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Registering with the OAE

Welcome to the Office of Accessible Education! We are here to support you with the disability-related accommodations and services which will enable you to engage in Stanford University’s community and academic environments. Our staff are here to answer any questions you have about the services we offer, the process of obtaining documentation, and registering with our office. You may decide to register with our office at any point at which you think it would be to your benefit; it doesn’t have to be at the beginning of your program. However, it is worth noting that accommodations are not retroactive. We are committed to providing confidential services that would appropriately accommodate your needs.

Want to learn more about the accommodations we offer or feel like accommodations might help with your learning at Stanford? Send us an email and we’d love to answer your questions.

Identifying as a student with a disability begins the interactive process of requesting and receiving accommodations within Stanford University programs and services. To initiate this process, register with the Office of Accessible Education, and determine your eligibility for accommodations, please follow these steps as early as possible. 

 

Please note:  The term "accommodations" is used throughout this website to include not only disability-related accommodations, but also disability-related services and/or auxiliary aids.

Step 1 - Obtain Documentation

Obtain current documentation of disability from an appropriately licensed professional. Please share the following documentation guidelines with your health care provider so that they may provide you with a report or letter that establishes your eligibility and need for accommodations in the postsecondary educational and/or student housing environments.

Documentation Guidelines

Professional documentation can be provided from a variety of sources. Students may use either their own medical professional or Cardinal Care as a source for obtaining documentation. If you have concerns about your physical and/or mental health while on campus, please visit the Vaden Health Center or CAPS to make an appointment.

Please note that translations of original documents which are not in English are also allowed. Any translation should be in English, attached to the original document, and include the name,  signature and contact information of the translator.

If you have financial concerns relating to obtaining documentation, consult with our office, Vaden Health Center, or CAPS. A list of low-cost psychological services can be found on the CAPS website. Students who believe they may have a learning disability can visit the Schwab Learning Center to inquire about their learning assessments. In addition, the Financial Aid Office often provides financial support for medical expenses. Please consult with the Financial Aid Office or fill out their medical/dental expense form.

Step 2 - Complete Registration Form & Submit Documentation

To complete the Registration Form visit OAE | CONNECT. You have the option to upload your documentation with the Registration Form. Alternatively, we also accept documentation by email, fax, postal mail, or in person:

*During COVID-19 related office closures, uploading documentation at OAE | Connect, or sending it as an email attachment are the fastest ways to get it to the OAE.

Email: oae-contactus@stanford.edu

  • If you are emailing from a Stanford account, include "Secure:" in the subject line to encrypt your message and attachments.

Fax: 650-725-5301

Office of Accessible Education
563 Salvatierra Walk
Stanford University
Stanford, CA  94305

Step 3 - Meet with a Disability Adviser

Once your documentation and Registration Form are received, you will be assigned to a Disability Adviser. They will contact you with either further instructions, a request for additional documentation, or a link to arrange for an initial meeting.  

During the initial meeting, the Disability Adviser will lead a self-report interview, review your documentation with you, and discuss barriers to access you have experienced, or may experience, during your time at Stanford University. This meeting will typically conclude with a determination of appropriate accommodations and a review of OAE processes for requesting specific accommodations.  If you are receiving academic accommodations, your Disability Adviser will prepare an accommodation letter for you to share with your instructors.

Once your Disability Adviser has determined your eligibility, you may log in to OAE | CONNECT to submit the appropriate request forms specific to your needs.

Please Keep in Touch With Us

We are sincerely interested in how these procedures and forms are working for you, and any problems or difficulties you may have. This includes any technical issues you have with OAE | CONNECT, the quality of your direct accommodations, and whether the accommodations you’ve been approved for are meeting your needs. This is a shared responsibility between each student and the OAE. 

Please start the process early, and let us know immediately about any delays or oversights in the provision of accommodations. To let us know if things are not happening as you understood that they would, you can let the Accommodation Coordinator know, or your Disability Adviser.

Documentation and Accommodation Decisions

The mission of the OAE is to determine the disabilitiy-related accommodations that are appropriate and which best support you, while also maintaining the academic integrity of Stanford’s programs.

Physicians and other professional evaluators often submit recommendations regarding specific academic or housing accommodations. The OAE’s professional staff, who are familiar with the educational environment at Stanford, determine the extent to which the recommended accommodations are appropriate. In short, the evaluator’s recommendations provide helpful information, but are not binding. If, in the judgment of the OAE, there is insufficient diagnostic or clinical information supporting requested accommodations, students may be asked to submit new and/or additional documentation. The OAE's Disability Advisers also have discretion to determine what type of professional documentation is necessary, and this may vary depending on the nature and extent of the disability and the accommodation requested.  In the event the OAE feels it is appropriate to obtain a second professional opinion concerning the nature or severity of the disability, the University will bear the cost of obtaining that second opinion not covered by a third party payer.

Appropriate accommodations that support you during your time at Stanford are determined by the documentation mentioned above, in addition to an individualized assessment of each request and discussion with one of the OAE's Disability Advisers. Among the factors considered in determining appropriate accommodations for students are:

  • The nature of the student's disability;
  • Accommodations that have worked for that student in the past;
  • Whether the requested accommodations will allow the student to effectively access and participate in the course or program;
  • Whether the requested accommodations will alter the essential requirements of the course or program.

The Office of Accessible Education is committed to creating a learning environment that is both equitable and maintains Stanford’s academic integrity. Therefore, if a potential accommodation would require the University to alter or modify a course or program to the extent that it would fundamentally alter the essential requirements of the program, it may not be approved. Although most accommodations are decided upon and provided by the OAE, some accommodation decisions are made in collaboration with program/school administrators and relevant faculty.