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Student Accessibility Center

General Accommodations Information


Accommodations from the SAC

At the University level, students have the right not to be identified as disabled. For this reason, if a student with a disability would like to request academic accommodations, he/she takes the responsibility of contacting the SAC. To enable the SAC to assist the student with academic accommodations, the student must provide written documentation of the disability from a diagnosing and licensed professional.
The Student Accessibility Center (SAC) at UNF offers a wide variety of services to students with documented disabilities. After reviewing their documentation, a member of the SAC Team meets with the student to assist in determining appropriate academic accommodations and services based on the documentation and recommendations from the licensed professional. Upon completion of this registration process, the student will follow the procedures to receive the academic accommodations. Faculty will be informed of the student's accommodations.
Accommodations letters will be created and will be available to the SAC student and faculty. Registered students will utilize the Clockwork portal > Self-Registration to request their accommodations letters for each new course in which they are registered during a semester.

Types of Accommodations 

Services and accommodations are provided to SAC-registered students who have completed the registration process. Modifications of policies, practices or courses are not required if they would fundamentally alter the nature of the course or academic program. Similarly, any services that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden may not be provided. Below are examples of but not limited to the types of accommodations or services that are provided by the SAC:
  • qualified interpreters
  • assistive listening devices
  • digital recorders
  • alternate texts
  • note takers
  • readers
  • scribes
  • extended test times
  • use of calculators
Temporary accommodations for those students who provide documentation supporting services but for a limited time. (See Temporary Physical Impairments below)
Once the academic accommodations for which the student is eligible are determined, a letter listing such accommodations is created in the Clockwork System. The letters are emailed to the student's professors. Each semester, the student will request a new accommodations letter through the Clockwork portal for each course they would like to utilize them in.
  • Temporary Physical Impairments Information
    Accommodations can be provided to students with temporary physical impairments. Students will be required to provide medical documentation of the temporary impairments (letter from physician or medical documents showing the nature and extent of the injury); the student will meet with a SAC staff member to discuss what academic accommodations they will need need. For students with hand or arm injuries, the SAC can contact the student's professors to discuss obtaining a note taker and to arrange any testing accommodations the student may need.
  • Flexible Attendance Accommodation Guide
    All students are required to provide their signature as acknowledgement of these guidelines prior to being assigned flexible attendance accommodations from the Student Accessibility Center. 

    Flexible Attendance Checklist:

    1. The student is responsible for communicating with their professor regarding their absence in a timely manner. The student is expected to contact their professor prior to an assignment due date or scheduled exam time. 
    2. In some circumstances the student may be requested to provide a doctor’s note to either the  SAC or to their professor. 
    3. The student will make up a missed exam or missed assignment within an agreed upon time as specified by the professor. Two business days is suggested as a standard amount of time to complete the missed work.
    4. The professor has the discretion to decide when absences are too excessive and have negatively impacted the student’s educational experience in the course. In this occurrence, the student may consider other options such as withdrawal, medical withdrawal, or incomplete. 
    5. Some educational experiences such as laboratory work or performance-based assessments cannot be easily made-up and may negatively impact the student’s grade if missed. 
    6. The student will direct all concerns over the application of flexible attendance accommodations to the Director of the Student Accessibility Center. 

    What is Flexible Attendance? 

    • A common request by students with a medical condition/disability is for their absence from a class meeting to be 'excused' and not subject to the sanction which would be enforced ordinarily by the class instructor.
    • Students most likely to request modified attendance policies as an accommodation are those with serious health-related disabilities that flare up episodically.
    • Students with psychological disabilities who are experiencing an acute exacerbation of symptoms may also request flexibility in the application of attendance policies.
    • Federal law requires colleges and universities to consider reasonable modification of attendance policies if required to accommodate a student's disability. In making this determination, two questions must be answered:
    • Does the student have a documented disability that directly affects his/her ability to attend class on a regular basis? The SAC will make this determination based on a review of documentation from the student's health care provider.
    • Is attendance and participation an essential element of the class? More specifically, would modification of attendance policies result in a fundamental alteration of an essential element of the program? The SAC will collaborate with the faculty member to make this determination.

    The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided the following guidelines to determine if attendance is an essential part of a class.

