Rights and Responsibilities

Providing equal access for students with disabilities is a shared University responsibility. An open mind and a positive attitude allow for creative alternatives for students to achieve their full potential. As Northwestern becomes more physically accessible by removing architectural barriers, we must also work towards the removal of invisible attitudinal barriers facing students with disabilities. Cooperation is the key.

Role of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)

  1. To facilitate reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities
  2. To be a resource for faculty members to help create accessible learning environments
  3. To provide information to the campus community to ensure the inclusion of students with disabilities in all campus activities

Rights and Responsibilities of Northwestern University

Northwestern University has the following rights:

  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge, requirements, and standards for courses, programs, services, and activities, and to evaluate students on this basis.
  • Request and receive, through SSD, current documentation that supports requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids and services
  • Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, or auxiliary aids and services if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted, or if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation
  • Select among equally effective accommodations, adjustments, and auxiliary aids and services
  • Refuse an unreasonable accommodation, adjustment, or auxiliary aid and service that imposes a fundamental alteration of a program or activity of the University

Northwestern University has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide information to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request
  • Ensure that courses, programs, services, and activities when viewed in their entirety, are available in the most integrated and appropriate settings
  • Evaluate students on their abilities and not their disabilities
  • Provide or arrange for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities in courses, programs, services, and activities.
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication except where permitted or required by law or when the student requests that such information is shared