Disabilities Accommodations Policy

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Full Policy Contents

Policy Statement
Reason for Policy

Additional Contacts
Related Information

Effective: 11/1/16
Last Updated: 05/18/2018

Responsible University Office:
Medical Student Education

Responsible University Administrator
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education

Policy Contact:

RESPONSIBLE Assistant dean for academic advising
ACCOUNTABLE Assistant dean for academic advising
SUPPORT Learning specialist
Senior administrative assistant to the deans/coordinator of Mentoring and Advising Program
CONSULT Disabilities Accommodations Committee
INFORM Students

LCME Standards

10.5 Technical Standards


Students who request accommodation for a physical or sensory disability can learn how and when to apply for accommodations at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Indiana University and its School of Medicine to provide reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as necessary for students with disabilities; accommodations will be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis consistent with written documentation establishing that the individual is a qualified individual with a disability.

The Indiana University School of Medicine Disabilities Accommodations Committee (DAC) determines the following: (a) whether or not a student is to be considered “disabled” at IUSM under the Americans with Disabilities Act; (b) whether or not the student seems otherwise qualified for medical school, based on the Technical Standards for Medical School Admission and Retention; (c) whether or not the student is entitled to accommodation, based on documentation; and (d) what specific accommodations, if any, are most reasonable. The committee approves policy revisions related to disability issues as necessary. To maximize confidentiality, only members of the DAC have access to students’ full diagnostic information.

The committee reviews all requests for accommodations. Its members are the assistant dean for academic advising; the learning specialist, a representative from the clinical faculty; a neuropsychologist; the IUPUI director of adaptive educational services; and legal counsel.

The Disabilities Accommodations Committee works in coordination with the IUPUI Office of Adaptive Educational Services. Questions about the IUSM Disability Policy and Procedures should be referred to the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, Medical Student Affairs, MS 164, 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120 or (317) 274-1963.

Reason for Policy

Applicable law (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the Indiana Civil Rights Act) and university policy prohibit discrimination in educational programs against qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Indiana University and its School of Medicine to provide reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as necessary; accommodations will be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis consistent with written documentation establishing that the individual is a qualified individual with a disability.

The IUSM faculty establishes a core curriculum essential to all medical students and it is expected that each student admitted to the M.D. program is able to complete all required courses, clerkships and electives and to meet the competencies. Accordingly, IUSM adopted the Technical Standards for Medical School Admission and Retention. Each student is required to sign a statement prior to matriculation indicating he/she is capable of meeting the Technical Standards, with or without a reasonable accommodation. While IUSM is committed to meeting both the spirit and letter of the law, it is also expected that students will be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner, without relying on the use of auxiliary aids or intermediaries, and without accommodations that would fundamentally alter the curriculum of IUSM.


Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 11/01/2016.


To qualify for accommodation, a student must identify him/herself to the assistant dean for academic advising; declare the disability (or suspected disability) in writing; and request accommodation. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain a thorough written evaluation from an appropriate professional, documenting the presence, extent and ramifications of the disability. The documentation must include the specific types of accommodations that the professional believes would be most effective to help the student perform the essential functions of the academic program and meet the technical standards in a medical school environment. The professional’s name, credentials and contact information must be included with the supporting documentation. The school’s goal is to provide equal opportunity without undermining the integrity of any course, clerkship or program.

The student must obtain this evaluation at his/her own expense and arrange to have the evaluation form and all supporting documentation forwarded to the assistant dean for academic advising. An evaluation conducted more than three years prior to the student’s application for an accommodation may not be acceptable; the Disabilities Accommodations Committee will determine if an evaluation is sufficiently recent. In some instances, an evaluation must have been completed within a few months or even weeks. Students may apply for accommodation prior to starting classes at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Disabilities Accommodations Committee review

Upon receiving acceptable documentation, the Disabilities Accommodations Committee will review the documentation and consider the student’s requests. If appropriate, the committee will approve a plan for accommodating the student. The committee may ask for additional information. If further evaluation is required, it remains the student’s responsibility to arrange for that evaluation at his or her expense. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month. To ensure time for processing, all documents should be received by the assistant dean for academic advising no later than 5 p.m. EST on the Monday prior to the first Wednesday of the month.