    • What does the course description and syllabus say about attendance requirements?
    • What elements of the class experience are used to calculate the final grade?
    • What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?
    • To what extent is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among students?
    • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
    • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
    • To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
    • Below are guidelines for how to handle 'flexibility in the application of the attendance requirements / policy may be required' as an accommodation
    • Students registered with the SAC are required to provide a Notification of Accommodations to class instructors specifying the accommodations determined in collaboration with the SAC. These accommodations will have been determined to be 'reasonable' and may include 'Flexibility in the application of the attendance requirements / policy may be required'.

    This lets you know that:

    The student's medical condition or disability has been verified by the submission of appropriate documentation, that they are registered with the SAC and that the student's medical condition or disability may result in unavoidable absences. 
    The intent is to take the "automaticity" out of the application of the attendance policy, and enable the instructor to consider the absence as 'excused' even if the standard limit of excused absences has been reached.
    This accommodation is not a free pass, and students with this accommodation are cautioned by the SAC that even if their absence is due to their disability and beyond their control, such absences may well impact their grade, particularly if the class grade includes an element of participation, in-class exercises, quizzes which contribute to the final grade and/or written assignments. Students are also advised that they are responsible to keep up with reading, obtain class notes from a fellow student, and make up any written assignments they may have missed. Students should make contact with class instructors to discuss the way in which this accommodation will work in practice and to agree upon appropriate procedures and protocols.
    Instructors are not obligated to create extra work for either the student or themselves as a substitute for "participation" in class or missed assignments, but are encouraged to consider reasonable opportunities for the student to make up their absence.
  • Peer Note Taking Information
    If you receive a Note Taking Accommodation for your courses please follow the steps using the 'SAC Note Taker Request Form' available in the SAC Canvas Note taking module.This is an accommodation specifically for on campus courses and courses with real time online lectures that are not prerecorded. A separate form will need to be completed for each course. A copy of the request form is available to download from this page with following link: SAC Note Taker Request Form
    If you have a note taking accommodation listed in your accommodations letter, navigate to: UNF myWings > select Quicklinks (My Favorites) icon > Canvas > Student Accessibility Center Course > Modules > Notetaking Accommodations. Please download the SAC Note Taker Request Form to your computer. You will complete the top portion of page two under "Must be completed by SAC-registered Student Requesting A Note Taker". After doing so, please save the form with the part you have completed. You can now email it to your professor and indicate on it if you would like to remain anonymous or not. The professor will make a general announcement for a volunteer note taker.
    The professor will have the volunteer note taker complete their portion of the form and the form will be emailed to the SAC note taking coordinator: An online folder will be created where the note taker can upload notes and the requester can access and download notes. You will receive an email with a link to that folder. This process is set up to be anonymous, although you are welcome to reach out to a fellow student to be the note taker, if you would like.
  • Audio Recording Information
    Some students with disabilities have conditions that require audio recording as an appropriate accommodation. Audio recording will be noted on the accommodation letter provided to Faculty. Students who require the use of audio recording as an accommodation will be asked to sign an audio recording agreement kept on file in the Student Accessibility Center.
    Faculty may request to review the signed audio recording agreement. The recording device, whether digital recorder or software on a computer/tablet/smart phone or other hardware should not be used for any purpose other than note taking during a class lecture and should not cause undue distraction in the classroom. Video recording is not a mandated accommodation and may be permitted at the professor's discretion.
  • Reduced Course Load Information
    Accommodation Description: The reduced course load accommodation is for students who (due to the impact of a disability) cannot meet the minimum credit hour per semester standard set by their major, college, or the university. This accommodation must be approved by the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) after reviewing appropriate disability documentation or evidence that warrants a reduced course load. 
    Student Responsibilities: The student must communicate with the SAC about the barriers they are experiencing which prevent them from enrolling as a full-time student. Students considering a reduced course load accommodation should complete the following: 
    1. Meet with Student Financial Aid prior to submitting a request for reduced course load to find out how taking a reduced course load may affect aid/scholarships. 
    2. Meet with academic and program advisors to develop a graduation plan which reflects less than full-time credit hours per semester. 
    3. Submit a reduced course load accommodation request in writing to the SAC at  
    4. As needed, request an additional notification letter for the International Center, Student Activities/Athletics offices, or graduate program coordinators.
    5. Acknowledge that a reduced course load accommodation does not alter individual course requirements. 
  • Course Substitutions for Students with Disabilities
    Course substitutions are applicable in situations where a student is unable to complete the course due to the direct impact of their disability diagnosis. Course requirements for degrees granted by the University of North Florida (UNF) are designed to provide a comprehensive education in both general liberal arts and in the student's field of study. In awarding a degree, UNF is recognizing the satisfactory completion of a set of courses deemed representative of the academic standards it upholds. Therefore, students with disabilities are not excused from degree requirements.
    A course substitution accommodation is considered when a student has provided documentation of a disability diagnosis and it is determined that the student's disability leaves the student unable to complete the course requirements. Consideration of a course substitution is determined on a case-by-case basis based on the documentation provided by the student.
    In most cases, it will be necessary for the student to have declared a major before the request can be considered. The student will need to consult with their academic advisor to determine if the requested course substitution represents a fundamental alteration in the chosen field of study. The University retains the right to require a student to take a course for which they previously received a substitution if the student changes majors and the substituted course becomes essential to the newly declared major. 
    The Director of the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) will complete a review of the student’s disability documentation to determine initial eligibility for a course substitution. Upon the Director’s approval, the student will meet with their academic advisor to discuss how the course substitution fits into their major. The academic advisor will need to sign off on the course substitution petition stating that the student can meet the requirements of their major with the substituted course/s. 
    A student with a disability who would like to request a course substitution as a reasonable accommodation should follow the steps below to complete this process:
    Students must first be registered for academic accommodations through the SAC. 
    The student must have appropriate disability documentation on file with the SAC (from a qualified health provider) verifying a disability that causes a barrier to the student successfully completing the required course. The documentation should be submitted to the SAC in person or emailed to the SAC email account.
    Complete the course substitution petition form with a written statement describing difficulties encountered in past attempts to perform successfully within the subject area. Request the Course Substitution Petition form by emailing the SAC email account. The student’s written statement should explain how their disability has impacted past attempts at successfully completing the course. Comments should include accommodations that were utilized in previous courses in the same content area or an explanation of why accommodations were not used. 
    After completing the student requirements for the course substitution petition, have the SAC Director review the petition for approval. Upon approval from the SAC Director, the student will meet with their academic advisor to discuss how the course substitution fits into the course progression plan of their major. The academic advisor will need to sign the course substitution petition stating that the student can meet the requirements of the major with the substituted course/s. 
    The student will return the completed Course Substitution Petition to the SAC in building 57/office 1500 or to the SAC email account. 
    The SAC will add the Course Substitution accommodation upon completion of these steps.

