For easier navigation and use, the frequently asked questions have been broken down into general common questions asked, as well as questions asked by parents and students, and faculty and staff.


What laws protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the college setting?

Individuals with disabilities are protected by Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, as well as other state and local regulations. The Americans with Disabilities Act is chiefly civil rights legislation; oversight is provided by the Department of Justice and the Office of Civil Rights.

To whom do these regulations apply?

All enrolled students, visitors to our campus, potential students who are visiting as well as their parents, people attending cultural events, convocations, or graduation, faculty and staff members, and students studying abroad are protected by these laws.

Who has a duty to comply with disabilities regulations?

All employees of Elon University should be aware of and comply with these regulations. Since classroom accommodations are not the sole type of accommodations provided, implementation and compliance is NOT just the responsibility of full time faculty and administrative staff. It is ALSO the responsibility of adjuncts, teaching assistants and visiting professors; safety and security personnel; other students; performance and game ushers, grounds keepers; residence hall staff; and housekeeping staff, among others.

How do students at Elon University access Disabilities Resources?

A student must disclose his or her disabilities to the Disabilities Resources Office and provide documentation that demonstrates that the individual has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Professors who have concerns about an individual who is not registered as a student with a disability are encouraged to refer that student to Disabilities Resources in Belk Library 226.


For Parents and Students

What are the differences between secondary and post-secondary education in terms of disabilities services?

There are a number of differences between secondary and post-secondary services for this population.

High School Special Education College Disabilities Services

  • IDEA
  • Sections 504 and 508

  • ADA of 1990
  • ADA Amendment Act of 2008
  • Sections 504 and 508

  • IEP is identifying document
  • School provides evaluation at no expense to student

  • IEP is not sufficient documentation
  • Student is evaluated at own expense
Student Role:

  • Student identified and supported by parents and teachers
  • Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to school
Student Role:

  • Student must self-identify to Disabilities Services
  • Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to the student
Parent Role:

  • Parents have access to student records and receive report cards
  • Parents advocate for children
Parent Role:

  • Parents do not have access to student records unless student provides written consent
  • Students advocate for themselves; parents are mentors

  • Teachers may alter curriculum and pace of assignments
  • Weekly testing, midterms, finals, and graded assignments
  • Attendance taken and reported

  • Professors not required to modify curriculum; expect all students to do the same work
  • Testing and assignments vary but generally cover longer units
  • Attendance varies by department and professor; student is responsible


What are some examples of disabilities that are accommodated at Elon University?

All individuals with disabilities who present documentation will be provided accommodations; at this time, we provide accommodations for individuals who have learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, psychological and psychiatric conditions, mobility issues, chronic illnesses, and sensory impairments.

What accommodations and services are available to students with disabilities?

Students are encouraged to use the Learning Assistance Center located on the 2nd floor of Belk Library and the Writing Center located on the 1st floor of Belk Library; these services are available to all students. Students with disabilities are provided with accommodations that allow them to access buildings, programs, and curricula of the University. All accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis; there is no list of approved accommodations that will be provided to all individuals that have any particular diagnosis.

When should I notify Elon University about my disability?

Students are encouraged to register with the Disabilities Resources office at any time after they have been admitted to the University – the sooner the better. Documentation will not be processed until after students have been admitted.

Should I disclose my disability during the admissions process?

That is entirely up to the individual. There are some students who feel that disclosure is necessary in order for admissions officers to understand the type of students they are; these individuals may want to include information about their disability status in an admissions essay. However, students will not be asked directly about their disability status during the admissions process, and disclosure is not required at this stage.

Who do I need to contact regarding my disability?

Disabilities Resources; Their office is located in Belk Library Room 226.  They can be reached at, or by phone at (336) 278-6568.

Am I required to show documentation of my disability to professors?

No. Professors are provided accommodation letters (delivered by the student) which identify the individual as a student with a disability and list the accommodations that have been approved for that student. No additional documentation is required for the professor. Students are encouraged to have discussions with their professors about what their needs are and how their accommodations will be put in place; however, students are not required to disclose the specific nature of their disability issues.

What if I need special housing accommodations?

Medical requests for housing are sometimes appropriate. Application materials for these requests are located at the Residence Life website. There are sections for the student to complete as well as a detailed section for the consulting physician.

What if I need a world language or math class waiver?

Waivers for world language or mathematics courses are never approved. However, there is a process by which students may request a world language (or mathematics) substitution. Please note that substitutions for math are rarely approved. If a math course is required for a major, Disabilities Resources will not approve a substitution. Students must have significant documentation indicating the presence of deficits that will make such learning extremely difficult, as well as a history of enrollment in such classes with poor results. Students who have never taken such classes will be asked to enroll; performance in the class will be evaluated before the end of the drop/add period, and a decision regarding the substitution will be made at that time.

How often must I provide new documentation to the Disabilities Resources?

Once you are registered as a student with a disability, further documentation is generally not required. However, if there are changes in your condition or you require further accommodations that are not warranted through the initial documentation, further evaluation may be requested.

Why do I have to fill out a Request for Accommodations form every semester?

Students’ needs change from time to time and from class to class. It is therefore a good idea to consider how your needs are being served and if there are any additional accommodations that are necessary.


For Faculty and Staff

How do I know that the accommodations that have been approved are appropriate?

Documentation for students with disabilities is thoroughly analyzed and all requests for accommodations must be appropriate and reasonable in order to be approved. Upon presentation of the accommodations letter, professors are expected to help provide the accommodations that have been approved for each individual student unless such accommodations constitute a fundamental alteration of the curriculum.

May I look at my students’ documentation to see if I think accommodations are reasonable?

No. All disabilities-related information is shared with Elon University faculty and staff on a need-to-know basis only, and documentation will never be shared. The records of students with disabilities are confidential and are securely locked in a confidential file.

What should I do if a student asks for accommodations after he/she takes an exam?

Accommodations are never retroactive; professors are under no obligation to provide accommodations in this situation. Professors are encouraged to refer all non-registered students who indicate that they have disability-related needs to Disabilities Resources.

Must I change my attendance policy for students with disabilities?

No. However, sometimes professors are encouraged to be flexible in figuring the weight that attendance should play in a student’s grade. Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances, particularly with students who have chronic illnesses, which should be considered. The final decision regarding this issue, however, rests with the individual professor.

How do I know what accommodations I have to provide to a student?

Students who require accommodations are provided with notification letters for each of their professors. These letters identify the individual as a student with a disability and list the accommodations that have been approved.

Does status as a student with a disability affect whether I am obligated to talk with parents about student performance (grades, attendance, etc.)?

No. Unless a student has signed a release, faculty and staff are not obligated to speak with parents about their student’s performance in the classroom.