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Frequently Asked Questions

Does OSU-COM provide accommodations for disabilities to medical students?

Yes, OSU-COM will provide reasonable accommodations to medical students with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act.


What are “reasonable” accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations do not pose an undue hardship on OSU-COM, result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the academic program or activity, or result in an undue financial or administrative burden on OSU-COM.


What is the purpose of an accommodation for a disability?

An accommodation for a disability is intended to assure equal access to educational opportunities. Disability accommodations are not intended to assure academic success.


Who is responsible for initiating a request for accommodation for a disability?

The student requiring accommodations for a disability is responsible for submitting a written request for accommodations accompanied by written substantiation of the disability and requested accommodations. Angela Bacon in the Office of Student Services will provide students with the appropriate forms and advice for completing the forms. The Committee on Students with Disabilities will take no action without a written request and appropriate substantiation.


Who is responsible for assuring that a request for accommodations for a disability is submitted in a timely manner and is complete?

The student is responsible for submitting a written request accompanied by appropriate substantiation.


Who decides whether a student will receive accommodations for a disability?

The Committee on Students with Disabilities is responsible for review and approval of student requests for accommodations related to disabilities. This is a faculty committee.



When should a student submit a request for accommodations for a disability?

Requests may be submitted at any time, but remember that obtaining appropriate substantiation may take weeks. Submit requests for accommodations as early as possible. Do not delay.


Is approval of a request for accommodations for a disability retroactive to the beginning of the semester or academic year?

No, accommodations are provided only for activities that occur after approval of the request for accommodations.


Do I need to renew my request for accommodations every year?

Typically, accommodations will be granted on an annual basis. Students must notify the Assistant Dean of Student Life (or designee) of any request to continue to have the accommodation in the upcoming academic year. The Committee on Students with Disabilities will audit student files each year and determine whether additional documentation will be needed in reviewing any requests for continuation. The Committee will also be responsible for providing to the Office of Educational Development or Office of Clinical Education (as appropriate) on an annual basis an updated list of students approved for accommodations.


What if the committee does not approve my request?

Students may appeal the decision of the Committee on Students with Disabilities by submitting a letter to the Committee (via Angela Bacon in the Office of Student Affairs) explaining why he or she believes the decision is unfair or unreasonable. If the student disagrees with the Committee’s decision on the appeal, the student may make a final appeal to the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.


Is my request for accommodation confidential?

Information about a student’s disability is considered private and will be kept confidential. Faculty, administrators, and staff members who have a legitimate educational need to know will be informed about approved accommodations for a student. For confidentiality details, see the OSU-COM Policy on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.


Who informs my teachers that I am entitled to receive an accommodation?

The Committee on Students with Disabilities will be responsible for ensuring that accommodations are appropriately implemented, as assigned. Once the Committee on Students with Disabilities determines a student’s eligibility for accommodations, the Committee will notify the student, respective offices for assistance with implementing approved accommodations (such as, the Office of Educational Development or Office of Clinical Education), and Course Coordinator or Clerkship Coordinator (for those classes that the student wishes to use the accommodation(s). The Office of Student Affairs will arrange for accommodations that fall outside the scope of either the Office of Educational Development or the Office of Clinical Education.


Do I need to justify my need for accommodations to every teacher?

No, a student does not need to justify the need for accommodation. The Committee on Students with Disabilities will ensure that the Course Coordinator receives the Notice of Accommodation. 


If accommodations involve testing arrangements, the Course Coordinator will notify the student of the room location for the examination.  However, students are encouraged to be pro-active and talk with their instructors regarding testing and/or other approved accommodations so that all arrangements are in place with as much notice as possible.   Course Coordinators are responsible for notifying instructors within the course and support staff, as appropriate, to ensure that accommodations are implemented accordingly.


What should I do if a professor refuses to provide approved accommodations?

Contact Angela Bacon in the Office of Student Affairs.


Does OSU-COM notify potential residency program or other employers about student disabilities?

OSU-COM does not notify potential residency programs or other employers about student disabilities without prior written permission from the student. Since students receiving approved accommodations are held to the same standards as all other students, OSU-COM does not note any information about disabilities or accommodations on student transcripts or in the official Dean’s letter.


Do all disabilities entitle a student to accommodations?

No, only a disability that “substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g., learning)” entitles a student to accommodations for that disability.


What do I do if I think that I might need accommodations for a disability?

Contact Angela Bacon in the Office of Student Affairs for advice regarding procedures for medical students applying for disability accommodations. In general, it is recommended that requests for disability accommodations be submitted as soon as possible, so that adequate lead time is in place to review the request and required documentation (see policy). A student who does not request approved accommodations according to procedures described in this policy, per course syllabi, before needed in a specific course/clerkship, or with a sufficient lead time of at least 10 business days will risk timely review of their application and/or timely implementation of any granted accommodations. When appropriate, provisional accommodations may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Committee on Students with Disabilities.


What should I do if I am an admitted student at OSU-COM but have not yet matriculated into the medical school?

If you are an admitted student who will be matriculating in the upcoming academic year and you are interested in pursuing disability accommodations, please contact Angela Bacon, Assistant Dean of Student Life, at 918-561-1880 or


Do students with disability accommodations have access to tutors?

Academic assistance is available to all medical students. The Office of Academic Success and the Learning Specialist are resources available to all medical students on campus. Some departments may have tutors, depending on courses and availability. Students can also request to meet with their faculty advisor and/or instructors for guidance regarding academic issues. Tutoring specifically for students with disability accommodations is not available.


Where do I find the OSU-COM Policy on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities?

On the Disability Services homepage


I have more questions. Who should I contact?

Please contact Angela Bacon at or Jeff Hackler in the Office of Student Affairs.



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