Accessibility at UMES
At the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, we believe diversity and inclusivity are a key to success. Working in partnership with campus constituents, UMES is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment by making the university accessible to individuals with disabilities. This web page provides information, guidance, and resources to inform students, faculty, staff and the public of UMES’s efforts related to accessibility.
Accessibility applies everywhere on campus! The need for accessibility includes access to our built environments, instructional environments, and virtual environments (including online courses, web pages and other electronic information). A commitment to accessibility gives all of our students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to succeed. Not only is accessibility the right thing to do, compliance is a requirement mandated by Federal law.
Consistent with ADA and Section 504, the Policy of UMES, is that no qualified individual with a disability may be discriminated against on the basis of a disability. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to seek employment and/or admission to the university. UMES will make necessary efforts to accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities. Such efforts include the elimination of physical barriers, and the provision of individual accommodations. Our goal is to promote institutional programs, services and employment practices that are accessible to all individuals with disabilities. Neither ADA nor Section 504 require post-secondary educational institutions to lower academic standards or substantially alter the essential requirements of a course, program, or degree. The requirement to provide reasonable accommodations is designed to afford equal opportunity to access.
Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations
Individuals with disabilities are responsible for requesting accommodations and providing supporting documentation. Individuals can request accommodations at any time; however, sufficient time must be provided in order to review documentation and implement the accommodation request. Please keep in mind that accommodations are not provided retroactively.
Accessibility Resources are available for undergraduate and graduate students. The Office of Student Accessibility Services is responsible for reviewing disability documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations, auxiliary aids, and adjustments in accordance with federal and state laws. Additionally, staff from the Office of Student Accessibility Services collaborate with faculty, staff, and university departments to assist them in providing accommodations to ensure access to university programs, activities, and services for students with documented disabilities.
High School Students
Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans are available for students to request from their high school. Some students will bring a 504 Plan or IEP from their previous school (community college, transfer school, etc). When admitted to UMES, please feel free to reach out to our office to discuss accommodations and to have an in-depth discussion regarding your IEP or 504 plan through an interactive dialogue meeting.
The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance responds to requests for accommodation from employees with disabilities through the designed ADA Coordinator for the campus community (information below). That person is also responsible for overseeing compliance with regard to state and federal regulations that prohibit employee discrimination on the basis of disability and requests for reasonable accommodations.
Please complete the following information to formally request an employee related accommodation: UMES Employee Accommodation Request Form
Please submit those forms with supporting documentation to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org and to ADA@umes.edu.
Creating Accessible Courses, Programs and Events
Teaching faculty must ensure that the design of their instructional course materials are accessible. This includes all electronic information utilized for face-to-face courses, hybrid courses, and fully online courses that integrate electronic resources and platforms. The university offers training on the “Basics of Creating Accessible Online Course Content” and “Accessible PowerPoints.” More information about training can be requested through ADA@umes.edu.
Programs and Events
Departments, organizations, auxiliaries, or affiliated entities of UMES are responsible for ensuring that their programs, events, goods and services are accessible to the maximum extent feasible, and must provide an opportunity for individuals to request accommodation as well as respond appropriately to any request for accommodation. The “Creating Accessible Programs and Events” brochure (content being created) can assist those who are planning and developing events. Refer to the guidelines offered and reach out to the Office of Student Accessibility Services for any questions you may have.
Campus Accessibility Committee
The Campus Accessibility Committee is an intra-campus team that meets bi-annually. The Committee consists of campus representatives from the following areas: Academic Affairs, Admissions, Campus Police, Facilities Management, Human Resources, IT, Disability/ADA/504, Library, Student Affairs & Residence Life and Housing.
The goal of the Committee is to share information as well as to discuss, identify, and remedy potential barriers to access for students and individuals with disabilities.
ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer for the University
The ADA and Section 504 Compliance Coordinator for the university is committed to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities at UMES. For questions or concerns regarding access to programs and services please contact the ADA and Section 504 Compliance Coordinator for the university. Every effort will be made to resolve the situation or concern and/or the student will be referred to the appropriate individual for assessment and review.
Contact: Jason A. Casares, Designated ADA Coordinator for UMES