Qualification for Accommodation
Initial contact with Disability Services is usually by phone call at which time an appointment will be arranged for a confidential discussion of disability. Documentation of the disability by a qualified physician, psychologist, neurologist, or other professional will be requested. This documentation must include the physician’s or other professional’s summary of tests given, interpretation of those tests, outline of the history of the disability, and any prescribed remedies, such as hearing devices or medications. The documentation should also include recommendations for accommodations. The documentation may be submitted at the initial appointment, faxed, sent as an e-mail attachment, or through regular postal delivery. Accommodation services cannot begin until documentation has been received and qualification determined. Following the initial office meeting, the student may meet with Disability Services whenever needed.
Disability Certification (Accommodation Request) Forms
After a student has been qualified for services, he or she must complete a Disability Certification form for the advisor and each instructor, every semester. These forms inform the instructor of a disability for which academic adjustments are being requested, and what specific adjustments are suggested to accommodate the student. They do not inform the instructor of the name of the disability. The student is responsible for picking up the forms, hand-delivering them to each instructor and speaking directly with the faculty member regarding academic accommodations.
Discussing academic adjustments/accommodations needs directly with faculty members is an excellent way to increase student’s self-confidence and ability to discuss his/her needs. This is good preparation for life beyond college, where there may not be as many support services in place to help arrange individual accommodations. Discussing student needs with faculty members also helps the instructor better understand the individual situation and allows them to get to know the student personally.
Students must request Disability Certification forms from the Disability Services office. These verify eligibility and that the documentation is on file. Each semester, students must bring class schedules (including professors’ and advisor names) to the Disability Services office in order to receive the Disability Certification forms.
Students must follow these steps to request academic adjustments and/or accommodations:
- Print out a copy of your class schedule with names of your professors and take it to Disability Services in Fairchild, Room 4. Forms may not be immediately available so do this a few days before you need them.
- Hand deliver the forms to your instructors. It is best to make an appointment first so that you will have an opportunity to introduce yourself, explain your needs, and discuss the accommodations. Personal appointments also ensure confidentiality of your conversation. (Simply handing the form to an instructor prior to the beginning of class or at the end of class is not appropriate, since there is a greater chance of the form becoming misplaced or forgotten.)
- Clarify your confidentiality preferences regarding your situation. If you do not want your accommodation needs shared with a Teaching Assistant or another faculty member, you will need to discuss this with your instructor to ensure that withholding that information will not impact the core content of the course presentation.
- Discuss accommodation requests with your instructors at the beginning of each semester as you present your accommodation request forms. For extended time and/or quiet room testing accommodations, remind your instructor, before each test, of your need and arrange with them the time/room and how the test is to be delivered to the room. You must have your instructor complete a Testing Accommodation Form that you will receive with your request form. This form details the specific testing instructions for the individual class. If you are to take the test at the Learning Center, you must contact the Learning Center at least two (2) business days in advance to discuss those arrangements. If you require a test reader or scribe, you must notify the Learning Center at least five (5) business days in advance. The Learning Center must have a completed copy of the Testing Accommodation form, signed by the professor, prior to administering any testing. Tests and exams must be taken at the same time as they are scheduled for the rest of the class unless otherwise approved by the instructor.
It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for his/her own accommodations.