One of the main functions of Accessibility Services at the college level is to review students’ documentation and meet with students to determine appropriate accommodations. Accessibility Services also engages in check in appointments with students who request meetings during the semester. We connect students to appropriate resources and support students in developing the advocacy skills and self-awareness needed to succeed in college and beyond.
The IEP and 504 Plan from high school do not transfer to college. The student does not need to submit the IEP or 504 Plan to request accommodations. The laws and regulations that govern Accessibility Services in college are different from those that govern services in high school. Please review our website for more information about the changes to expect as the student transitions to college.
To request accommodations in college, students must self-identify. The student submits the appropriate Accessibility Services Packet or Packets to Accessibility Services. After the student has completed this step and has registered for courses, the student attends an intake appointment with a Disability Counselor to request specific accommodations. The intake emphasizes an open, collaborative effort between the student and the counselor to develop a set of reasonable accommodations. We suggest that students attend the intake independently so that students have the opportunity to establish a relationship with the Disability Counselor and to gain experience speaking about, making decisions about, and advocating for accommodations. Students can request changes to accommodations after the intake by contacting the Disability Counselor. Requested accommodations are reviewed by the Accessibility Services Team.
Accommodations are approved based on the nature of the disability and the documentation provided. Some courses and programs of study present specific limitations to accommodations. Because of these factors, it is not possible to determine accommodations prior to the intake interview.
Some accommodations that are not provided include fundamental changes to a student's courses or program of study, comprehensive socialization programs, aids who attend classes with students or who guide students during exams, and lowered standards for grading and evaluation.
To inform professors that the student has been approved for accommodations, the student delivers a Faculty Letter to each professor. The nature of the student's disability is not disclosed in the Faculty Letter. The student can voluntarily disclose information about his or her disability to the professor if the student deems it appropriate.
Confidentiality laws (FERPA, GRAMA, and the ADA) protect the student's privacy in post-secondary education. Therefore, Accessibility Services does not provide information about a student's attendance, grades, performance, or accommodations to parents. We encourage students to discuss their classes and academic progress with parents. Faculty members are legally prohibited from sharing information about students with parents. Students can request assistance in communicating with faculty, if needed, through Accessibility Services or The Student Support and Advising Center.
Many parents of students with disabilities have found it necessary to advocate for their children in educational settings prior to college. As a result, parents often experience anxiety when placing the full responsibility to succeed academically on their children. We urge parents to consider the opportunity that college presents to students to develop independent life skills. Parents can support their children most effectively by encouraging students to communicate openly, to evaluate their options, and to initiate resolutions. Accessibility Services is a resource for students to call on at the start of the semester and at times when academic difficulties arise.
The Student Guide to Accessibility Services is a comprehensive resource that answers many questions about requesting and using accommodations at the college level. Just click on the link on our home page.