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Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Oakland Center, Suite 150
312 Meadow Brook Rd
Rochester , MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3496

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesdays with extended hours 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Oakland Center, Suite 150
312 Meadow Brook Rd
Rochester , MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3496

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesdays with extended hours 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.


OU is committed to ensuring equal opportunity for all individuals. Diversity is both essential to and a highly-valued attribute of the University as a site for learning and work as we recognize that each member of our community is unique. Please read more detail below for religious, disability support or pregnancy accommodations.

Religious Accommodations

Although Oakland University, as a public institution, does not observe religious holidays, it will continue to make every reasonable effort to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements.

The University is enriched by individuals of many faiths and religious observances. In affirming this diversity, it is the University’s practice to provide appropriate religious accommodations. Below are general guidelines concerning religious accommodations:

  1. Students will provide reasonable advance notice to faculty of the anticipated absence. Ideally the student should provide such notice early in the semester.
  2. Faculty, staff, student organizations and other programming groups are strongly urged to be mindful of major religious holidays in their scheduling.
  3. Absence from class or exams and missed assignments does not relieve students from the responsibility of completing any part of the course work required during the period of absence.
  4. Students will be given the opportunity to make up work without penalty, unless it can be demonstrated that a make-up opportunity would interfere unreasonably with the delivery of the course.
  5. Examples of reasonable accommodations for student absences might include: rescheduling of an exam or time of clinical, altering the time of a presentation, flexibility regarding the due date of an assignment, etc.
  6. Should disagreements arise under any aspect of these guidelines, the parties should first contact the Department Chair or the Dean of the School or College. If disagreements are not resolved by the Department Chair or Dean, final determinations will be made by the Provost’s Office.
  7. Faculty should keep in mind that religion is a deeply personal and private matter and should make every reasonable attempt to respect the privacy of the student when making accommodations (for example, it is not appropriate to announce to the class that a student is making up an exam because of their religious observance).

The DEI Calendar is a public calendar that tracks collaborative efforts towards promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion events on OU's campus while building awareness and a cultural understanding of important holidays and observances of the diverse groups in our campus community.

Disability Support Accommodations

Disability Support Services acts as an advocate for students with disabilities and assists students in addressing personal and academic concerns. Oakland University makes reasonable modifications to its academic requirements as necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability, against a qualified disabled applicant or student.

The Disability Support Services Office (DSS) assists current and prospective students who are requesting accommodations to access the programs and services at Oakland University. Accommodations are determined through an interactive, individualized, case by case interview between DSS and the student. The process for requesting accommodations is as follows:

  1. Students are required to self-identify as a person with a disability with the Disability Support Services Office (DSS Office).
  2. When a student is ready to request an accommodation, they will need to contact the DSS Office and schedule an appointment. Ideally, this will happen before the beginning or at the beginning of the semester.
  3. The process, from the time of a student’s initial request for accommodation to the final determination of what accommodation, if any, will be provided, will be coordinated and led by the DSS Office and will include input from the student. The DSS Office will consult with other University departments or employees as deemed appropriate or necessary by the DSS Office.
  4. Accommodations are not retroactive and only begin once approval has been given by the DSS Office and the student has addressed the accommodations with each professor.
  5. Students must provide medical documentation of their disability. At any time during the accommodation process, the DSS Office may ask for additional medical documentation of the disability and the need for an accommodation.
  6. After an initial meeting and documentation of disability has been provided, requested accommodations or modifications, including Academic Adjustments, are determined on a case-by-case basis and will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.
  7. Oakland University is not required to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers or tutors for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.
  8. Once an accommodation is approved, the DSS Office will provide the student with a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL).
  9. The FNL includes instructions on how to contact DSS should the faculty disagree with the provision of a listed adjustment or service. Additionally, the FNL indicates that no individual instructor will have unilateral authority to deny an academic adjustment and/or auxiliary aids or service approved by DSS.
  10. Students are responsible for providing the FNL to their professors. Ideally, this should happen during the first week of class, or as soon as possible. Students should also maintain proactive dialogue with their professors during the semester regarding their accommodations. The FNL will instruct the faculty member to contact the DSS Office if the faculty member disagrees with the accommodation relative to their course. No individual instructor will have unilateral authority to deny a student a requested accommodation that was approved by the DSS Office. Any faculty objections regarding accommodations approved by the DSS Office relative to their course will be forwarded first to the Associate Dean of the faculty’s college or school and, if necessary, then to the University’s Office of the Provost for resolution in consultation with the DSS Office.
  11. Faculty are responsible for maintaining confidentiality and for facilitating accommodations outlined in the FNL. Faculty should direct any questions about the FNL or the implementation of the accommodations to the DSS Office.
  12. Each semester, the student can request FNLs by filling out a request form in person at the DSS Office, or students can fill out the request form online at the DSS website by clicking on the Accommodation Request Form button.
  13. The DSS Office will notify students in a reasonably timely manner in writing of any denial of a requested accommodation. The notice will contain the reason(s) for the denial and inform the student that the denial can be appealed to the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  14. The DSS Office will notify students in a reasonably timely manner of all adjustments that have been agreed to.
  15. The DSS Office will maintain a file containing the dates of a student’s request for accommodation, the nature of the student’s request, any supporting documentation, the reason(s) for any denial of the student’s request, and a description of the interactive process that occurred between the University and the student.

