New to Campus?
If you're new to a campus environment, you may want to start with our transition to higher education page in order to understand the differences between K-12 and University.
Welcome to Student Access at Vanderbilt University. The first step in connecting with our office is to complete the New Student Connection form in the Commodore Access Portal. The Commodore Access Portal is the go-to system for connecting with our office, requesting accommodations, and scheduling any proctored exams. When completing the New Student Connection form, you will be asked to upload your documentation. If this is not ready to be uploaded, that is okay; please submit your documentation to us as soon as possible. Your request will not be reviewed until we have your connection form and your documentation.
Supporting documentation includes a letter from your diagnostician or current treating physician to include your current diagnosis (with date of most recent diagnosis), your functional limitations, and how these limitations impact your educational experience. Documentation must also be printed on official letterhead from the health provider's office, and be signed and dated.
Documentation is only reviewed for students who have accepted their offer to Vanderbilt University and for students already enrolled.
While an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan from high school may show a history of accommodations, these documents do not typically provide the needed information to establish a diagnosis and/or functional limitations.
Once the connection form and proper documentation has been submitted, an access specialist will contact the student for an orientation meeting. At the orientation meeting, the student and access specialist will discuss reasonable accommodations and their implementation. In addition, the student will receive instruction on how to notify their faculty of their accommodations via the accommodation letter. Students must log into the Commodore Access Portal each semester and submit their accommodation letters to their faculty. Once sending the letter via the portal, the student must follow up with each faculty member that semester and discuss how accommodations will be implemented. This conversation is best during office hours; however other forms of communication are also effective, as long as the conversation takes place. If at any point the faculty member states they are unable to provide an accommodation, or the student is unable to contact the faculty member, the student should notify Student Access as soon as possible.
As part of Vanderbilt Campus Dining’s mission statement to provide excellent food at the highest level of quality, value, convenience and service, students are able to meet with the Campus Dietician, the university’s registered dietitian. Please reach out to the Campus Dietician to discuss any questions or concerns regarding dining on campus.
Vanderbilt University is a residential campus for undergraduates and the residential experience is understood to be an integral part of a Vanderbilt education. This commitment to residential education is clearly expressed in the University’s residential requirement:
“All unmarried undergraduate students must live in residence halls on campus during the academic year, May session, and Summer sessions. Authorization to live elsewhere is granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments in special situations or when space is unavailable on campus.” (Student Handbook)
Student Access partners with the Office of Housing and Residential Experience to ensure consistency in evaluating requests for reasonable accommodation in housing. Students with physical, psychological, or other disability-related limitations who would like to be considered for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, will need to submit a housing request to Student Access via the Commodore Access Portal – Select the Housing Accommodation Request Form. Student Access will review all ADA requests and share approved student accommodations with the Office of Housing Assignments. Students with approved ADA accommodations will be offered a housing assignment that meets the documented and approved need.
All students who request reasonable accommodation in housing due to a physical, psychological or other disability impairment must submit documentation to the SA office. SA documentation requirements are provided on the SA website. The Office of Housing Assignments does not accept any documentation or housing requests regarding a student’s physical, psychological or other disability-related condition.
If SA determines that a student is eligible for reasonable accommodation in housing, the Office of Housing Assignments will contact the student about their assignment. The Office of Housing Assignments makes every effort to make appropriate and reasonable assignment as recommended by the SA Office. To ensure SA approved accommodations are met, please be sure to submit required documentation by the deadlines provided by OHARE.
If you are a student connected with Student Access and your instructor is unable to provide your exam accommodations, our proctoring center is available. To schedule an exam, please visit the Proctoring webpage.
Student Access provides accommodations to students with temporary disabilities when the instructor is unable to provide access for the student. If you have a temporary disability (concussion, broken arm/leg, mental health), and your instructor is unable to provide you with accommodations, please follow the steps to connect with our office as listed above.
Welcome to Vanderbilt University and Student Access! As a graduate, clinical, or professional student, we understand your access needs may be different than those that you had as an undergraduate student. As a graduate student you may also have different needs for clinical and professional placements compared to those you use in didactic or lecture-based courses. Please review our Graduate Student Resource Page for more information and links to resources.