Accommodating Students & Applicants with Disabilities

MBKU is committed to full and equal opportunities for all students and applicants. MBKU does not unlawfully discriminate against qualified applicants or students with disabilities and encourages their full participation within the MBKU community. To this end, MBKU accepts and supports qualified students and applicants with disabilities and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local regulations regarding students and applicants with disabilities. 

Disability Defined

Disabilities include any physical or mental impairment(s) that limit one or more major life activities, or a record of such limiting impairment.

Applicants or students with disabilities seeking to enroll in any program, service, or activity of MBKU must be able to meet the minimum standards of MBKU and the program, service, or activity with or without a reasonable accommodation. 

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

MBKU provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified applicants and students with known physical or mental disabilities, unless it would create an undue hardship or fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, service, or activity. MBKU will remove barriers where readily achievable and/or provide alternative measures when the removal of barriers is not readily achievable. Applicants or students needing accommodations must make their needs known in advance. MBKU cannot provide an accommodation when it does not know that an accommodation is required. 

Applicants or students with disabilities may request accommodations at any time. However, because MBKU must have time to review and approve the request before making accommodations and because some accommodations take more time to provide, applicants or students with disabilities should contact MBKU and request an accommodation as soon as possible. The MBKU VPESS or designee serves as the Disability Services Coordinator. All requests are submitted to the Disability Services Coordinator.

Applicants who do not need a reasonable accommodation during the application process are encouraged to wait until after they are admitted into their respective academic program to request accommodations.

All requests are submitted to Student Disability Services (SDS). SDS will review the situation with the applicant or student to identify possible accommodations, if any. If a reasonable accommodation can be identified which will not impose an undue hardship or fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, service, or activity, then MBKU will make the accommodation. If there is more than one possible accommodation, MBKU will decide which option will be provided. SDS makes these determinations, and the determination is subject to the appeals procedure discussed below. SDS will notify the applicant or student, the student's Dean/Director, administrators, and appropriate faculty members, as necessary, of any accommodations to be provided.

MBKU maintains appropriate confidential records in accordance with the law.

How to Apply for Accommodations and/or Disability Support Services

Students seeking accommodations or disability support services at MBKU are required to register with SDS by completing the following steps. Students who are new to the process of requesting accommodations are encouraged to meet with SDS prior to completing or requesting any paperwork to ensure they have a thorough understanding of the process. If a student is requesting an addition or a change in accommodations, they may be asked to provide additional documentation. While students are welcome to contact SDS directly at any time to discuss their situation or ask questions, the typical initial registration process is as follows:

  1. If applicable, contact SDS by emailing to schedule an inquiry appointment.
  2. Make a formal request for accommodations. Complete the Request for Accommodations & Services form located on the portal. Be prepared to provide information about your disability and any history of accommodations and to request specific accommodations. Information provided is confidential and only accessible by SDS. If you have any questions about the registration process, you are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the process prior to obtaining documentation.
  3. Collect disability-related documentation and submit the Disability Verification Form. SDS has developed Documentation Guidelines to assist students when requesting the necessary disability documentation from their treatment providers. Disability documentation can be submitted by email to Please review the Documentation Guidelines and contact SDS if you have questions. NOTE: Students who do not have documentation of their diagnosis/condition, or believe they have an undiagnosed condition, should contact SDS to discuss their individual circumstances.
  4. Request an intake appointment. Once you have completed your application and submitted your verification documents, email to request an intake appointment. You will be contacted via email by SDS within three (3) business days. If you have not heard from us after that time, please contact our office. Appointments can take place virtually or in person.
  5. Determination of eligibility and accommodations. SDS takes into consideration the information provided during the intake meeting, your disability documentation, and the requirements of your academic and clinical Program to determine your eligibility for services and, if appropriate, recommend specific accommodations. This is an interactive process in which it is essential that you be an active participant.

Notification and Implementation

Program faculty and administrators responsible for the implementation of accommodations will be notified once accommodations have been approved by SDS. It can take several days or more to implement accommodations. Students and applicants will be notified by the Program administrator when the accommodations are in effect. If you have not heard from the Program administrator within 5 business days from the conclusion of the intake appointment, please contact SDS at for support.

Service and Emotional Support Animals

Service animals are permitted in all areas of MBKU campuses and facilities that are open to the public, program participants, clients, customers, patrons, or invitees, as relevant. Service animals are animals that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the service animal must be related to the person’s disability.

Students with disabilities who use service animals are requested to contact the Disability Services Coordinator. Service animals must be housebroken and kept under control by a leash, or other tether, unless the person is unable to hold those, or such would interfere with the service animal’s performance of work or tasks. In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal. The owner is liable and responsible for the animal’s behavior and activities while in any MBKU setting. MBKU is not responsible for any aspects of caring for or supervising a service animal.

When it is not apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an applicant or student with a disability, MBKU may ask if the animal is a service animal required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are generally not service animals under the ADA because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task. Such animals, if not service animals, must follow MBKU’s “Non-Service Pets on Campus” policy. Applicants or students requesting to use an emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animal in University-owned housing or for employment must contact the Disability Services Coordinator. Such approval will not generally extend to MBKU classrooms, laboratories, clinical facilities, or other campus or University-owned buildings.

Informal Procedures

Applicants or students may disagree with the determination made by the Disability Services Coordinator concerning accommodations and/or removal of barriers. Applicants or students are encouraged to work with MBKU informally to resolve their concerns at any stage in the request for accommodations process and may address their concerns with the Disability Services Coordinator, their Dean, or other Student Affairs personnel. Applicants or students may opt out of this informal process and move directly to the formal processes.

Appeals Process for Decision made by Disability Services

Applicants or students who are dissatisfied with the determination made by the Disability Services Coordinator concerning accommodations and/or removal of barriers may appeal the decision. The Vice President of Human Resources serves as the ADA/504 Coordinator and reviews all appeals. Applicants must contact the ADA/504 Coordinator to initiate the appeal. Students must submit an appeal in writing using the “Disability and Accommodation Appeal Form” on the portal. The ADA/504 Coordinator will review the appeal form and interview the applicant or student to discuss the applicant or student’s appeal. The decision of the ADA/504 Coordinator will be final.

Contact Information

MBKU Student Disability Services Coordinator
Carmen Barnhardt, OD, MS Ed
Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services || 714-449-7423

MBKU Student Disability Services Assistant Coordinator
Ashley White, MA, MS
Director for University Student Affairs | | 714-449-7414

MBKU Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/504 Coordinator
Wende Holtzen, M.S., SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Vice President for Human Resources | | 714-449-7459