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Rights and Responsibilities

The information below explains the rights and responsibilities of a Penn State student with a disability as well as the obligations Penn State has to provide academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services.

Each student receiving academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services through the Office for Disability Services (ODS) is required to sign a form, which outlines his/her responsibilities for receiving academic adjustments.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students with Disabilities at Penn State

Students with disabilities at The Pennsylvania State have the right to:

  • Full and equal access to courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities offered through the University.
  • An equal opportunity to learn, and to receive reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services.
  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding the disability, except as disclosures are required or permitted by law.
  • Information in accessible formats.


Students with disabilities at The Pennsylvania State University have the responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities.
  • Identify as an individual with a disability when an academic adjustment, auxiliary aids and/or service is needed and to seek information and assistance as necessary in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate or document (from an appropriate professional) how the disability limits participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities.
  • Follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services.
  • Meet with the assigned ODS Disability Specialist or Disability Contact Liaison (DCL) each semester so that appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services can be made in a timely manner.


Rights and Responsibilities of The Pennsylvania State University in Relation to Students with Disabilities. The Pennsylvania State University has the right to:

  • Establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge and standards for courses, programs, services, and activities or facilities and to evaluate individuals with disabilities on this basis.
  • Determine the appropriate standards in developing, constructing, remodeling and maintaining facilities.
  • Request and receive, through the Office for Disability Services (ODS) or the Disability Contact Liaison (DCL), current documentation that confirms disability status and supports requests for academic adjustments; auxiliary aids, and/or services.
  • Deny a request for academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and/or services if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted, or if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation.
  • Select among equally effective academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services.
  • Refuse unreasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services that impose a fundamental alteration to a program or activity of the University.


The Pennsylvania State University has the responsibility to:

  • Provide information to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request.
  • Ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are available and usable in the most integrated and appropriate settings.
  • Provide or arrange reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services for students with disabilities in courses.
  • Respond to requests in a timely manner.
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communications and disclose only when permitted by law.