Accessibility and Disability Service

0106 Shoemaker Building
4281 Chapel Lane
Phone: 301-314-7682

Director: Tessa Cahill

At the University of Maryland's Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS), we go beyond merely checking boxes. We recognize that each student's disability-related access needs are unique. Instead of providing one-size-fits-all accommodations, we tailor our approach to each individual's specific concerns. Our ultimate aim is to create an environment where students with disabilities can fully participate, engage, and thrive. Together, we're setting a new standard for access and inclusion in higher education.

What is a Disability?

Anyone who has a documented disability is eligible to apply for reasonable accommodations. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Disabilities can vary widely, some might be easily recognizable while many are invisible. We aim to celebrate each student and recognize the distinctive qualities and strengths they introduce to our community.

Who Do We Work With?

At ADS, we work directly with all students with disabilities —undergraduate, graduate, transfer, or visiting— to ensure they have access to equal opportunities in academic, housing, or student work settings.

What Areas Can Reasonable Accommodations Be Implemented In?

Accommodations can be implemented in a variety of different settings. These adjustments are designed to meet individual needs without altering university standards.

Examples of where accommodations are used include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Academic courses
  • Experiential learning (i.e. field work, clinical rotations, internships, etc.)
  • Research (i.e. capstone, thesis, dissertation, etc.)
  • On-campus housing
  • Student employment (i.e. hourly jobs, assistantships, etc.)

How to Get Started?

It's important to note that disclosing your disability to UMD officials does not automatically set up accommodations. Please visit the Getting Started page for detailed information on how to initiate the accommodations process and register with ADS.

Our method for establishing accommodations is individualized. We'll discuss your specific needs, review relevant documentation, and may collaborate with course instructors or departments when necessary. All accommodations provided will be consistent with the objectives of our academic programs.

IMPORTANT: Lack of documentation will not prevent us from meeting with you. Any student can meet with our office to discuss their situation and explore options for support. We can also help you understand how to get documentation if needed.

If you have questions about the process or are uncertain about your eligibility, please contact us at 301-314-7682 or email Additional information can also be found on our website.