About the Office
Students with disabilities
The term 'disability' is very broad and encompasses more than people often think. The ADA defines a disability as 'a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities'. A disability can mean visual or hearing impairments. It can mean using a wheelchair or crutches to get around. It can mean mixing up letters or numbers, processing information more slowly, or having difficulty maintaining focus. It can mean suffering repeated depressive episodes or panic attacks, freezing up in social situations, or having difficulty with organization.
If you have a disability, you should have your healthcare professional fill out AMDA's Disability Verification form and register with the Accessibility Services Office as soon as possible after being diagnosed. This allows time for you to request and receive accommodations BEFORE any situations become urgent. If you aren't sure whether you will need accommodations, register anyway! You aren't required to request any accommodations to register, but if you decide you need them later, the process will be much easier.
Disabilities can be apparent or invisible. They can be mild or severe. But they all 'count', and can qualify you to receive the accommodations that will help you reach your potential as a performer.
Students without disabilities
Students without disabilities can also utilize the Accessibility Services Office. Irrespective of disability status, EVERYONE needs accommodations and support from time to time. Unexpected life events cause temporary situations that may require adjustments. For example:
Students with medical conditions
Certain permanent or temporary medical conditions can also place limitations on major life activities. When this occurs, the medical condition may be classified as a disability. If your medical condition is affecting your ability to study at AMDA, you should follow the same process as a student with a disability. However, you will have your doctor fill out the Medical Verification Form in place of the Disability Verification form.
Students with injuries
While temporary injuries are generally not regarded as disabilities, the Accessibility Services Office should be made aware of the injury as soon as possible so that accommodations or modifications to physically demanding classes can be made. Students who sustain an injury, whether during a class/performance or outside of school, should have their doctor fill out AMDA's Medical Verification form as soon as possible and submit it to the Accessibility Services Office. We will communicate that information with the Education Department and with your instructors, who can help you figure out how you can temporarily learn and demonstrate course material without exacerbating your injury.
Students with other issues
Students who feel that small accommodations would help them be more successful in their education are encouraged to come into the Accessibility Services Office for guidance. We can help you break down the issue(s), identify potential solutions or strategies, and practice advocating for yourself with instructors, peers, or other staff. Even if your needs don't stem from a documented disability, there may be a way to meet them without changing the design or requirements of the course.