Smartly Special Needs Accommodation Requests Policy

This policy explains the process for qualified students with a disability to obtain reasonable accommodations from Smartly. Smartly does not discriminate on the basis of disability with respect to admissions or in the delivery of its educational programs and support services. We are committed to providing all students with equal opportunities to take full advantage of our educational programs, including by providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities.

Questions about this policy or Smartly’s commitment to providing equal opportunities to students with disabilities should be submitted to Student Support Services at

This policy does not apply to employees seeking reasonable accommodations. Employees should see our employee handbook for further information.

Requesting Accommodations

Students or applicants with a recognized disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act are entitled to and may request reasonable accommodations from Smartly, including auxiliary aids and modifications to policies, practices, or procedures.  Smartly will make every effort to provide such accommodations as necessary to afford the student or applicant full enjoyment of its educational program and services, unless the requested modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or services.

Students or applicants for admission seeking to obtain an accommodation or auxiliary aid or service must submit a written request to Student Support Services. The request should specify in detail the individual’s disability, its impact on the individual, and the accommodation needed to ensure full participation in the program. The request should include written documentation from a qualified professional, most often a physician, learning disability specialist, or mental health professional, supporting the need for an accommodation. Students may also submit documentation of any history of accommodations in educational programs, such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or accommodations provided to the student by other postsecondary institutions. Requests should also describe the student’s preferred accommodation. The type of documentation necessary to make a determination will vary according to the student and the nature of the disability and will be specified by Student Support Services. Requests can be sent by mail to 3000 K Street NW, Suite 275, Washington, DC 20007, or by e-mail to  

Students are encouraged to submit requests as far in advance as possible to allow sufficient time to review the documentation provided and arrange any appropriate accommodations. Where possible, new students should submit requests prior to registering for the program after acceptance.

Upon receipt of a complete application with supporting documentation, Student Support Services will arrange a meeting with the student to discuss the student’s application and requested accommodation.

Accommodation Decisions

The Chief Academic Officer is responsible for deciding whether students are qualified to receive an accommodation, and for determining what constitutes a reasonable accommodation. Accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the needs of the individual student, including the supporting documentation, and the fundamental requirements of the course.  In making a determination, we will consider the student’s preferred accommodation; however, another suitable accommodation may be provided if the requested accommodation is unreasonable or fundamentally alters the program.

Decisions will be communicated to the student in writing within 10 business days of the request.

Appeal Process if a Requested Accommodation is Denied

Students who are denied eligibility for an accommodation or who are dissatisfied with the accommodation decision may request that the Chief Academic Officer review the decision by filing an appeal. Appeal requests must be submitted within 5 days of the date of the decision letter. The Chief Academic Officer will review the student’s request and supporting documentation, and may meet with the student. The Chief Academic Officer will make a decision within 10 days of receipt of the appeal.

If the student’s concern remains unresolved and/or the student believes he or she is being denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations or has otherwise been discriminated against, the student may file a grievance using Smartly's Student Grievance and Abuse policy, available here.

Implementation of Accommodations

Once an accommodation is granted, Student Support Services will work with the necessary faculty and staff to implement the adjustment or provide the aid or service. If a student believes he or she is not receiving the accommodations for which he was approved, the student should immediately contact Student Support Services, who will promptly investigate the concern. If the student’s concern remains unresolved and/or the student believes he or she is being denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations or has otherwise been discriminated against, the student may file a grievance using Smartly's Student Grievance and Abuse policy, available here.

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