Disability Support Services

Equal Access to Education

Concordia University, Nebraska, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of students. Students with documented disabilities are legally entitled to request reasonable modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids that will enable them to participate in and benefit from all postsecondary programs and activities. 

Schedule a meeting

Who qualifies?

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, a person is considered to have a disability if that person: 

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that person, 
  • has a record of such an impairment or 
  • is regarded as having such an impairment. 

Concordia’s Disability Support Services office (DSS) collaborates with students, administrators, faculty and staff to ensure access to reasonable and appropriate student disability accommodations. DSS strives to create a fully accessible, inclusive experience for student learning, campus engagement and residential life. We are committed to equalizing access to accommodations and support for all students. 

Accessing Disability Support Services 

Concordia is committed to a climate of mutual respect and full participation for all students. In the event you encounter any barrier(s) to full participation in any of the educational programs, activities or services offered by Concordia due to the impact of a disability (e.g., physical, mental, cognitive) and may need accommodations to fully participate, you are encouraged to contact our DSS office.  

DSS facilitates this process to establish that (a) a student is a person with a disability; (b) the accommodations requested are logical, reasonable and necessary to facilitate equal access and remove barriers; and (c) the requested accommodation is reasonable within the appropriate context. 

Accommodations are not retroactive, nor do they transfer from institution to institution. 

A student with a disability who wants to receive accommodations should: 

  • Contact Sue Showers, DSS Coordinator 
  • Indicate what accommodations they are seeking (e.g., academic, housing, dietary) 
  • Submit the relevant Accommodations Request Form and provide proper and sufficient documentation of the disability. Any form of documentation provided should include the diagnosis, functional limitations and recommendations for accommodation(s). A provider’s letter with a diagnosis and a recommendation does not automatically guarantee an accommodation of choice. The letter is not a prescription, nor are disability accommodations in Higher Education an Entitlement Program
  • The student and DDS will then engage in an interactive process to determine and implement an appropriate accommodation plan if needed to facilitate access and participation in any of the educational programs, activities or services offered by Concordia. 

Transfer Students

Transfer students should make an appointment to talk with us about how accommodations were managed at their previous institution, so that we can engage in the interactive process to determine and implement an appropriate accommodation plan to facilitate equal access and participation here if needed. 

Graduate Students

Graduate students who are seeking accommodations for the first time, or who had previous accommodations during their undergraduate career, should contact us so that we can engage in the interactive process to determine and implement an appropriate accommodation plan to facilitate equal access and participation if needed. 

Seeking Accommodations

Every situation warrants its own consideration. Please be aware that completing and submitting forms does not guarantee that a particular accommodation will be approved or implemented. We will work with you throughout your time at Concordia to ensure that you are receiving appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Your approved accommodation plan can be revisited at any time.  

Please contact our office even if you do not have documentation but are interested in seeking accommodations. We are committed to working with you to find appropriate and creative ways to support your access at Concordia. We recognize some students may not have access to documentation for a variety of reasons. No student should delay meeting with the DSS office out of concern for not having access to documentation from a provider. Students who do not have documentation may still submit a request form and schedule a meeting. 

You are not required to disclose any personal information to staff or faculty outside of the DSS office in order to receive your accommodations. Faculty or staff who have questions or concerns can be directed to speak with our office. We will only communicate information about your accommodations to the necessary staff/faculty who will be implementing them. We disclose personal information about you only with your explicit consent and only if necessary. 

Purpose of Accommodations

The purpose of reasonable and appropriate accommodations is to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability. The work of the DSS office is to address the barriers or limitations in the environment to create equitable access and opportunities for disabled students. 

Reasonable accommodations, by their nature, are designed to increase inclusion for a student with a disability so that they have access to the same opportunities as their peers. 

Reasonable accommodations are not intended to excuse or reduce the responsibilities or expectations the university holds for all students. 

Accommodations are not determined to ensure success (as is the law for K-12 institutions). Higher education disability laws ensure equal access to the same educational programs, activities and services as all other students. It gives students with disabilities the opportunity to engage like their non-disabled peers and supply their personal effort. Access plus personal effort is what leads to success. 

