How to Register with Student Disability Services
If you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation, you must report your disability directly to Student Disability Services (SDS). Early disclosure of a disability has been found to be a positive indicator for academic success. Thus, the disability is best disclosed immediately after acceptance to the University. Additionally, early disclosure allows sufficient time to develop modifications if they are found to be needed. Accommodation requests cannot be considered until the student has submitted the appropriate documentation to SDS and has also engaged in an interactive discussion with an appropriate SDS staff member. See the individual sections below for information on the process for establishing eligibility for accommodations.
It is the student's responsibility to contact Student Disability Services to report the disability. Ideally, this should be done as soon as possible after acceptance to the University or immediately following an injury or a diagnosis of a disorder. Reporting the disability to any other department or representative of the University will not initiate the official procedure needed to establish eligibility for support services.
Documentation should be age-appropriate and in most cases, should state a diagnosis and functional limitations of the disability within an educational setting. Typically, it should be printed or typed on official letterhead, or SDS documentation forms, and completed and signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis. Documentation from a family member, even if qualified professional, cannot be accepted.
- Documentation Guidelines, which may help facilitate the documentation process, are available under Frequently Used Forms. However, completion of the relevant form is not necessarily required because each person's situation is unique. Other forms of documentation are often accepted; please contact SDS at 317-940-9308 for an individualized discussion about your circumstances as they relate to the necessary documentation. Documentation can be submitted by fax at 317-940-9036, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping it off in Jordan Hall 136.
- Up-to-date information outlining the student's current level of functioning can provide an additional level of information that may allow for the development of a comprehensive plan of accommodation and support.
- Once documentation is received, an SDS team member will initiate an individualized discussion with the student. This is necessary in order to finalize registration with SDS.
- Review this policy and the University Documentation Guidelines with the professional who will be conducting the evaluation. In this way, the evaluation can be individualized to fit the student's diagnostic needs as well as to include University requirements. The evaluation is to be done at the student's own expense.
- Receipt and review of documentation must occur before requests can be considered.
- Diagnosis (if found) should be specific in nature. Recommendations for adjustments (if found to be needed) can be helpful if they are directly linked to the diagnostic data.
- Requests will be considered on an individualized case by case basis. Because "not all students with a similar handicap benefit equally from an identical auxiliary aid or service" ( U.S. Department of Education, 1991) the documentation will serve as a foundation to substantiate the need for the requested adjustment.
- If the documentation substantiates the need for accommodations, a plan of assistance will be developed.
- If the student wishes to access the accommodations, he/she must grant written permission for the Office of Student Disability Services to issue a letter of notification to pertinent faculty members. This letter verifies that the student has a documented disability. It also delineates the suggested accommodations.
- Students who are requesting accommodations should allow one week advance notice to ensure appropriate and timely consideration of accommodations. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that the accommodations can be considered on a timely basis.
- Support services do not include services/equipment of a personal nature.
The disclosure of information regarding a disability is voluntary and will not result in discriminatory action. The submitted information is regarded as strictly confidential and will be shared with other University officials only on an as needed basis and with student or parental permission (depending on the student's age).