assistance.
- If the power outage or downed elevators are anticipated to last
overnight, the Office of Residence Life will make the commitment to
reasonably accommodate you and relocate you to another space in
University Operated Housing.
Students in Academic and Office Buildings
University recommends students with disabilities disclose to the
professor and/or colleagues what assistance they would need during an
emergency. It may also be helpful to inform select classmates as well.
Basic Fire Techniques in the event of a Fire Alarm
- As appropriate, follow the basic fire techniques listed above for University operated housing.
- When the building fire alarm sounds and you are unable to evacuate
safely, ask someone to inform the emergency personnel who and where you
are. As appropriate, move toward a landing or exit. If possible, call
Public Safety at (415) 422-2911 to inform them you are a person with a
disability with limited mobility needing assistance. Give your name,
number, and location.
Power Outages or Downed Elevators/Lifts
- Please call Facilities Management at (415) 422-6464 during business
hours, M-F, 8am- 4:30pm and Public Safety at (415) 422-4222 during all
other hours. Inform these offices of the particular power
outage/malfunction. Give your name, number and location.
- Stay in place. Inform these offices whether or not you are trapped,
and/or if you are safely able to leave the building independently with
the elevators/power down. Ask for an idea of how long the outage will
be, and ask the appropriate office to call you and the individual back
when there is additional information. If the power will be out for some
time and you need to leave the building, contact Public Safety to have
trained officials assist you.
Appendices are available in this section as a .pdf file. If you would like these appendices in an alternative format, please contact us.
Appendix A: Authorization to Receive or Release Information Form
Appendix B: Physical, Psychological, Temporary, Chronic Impairment Documentation Guidelines
Appendix C: Disability Verification Form (Physical, Temporary, Chronic Impairment)
Appendix D: Disability Verification Form (Psychological)
Appendix E: Learning Disability Documentation Guidelines
Appendix F: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) Documentation Guidelines
Appendix G: Verified Individualized Services and Accommodation (VISA) Form
Appendix H: Accommodation Agreement Form
Appendix I: Equipment Agreement Form
Appendix J: Note Taker Agreement Form
Appendix K: Note Taker Request Form
Appendix L: Recording Lectures Agreement Form
Appendix M: Alternate Media Agreement Form
Appendix N: Electronic Text Request Form