Office of Disability Services (ODS)

Office of Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) is the primary university office responsible for the coordination of auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) provides academic accommodations and support to ensure that students with disabilities are able to access and participate in the opportunities available at the University of Miami. Individuals with disabilities must request academic accommodations through the Office of Disabilities. Accommodations are determined on a collaborative and case-by-case basis and are based on the documentation provided by the individual. ODS staff will work collaboratively with students to determine what academic adjustments and educational auxiliary aids are reasonable to ensure that students with disabilities are not subject to discrimination. In this regard, documentation is reviewed and accommodations are assigned in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), including the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008.

Information is available to prospective and enrolled students, their parents and/or sponsors. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) is located in the Camner Academic Resource Center in Whitten University Center N201. ODS staff can be reached at 305-284-2374 (Voice), 305-284-3401 (TDD) or 305-284-1999 (Fax). Office hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Individuals may email the office staff at disabilityservices@miami.edu for quick responses to questions.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and may be entitled to reasonable accommodations and/or equal access to programs and services. The University of Miami follows and abides by the definition of disability set forth in the foregoing statutes. In this regard, in determining whether a person is a qualified individual with a disability, the University of Miami does not take into consideration the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures other than ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Eligibility for Services

ODS determines eligibility for services and accommodations and collaborates with faculty and staff to ensure individualized implementation of recommended services and accommodations, including accessible coursework, housing, transportation and campus activities. Registering with ODS is the required first set for students who wish to request a disability-related accommodation or service.

Documentation

In most circumstances, in order to determine the appropriate accommodation, ODS may require current (within the past 3 years) documentation which includes, but is not limited to, a diagnosis of a current disability, the date of the diagnosis, how the diagnosis was reached, the credentials of the diagnosing professional and how the disability affects a major life activity. Please note that the documentation that might be requested varies on a case by case basis. The requested documentation is evaluated consistent with the language and requirements of all current and applicable statutes and regulations.

During the initial consultation with the ODS staff, in most instances, an individual will be given a list of case-specific documentation requirements, which should be submitted to ODS promptly, but no later than 4 weeks prior to the start of classes in order to ensure sufficient time for the review process and coordination of services. Documentation guidelines may also be obtained by contacting the office or under the documentation guidelines link on this website. Academic accommodations are not applied retroactively and may only be provided to students registered with ODS. As required by law, ODS maintains confidentiality of all records.


The Office of Disability Services is also responsible for reviewing all requests for housing accommodations. Students are required to complete all the necessary applications, pay  deposits, and meet all deadlines set forth by the University of Miami Department of Housing and Residential Life. Students must then submit documentation to the Office of Disability Services along with a written request for housing accommodations. Students are encouraged to submit requests early or prior to regular housing registration. Requests received after housing assignments have been published may not be considered until the following semester due to limited housing availability.

Documentation will only be reviewed once it is complete. Students are notified by email of all decisions pertaining to the request for services.  Students are responsible for monitoring their email account for the receipt of important information pertaining to their accommodations.

Services of a personal nature (for example, readers for personal use or assistance in eating or dressing) are not provided through ODS. However, ODS counselors may make referrals, where possible, to other offices or agencies that may assist in providing nonacademic or personal services.

ODS will not provide any accommodations until all essential documentation has been submitted and students participate in an interactive and collaborative process. Students seeking services at ODS should remember the following points:
  • In granting accommodations, the University of Miami follows and abides by all applicable statutes and regulations.
  • Accommodations are provided individually, not as a package, and are based on the student's disability, the student's individual needs, and the attendant documentation.
  • The University of Miami will not grant accommodations that may fundamentally alter the nature of a course of study or that constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of the student or University community.
  • The fact that other accommodations were granted at other institutions does not guarantee that the same accommodation will be granted at the University of Miami.
  • Accommodations must be requested through ODS prior to June 1st for the fall semester and prior to December 1st for the spring semester. Accommodations for summer and intersession courses must be submitted 6 weeks prior to the first day of classes. These deadlines are in place to provide sufficient time to review information and allow for the coordination of any granted accommodations prior to the first day of class. All requests are processed in the order that they are received. Longer delays will apply for incomplete documentation. Requests for accommodations received after the deadline will be processed for the next regular term semester.
  • The student is responsible for submitting the Accommodation Request Form along with comprehensive documentation. Request forms without accompanying documentation will not be reviewed.
  • Freshmen are advised to submit documentation immediately after being accepted to the University.
  • Accommodations are not granted on a retroactive basis.
  • The University of Miami does not have a comprehensive learning disabilities program, or any other disability-specific program, but examines an individual's needs on a case-by-case basis to provide reasonable accommodations and a system of support services to address those needs.
  • ODS has information about the types of adapted equipment available on campus.