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The Disability Resource Center (DRC) coordinates academic accommodations, which are determined on a case-by-case and highly individualized basis. Your accommodations will vary based on the faculty course design. We encourage students to make an active decision about the use of accommodations at the very start of each semester. Proactive planning and early communication is the key to successful services and course accommodation implementation.

At times, disability accommodations will be provided directly by the faculty. In such cases, the DRC will work with you and our faculty partners to ensure smooth coordination of the accommodations. In the online learning environment, the accommodations are coordinated through the DRC. We work directly with your course instructor and the FIU Online Instructional Designers to try our best to ensure all possible measures for accessibility are taken in any format needed.

Opt-in

Each and every semester on-campus and fully online students have the opportunity to request or decline academic accommodations. Whether it's status-quo or changes are needed, requesting accommodations through the DRC is simple!

  1. Fill out the Notification Of Academic Accommodations
  2. Email your completed form to drc@fiu.edu
  3. This form then authorizes the DRC to notify your professors (and instructional designers) of your accommodations.
  4. Follow up with the DRC to request other accommodations such as testing.

Feel free to contact us by phone 305-348-3532 or email at drc@fiu.edu for further information.

PLEASE NOTE: This form is only for students that have already registered with the DRC to receive accommodations. If you have NOT yet completed your registration with the DRC by attending a Welcome Appointment and submitting your documentation, please contact our office at 305-348-3532.

Testing accommodations

DRC services include the provision of accommodations to students with disabilities for course tests and exams. These services are available to students who qualify for certain types of accommodations. Common examples of test accommodations include extended time, scribe services, limited distraction testing rooms, Braille test conversion, and the use of assistive technology.

Adaptive technology

The Disability Resource Center has a state-of-the-art assistive technology computer facility that houses both PC and Macintosh computers with mainstream and assistive technology. Study tables, scanners, wireless capabilities and printing are also available for student use during hours of operations.

The computer lab is used by students to support their coursework and as a group or individual study space. The lab also serves as a product demonstration and training facility for students, faculty, staff and community members. Students often visit the Center to try out technology before making a purchase to make sure they find a good technological solution.

In addition, the assistive technology resources below are also available for all faculty and staff at FIU. The DRC is here to provide consultation regarding adaptive technology and accessibility at anytime!

Request accessible textbooks

What steps should you take each semester?

  • Determine what materials are used in your course
  • If purchasing textbooks, try to select electronic formats
  • If electronic materials are not available, request to have the textbooks converted by the DRC as soon as possible. The acquisition and conversion processes are extremely time consuming, please submit the Electronic Textbook Request Form at least 4 weeks before the start of the semester. Make sure to upload proof of purchase for each of the converted textbooks being requested.
  • Allow 7-14 business days for the DRC to contact you with any follow-up questions or status updates.
    • The time frame to convert a textbook to an alternative format can vary based on the number of textbooks requested by each student and what specific textbook is being requested. In addition, the number or pages and amount of content in each textbook can also increase the turnaround time.

Please note that all electronic files will be uploaded to One Drive and shared with you via your FIU email. Books are saved onto one file and not separated into chapters or folders.

  • Option 1

    The DRC provides accessible versions of instructional print materials to eligible students with disabilities. Faculty, staff, and students are able to convert materials to a variety of formats by themselves using Sensus Access.

  • Option 2

    However, if textbooks or other materials are not available in electronic formats and need to be converted, students would need to

    1. Complete an Electronic Textbook Request Form at least 4 weeks before the semester starts to allow sufficient time to receive the accessible text.
    2. On the form, provide proof of purchase (i.e. receipt showing you've purchased a NEW version of the textbook(s) you're requesting), and specify which format is preferred.
    3. Allow time for the DRC to acquire materials requested. DRC collaborates with publishers and outside agencies to receive the material in the requested format. If the necessary format is not available, then the DRC converts materials in house which requires a longer processing time.

    Please understand that not all format types will be available for the requested title (for example, a PDF/EPUB file may need to be substituted with text-to-speech software for an audio book request). The Disability Resource Center will do their best to fulfill the requested format type for required course materials.

CAT Labs

The DRC offers quiet Computer Assistive Technology Labs (CAT Labs) for all DRC-registered students on both the MMC and BBC campuses.

There are four CAT Labs at MMC and one large CAT Lab at BBC that are available to use during the library's business hours.

The CAT Labs contain accessible furniture, access to Windows computers with Internet, Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and assistive technologies such as JAWS and a CCTV.

