ACU is committed to providing an equal opportunity educational experience for our students, and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the areas of admissions, accessibility, treatment, or employment. Arizona Christian University complies with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA) of 1990, and Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008.

Any ACU student with a documented disability has the opportunity to request reasonable and appropriate accommodations to provide access to courses, programs, activities, and housing offered by the University.



ACU’s Disability Services is dedicated to making academic programs, services, and facilities accessible to all students with disabilities. We aim to provide reasonable accommodations* for students to succeed, regardless of learning, psychological, or physical disabilities.

Students requesting accommodations are required to submit the completed Accommodation Request and Documentation Form to the Disability Services Department.

Our team works with other departments such as Academics and Athletics on your behalf.

Examples of classroom learning accommodations:

    • Extended time for testing and separate testing area
    • Note-taking assistance
    • Permission to audio-record class sessions

Examples of housing accommodations:

  • Air conditioning in residence hall
  • First-floor room in residence hall
  • ADA-accessible room



How do I obtain accommodations?

  1. Complete the Accommodation Request and Documentation Form. All information is kept confidential.
  2. Submit the form and required documentation to the Disability Services Department Requirements for documentation at ACU are based on Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Best Practices. Documentation of the disability must be current (not older than one year) and provided by a qualified healthcare professional such as a diagnosing or current physician, psychiatrist or psychologist.
  3. The Director of Academic Services will provide the student with a written Accommodation Agreement Memorandum for the student to sign.



When should I contact ACU’s Disability Services Department about my disability?

Incoming students with a documented disability should fill out an accommodation request form before the semester begins – ideally at least 45 days in advance.  Accommodations cannot be implemented unless the student has finished the intake process. Returning students who have approved accommodations are required to contact the disability services coordinator to establish accommodations each semester.

What is the difference between disability services offered for students in college vs. high school?

There are many differences.  For example, in college the student is responsible for self-identifying and applying for accommodations.  Please refer to the “High School vs. College” table below to briefly learn more about the differences of receiving accommodations between high school and college.

Do I still have to apply if I had an IEP or 504 in high school?

Yes, you MUST complete and submit an Accommodation Request and Documentation Form as well as provide documentation of the disability provided by a licensed medical provider. You may submit a copy of your IEP or 504 Plan, but it is not required and is not sufficient documentation by itself.

Will I receive the same accommodations that I received in high school?

Students should not assume that accommodations provided in high school will also be given in college. College course expectations and objectives differ from that of high school and therefore, accommodations implemented may differ in college. The college provides reasonable accommodations* and does not modify course content or objectives; accommodations are provided to ensure equal access.

I think I have a learning disability but I do not have current documentation or have never been tested. What should I do?

If you feel you have a disability, it is best to have an evaluation during your junior/senior year of high school. If you have graduated or the high school will not provide the re-evaluation, you should meet with a qualified professional in your local area. Costs incurred for obtaining appropriate documentation are the responsibility of the student and are not provided by the college.

If you have questions, you may want to talk to your insurance (your private insurance MAY cover it) and a licensed medical doctor/psychologist/psychiatrist who can do the testing (or knows someone who can).

What are the differences between high school and college accommodations?


Education is a RIGHT and must be provided in an appropriate environment to ALL individuals. The school district is responsible for identifying a student’s disability.

School district provides free testing, evaluation, and transportation to the program.

School district develops the Individualized Education Plans (IEP) to define educational services.

Through the school district, the IEP Team determines all IEP supports and services that will be provided.

Fundamental alteration of programs and curricula are required.

Personal services for medical or physical disability are required.


Education is NOT a RIGHT. Students must meet certain admissions criteria defined under ADA as “otherwise qualified.”

Students must SELF-IDENTIFY with ACU’s Disability Services Department.

Students must provide current and appropriate documentation. The student is responsible for all costs related to evaluation of the disability.

NO IEP is developed in college, as there is no special education.

The student is responsible to activate the approved services at the start of each semester.

No fundamental alterations are required.

No personal services are required.

*Accommodations of policies and practices are not required when it would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity or give rise to an undue financial or administrative burden.

For more information, contact Brenda Spear at [email protected]


Academic Center Staff

Brenda Spear

Director of Academic Services

As the Academic Director at ACU, I have the privilege of working with students, faculty and staff. I especially enjoy developing relationships with the students and walking them through the rigors of college academia. I love my job.  I love making something that students think is so hard and making it palatable.  I love running interference for kids.  I love watching their joy and giving them a high five when they get good grades. Seven years of experience running my own private tutoring business taught me some invaluable lessons that I bring to ACU’s Academic Center where students can receive counseling, tutoring, and testing.  Students with disabilities who have special educational needs are also coached there on how to get the most out of their college experience. My background as a teacher serves me well in administering to their special needs. My job is very rewarding and satisfying.

Questions About Admissions?
Contact the Office of Admissions at (602) 489-5300