Academic Accommodations

Student raising her hand to ask a question during lecture in the classroom.

The Office of the Dean of Students works closely with the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) to provide equal educational opportunities for qualified enrolled or admitted law students with disabilities in accordance with District and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

ARC is charged with the responsibility of exploring possible coverage and reasonable accommodations for law students for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Some of the services offered by ARC include:

  • Adaptive/Assistive Technology
  • Interpreting Services
  • Letters to Professors
  • Note-taking Support
  • Priority Registration
  • Test Accommodations
  • Reading Services

Review the items below to learn more about eligibility for ARC services, how to register for ARC services, the ARC Intake Process and some frequently asked questions.

UDC Law students requesting accommodation for disabilities are required to register with ARC prior to receiving an accommodation.  Students must register with ARC at the beginning of each semester that the student is enrolled in classes.

In subsequent semesters, students may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify the continuing need of services.

If there is a disruption in services because of a disabling condition and/or withdrawal from the University, the student may be required to provide updated documentation upon re-entry to the University.

When should I start the process of requesting accommodations?

Students seeking accommodations and/or services for the first time are encouraged to contact ARC prior to or upon admission to UDC Law but may register at any point during their academic career.

In order to receive ARC services, students must register with ARC at the beginning of each semester that the student is enrolled in classes. Students are advised to submit a copy of their registration for the current semester and relevant documentation prior to or at the beginning of the semester.

How do I request Academic Accommodations?

For new accommodations, you will need to email three intake formsrequired documentation and a detailed copy of your semester schedule to Ms. Pamela Butler, pamela.butler1@udc.edu, and Mr. Clayton McLaughlin, clayton.mclaughlin@udc.edu. Students are advised to submit a copy of their registration for the current semester and relevant documentation prior to or at the beginning of the semester.

To renew your accommodations, please obtain a “student detail copy” of your semester classes from Banner and email it to your ARC counselor with a request to renew. ARC will then issue a new accommodations letter for the semester. Students must renew their accommodations each semester.   

How do I access a detailed copy of my schedule to email to ARC?

To access a detailed copy of your schedule, go to: Myudc > Student Apps (on left of screen) > Register Using Banner > Student Registration > Student Detail Schedule > Current or Upcoming Semester.  

If you have any questions about obtaining your “student detail copy” from Banner, please contact the Help Desk in Building 41, Room 316 or at 202-274-5941 or support@udc.edu for assistance.

Are there any requirements for the documentation of my disability that I need to include to be considered acceptable by ARC?

Documentation of any disability must include the following eight elements on order to be considered acceptable by ARC:

  1. The evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional.
  2. The documentation must be current.
  3. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability must be included.
  4. A description of the diagnostic methodology used must be included.
  5. A description of the current functional limitations must be included.
  6. A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability must be included.
  7. A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications should be included.
  8. Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies and/or collateral support services should be included.

For more information regarding each element, please visit the ARC guidelines page.

Do I have to renew my accommodations each semester?

Yes. Students must renew their accommodations each semester. 

Are accommodations retroactive?

No. Accommodations are not retroactive.

How do I confirm my accommodations?

You will receive a copy of your Accommodations Letter from your ARC Counselor. A copy of this letter will also be sent to the Dean of Students and Staff Assistant for Student Affairs.

Within a week of receipt of your Accommodations Letter, you will receive an email from the Dean of Students regarding your non-testing related accommodations and extended time on exams and quizzes as applicable. It is important that you reply to this email in a timely manner. 

The ARC Counselor will engage you in an interactive process to consider recommended reasonable accommodations necessary to enable you to have an equal opportunity to benefit from services, programs or activities at the University.

This process will include (as appropriate) the consideration of:

  1. Documentation substantiating a request for particular accommodations;
  2. The student’s prior accommodations;
  3. Specific course or program requirements;
  4. Available course options or alternatives;
  5. Available accommodations, modifications or auxiliary aids;
  6. A review of the nature and extent of the disability and the effect of the disability on performance within the course and/or the program.

You and your ARC Counselor will review the information described above and discuss potential accommodations. Your ARC Counselor will provide you with information about how to access your accommodations, which have been deemed as reasonable and appropriate for the individual student.

* Note: It takes at minimum 1-2 weeks to process registration requests.

Must I tell my professors about my accommodations?

In general, no. However, certain non-testing related accommodations might require professor knowledge, such as those involving absences or preferential seating.

Please be advised that you do not need to share the details or nature of your disability with your professors unless you want to share. 

If I wish to speak to my professors, what is the best way to do so?

As early as possible in the semester, we recommend that you to reach out to your professor(s) to discuss any non-testing related accommodations that you professor(s) should be aware of. Please be advised that you do NOT need to share the details of your disability. 

If you are not comfortable discussing your accommodations with your professor(s), please know that the Office of the Dean of Students is happy to serve as a liaison.   

Why should I document and disclose my disability?

Although students are not required to disclose a known disability to UDC Law, students cannot receive academic accommodations if ARC and the Dean of Students are unaware of a student’s disability.

It is much easier to disclose and document your disability when you begin law school rather than to scramble to disclose a known disability once issues or obstacles begin. Early disclosure will allow ARC and the Office of the Dean of Students to help provide academic accommodations from the beginning to prevent unnecessary obstacles along your law school journey.   

How often should I meet with my ARC Counselor?

We encourage you to schedule a meeting with your ARC Counselor before midterm exams and after the midterm point. These meetings will allow your ARC counselor to check in regarding your accommodations and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.  

In addition, if you encounter any challenges related to receiving accommodations, please let the Dean of Students know as soon as possible so that she can ensure that you are receiving the accommodations that you are entitled to receive. 

How do I request accommodations for the MPRE?

Information on applying for accommodations on the MPRE is available at the NCBE page on accommodations.

How do I request accommodations for the Bar?

The process for receiving accommodations on the Bar exam will require certification of the accommodations you received in law school. Thus, if you anticipate requiring accommodations for your disability on the Bar exam, you should request accommodations in law school. The more robust your record during Law School, the better the chance you will receive accommodations on the Bar. If you do not receive accommodations at UDC Law, you are less likely to receive accommodations on the Bar. Each Bar has its own process for requesting accommodations. Please visit the website of the Bar you are interested in taking and read their instructions carefully.

What is the grievance procedure?

Students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, denied access to services or accommodations as required by law or denied participation in University programs and activities have the right to use the grievance procedure outlined on UDC’s website.