Disability Services

As a Rutgers School of Health Professions student, you are part of the Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences (RBHS) division. To request accommodations or learn more about RBHS Disability Services please visit the RBHS Disability Services website.

For more information on Disability Services you may reach out to Michael Canzano or Dr. Cindy Poore-Pariseau.

Rutgers School of Health Professions
Michael Canzano
Program Support Specialist
Office of Student Affairs
School of Health Professions (SHP)
65 Bergen Street, Suite 147, Newark, NJ 07101
Email: michael.canzano@shp.rutgers.edu
Office: (973) 972-8594
Fax: (973) 972-7463

RBHS Office of Disability Services
Cindy Poore-Pariseau, Ph.D.
Director, Disability Services
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
65 Bergen Street, Suite 1441, Newark, NJ 07107
Email: cp803@ca.rutgers.edu
Office: 973-972-5396
Fax: 973-972-7596

* Please refer to Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences’ page for policies listed above.

RBHS Office of Disability Services
Cindy Poore-Pariseau, Ph.D.
Director, Disability Services
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
65 Bergen Street, Suite 1441
Newark, NJ 07107
Email: cp803@ca.rutgers.edu
Office: 973-972-5396
Fax: 973-972-7596

Additional faculty resources can be found on the RBHS Disability Services website. The information provided below serves as a resource for SHP faculty and staff in order to engage in building a strong community where students with disabilities are fully integrated and have equal access. We hope this information enhances understanding of individual rights and responsibilities related to disabilities.

Please see the RBHS Disability Services Syllabus Statement on this webpage: Click here!

The Office of Student Affairs in collaboration with the Student Wellness program has created an online module to assist faculty and staff with identifying at-risk students. Please see the following link to our faculty website where you can access the presentation using Moodle. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs for access at osa@shp.rutgers.edu.

If the exam will be administered by the course faculty or department staff

Students must provide a copy of their current approved Letter of Accommodations to their course faculty at least five (5) days prior to the exam. Generally, at least five (5) days is needed to: make room reservations for a reduced distraction testing location, adjust scheduling for extra time for testing, and make other arrangements in order to protect the student’s confidentiality, ensure equal exam standards, and secure an appropriate testing space.

In addition to providing  the course faculty with the current Letter of Accommodations, a private meeting must be scheduled with the course faculty five (5) days prior to the exam to discuss the specifics of the accommodations and how the exam accommodations will be administered.

Things to remember:

  • You are not alone. The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Disability Services is here to answer any questions, and assist professors as needed.
  • Respect the students confidentiality. It is recommended that the professor and the student speak in private when discussing the exam arrangements.
  • Read the Letter of Accommodations. All of the student’s approved accommodations are listed on the student’s Letter of Accommodations. If professors have questions about any of exam accommodations, contact the Director of Disability Services listed on the bottom of the Letter of Accommodations.
  • Adhering to equal standards. The student should take their exam under the same conditions (i.e multipart exams, use of a calculator) applied to other students in the class unless otherwise noted on the letter of accommodations.
  • Securing appropriate space. All testing arrangements should be in a quiet location away from distractions, such as: ringing phones, typing sounds, running copier machines, loud fans, and areas with high foot traffic. For these reasons, offices or hallways are not ideal testing locations.
  • Adhering to the accommodations listed on the Letter of Accommodations.  Keep in mind that in many cases the student will be approved for extended time, which may run beyond the time a class is scheduled in the room. Please make arrangements with the student that allow for the extended time and provide an adequate testing environment.

Overview: The primary responsibility of the Office Disability Services is determining reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities at Rutgers.  Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged not to make additional accommodations for students.  Approved accommodations are communicated to faculty in an official letter from the Office of Disability Services which is hand delivered or emailed to faculty by the student.

Criteria for Determining Reasonable Accommodations: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 criteria are used in determining accommodations.  Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. Accommodations are determined by the current impact of a disability on a students learning. The questions below must be answered “yes” for a student to receive an accommodation.

