What is a disability?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person with
a disability is one who:
has a physical or mental impairment which
substantially limits a major life activity
has a record or history of such an impairment; or
is regarded as having such an impairment.
Major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking,
seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for
oneself, and performing manual tasks.
These impairments may be present among people with learning
disabilities, emotional disturbances, chronic health impairments,
attention deficit disorder, diabetes, asthma, physical disabilities,
vision, speech, or hearing impairments, or other conditions.
When does an illness or temporary physical problem become a
Each case is considered individually, but generally, a chronic health
condition that fits the above definition would be considered for
disability status. Physical problems expected to last more than five
weeks may be considered disabilities. Correctable disabilities may or
may not be covered under ADA. Regardless, the question is whether or not
an impairment, even with corrective devices or medication, substantially
limits a major life activity.
Saint Martin's University is committed to the moral and ethical
responsibilities that come with providing everyone the opportunity to be
successful. The University also recognizes its responsibility to provide
reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities under
section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). All requests for accommodations are
evaluated on an individual basis. If you think you are eligible to
receive accommodations, please email
Office of Disability Support
It is the responsibility of students with disabilities to seek
available assistance at the university and to make their needs known.
The Office of Disability Support Services coordinator will ask for
documentation to verify the disability and will assist in providing
appropriate services. The student must provide the university with
medical or other diagnostic documentation that confirms his/her
disability, functional limitation, and specific recommendations for
accommodations and/or other services. Specific guidelines for verifying
a disability can be obtained through the disability support services
office. All medical records and documentation will be kept in a
The first step for getting started includes scheduling an appointment
with the Disability Support Services coordinator. At this initial
interview, the student will sign the appropriate university release
forms and the student will be provided with policy information on
his/her responsibilities for receiving services. Students need to
consult with the coordinator of Disability Support Services each
semester on their class schedules, timelines, and process for securing
agreed upon services. We also encourage students to make appointments
with their new faculty each semester to specifically outline their
Should a student have concerns about his or her rights as a qualified
student with a disability, he or she is encouraged to resolve concerns
relating to the provisions of reasonable accommodations by first
contacting the Office of Disability Support Services.
If a complaint relates to the Office of Disability Support Services,
the grievance should be submitted to the University's dean of student
services. It is in everyone's best interest that questions over
reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities be settled as
quickly and informally as possible.