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Access Services & Support

The Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs offers a variety of access 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 GEPA Access Specialist, and instructors/other faculty members.

The SMD GEPA Access Coordinator for the Office of Disability Resources is Mary Beth Kitzel, PhD,

Deciding to Disclose and Request Reasonable Accommodations

Choosing to disclose the need for accommodations is a topic some trainees may wish to discuss informally with the SMD GEPA Access Specialist. The SMD GEPA Access Specialist will treat such conversations confidentially to the maximum extent possible. A trainee will not be considered to have self-identified a need for accommodation until the trainee has specifically expressed a desire to do so, either through an individual interview or by submitting a Request for Reasonable Accommodations online. Trainees are encouraged to meet with the SMD GEPA Access Specialist 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, email the SMD GEPA Access Coordinator or submit a SMD GEPA Initial Request for Reasonable Accommodations online, and our staff will arrange a meeting.

Contact Information

The SMD GEPA Access Coordinator for the Office of Disability Resources is Mary Beth Kitzel, PhD

Supporting Documentation

Trainees will be required to provide supporting documentation to the access specialist. 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 the need for accommodations, procedures, and policies are found at:

Please submit documentation via the online form or to:

Office of Disability Resources
University of Rochester
P.O. Box 270195
Rochester, NY 14627

Mary Beth Kitzel, PhD,

Arrangement for Accommodations

The SMD GEPA Access Coordinator will consider a wide variety of factors, including the nature of the request 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 GEPA Access Specialist 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
    • Scribe
    • 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 for 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 email the SMD GEPA Access Coordinator.


Supporting documentation regarding the existence and nature of a trainee’s accommodation needs is generally considered private. Accordingly, without written consent from the trainee and except as stipulated below, information contained in the access services file is kept confidential to the maximum extent possible. Related information will also be kept separate from the trainee’s academic record. Access to a trainee’s access services file is limited to the access specialist, 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 specialist. 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.