Frequently Asked Questions
What is a disability?
A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual.
- Major life activities: normal functions, such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
- Physical impairment: any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following bodily systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory and speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
- Mental impairment: any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
- Learning disabilities: 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.
I have a disability, how will this affect my application and the admissions process?
The University will make admission decisions without considering disability status. The University will not impose or apply admission or eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out individuals on the basis of their disability, unless such criteria is necessary for the provision of the program, service or activity being offered. The University believes that this carries out the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Students with disabilities desiring to enroll in any program, service or activity of Pepperdine University must be able to meet the minimal standards of both the University and the particular school, program, service, or activity to which admission is sought.
The University does not engage in any affirmative action programs for students with disabilities, nor does it consider a student's disability in evaluating admission criteria. It is, of course, within the student's discretion to inform the Admissions Committee of a disability if they wish. If this choice is made, the University will not discriminate against the student on the basis of the disability and will make reasonable accommodations when necessary.
I've been accepted at Pepperdine, and I have a disability… how do I receive accommodations?
To receive accommodations, students will need to register with Disability Services. Begin the registration process here.
I have mobility concerns. How do I get around campus?
Because of the campus terrain and the limited parking available on campus, Pepperdine is pleased to offer a medical escort service for students with chronic medical conditions and disabilities, temporary or permanent. This service eliminates the need for parking passes, as anyone can call for or schedule rides. Call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 310.506.4442 to receive a medical escort on campus.
*Please note that a minimum 15 to 20 minute lead time is necessary on any of these requests.
For additional information about our medical escort service and other mobility solutions, visit the Medical Escort and Accessible Parking page.
I need housing considerations. What do I need to do?
If you have a disability that affects your housing needs, register with this office so we can review other options. Because it can take time to find appropriate accommodations for housing needs, carefully review deadlines posted by Housing & Residence Life.
Do I need to renew my accommodations every term and/or year?
Every term students who have completed registration with Disability Services need to complete a Semester Request in order to activate services. Students will receive an updated accommodation letter as confirmation of a completed Semester Request.
I have a service or emotional support animal. What do I need to do?
Service or emotional support animals must be registered with this office. See the How to Register page for further details and review the University Policy Manual for complete information on the university policy regarding animals on campus.
I am a Seaver College student in need of tutoring support. Where can I find this?
Seaver students in need of tutoring support can contact the Seaver Student Success Center. Visit the center's website for a full tutoring schedule.
My disability makes it hard for me to carry personal items (bookbag, computer, etc.) around campus. Does the University provide someone to help carry my personal items?
Students requiring assistance in transporting personal items may hire a personal assistant. They may also find a classmate with similar schedule who is available to assist.
Is information I disclose shared with anyone?
Information shared during registration with Disability Services will be kept confidential—consistent with state and federal law and applicable ethical standards. Additionally, student association and paperwork with the Disability Services Office is maintained separate from student academic profiles. Association with this office will not be reflected on any transcripts or University records.
Faculty and staff members may be informed of a student's registration with this office, but no details of a disability will be released without expressed, written consent. Information regarding accommodations is only shared as an incidence of necessity (e.g. disclosure to professors that a student has accommodations in order to acquire exams for proctoring).
State and federal law and professional ethics do allow for a few exceptions in which some information may be shared with others.
Examples of the types of circumstances that may warrant the discussion of confidential information with others include:
- A written request that information about be shared with someone outside of this office
- If information shared gives this office reason to suspect that a child or elderly person may be a victim of abuse or neglect
- If there is reason to suspect that a student is a danger to themselves or others