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Student Rights and Responsibilities

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to ensuring qualified students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all programs, services, and activities sponsored by the institution. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) ensure that no otherwise qualified person with a disability will be denied access, benefits, or be subjected to discrimination by any program or activity provided by any public institution or entity receiving federal funds.


As a student with a disability at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, you have the right to:

  • equal access to educational programs, services, activities, and facilities provided by the institution. This includes academic courses, extracurricular activities, and campus resources.
  • reasonable and appropriate accommodations determined on an individual basis and through an interactive process with Student Disability Services (SDS).
  • utilize approved accommodations when you choose.
  • confidentiality regarding disability records and related information. SDS will not share your disability with any party without your written consent except if required as an educational necessity or by law.
  • be free of discrimination based on their disability.
  • appeal accommodation decisions made by SDS Services by following the established grievance process.


As a student with a disability at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, you have the responsibility to:

  • meet the essential requirements for admission and participation in the university’s academic programs, services, and activities, including relevant technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.
  • self-identify with Student Disability Services by following the established registration process if you wish to receive accommodations. The disclosure should be made in a timely manner to allow for the implementation of necessary accommodations.
  • provide appropriate and current documentation of their disability to SDS to support requests for reasonable accommodations. The documentation should come from a qualified professional and clearly outline the functional limitations related to the disability.
  • engage in an interactive process with SDS to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations.
  • request accommodations in a timely manner for each course, each semester, and with sufficient time to allow for arrangements of auxiliary aids and services. Instructors are not obligated to provide accommodations without official notification from SDS through the course access letter. It is important to note that accommodations are not retroactive and only apply once a student has requested their corresponding course access letter.
  • notify SDS regarding any concerns or issues that may arise with respect to the provision of approved accommodations, disparaging treatment related to disability, or barriers to access. The notification should occur in a timely manner and as close to the event as possible.
  • maintain academic integrity and comply with the institution’s policies and procedures.