Special arrangements require a collaborative effort, and the student should take a lead role. Modifications in facilities and in courses may be necessary, but neither the instructor nor the facilities management bear the sole responsibility for making this happen. The student must make his or her abilities and barriers known. The counselor in the DS office will assist in this task and is available for consultation about possible solutions to the barriers.
Specific adaptations will vary according to the student and the severity of the disability. Letters of academic adjustments are written to each instructor listing all accommodations the student is entitled to receive and an explanation of Section 504 of the National Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In this letter, the student may choose whether to disclose the specific disability or just the verification of an unnamed documented disability.
Students are encouraged to hand-deliver the letter in order to talk to the instructors about the necessary accommodations, however, the DS office will deliver it upon request. It is important that the student meet with the instructor before or early in the term to discuss the specific adjustments that will be required. The counselor in DS should be contacted if assistance is needed during this meeting.
Some students may find that they have difficulties discussing their learning needs with their instructors. The DS counselor is available to discuss the approach to use and to role play the situation so that the student will be more comfortable. If requested, the DS counselor will go to the meeting to facilitate the discussion.