Disabilities Accommodations Policy

MedNet File Link

Download the MedNet File


Full Policy Contents

Policy Statement
Reason for Policy

Additional Contacts
Related Information

Effective: 11/2/16
Last Updated: 12/15/2016

Responsible University Office:
IUSM Medical Student Education

Responsible University Administrator
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education

Policy Contact:
Assistant Dean for Academic Advising

RESPONSIBLE Abigail Klemsz, Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, 317-274-1963, aklemsz@iu.edu
ACCOUNTABLE Abigail Klemsz
SUPPORT Kristin Richey
Joyce Marlatt
CONSULT Disabilities Accommodations Committee
INFORM Students

LCME Standards

LCME Standard 10.5 – Technical Standards
A medical school develops and publishes technical standards for the admission, retention, and graduation of applicants or medical students with disabilities, in accordance with legal requirements.


Students requesting accommodation for a physical or sensory disability can find how and when to apply for accommodations through the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Indiana University and its School of Medicine to provide reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as necessary for students with disabilities; accommodations will be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis consistent with written documentation establishing that the individual is a qualified individual with a disability.

Reason for Policy

Applicable law (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Indiana Civil Rights Act) and university policy prohibit discrimination in educational programs against qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Indiana University and its School of Medicine to provide reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as necessary; accommodations will

be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis consistent with written documentation establishing that the individual is a qualified individual with a disability.

The curriculum of the IUSM, established by the faculty, outlines a core curriculum essential to all medical students, and it is expected that each student admitted to the MD program is able to complete all required courses, clerkships and electives and is able to meet the competencies. Accordingly, IUSM adopted the Technical Standards for Admission and Retention in Medical School. All students are required to sign a statement prior to matriculation indicating they are capable of meeting the Technical Standards, with or without a reasonable accommodation. While IUSM is committed to meeting both the spirit and letter of the law, it is also expected that students will be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner, without relying on the use of auxiliary aids or intermediaries, or with accommodations that would fundamentally alter the curriculum of IUSM.


Approved by CCSC on 11/29/2016


To qualify for accommodation, a student must identify him/ herself to the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, declare the disability (or suspected disability) in writing, and request accommodation. It is also the student's responsibility to obtain a thorough written evaluation from an appropriate professional, documenting the presence, extent, and ramifications of the disability. In addition, the documentation must include the specific types of accommodations the appropriate professional believes would be most effective in assisting the student when performing the essential functions of the academic program and meeting the technical standards in a medical school environment. The professional’s name, credentials, and contact information must be included with the supporting documentation. Our goal at IUSM is to provide equal opportunity without undermining the integrity of any course, clerkship, or program.
The student must obtain this evaluation at his/her own expense and arrange to have the evaluation form and all supporting documentation forwarded to the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising. If an evaluation has already been conducted in the past, the Disabilities Accommodations Committee will determine if it is recent enough. An evaluation performed more than three years earlier may not be acceptable, and there are instances in which an evaluation must have been completed within a few months or even weeks. Students can apply for accommodation prior to starting classes at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Disabilities Accommodations Committee (DAC) Review
Upon receiving acceptable documentation, the Disabilities Accommodations Committee will review the documentation and consider the student's requests. If appropriate, the Committee will approve a plan for accommodating the student. If the DAC determines that the documentation provided does not meet its established standards, additional information will be requested. If further evaluation is required, it remains the student's responsibility to arrange for that evaluation, at his or her expense. DAC meets on the first Wednesday of every month. In order to ensure time for processing, all documents should be received by the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on the Monday prior to the first Wednesday of the month.

If the Disabilities Accommodations Committee denies a request for accommodations, the student has two (2) weeks from Committee action to request in writing a reconsideration of the Committee’s action. The request must state why the student believes the prior decision was unfair or unreasonable, and should include any new, substantive information with the letter. DAC will convene as soon as possible. It may be necessary for the student to meet with the Committee to answer questions. After reviewing the case and any new information presented, the Committee will decide whether to uphold its initial denial. The student is immediately notified of the DAC’s decision by hard copy letter and e-mail. If the Committee votes to reverse its denial, the letter will dictate the terms for the accommodation(s). If the Committee votes to uphold its initial decision, the letter will inform the student that accommodations will not be granted.

As a final step, the student has the right to appeal to the Executive Associate Dean for Education (EAD). The student has two (2) weeks to submit a letter to the EAD describing the situation and indicating why the DAC's decision does not appear to be reasonable. The student must provide written consent allowing the EAD to review the supporting documentation. The EAD will review all relevant materials, discuss the case with individuals familiar with the situation, and may request to meet with the student. The EAD’s decision is final.

