Disability Services & Support
Disability Services & Support
The Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs offers a variety of disability services for School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) preparatory program trainees (includes Bridges, Summer Scholars, PREP, and unpaid interns/shadows); matriculated, non-matriculated, and visiting graduate students; and postdoctoral appointees (“trainees” collectively). These services aim to provide an inclusive experience and equal access to training program requirements. Activities may include: classes, lab and other research activities, meetings related to the training program, University-sponsored professional development, social, and networking activities, and approved conferences/events related to the training program. Our approach relies on collaboration among trainees, the SMD access coordinator, and instructors/other faculty members.
The SMD access coordinator is Erica West.
Deciding to Disclose and Request Reasonable Accommodations
Choosing to disclose the existence of a disability is a topic some trainees may wish to discuss informally with the SMD access coordinator. The SMD access coordinator will treat such conversations confidentially to the maximum extent possible. A trainee will not be considered to have self-identified a disability until the trainee has specifically expressed a desire to do so either through individual interview or submitting a Request for Reasonable Accommodations online. Trainees are encouraged to meet with the SMD access coordinator early in the training program to become acquainted and talk about accommodations. However, we welcome requests to discuss accommodations at any time. To schedule an appointment, visit our office in the School of Medicine and Dentistry(G-9556) or submit a SMD GEPA Initial Request for Reasonable Accommodations online and our staff will arrange a meeting.
Medical Center Suite G-9556
Access Services Email
Upon disclosing the existence of a disability, trainees will be required to provide supporting documentation to the access coordinator. Supporting documentation must be provided by a qualified professional who is licensed or otherwise properly credentialed in the domain for which he/she is diagnosing. Documentation completed by family members, regardless of qualifications, will not be accepted. Detailed university-wide guidelines for documenting a disability, procedures, and policies are found at: www.rochester.edu/disability/
Please submit documentation of a disability via the online form or to:
Offices for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs
Access Services Staff
University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 316
Rochester, NY 14642
Access Services Email
Arrangement for Accommodations
The SMD access coordinator will consider a wide variety of factors, including the nature of the disability and its effect on the trainee, the documentation provided, evidence of past accommodations that the trainee has received, and other relevant facts. If accommodations are to be provided, trainees should meet with the SMD access coordinator to review the information included in their personal accommodation letter which lists the trainee’s accommodations.
Form link: SMD GEPA Initial Request for Reasonable Accommodations
The Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs offers a variety of services. These services may include, but are not limited to:
- Alternative testing procedures
- Extended time (requests must be made at least 7 days prior to the exam)
- Separate location
- Note takers
- E text
- Enlarged print
- Sign language interpreters
- CART and captioning services
Guidance on the process and forms necessary to request non-academic accommodations (Housing and Dining, Parking and Transportation) can be found on the non-academic accommodations website
Accessibility is an important issue to us. Buildings must be accessible to persons with physical disabilities. Websites and course materials must be accessible to trainees with hearing or visual impairments. If you encounter a situation where we can provide help or suggest improvements, please contact us.
Supporting documentation regarding the existence and the nature of a trainee’s disability is generally considered private. Accordingly, without written consent from the trainee and except as stipulated below, information contained in the disability file is kept confidential to the maximum extent possible. Disability-related information will also be kept separate from the trainee’s academic record. Access to a trainee’s disability file is limited to the access coordinator, the University disability resource coordinator, and other University officials who require access to the information to perform their professional responsibilities, or who need access to protect the health or safety of the trainee or others.
Resolving a Dispute about Academic Accommodations
The University provides both informal and formal processes to appeal accommodation decisions. Trainees are encouraged to first pursue an informal resolution with their access coordinator. However, the informal process need not be pursued prior to filing a formal grievance. Information pertaining to the Request for Review grievance procedure is found at the University of Rochester policy page.