GEO works to ensure that all graduate employees have access to the resources they need to do their jobs and classwork. On this page, you’ll find information on how to apply for academic and employment accommodations, as well as a list of helpful resources. If you have further questions, have an issue at work, or would like to join our organizing efforts fighting for disabled employees, please email disabilitychair@geo3550.org

Accommodations

There are two distinct types of accommodations available for graduate students with disabilities: academic (for your own classes, exams, etc.) or employment (for your work as a GSI/GSSA). These are applied for in different ways:

  • Academic accommodations are modifications to academic policies and practices to prevent discrimination against disabled students. For example, academic accommodations include note taking services, text conversion to alternative accessible formats, captioning interpreter services, or adjusted time limits on tests. Academic accommodations are handled by Services for Students with Disabilities; to start this process, fill out the student intake form. They will then request documentation of your disability, at which point you will meet with a coordinator to discuss potential academic accommodations. 
  • Employment accommodations are modifications or adjustment to a job, equipment, or work environment to prevent discrimination against disabled employees. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled employees are entitled to “reasonable accommodations” in their workplace. Such accommodations might include assistive technology, ergonomic equipment, or an accessible work environment. Employment accommodations can be requested either formally (directly to Rackham) or informally (to your immediate supervisor).
    • Formal requests are made to your employing unit’s administrative designee (a list can be found here) or Rackham Resolution Officer. To request an employment accommodation, fill out the Graduate Student Accommodation Request form. You may have to provide documentation of your disability to the administrative designee or other central office, but you do not need to disclose your condition or provide documentation to your employment supervisor or department. For more information on how to formally apply for employment accommodations, see Rackham’s page here

After making a formal request, the “interactive process” begins, which may involve conversations between you, the central office, and your employing unit about possible accommodations to your employment. If your needs aren’t met by a proposed solution, or a change occurs in your condition which necessitates further accommodations, you may elect to continue the interactive process. During this process, the central office may only share information about your condition with your employing unit to further the interactive process, and they must inform you prior to disclosure. 

If you are not offered a suitable accommodation, you may be able to file a grievance through GEO. For information on this process, or if you have any other issues getting an accommodation, please contact grievancechair@geo3550.org

    • Informal requests are made directly to your employment supervisor, and can be via email or in-person, and you do not need to disclose your condition to your supervisor. If your needs aren’t met by the response to your informal request, you can still file a formal request.

Resources

The following is a list of resources that may be especially useful to employees with disabilities:

Students with Disabilities (Rackham Graduate School)
Darlene Ray-Johnson, the Rackham Disability Coordinator rayj@umich.edu (734) 936-1647 915 E. Washington St.
Provides consultation and employment accommodations for graduate students with disabilities.

Services for Students with Disabilities
G664 Haven Hall
(734) 763-3000
Provides consultation and academic accommodations for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with disabilities.

Adaptive Technology Computing Site
Located in Shapiro Undergraduate Library, room 1128
(734) 647-6437
Equipped with a range of adaptive hardware and software for a variety of disabilities.
Must obtain key from SSD in G664 Haven Hall.

ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity
2072 Administrative Services Building, 1009 Greene Street
(734) 763-0235
Provides consultation on all aspects of ADA compliance, including building access, web accessibility, employment and academic accommodations.

Council for Disability Concerns (CDC)
Meets monthly, the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 PM in the Student Activities Building at the corner of Thompson and E. Jefferson. Forum open to the public. Provides dialog space for various offices and point persons in the campus and Ann Arbor communities.

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA)
Public bus system in Ann Arbor.
A-Ride Program
(734) 794-1702
Program administered by AATA that serves people with disabilities with door to door services for a small fee. Must register and provide extensive proof of disability.

University Health Services (UHS)
207 Fletcher Street
(734) 764-8320
Provides walk-in and appointment health care services. Offers both general and a range of specialty clinics for all U-M students, faculty and staff.

U-M Psychological Clinic
530 Church Street, East Hall, Suite 2463
(734) 764-3471
Provides counseling and therapy for individuals, couples and groups. Offers consultation and supervision of medication for depression, anxiety, and other conditions. Provides psychological testing for learning disabilities and ADHD. Accepts Grad Care and other forms of insurance.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
3100 Michigan Union
764-8312
Provides counseling for both crises and common student problems. Offers support groups for various concerns. Free to all U-M students.

Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living
3941 Research Park Drive
(734) 971-0277
Offers services and social opportunities for persons with disabilities in the community.

College Guide for Students with Disabilities
A website with student rights and resources for students with disabilities.