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
Accommodated Exam Policy
Service Animal Policy
Assistance 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. Read & Write Gold
2.4.6. 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
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.
Accommodated Exam Policy
Students 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. Students eligible for exam accommodations are able to take their exams with accommodations in class with their faculty or in the faculty’s office, when feasible. Faculty will be notified of a student’s registration with SDS. It is the student’s responsibility to verify with his or her faculty that they have received said notification. In those cases where faculty is unable to accommodate a student’s request for exam accommodations, a student can arrange to take his or her exam with SDS.
Students should discuss their specific needs for exam accommodations (e.g. extended time, assistive technology, reduced distraction environment; use of a computer, etc.) with SDS or their specialist within the first two weeks of the beginning of the semester.
SDS authorizes 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 restroom breaks.
- Accommodation Agreement: Once it is determined that a student will receive reasonable accommodations, they are asked to provide a digital signature on the Accommodation Agreement Form (See Appendix I) indicating that he or she understands and agrees with whatever specific accommodations he or she will be receiving, as well as abiding by the University Academic Honor Code.
- Required Testing Contracts:
2.1. Undergraduate and Graduate students: Before SDS can proctor an exam, the student and faculty are required to fill out an electronic testing contract. This document informs SDS that the faculty is aware that the student will be taking an accommodated exam with SDS. It also provides SDS with instructions from the faculty about the exam. SDS cannot schedule any exam without a completed testing contract. SDS will follow the instructions on the testing contract unless the faculty notifies SDS otherwise.
2.2. Law students: Law students/faculty are not required to fill out testing contracts; proctoring information is distributed through the Law School Registrar’s office.
- Scheduling Exam Appointments
3.1. Undergraduate and Graduate students: With the exception of pop quizzes and finals, all exams must be scheduled at least one week in advance. 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, or the use of assistive technology, please inform SDS of this when you schedule your exam.
3.2. Law students: all exam appointments are scheduled through the Law School Registrar office.
- Pop Quizzes: Please have your faculty contact us if pop quizzes are part of the course.
- Delivering Exam Materials: Exams are to be delivered to SDS as indicated by the faculty on the testing contract. 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 faculty on the testing contract. 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 faculty.
7.1. 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 sign up by 5:00 pm on the stated due date. If students sign up 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. SDS will notify the student and faculty regarding any necessary changes. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure their contact information is current and up-to-date.
7.2. 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 at a different time than the original examination period.
- Opening Hours and Appointments: SDS is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, and from 7:30am to 7:00pm during final exams. All exams must end before closing. If students require proctoring services beyond regular office hours they must make arrangements a minimum of two weeks prior to the scheduled exam with their faculty and SDS.
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 exam time.
- Proctoring: Proctors observe the tests to ensure security and the integrity of exams. Students may be monitored with security cameras while sitting for an exam. 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 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 at least two weeks advanced notice may result in the student not receiving this accommodation for the exam. If students require clarification of test questions, SDS staff will assist them in contacting faculty.
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. At the end of the exam, SDS staff will collect all materials from the student. The student must stop working on his or 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 inform the student of possible exam policy violation and notice will be given to the faculty. The faculty will grade the exam as appropriate.
10. Academic Honesty During Accommodated Exams: It is expected that all students will adhere to the University’s Academic Honor Code during accommodated exams (students enrolled in the School of Education, the School of Law, and distance learning and/or online courses will be subject to SDS policies as well as supplemental policies set forth by their program). Unless otherwise stated, no books, notes, electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, iPods, etc.) or any other unauthorized materials may be used during an exam. If a student is observed or suspected of using unauthorized materials or electronic devices during an exam, the student’s faculty will be notified. The student must also meet with his/her specialist before taking any future accommodated exams in SDS.
Students who violate SDS exam policy may be subject to alteration or forfeiture of their exam accommodation privileges, and may also be subject to sanctions outlined by the Academic Honor Code.
Service Animal Policy
USF is committed to compliance with state and federal laws
regarding individuals with disabilities. Student Disability Services (SDS) is
committed to supporting students who require a service animal. The following is
a guide for students who request the presence of a service animal on campus.
