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Your Role and Responsibilities as a student

Who is in charge of my accommodation plan? Who will talk to my professors? How will I self-advocate when I graduate from college? As a college student with a disability understanding your role in requesting and receiving accommodations is important. If you are transitioning to college, or preparing to graduate, the information below will provide key information to assist in answering these questions:

Students are responsible for immediately notifying the appropriate School office of any special circumstances which may influence their performance, such as changes in health status, personal difficulties or disabilities. Students who do not notify promptly the School of changes or difficulties may not request review of academic decisions on the basis of such circumstances.

Who is in charge of my accommodation plan?

Accommodations are a shared responsibility between the student, faculty, and the Disability Service Office (DSO). The student is responsible for self-identifying and requesting that accommodations be put in place. The student is also responsible for following the policies and procedures of the University and School. Instructors are responsible for ensuring special accommodation arrangements, providing copies of tests to the DSO when test proctoring is requested by a student, etc. On occasions, the DSO may need instructor assistance with finding a notetaker or tutor in the class. The DSO is responsible for reviewing documentation to ensure appropriate accommodations are identified, creating accommodation forms for the student, arranging for contract services like a sign-language interpreter, and test proctoring. (These are common examples of the types of responsibilities and are not limited to just these items).

Who will talk to my professors?

Approved accommodations are listed and described in the accommodation letter provided to the student by the Disability Service Office Director. The student is required to deliver this letter to faculty teaching their specific courses each semester. Students are encouraged to discuss their needs with faculty as early as possible in the semester so that sufficient time is available to arrange for the requested accommodations. Specific diagnoses are not listed in the accommodation letter and students are not required to share any information about their disability with faculty members. Discussions about accommodations should focus on how the approved accommodations will be implemented in the specific course, however students can release additional disability related information at their discretion.

How will I self-advocate when I graduate from college?

It is important for students to recognize that self-advocacy and disability disclosure are interrelated concerns upon entering the workforce. Self-advocacy involves knowing when and how to approach others in order to negotiate desired accommodations, so as to achieve mutual understanding, fulfillment, and productivity. In the process, some degree of disclosure about oneself is usually necessary, particularly if the accommodation(s) requested requires further explanation. In other words, being a successful self-advocate requires one to be not only literate about one’s needs, but also knowledgeable about how to get them met in an appropriate manner.