Welcome to ARC!
Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) recognizes individuals with disabilities as an integral part of a diverse community and is committed to the provision of comprehensive resources to the University community (faculty, staff, and student) in order to create equitable, inclusive, and practical learning environments.
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Some Essential Downloads
Eligibility for protection under the ADA and Section 504 requires the applicant to meet one of the following three criteria:
- Have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits one or more major life activity
- Have a record of such a physical or mental condition
- Be regarded as having such an impairment, whether actually having the impairment or not
Examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Attention deficit disorders
- Blindness/low vision
- Cerebral Palsy
- Communication disorders
- Deafness/hearing impairments
- Emotional/psychological disabilities
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Seizure disorders
- Specific learning disabilities
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Other health impairments
If you suspect that you may have a disability and need accommodations for your academics at UNM, below are some important details for getting your disability evaluated.
Students with Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Traumatic/Acquired Brain Injury
A copy of the comprehensive psycho educational report must be provided to Accessibility Resource Center at UNM in order for the student to be eligible for accommodations and/or modifications. Documentation should include testing scores and a verifying statement from a school psychologist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, or other qualified professional. This group of students comprises the largest population of students served by Accessibility Resource Center. Learning disabilities affect the manner in which individuals acquire, integrate, and/or express knowledge. Learning disabilities may affect a student’s performance in reading, writing, spoken language, mathematics, or orientation to space and time.
Students with Visual, Hearing, Physical, and Chronic Medical Condition Disabilities
Accessibility Resource Center requires medical records for students with visual and/or hearing disabilities and, in particular instances, may accept verification of disabilities from the Department of Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DHS/DVR). Documentation must include narrative explanation for clarification and may include an audiogram and/or optometric results. Documentation must include specific restrictions due to a physical disability and potential accommodations required.
Visual disabilities may vary from total blindness to low vision. Students with visual disabilities may experience eyestrain, light sensitivity, and an inability to read printed material or to distinguish certain colors. Students who have been blind from birth have no visual memories. Their concepts of objects, space, and distance may be different from those persons who develop visual disabilities later in life. Mobility and orientation skills also vary due to numerous factors. Students with low vision may not have an apparent “visible” disability. Students may experience difficulty in performing in class readings, unannounced quizzes, open book tests, locating lecture information, completing scantron answer sheets, or viewing lecture notes.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The age of onset of a hearing disability will have a great impact upon the student’s English ability, both spoken and written. Generally, English is considered a second language for deaf and hard of hearing students when signed language is the dominant mode of communication. Appropriate requests include use of a Signed Language interpreter, real-time captioning, note taking, providing all directions in writing, and closed captioned videos.
Physical access is one of the major concerns for students with physical disabilities. Students may encounter unavoidable delays during inclement weather, heavy foot traffic times, and periods of construction. If a classroom is inaccessible, Accessibility Resource Center will work with the department to relocate the class to an accessible location. In order to fully participate in classroom activities some students may require educational assistants as an approved accommodation. When a course requires travel to alternative locations, those locations and transportation must be accessible.
Chronic Health Conditions
There are a number of chronic health conditions that may interfere with a student’s academic work, concentration, and attendance. Some students may be in pain, or taking medication with varying side effects such as drowsiness. Students with seizure disorders may be affected at any time without warning. Some medication can lessen or control seizures, but produce side effects such as slowed response and impaired coordination. Such medication makes it unlikely a seizure will occur in class. Faculty should contact emergency personnel when seizures occur.
Students with Psychological Disabilities
Accessibility Resource Center requires a letter from a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or DHS/DVR. Documentation may include diagnostic treatment information, and potential medication side effects. Psychological disabilities include, but are not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder (or manic depressive disorder), anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. Determination of eligibility for services is based on severity, duration, and onset of the disorder. On rare occasions, classroom behavior may become an issue. All students are expected to maintain appropriate behavior. If problems occur, consulting the Student Code of Conduct and handling the behavior issues according to departmental policies is appropriate. Accessibility Resource Center is available for consultation when necessary. Some students undergoing treatment take prescription medication to help control symptoms. This medication may have side effects such as drowsiness or disorientation.
