Disability Services - 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've been accepted at Pepperdine, and I have a disability… how do I receive accommodations?
To receive accommodations, students will need to register with Student Accessibility. Begin the registration process
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 mobility transportation 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 mobility transportation 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 mobility transportation and other mobility solutions, visit the DPS Mobility Transport 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.
You can find more about Housing Accommodations on our website.
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?
Once you are registered with approved accommodations, the student will complete a Semester Request each term. This form is how the student will indicate to our office which accommodations the student chooses to use for the term. Students will receive an updated accommodation letter as confirmation of a completed Semester Request. Students can also indicate which professors should receive their accommodation letters as well.
I have a service or emotional support animal. What do I need to do?
Service animals are voluntarily registered and emotional support animals must be registered with Student Accessibility. See the How to Register page for further details and review Section 37 of University Policy 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. Some students hire a friend to help.
Is information I disclose shared with anyone?
Information shared during registration with the Office of Student Accessibility will be kept confidential—consistent with state and federal law and applicable ethical standards. Additionally, student association and paperwork with the OSA 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
I have significant food allergies. What are my options?
OSA works closely with the Student Health Center and Cafe Bon Appetit, the Pepperdine Malibu food services vendor, to create access for students with food allergies. We encourage you to contact the following offices at the same time you are registering your allergies with OSA:
- The Student Health Center dietician can help you meet your nutritional needs on campus. For a consultation, please call 310.506.4316, option 3, to schedule an appointment.
- To explore how Cafe Bon Appetit supports students with food allergies, please contact John Leone, Resident District Manager for Cafe Bon Appetit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that not all residences on the Malibu campus are equipped with kitchens. OSA and Housing and Residence Life may provide access to a kitchen for students to support personal food preparation as necessary.
How do I access my accommodations while studying abroad?
Accommodations are available abroad. The process is the same as in Malibu, with students completing a Semester Request each term. Please refer to the Step 1 toggle on International Programs' apply page for details.
Regarding food allergies abroad: note that not all European restaurants are equipped to support a variety of food allergens. For students registered with OSA the international program offices will work with restaurants used in program activities to ensure your nutritional safety.