Resources for Students with Disabilities

Johnson University Office of Disability Services

Richardson Hall 265
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Phone: 865-251-2426
Fax: 865-251-2337

Johnson University
Box 1645
7900 Johnson Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37998

Our Mission

The Johnson University Office of Disability Services coordinates and supports students with a documented disability. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the amended ADA of 2011, Johnson University ensures that students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities. In accordance with these laws, no qualified individual shall unlawfully be denied access to or participation in any services, programs, or activities of Johnson University on the basis of his or her disability. These laws require institutions of higher learning to provide reasonable accommodations for the needs of qualified students as they pursue post-secondary education.


A student is considered a person with a disability, eligible for protection under the laws, if the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Disabilities include impairments caused by accident, trauma, genetics, or disease that substantially limit major life activities such as seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working. Disabling conditions include epilepsy; paralysis (e.g., cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis); HIV infection; AIDS; a substantial hearing or visual impairment; intellectual disability; psychiatric disability; cancer; heart disease; diabetes; or a specific learning disability. Conditions not considered a disability include minor, non-chronic conditions of short duration, such as a concussion, sprain, broken limb, or the flu.

To ensure accessibility for students with disabilities, the University provides reasonable accommodations through Special Services. The University accepts students who meet its admission requirements without regard to disability. To ensure nondiscrimination, students must complete all prerequisites for admission before requesting assistance from Special Services.

Definition of Disability

A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual.

1. Major Life Activities: The phrase “major life activities” refers to normal functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
2. Physical Impairment: A physical impairment includes any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory and speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
3. Mental Impairment: A mental impairment includes any mental or psychological disorder such as organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
4. Learning disabilities: A learning disability is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders occur in persons of average to very superior intelligence and are presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.
Specific disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: blindness or visual impairment; chronic illnesses; psychiatric and emotional disabilities (ADHD, anxiety and related disorders, depression, etc.); deafness or hearing impairments; epilepsy or seizure disorders; orthopedic impairment; specific learning disability; speech disorder; spinal cord or traumatic brain injury; and neurological and neuro-muscular disorders.

If you are experiencing difficulties with one or more of these activities, or if you are experiencing educational difficulties due to a possible disability, please consider contacting our office to meet with someone to discuss options.

Requesting Accommodations

New Students

Incoming freshman and transfer students must submit a Request for Accommodations form, medical documentation, and Office of Disability Services registration form. Once these have been submitted, the Office of Disability Services will contact the student to schedule a meeting to discuss accommodations.

Students should also meet with their professors to discuss how accommodations will be handled and to know each professor’s expectations for the classes.


Returning Students

Returning students must notify the Office of Disability Services to continue accommodations and schedule an appointment with the ODS Director. Requests for accommodations should be completed every semester after registration.

Once accommodations have been created, an email will be sent to each professor detailing those accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to speak with the professor regarding accommodations. If the student feels accommodations are not being applied or additional support is needed, they should schedule a follow up appointment with the Office of Disability Services.

Submitting Documentation

Hand deliver: The Office of Disability Services is located in Richardson Hall, room 265 on the Tennessee campus.

Fax: 865.251.2337

Email: scan documentation and email to the .

Johnson University
Office of Disability Services
Box 1645
Knoxville, Tennessee 37998

If You're Injured

Unexpected injuries or surgeries may cause confusion about what to do next.

• Inform your professors: let your professors know about your injury and what effects it may have (attendance, exams, deadlines).
• Talk with your advisor and the Director of the Disability Services Office: they will help you by informing professors of your situation and requesting academic accommodations on your behalf.
• Meet with an academic coach: The Academic Support Center provides coaches who can help you study any missed material from class.
• Talk with your RA and the Resident Director: they need to know about your situation so they can provide you with the help you need.
• Talk with classmates and friends: they can help you during your recovery and also help you study for missed classes.

Contact the when:
• An instructor tells you they need guidance about accommodations
• There are classrooms you cannot access due to your injury
• Navigating campus is difficult
• You need accommodations for testing
• You need a handicapped sticker

Services and Accommodations

Possible Accommodations:

• low distraction testing environment
• extended testing time
• alternate text formats
• use of dictation software
• notetaking services
• use of reading software
• use of assistive listening devices
• use of magnifiers

Classroom Accommodations

Our campus is dedicated to providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities. Typical classroom accommodations may include priority seating, recording devices used in lectures, and receiving copies of class notes and presentations. Accommodations at Johnson University are made on a case-by-case basis through the Office of Disability Services. A meeting with the Director of Academic Support and Disability Services will determine which accommodations a student qualifies for. This is a cooperative endeavor that involves the student acting as a self-advocate and notifying the Director if he or she feels an accommodation request is not being reasonably met. Instructors are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services if a question arises about how to provide accommodations.

Testing Accommodations

Testing Accommodations are modifications to the standard testing procedures. Testing Accommodations are created to provide access to the test without changing the academic integrity of the course or the test. Examples of testing accommodations are: extended time, low distraction room, test reader, oral testing, scribe, and computer testing.

If a student receives testing accommodations they should schedule a time to come into the Academic Support Center to take their test. If you must take an exam outside of these hours please contact the Academic Support Center.

Chronic Illness

Accommodations are also available for students with chronic illnesses that might interfere with their classwork. Contact the Office of Disability Services for more information.