For students with disabilities, learning how to advocate for accommodations is an essential tool for becoming a successful student in higher education. However, many students with disabilities don’t even know that their school has disability services, or that their disability makes them eligible for these services.
So, I developed the quiz below to test whether you’ve been operating with some misconceptions about accessing disability services. My hope is that you become more mindful about the incredible people that work in these higher education positions and demystify an incredibly easy and compassionate process.
The following questions can be answered True or False:
Disability Services Quiz
Disability Service Coordinators are not there to support you. They’re there to work against you.
There are only accommodations for testing and note-taking.
Disability Services Coordinators will never ask to speak with you one-on-one about your service needs.
Accommodations and Auxiliary Services are retroactive, so you can apply after taking your first exam and then retake the exam with your new accommodations if you want.
Students can receive accommodations for psychiatric disabilities like anxiety and depression.
1. False. Disability Service Coordinators are there to support you! They are your support team and will work with you to develop a set of accommodations that supports your learning needs. For example, the folks at Gallaudet University state this on their website:
“We are here to help qualified students with disabilities succeed through equal access to education and academic activities at Gallaudet University.” – Karen Tehune, Gallaudet University OSWD Coordinator
“We work to create a welcoming and productive experience that reflects a barrier-free environment with equal access to quality education.” – James Akridge, Gallaudet University OSWD Coordinator
2. False. Accommodations can be for Testing, Classroom (like note-taking), and Adaptive (like extended deadlines). Below is how Franklin and Marshall categorizes the accommodations it offers to its students:
3. False. Disability Services Coordinators will ask to speak with you one-on-one about your service needs in an initial intake meeting. For example, here are the instructions that University of Maryland Baltimore County provides to its students after they initially register:
Once your disability documentation has been reviewed, you will receive email instructions to schedule your intake appointment. We strongly recommend you schedule the intake meeting well in advance of the start of classes.
4. False. Accommodations and Auxiliary Services are not retroactive, so if you apply after taking your first exam, you won’t be able to retake it after your accommodations are approved. That’s the reason for the advice provided by University of Maryland Baltimore County that we mentioned in the question above.
5. True. Students can receive accommodations for psychiatric disabilities like anxiety and depression. Just look at all those accommodations offered by Franklin and Marshall!
If you need assistance in speaking with your disability service coordinator, schedule a consult with us today by emailing the Ginsburg Legal Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org.