Please keep in mind that specialty departmental software like Adobe InDesign and SPSS is not available.

Disability-related absences, extensions on assignments, and related accommodations

  • Disability-Related Absences

    “Disability-Related Absence” is meant to provide students with chronic conditions the ability to miss class due to disability symptoms without providing medical documentation as an exception to FIU policy as stated in the student handbook. DRC has reviewed the requisite documentation and has confirmed that the student’s disability is chronic in nature and may impact their ability to attend class. In order to protect DRC student confidentiality as well as remove the financial and physical burden of securing a doctor’s note each time a student experiences symptoms, DRC recommends that any absences for the reason of disability be considered “excused”.

    A Notification of Academic Adjustment form must be completed by the student and submitted to DRC prior to activating this and any other DRC academic accommodation.

    1. To activate this accommodation, students must notify the professor and/or appropriate support staff (TA, Program Coordinators, etc.) in writing via email as soon as they are able. Ideally, this communication should take place prior to the start of class. However, DRC recognizes that in some instances, students may be unable to communicate until disability symptoms subside.
    2. Students are encouraged to copy their DRC Access Consultant on all DRC requests and communication so that DRC can provide support as needed.
    3. If documentation is requested by the professor, DRC will review the request to determine whether the absence is covered by the DRC policy. Students may request this review by emailing their DRC Access Consultant directly or emailing drc@fiu.edu.
    4. It is understood that if absences become frequent and regular and/or a student’s grade is affected, the student may need to explore options such as a DR Grade Forgiveness, or Student Petition for medical reasons. Please consult with your DRC Access Consultant to discuss the best options.
    5. Regardless of the adaptation of the course attendance policy, the student is required to meet all academic course requirements and to complete all assignments and examinations. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the material and notes from missed classes. The student will be graded according to the criteria stated in the class syllabus.
  • Extensions on Assignments

    “Extensions on Assignments” is meant to provide students with chronic conditions the ability to submit assignments, without penalty, past the due date stated on the syllabus. DRC has reviewed the requisite documentation and has confirmed that the student’s disability is chronic in nature may impact their ability to submit assignments on time.

    A Notification of Academic Adjustment form must be completed by the student and submitted to DRC prior to activating this and any other DRC academic accommodation.

    1. To activate this accommodation, students are to notify the professor and/or appropriate support staff (TA, Program Coordinators, etc.) in writing via email as soon as they are able. Students are not required to share their diagnosis or submit medical documentation to any entity other than DRC.
    2. Requests should be made no more than 1-2 days in advance. Ideally, this communication should take place prior to the deadline. However, DRC recognizes that in some instances, students may be unable to communicate until disability symptoms subside.
    3. Students are encouraged to copy their DRC Access Consultant on all requests for extensions and related communication so that DRC can provide support as needed.
    4. Requests will be considered on their individual merits and on a case by case basis.
    5. Course deliverables must be submitted before the assignment is to be discussed with the class or before feedback is to be provided to students. Submission of assignments after feedback has been provided constitutes a compromise of academic integrity in many cases which may result in the professor denying the request.
    6. If the request is denied by the professor, DRC will review the request to determine whether academic integrity would be compromised by allowing for the late submission. Students may request this review by emailing their DRC Access Consultant directly or emailing drc@fiu.edu.
  • ADA Accommodation requests for Clinical, Practical, Internship, and other In-Field Experiences

    The Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff are available to collaborate with you in achieving your next academic milestone. The DRC can assist in your planning by meeting with you and reviewing which accommodations you are eligible for and if they are available in the various environments you will encounter during this phase of your training. Some examples of majors that have applied knowledge experiences include: Education, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work. It is important to note that the accommodations which you were previously qualified and eligible for, and received in the classroom setting, will be reviewed and subject to change due to the training and preparation requirements of the applied knowledge educational environment. Please note you will still be able to use your accommodations in any non-applied knowledge experiences as you typically would during this phase of your education.

    Timeline & Recommendations:

    The first step in determining which accommodations you qualify for is making an appointment with your DRC Access Consultant the semesterbeforeyou start the site selection process with your academic department. During this phase, we begin creating a working plan for identifying site placement procedures and the requisite documentation for ADA accommodations. Recognizing sites vary in their location, setting, and capacity to provide different types of accommodations, this is a time-sensitive process that must happen PRIOR to site-selection decisions.

