Syllabus Statement For Students With Disabilities:

Reasonable academic accommodations may be provided to students who submit appropriate documentation of their disability. If students have need of assistance or questions with this issue, they  are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) at or by phone at 610.660.1774. The Office of SDS also provides an appeal/grievance procedure for complaints regarding requested or offered reasonable accommodations.  More information can be found at:


Confidentiality of your students’ information is essential. At no time should the class be informed that any of your students has a disability, unless the student makes a specific request to do so. All disability related information that your student gives to you is to be used specifically for arranging reasonable accommodations for your student’s course of study.

Evacuation and Emergency Procedures:

Procedures: It is the responsibility of the Public Safety and Security Department supervisor to provide access and egress for persons with disabilities during emergencies and when the elevator system is under repair. Emergency and evacuation procedures for students with disabilities are addressed in Operational Directive #16*.  The plan also ensures that there will be no disruption in the educational process and classes will be immediately relocated to an accessible site.

At the beginning of each semester, a list of students with physical disabilities is provided to the Public Safety and Security Department to ensure proper evacuation of those students needing assistance.

Student Medical Emergency Response
Action to be taken:
  1. Faculty, Staff, Others – Contact Public Safety immediately at extension 1111.
  2. Public Safety will contact the Student Health Center during regular office hours for consultation.
  3. If the Student Health Center is not open, Public Safety will call 911 and either Philadelphia Fire Rescue or Narberth Ambulance will transport the student to the nearest hospital for treatment.  The student, in some cases, may exercise their right to refuse to be taken to the hospital.
  4. Public Safety will notify the Vice President for Student Life (or designee)


Accessibility to and Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities

PURPOSE:   To ensure that all persons with disabilities have access to and egress from all

Residence halls, classrooms, labs and buildings along with access to all services that are available to all Saint Joseph’s University community.

POLICY:   It is the responsibility of the Supervisors in the Office of Public Safety and Security to provide access and egress assistance to persons with disabilities during emergencies and during times when an elevator is not working or under repair.


A.  Supervisor will notify the Director or the Assistant Director of Operations if the following situations arise:

  1. Elevators are shut down for scheduled maintenance.
  2. Elevators are out of order or any barrier is created preventing access to an elevator.
  3. Fire or chemical emergencies in any University building.

B. If a fire or chemical emergency or elevator shutdown occurs in any University building, Supervisors shall immediately check the Persons with Disabilities class schedule list or Persons with Disabilities Staff and Faculty list*.  They will then proceed to the academic building, residence hall or office building with the Area Patrol Officer to assist any persons with disabilities in their egress from the building involved in the emergency or if the elevators are shut down.  The Supervisor and the Area Patrol Officer should take any wheel-chair bound person to the closest Fire Stairwell and wait for the arrival of the Emergency Response Personnel who will evacuate the wheelchair- bound person.

C. The Director or the Assistant Director of Operations, in the event of a fire or chemical emergency, or during any shut down of elevators, shall have the following persons notified:

  1. Director of Students Disability Services: 9 AM to 5 PM at 610.660.1774. After 5 PM, refer to the Emergency Phone List
  2. The Residence Life Area Manager on duty if the person with a disability is a resident in University housing.
  3. Dean of the University College or Graduate School of the Student.

C. Office of Facilities Management, Duty Supervisor will arrange for repair of the elevator in the event of a breakdown.  Other notifications and arrangements shall be made at the direction of the Director or Assistant Director of Operations when the Director of Student Disability Services is not available.

*A confidential list of students and/or staff with special needs will be kept in Public Safety Headquarters.  This list will contain information regarding where the person lives or works on campus and a classroom schedule for students.

Parent Notification:

  • The University requires prior written consent of the student to notify parents.  However, if the condition of the student is determined to pose a threat to the health or safety of the student or others parents will be notified of the action taken, including, but not limited to, the condition of the student and the fact of transport to the nearest hospital.
  • Parents will be notified by the Vice President for Student Life or the appointed designee (Director of Public Safety, Director of Student Health, Director of Residence Life)

Approved by the Vice President for Student Life
Revised Fall Semester, 2012


Explanation of Accommodations

Extended time for tests or exams:  Whenever a student wishes to use this particular accommodation, they must make a “Testing Room Booking Request” through Accommodate.  The request is then automatically forwarded to the professor for their approval. The professor then must approve and submit the request which will go to the Office of SDS.  Students must make the request 7 days in advance of the test.  Students will take their exams in the Testing Center, which provides a distraction-reduced environment.

Reasonable extension for assignments:  There may be times when a student is unable to complete an assignment on time due to the nature of their disability.  These situations may occur only occasionally and the student should not expect this accommodation to be allowed on a regular basis.  It is up to the student to contact the professor and work out an agreeable extension.  The Office of Student Disability Services may help in these situations, but most often, the extension can be worked out between the student and the professor.  Class assignment extensions will be provided only in the case that missing an assignment date will not delay the progress of other students in the class or serve as a foundation for a next assignment. It is also advisable that the student submit whatever portion of the assignment they have completed by the due date to show that the student has made an effort to complete the assignment on time.

