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Student Accessibility Center

UNF Admission with a Disability

A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is an example of a major life activity.
The University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to university programs or activities. Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Students can apply to UNF as early as the summer of their senior year of high school. Application are accepted on a rolling basis, but by submitting all allocation materials prior to the senior year, students will have the best access to financial aid and housing options. Please refer to the Freshman Admissions Requirements Webpage for the most current admissions requirements and information. To learn more about new student orientation please review the UNF orientation webpage.
  • What should I know when applying to the University of North Florida? Are there any special procedures?
    Students with disabilities must apply to UNF through the regular admissions procedure. There are no special admissions procedures. Applicants who wish to appeal an admissions decision may submit documentation verifying their disability along with a letter of appeal to the office of admissions. Please visit the following: Admission to UNF Webpage.
  • What should I do if I want to receive accommodations? Can I use the IEP as documentation?

    If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, you will need to provide documentation of that disability to the Student Accessibility Center (SAC). This documentation must be supplied by a qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. 

    Psychoeducational or medical evaluations are the preferred types of disability documentation. IEPs and 504 Plans are also beneficial to understand the student’s accommodation needs but may not be sufficient on their own because of differences in the laws that apply at the K-12 education level and the college level. Submitted documentation should include the following: a diagnosis of your current disability, as well as supporting information, such as the date of the diagnosis, how that diagnosis was reached, and the credentials of the diagnosing professional; information on how your disability affects a major life activity; and information on how the disability affects your academic performance. The Student Accessibility Center will review all documentation provided and engage in an interactive dialogue with each student if additional documentation is needed and to determine what reasonable accommodations can be provided.

  • I received special education (IDEA) or 504 services in high school. How are these services different in college?
    Colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations that are necessary for equal access to education. Colleges are not required to design special programs for students with disabilities or have Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).
  • Will Student Accessibility Center staff seek me out to provide services like my counselors did in high school?
    It is the student’s responsibility to seek out services through the Student Accessibility Center. In college, students with disabilities are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not apply to colleges.
  • What constitutes a disability?
    A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is an example of a major life activity. If you have a mental health or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.
    The services provided by the SAC are for students with diagnosed disabilities that include, but are not limited to:
    Learning Disabilities (for example: reading, writing, math, processing, or memory disabilities), ADHD and ADD, Physical Disabilities, Medical Disabilities, Blind or Low Vision, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Speech Disabilities, Psychological or Emotional Disabilities, Other diagnosed disabilities
  • What does substantially limiting mean? What is a major life activity?
    Substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people. A major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
  • What are academic adjustments?
    Appropriate academic adjustments create an equal access to education, as long as it doesn't require a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum. This is determined by the institution. Such modifications may include an adjustment in the amount of time allowed to complete a degree, substitution of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.