General Info and Documentation
The ODA serves a wide variety of physical and medical conditions. As with all other disabilities, the reasonable accommodation process begins with applying for services. Please make sure your physician fills out the Physical Conditions Form [pdf] completely. You should ask your health care provider to carefully read the instructions on the form and fully complete all sections. Incomplete, unsigned, or forms missing crucial information may delay services.
All reasonable accommodations must be justified by your documentation; there must be a link between the limitations and the requested modification. For example, if you have severe arthritis and cannot take your own notes, the ODA may suggest the adjustment of allowing you to use a tape recorder in class to your professors. Or, perhaps your arthritis is only a problem when you have to handwrite your notes. The ODA may loan you a note taking device that you can use to type your notes instead. The documentation provided by your medical doctor and your personal knowledge of your disability will help us decide upon your reasonable accommodations.
Additional services for health concerns often include; extended time for in-class assignments, tests and quizzes, scribes or readers for tests, tardiness leniency, and adaptive furnishings, to name a few. Remember, your services are dependent upon your input and the medical documentation received from your health care provider. Make sure your documentation form or letter includes substantial details on your diagnosis, your functional limitations and how they impacts your everyday living (including academic pursuits), in order to determine reasonable accommodations.
Students Using Wheelchairs/Mobility Problems
The UNT campus presents some challenges to students who use wheelchairs or have other mobility concerns. Most campus buildings are fully accessible and have elevators. It is a good idea to go to your classes before the first day to make sure there are no access issues. Report any problems to the ODA and the class can be moved. The terrain of the UNT campus does have a few long slopes and hills. It is strongly recommended that students schedule their classes accordingly to allow for time to traverse the campus. The newer dorms, especially Traditions Hall, were designed with accessibility in mind. When applying for housing, make sure to request an "ADA Dorm Room" on your application. If you use attendant care providers, access will be granted for them to assist you in dorm rooms. It is important to note that attendants are considered a "personal care service" which UNT does not provide. If you utilize attendant care, it will be your responsibility to recruit, compensate and train these individuals.
To park in the accessible spaces on campus, you must purchase a student parking pass from the UNT Parking Office and you must have an accessible parking placard or license plates. If you do not already have these, you can request them from the City of Denton Tax Assessor/Collector Office.
The UNT transportation system is made up completely of buses that are wheelchair accessible. If you need transportation around campus, these buses should meet your needs. However, UNT does not provide transportation from one campus building to another on an on-call basis. Lastly, if you notice any accessibility issues with our campus, please alert the ODA as soon as possible by emailing your ODA student services coordinator.
Chronic Health Conditions
Numerous health related disabilities fall under this heading. Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Lupus, Heart Conditions, AIDS and many other diagnoses are served by our office each semester. We understand that your chronic illness may "flare up" unexpectedly and can cause you to miss class or even be unable to finish your semester. Communication is key to maximize your chances of success when dealing with such disabilities. If your health care professional provides substantial documentation, the ODA may recommend that professors allow absence leniency. However, if the class is a lab, or involves intensive class participation, absence leniency may not be appropriate. If your condition worsens and you find yourself missing more classes than you expected, alert your ODA student services coordinator and your instructor immediately. It is also helpful to request an updated medical note, especially if you wish to withdraw for the semester. It should be noted that while we will do our best to serve chronic health concerns, often students must suspend their academic pursuits to work closely with their doctors and return when the condition has stabilized.
The ODA does not provide reasonable accommodations for temporary conditions such as broken bones, minor surgery with standard recovery times, pregnancy, colds or the flu. You may contact the Dean of Students Office http://deanofstudents.unt.edu/temporary_illness.