Frequently Asked Questions
What services are available for students with disabilities?
A variety of services are available to all UIW students registered with the Student Disability Services Office (SDS). These services may include, but are not limited to, interpreters for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, assistance with printed materials, reader/scribes, note taking assistance, audio recorders, assistance with class registration, adaptive equipment, printed materials converted to audio and testing accommodations.
How do I apply for services?
To apply for services, you need to register with the SDS Office by presenting the appropriate documentation of your disability.
Who will be responsible for arranging accommodations?
Once enrolled with the SDS Office, it is your responsibility to complete a Request for Letters of Accommodations ;(LOAs) each semester to maintain services. This can be done in person or online. Main Campus students are required to pick up their LOAs and deliver them to their professors. Upon request, LOAs for off campus sites can be sent electronically to their respective locations. Accommodations do not become effective until the professor acknowledges receipt. Accommodations are not retroactive.
When should I talk with my instructors about my Letters of Accommodation?
It is important that you meet with your instructor(s) early in the semester to discuss your accommodations. Ideally you should meet with your professors no later than the first week of each semester.
Should I talk to my instructors about my disability? What should I talk about?
Topics that generally need to be discussed with the instructors include your specific accommodations and any other questions you may have.
What if my professors ask questions about my disability?
It is up to you how you choose to answer. People who don't live with disabilities often learn about them from people who do. Typically, the more you can comfortably share about what works for you, the better your professors will understand.
Will Student Disability Services excuse my extended absences from class due to my disability?
The Office of Student Disability Services cannot excuse absences from classes, as this is a faculty responsibility. Medical conditions that may require extended absences from classes cannot be reasonably accommodated if participation in the class is a requirement. Even if the professors excuse additional absences, your are still responsible for all missed information, assignments and tests.
What should I expect from the Office of Student Disability Services?
The Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) believes that a person with a disability can succeed and can take control of his or her education. The SDS staff believes that self-understanding, self-efficacy and self-help are the keys to empowerment. It is the role of the staff of SDS to provide the student with information about services and accommodations that are available, to explain the procedures to be followed, and to coordinate the options that are chosen. The rest is up to you.
The University of the Incarnate Word supplies “Access”, you supply the “Success.”
What are my responsibilities at the University?
- You are responsible for making the initial contact with the staff of the Office of Student Disability Services. It is advisable to make this contact before or immediately after the semester begins.
- It is your responsibility to bring documentation of your disability that accurately addresses your current abilities and needs to this initial meeting. If you are new to the University or new to the Office of Student Disability Services, this documentation is needed to determine if you are eligible for services and accommodations. Not everyone with a documented disability meets the eligibility requirements for services and/or accommodations. This documentation also helps in the prescription of accommodations and services that are most appropriate for you.
- You must personally submit your request for accommodations (requests will not be accepted from parents/guardians of a student with a disability, or disability advocates, or friends of a student with a disability, etc.) It is your responsibility to complete and turn in a Request for Letters of Accommodation Form to the SDS Office (in person or via the online submission form) so that the accommodation letters can be completed. Letters for your instructors take time to prepare. Therefore, be sure to submit your request as soon as you register for classes.
Access a Request for Letters of Accommodation Form (online submission)
- You are responsible for notifying the SDS Office if you need more, fewer, or modified letters for your instructors. Sometimes your schedule will change in the first couple of weeks of class, and you may find that you do not have letters for the correct instructors. You will need to come back to the Office of Student Disability Services to make any necessary changes. You also may not wish for all your prescribed accommodations to be listed on every Letter of Accommodation. In this case, you will also need to convey the needed alterations to the SDS Office so that the changes can be made.
- If receiving a copy of the “instructor’s lecture notes” is one of your accommodations, then you are responsible for making any copies of the notes that are necessary. The only responsibility of the instructor is to make the notes available to you. You can either write your own notes from the instructor’s copy or you can have the instructor e-mail the notes to you and you can print them or you can make a copy of the instructor’s notes using one of the copy machines on campus. Neither the instructor nor the Office of Student Disability Services is responsible for making copies for you.
- If you are not receiving all of your accommodations or if you believe you are being discriminated against because of your disability, it is your responsibility to let the Office of Student Disability Services staff know immediately after the incident has occurred. Waiting days, weeks and/or semesters after the incident decreases the chances of the situation being resolved in a timely and equitable fashion.
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