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Information for Future Students

Transition to College

The differences between the accommodation process in high school and the university can pose an initial challenge for students who are use to the secondary school environment. These differences can largely be contributed to the laws that govern the provision of accommodations in the post-secondary and secondary settings. Colleges and universities are governed by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws ensure equal access to individuals with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to meet the essential demands of a university program. High schools, in addition to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and ADA, are primarily governed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is an entitlement law that requires that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education. Incoming students will find that at UNM there is a greater emphasis on personal responsibility and self-advocacy as compared to a secondary setting. Accessibility Services is here to facilitate a smooth transition between these two educational environments.

Please read the 504 and IDEA 2004 comparison guide for more information.

Requesting Services

Students requesting services should Contact Us and schedule an appointment with the Accessibility Resource Center as soon as they are admitted to the University of New Mexico. All applicants must submit documentation that verifies that they have a disabling condition before services can be initiated. The Accessibility Resource Center must be provided with documentation from a qualified medical and/or mental health professional or diagnostician.

According to the criteria stated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act (ADAAA), and UNM Policy 2310 Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities, professional evaluations are the only acceptable proof of a disabling condition. Students must also demonstrate that their need for academic adjustments or other reasonable accommodation is based solely on their permanent disability.

After a student submits their documentation, the Accessibility Resource Center Documentation Committee will meet to determine eligibility as well as appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Before services begin, an eligibility agreement must be completed by the student and an ARC staff member. Students need to repeat their request for services every semester.

Guidelines for Documentation

Students requesting services from Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) are required to submit documentation of a disability to verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the University of New Mexico Policy 2310. ADAAA defines a disability as a substantial limitation of a major life function. The diagnostic report must document a disability. It is important to recognize that academic adjustment needs can change over time and are not always identified through the initial diagnostic process. Conversely, a prior history of accommodation, without demonstration of current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision of a like accommodation.

Read the Documentation Guidelines for a full text.

Please download the Diagnosis Verification Request to be filled out by you and your health care provider.