Skip to main content
Default Hero Image

Policies and Concerns

Disability Access Center

What you need to know.


Purdue Fort Wayne is committed to ensuring that our students, faculty, and staff have access to the tools they need to succeed. As such, we have several policies in place regarding accommodations for those with disabilities. 

Purdue University Fort Wayne is committed to an inclusive and welcoming experience for all students. To that end, the Disability Access Center is the office designated by Purdue Fort Wayne to provide services, resources, and programs to facilitate equal access for disabled students, resulting in their full participation in curricular and cocurricular offerings.

The Disability Access Center is responsible for coordinating the university’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 with regard to students. Purdue Human Resources coordinates on behalf of employees. Within this legislation, the terms “reasonable accommodation” and “fundamental alteration” are broadly defined and informed by case law. Neither faculty, program sponsors, service units, nor unit administrators may independently deny a request for accommodation. In cases of disagreement or confusion, the Disability Access Center welcomes the opportunity to discuss with faculty how these terms apply to specific situations.

The Disability Access Center is the custodian of student medical records obtained for the purpose of providing reasonable accommodations. Disability and medical information maintained by the Disability Access Center is confidential and is not shared with individuals or units outside the center except where disclosure is required by law or is necessary to facilitate legitimate university processes, such as addressing direct threats or investigating claims or charges.

Service animals can be defined as a dog or miniature horse that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task that the animal has been trained to perform must be related to the person’s disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the American with Disabilities Act.

It is important to note that a service animal can be trained to assist persons with psychiatric disabilities. For example, a dog can be specifically trained to sense an oncoming panic attack and put its paws on the person’s shoulders, helping them implement certain strategies to eliminate or lessen the panic attack. 

When it is not clear what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Faculty and staff may ask two questions:

  1. Is the service animal required because of a disability? 
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? 

Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

Refusing Access to a Service Animal
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. 

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove their service animal from the premises unless (1) the animal is out of control, and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the animal is not housebroken. Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. 

Please see Purdue University’s Operating Procedures for Service Animals on Campus.

Student studying his class notes outdoors.

Report Accessibility Concerns

If you have an accessibility concern, report it.

Purdue Fort Wayne is committed to equal access and to providing an environment in which individuals with disabilities can fully access programs, services, activities, and facilities at PFW. See a concern? Report it.


Learn what to do. 

From concerns about accommodation decisions to resolving student and faculty concerns, learn what you need to do.

The Disability Access Center is responsible for determining a student’s need for accommodation. If a student is determined eligible for accommodations, the Disability Access Center is responsible for coordinating the accommodations with the student and the instructor and third-party service providers.

If a student disagrees with a determination that they are not a qualified student with a disability, or if a student is approved for an accommodation but believes that it is not being provided as agreed, the student is encouraged to contact the Disability Access Center to attempt to resolve the issue informally. 

The student also may choose to file a formal concern instead of contacting the Disability Access Center or if attempts to resolve the issue do not satisfy the student. Submitting a Concern Form will not interrupt any accommodations or services that have been put into place.

Submit a Concern Form (Students)

Instructors are responsible for reviewing the information provided by the Disability Access Center prior to the start of each semester regarding expected accommodations in their course(s). Instructors who believe an approved accommodation represents a fundamental alteration to a course, program or academic activity are encouraged to contact the Disability Access Center immediately to resolve the issue informally. 

The instructor may file a formal concern with the Disability Access Center if attempts to resolve the issue do not satisfy the instructor.

Submit a Concern Form (Faculty)

To learn more about these processes, please visit the following links to Purdue Fort Wayne’s accommodation policies:

Procedures for Requesting and Implementing Curricular Accommodations 
Procedures for Requesting and Implementing Student Experience Accommodations