Disability Services - Registering and the Intake Process
information from the student regarding the substantial limitation in a
major life activity is typically gathered during an interview with disability
services staff either in the year prior to enrollment or shortly after
the student arrives on campus. The purpose of the meeting is to review
the areas in which the student feels the disability or disabilities have
created interference and to learn about the student's opinions regarding
the accommodations that have proved necessary and beneficial in high school.
It is also an opportunity for students to gather information about campus
policies and procedures regarding disability services. In addition, the
intake process immediately affords an opportunity for students to take
responsibility for and ownership of their educational experience, a critical
component in managing a disability at the post secondary level. On occasion,
post secondary service providers may participate in transition planning
meetings while the student is still in high school in order to share information
about available services and facilitate a coordinated transition.
Our first priority is to get to know each student individually to determine appropriate accommodations and suggest helpful strategies and resources. Note that the following information emphasizes the student’s role. (Parents may be involved, but are strongly encouraged to step back and encourage the student to take these steps.)
The first step in pursuing accommodations is for the student with a disability to discuss his/her situation with the Disability Services office. Students that visit campus before their Orientation are encouraged to meet with the Disability Services during their visit when possible. Students who will not be on campus prior to Orientation are encouraged to call or email prior to arrival (the sooner the better), particularly those students whose accommodations tend to need advance work (i.e., texts in an alternate format, housing-related requests).
Students should be prepared to discuss their diagnosis, functional limitations, past use of accommodations and desired accommodations. Third party documentation material can be helpful for this discussion. When possible, the student is encouraged to share documentation with Disability Services ahead of time so that it can be reviewed prior to the discussion. Any additional documentation needs will be determined after the initial exchange. Note that third party evaluations by a relevant professional can often be helpful with a student’s learning, particularly when the student has or suspects that s/he has a learning disability.
If a student is questioning whether or not to use accommodations, it is beneficial to have a discussion with the Disability Services as students often change their mind about their needs, change their functioning, or find that the academic demands are different than expected. Students choose (each semester, each class, and each accommodation) whether or not they will utilize warranted accommodations. However, note that accommodations are not retroactive.
Disability Services will only share information (rarely diagnoses) with faculty or staff on a "need to know" basis, usually at is pertains to arranging accommodations. Students that are on medications for any reason, or have a mental or physical disability, are also strongly encouraged to disclose this information to the LSSU Health Center and/or Counseling Center. Third party documentation is not shared amongst the LSSU Health Center, Counseling Center and Disability Services as they are governed by different privacy laws and regulations. If you want these campus offices to share information, you must provide explicit written permission for them to do so (ask the office for a form). Students that mistakenly send documentation to offices other than the aforementioned (e.g. the Admissions Office) will likely find that the information has been passed on to Disability Services.
The following list is primarily for professionals who may be providing third party documentation (including 504 plans and IEPs). This type of information will augment the student's self-report to confirm the presence of a disability as defined by ADA, as amended, and/or the need for the requested accommodations. Professionals are encouraged to select the salient points from the list below so that Disability Services may make informed decisions regarding the disability and accommodations:
- is comprehensive and current (current depends upon the diagnosis and age of the student)
- includes a diagnosis and subtype, including symptoms or criteria on which the diagnosis is based
- provides evaluation scores/criteria,
- uses technically sound tests &/or evaluations
- includes psychosocial, familial, historical, medical, developmental information and medication history, when appropriate
- describes a thorough academic history including use of accommodations (may be provided by an IEP or 504 or transition plan)
- describes the duration and severity of the condition
- indicates how the disability substantially limits a major life activity of the individual, and/or provides evidence of current impairment, as well as functional impact
- suggests accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids including rationale
- indicates current treatments, typical progression, prognosis and/or stability, when relevant
- is conducted by a properly credentialed, qualified evaluator, appropriate to the disability, that does not have a personal relationship with the student or student’s family, and
- includes testing and examination dates as well as the contact information and relevant credentials of the diagnosing evaluator.
Lake Superior State University utilizes guidance regarding documentation from *AHEAD* <http://www.ahead.org/resources/best-practices-resources> (Association of Higher Education and Disability).
Alternative formats of this web page is available upon request.