Absence from class may be health related:  Some students have certain disorders or disabilities that make it difficult to attend class on a given day.  Other students may have a series of doctor’s appointments that have been scheduled well ahead of time.  The students’ condition can be unpredictable and episodic in nature, which may occasionally impact attendance and/or the ability to meet deadlines due to flare-ups or medical appointments for treatment. This accommodation is only to be used for disability-related absences. In these instances, it is the student’s responsibility to contact their professor(s) immediately and tell them that they are unable to attend class that day. It is suggested that they copy the Office of Student Disability Services in on that email so that everyone is aware of the situation and our office can verify the absence as legitimate based on their disability.  All other absences are to follow university/professor policies for missed classes.  It is also the responsibility of the student to follow up with the professor once they return to class to find out what notes or assignments they may have missed.

Recording lectures:  Students who have been granted this accommodation are permitted to bring a recording device to class to record lectures.  Students have been advised that they should meet with their professor(s) ahead of time to discuss this accommodation so that they are aware that the student will be using a recording device.  Students have also been informed and signed an agreement that they may not share, distribute or circulate any portion of the recording with others due to confidentiality and copyright concerns.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS)?

A: The office of SDS coordinates and ensures services and accommodations for registered students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Office of SDS also acts as a resource for faculty and staff as well as a gateway for disability-related information and guidance. These services provide equal educational opportunities to students by minimizing the impact of functional limitations upon their academic and non-academic lives.

Q: Who is responsible for determining reasonable accommodations?

A: All documentation of a disability is to be submitted to the office of SDS for review and determination for eligibility as a student with a disability. Determination for services and accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, and are based on the documentation provided by the student with a disability, as well as the student's functional limitations.

Q: Are all students with disabilities registered with the Office of SDS?

A: No. It is possible that a student with a disability has chosen not to submit documentation or register with the Office of SDS. In those instances, faculty do not need to provide accommodations for those students unless the disability is so blatant (e.g., requiring a wheelchair, walking cane, etc.). It is still advisable that all students with disabilities register with the Office of SDS.

Q: How do I know if a student is registered with the Office of SDS?

A: Students who register with the Office of SDS and are eligible for accommodations receive an accommodation plan that will be sent to you electronically. The letter will be current and dated for the semester the student is requesting accommodations. The letter will state the accommodations the student is eligible to receive.

Q: When is a student required to notify me of a need for accommodations?

A: Accommodations are not provided retroactively. The Office of SDS encourages but does not require registered students to meet with you at the beginning of each semester to discuss his/her Accommodation Plan. However, a student may be diagnosed later in the semester and register with the Office of SDS at any time during the semester.

Q: Am I allowed to request documentation from the student for any reason?

A: No. Documentation stating and describing a student's disability is confidential information.  Documentation for students registered with Disability Resources is kept confidential and separate from the rest of the student’s educational records.

Q: Do I have any recourse if I disagree with the requested accommodations?

A: Yes. You should contact the Office of SDS to discuss your concerns.

Q: I have a student in class who has accommodations but has since never used them. What is my responsibility in this situation?

A: Check in with the student to see if they are requesting accommodations for your course. However, please note, it is the student’s responsibility to implement accommodations.  He may choose not to use accommodations in your class.

Q: A student has accommodations but he never uses them. The student then comes to me at the end of the semester right before Finals, and tells me he's failing and asks for the requested accommodations now.  What do I do?

A: The student has ultimate responsibility to make use of the accommodations that have been identified as reasonable. You are not expected to retroactively make adjustments on any prior assignments or testing; however, you are obligated to provide accommodations from that point forward once the accommodation request has been made and providing there is sufficient time to implement the accommodation.

Q: If a student informs me that he has a disability and would like an accommodation such as extra time for an exam but I have not have received a letter from the Office of SDS  stating his accommodations, am I required to provide accommodations?

A: No, you are not required to provide any requested accommodation unless you have been notified by the Office of SDS that the student has that particular accommodation.

Q: Am I required to lower the standards of a required assignment because the student has a disability?

A: No. The standards should be the same for all students. However, some students with disabilities may exhibit their knowledge, production or other course expectations differently than their peers. Accommodations are designed to address those differences, but the quality of the end result should be the same.

Q: I have a student who is having difficulty in my class. I think this student may have a disability. What should I do to help the student?

A: Talk privately with the student to discuss your observations. Do not assume that the student's difficulties are a result of a disability, but if, through discussion with the student, it appears appropriate, refer the student to one or more campus resources. There are many resources on campus to help students be academically successful, offer options to the student, such as Learning Resources, Counseling Center, as well as Disability Services. If the student discloses that he or she does have a disability, suggest that the student contact the Office of SDS to explore options for accommodations.

Q: I have a student with a disability who is getting behind in his schoolwork. The student is missing a number of classes and has not handed in several assignments.

Although he has taken a midterm and used accommodations, he is not passing the class at this point. Do I have a right to fail a student with a disability?

A: The student with a disability has the same right to fail as anyone else. Work produced by the student should be equivalent to his peers. Provision of accommodations is no guarantee of academic success.

Q: If students need in-class academic accommodations to be successful, what will they do when they get out in the "real world"?

A: The Office of SDS strives to promote independence and self-advocacy within each of our students, providing means through which students excel in the present and prepare themselves for the future. For some individuals, accommodations will be essential in both the academic environment and the work force.  Accommodations for sensory disabilities, such as hearing loss, low vision or blindness, may be the responsibility of an employer. For many students, however, the greatest need for accommodations is in academic-related pursuits, such as test taking or note-taking in class.