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Accommodations for Learners with Disabilities

ADA compliance

Disability Services at Capella University

Capella's Disability Services mission is to provide equal access to learners with disabilities while maintaining the integrity of the University’s academic standards. We are also dedicated to providing accommodations and services to qualified learners with disabilities so they may achieve their full educational potential. This includes educating Capella faculty and staff about disabilities, federal regulations, and accommodation methods.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a learner with a disability?

Capella University recognizes and fulfills its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and similar state laws. Capella University is committed to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified learners with disabilities in University programs and activities.

This policy is consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which states that no recipient of federal financial assistance may discriminate against a qualified handicapped individual solely by reason of handicap. This policy is also consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. The policies and procedures of Disability Services are the means by which faculty, staff, and learners of Capella University endorse and apply the conditions of Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act to learners.

Operating Principles

  1. Capella University prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, and will continue to develop training and resources to encourage and increase sensitivity and awareness of disability issues.
  2. Capella University is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Therefore, the University will continue to develop and coordinate policies and procedures, and provide services and access to academic courses, activities and programs.
  3. Capella University respects the independence, rights, and dignity of people with disabilities, therefore identifying oneself and/or requesting accommodations is completely voluntary.
  4. In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Capella University will handle all data on learners with disabilities confidentially.
Learner's Rights And Responsibilities

People with disabilities at Capella University have the right to:

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities offered through the University
  • Confidentiality of all information regarding disabilities and the ability to choose to whom this information may be disclosed, except as disclosures are required or permitted by law.
  • Information available in accessible formats.

People with disabilities at the University have the responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and uphold University standards for courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities
  • Voluntarily identify oneself as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as needed
  • Contact the Disabilities Services to request reasonable accommodations.
  • Provide documentation from an appropriate source that describes the nature of the disability(s), how it limits participation in courses/programs, and suggested academic accommodations.
Capella University Rights and Responsibilities

Capella University has the right to:

  • Request current documentation for assessing the need for reasonable accommodations.
  • Deny a request for accommodations if appropriate documentation is not provided, or if the documentation received does not support the need for accommodations.
  • Decide on equally effective accommodations.
  • Refuse an unreasonable accommodation that would impose a fundamental revision on a program or activity of the University

Capella University has the responsibility to:

  • Present information to people with disabilities in accessible formats upon request.
  • Provide reasonable accommodations for learners with disabilities in courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities.
  • Maintain confidentiality of records and communication, except where permitted or required by law.

How do I request academic accommodations?

Please take the following steps to register with Disability Services:

  1. Complete and submit the Accommodations for Learners with Disabilities form.
  2. Provide documentation of the disability as required from an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist. Documentation should be current (within the last 3 years) and contain the following information:
    • Diagnosis of disability
    • Limitations the impairments have on your learning/major life activities
    • Recommendations for academic adjustments that would enable you to compensate for those limitations with respect to the educational program.
    • All documentation must be submitted to:

      Capella University
      ATTN: Disability Services
      Capella Tower
      225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor
      Minneapolis , MN 55402
  3. Documentation and accommodation requests must be received at least three weeks prior to the start of a course, residential colloquium, or event in order to allow adequate time to process the request. Requests received later than this will be considered; however there is a risk that the request cannot be reasonably evaluated or implemented before the course, residential colloquium or event begins.
  4. Upon receipt of all documentation. a Disability Services Specialist will contact the learner to determine the appropriate accommodation(s).

How are academic accommodations determined?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an individual without a disability.

The determination of reasonable accommodations considers the following:
  • Physical barriers and the array of accommodations that might remove the barriers
  • Whether the learner has access to the course, program, service, activity, or facility without accommodations.
  • Whether essential elements of the course, program, service, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations.
The determination of reasonable accommodations considers the following:
  • Physical barriers and the array of accommodations that might remove the barriers
  • Whether the learner has access to the course, program, service, activity, or facility without accommodations.
  • Whether essential elements of the course, program, service, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations.
The following analysis is used when determining accommodations:
  1. Does the learner have a disability?
  2. Is the learner "otherwise qualified"?
  3. Is the request reasonable?
    1. The accommodation does not fundamentally alter the nature of the program or activity.
    2. The accommodation does not lower academic standards
    3. The accommodation does not present an undue financial or administrative burden on the university.
    4. The accommodation does not pose a threat to personal or public safety.

What academic accommodations are available?

Disability Services provides access, accommodations, and advocacy for Capella learners who have documented disabilities. Academic needs are determined by the documentation and a consultation with the learner. The following list contains examples of accommodations; this list not all-inclusive, as individual needs may warrant other accommodations. Learners should discuss their needs with Disability Services.

Capella Courses
  • Additional time on unit assignments and postings
  • Advance copy of syllabus/course
  • Textbooks on audiotape or electronic format
  • Verbal explanation of assignments
Capella Residential Colloquia
  • Adjustable tables/chairs
  • Assistive computer software/hardware
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Computer assisted real-time Transmission (CART)
  • Enlarged-type documents
  • Mobility assistance
  • Sound amplification

Additional Questions? You may send an e-mail to or call 866.561.9754 to speak to a Disability Services staff member.