Frequently Asked Questions Related to Accommodations
Click each topic for the answer
Question 1: What are some examples of reasonable accommodations and support services?
Accommodations are adjustments to policy, procedure or practice that are intended to afford students with disabilities equal opportunity for participation, but which do not fundamentally alter the essential requirements of a program, course or curriculum. Reasonable accommodations and services are determined on an individual basis. Examples of reasonable accommodations and services may include:
- Preferential seating in class
- Extended test time
- Assistance with registration
- Coordination of special arrangements to meet individual test taking needs
- Sign language interpreter service
- Adaptive furniture such as tables and chairs in the classroom
- Books in alternate formats (electronic)
- Converted class and test materials (enlarged text, audio, etc.)
Question 2: What documentation is required and how do I get it?
The guidelines below are provided to help EFSC students submit documentation that is appropriate for verifying eligibility for disability services and which supports the student’s request for reasonable accommodations on the basis that their disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. Documentation should validate the need for services based on the student's current level of functioning in the educational setting.
Documentation can be requested from providers, such as:
- Healthcare providers
- High school/College records
- Mental healthcare providers
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Vocational Rehabilitation
You may give the Disability Documentation form to your provider for them to complete and return to the SAIL office, or you may provide the SAIL office with copies of medical records, evaluations, or diagnostic reports that have been completed by a qualified professional and that meet these guidelines:
- Documentation is on letterhead (*notes on prescription pads will not be accepted) and includes the diagnostician's name, title, professional credentials, date, and signature.
- Is current, within the last 5 years for Learning Disabilities is recommended, last 6 months for psychiatric disabilities, or last 3 years for all other disabilities (does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature)
- The specific diagnosis of the disability is clearly stated, not vague or inconclusive. A DSM-V diagnosis should be noted when appropriate.
- Include complete educational, developmental, and medical history relevant to the disability for which testing accommodations are being requested
- Includes a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant scores used to document the stated disability (does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature)
- Describes the functional limitations within an academic setting resulting from the disability.
- Relevant medications and their potential side effects are noted.
- If possible, the documentation should include suggested accommodation(s) and/or auxiliary aid(s) for the student.
Because each person's situation is unique, we encourage EFSC students to meet with a SAIL Access Specialist to discuss their specific situation. A student should not delay meeting with a SAIL Access Specialist out of concern for not having the appropriate paperwork on hand. We are here to help students with disabilities through the process so that they may have meaningful access and equal opportunity to succeed.
Question 3: Are personal services provided?
Post-secondary institutions are not required to provide services of a personal nature such as attendants, tutoring, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study or other devices or services of a personal nature. An otherwise qualified student with a disability who requires personal attendant services is responsible for making arrangements to provide for his/her own personal care attendant service.
Question 4: What if I need tutoring?
Tutoring is considered a personal service under the Americans with Disabilities Act and is not considered a “required accommodation” for a student with a disability. It is important to note however that academic support, such as academic advising, career planning, the Core Scholar Program, and tutoring services ARE available to all EFSC students. Such services are provided and are accessible to students with disabilities in the same manner as students without disabilities.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to take full advantage of all available services provided at EFSC.
Question 5: What if I don't have documentation but I think I may have a disability?
We encourage students to make an appointment to visit with a SAIL Access Specialist to discuss their individual situation. Post-secondary environments do not hold the responsibility for evaluations or re-evaluations to determine or diagnose disabilities and if no current documentation exists, it is the personal and financial responsibility of the EFSC student to have new documentation prepared and/or an evaluation conducted by an appropriate professional in the community.
The SAIL office can provide students with a list of available community resources, which have offered their services at a reduced cost. We encourage students to talk with a SAIL Access Specialist about ways they can access an evaluation/documentation from one of the available community resources.
Question 6: If I had accommodations in high school will they automatically transfer to college?
Not necessarily. Students who were eligible for services in high school may not necessarily be eligible for services or accommodations at the postsecondary level as different laws with different definitions apply. Remember that documents such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan may not contain sufficient information to determine eligibility for services at the postsecondary level. Again, we encourage students to speak with a SAIL Access Specialist about their individual situation and give SAIL an opportunity to review the documentation provided by your high school.
Question 7: Who begins the accommodation process?
The student does. Post secondary institutions are not required to identify students with disabilities.
At the college level, the student must locate the office that provides services for students with disabilities (SAIL), identify him or herself to the office, request accommodations and provide documentation to support the need for accommodations.
Students who need additional or updated information to support their accommodation requests, or students who have never been identified as having a disability before entering EFSC, are responsible for acquiring that information/documentation. While it is the student’s responsibility for initiating the accommodation process at the postsecondary level, it is the SAIL staffs’ responsibility to serve as a resource and support students through the process.
Students are encouraged to contact a SAIL Access Specialist with questions or concerns related to the disability application process or the services available at EFSC for students with disabilities.
Question 8: Will I get all of the accommodations recommended on my documentation?
Not necessarily. Specific accommodations are required when necessary to enable the student to access his or her education. It is not uncommon for outside professionals to recommend a range of accommodations and services for a particular student. The postsecondary provider (SAIL team) will need to sort through these recommendations with the student to determine what accommodations are indeed necessary, to avoid giving the student an unfair advantage over his or her classmates or promoting accommodations that could substantially modify a program’s standards. Identifying appropriate and reasonable accommodations is best achieved through an interactive and individualized process and to this end, EFSC students are strongly encouraged to engage in an open dialogue with a SAIL Access Specialist regarding their personal and academic strengths and the physical and/or learning barriers experienced as a result of their disability.