Welcome parents, families, and friends!
As parents and families of a student with a disability, you may be concerned about your student’s transition to SU and their access to accommodations/services. The DRC is here to help students with the shift from high school to college! When students enter college, they become their own self-advocates and take charge of their own educational experience, including reaching out for support and accommodations, as needed. Parent and family roles shift as well. You will no longer be directing the process, but rather will serve as a guide in supporting your student in their self-advocacy.
The Disability Resource Center (DRC), is located on the 2nd floor of the Guerrieri Student Union, Room 229, and serves more than 700 undergraduate and graduate students with various disabilities and some temporary impairments who are registered with our office. These include but are not limited to students with learning disabilities, ADHD, mental health disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, brain injuries, physical and mobility disabilities, medical conditions, blind/low vision, deaf/hard of hearing, and speech/language disabilities.
We will collaboratively review and consider all documentation submitted on a case-by-case basis. Documentation of disability will assist the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in understanding the impact of the student’s disability and/or temporary condition in the collegiate academic setting. Documentation submitted should be prepared by a qualified professional. A qualified professional is defined as an individual who is licensed or is a formally recognized expert in the medical, psychological, and/or educational field with the authority to make diagnoses and/or recommendations in their specific field of practice.
There are multiple ways to provide documentation of your disability. Documentation should provide proof of diagnosis and/or prior accommodations. The DRC follows the guidance from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) on documentation review and accommodation approval. Some examples of documentation of disability include:
- IEP/504 plan
- Medical records/patient portal diagnostic summary
- Letter from a healthcare professional, on letterhead, which confirms a diagnosis.
- DRC Medical Documentation Form (Must be completed by a qualified professional.)
- Accommodation letter from previous postsecondary institution(s)
- Full evaluation/diagnostic report (e.g. Achievement Testing: Psychoeducational, Assmt of Information Processing: (Bender-Gestalt Perceptual-Motor Test)
If you have any questions about your documentation, please contact the DRC as soon as possible.
For additional Student Resources, please visit the DRC-Registered Students Tab.
Differences Between High School and College Disability Services
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the key differences between high school and college and prepare your student for the shift in role to self-advocate; by knowing what resources and supports are available, you can encourage your student to reach out and access the support when they need it. Students can request accommodations at any time, though we strongly encourage students to do so prior to the start of their first semester.
|The applicable laws are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.||The applicable laws are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.|
|IDEA is about success.||The ADA is about access.|
|Education is a right and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals.||Education is not a right – students must meet certain admission criteria.|
|The school district is responsible for identifying a student's disability.||Students must self-identify their disability to the university by registering with the Disability Resource Center (DRC).|
|Public school districts provide free psychoeducational evaluations.||Students must obtain all evaluations at their own expense from community providers.|
|The school district develops Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans to define educational services.||Universities do not develop or follow IEP or 504 plans, and these are not always sufficient documentation when requesting services.|
|Documentation focuses on determining eligibility for services based on specific disability categories in IDEA.||Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations.|
|Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations and modifications belongs to the school.||Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the students (who may seek assistance from the DRC).|
|Personal services for medical and physical disabilities are provided by the public-school system||No personal services are provided. Student is responsible for advertising, hiring, and paying for such services.|
|Parents have access to student records and can participate in the IEP and 504 plan processes.||Parents do not have access to student records without student's written consent.|
|Parents advocate for students.||Students must advocate for themselves.|
|Special education case managers or other staff manage accommodations and modifications for students.||The student must make arrangements to utilize accommodations|
|A main office exists as the center of activity for the building.||Students are responsible for knowing where to go to obtain information and assistance.|
|Students are identified as special education students and may be served separately from other students.||There are no special education classes; the role of the DRC is to accommodate students at the college level.|
|Teachers are provided information about students’ disability by school psychologists, special education case managers, or other staff members.||Teachers are provided information about students’ disability by school psychologists, special education case managers, or other staff members.|
|Fundamental modifications of programs and curricula are required.||Fundamental modifications of programs and curricula are not required.|
|Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an IEP or 504 plan||Tutoring does not fall under Disability Resources. Students with disabilities must seek out tutoring resources as they are available to all students.|
|Students have daily contact with teachers.||Classes meet less frequently and students are responsible for initiating contact with instructors to request additional assistance.|
|Parents and teachers often remind students of their responsibilities and give regular guidance in setting priorities.||Students must balance their own responsibilities and set priorities. Faculty, advisors and other staff are available from which to request support and guidance.|
How to Register with the DRC
While students can register with the DRC at any time, incoming first-year and transfer students are encouraged to register the semester prior to their first semester at SU. Students will be eligible to register with the DRC once they have “fully committed” to the University (deposit paid). * Please be aware students scheduling appointments at the beginning of the Fall or Spring semesters(s) can anticipate increased wait times for initial intake appointments.
All documentation submitted should be prepared by a qualified professional. A qualified professional is defined as an individual who is licensed or is a formally recognized expert in the medical, psychological and/or educational field with the authority to make diagnoses and/or recommendations in their specific field of practice. Documentation of a disability may include assessments, reports and/or letters from qualified health care providers, psychologists, or diagnosticians and/or information from a previous school. In order to ensure an objective assessment, the professional completing the evaluation must be an impartial individual who is not related to the student.