Frequently Asked Questions

I need accommodations for my disability. How do I register for services?

Visit our webpage on How to Register for Services to learn more about our process in 3 steps.

Why does Disability Services need documentation?

Disability Services is the campus office designated to determine accommodations for UNC Charlotte students with disabilities. Students provide valuable information regarding their disability and the barriers they experince. Supporting documentation is necessry because the disability and its impact is not always readily observable. Documentation helps us understand the specifc disability and the related impacts. Visit our Documentation page for more information.

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

Generally, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan alone is not sufficient documentation because they can lack the detail needed at the college level. However, some IEPs and 504 Plans are very thorough and provide the detailed information needed. If you submit and IEP or 504 Plan and no other supporting documentation, be aware that we may require additional documentation in order to make a determination of eligibility.

What is a Registration appointment?

Once your documentation is reviewed and eligibility is determined, the registration appointment is your initial meeting with your assigned DS staff member 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.

Do I need to re-register every semester?

No – but you do need to send your accommodation letters to your faculty each semester that accommodations are needed.

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 staff member about disability-related issues and accommodations. Contact your DS staff member 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.

How do I talk about my accommodations with my faculty and protect my privacy?

Privacy should not interfere with your ability to advocate for yourself. Consider sending an email or talking with your professor during their office hours. Additionally, your accommodation letter does not reveal your diagnosis, and you are not expected to disclose your diagnosis to your faculty. However, being able to talk about how you use your accommodations is very helpful. Consider sharing information about your accommodations, such as: “My disability causes unpredictable flare-ups that can impact my attendance, Or maybe, “I use a SmartPen to assist me with note taking so that I capture the details.

Students can successfully talk about their accommodation needs without telling faculty specifically about the underlying cause or their diagnosis. However, if you need some help knowing how to talk with your faculty, please let your DS staff member know. We can provide guidance and help you think through talking points.

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. The DS staff members work closely with students to determine appropriate accommodations based on documentation and 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 assigned DS staff member. 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 assigned DS staff member as soon as possible. If the situation is complex, schedule an Advisement appointment to get further assistance.

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

Temporary conditions, depending on severity and impact, may qualify for accommodations. Sometimes, if the issue is a short-term stay in the hospital, students need to connect with Student Assistance and Support Services instead of Disability Services. Sometimes students need both the SASS Office *and* Disability Services. Feel free to contact us with your questions.

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

For students, pregnancy itself is not considered to be a disability. However, medical conditions or complications may develop during the pregnancy that require temporary disability accommodations. Students who need guidance regarding a typical pregnancy – how to navigate doctor’s appointments and your due date, for example – should contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. If disability-related accommodations due to pregnancy are also needed, Disability Services works in conjunction with the campus Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Office to assist our pregnant students with those disability-related accommodations. Documentation for Classroom Accommodations from your treating physician will be required if accommodations for a disabling condition are needed.

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.