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Accessibility Services

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The mission of AMDA's Accessibility Services Office is to ensure that all students are afforded an equal opportunity to fully participate in and benefit from AMDA's unsurpassed performing arts education and diverse community of creative artists. We believe that disability is an integral part of the diversity of experience that fuels creative excellence. Therefore, it is our goal to provide accommodations that remove access barriers and allow every student to reach their fullest potential.

To meet with Accessibility Services, please call (646) 823-5297, email LAAccessibility@amda.edu or NYAccessibility@amda.edu, or, on the LA campus, visit us on the 4th floor of Tower.

Accessibility Services provides support, advocacy, resources, and accommodation assessment for students with disabilities.

A person with a disability, as defined by the ADA, is someone with ‘a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities’. If you feel as though you have an impairment that impacts your ability to access your classes, your residence hall, or any other AMDA program or service, Accessibility Services is here to help.

Accessibility Services strives for full accessibility and inclusion for all students. Whether or not you identify as disabled, we want to hear from you if you notice ways in which AMDA can improve. You may email Accessibility Services or leave feedback for us using the following form.

If you have a disability and feel as though accommodations are needed for you to have equal access to AMDA’s programs or services, please follow the steps below. It is preferred that you start this process as early as possible before the beginning of the semester, or, in the case of a newly diagnosed disability, as soon as possible after the diagnosis. Accessibility Services will make every effort to process your request quickly, but please keep in mind that some accommodations take time to coordinate.

Step 1: Obtain documentation

Have your healthcare provider fill out our Disability Information Form. If you already have documentation or your provider prefers to use their own form, that is fine, but please ensure that the documentation you submit is from a licensed professional who is experienced with your condition, is treating you for your condition, AND includes ALL of the same information as is asked for in the form.

Fill out our Accommodations Request Form. This form asks you to describe your disability, and any barriers you are experiencing, in your own words. It also asks you what accommodations you feel will best remove those barriers. Please be as detailed as possible, as this helps us approve the accommodation(s) that best fit your situation.

Once your forms are complete, please ensure they are in .pdf format and email them to LAAccessibility@amda.edu or NYAccessibility@amda.edu.

Step 2: Have an access meeting

After you have completed and sent in these forms, contact us to schedule an access meeting. During this meeting, we will discuss your individual situation and needs. Your accommodations will be determined shortly afterward by the Director of Accessibility Services. We will use the information from both your documentation and your access meeting in considering your eligibility, and may confer with other AMDA staff only as needed. Please note that Accessibility Services will NOT share your diagnosis with anyone.

To request to bring an emotional support animal (ESA) to live with you in the residence halls, you will need to have your mental healthcare provider fill out our ESA Verification Form. Once this form is complete, please make sure it is in .pdf format and email it to LAAccessibility@amda.edu or NYAccessibility@amda.edu.

Before you start the process of requesting an ESA, please make sure you have read AMDA’s full ESA Policy

If you are injured and have restrictions on your movement, Accessibility Services will, based on medical documentation and guidance, assess whether reasonable movement modifications can be made in your performance-based classes. If these modifications are reasonable, we will communicate your movement restrictions to your faculty so they can help you modify movements and ensure that you can safely participate without exacerbating your injury.

In order for Accessibility Services to start this process, you will need to have your medical provider fill out our Movement Modification Form. Once this form is complete, please ensure it is in .pdf format and email it to LAAccessibility@amda.edu or NYAccessibility@amda.edu.

If you feel that you need temporary modification recommendations while waiting to see your doctor, please contact the Athletic Performance Studio at LAHealth@amda.edu or NYHealth@amda.edu for an appointment. Accessibility Services will accept temporary recommendations from the Athletic Performance Studio for up to one week. After one week, if you still need modifications, you will need to have your doctor fill out the Movement Modification Form.

FAQs for students

  • What is a disability? How do I know if what I have is a disability? +

    AMDA follows the definition of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), which defines a disability as 'a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities'. It can mean visual or hearing impairments, using a wheelchair or crutches to get around, processing information more slowly, having difficulty maintaining focus, or any number of other limitations. If you are not sure whether you have a disability, you are welcome to come into Accessibility Services to discuss your individual situation.

