Initial Request for Services

Overview

To request reasonable accommodations for a disability you are encouraged to first meet with an ODA counselor to determine if our services are right for you. It is essential to submit the ODA Request for Services Form  and your medical and/or psychological records that document your disability diagnosis and how you are negatively impacted academically before you can be determined eligible for official services.

Request Services Through the Correct Office

Since UNT, UNT Dallas, and the UNT Health Science Center are separate campuses and have their own disability service support staff, you must apply for services at each campus where you are enrolled. The UNT Denton ODA does not make recommendations for classes held at UNT Dallas or the UNT Health Science Center and has no supervisory role over these offices. If you need services for classes held at the UNT Dallas campus, go to Services at UNT Dallas. For reasonable accommodations at the UNT Health Science Center, go to UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

How to File Your First Request for Services

For documentation requirements by disability, including learning, emotional, and physical disabilities, see those pages on this website.

Please keep in mind that the process below must be completed before the ODA can provide any services or make any formal  recommendations to faculty on your behalf. On average, the process takes at least two weeks to complete, but if your documentation does not meet all the requirements listed on the documentation page, there may be further delays.

  1. OptionalContact the ODA to schedule an "Information Meeting" with an ODA Counselor. In this meeting, we will listen to your concerns and help you decide on pursuing formal services with our office or not. The counselor will explain what sort of documentation will be required for your disability and refer you to resources where you can obtain such documentation. Often, we are able to refer students to resources on campus that can provide immediate assistance for a wide range of issues, including financial, personal, medical and academic. However, official services do not begin until the remaining steps of this process are complete. As noted, step one is optional. If you already have documentation, you may start with the next step.
  2. Required - If you decide to pursue formal, reasonable accommodations, submit your documentation to the ODA in person, by email (apply.oda@unt.edu) or by fax (940) 369-7969 with the ODA Request for Services Form  documentation is reviewed weekly.
  3. Required - After your documentation is reviewed, you will receive a phone call from the ODA support staff. They will ask you to come to our office for an appointment.  NOTE: The support staff will not be able to discuss the results of the documentation review. You will receive written notification of the results of the documentation review by mail. This notification will state whether or not your documentation was sufficient or if more information is required.
  4. Required - You must attend the ODA group orientation session or an individual ODA orientation. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you may be asked to reschedule. If more information is required, you will you will be informed how to go about acquiring the additional information but you will not be eligible for ODA orientation. You must resubmit your documentation with this updated information in order to proceed.

If your documentation was determined to be sufficient for the ODA to determine eligibility, you will receive a letter of reasonable accommodation after attending the ODA intake appointment. You must then take this letter to your instructors and discuss the it before they can be implemented. It is your responsibility to distribute the letters to your professors. Your services begin once you have discussed them with your instructors. They are not retroactive and cannot be applied to any previous tests, quizzes, assignments, absences or coursework.

Remember, you must complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form [pdf], or submit the request online to receive your letters each semester.

Documentation Guidelines

Students requesting a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must provide the following information to the Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA) from his or her physician, educational diagnostician, licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or other qualified professional. Documentation received will be considered in determining whether a student is disabled as defined by the ADA, and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodation.

To simplify the process the following forms may be used for the some types of disabilities or a formal letter may be created as long as it contains all of the elements listed below:

Note: Documentation of a learning disability (dyslexia, writing disorders, math disorders etc.) may not be completed using a form or letter. Psychological testing will be required, and students needing services for learning disabilities should make an appointment with an ODA counselor prior to seeking documentation.

The information provided should include:

  • Specific, detailed diagnosis for each physical or mental impairment, substantiated by DSM-IV (for psychological) or ICD-10 (for medical) designation.
  • Statement as to if whether each physical or mental impairment is permanent or temporary; if temporary, the expected duration of the impairment.
  • Information as to how each physical or mental impairment directly and currently affects the individual with regard to physical, emotional, cognitive or other limitations, to what level of severity the physical or mental impairment impacts the individual's major life activities (for a example, walking, hearing, seeing, learning, communicating, breathing, and so forth).
  • What impact does the physical or mental impairment have in the context of the classroom/learning environment?
  • How are the impairments mitigated, corrected, or managed by assistive devices (such as hearing aid, walker) medications, treatments or other coping mechanisms?
  • Specific recommendations as to what reasonable accommodations (such as note taker, extended testing time, sign language interpreter, etc.) are necessary for equal access in the academic environment.
  • If client is taking medication for treatment of conditions, note any possible or existing side effects and how these can affect the client in daily functioning and within the classroom environment.

Only upon receipt of documentation will the student be considered for reasonable accommodation. Documentation will be viewed in both a historical and current context, but providing documentation does not automatically qualify student for services through ODA. For example, some educational diagnostic reports (such as Admission Review Dismissal, or A.R.D., reports and 504 Plans) and medical reports (physician's release to return to work) are not considered independently sufficient in determining reasonable accommodation, but will be considered with other supporting documents.

Documentation should be submitted on office letterhead with the signature and credentials of qualified professional. Once ODA receives the documentation, it becomes part of the student's educational record and is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Any questions from the physician/diagnostician may be directed to an ODA Counselor at (940) 565-4323, fax (940) 369-7969, or TTY (940) 369-8652.