FAQ for Registered Students

What is a Registration appointment?

Once your documentation is reviewed and eligibility is determined, the registration appointment is your initial meeting with a DS counselor to determine appropriate accommodations through an interactive process.  During your Registration appointment your counselor will also set up your access to the DS Portal, our accommodation management system.

How do I notify my faculty about my accommodations?

Disability Services uses an online accommodation system, the DS Portal, for students to manage their accommodations. Returning students must schedule a check-in appointment to establish access to the DS Portal. Once access to the Portal is established, students use the DS Portal to request accommodations and send their Accommodation Letters directly to their professors; schedule tests, quizzes, and final exams; and request note taking services and download notes, if applicable.

Registered students may make appointments as needed to consult with their DS counselor about disability-related issues and accommodations. Contact your counselor or visit our Student Consultation and Advisement webpage to learn more.

Should I meet with my faculty about my accommodations?

Yes, absolutely. Once you send your Accommodation Letters to your faculty via the Portal, follow up with an in-person meeting to discuss those accommodations with your faculty. Students with 100% online classes should follow up with the faculty via email to address their accommodations.

But what about my privacy?

Privacy should not interfere with your ability to advocate for yourself. Your accommodation letter does not reveal your diagnosis, and you are not expected to disclose your diagnosis to your faculty. But you may be able to share very helpful information, such as: "My disability causes unpredictable flare-ups that might impact my attendance,"  Or maybe, "It can be difficult for me to focus on both the lecture and taking notes, and so I use a SmartPen to assist me with note taking so that I capture the details." 

Often students can successfully talk about their accommodation needs without telling faculty specifically the underlying cause or their diagnosis. However, if you need some help knowing how to talk with your faculty, please let your DS counselor know. 

Am I required to take my test/exams in Disability Services?

No. Alternative testing is a common accommodation, and we provide testing accommodations in the DS Test Center for many students with disabilities. We prioritize testing in Disability Services for students who need specialized equipment or assistive technology/software to take their test, followed by students who need to be ensured a lower distraction test environment. Students who test in Disability Services will be given access to schedule their tests and final exams using the online system, DS Student Portal.

Some students prefer to test with their instructor in the class. In these cases, students should pre-arrange alternative testing directly with their instructors to ensure that accommodations can be made. You should not make this request of your instructor on test day. Instead, plan ahead. If your instructor has questions about providing your accommodations, please refer him or her to our office. Vist the Testing link under Academic Accommodations for more information.

My friend gets copies of class notes through Disability Services, why can’t I receive these as well?

Appropriate accommodations are determined based on many factors including disability documentation, student interview, and the professional judgment of a Disability Services counselor. Counselors work closely with students to determine appropriate accommodations based on the impact of the individual's disability. Therefore, it is possible that two students with the same disability have different accommodations. If you have questions about your accommodations, please make an appointment with a counselor.

I am eligible for class notes, but I haven't received any. What should I do?

There are several student responsibilities in securing class notes. First, you must register with Disability Services. Then you must be set up in the DS Portal to be able to request the supplemental class notes accommodation. If this accommodation is approved, you will then request a Note Taker via the Portal Note Taker module. Once you request your Note-Taker in the online system, an email will be sent to the class in which class notes are needed. We ask that you wait a week for notes to be provided. If you are not receiving notes or experience any issues with quality, please contact your DS counselor. However, if faculty provide students access to detailed class notes then a note taker may not be secured. Visit Class Notes and Student Responsibilities pages to learn more.

Can Disability Services change my professor's assignment deadlines because of my disability?

Most deadlines for course assignments are identified on the course syllabus, which students receive at the start of the semester. Assignment extensions due to disability are not typically provided unless there has been a severe excerabation resulting in extended absence from classes. Students should plan to start large assignments early to allow the time to complete their work. If you experience absences or miss deadlines due to a major disability-related event, contact Disability Services for further support. Additional documentation may be required. You must also follow up with your professor(s) as soon as possible to address missed classes or assignments. Excessive absences and missed or late assignments can have a negative impact upon your overall grade, regardless of disability.

I have difficulty accessing some books in the library due to my disability; is there support available?

YES. Students experiencing difficulty with accessing shelved books or resources can request assistance from a librarian. Students can visit the online library catalog and once the book information is found, it can be printed and given to a librarian for further assistance.

My accommodation needs have changed and/or I have some concerns. What should I do?

If your needs change or you have concerns related to your accommodations, notify your DS counselor as soon as possible. If the situation is complex, schedule an Advisement appointment to get further assistance.