What is a service animal? A service animal is a dog (or in
some cases a miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or
perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a
physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
The work or task that the service animal performs must be
directly related to the individual's disability. Examples include assisting
individuals with low vision and alerting individuals who are hearing impaired.
Service animals may also be needed to pull a wheelchair, retrieve items such as
medicine or a telephone, recognize and assist during seizures, and prevent or
interrupt compulsive or destructive behavior.
Animals whose presence provide emotional support,
companionship or comfort but are not individually trained to do work or tasks
in response to an individual's disability are not considered service animals.
See USF's policy on Assistance Animals, if you feel you have a disability and
believe you require an assistance animal for emotional support or comfort.
Service animals are exempted from the University’s policy of
no animals on campus and are allowed in all places of public accommodation. This
includes campus buildings, residence halls, and anywhere on campus they are
needed to assist an individual with a disability to participate in educational
programs and other campus activities.
Service animals must be under effective control at all times
and cannot harm or threaten others in the campus community; including faculty,
staff, students and guests. Consistent with federal and state law, a service
animal may be prohibited from university facilities or programs if the animal’s
behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
The animal may also be excluded from areas where its presence fundamentally
alters the nature of a program or activity, if the animal is disruptive, if its
presence would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others,
or if it substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of housing or
public accommodation by others. Service animals must be housebroken and cleaned
up after. Animals may only relieve themselves in designated areas as defined by
Students who are approved to have a service animal on campus
are strongly encouraged to register with SDS.
Assistance Animal Policy
committed to compliance with state and federal laws regarding individuals with
disabilities. The following is a guide for students who request the presence of
an assistance animal, as defined by applicable law, in their campus residence.
USF abides by both state and federal law regarding its housing policies,
including the following:
the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
“individuals with a disability may be entitled to keep an assistance animal as
a reasonable accommodation in housing facilities that otherwise impose
restrictions or prohibitions on animals. The assistance animal must be
necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a
dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program. Further, there
must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual's disability and the
assistance the animal provides.”
animals, which are defined under the Fair Housing Act, provide necessary
emotional support to individuals with disabilities, and alleviate one or more
identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability, who have established
the need for such an animal. Assistance animals are not required to have
special training for work or tasks. The regulations permitting assistance
animals pertain only to on-campus residential living facilities. Assistance
animals are not permitted in non-residential facilities including but not
limited to academic buildings, offices, and classrooms.
animals, which are generally limited to dogs, are defined under the American
with Disabilities Act and have special training to provide services or tasks
for individuals with disabilities. Unlike assistance animals, they are allowed
to accompany the individual with a disability in public places. If you require
a service animal, please refer to the separate guidelines “Service Animals for
Students with Disabilities.”
are three requirements that need to be met in evaluating a request for an
assistance animal. First, you need to establish that you have a disability that
limits you in one or more major life activities as defined under state and
federal law. Individuals who do not have a disability are not eligible for an
assistance animal. Second, the animal must be necessary to afford you with an
equal opportunity to use and enjoy your campus residence. Third, you need to
provide information that demonstrates why an assistance animal is a reasonable
accommodation for your disability. In other words, there needs to be an
identifiable connection between your disability and the assistance the animal
Disability Services (SDS) recommends you provide information from a medical
professional, a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other person who
is qualified to diagnose and assess your disability. They should be familiar
with you and able to identify the major life activity or activities in which
you experience a limitation or limitations. These health care professionals
should also describe the connection between your disability and your need for
an assistance animal, and describe how the assistance animal is of benefit. However,
SDS will also consider information from other sources.
your disability is not considered permanent, you may need to reapply each
academic year for continued permission to have an assistance animal.
rules and expectations pertain to assistance animals? There are some rules that
apply to assistance animals, and failure to follow them can result in the loss
of permission to keep an assistance animal in your residence. The rules
- Assistance animals must comply
with state and local animal regulations, including license and vaccination
requirements depending on the type of animal. This includes animals from other
countries as long as they meet any customs/federal regulations concerning
animals entering the U.S.
- Assistance animals should be
under effective control at all times and may not pose a danger or threat to the
health or safety of other students, staff, faculty or guests.
