James Madison University is committed to the full and total inclusion of all individuals and to the principle of individual rights and responsibilities. To this end, policies and procedures will ensure that persons with a disability will not, on the basis of a disability, be denied full and equal access to and enjoyment of academic and co-curricular programs or activities or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under programs or activities offered by the University. This policy was developed to ensure equal access at the University for individuals with disabilities and to ensure full compliance with all pertinent federal and state legislation.



For the purpose of clarification, the following terms will have the meanings outlined below.

Auxiliary aids: Includes, but is not limited to, large print and taped material, interpreters, and other aids for persons with impaired cognitive, sensory, motor or speaking skills.

Accommodations: Includes, but is not limited to, the use of auxiliary aids in workplace and classroom settings; allowances for time and energy level considerations such as reduced course loads, additional time for taking exams, etc.; substitutions of other acceptable assignments, courses, tests or test formats when necessary to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities; also includes physical modifications such as ramps, elevators, lifts, curb cuts, etc.

Person with a disability: Means any person who has a physical or mental condition, which substantially limits one or more major life activity or has a record of such a condition.

Physical disability: Means any physical condition, anatomic loss, or cosmetic disfigurement, which is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness.

Mental disability includes:

  • developmental disabilities;
  • an organic or mental condition that has substantial adverse effects on an individual's cognitive or volitional functions, such as central nervous system disorders; significant discrepancies among mental functions of an individual, including any mental or psychological disorder, such as head injury; emotional or mental illness; and specific learning disabilities.

Major life activities: Means functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and experiencing leisure.

Has a record of such condition: Means has a history of or is regarded as having a mental or physical condition that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

Programs include but are not limited to: Academic majors and degree plans, including coursework and practica; research; occupational training; housing; counseling; financial aid; physical education; athletics; recreation; transportation; student organizations; placement; and any other programs offered by the University.

Qualified person with a disability means:

  • With respect to post-secondary services, a person with a disability who meets the academic or technical standards for admission or participation in the education program or activity given appropriate accommodations.
  • With respect to any other program or activity, a person with a disability who meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation in, or receipt from, that program or activity given appropriate accommodations.

Documentation of the disability: Documentation is required to determine the existence of a disability and substantiate any requests for accommodations. We strongly suggest and prefer documentation that is a reflection of the student's current level of functioning. The level of accommodation provided will be based on the accuracy, breadth, and recency of the documentation.

Confidentiality Statement

All information obtained in diagnostic and medical reports will be maintained and used in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements. All contact information and documentation received in Disability Services is kept in separate confidential files within the office.

No information concerning inquiries about accommodations or documentation will be released without written consent by the student.

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