Registering and Using Our Services
Students register with Accessibility Services when they need accommodations or disability support during their time at the University. If you have a disability and are interested in registering with us, be prepared to:
- Explain your disability.
- Describe how the disability affects you in a university setting.
- Discuss the types of accommodations or services that may be needed.
Registering with Accessibility Services - The Documentation and Intake Process
Providing written documentation of the disability is generally the first step to receiving Accessibility Services accommodations and is helpful when scheduling an intake appointment. Such documentation must come from a qualified professional such as a medical doctor, mental health worker, or learning specialist. Documentation should be current, include a specific diagnosis, and describe the functional limitations that affect you in an academic setting.
Students with medical or psychological disabilities can turn in a completed medical or psychological diagnosis intake form. Students with a cognitive or learning problems may turn in a comprehensive learning assessment report, including results of cognitive and academic testing, preferably dated within the past three to five years (see our learning assessment general information for more information).
Students become officially registered with Accessibility Services through the intake process, which begins with a one-on-one meeting with a counselor. During this meeting, you will be asked to share your personal experience of disability and specific needs. You may be asked about your school and accommodation history and your current educational goals. Finally, your accessibility counselor will determine the most appropriate accommodations for you and will explain how to arrange them. The determination of accommodations is based on a combination of factors including the information you provide during the intake.
The Determination of Accommodations Document
By the end of the intake, you may be provided with a Determination of Accommodations document. This document lists a student's accommodations as approved by our office and based on functional limitations. Only accommodations specified on this document will be rendered. The Determination of Accommodations document is often used to initiate discussions with professors about specific classroom and testing accommodations, as it proves your registration with our office and your eligibility for accommodations. If your needs change, make an appointment with your Accessibility Counselor to review your accommodations. An update to the Determination of Accommodations document will be made if changes are warranted.
Arranging Accommodations Each Quarter
Depending on the accommodation, students may need to complete additional paperwork before each new quarter in order to arrange or continue their accommodations. For instance, students who need accessible media or sign language interpreters must request these services well in advance of the quarter. Other students will need to complete paperwork throughout the quarter (e.g., those needing accessible testing). Your counselor will orient you to the policies regulating your particular accommodation use. If you are confused about your responsibility for arranging accommodations, please contact your counselor to review these policies. It is very important for students to keep the accommodation policies and deadlines in mind.
Meeting with Instructors
We strongly encourage students to schedule a meeting with their instructors as early as possible in the quarter. The purpose of this meeting is to identify yourself as a student registered with Accessibility Services and to review your accommodations as listed on your Determination of Accommodations document. Making an appointment with your instructor or dropping by during office hours is generally a good idea. We suggest you introduce yourself, briefly describe your disability if you feel comfortable doing so, and use the Determination of Accommodations document to explain your accommodation needs.
Follow-up Appointments with Your Counselor
We recommend that students check in regularly with their Accessibility Counselor. During follow up meetings, counselors may increase students' comfort in understanding, discussing, and coping with disability issues. Counselors might suggest ways for students to communicate more effectively with faculty and resolve academic or accommodation problems. They may also help students identify appropriate study or testing strategies. Finally, counselors can refer students to auxiliary services such as tutoring, academic advising, and wellness counseling. If you have any questions about your accommodations (or if your accommodations' review date is nearing), contact your counselor.
Revising the Determination of Accommodation Document
For some students, the accommodations determined during the intake continue to be necessary throughout their years at the University. Other students find their needs changing as their disability or academic program changes. If you believe an accommodation is no longer necessary or should be added, schedule an appointment with your counselor. In some cases, the Determination of Accommodations document is able to be revised immediately. In other cases, counselors will request additional information before adding an accommodation. If you'll be starting an academic internship, student teaching placement, or practicum, your counselor may need to speak with faculty from your department or your internship supervisor to best determine accommodations.
A request for an accommodation may be denied when a student asks for an accommodation that we do not offer, that the student is not eligible to use, or that the counselor has deemed unreasonable or inappropriate. If your accommodation request is denied, your counselor should explain this decision. Take the time to listen and ask questions during this process to help you to gain a better understanding of how your accommodations are related to your specific functional limitations.
Students who believe their denied request for accommodation is still valid may pursue the matter through an accommodation appeal process. Students who have successfully revised their accommodations should follow up with their counselor to ensure that the new accommodations are provided and used in an effective manner.