    Meeting with the DRC:

    Please call 305-348-3532 to schedule an appointment with a DRC Access Consultant.

    We will review any pertinent supporting medical documentation from a licensed health care provider, and if needed, discuss your registration with the DRC and advise you on securing a workplace accommodations letter.

    If you are already registered with the DRC we will work to expedite the process to the next step in which you will be requesting a letter from a licensed healthcare provider demonstrating your eligibility for ADA workplace accommodations and what they are. Some examples of workplace accommodations include, but are not limited to driving restrictions, carrying restrictions, rest breaks, use of specific equipment (I.e. specific clothing, technology, or medical equipment), and more.

    Once you have secured this letter, schedule an appointment with your DRC Access Consultant to discuss your accommodations, DRC’s recommendations and begin the coordination of accommodations and their implementation with your academic department.

    Please remember accommodations are not retroactive. We highly recommend engaging in this process as soon as possible, preferably before the site selection process begins with your academic department, to ensure accommodations will be available at the site you intend to complete your field experience. We look forward to supporting your academic success!

Substitutions and modifications

If you have been denied admission and your educational and/or personal goals for success have been negatively impacted due to disability, you may wish to appeal the admissions on the basis of a disability.

If you would like to appeal this decision, please visit the Admissions website and follow the process identified by the Admissions Department.

If you would like to submit any additional documentation specifically related to your disability, please submit them to the Disability Resource Center, along with the completed Eligibility Review Form, to drcereview@fiu.edu. **Documentation can only be submitted after an Admissions Appeal Form has been submitted to Admissions.

Once documentation is submitted, please allow 7-14 business days for documentation to be reviewed.

Documentation to the DRC is only sent once admission has been denied and an appeal has been submitted to the Admissions Department.

  • Please note that the DRC does not make admissions decisions. For additional information on the appeal process, decisions, and forms, please visit admissions.fiu.edu.

Course substitutions

Students who have a disability that prevents them from meeting Gordon Rule math or Foreign Language graduation requirements may request a substitution of the course. Granting a course substitution will depend on the nature and extent of the disability and its impact upon the student’s ability to successfully meet the requirement. Requests for course substitutions that would result in a significant modification of the program, those required for certification or licensure, or those that would be inconsistent with the student’s academic program or objectives may be denied.

Please read below for more information on the core mathematics and foreign language substitutions petition process:

It is strongly recommended that you initiate this process as early in your college career as possible. A sense of urgency will allow you time to fulfill any college requirements without consequences (e.g. academic holds, contracts, and probation) which could ultimately delay future registration or graduation.

Please note that a substitution of any kind may affect your ability to remain in or apply for certain majors that require the completion of what you are trying to substitute (i.e. Business Majors must complete MAC-2233 “Calculus for Business”, any math substitution at the core level will disqualify the student from being admitted to this major). Please consult your DRC Access Consultant for more information about this and what may be a fundamental alteration

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure an approved substitution course is on file with their advisor and the DRC before taking the substitution courses. Failure to do so may result in the courses not being credited toward fulfilling the degree requirements.

  • Some of the classes most often used for the Core Math Substitution include CGS-2060, CGS-2100, MAT-1033, and MGF-1100
  • Classes most often used for the Foreign Language Requirement are selected from the university’s Global Learning Course Offerings
  • Petition process
    1. Meet with your DRC Access Consultant to discuss the request
    2. Complete the Course Substitution Form (provided by your DRC Access Consultant)
    3. If requesting that a particular class of your choice is considered, please ensure the class is on your FIU transcript and that a syllabus is available. Additional optional documentation that you may submit to assist the committee in evaluating this request are course descriptions, samples of assignments, or a textbook.
      • Please note that if you are applying for both a math and foreign language substitution, two separate forms need to be completed.
    4. Write a personal statement to submit along with the complete request form. The personal statement should explain prior attempts taken to complete high school and/or college foreign language courses and how those attempts have been negatively impacted by your disability.
    5. Submit the completed petition including request form, personal statement, FIU transcript, and any supporting documentation to your Access Consultant at the DRC.
    6. Please allow up to three weeks for the Substitution Committee to review your request; it is comprised of one DRC Representative, your assigned Academic Advisor, and the Assistant Vice President of Undergraduate Education (or his designee).
    7. The DRC will notify the student & appropriate FIU areas such as FIU OneStop and the Academic Advisor of the committee’s decision.
      • If approved, the student will then meet with their Academic Advisor to complete a revised program of study.
      • Upon completion of the approved substitution course, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the DRC and their advisor that the course has been completed and the substitution can be finalized.
      • If denied, the student may appeal the decision by submitting a new form, a revised personal statement, and any updated documentation they feel will contribute to their request.
  • Substitution from another university

    A student who has been granted a course substitution from another Florida public university must have this indicated on her/his FIU record. The student needs a letter or an official transcript from the former school noting that the student was granted the substitution. Their assigned DRC Access Consultant will verify documentation and assist the student in completing the petition form.

