Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Electronic Case Management

The leadership team from Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) approached Student Life Technology Solutions (SLTS) with the challenge of modernizing a primarily paper-based set of workflows and associated record-keeping.

SAAS strives to provide an inclusive and equitable educational environment for students with disabilities. SAAS, a unit within the Division of Student Life, unites four key resources: 

After putting the nascent project idea through the SLTS project onboarding process, as outlined in a previous Michigan IT article, the project fell into the “strategic” category due to its potential impact on students and the greater campus community. 

In collaboration with SAAS and Information and Technology Services (ITS), SLTS implemented a core electronic case management system. This system streamlines the process for students, faculty, and staff to request, approve, and implement disability-related accommodations. 

Embracing the digital age, SAAS made a significant advancement by adopting Symplicity’s Accommodate software, transitioning to an online platform with time-saving automations.

Allen Sheffield, the associate director of SAAS, shares, “The transition from paper files to Accommodate has allowed us to provide faster and more personalized support for students. It also enhanced our understanding of the students we serve. Accommodate serves as a critical hub in our work with students and our partners, allowing us to communicate, provide up-to-date resources, and better effectively coordinate accommodations for an ever-growing population.”

The new cloud-based system enables SAAS and partners across campus to efficiently track accommodation requests and solutions on an accessible platform. Campus partners can stay informed about the accommodations their students need for full participation in campus life. Students benefit from a clear and transparent process that gets them the services and accommodations they need.

“Accommodate is the primary tool our team has used to function effectively in the modern university environment,” Sheffield added. “We look forward to continuing to update Accommodate, as well as find other innovative ways we can work with the university community in support of increasing accessibility for students at U-M.”

SLTS provided a project manager and technical expertise to work on system and data integrations, while ITS Enterprise Application Services assisted by providing a data feed from the campus Student Information System, PeopleSoft. SAAS provided subject matter expertise and assisted with process definition and revision.

Extending the partnership even further, SLTS works with SAAS to provide technical support for their Testing Accommodations Centers. In SLTS, we continually seek new and innovative collaborations with our partners across Student Life.