If you wish to receive a hard copy of these policies and procedures, please contact the DSS Office at 248-370-3266 or by email at dss@oakland.edu.

DSS Documentation Guidelines:
Documentation of a disability is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved through the Disability Support Services Office. Documentation must validate the presence of a disability as noted under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act and provide sufficient information for the provision of reasonable accommodations and services based upon the impact of the student’s disability in either the academic or living environment on campus.

Documentation submitted to the office of Disability Support Services must provide the following information:

  1. Evaluation should be conducted by a qualified professional.
    1. Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses, offering clinical judgments specific to the disability and/or making recommendations for accommodations must be qualified to do so. Evaluator qualifications must include appropriate licensure/certification, as well as comprehensive training and relevant expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested.
    2. A diagnosis of a physical/mental disability or health condition documented by a family member will not be accepted because of professional and ethical considerations, even when the family member is otherwise qualified by virtue of training and licensure or certification.
    3. Documentation is to be typed or printed on official letterhead with original signature signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about licensure or certification and area of specialization).
  2. Documentation should include a specific diagnosis.
    1. Documentation is to include a diagnostic statement clearly identifying the disability.
    2. Documentation is to include diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM - most current edition)
    3. Documentation is to describe how the condition was diagnosed, noting the individual’s functional limitations due to the condition/disability, and detail the typical progression or prognosis of the condition.
  3. Documentation should be current.
    1. It is in the student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation because the provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based upon the assessment of the current impact of the disability on a student in the academic or living environment.
    2. Requests for accommodations or services due to a condition that is fluctuating, is to be supported with documentation written within the past year.
  4. Documentation should be comprehensive to substantiate the diagnosis.
    1. Documentation is to include educational, developmental and medical history relevant to the disability for which accommodations are being requested.
    2. Documentation is to include a description of the diagnostic methodology used to document and diagnose the stated disability – information on the evaluation methods, procedures, tests, dates of administration, as well as clinical narratives, observations and specific results.
    3. Documentation is to include a description of the current functional limitations resulting from the disability – information on how the disabling condition currently impacts the individual in the environment for which accommodations are recommended. Information is to be thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the condition.
    4. A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability is to be provided – information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context. Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes provides opportunities to anticipate and plan for varying functional impacts.
    5. Information on both current and past medications including side effects, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and accommodations, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability.
    6. Prior IEP/504 Plans will be considered if it includes:
      1. Testing scores used to diagnose the disability
      2. Data from high school.
Pregnancy Accommodations

Oakland University must provide accommodations to pregnant students and employees, as well as those recovering from childbirth. These accommodations can take several forms, including: excusing absences, providing reasonable adjustments to the regular program, allowing students to make up missed work, and allowing students to return to the same academic and extracurricular status they had before any pregnancy or birth-related absence(s) began.

Those who feel they have been discriminated against for pregnancy or birth-related events should contact the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible. More information on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act can be found on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission page.