Oklahoma State University

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New to Student Disability Services (SDS)

 

Whether you are a new student at Oklahoma State University or a current student, SDS recognizes that beginning services with us elicits a wide range of emotions and many students don't know what to expect.  The following article was written to help illustrate the primary steps in obtaining accommodations. For a more in depth explanation, please review our handbooks found in the About Us section.

The student self-identifies and contacts SDS.

The integral piece in obtaining services is the requirement of the student to self-identify with SDS. Accommodations on the basis of disabilities are not granted unless the student makes the initial contact with SDS. There is not a deadline for meeting with SDS to set up accommodations; however, accommodations cannot be applied retroactively so, in order to maximize the chance of success, the student is encouraged to contact SDS before ever setting foot on campus.

The student provides appropriate documentation showing the current functional impact of the disability, upon which accommodations are determined.

Accommodations are made based on the functional impact, not the diagnosis and are determined on a case-by-case basis. This underscores the importance of current, comprehensive documentation to illustrate what academic accommodations are necessary.

Appropriate documentation differs depending on the disability. Click the following links for more in-depth information:

Seven Essential Elements of Quality Disability Documentation

Guidance on Documentation Practices (AHEAD)

SDS meets with the student to review documentation & discuss appropriate resources and/or accommodations available.

Determining appropriate accommodations and resources is an interactive process between SDS and student. The accommodation preferences of the student are taken into account but are not always granted.  Provisional accommodations are available on a case-by-case basis. Assistance with study skills, organization management, and other topics are also available from SDS.

With the Student present, an Accommodation Letter is drafted to faculty by SDS regarding appropriate accommodations for the classroom.

This letter is kept on file to be used for subsequent semesters. Revision of letter occurs as necessary at student’s request. Typical reasons for revision of the letter are: additional information about functional impact of the disability is obtained, a change in the disability has occurred, or the student feels review of the current accommodations is necessary.

The student completes/submits the Service Request Form (SRF) for accommodations & to send the Accommodation Letter.

The SRF is filled out by student and is needed each semester before accommodation letters can be sent out. While there is no deadline to fill out the SRF each semester, accommodations will not be applied retroactively so the earlier a SRF is submitted, the better.

The student follows-up & meets w/ faculty to discuss logistics for the accommodations identified in the letter.

The student needs to meet with the professor in order to discuss the Accommodation Letter. Having a discussion with the professor is an important step as this discussion establishes how the accommodations will be implemented. For example, with testing accommodations, faculty and student determine if the testing center will be utilized or if the faculty member will proctor the exam in their office. Any issues/questions/concerns that arise with the implementation of accommodations, by either the student or faculty, should be directed to SDS staff.

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General Information

There are fundamental differences between disability services for K-12 and college. The U.S. Department of Education has a F.A.Q. on what to expect during the Transition from High School to College.It is important for the student to self-advocate by asking questions and making their concerns known. The expectation is that the student has an active role in the process as the decision to make use of accommodations and services is their right and prerogative.