Providing Disability Information and Documentation
Guidelines for Students
Being able to clearly describe your condition, its impact and your needs is important. Practicing this skill will help you to work with your disability service provider to identify needed equipment and services, establish appropriate accommodations, and develop compensatory strategies. The following questions will help you prepare to describe your condition, its impacts and your needs. Review them with your transition team, counselor, parents, and others who can help you anticipate the accommodations and services you will need in college. You may want to write notes to help you present your requests and explain your needs when you meet with your disabilities counselor at college.
How do you describe your condition?
How do you describe your condition and how do you want it described to others? You may choose to keep information about your disability confidential. The disability services office will need to have enough information to evaluate the need for accommodations and services. Instructors need considerably less information and may be told as little as which accommodations are appropriate. Even if your disability is not visible or obvious it is likely that at some point a few of your new friends and classmates will notice an accommodation; how will you describe your situation to them?
What is the impact of your condition?
It is helpful to think about how your condition has impacted you in various situations in the past, then to consider how it is likely to impact the typical activities you can expect to encounter at college. You may want to pay particular attention to the following contexts:
1. Classes (lectures, laboratory, physical activity, web based instruction);
2. Assignments (reading, writing, calculating, keyboarding, library work, group work, internet based homework);
3. Communication (speaking, listening, writing, using phones, using e‐mail);
4. Evaluation (tests, papers, oral repots group presentations/projects);
5. Time Constraints (timed tests, college deadline, assignment due dates);
6. Attendance (class, required activities out of class, residential requirements);
7. Campus (mobility; orientation/navigation, transportation);
8. Residence Halls (room mates, food issues, climate control);
9. Co‐Curricular (clubs, organizations, events, athletics,)
What have you tried in the past?
What accommodations, auxiliary aids, adaptive equipment, modifications and services have been provided in the past? Which ones work well? Which ones did not?
What do you anticipate needing at college?
The Office of Accommodative Services utilizes a ‘Student Self-Assessment Survey” to provide a comprehensive and structured approach at determining accommodations and services. Reviewing these guidelines will enable you to complete that survey and engage in a meaningful discussion during your intake interview.