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Student Disability Services

To request disability related accommodations or services at Johns Hopkins, students should complete the process outlined below. Student Disability Services staff is available at each of Johns Hopkins’ schools to work with students throughout the process. Please review the list of Student Disability Services staff by school to determine who your contact will be and reach out to them by email or phone if you have any questions.

Disability Defined

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability.

How to Begin the Process of Requesting Accommodations

Working with Student Disability Services to officially request accommodations and services not only protects a student’s right to have barriers removed, but also enables them to maintain confidentiality around the details of their disability and to share only information that needs to be known. Student Disability Services (SDS) encourages students with disabilities who need accommodations or services to request them by taking the following steps:

  1. Complete the SDS online application through our university-wide database, Accommodation Information Manager (AIM)
  2. Submit documentation using the link received after you submit the application.
  3. Schedule a meeting with the SDS staff member at your school to discuss your needs as well as potential accommodations and services.

Documentation

Documentation is used to support the interactive process of exploring accommodation and services that will remove barriers. Our Documentation Guidelines provide information about what is needed to establish eligibility for services, and our Documentation Form  can be completed by a qualified professional/provider.  There is also link to a web version of the form that can be printed out.

A complete educational evaluation is required for learning disabilities and strongly recommended for ADHD so services can be effectively matched with needs.

Please Note: SDS does not accept medical records as documentation because they typically include information that we do not need and are not authorized to store. Medical records also frequently lack information about the disability and its specific impact within a higher education setting.

What to expect during the initial meeting

  • Your SDS advisor will initiate a conversation about the barriers you have faced historically and anticipate facing in your program
  • Your accommodation request will be discussed
  • Additional accommodations may be suggested based on the conversation
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities will be reviewed
  • Once accommodations are confirmed, an Eligibility Letter will be sent to you
  • You will be granted access to send out academic accommodation letters (if applicable) through the AIM Student Portal immediately following approval
  • Please remember that it is the student’s responsibility to log in each semester or term to send their academic accommodation letters to faculty

Timing

Accommodations and services are provided once the initial process has been completed and eligibility has been established. Since the process can take some time, we encourage student to begin the process well in advance of the start of their program or as soon as possible when a need arises so that services or accommodations can be coordinated in a timely way.

Relevant dates to receive priority for particular accommodations will be provided on the Student Disability Services pages at each school. Accommodations may be requested at any time but are not retroactive.

Confidentiality/Self Advocacy

Disclosing all relevant information to Student Disability Services is essential to establishing a eligibility for services or accommodations and ensuring what is provided will be effective in meeting needs. Once affiliated with Student Disability Services and approved to use accommodations or services, students have a choice about how much information is shared beyond that point and students retain the right to request/use accommodations or to elect not to. Disclosure is a personal choice and students are always free to provide whatever information they are comfortable sharing, but Student Disability Services processes preserve confidentiality for students who prefer to disclose only what is needed (the accommodation or services).

Temporary and Provisional Accommodations

Students with injuries or concussion may need temporary accommodations for a short-term disability. Provisional accommodations may be provided while students are seeking an evaluation to determine the presence of a disability or the specific services or accommodations needed. Please contact the Student Disability Services staff member at your school to discuss your situation and needs to determine what is possible.