Disability Services

Samuel Merritt University is dedicated to providing students with disabilities the support and services needed for the opportunity to study in the health care professions. Arrangements may be made to help learning disabled, medically disabled, physically disabled, and psychologically disabled students successfully pursue a program of study. Disability Services coordinates services for students with disabilities including counseling, note-taking services, taped lectures, providing texts in alternative format, tutoring, and other accommodations as appropriate.

The University conforms to all requirements under Title III-Public Accommodations Owned by Private Entities of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations.

How to Obtain Academic Accommodations, Auxiliary Aids, or Program Access
If you have a documented disability and need academic adjustments (accommodations), auxiliary aids, or encounter physical access barriers to program access, you should contact Disability Services as soon as possible, preferably before the semester starts. After submitting documentation of your eligibility as a student with a disability, Disability Services will consult with you about your needs and suggestions, The Office will then determine the appropriate and reasonable accommodation or set of accommodations for you. A confidential "Letter of Accommodation" will be written outlining the accommodations/s to which you are entitled. Students are responsible for delivering the letter to their instructors. The academic adjustments in a class begin after the letter has been presented.

All disabilities must be documented by medical, health, learning disability, or mental health professional. Documentation guidelines and forms are available in the Disability Office.

Technical Standards
The University maintains a list of the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills (Technical Standards) deemed essential to the completion of each professional program. These guidelines are available from the Office of Disability Services and are available on the following links:

Unresolved Disagreements
If there is an unresolved disagreement over the appropriateness of a particular academic accommodation or complaints of discrimination, the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services makes a final determination in the matter following the dispute resolution procedures outlined in the University Catalogue and Student Handbook.

Internet Resources
The following is a list of websites that have good information about disabilities including several that are helpful to students with disabilities seeking a career in health care.

  • Association of Medical Professionals With Hearing Losses. The Association of Medical Professionals With Hearing Losses provides information, promotes advocacy and mentorship, and creates a network for individuals with hearing loss interested in or working in health care fields.
  • Center for Disability Issues in the Health Professions. The center ewas established by Western University in response to the concerns of the disabled community, which is emerging as one of the nation's fastest growing and least understood minority groups.
  • The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD). This campaign is made up of a coalition of leading organizations in the field of learning disabilities dedicated to improving public awareness about learning disabilities. LD OnLine has many wonderful features. The recently introduced "Ask the Expert" provides the opportunity to have your questions answered by experts on various topics. The site also contains bulletin boards, a "First Person" account, a calendar of meetings, a bookstore and other features.
  • Exceptional Nurse. ExceptionalNurse.com is a resource network committed to inclusion of more people with disabilities in the nursing profession.
  • The HEATH Resource Center of the American Council on Education. This is the national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities. This site has articles, resources and current information addressing issues that affect students with disabilities in postsecondary settings.
  • The Learning Disabilities Association of America. Packed with articles, resources, position papers, and a calendar of events.
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities. The site lists college resources as well as current and accurate information about learning disabilities. there are a number of articles on different topics available on this site.
  • National Organization of Nurses With Disabilities. This group is an open membership, cross-disability, public education, and advocacy organization that works to promote the full inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities and chronic health conditions into nursing careers.
  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D). A description of services, online catalog of books, and other important information.
  • SensusAccess. SensusAccess is a self-service solution that automates the conversion of documents into a range of alternative formats.

Forms / Requests

Elisa Laird-Metke, JD
Director, Disability Support Services
3100 Telegraph Ave, Suite 1000, Room 149
(510) 869-6616