Accommodations & Support Services for Students with Disabilities

In alignment with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the department of Accessibility Resources ensures equal access to university curriculum, programs, and facilities for students with disabilities by facilitating reasonable accommodations, providing support services, and collaborating with the greater community to meet students’ individual needs.

Accessibility Resources can help you:

  • Obtain accommodations and access to information, materials, and the campus
  • Manage disability-related challenges
  • Create strategies for learning based on your unique style, strengths and limitations
  • Become your own advocate to successfully interact with your instructors and peers
  • Find qualified professionals for educational testing or personal concerns

As part of the Academy Resource Center (A.R.C.), we offer regularly scheduled individualized academic coaching. Students may also use our Learning Center, which offers a quiet place to study, Mac and PC computers, and assistive technology such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, Natural Reader, Read: OutLoud for Bookshare books, Omni Page, Readiris Pro, and Adobe Acrobat.


Accessibility Resources

79 New Montgomery St., Room 356

San Francisco, CA 94105


Phone: 1-415-618-3775

Fax: 1-415-618-3676

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Obtaining Disability Resources

Disclosing that you have a disability is a personal decision. Prospective and current students are welcome to contact us with questions about obtaining accommodations.

Upon enrolling at the Academy of Art University, new students who plan to request accommodations are encouraged to contact Accessibility Resources as soon as possible. Early identification can be the key to ensuring a smooth beginning to your semester. Often arrangements and accommodations can be time-consuming to coordinate, especially interpreter scheduling, furniture and design modifications, and alternative format production–advanced planning allows us to meet your needs and give you access to programs and services from day one.


How to register with Accessibility Resources 

To obtain accommodations and support related to a disability, you must register with Accessibility Resources by providing verification that you have a disability and stating its effect as it applies to university level study. Students are required to submit current and comprehensive documentation from a qualified professional, such as a doctor, licensed mental health practitioner, or learning specialist, to the Accessibility Resources office. We suggest discussing the impact your limitations may have on your desired course of study with your practitioner so that we can help you prepare, and ask that you include necessary information and recommendations in your documentation.

You will need to:

  • Acquire documentation from your diagnosing professional that includes the following:
    • Diagnosis
    • How the disability will impact your experience at AAU
    • Specific recommended accommodations applicable to a university setting
  • Send documentation to Accessibility Resources:
    • Fax it to 1-415-618-3676
    • Email us at:
    • Or mail to: Accessibility Resources 79 New Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94105

Accessibility Resources will review your documentation as soon as it is received, and may ask for additional documentation. After your documentation is approved, Accessibility Resources will contact you to help you schedule an appointment with a coordinator to discuss your accommodations, provide you with an accommodation letter, and activate disability-related services. These services must be reactivated every semester, but unless your condition or needs change, new documentation is not required.


What does acceptable documentation look like?

Obtaining accommodations in college is different from what you might be used to in K-12 schools. You may be used to an IEP or 504 Plan, but at universities, accommodations are based on the results of a recent evaluation and subsequent report, similar to the way your IEP or 504 Plan was created following an evaluation. The transition from high school to college is a good opportunity to rethink the accommodations you may need that may be particular to our campus and curriculum. If you’re unsure if your documentation meets our requirements, please contact us for assistance.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website, which provides more information regarding preparation for college, as well as the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities:

Information & Tips

Students Registered with Accessibility Resources

In addition to the accommodations and support services outlined in your accommodation letter, Accessibility Resources students have access to regularly scheduled, individualized academic coaching. Registered students are also welcome to work in the Accessibility Resources Learning Center, a quiet place to study, use the computer, and take advantage of the assistive technology we have available.


Activating Your Accommodations

If your condition or needs remain the same, new documentation is not required and you should submit the Accommodation Activation form at the beginning of each semester to gain access to accommodations and support services. Upon submitting the form, you’ll receive a new accommodation letter to give to your instructors. If your condition or needs have changed, then you should contact your Accessibility Resources Coordinator to discuss whether you need to submit updated documentation.


How to Be Your Own Advocate

Accessibility Resources wants you to be successful at the Academy of Art University, and we encourage you to take ownership of your academic career to get the most out of this incredible educational opportunity. Consider the following advice on how to successfully be your own advocate and take advantage of the resources and support services that are available to you.

  • Start early

    If you know that you’ll need accommodations, it’s best to communicate those needs before the semester starts. Submit a Request for Information form and someone from Accessibility Resources will contact you to get the registration process started.


  • Plan ahead

    If you have received accommodations in the past, make sure you activate your accommodations for the upcoming semester before it begins.

    High school students and parents: Click here to learn about preparing for independence in college.


  • Attend workshops and A.R.C. Training & Tutoring sessions

    It’s not always possible to get all of your questions answered during class. Contact A.R.C. for current workshop schedules and to sign up for free tutoring.


  • Give out your accommodation letters

    An instructor will not be able to offer you extra support if they don’t know that you need it–make sure you give them your accommodation letter right away. Disclose what you are comfortable discussing.


  • Don’t expect everyone to know exactly what to do to accommodate you

    If you feel that your instructors don’t understand your needs, please ask your Accessibility Resources coordinator to resolve the problem right away–we are here to support those that support you.


  • Keep us updated

    Regular check-ins with your Accessibility Resources coordinator can help you stay focused on your work, and anticipate and avoid crisis situations.

Rights & Responsibilities of People with Disabilities

Students have the right to:

  • An equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from employment, courses, programs, services, and activities offered through the university
  • An equal opportunity to work, learn, and receive reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services
  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disabilities.
  • Choose whom to disclose information to regarding his/her disability
  • Information made available in accessible formats

Students have a responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for employment, courses, programs, services, and activities
  • Self-identify as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed, and seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary from Accessibility Resources
  • Document (from an appropriate professional) how the disability limits participation in employment, courses, programs, services, or activities
  • Follow published procedures for obtaining information, services, and reasonable accommodations
  • Deliver the Letters of Accommodation to faculty and meet with faculty early in the semester to discuss specific needs for disability modifications and/or accommodations
  • Follow general rules, policies, and procedures as stated in the Academy of Art University catalog

Student Veterans

Military/Veteran Support

Accessibility Resources provides incoming and enrolled veterans with disabilities the specialized support and resources they need in order to succeed at Academy of Art University. Reasonable accommodations help level the playing field so that students are able to perform to the best of their abilities without their disability or medical condition getting in the way. If you have any questions about managing your academic career while dealing with a service-related disability, please contact our office to discuss your specific concerns with a coordinator.


Disability-related information submitted to the Accessibility Resources office is kept in the strictest confidence, and will only be released with the student’s written permission. We will not release any information or otherwise discuss student status to any party unless a signed Disclosure/Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act form is on file with the Registrar’s office and the person is specifically denoted on that disclosure form. For questions about FERPA please see the Office of the Registrar–you can also find published policies and an outline of what is and not qualified as protected information within the Academy of Art University Catalog Supplement, University Policies section.

Once permission is granted, information regarding how to accommodate a student will be shared with the appropriate faculty and staff members.


Accessibility Resources
79 New Montgomery St., Room 356
San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: 1-415-618-3775
Fax: 1-415-618-3676

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my mom or dad talk to you instead?
Will others find out about my disability?
I think I have a disability, but don't have official paperwork. Can I get assessed here?