FAQ for Prospective Students

How do I register for services?

Students seeking accommodations must first submit disability documentation completed by their appropriate treating medical provider. After your documentation has been reviewed, a letter regarding your eligibility will be sent to your University email account.  Eligibility determination typically takes 4-6 business days from the time that the documentation is received in the office.  Instructions and next steps are provided in the determination letter.  If you are eligible, registration with Disability Services is not complete until you meet with a DS counselor for a registration appointment. Services can not be set-up until the registration process is complete. Please visit our page on How to Register for Services for more information.

After I register with Disability Services, do I need to come back each semester?

We have moved to an online system called the DS Portal. When you register for services, you are given access to the DS Portal, which you will use to request your accommodations at the beginning of each semester. Students are welcome to have an in-person Check In appointment if they wish - we are always happy to meet with you! If you prefer an in-person Check-In, call 704‑687‑0040 to schedule. Students may also make appointments as needed throughout the semester. Visit our Registered Students page for more information.

If I register for services, will it appear on my transcript?

No. Disability documentation is kept separate from academic records. For more information, visit our Retention and Privacy of Records page.

Why does Disability Services need documentation?

Disability Services is the campus office designated to determine accommodations for UNC Charlotte students with disabilities. Documentation helps us to establish that there is a disability and provides information about the impacts and needs. Visit our Documentation page for more information.

When I register with Disability Services, should I bring a parent with me?

Most students who register with our office do so on their own. Under FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act), you are an adult, and are strongly encouraged to advocate for yourself. 

What kind of accommodations are available?

Accommodations are determined based on your documented needs and the nature of your disability through an interactive process with your DS counselor. The accommodations provided will be directly related to your documented disability. Visit our Academic Accommodations page for more information.

Is my disability status confidential?

In college, disability records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We are careful to ensure your privacy. Faculty will need to know you are registered with Disability Services and information about your accommodations in order to provide those accommodations in the classroom. However, faculty do not need to know your diagnosis. As such, your diagnosis does not appear on your Accommodation Letter. Visit our Records Retention page for more infomation.

I have a disability, but want to try college without accommodations. Is this a good idea?

The decision to seek accommodations is entirely up to you. Many registered students have said that they wish they would have taken advantage of accommodations earlier on in their college career. It is better to have the support at your disposal  than to go it alone.  If you change your mind and don’t feel you need the accommodations, you can always make that choice.  Keep in mind that disability accommodations are proactive, not retroactive.  If you find yourself doing poorly because of not having accommodations, don't delay- schedule an appointment to meet with a DS counselor and set-up services.

How do I request disability accommodations for my on-campus housing?

Contact the Office of Disability Services with your request for housing accommodations and provide the supporting Disability Documentation and Housing and Meal Plan Addendum forms.  In addition, you must identify the disability housing accommodation needed on the Housing application.  Housing will not make the assignment related to accessibility until they receive confirmation from Disability Services.   The Office of Disability Services does not handle Housing assignments and will not request specific residence halls for students. Our office works with Housing and Residence Life to identify reasonable and appropriate accommodations based on disability related needs only and not personal preferences. Housing and Residence Life must have your  application and deposit  in order to make assignments. It is strongly advised that you submit your housing application early, especially if accommodations are needed.  Housing is granted on a first come-first serve basis.  There is limited availability.   Visit Housing and Residence Life for more information about deadlines and the application process.

Does Disability Services help me get the roommate(s) I want?

Disability Services is not involved with roommate selection. You must indicate your preference on the housing application. Roommates must be mutually agreed upon and all roommates must submit applications and deposits in order for Housing to honor requests. For more information, contact the Assignments Office.

I want a single dorm room because I'm afraid I will not be able to study or concentrate with roommates around. What do I do?

While living with roommates can be challenging, there are many resources for students living on campus. Within every residence hall there are quiet study areas. Additionally, Atkins Library is in close proximity to many residence halls and is a great place to study.  Any student can apply for a single room assignment for additional charges. For more information please contact Housing and Residence Life.

What if I have a temporary condition such as a broken arm or leg?

Although a temporary condition, such as a broken arm or leg, does not typically meet the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we may still be able to provide some short-term support to assist you. You must first submit documentation. If approved, assistance will be time specific and directly linked to the impact of your condition.  For more information, go to the Temporary Condition page.

