Disability Accommodations

The University provides disability accommodations for students with documented disabilities according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

What is the definition of disability under ADA?

  • An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment (https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm).

Contact the Academic Success Center for documentation requirements and forms to be completed by a qualified professional. Accommodations are not retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged. Ideally, students would apply for accommodations at least 30 days prior to their first semester on campus. For students with exceptional accommodations, we require notification at least 60 days prior to their first semester at CIU.

Accommodations become effective on the date that the process is completed with the signing of a contract between the student and the ASC. They are not retroactive.

To schedule an appointment with the ASC director to discuss accommodations:


Know Your Rights

This is a link to a brochure on the rights of disabled students in higher education provided by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
This link will take you to a guide for students with mental health disabilities on campus.

Housing Requests (Disability-Related)

On-campus resident students requesting permission for a housing change due to a documented disability must submit requests to the Academic Success Center by the following dates:

  1.  June 30 for fall term
  2.  October 31 for spring term
  3.  March 31 for summer term

While requests submitted after these dates may be considered, CIU cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ needs including any needs that arise during the course of a semester.

Food Allergies

CIU Rams’ Guide to

Special Dietary Needs

We have a program to assist students requiring special dietary accommodations for food allergies.

How do we work with students who require special diets?

  • If a student’s food allergy constitutes a disability (as defined by ADA standards above), our procedure for assisting that student is as follows:
  • Step 2: Have your licensed medical professional complete and sign this form

Verification of Physical Disability_0621.pdf

  • Step 3: Ensure form is returned to ASC for evaluation.
  • Step 4: ASC Resource Team will evaluate documentation and make recommendations for accommodations.
  • Step 5: ASC director will contact you to discuss the results.
  • Step 6: If approved, you will sign a contract with the ASC and the accommodations will be forwarded to the essential parties (e.g. dining hall director, professors, etc.) for implementation.
  • Step 7: Each semester, you will meet with the ASC director for a review of the accommodations.
  • Please note: you are welcome to discuss your accommodation plan or any related issues with the ASC director whenever you might have a question or need clarification. Please schedule an appointment at the link listed above in Step 1.


CIU is committed to providing students with food allergies the necessary information and individualized services to allow them access to campus living and dining.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: If I have a food allergy, but I'm not sure if it is considered a disability, what should I do?
  • A: Make an appointment with the ASC director for a conversation.


Grievance Procedure

An explanation of the Academic and General Grievance Procedures can be found in the online catalog.  If a satisfactory resolution of a disability grievance cannot be reached within the University, students should contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.

South Carolina Assistive Technology Program

The SCATP provides workshops on a variety of assistive technology topics and maintains a resource center of AT devices for trial as well as a staff of experts to help you solve your Assistive Technology (AT) problems.   SCATP also sponsors the South Carolina Assistive Technology Expo every spring.  This free Expo includes exhibits and workshops on the latest assistive technology for people with disabilities and age-related limitations.

DART Transportation

DART is a curb-to-curb, advanced reservation, shared ride transportation service for people with disabilities who are unable to access CMRTA buses, within the Columbia city limits.  There is a fee and riders must be pre-certified to ride.

Learning Ally

Learning Ally (formerly Reading for the Blind & Dyslexic) is an educational library serving people who cannot effectively read standard print because of a disability.  Learning Ally provides recorded textbooks at all educational levels in a broad range of subjects.  Membership is required.

Talking Book Services

Talking Book is a service of the SC State Library for residents with temporary or permanent limitations such as visual impairments, learning disabilities, and those who cannot hold a book or turn pages.  The Library provides recorded books and magazines, large print and Braille books and magazines, and described movies for the visually impaired.

Bender Consulting Services

Bender Consulting Services is a nationwide consulting firm that places individuals with disabilities in jobs.  Their positions are mostly technical, but not exclusively.  They maintain online job postings and will provide resumes of applicants to potential employers.

Career Gateway

Career Gateway is the only nationwide job posting and college student resume database which focuses on college students with disabilities.  It is used by students seeking employment and browsed by employers looking for qualified employees.

Disaboom Jobs

Disaboom Jobs is a collaboration between Disaboom and JobCentral to connect graduating students with employers who are actively seeking to hire graduates with disabilities.