How do I receive disability services at college?
You need to contact the Disability Services office on campus to start
the application process.
When do I need to apply for Disability Services?
It is a good idea to start the application process at the Disability
Services office as soon as you have been admitted into college,
so that any accommodations you may need can be arranged.
Can I use my 504 Plan or IEP for documentation of my disability?
If your 504 Plan or IEP contain the necessary information, it will
be accepted as documentation. (See Guidelines for Disability Documentation).
Will I receive the same services that I received in high school?
Maybe. High school Special Education programs are required by law to
provide whatever service, help, or accommodation that you needed
to be successful. Colleges are required by law to provide "equal
access to education", through programs, activities, and facilities.
They provide access by using accommodations – not necessarily
services or extra help. Access is provided through reasonable accommodations.
example, services such as word banks or reduced assignments probably
won’t be provided because postsecondary schools don’t provide
modifications that would change the educational standards of coursework.
Can I receive a failing grade for a college class in which
I am receiving accommodations?
Yes. Accommodations ensure “access”, not necessarily “success”.
I have a disability. Will I be eligible to use accommodations
Maybe. The decision to provide accommodations is based on the activity
and whether the disability creates any barriers to doing it. For
example, a student who is paralyzed from the waist down has a disability
a physically accessible environment. However, this same student would
not be eligible to use notetaking services or be provided with books
on tape, because the disability does not interfere with reading or
Will my 504 plan follow me to college?
No, the 504 Plan developed by your high school will not follow you
to college, but the rights and protections under Section 504 of the
Act of 1973 apply. Section 504 is civil rights legislation and provides
two things: 1) nondiscrimination on the basis of disability and 2)
an equal opportunity to participate. The concept of “maximizing
success” is only found under IDEA for elementary and secondary
Who decides what accommodations I can use in college?
The Disability Services office at the college in which you are enrolled
makes the final decision after reviewing your disability documentation
and talking with you. Accommodations will be based on how the disability
interferes with access to the educational environment and the course
Do I have to pay for my accommodations?
No. It is the college's responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations
to eligible students with disabilities at no cost to the student.
Do colleges and universities provide testing to identify a learning
Colleges and universities are not required to provide testing services.
Referrals will be made to appropriate professionals.
Is financial assistance available through the disability services
office for students with disabilities?
No. Check with the financial aid office at the school you will be
attending. Some agencies that may provide support are: Vocational
Workers Compensation, the Veterans Administration, and Job Service.
Will the Disability Services office provide services like helping
me get ready for the school day or pushing my wheelchair?
No. Services or equipment needed to assist a person with activities
of daily living are the responsibility of the individual, not the
For example, helping with dressing or reminding someone
to take their medication, is a personal service that an individual
needs in order to
function on a daily basis, whether or not they are in college.
service or equipment is needed solely for the purpose of participating
in a college program or activity, it is the college's responsibility
to provide it. For example, the college would provide a writer or scribe
for essay tests if the student's disability prevented her/him from writing.
The college, however, is not obligated to provide a writer so that same
student could do homework or write personal letters.