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Student Disability Services

Removing barriers to accessible and inclusive educational experiences for all students

Student Disability Services 

Student Disability Services ensures accessible and inclusive educational experiences for all students by proactively removing barriers, raising awareness of equitable practices, and fostering an appreciation of disability as an area of diversity—utilizing a wide range of collaborative approaches from individualized accommodations to universal design.

In addition to a social justice approach when working with students to address barriers, Student Disability Services utilizes the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its amendments to inform our work. The ADA defines a person with a disability as an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, who has a record of such impairment, or who is regarded as having such impairment. This link provides additional information about the ADA and its application in higher education.  

Upon admission and prior to enrollment, students with a disability should provide documentation from an appropriate provider that identifies the type of disability, describes the current impact of the disability in an academic setting, and lists recommended accommodations, including any received from previous educational institutions. To begin the process. 

  1. Complete the SDS online application through our university-wide database, Accommodation Information Manager (AIM).  
  2. Submit documentation using the link received after you submit the application. 
  3. Schedule a meeting with Tracey Cade to discuss your needs as well as potential accommodations and services. 

Accommodations and services are provided once the initial process has been completed. Since the process can take time, we encourage students to begin the process well in advance of the start of their program or as soon as possible when a need arises so that services or accommodations can be coordinated in a timely way. Accommodations may be requested at any time but are not retroactive. 

Documentation is used to support the interactive process of exploring accommodation and services that will remove barriers. Our Documentation Guidelines provide information about what is needed, and our Documentation Form  can be completed by a qualified professional/provider.  If you have any difficulty providing documentation or need more information about any aspect of the process, please contact Tracey Cade in Student Disability Services

  • Your SDS (Student Disability Services) advisor will initiate a conversation about the barriers you have faced historically and anticipate facing in your program. 
  • Your accommodation request will be discussed, and additional accommodations may be suggested based on the conversation. 
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities will be reviewed. 

Once accommodations are confirmed, an Affiliation Letter will be sent to you. You will be granted access to send out academic accommodation letters (if applicable) through the AIM Student Portal immediately following completion of the process.  Please remember that it is the student’s responsibility to log in each semester or term to send their academic accommodation letters to faculty. 

Disclosing all relevant information to Student Disability Services is essential to establishing an eligibility for services or accommodations and ensuring what is provided will be effective in meeting needs. Please visit our Confidentiality page for detailed information.

Students with injuries or concussion may need temporary accommodations for a short-term disability. Provisional accommodations may be provided while students are seeking an evaluation to determine the presence of a disability, or the specific services or accommodations needed. Please contact SON-SDS to discuss your situation and needs to determine what is possible. 

The curricula of the School of Nursing requires that students engage in diverse and complex experiences directed at achieving competencies, knowledge, skills, attributes and professional values. Applicants for all academic programs, and enrolled degree and certificate-seeking students, must possess certain abilities and skills deemed essential for meeting the professional standards of accrediting agencies.

The School of Nursing is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of healthcare professionals’ representative of the national population.  We actively collaborate with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and create a respectful accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. We are committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.

The School of Nursing provides the following technical standards to inform incoming and enrolled students of the performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete the requirements of the nursing curriculum and provide effective and safe health care.  To matriculate (enroll) the student must meet technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations and maintain related satisfactory demonstration of these standards for progression through the program. We wish to ensure that access to our facilities, programs, and services are available to students with disabilities. The university provides reasonable accommodations to students on a nondiscriminatory basis consistent with legal requirements as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments ACT (ADAAA) of 2008, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Questions or concerns regarding these technical standards should be directed the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, (410) 955-7454.

Candidates for nursing degrees or certificates must be able to meet the technical standards (listed below) with or without reasonable accommodation:

  • Observation: Students must have sufficient capacity to make accurate observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies, medication administration and patient care activities. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Overall, they must be able to effectively monitor, assess and respond to health needs.
  • Communication: Students must accurately elicit or interpret information: medical history and other information to evaluate adequately a client or patient’s condition. Students must be able to record information clearly and accurately interpret verbal and nonverbal communication to patients and the health care team. They must be able to communicate effectively in teams. Students must be able to determine a deeper meaning or significance in what is being expressed. They also must be able to connect with others to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions. They must be able to interact effectively with the health-care team and maintain accurate clinical records on patient care.
  • Clinical Skills: Students are required to possess motor skills sufficient to independently elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other manually-based diagnostic procedures. Students should be able to conduct laboratory and diagnostic tests, and carry out physical assessments. Students must possess motor skills required for their specialty’s scope of practice. The student must also be able to coordinate fine and gross muscular movements to treat patients in emergency situations. Emergency situations include any circumstance requiring immediate remedy.
  • Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: Students must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are critical to practice as a nurse. Students must have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize objective and subjective data and to make decisions that reflect consistent and sound clinical judgment. Students must possess good judgment in patient assessment, and the abilities to incorporate new information, comprehend three- dimensional relationships, and retain and recall pertinent information in a timely fashion. This includes decision-making in order to maintain safety and security of patients and to behave appropriately with patients, staff, students, supervisors and faculty.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes: Students must possess the physical and emotional health required for the application of their intellectual abilities and the employment of sound judgment in an appropriate and prompt manner. Students must be able to function effectively under physically taxing workloads in both classroom and clinical settings, and in times of physical and mental stress. Students must display compassion, sensitivity, and concern for others, and maintain professional integrity at all times. Students must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice. This includes appropriately interacting with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Program Specific Requirements: In addition to the areas enumerated above, applicants and students must also possess any abilities and skills deemed essential for their particular program. These areas of enumerated skills and abilities are the minimum attributes required of applicants for admission to the specific nursing program and of students who are candidates for graduation.

Johns Hopkins University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status or veteran status in any program or activity administered by the university, or with regard to admission or employment. 

More information about Appeals/Grievance Procedures for Student with Disabilities is available on the Office of Institutional Equity website.

Contact Information

School of Nursing Student Disability Services (SDS)

Tracey Cade 
Assistant Director, Student Disability Services
525 N. Wolfe St 
Suite S320 
Baltimore, MD 21205 
Phone: 443-287-5511 
Email:[email protected] 

Courtney Harris 
Exam/Administrative Coordinator E. Baltimore Hub 

Phone: 667-306-9626
Email: [email protected]  

Joanne Benica 
Senior Director, Student Disability Services E. Baltimore Hub 
1830 East Monument Street, Room 613 
Baltimore, MD 21205 
Phone: 667-306-9537
[email protected] 

University-Wide Student Disability Services 
346 Garland Hall/3400 N. Charles Street 
Baltimore, MD 21218