- Assistance animals cannot
fundamentally alter the nature of the University’s programs, activities or
- Assistance animals cannot create
a nuisance to or distract from other students' use of the residence. Residence
halls are places of study, so animals must not make excessive noise or cause
- Assistance animals need to be
kept in clean, sanitary and safe conditions. This responsibility falls on the
student and the university assumes no liability for the animal. All animals
must be properly cared for which includes food, medical treatment, clean living
space, etc. Abuse and neglect of animals may result in a formal complaint and
possibly ultimate removal from your campus residence.
- Students are responsible for
complying with all applicable laws and regulations concerning their assistance
animals, including vaccination, licensure, leash control laws, cleanup rules,
and animal health.
- Assistance animals do not require
a deposit, but you are responsible for costs associated with any damage caused
by your assistance animal. Damage includes pests (fleas, ticks) and additional
wear and tear on carpets, furniture and university property.
- Assistance animals are not
permitted general access to campus areas other than your residence. Assistance
animals may use a designated area to relieve themselves provided they are under
effective owner control at all times.
- Assistance animals may not be
left in the care of another residential student overnight and/or during
university breaks. Alternative arrangements must be arranged.
- Owners are responsible for
properly containing and disposing of all animal waste. Indoor animal waste,
such as cat litter, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and tied securely
before disposing of in an outside trash receptacle. Outdoor animal waste, such
as dog feces, must be immediately retrieved by the owner, placed in a sturdy
plastic bag and securely tied before disposing of in an outside trash
- Owners must ensure that
preventative measures should be taken at all times for flea and odor control.
Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance
and hygiene to assistance animals. As per housing policy, Student Housing and
Residential Education (SHaRE) staff inspect residential rooms during winter
break and upon student move-out. If fleas or ticks are detected, the unit will
be treated using an approved method and the resident will be billed for the
- Assistance animals are not
allowed to go on university sponsored international trips. Many countries do
not have similar disability laws to the U.S., and the laws regarding assistance
animals pertain only to U.S. housing accommodations and may not necessarily
extend to other countries.
- Students who are approved to have
an assistance animal on campus must sign an agreement with SDS, which will be
on file with the SDS Office and Student Housing and Residential Education
(SHaRE). The agreement will incorporate the rules and expectations with caring
for an assistance animal on campus. It will also provide an emergency contact
and will name a person responsible for the animal should the student be unable
to take care of the animal.
student fails to comply with the policies, then Student Housing and Residential
Education (SHaRE) will investigate any complaints and will work with SDS to
resolve any issues or concerns. If a determination is made that the animal
should be removed, a joint letter will be sent to the student from the SHaRE
and the SDS Office. If the student refuses to remove the animal from his or her
campus residence after such a determination has been made, the issue will be referred
to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities (OSCRR) for proceedings
under the Student Conduct Code.
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 equal access and
reasonable, appropriate assistance and services to qualified students with
disabilities. If a student is dissatisfied with SDS policies or procedures, or
with decisions made regarding disability status or accommodations, the student
is encouraged 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 initiate the informal dispute resolution
procedure (if the student’s specialist is the Director of SDS, the student
should bypass the informal and initiate the formal dispute resolution
procedure). If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal
procedure, he or she should initiate the formal dispute resolution procedure.
The informal and formal dispute resolution procedures are outlined below.
To file a complaint related to academic accommodations contact the Assistant
Dean and Director of SDS and outline the complaint 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
- Name and address of complainant
- Date(s) of alleged incident
- Parties involved
- Witnesses (if applicable)
- Specific description of allegation(s) of discrimination and
impact of alleged incident on the learning process
- Signature of complainant
For complaints related to non-academic program
accommodations contact the Program Director or Department Chair of the program
involved. If after speaking with the Director or Department Chair the
complainant is still dissatisfied, he or she should initiate the Formal
For complaints related to Employment contact:
Assistant Vice President of
Procedure (to be followed if the informal procedure
does not result in satisfactory results).
To initiate formal grievance proceedings
Vice Provost for Student Life
The Office of the Vice Provost coordinates the
ADA-related review committee. This committee consists of a representative from
the Vice Provost’s office, a designated faculty member, a designated student,
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.
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
complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, please contact:
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
50 Beale Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105
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
Appendix O: Accommodation & Auxilary Aide Definitions