Rights & Responsibilities

Providing equal access for students with disabilities and other conditions requiring accommodation is a shared University responsibility. This is one of the reasons that AccessibleNU recently changed its name from Services for Students with Disabilities: to emphasize that providing reasonable accommodations and services is the responsibility and duty of the entire campus, not one office.

As Northwestern becomes more physically accessible by removing architectural barriers and more technologically accessible by working with departments across campus to encourage the purchase of accessible formats and development of accessible websites, AccessibleNU is constantly working toward the removal of invisible attitudinal barriers and microaggressions facing encountered by students served by our center.

Role of AccessibleNU

  1. To facilitate reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities or related conditions who are registered with AccessibleNU and require accommodation

  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

Please note that a student who has a disability or other condition but has not registered with AccessibleNU is not considered a student with a disability by the University and therefore not entitled to services or accommodations, nor are any accommodations retroactive from before the point of their registration with our office. As a result, the rights and responsibilities below refer specifically to students with disabilities who are registered with our center.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities registered with AccessibleNU have the following rights:

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, and activities offered through the University

  • Equal opportunity to learn, and to receive reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments in an effort to diminish the effect of the condition on academic functioning

  • Self-determination of who will receive student-released, disability-related materials and information within and outside the University (see our confidentiality page)

  • The same rights and privileges available to other students at Northwestern University

  • The right to exercise the informal and/or formal grievance procedure for students with disabilities if you not afforded one or more of the above rights

For more information on your legal rights, please review the relevant laws or use the external links to legal resources included in our resources for students.

Students with disabilities registered with AccessibleNU have the following responsibilities:

  • Self-identify as an individual with a disability via notification from AccessibleNU prior to when an accommodation is needed, and seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary in a timely fashion

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for courses, programs, and activities

  • Provide requested documentation (from an appropriate professional) or otherwise demonstrate how the disability or condition limits your participation in courses, programs, services, and activities if you have a request outside of the accommodations for which you have been approved

  • Follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids and services

  • Comply with Northwestern's policy for academic integrity by accurately portraying accommodation needs to instructors and when taking tests at the AccessibleNU Center