FAQs – Students

New Student Meeting

The first appointment with the DR is the New Student Meeting. During the initial meeting with staff, DR policies and procedures are discussed with the student. It is the responsibility of the student to make their needs known and to provide the appropriate documentation to support their requests.

Working with Instructors

The student is responsible for delivering the accommodations letters generated by DR to the instructors. Students are encouraged to meet with their instructors to discuss their testing and other accommodations and to answer any questions the instructors may have.

In the event, the accommodations are not meeting the student’s needs, or the accommodations are not being met by the instructor, it is the student’s responsibility to contact DR to discuss the situation.

How do I obtain housing accommodations, including approval o bring my emotional support animal (ESA) to campus?

Emotional Support Animals also referred to as companion animals, fall under the direction of FHA/HUD regulations, not ADA. Requests to bring animals to campus to serve as ESAs are handled by Housing.

Housing Accommodation Request Process:

  1. Log into Ducktrax
  2. Select Student Housing
  3. Log in
  4. Select Accommodation Request at the bottom of the page

Complete the request and attach any relevant documents or contact housing at [email protected]

What constitutes a disability?

A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is an example of a major life activity

What does substantially limiting mean?

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.

What is a major life activity?

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. The ADA Amendment Acts of 2008 expanded this list to also include eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, reading, bending, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. In addition, the ADAAA also includes major bodily functions (e.g., “functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions”).

What are academic accommodations?

Appropriate academic accommodations create equal access to education, as long as it doesn’t require a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum. This is determined by the institution.

If I am a student with a disability, will Disability and Testing seek me out to provide services like my counselors did in high school?

In college, students with disabilities are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and under the Americans with Disabilities Act. IDEA no longer applies. Since this is the case, the legal obligations change. There is no special education in college. Under IDEA, it is the responsibility of the schools to provide services and seek out students with disabilities. Colleges do not have to seek out students with disabilities. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out services through Disability Resources.

Does the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) apply to Higher Education?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a law administered by the Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. This law does not apply to higher education.

How do the responsibilities of working with students with disabilities of Higher Education institutions differ from those of high school?

The responsibilities of students with disabilities in Higher Education institutions are very different from those of high schools. High schools are required under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to identify the educational needs of students with a disability and provide free and appropriate education. This responsibility is not required of Higher Education institutions. Higher Education institutions are required to provide appropriate academic accommodations to ensure that a student with a disability is not discriminated against. The student is responsible for disclosing his or her disability to the institution and making specific accommodation requests.

What should I do if I suspect I have a disability and want to receive accommodations?

If you suspect you have a disability that is substantially impacting your academic performance, you will need to complete the initial contact form and provide documentation of that disability to Disability Resources (DR). This documentation must be supplied by a qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. DR will follow up with the student once the information has been reviewed.

What role do my parents play in the process?

Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. In this case, the student is responsible for their own accommodation requests and disability-related decisions. However, parents can be a wonderful source of support.

What are the responsibilities of a student with a disability if they would like to receive accommodations?

A student with a disability is responsible for requesting accommodations through Disability Resources (DR). DR will not seek students out. A student with a disability is also responsible for providing acceptable documentation of their disability that supports the accommodation requests.

What is the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education of 1990?

The Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education of 1990 impacts the whole institution including activities, facilities, programs, and employment. In regards to academics, the Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education 1990 required higher education institutions to provide reasonable accommodations for students. For more information please go to http://www.ada.gov.

What is considered acceptable documentation of a disability?

Disability-related documentation should provide information on the diagnosis and functional limitations so that appropriate accommodations can be identified. Documentation may include assessments, reports, and/or letters from qualified evaluators, professionals, or institutions.

Does a student have to inform Tarleton State University that they have a disability?

A student with a disability does not have to disclose his or her disability to Tarleton State University. Disclosure of a disability is on a voluntary basis. However, a student will not receive accommodations unless they disclose this information.

I received special education (IDEA) or 504 services in high school, how are these services different in college?

Colleges are required to provide any reasonable accommodation that may be necessary for equal access to education. They are not required to design special programs for students with disabilities or have Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s).

I suspect I have a learning disability, can Disability Resources and Testing conduct the assessment to provide a diagnosis?

Colleges are not required to conduct or provide testing or evaluations to determine if a student has a disability. The student is responsible for providing current documentation, and any additional testing to support the requested accommodations, if necessary.

FAQs – Instructors

What are the rights and responsibilities of an instructor when working with students with disabilities?

An instructor has the right to confirm a student’s request for accommodations and to ask for clarification about a specific accommodation with DRT. Instructors do not have the right to refuse to provide an accommodation or to review a student’s documentation including diagnostic data. Instructors have a responsibility to work with DRT in providing reasonable accommodations, keep all records and communications with students confidential, and to refer a student to DRT who requests accommodations but is not currently registered. Instructors do not have to provide accommodations for students not registered with DRT.

Why does an instructor have the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities?

An instructor has the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations because accommodations make it possible for a student with a disability to overcome barriers enabling the student to communicate what they know in the same way that glasses do not strengthen vision but help a person to see. The instructor also has a legal responsibility to provide appropriate accommodations. For more information go to the Americans With Disabilities Act website www.ada.gov.

If an instructor feels that a particular student may have a substantially limiting disability, to where should they refer the student?

If an instructor feels that a particular student may have a substantially limiting disability, they should refer the student to DRT.

What if a student with a disability is disruptive in class?

A student with a disability who is disruptive in class should be treated as an instructor would treat any student who is disruptive in class. If an instructor feels that there is a disability-related reason for the student’s behavior, the instructor can discuss this with DRT to determine if there is a solution to the problem or strategies for addressing the behavior.

What if a student with a disability is failing?

It is important for instructors to remember that providing reasonable accommodations to a student with a disability does not guarantee success in the course. Students with disabilities may not master the course material, just like any other student. Students with disabilities have the same right as other students to fail as part of their educational experience.

FAQs – Parents or Guardians

Can I request accommodations for my child?

All requests for accommodations must come directly from the student.

Can I speak with my child Disability Resources Coordinator in regards to their situation?

As a young adult, the student may choose to have information about their case discussed with their parent(s) by signing a consent. The release cannot be a blanket consent for the student’s entire college career.

Since the student is now in charge of their educational planning, what are some self-advocacy skills they should develop?

Disability Services strongly encourages students to develop these self-advocacy skills:

Understanding Your Disability: A student should be able to articulate what his or her disability is.

Communicating Disability: A student should also be able to describe how the disability limits his or her functioning (functional limitations). A student should also be able to express some ways that he or she could be accommodated.

Being Proactive: A student should provide acceptable documentation to DRT and request accommodations. A student should learn to work collaboratively with instructors to ensure their access to the accommodations. A student should also be able to identify if their accommodations are not being met.