How do I find out who my assigned Disability Services counselor is?

Students who register with Disability Services are welcome to meet with any counselor they choose. This allows the student to access appointments that fit into their schedule and does not limit them to one counselor. However, if you have a preference, please make that known when scheduling your appointment. For more information, visit the Individual Appointments and Consultation page .

Can I go to my DS counselor for academic advising?

No, DS counselors do not provide academic advising. Academic advising is provided by academic advisors and faculty who are trained to provide this service. You will need to find out who your advisor is and make an appointment with that individual.

Does your office provide academic tutors?

Tutors can be arranged through the University Center for Academic Excellence (UCAE) and sometimes through the academic department. For example, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics has a a Mathematics Learning Center with available tutors for many of the math courses offered in the department. While our office does not provide tutors, we can provide a referral for students who are registered with our office. Please check out our Resources page to link to the tutorial services.

Can I use my high school IEP or 504 Plan as documentation for college?

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is not sufficient documentation to register with Disability Services. We will need current and comprehensive documentation from your treating physician or psychologist. Please visit our Differences between High School and University Disability Services page for more information.

How can I get copies of my documentation?

We strongly recommend you make a copy of your documentation prior to submitting it to our office in case you need it in the future. You need to be familiar with your documentation so that you can effectively communicate your needs. Should you need a copy of your most recent documentation once you submitted it to Disability Services, please contact our office to get a copy of the Student Consent to Release Protected Information form.

I have depression/anxiety. Are there any services for me?

Disability Services works with many students with anxiety and/or depression. In fact, students with psychological disabilities comprise our fastest growing population of students with disabilities. While we do not provide personal counseling, we can assist you in areas where your disability impacts your academics. Documentation by a your treating heathcare provider is needed to determine if you qualify for services. Even if you don’t seek accommodations, we encourage you to obtain support through the campus counseling center and/or an outside agency. Visit Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS) for information about the campus counseling center.

I'm blind/low vision. Will your office help me navigate the campus and make sure I get to my classes?

Students are responsible for learning to navigate campus and getting to their classes. Disability Services does not provide orientation/mobility training and does not accompany students to their classes. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an orientation/mobility coach from a community agency, such as Metrolina Association for the Blind or NC Services for the Blind, at least a month prior to the start of the semester. Proper planning is necessary for your success in navigating the campus independently.

In high school I had someone help me organize my homework/projects. Does your office do this?

Disability Services does not provide supports of a personal nature such as assistance with home work or academic coaching. There are support services on campus such as the University Center for Academic Excellence that can help you with college survival skills. Please click on our Differences Between High School and College and our Resources pages for more information.

English is my second language and I am having difficulty with my courses. Do I qualify for accommodations such as note taking and extended time for testing?

Difficulty with coursework that is the result of learning in a non-primary language is not a disability. The definition of a disability is a permanent or long-term physical or mental condition that impacts a major life activity. Therefore, being an ESL student alone, does not qualify one for accommodations.  However, any student can seek the support of the Office of Disability Services as a result of a documented learning, physical, medical, or psychological disability.

I'm pregnant. Will the Office of Disability Services provide me with accommodations?

Although pregnancy is not considered to be a disability, medical conditions or complications may develop during the pregnancy that require accommodations.  Disability Services works in conjunction with the campus Title IX Office to assist our pregnant students who need accommodations. Documentation from your treating physician will be required if accommodations for a disabling condition are needed. If eligible, appropriate accommodations will be explored with a DS counselor. 

I'm taking continuing education courses and need academic accommodations. What do I do?

When registering for a continuing education course, indicate your accommodation request on the registration form. In addition, you must contact Continuing Education Office AND the Associate Director in the Office of Disability Services with your specific accommodation needs. Please note that at least 2 weeks notice is needed to ensure adequate time for accommodations.

What is a Personal Care Attendant? Is this a service offered by the Office of Disability Services?

A personal care attendant is utilized by some students to assist with activities of daily living. Personal care attendants are not provided by the University. It is a student's responsibly to assess their abilities and to make all necessary arrangements for acquiring and maintaining services from a personal care attendant. If living on campus is planned, it is essential to make attendant arrangements early to ensure that full access to campus is available at the start of the semester. Please visit the Personal Care Attendant page for more information.