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The University of the Cumberlands welcomes students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities.  UC ensures a welcoming working and learning environment for individuals with disabilities while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations.



Who Is Disabled?

“Qualified Disabled Student” means a disabled person who meets the academic and technical standards for admission and participation in UC’s educational programs.  Individuals with disabilities may include those with an emotional or mental illness; illness such as cancer, heart disease, severe allergies, or diabetes; learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia; and physical impairments such as severely restricted vision, hearing, and mobility.

What Is A Disability?

Federal law and the university define a “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts the condition, manner, or duration under which an average person in the population can perform a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or taking care of oneself. 

An impairment or diagnosis, in and of itself, does not necessarily constitute a disability: it must “substantially limit” these activities.  Disabilities do not necessarily impair the individual’s performance, but may require the individual to seek alternate methods of carrying out a given task.

The University is required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to provide effective auxiliary aids and services for qualified students with documented disabilities if such aids are needed to provide equitable access to the university’s programs and services.



Although students with temporary illness or injury are not considered disabled by the law, they are nonetheless often in need of services or accommodations similar to those provided to students with permanent disabilities in order to maintain their academic program with minimal interruption.  These students are encouraged to consult with the Disabilities Coordinator as soon as possible.  Students requesting services must be prepared to present current clinical documentation before accommodations can be considered.



Common accommodations include, but are not limited to, extended time on examinations, copies of class notes, alternative format texts and other printed matter, assistive technology, accessible classrooms and dormitory rooms, and other appropriate accommodations which do not fundamentally alter the essential nature of a course or academic program. 

“Accommodations” is a broad term. Accommodations include such considerations as adjustable lighting, sound amplification, material format and presentation, working with others to find suitable relocations for inaccessible classes, meetings and events and circumstances and availability permit, and a wide range of other methods of assistance addressing any number of different concerns. 

Assistive Technology is any item, piece of equipment, or system used to increase, maintain, or improve access to information or facilities for individuals with disabilities.  Auxiliary aids may include, but are not limited to, note-takers, digital smartpens, and Braille or large print materials; sign language interpreters, real time captioning, and note-takers for students who are deaf or hearing impaired; and typists and scribes for students with manual impairments.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Devices or services of a personal nature, such as personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, or readers for personal use or study are not provided.



The Disabilities Coordinator helps coordinate and customize a number of resources to accommodate a wide range of disabilities.  Resources can include:

  • Introductory letter, presented by the student to designated persons, outlining students’ needs for accommodation (only with student authorization)
  • Coordination with academic and administrative departments
  • Liaison for Career Services: role-play interviewing focusing on questions of when and how to disclose disability when applying to graduate schools and/or seeking employment
  • Information about alternative testing arrangements and documentation for GMAT, GRE, LSAT, etc.
  • Additional support accommodations for military students with disabilities. 



 All students must meet with the Disabilities Coordinator and submit current clinical documentation before any accommodation can be granted.  To ensure complete documentation, we suggest printing the guidelines and giving a copy to clinicians for use in writing letters documenting need for accommodations.  Students are also advised to keep a copy of any documentation materials they provide to UC.  Last-minute submission of documentation may result in unfortunate delays in consideration of requested services.

UC evaluates clinical documentation submitted by admitted students for the purpose of seeking accommodations.  UC’s evaluation review includes a required meeting with the student before final determination of formalized services can be made.  With the student’s written permission, UC may need to consult with the original evaluator when documentation guidelines have not been followed or information is unclear.

Sometimes students may be asked to provide updated comprehensive information if their condition is potentially changeable and/or previous documentation doesn’t include sufficient relevant information. Students are always encouraged to contact the Disabilities Coordinator whenever they believe their present accommodation is not effective.



Student Handbook

Disabilities Request Form



UC has designated Mr. Jacob Ratliff to coordinate its efforts to comply with laws which prohibit discrimination against students or applicants on the basis of a disability.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact him for assistance.

Jacob Ratliff
Student Success Coordinator
Boswell Campus Center


Monday - Friday
9am to 5pm