A student may reapply for accommodations after the committee denies the student’s request. The student’s request for reconsideration much be received in writing by the associate dean for academic advising within 21 calendar days of the committee’s action. The student’s reapplication must provide new information not previously communicated to the committee.

Upon review of the student’s reapplication request, the committee may:

  1. Grant the accommodation. A letter will be sent to dictate the terms for the accommodation(s).
  2. Deny the reapplication. The student may then appeal the committee’s decision.


If the reconsideration is denied, the student has the right to appeal to the senior associate dean for medical student education. The student has two weeks from the date his/her reconsideration was denied to submit a letter describing the situation and indicating why the committee’s decision is not reasonable. The student must consent in writing to allow the senior associate dean to review the supporting documentation. The senior associate dean has two weeks to review the materials and discuss the case with individuals familiar with the situation; he may request to meet with the student. His decision is final.


Disability information is considered private. Faculty members, with the exception of those on the committee, do not have the right to access students’ diagnostic information. Ordinarily, faculty members and staff need to know only that accommodations are necessary to provide an equal opportunity for students.

However, certain faculty members and/or administrators sometimes have a legitimate educational need to know about a student’s functional limitations. This may occur if the committee decides that members of the IUSM community have an educational need to know about a student’s limitations or if an issue arises that involves the safety and well-being of patients, students or staff. In such cases, the assistant dean for academic advising speaks directly with those individuals to ensure appropriate planning. Students are encouraged to speak openly with faculty members to facilitate better understanding and support.

Faculty and/or staff members to whom accommodation approvals are presented may copy these forms for their records, but they must take care to keep the information private. The accommodation information conveyed should be communicated only to other faculty and/or staff members who have an educational need to know (for instance, those who are involved in providing the accommodations or those who are responsible for the educational environment). If a faculty member or a student has questions about specific accommodations, he/she may contact the assistant dean for academic advising. All documentation and correspondence concerning a student’s disability are kept in a secure, separate file.

Clinical faculty (e.g., clerkship directors) who have occasion to write student evaluations at the end of clerkships must be careful not to breach the confidentiality afforded students with disabilities. Written evaluations, which may be excerpted in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation or seen by others outside the IUSM community, should not mention disabilities or accommodations for disabilities in any way. Once a student has been approved for specific accommodations and has subsequently received those accommodations, that student should be held to the same essential performance standards as all other students. Therefore, clinical faculty should focus strictly on the student’s performance when writing evaluations. With regard to letters of reference solicited by students, faculty members may mention a disability if the student gives prior written permission for them to do so. These written requests will be kept in a secure, separate file.

IUSM does not notify potential residency programs or other employers about a student’s disability without specific written permission from the student. Because students with disabilities, once accommodated, are held to the same standards as other students, the school does not make notation of any kind on the transcript or in the MSPE. Documentation of the disability are not included in any way as part of the student’s official academic records.

Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Learning Specialist Kristin Richey 317-274-1578 klivelys@iupui.edu


Disabilities Accommodations Guidelines and Request Form

Related Information

Requirements for matriculation, promotion, and graduation are available in the IUSM Student Handbook.

Resources for Students with Disabilities: IUSM Student Handbook

IUPUI Adaptive Educational Services (AES)

IUPUI Office of Equal Opportunity

IUSM Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE)

The application process for requesting special accommodations on the USMLE Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 exams is independent of the application process for disability accommodations for course and clerkship exams at IUSM. Information about the application process for special accommodations on the USMLE exams is available at the following websites: USMLE General Guidelines for all Disabilities and USMLE Guidelines to request test accommodations


Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 11/01/2016.
Minor change: updated Additional Contacts 05/18/2018