Students are required to provide documentation of a disability as the first step in the initiation of services. Those students with no documentation and suspecting they may have a disability may seek an evaluation from community diagnosticians or health care providers. ARC maintains a contact list of community diagnosticians and clinic psychologists. Please contact the department to request a copy of the list. The cost of the evaluation is the responsibility of the student so please check with your health insurance to see if any of the cost is covered through your health insurance policy.
Documentation Guidelines (updated 2014): INSERT DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES 2014 APPROVED FILE HERE
Policy 2310: see below
Policy 2295: https://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/2000/2295.html
What Are the Responsibilities of . . . ?
Accessibility Resource Center is responsible for:
- Verifying disabilities and need for accommodations
- Recommending reasonable accommodations
- Informing students of their rights and responsibilities
- Advocating program access
- Problem-solving with student and, if necessary, the instructor, in response to student concerns regarding the implementation or consistency of reasonable accommodations
Accessibility Resource Center does not have either the right or the responsibility to look over the shoulders of students with disabilities. Students are ultimately responsible for themselves. Accessibility Resource Center works with students and, when appropriate, with their instructors, to determine two things. First, which accommodations are reasonable and second, identification and referral for other campus and community services that may be appropriate. Accessibility Resource Center provides students with the tools necessary for their academic success.
Students are responsible for:
- Requesting reasonable accommodations in a timely manner
- Meeting the academic standards expected of all students
If an accommodation is ineffective or has not been provided and it is impacting performance bring it to the attention of the disability specialist. You and your disability specialist will then decide an appropriate action plan which may include both formal and/or informal options as outlined under Exhibit A of UNM Policy 2310 Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities: Appeal Rights Procedures
Ultimately, responsibility lies with the student. They must contact Accessibility Resource Center and faculty with questions and concerns in a timely manner. Through the cooperation of all parties reasonable accommodations are provided.
Faculty is responsible for:
- Being open to accommodating students
- Providing program access
- Meeting with students to discuss their needs
- Implementing reasonable accommodations
- Maintaining confidentiality
Faculty members are responsible for assisting in the provision of accommodations as described in the accommodation letter. Any concern related to an accommodation fundamentally altering the academic curriculum should be brought to the attention of the student and disability specialist. All parties will engage in an interactive process to determine the reasonableness of the request and ensure equal access is maintained.
Everyone is responsible for:
- Engaging in an interactive discussion of reasonable accommodations for specific courses and degree program
- Problem-solving issues/concerns
- Maintaining academic standards for course and degree program
Process regarding denial or failure to accommodate during an academic semester:
- Student submits appeal to academic department
- If resolution does not occur:
- Appeal to Provost/HSC designee
- Ad hoc committee of 3-5 members is convened
- Student may also submit a discrimination claim to the Office of Equal Opportunity
Please see UNM Policy 2310, Exhibit A at https://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/2000/2310.html for a full text of the appeal process.
Grade appeal involving failure to accommodate after academic semester:
- Upon receipt of a grade appeal from a student which asserts a failure to accommodate, the academic unit can request guidance from ARC and/or OEO to verify whether a failure to accommodate occurred.
- If it is determined that a failure to accommodate occurred, the academic unit shall take such fact into consideration to equitably resolve the grade appeal. Further, the student may simultaneously pursue a claim with Office of Equal Opportunity pursuant to its Discrimination Claims Procedure, which can be found at http://oeo.unm.edu/forms/pdf/-new_claims.pdf.
Please see UNM Policy 2310, Exhibit A (see link above) and Policy 3100 at https://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/3000/3100.html for a full text of the appeal processes.
Contact Information for ARC
Office Phone: (505) 277-3506
Fax: (505) 277-3750
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(Our office is located on the second floor of Mesa Vista Hall, Room 2021. Mesa Vista Hall is across the courtyard from the Student Union Building.)
Go to http://as2.unm.edu/images/Main%20Campus%20Map.pdf for a complete map of the central UNM campus, with accessible routes.