    Procedures for Appealing a Denial of Course Substitution Accommodation

    The student must submit a written appeal to a committee comprised of the SAC Director, Associate Director, Accessibility Services Specialist, and an academic advising administrator from the college of the student’s program of study within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the original petition. The written appeal should be sent to the SAC email account.
    The committee must provide a written response within ten (10) calendar days after receiving the student's appeal.
    If the committee agrees with the student’s appeal, the course substitution accommodation will be approved. 
  • Service and Support Animal Information
    As established and defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals shall not be excluded from UNF facilities or activities. (Exceptions may exist in some sterile environments, areas requiring protective equipment or clothing, or as mandated by health codes.)
    Service animals are defined as: animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Such animals might guide individuals with impaired vision, alert individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, pull a wheelchair, or fetch items used in daily living (Ref. ADA Title III, 28 CFR Sec 36.104).
    Assistance animals, usually referred to as emotional support animals, normally provide passive support to people with disabilities. ESAs can be a therapy tool or an integral part of a treatment process. They do not assist individuals with a disability to perform the activities of daily living. Therapy animals are not covered by laws protecting and giving rights to service animals. Approval of the presence of a therapy animal falls within the authority of the university regarding accommodations to a disability.
    Documentation of the student's disability and the need to have an emotional support animal must be provided to the Student Accessibility Center. Upon approval to have the animal on campus, Housing & Residence Life will be notified of the animal's presence in the residence halls.
    Students who request a service or emotional support animal must comply with state and local requirements regarding registration and licensing of the animal as well as having current veterinary health certificates.