Disability Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by colleges and universities receiving federal funding. Washburn University School of Law provides reasonable accommodations for students who are qualified individuals with disabilities. Qualified individuals with disabilities are defined as those persons with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Washburn University School of Law determines disability based on information provided by the student, including current medical documentation describing the nature and severity of the impairment limiting at least one major life activity and supporting the need for an accommodation.

  • All medical documentation and assessment forms must be completed by a qualified professional, such as a licensed physician, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or neuropsychologist.
  • The professional making the recommendation for reasonable accommodation must be the same professional completing the medical documentation and assessment form(s).

Reasonable accommodation is determined based on the student's needs and will vary from student to student. Reasonable accommodation enables a qualified student the equal opportunity to participate in courses, programs, facilities, activities, or services. A student receiving an accommodation must meet the same demands as all students and is responsible for learning the subject knowledge and demonstrating mastery of the subject content.

The student seeking the accommodation should initiate the request process by contacting Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, the disability services officer for the School of Law. The General Disability Assessment Form and the Student Intake Questionnaire (228 KB PDF) must be completed as part of the request for accommodations. For students requesting accommodation for Autism Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, additional documentations and forms are required (see below).

  • Exam Accommodations
    • Notice of the need for exam accommodation must be made at least nine (9) weeks prior to the exam date.
    • Documentation supporting the exam accommodation request, including assessment by a qualified professional, must be provided at least three (3) weeks prior to the exam.
  • Notice for all other accommodations should be made at least two (2) weeks prior to the date services will be needed.

Students with a current accommodation need should contact Dean Dempsey Swopes immediately at Washburn University School of Law, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS 66621-1140, (785) 670-1672 or accommodations@washburnlaw.edu.

Autism Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Accommodations Requests

If a student has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), completion of an additional assessment form by a qualified professional is required. The diagnostic criteria for ASD or AD/HD are as specified in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5. Both the Autism Spectrum Disorder Form or the AD/HD Assessment Form should be provided along with the General Disability Assessment Form.

  • Persons with ASD have persistent deficits in communication and demonstrate restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. These symptoms must be present in the individual's early developmental period, although they may not manifest fully until later in life, and cause impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of current function. The symptoms of ASD cannot be explained by another diagnosis, such as an intellectual disability or global developmental delay. The assessment documentation must rate the severity of the student's disorder based on the DSM-5 severity rating scale. The documentation must also include the autism-specific instrument used to assess the student, the symptom(s), and the recommended reasonable accommodation for each symptom.
  • Persons with AD/HD have persistent patterns of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interfere with functioning. At least five symptoms of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity must be present in persons over the age of 17 for at least six months. The symptoms should be inconsistent with the person's developmental level and should negatively impact academic, occupational, or social activities. Several symptoms must have been present prior to age 12 even though a diagnosis may not be made until after age 12. Symptoms should also be present in the educational environment and at least one other setting, such as home, work, or socially. The symptoms must interfere with or reduce the quality of academic, occupational, or social functioning. Symptoms cannot be explained by another diagnosis, such as a mental disorder or psychotic disorder. The assessment documentation must include the rating scale used to assess the student, the symptom(s), and the recommended reasonable accommodation for each symptom.

Updated: November 20, 2023.

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