  • Do I have to have a disability to get help from Accessibility Services? +

    No. You can visit Accessibility Services if you have any questions about how to make your education more accessible to you, whether you have a disability or not. We are also the office to visit if you have a medical condition, are injured, or experience any other situation that is causing problems with attendance, participation, or campus life. If you are not sure whether our office can help you, email us! If we can help you, we will; if not, we will refer you to an office or individual who can.

  • I received accommodations in high school for a disability. Does it work the same way in college? +

    No. If you received accommodations in high school, you may notice that accommodations work differently in college. In college, you are responsible for self- identifying to Accessibility Services and providing documentation of your disability. Accessibility Services will not seek you out unless you choose to self-identify.

    In addition, the accommodations you are eligible to receive are different. In high school, you may have been entitled to modifications of the curriculum; that is, you may have received individually designed instruction, been allowed to demonstrate different types of skills, or been given alternate assignments.

    Colleges, conversely, do NOT modify curricula or program outcomes; all students must be able to demonstrate the same knowledge, skills, and proficiencies in order to receive a degree or certificate. For AMDA specifically, this means that NO accommodations approved will constitute a 'fundamental alteration' to an academic program. This means that you will still be learning, developing, and demonstrating the same Learning Outcomes as your peers.

    For specific examples of what accommodations may and may not look like at AMDA, see the bottom of this page.

  • What if I did poorly on an exam or performance, or had poor attendance due to a disability? If I give you documentation afterward, can you do anything about that? +

    No. Accommodations cannot be made retroactively. That is why it is in your best interest to register with Accessibility Services as soon as possible after becoming aware of your disability.

  • If you approve me for accommodations, will you tell my instructors about my disability? +

    No. It is up to you whether you want to disclose your disability to your instructors. The letter we send to your instructors includes only the accommodations to which you are entitled, and does not include specific information about your condition. That said, your instructor may be better able to understand how to support you if he or she is aware of your disability, so if you feel comfortable disclosing, it can be helpful – and good practice for when you need to advocate for accommodations in the professional world!

  • What if my instructor does not give me the accommodations you approved me for, or treats me differently because of my accommodations request? +

    If this occurs, promptly notify Accessibility Services. We will attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor. In the event that the instructor has concerns about fundamental alteration of learning outcomes, we will ensure that you receive the accommodations for which you were approved until a final decision is made.

  • Can Accessibility Services help me with accommodations that aren't related to the classroom? +

    Yes. Accessibility Services can help with any kind of accommodation that relates to your overall campus experience. If you need housing accommodations, for example, we can help you determine what you need, and then coordinate with Residential Life to make any needed adjustments. If you find that something on campus is set up such that it is difficult for you to access a service you need, we can either work on getting that barrier removed or work with you on finding an alternate path.

  • Will my academic record or transcript show that I was registered with Accessibility Services? +

    No. This information is confidential and will not be included anywhere on your academic record.

  • How do accommodations work in a performance-based setting, anyway? +

    Great question! Many of the common college accommodations you've probably heard of (extra time on tests, having a note-taker, the use of a computer for essay-writing, etc) may not apply to classes where grades are determined largely by performance. That means we at AMDA – both you and Accessibility Services – have the opportunity to get creative! Your AMDA education is unique because of its emphasis on rigorous performance-based training and an industry-focused experience, so why shouldn't your accommodations be unique too?

    YOU are the person who knows the particulars of your situation the best, so when you meet with Accessibility Services, we will take your feedback and suggestions into account when determining accommodations. The point of accommodations is to ensure you are on a level playing field with your peers – not at an advantage or a disadvantage. If together we can come up with an accommodation that meets this definition, doesn't alter the learning outcomes of your course or program, doesn't constitute an undue burden on your instructor, and doesn't impact the educational experience of other students, it will at least be given strong consideration.

  • What if I feel remote instruction causes new or different barriers for me, and I need to request new accommodations? +

    We understand that some accommodations may need to be adjusted for a remote environment, and new accommodations may need to be discussed. Please contact Accessibility Services via email and we will set up an appointment to discuss any barriers caused by remote learning.

To meet with Accessibility Services or to report an accessibility issue on this website, please call or text (646) 823-5297, or email LAAccessibility@amda.edu or NYAccessibility@amda.edu.