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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the Process to Request Accommodations

It is important to request accommodations as early as possible to allow time for the determination and coordination of services.  Student are welcome to start the process as soon as they have been admitted to the University. 

Legally accommodations are not retroactive, so start early.

CDA advisors are happy to meet with prospective students to discuss their situations and what accommodations might be offered at the University of Utah.  However, accommodations cannot be officially approved until after a student is admitted to the U.

The intake process may take some time so plan ahead.  Requesting and receiving documentation from your medical or other provider(s) can also take some time. Once a student has met with an advisor and submitted documentation, applications typically take about one to two weeks to review.  

During busier or peak times such as the start of the semester, applications may take three to four weeks to review.

Although temporary medical conditions are not typically covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Center for Disability & Access may be able to provide support on a temporary basis depending upon the condition and situation.  Students are encouraged to contact CDA to discuss possibilities.


Accommodations are considered and reviewed on a case by case basis and must be approved by the CDA case management team prior to being implemented.

Students previously approved for accommodations should contact their advisor through the online portal at the start of each semester to request that accommodation letters be sent to their instructors.  

It is recommended that students submit their requests prior to the start of the semester or as early as possible.  A student may wait until later in the semester to submit an accommodation request, however, since accommodation are not retroactive, the accommodation would only apply to the class from the date professors are notified of the request.  Additionally, accommodation requests made on short notice will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis but cannot be guaranteed.  

Privacy and Confidentiality

Students registered with the Center for Disability & Access have a right to privacy and confidentiality. Details about a student’s condition or disability are not shared with faculty or staff members without a student’s consent. Records in the CDA are kept in a secure University database which is separate from the general student records. 

Documentation received is reviewed only by the CDA case management team.  Documentation received by CDA is not shared with instructors, professors, or University departments. 


Students registered with the Center for Disability & Access, are not required to disclose details about their disability or diagnosis to their professors or instructors.  However, students may disclose information if they choose to do so. 


Professors do not have access to and will not be able to review a student’s disability documentation.  

Instructors only have access to a student’s memo of accommodation once it has been requested by the student in the class.  Accommodation memos include the accommodations for which the student has been approved, but do not include details about a student’s condition or disability.

Changes between High School and the University

Documentation required and accommodations offered at the college or university level may differ from the high school setting because the laws which apply differ in each setting.  

Details about these differences can be found in the U.S. Office of Civil Rights document entitled, “Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities.”

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education

Accommodations and services are determined on a case-by-case basis and dependent on a student’s current functional limitations and the fundamental elements of each course and program.

It is possible that students may be approved for similar services as they have previously received. However, some accommodations that are offered in the secondary setting may not be available in the University setting.  

The University of Utah is not required to make academic adjustments that would substantially change the fundamental nature of a program or course, so an accommodation that may have been appropriate in another setting may not be approved at the University of Utah.

Accommodations must be requested by students directly.

At the post-secondary level, all academic decisions or requests must be made by the student. Parents are welcome to contact their student’s advisor to share information, but information shared by the advisor would only occur with the student’s permission.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Please review the CDA Student Handbook, “Rights and Responsibilities” section


Students are also encouraged to review the U.S. Office of Civil Rights document “Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities.

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education 

Campus and Other Accommodation Questions


Accommodations are available for orientation.  

Please submit your orientation accommodation requests as you register for orientation. CDA will work with the Orientation Office to coordinate accommodations.

the office of Orientation & transition


Accommodations are available both in Student Housing (Housing and Residential Education) and in the Family and Graduate Housing (Sunnyside Apartments).  

Students with disabilities, accommodations, and accessibility needs, or medically-related dietary restrictions should follow the same housing application process as all students to apply for housing at the U. 

At the same time, students should register with the Center for Disability & Access to request accommodations in housing.  

Housing accommodations are made available as space permits.

Please note, housing is in high demand and CDA is not able to move a student ahead in the waiting list for housing.  Please review the housing priority deadlines and application process. 


Students parked in designated ADA stalls within a regulated lot are required to purchase a University permit and display a state-issued ADA license plate or placard.  

Information about ADA Parking and Campus Shuttle Accommodations is available on the Commuter Services ADA Accommodations website.


Utah State ADA placard information is available through the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Please review the information on the U Facilities website regarding snow removal.  CDA is happy to work with students and facilities to discuss problem areas and priority paths of travel.  For immediate assistance, students should contact the Dispatch Office at (801) 581-7221.


The Universal Design and Access Committee has created an accessibility website for the campus and to identify and gather data on campus sidewalks to help convey accurate information about paths of travel on campus, what routes are accessible, and to identify needed improvements.

u of u accessibility


Accommodations are available in practical or clinical settings.  

However, the specific accommodations available are often different than those available in the classroom setting.  Students should contact their CDA Advisor to discuss these settings as part of their program or major.  CDA will work with the student and the field practicum coordinator to discuss and implement possible accommodations.

Last Updated: 6/13/24