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Policies for Students with Disabilities

The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine makes every effort to ensure that all qualified applicants and students can participate in and take full advantage of all programs and opportunities offered within the University. The University of Iowa gives full consideration to all applicants for admission and does not discriminate in access to its programs and activities on the basis of age, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual.  See https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/human-rights; https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/nondiscrimination-statement

All students enrolled in educational programs at the UI Carver College of Medicine (COM) must possess the intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities outlined in the Technical Standards for Admission and Retention. To remain in good academic standing, students with and without disabilities also are required to meet the achievement standards determined by the faculty and profession. The technical and achievement standards will not be changed or diminished when the College of Medicine provides reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified students with disabilities.

Students may disclose a disability at any time after formal acceptance.  Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. A medical or physician assistant student who is experiencing academic difficulties and would like to consider the possibility of reasonable accommodations may make an appointment with one of the counselors at the College of Medicine Medical Student Counseling Center. Students may request assistance with finding a licensed health care provider to assess the scope of current limitations on major life activities or to diagnose a disability. Students assume all financial responsibility for the cost of disability-related assessments and/or diagnosis.

A.    Reasonable Accommodations

The Carver College of Medicine strongly encourages students with disabilities to disclose and engage in the interactive process as early as possible so that reasonable accommodations for which they may be eligible can be identified and provided. Documents containing disability-related information are confidential and are maintained securely in the Medical Student Counseling Center.

1.    Disclosure of Disability: It is the responsibility of a student who has a disability and seeks accommodations to disclose the disability and file a request for reasonable accommodations in writing in a timely manner. Student Disability Disclosure & Request for Reasonable Accommodations Forms may be obtained from the Counseling Center. A completed copy of this form must be submitted to the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center. To maintain confidentiality, all materials pertaining to the disability status of students will be retained by the Counseling Center and remain separate and apart from student education records.  Student disability accommodations records are retained in the MSCC and released only with a student’s written consent and/or as required by law.  College of Medicine Letters of Approved Accommodations are retained during enrollment and for seven years beyond a student’s graduation date/departure from CCOM.  Documentation of disability submitted by students when requesting reasonable accommodations is retained for three years beyond a student’s graduation/departure from the CCOM.

2.    Statement of Understanding: Students must sign a Statement of Understanding and Release that specifies the need for formal documentation of their disability, how the information will be used to determine accommodations at the College of Medicine, with whom it will be shared, and the limits of confidentiality. The Statement of Understanding and Release also gives the Counseling Center staff permission to discuss pertinent evaluative information with the Disability Accommodations Committee, discussed below in paragraph 5, so that the student’s eligibility status may be reviewed fully and confidentially.

3.    Required Disability-Related Medical Information and Documentation: The student’s licensed health care provider must provide factual, objective medical information sufficient to document a student’s disability, including substantial limits on one or more of the student’s major life activities, and recommended accommodation(s). The College of Medicine reserves the right to request additional disability-related information or clarification, or the student’s permission to communicate directly with the licensed health care provider.  Students may request referrals for local licensed health care providers. The student assumes financial responsibility for any costs related to the required disability-related medical information.

4.    Disability Accommodations Committee (“Accommodations Committee”) Decision: Once the student’s file is complete, including executed copies of the Student Disability Disclosure Form and Statement of Understanding and Release, and the required disability-related medical information, the Accommodations Committee will review the student’s request for accommodation(s) and the disability-related medical information provided, and will provide a written response explaining their decision.  The Accommodations Committee may: (a) grant reasonable accommodations; (b) explain why the request for reasonable accommodations was denied; or (c) request additional disability-related medical information necessary to render a decision. Prior to informing a student of a request denial, the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center may consult with the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Equity on behalf of the Committee to review the Committee’s explanation of their determination. If needed, students may request assistance with obtaining additional documentation or a list of licensed health care provider referrals from the College of Medicine Counseling Center. Committee members will hold all personal information received in confidence.

5.    Appeals to the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education: A student who believes reasonable accommodations were improperly denied or modified may submit a formal, written appeal to the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education within ten business days after receipt of the Disability Accommodations Committee’s decision.  The Associate Dean shall assemble a Disability Accommodations Appeals Committee (“Appeals Committee”), and within ten business days following receipt of the student’s formal, written appeal, the Appeals Committee will evaluate the record and provide the student with a written decision.  The Appeals Committee may grant or deny the appeal or send the student’s request back to the Accommodations Committee for further deliberation.

6.    Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity:  Students may seek review of the Appeals Committee decision by contacting the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Equity.


B. Disability Accommodations Committee

The Disability Accommodations Committee will be comprised of five members: three COM faculty members (at least one of whom is a physician), a counselor or a psychologist with expertise in psychological assessment procedures and interpretation, and a COM student. The Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education will appoint all members to the Accommodations Committee. The Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center will serve as a non-voting ex-officio member. Each faculty member will be appointed for a two-year term. At the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean, faculty may be reappointed to the Committee at the conclusion of their term.  Students in good standing who wish to be considered to serve on the Disability Accommodations Committee will submit a statement (250 words or less) to express their interest. Student members will serve a one-year term and may be reappointed for additional terms at the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean.


C. Disability Accommodations Appeals Committee

In the event of a student appeal, the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education will assemble a committee comprised of two COM faculty members, one of whom will be a physician, and a counselor or psychologist. None of these appointees will have participated in the decision of the Disability Accommodations Committee that is being appealed. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs and/or the Director of the Medical Student Counseling Center will serve as the non-voting administrative representative to the Appeals Committee.