Disability information is considered private. Faculty, with the exception of those on the DAC, do not have the right to access students' diagnostic information. Ordinarily, faculty members and other relevant staff need know only the accommodations that are necessary to provide an equal opportunity for students.

There are times, however, when certain faculty members and/or administrators may have a legitimate educational need to know about a student's functional limitations, as well. In such cases, the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising may speak directly with those individuals to ensure appropriate planning. This kind of direct communication by the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising happens if the DAC has decided that members of the IUSM community have an educational need to know about a student's limitations, or if an issue arises that may involve the safety and well-being of patients, students, or staff. Students are also encouraged to speak with faculty as openly as possible to facilitate better understanding and support.

Faculty and/or staff to whom accommodation approvals are presented may copy these forms for their records, but they should take care to keep the information private. The accommodation information conveyed should be communicated only to other faculty and/or staff who have an educational need to know (for instance, those who are involved in providing the accommodations, or those who are responsible for the educational environment). If a faculty member or a student has any questions about specific accommodations, he/she may contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising. All documentation and correspondence concerning a student's disability are kept in a separate file in the Office of Academic Advising.

Clinical faculty (e.g. clerkship directors) who have occasion to write student evaluations at the end of clerkships must be careful not to breach the confidentiality afforded students with disabilities. Written evaluations, which may be excerpted in the Dean's Letter or seen by others outside the IUSM community, should not mention disabilities or accommodations for disabilities in any way. Once a student has been approved for specific accommodations by the DAC, and has subsequently received those accommodations, that student should be held to the same essential performance standards as all other students. Therefore, clinical faculty should focus strictly on the student's performance in all these evaluations. With regard to letters of reference solicited by students, faculty members may mention a disability IF the student gives prior permission for them to do so.

Indiana University School of Medicine does not notify potential residency programs or other employers about student disabilities without specific written permission from the student. Because students with disabilities, once accommodated, are held to the same standards as other students, we do not make notation of any kind on the transcript or in the MSPE.

IUSM Disability Documentation
The following is a statement of general guidelines regarding the type of documentation that is expected from students in connection with particular requests for accommodations. IUSM and its Disabilities Accommodations Committee (DAC) reserve the right to determine what documentation is adequate to support a determination of disability.


Committee on Students with Disabilities
The Indiana University School of Medicine Disabilities Accommodations Committee (DAC) reviews all requests for accommodations for a disability. The Committee membership includes the following: the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, the Learning Specialist, a representative from clinical faculty, a neuropsychologist, the IUPUI Director of Adaptive Educational Services, and legal counsel.

DAC determines the following: (a) whether or not a student is to be considered "disabled" at IUSM under the Americans with Disabilities Act; (b) whether or not the student seems otherwise qualified for medical school, based on our standards for capacity; (c) whether or not the student is entitled to accommodation, based on documentation; and (d) what specific accommodations, if any, would be most reasonable. The committee approves policy revisions related to disability issues as necessary. In order to maximize confidentiality, only members of the DAC have access to students' full diagnostic information.

The DAC works in coordination with the IUPUI Office of Adaptive Educational Services. Questions regarding the IUSM Disability Policy and Procedures should be referred to the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, Medical Student Affairs, MS 164, 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120 or 317-278-2891.

Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Kristin Richey 317-274-1578 kRicheys@iupui.edu
Joyce Marlatt 317-278-2891 jamarlat@iu.edu


Documentation for Physical/Sensory Disability

Related Information

Requirements for matriculation, promotion, and graduation are available in the IUSM Student Handbook.

Resources for Students with Disabilities: IUSM Student Handbook

IUPUI Adaptive Educational Services (AES)

The IUSM Disabilities Accommodations Committee (DAC) coordinates services for medical students with documented disabilities. The DAC includes representatives from AES. Medical students’ requests for accommodations should be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising, Medical Student Affairs, MS 164, 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120.

IUPUI Office of Equal Opportunity

IUSM Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE)

The application process for requesting special accommodations on the USMLE Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 exams is independent of the application process for disability accommodations for course and clerkship exams at IUSM. Information about the application process for special accommodations on the USMLE exams is available at the following websites: USMLE General Guidelines for all Disabilities USMLE Guidelines to request test accommodations


Approved by CCSC: 11/2016