A number of students at the Law Center have been diagnosed with disabilities, including physical disabilities, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, chronic health conditions, and psychological disabilities. In compliance with federal law, the Law Center provides reasonable accommodations to students who present appropriate documentation to the Office of Disability Services. The most common examples of these accommodations are extended time on exams, classroom furniture accommodations, assistive technology, use of a note-taking service, and the taping of classes.
In the majority of cases, the professor will not be notified by the Law Center or the student if a student with disabilities is enrolled in his/her course, in order to protect the student's confidentiality. In instances where it is necessary to inform a professor, the student will be consulted first and the minimum amount of information will be disclosed in order to identify a reasonable accommodation. We have found that the need to notify a professor is more common in small seminar classes and skills-based classes such as Trial Practice, Negotiations Seminars, and clinics.
All accommodations and services provided on the basis of disability must be provided by or in consultation with Mara Bellino, the Director of Disability Services, in order to establish consistency of practice and to ensure that services and accommodations are properly documented. Thus, if a student discloses a disability to a professor, the professor should encourage the student to contact Mara, who will then coordinate with the student and professor to determine what accommodation is reasonable.
Mara is available to discuss questions about Law Center policies and services and to consult on disability-related issues with faculty if needed. Mara may be contacted at 202-662-4042 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is located in the Office of the Dean of Students in 210 McDonough Hall.