Center for Student Accessibility
Reasonable Accommodations Explained
Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks, environment or to the way things are usually done that enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to participate in an academic program or a job (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). Broad categories of accommodations include changes to the application process to ensure an equal opportunity to apply for program enrollment, changes that enable a student with a disability to perform the essential functions of the academic program, and changes that enable a student with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of the program (e.g., access to training).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) stipulates that postsecondary institutions are responsible for providing necessary accommodations when a student discloses a disability. Specifically, psychology training programs are required to make reasonable adjustments or modifications to practices, policies and procedures, and to provide auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities, unless to do so would "fundamentally alter" the nature of the programs or result in an "undue burden.” Providing accommodations do not compromise the essential elements of a course or curriculum; nor do they weaken the academic standards or integrity of a course. Accommodations simply provide an alternative way to accomplish the course requirements by eliminating or reducing disability-related barriers. They provide a level playing field, not an unfair advantage.