  • Has the student provided documentation that meets established criteria?
  • Does the student have a disability as defined above?
  • Is there evidence of current impact and support for each requested accommodation?
  • Is the student “otherwise qualified” for the course or program? That is, the student
    1. meets the academic prerequisites and essential functions
    2. can perform the essential functions/technical standards with or without accommodations
  • Is the requested accommodation reasonable? That is, the accommodation must not
    1. Substantially alter the intended nature or purpose of the academic program
    2. Cause a health and/or safety risk to the student or others
    3. Create a significant undue hardship on the School/University

In 1973, Congress enacted Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which guarantees the rights of all students to equal educational access and prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or psychological disabilities.  It also provides that no individuals with a disability shall be denied benefits of, excluded from participation in, or subjected to discrimination in co-curricular activities because of the absence of auxiliary aids.  In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008, guaranteed equal access to employment, public services and transportation, in addition to educational access.

The School of Health Professions (SHP) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.  SHP has an institutional commitment to provide opportunity for equal access in all programs and activities.  Persons who feel as if they have been discriminated against due to a disability-related issue can refer to Ombudsperson for grievance procedures or stop by the office for assistance.

Disability Services exists to assist students with disabilities in achieving their educational goals.  Our focus is on equal access to all programs and activities.  Services provided include:  assignment of appropriate reasonable accommodations, assistance with accommodation implementation, advocacy, and referral to community resources to name a few.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008, defines a disability as a person who:  has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment.

Eligibility for reasonable accommodations and other support services depends on the nature of the disability and its impact.  Accommodations and services will be identified based on documentation from a licensed qualified professional.  Adequate documentation should be recent and include: a description of the nature and extent of the disability; an explanation of the functional impact of the disability, especially as it relates to the academic environment; and recommendations for reasonable accommodations.

After a student submits documentation, the information is reviewed by the Director of Disability Services.  The student and the Director of Disability Services will then meet to discuss the types of accommodations and services that are recommended by the supporting documentation.  The Director of Disability Services will take into consideration past supports that have been helpful to the student.

A reasonable accommodation is always based on an individual’s documented need.  According to the law, a reasonable accommodation cannot require an “undue hardship” on the school/university.  In addition, the accommodation cannot require a fundamental alteration of any essential aspect of an academic program or activity.  Any service that is personal in nature like a tutor or personal aide is not considered a reasonable accommodation in most cases.  The following is a sample list of accommodations that a student may be eligible to receive:

  • Notetaker
  • The Ability to Tape Record Lectures
  • Alternative Text
  • Extended Test-Taking Time
  • Individual Testing Room
  • Sign-Language Interpreter

After students register with Office Disability Services and approved for academic accommodations, they are mail a copy of their accommodation form, which they need to share with each instructor.  We encourage students to share this form early in the quarter.  Some students may prefer to see their instructors during office hours.  In order to ensure equal access for all students, it is strongly recommended that instructors only accommodate those students who are registered for Disability Services with Office Disability Services.

Please contact the Disability Services Director at 973-972-5396 if you have any questions or concerns.  If a student has self-identified, provided appropriate documentation, and has an accommodation form, they are entitled under law to receive the specified accommodation(s).

In theory, students who have a learning disability and seek accommodations should register for Office Disability Services. and provide you with their accommodation form.  However, some students have never been formally diagnosed with a learning disability and others choose not to pursue services.  In general terms, a student with a learning disability may have difficulty acquiring, processing, and/or retrieving information.  A student with a learning disability may:

  • Have difficulty taking notes and listening to the lecture at the same time
  • Is easily distracted
  • May appear overly anxious during tests and quizzes
  • Seems to forget material previously learned
  • Is consistently the last student finished with tests or quizzes
  • Able to express ideas and concepts verbally rather than in writing

If you suspect that a student may benefit from services, you may be able to approach the student in a private setting and express concern about their performance.  It could be that the student is under-prepared and may be able to benefit from some assistance at Office Disability Services or other campus resources.  It is acceptable to mention that there are free services available on campus for students with disabilities and provide Office Disability Services contact information.  Please note that at the post-secondary level, students must self-identify prior to Disability Services being initiated.

Please refer the student to Office Disability Services so we can ensure that the student is qualified to receive services.  If we do not follow the proper procedures, we place ourselves at risk for legal action by giving services to students without documentation.  A good question to ask is, “would I provide this accommodation to any student who asked?” If the answer is yes, it is probably not much of an issue.  Again, our focus is on equal access.