General Process

Establishing eligibility as a student with a disability

The Disability Resource Center will facilitate reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities admitted to Rice. A disability, as defined by federal law, is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, hearing, seeing or learning. A Rice student requesting accommodations must self-identify and provide recent documentation of his or her disability to the DRC. This documentation is used to establish the Rice student as an individual with a disability, and provides rationale for reasonable accommodations.

New students that are admitted to Rice are advised to contact the DRC following admission to ensure eligibility is established and any needed, reasonable accommodations are evaluated and approved in a timely manner. Accommodations are not retroactive.

Students at Rice who need to request an accommodation are encouraged to refer to the Disability Documentation Guidelines. These guidelines help Rice students and their families know what information is needed to establish eligibility as a student with a disability that necessitates accommodations. The student should also complete the online Preliminary Notification of Disability-Related Needs.

For students admitted to Rice who wish to document an Attention Deficit Disorder, the guidelines developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) are recommended. Refer to the ETS Resources for Test Takers with Disabilities at

Preliminary Notification of Disability-Related Needs

Recently admitted students who think disability support may be needed should notify the DRC prior to arriving on campus. Complete and submit the online Preliminary Notification of Disability-Related Needs form. The DRC will then contact the student to discuss particular needs. The Preliminary Notification form is provided to begin communication between the newly admitted student and DRC; completion does not automatically qualify a student as an accommodations-eligible individual with a disability.

Student Responsibilities

If accommodations are needed, the Rice student with a documented disability will receive an accommodation letter from the DRC to take to each instructor. It is the student's responsibility to deliver these letters as soon as possible. Instructors expect to receive notification early in each semester; students who deliver their letters later may encounter difficulties. Good, early communication is vital to the accommodation process.

A Rice student who thinks accommodations are not being provided in the manner specified, or are not sufficient to afford access, must notify the director of the DRC as soon as possible so the situation can be resolved.

If a student chooses to discontinue use of accommodations, notification is expected.


The Disability Resource Center respects the confidential nature of disability information, whether conveyed verbally, electronically or in writing. Students admitted to Rice can authorize the release of pertinent information to campus individuals when there is a legitimate educational reason to do so. Examples may relate to housing arrangements, academic accommodations, instructional strategies and resources, or other circumstances specific to the individual.

Disability-related documentation and information are stored at the DRC office. A disability designation does not appear on transcripts or other master university documents. The DRC files are not integrated with computerized university records. As well, disability status is not a part of the admissions process and will not impact whether or not the prospective student is admitted to Rice University.

Professors are aware of the confidential nature of the disability information shared with them. The accommodation letters they receive do not give diagnoses unless requested by the student. The letters merely describe the functional limitations caused by the disability and the corresponding accommodations.

Disability Resource Center
Allen Center, Room 111
Phone: (main) 713-348-5841
Fax: 713-348-5888

Mailing Address:
Disability Resource Center, Rice University, MS 802
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Adaptive Technology Lab
Limited access, key available 1st floor at Circulation & Reserve desk.
Location: Fondren Library, Room 108
For inquires contact 713-348-5841 or e-mail
TTY: dial 711 or 800-735-2988 to be connected through a relay operator.