Academic Accommodations

Academic Accommodations Request Form (PDF) 

Housing Accommodations

Requests for housing accommodations are reviewed in light of Concordia’s commitment to fostering student growth and providing the experience of communal living that is so much a part of learning to live in a broader world.  

Concordia will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in university housing at any time. The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the request form to the Disability Support Services office as soon as practicably possible before moving into university housing. However, if the request for accommodation is made fewer than 60 days before the individual intends to move into university housing, Concordia cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first semester or term of occupancy.  

Housing Accommodation Request Policy (PDF)

Housing Accommodation – Student Information (PDF) 

Housing Accommodation – Provider Verification (PDF) 

Emotional Support Animals

Concordia enforces a no-pet policy in its residence halls and campus facilities. The university is committed to compliance with state and federal laws as they relate to individuals with disabilities. The use of an emotional support animal (ESA) is determined in accordance with these applicable laws and regulations regarding whether such an animal is a reasonable accommodation for a disability. 

Housing Accommodation Request Policy (PDF) 

Information and Guidelines for Emotional Support Animals (PDF) 

Student Request for Emotional Support Animal (PDF) 

Provider Verification for Emotional Support Animal (PDF) 

Service Animals

Concordia is committed to full compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments of 2009. Concordia allows individuals with disabilities to bring service animals to college classes, activities, services and programs.  To determine if an animal is a service animal, an institution may pose two inquiries:  

  • Is the animal required because of a disability?  
  • What work or tasks is the animal trained to perform for the person with the disability?  

Service Animal Guidelines (PDF)

Service Animal Housing Agreement (PDF) 

Dietary Accommodations 

All students who live in residence at Concordia are required to participate in the meal plan associated with the building in which they reside. A major aspect of living at a residential college is dining with other students and developing the sense of community that arises in this setting. 

Occasionally students have special needs based on documented disabilities or serious health conditions, such as those resulting in certain dietary restrictions, which may necessitate accommodations to the meal plan. Meal plan accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis according to documented need and applicable standards for reasonable accommodations. 

The dining service at Concordia offers many options and makes every effort to accommodate different dietary needs. This includes student-specific meal preparation for allergies and a wide variety of healthy eating choices. 

Students must arrange to meet with the Dining Service director first to discuss all the dining options that are available. 

Meal Plan Accommodation – Student Form (PDF) 

Meal Plan Accommodation – Physician Form (PDF) 

Additional Information

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities 

Transition to College for Students with Disabilities  

Transition to College for Students with Disabilities – Spanish version  

An Open Letter to Parents of Students with Disabilities about to Enter College  

The Big Difference: Disability Rights and Responsibilities in High School vs. College 

Differences Between High School and College for Students with Disabilities  

Do Colleges Have to Follow IEPs or 504 Plans? 

Myths About IEPs, 504 Plans and College Accommodations 

Myths About Disability Documentation for College Accommodations 

Student Responsibilities 

As a student with a disability, to be otherwise qualified means you have to meet the same academic requirements and standards as non-disabled students. These requirements and standards must be considered necessary to maintain the integrity of a course, program or college policy. It also means you are required to meet instructors’ expectations for students in regard to class participation, work standards, attendance and ability to demonstrate acquired knowledge.   

Disability & the Code of Conduct 

Students who identify themselves as having a disability are not exempt from compliance with Concordia’s Student Code of Conduct. The protections offered by disability law do not eliminate or negate the university’s conduct or behavioral code for students.   

Student Complaint Procedure 

Concordia University believes that all students should be treated with respect and dignity and should receive the best quality of services possible. Additionally, as Christians, we strive to respond to conflict biblically through use of Matthew 18 by encouraging both parties to listen to each other, think about the concerns expressed and be open to resolving the issue. Resources are available for students to submit a concern or complaint regarding the conduct of students, faculty and staff. 

File a Complaint

Background image for directory listing

Sue Showers

Academic Resource & Disability Support Services Coordinator, Director of Master of Education in Special Education

Academic Resource Center
402-643-7187 suzanne.showers@cune.edu Link Library 143

Concordia's Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC), provides on-campus academic assistance for Concordia students. All students are invited to visit us for one-on-one help with study skills, time management, test-taking skills, and organization. The ARC is located on the south end of the Link Library.

Find additional resources