Frequently Asked Questions


For Students:

For Parents:

For Students

What is a disability?

“A person with a disability” is defined as “any person who

  1. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,
  2. Has record of such an impairment, or
  3. Is regarded as having such an impairment.”

Disabilities normally fall under one of three categories – physical disorders, psychological disorders, or learning disabilities. An individual may have more than one disability.

What are considered “reasonable” accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations at the post-secondary level are designed to make the educational setting and service readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may include extended time for testing, opportunity to take tests in an alternative setting, notetakers, sign language interpreters, captioning services, specialized equipment, scribes and readers, et al. Only accommodations that do not fundamentally alter the nature of a program and the key elements of a course and are not unduly burdensome financially or administratively are considered “reasonable.”

I am nervous about talking to my instructors. How should I approach them about my need for accomodations?

Disability services encourages students to meet privately with each instructor to discuss the accomodation form and your needs. Most faculty are familiar with the accomodation process and are encouraged to contact Disability Services if they have questions. Meeting privately rather than before, during, or after class, allows for more privacy and the opportunity to discuss your situation openly.

What should I do if I have been diagnosed with a disability and need accommodations?

All students needing accommodations must submit documentation of their disability to Disability Services on the campus they attend. All documentation received is considered pending until students complete an initial intake appointment. In most cases, appropriate accommodations are determined at the intake appointment.

In high school I received accommodations through an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 plan. Can I use the IEP or 504 plan as documentation of my disability?

No. The IEP and the 504 plan is a helpful source of information, but is not sufficient as documentation of the disability.

Will I have the same accommodations I had in high school?

Not necessarily. The goal of accommodations in higher education is to promote equal access and opportunity. Thus, accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Who will know I have a disability and use accommodations?

Disability Services values confidentiality.Your disability documentation is not considered part of your academic record. When you use accommodations in the classroom, instructors will know that you are registered with Disability Services based on the form that you deliver. Information regarding your diagnosis is shared on a need-to-know basis in order to provide accomodations.

Will my transcript reflect that I have received accommodations in my classes?

No. Your disability information is considered confidential and is not included on your transcript.

What should I do if I think I have a disability, but have never been diagnosed or tested?

A student who suspects he or she may have a disability should contact Disability Services and schedule an appointment to discuss his or her individual situation. Based on your history and experiences, you will be provided with information and possibly referrals. Disability Services does not conduct testing for learning disabilities or communication disorders, attention disorders, and/or psychological functioning; however, if such testing seems appropriate, you can be referred to clinicians who provide such services.


For Parents

Will I still be able to be as involved in my student's accommodation plan as I was in high school?

Typically, you will not be as involved as in high school.  Once a student is 18 years old and in college, they are generally considered an adult, and all services provided by Disability Services are considered confidential. This means that they cannot be discussed without the student's written permission. If you are concerned about your child’s accommodations, encourage your child to talk with Disability Services about the concerns. You are also welcome to schedule an appointment with the Disability Services for yourself and your child.

Will you automatically know if my student is having difficulty in his/her classes?

No. We are unable to track a student's progress in every class. While we are happy to assist them when they are having difficulty, we leave it up to the student to request such intervention. As a parent, the best thing you can do is to encourage your son or daughter to maintain contact with their instructors and Disability Services before problems arise.

I can't afford to have my child re-evaluated. Are there any other resources?

If your child is covered on a parent's insurance plan, the insurance may cover a portion of the testing. Individual plans vary, so contact your insurance company to determine if any psychoeducational evaluation is covered. In addition, you may contact the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DARS) office to determine if your child is eligible for services through DARS. If so, DARS may assist with an updated evaluation to determine appropriate vocational goals. Disability Services also has a referral list of local providers who provide evaluation services on a sliding scale and you may contact various providers.

My student has trouble with organization and time management. I am worried about him being able to get to class on time. Will your office make sure he does?

No. This is the student's responsibility, but we are happy to provide him or her with resources and information regarding time management, organizational skills, etc.