  • Foreign language entrance requirement (FLENT)

    FIU requires incoming students to have completed two years of a foreign language in high school. Students who have not fulfilled this requirement must complete two semesters of a foreign language prior to graduating from FIU. Students who have not fulfilled this requirement during high school due to a disability may petition for a course substitution.

    • If language is a graduation requirement of the student's major, the student will need to follow the procedures for course substitution due to a disability discussed under the heading "Course Substitution Process."
    • If language is not a graduation requirement of the student’s choice of college, the student may petition for a course substitution through the Admissions Office. The student would need to submit the following to the DRC:
      • A personal statement describing the reason for requesting a course substitution
      • Copy of the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) from high school or a letter from the high school guidance counselor. (If applicable)
      • Letter from the DRC counselor, approved by the DRC Director, confirming the student’s disability status.
      • Copy of your DARS (Degree Auditing Report System) report.


    Upon approval by the Office of Admissions, the student is given a list of courses from which two are to be chosen to satisfy the FLENT requirement.

    If a student has been granted a FLENT course substitution, then changes majors to a college in which language is a requirement for graduation, the FLENT substitution course(s) may/may not be approved as a replacement for the language requirement.

  • Substitution within a major

    If a student is seeking a substitution of a major requirement, they must go through their DRC Access Consultant and academic department and follow the petition process.

Graduation modifications or substitution requirements

As per FIU Policy

Florida International University can provide reasonable substitution or modification for a graduation requirement for any otherwise qualified disabled student with a diagnosed disability.

Students who have completed 90 credits or more and have concerns about satisfying programmatic or university graduation requirements may request an appointment with your Access Consultant to review this policy and possible exceptions. FIU can work with qualified students with disabilities to provide substitutions and modifications to graduation requirements as long as it is determined that it will not result in a fundamental alteration to the program.

Please note that substitutions and modifications to graduation requirements that are supported by the DRC as per this policy must be presented for review to the academic program before final approval.

Housing accommodations

The Disability Resource Center, in partnership with Housing and Residential Life, welcomes you to learn more about the process of requesting reasonable accommodations for your on-campus living space. Our goal is to ensure that you are supported throughout your time here at FIU, and your on-campus living experience is one of the ways we are able to do so. We are here to help make your home at FIU one that is specifically designed to serve your needs. For more information on ADA accommodations, examples, and how to ensure your reasonable and appropriate housing accommodations, please follow the link below.

  • Campus access

    Emotional support animals are not allowed in classrooms or in public places on campus. ESA's are only allowed in Housing with immediate access to outdoor areas from residence halls. This doesn't include common areas such as group rooms and laundry rooms among others.

    Service Animals must be allowed in any public area/facility where the public is normally allowed to go. I.E. classrooms, library, and dining halls.

    Although vests are optional, service animals must be kept on a leash and under control when the animal is in a public area.

    Documentation of one's disability or service animal training is not required before allowing public access unless on-campus housing is being requested. Students with Emotional Support Animals or Service Animals must register and have the accommodation approved by the DRC & Housing if they wish to reside with their animal on-campus.

  • Definition of service animals

    A Service Animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental conditions. Miniature horses and dogs in training are also covered under ADA and Florida Statute.

  • Definition of emotional support/therapy animals

    "Emotional Support" (ESA), "Comfort" or "Therapy" animals are not considered service animals because they have not been trained to do work or perform a specific task related to a person's disability. Emotional/assistance/support animals are only allowed in the housing when emotional support cannot be met in any other way.

  • Laws protecting service animals

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all housing programs and activities that are either conducted by the federal government or receive federal financial assistance.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008: The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs and schools.

    The Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

    Florida Law: Covers puppies or dogs in training.

  • Questions allowed by ADA regulation if it is not obvious what a service animal provides
    1. Is this dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

    You cannot ask about the person's disability or request medical documentation, special identification card, or training documentation for the animal. You also cannot ask for a demonstration of the behavior the animal does.