Identifying a Disability

Students are required to obtain and provide documentation verifying they have a disability that limits their academic success. Disability documentation must be prepared by a licensed health care professional, and identify the nature and functional impact of the impairment.  Students should also identify the accommodations received in previous educational settings.

Self-identification:

  • Students are required to self-identify their disability and need for accommodations by making contact with the DSS office; DSS personnel will not seek out students with disabilities.  Students may self-identify at any point during the semester.
  • Students often first contact and may even meet with the director of DSS during the spring of their senior year.
  • Students might approach their professor about having learning problems; the professor should suggest that the student contact the director of DSS to discuss possible accommodations.  The professor can alert the DSS director about the student, but the student must self-identify to officially begin the DSS process.

Determination of eligibility for services:

The DSS Director is responsible for determining student eligibility for academic adjustments and services. Eligibility decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and take into consideration disability documentation, student self-report, and history of academic adjustments and services. The DSS Director will evaluate and determine eligibility in a timely manner.

Documentation requirements vary for different disabilities.  The DSS office has developed requirements for documentation to be used for evaluating eligibility. If documentation does not meet these requirements, the student may be required to obtain additional documentation, or may be turned down for receiving accommodations.