Disabilities and Academic Accommodations

Rocky Vista University recognizes disability as an integral part of diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable educational environment for students with disabilities. Students are required to meet the technical standards set forth by the college/program in which they are enrolled, with or without reasonable accommodations. RVU complies with federal and state law prohibiting discrimination against any applicant or enrolled student on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual preference, age, disability, or other protected status. In accordance with its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 5.04 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, RVU does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in admission or in access to programs and activities.

Students who may qualify for accommodations include those who have received accommodations previously or who have been diagnosed with a condition impacting one or more major life activities (such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, learning, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, and working). Although students with temporary illness or injury are not considered disabled by law, every reasonable effort to accommodate their needs will be exercised.

If you feel you meet these criteria or would like to discuss your eligibility for accommodations, you are encouraged to complete our registration form.

Requests for accommodations and services are evaluated on an individual, case-by-case basis and are dependent on a student’s functional limitations within a given environment. Through an interactive dialog facilitated by Disability Services, all relevant factors, including the impact of the disability on the student’s access to a course or a program, supporting clinical or diagnostic documentation, and the relevant learning outcomes of the given program, will be considered. Requests for accommodations that would result in an alteration of the fundamental nature or learning outcome of a course or a program are not reasonable and will not be approved.  

Clinical documentation or other diagnostic information submitted to Disability Services is kept confidential and is released to a third party only with the student’s written permission or as required by law. General information about a student’s disability and accommodation request/s, however, may be shared with other RVU officials or, in limited circumstances, with third parties who have a legitimate educational need to know. The student’s disabilities file is maintained by the RVU Disability Officer and is held separately from the student’s official academic record. 

 Students requesting accommodations must follow the process outlined below.

Accommodations Request Process

Step 1: Complete the Initial Accommodation Request Form

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the process with Disability Services as soon as possible after committing to attend RVU, in order to ensure timely approval and implementation of approved accommodations. While requests may be submitted at any point throughout the year, students should consider that the interactive process, including documentation review and eligibility notification, typically requires two (2) weeks. Incomplete documentation may delay the review process.

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment with Disability Services

After submitting your Initial Accommodation Request Form, you will receive an email with a link to schedule your Welcome Meeting with Disability Services.

Meetings can be held virtually for students on either campus or in-person for students on the Utah campus. 

Our first priority is meeting with you. Please do not delay submitting your request due to documentation concerns. The Disability Officer will discuss acceptable types of documentation during your Welcome Meeting, if you are initially unsure what you may submit.

Step 3: Welcome Meeting

The Welcome Meeting is the beginning of an interactive process in which the Disability Officer will talk with you about disability-related barriers you may be experiencing, any history of accommodations you may have, as well as possible accommodations that may be reasonable and appropriate in your situation. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions, provide information and otherwise engage with the Disability Officer to understand how accommodations work within a medical education setting and what to expect relative to next steps in the process of establishing your eligibility.

Step 4: Documentation Review and Notification of Eligibility Determination

Upon receipt of the Initial Contact Form-Request for Accommodations and other supporting documentation, the student’s eligibility for accommodations will be reviewed and the student will receive a Notification of Eligibility Determination. The eligibility notification will specify the accommodations for which the student has been approved, and copies will be sent to the Office of Testing and appropriate RVU officials. Once approved for accommodations, the Testing Center will send out instructions for the administration and location of exams with accommodations.

Sometimes a student may be asked to provide additional comprehensive documentation/information if previous documentation is outdated or does not include sufficient relevant information to determine the impact of the disability. Last-minute submission of documentation may result in unavoidable delays in consideration of requested services.

Please note that accommodations granted by the University are not applicable retroactively and will not affect past administrative or academic actions, or past performance evaluations and examinations.

Annual Accommodation Renewal Process

Students must request to renew their accommodations at the start of each academic year. Failure to request a renewal of accommodations may delay timely implementation. In order to verify their intent to continue using accommodations in subsequent academic years, students should complete the Accommodation Renewal Request Form prior to the first day of Fall semester instruction.

National Board Accommodations

Students seeking accommodations for licensure exams (USMLE, COMLEX, and PANCE) must directly petition the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), or the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

ADA Accommodation Review Request

If you have concerns about the support provided by Disability Services or related procedures, or if you believe that you have been denied reasonable accommodations as requested, we recommend initiating a conversation with the Disability Officer to discuss your concerns. If the matter remains unresolved or if you disagree with a determination reached by the Disability Officer, you may appeal the decision by submitting an Accessibility Grievance Form. This form will be reviewed by the ADA Committee, and you will be contacted within seven (7) days of submission. You will then be given an opportunity to share additional details regarding your specific situation and the reason for your appeal request.

If a student is denied accommodations by the ADA Committee, the student can appeal the decision to the Associate/ Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.