Accommodating Students with Disabilities and Related SDS Information


As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, instructors must provide reasonable academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities who present an official Student Disability Services (SDS) Letter of Accommodations to the instructor about such accommodations. UI is committed to providing an educational experience that is accessible to all students.

ADA Guide for Instructors

If a student requests disability accommodations without a Letter of Accommodation, it is important to refer that student to Student Disability Services (SDS) before providing accommodations. This ensures students with disabilities receive the accommodations they are entitled to, and university standards are maintained.

A statement about SDS accommodations must be included on the course syllabus. The CLAS syllabus template includes the required information.


Both students and instructors have obligations before accommodations are provided. The student must present the official letter of accommodations to the instructor and should initiate a conversation with the instructor. The accommodations process requires input from both the student and the instructor.

Letter of Accommodations (LOA) is a letter generated by SDS that verifies registration with SDS and details which academic accommodations a student is eligible to receive from instructors. Students must provide LOAs and work with instructors on how accommodations will be implemented for a course.

  • Students can qualify for an LOA at any point in the semester, but accommodations are not applied retroactively. 
  • Students can access their LOA in MyUI Student Information under the Courses & Grades section.
  • Common accommodations descriptions

Disability-Related Absence and Deadline Modification Agreement (DRADM) is a type of request for accommodation.

  • If an absence accommodation is listed on an LOA, students and instructors can find a copy of the DRADM form on the SDS website.
  • Please fill out all sections of the form.
  • Deadline and absence accommodations should not change or lower the essential elements of the course.

Facilitating Extended Time for Exams

Please see the Student Disability Services website for the most up-to-date information on exam accommodations and Quick Start Guide for the Proctored Exams Portal .

IT Accessibility

Academic and instructional materials provided using electronic and information technology are subject to the University of Iowa IT Accessibility policy. Materials covered by this policy include webpages, electronic documents and presentations, video resources, and other online content. Contact your departmental IT support staff for assistance.


  • Accommodations and SDS status should be handled discretely, keeping in mind the importance of a student’s privacy as required under FERPA
  • Accommodation arrangements must be finalized at least two weeks prior to related exams but should be made early in the semester.
  • CLAS recommends that the student and the instructor collaborate to create an accommodations agreement for each class.
  • Both instructor and student should sign and date an accommodations agreement (and DRADM form if used—see above) and keep copies. If they wish, students should share agreements with their SDS Access Consultant and advisors.
  • The information included in the accommodations agreement will be used to resolve any opposing perspectives about the accommodations if questions should arise.
  • Even if a student does not think that they will need accommodations for a class, it is still a good idea to have agreements in place, in case needed.
  • If reasonable accommodations cannot be provided, the student should consider enrolling in a different course. As questions arise about these types of courses and situations, please consult with SDS or the CLAS UP liaison to SDS, Amy Korthank, for undergraduate courses. For questions about accommodations for graduate students, please consult with SDS or with the Associate Dean for Graduate Education.

For additional information, see:

Office of Institutional Equity: Disability Policies

Student Disability Services:

USG Accommodations Guide for Students