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Some students may be concerned that, if they disclose a disability, they may be placed in easier courses and/or held to a lower standard. They may also be concerned that everyone will know about their disability and will treat them differently as a result. These concerns represent a misunderstanding about what it means to be a student with a disability in higher education. Students registered with the Accessibility Office are not placed into easier courses and they are held to the same academic and behavioral standards as other students. Registration is confidential to the extent that only those personnel responsible for assuring equitable access for the student will be notified.
It is the student’s responsibility to register with the Accessibility Office, but registration is voluntary. The university may not provide accommodations to students with disabilities who do not have an education profile (EP), which has been approved by the student, on file with the Accessibility Office
By registering with the Accessibility Office, a student ensures equal opportunity for success. Registration ensures that:
Once an education profile has been established with the Accessibility Office, the student must notify the accessibility coordinator at the beginning of every term in order to activate the EP. The coordinator will send the EP to the student’s instructors for that term. Students who have a disability with effects that are sporadic are strongly advised to register with the Accessibility Office, so that an education profile (EP) is in place should a flare-up occur.
Each student’s EP is considered confidential: education profiles are maintained in the Accessibility Office—they do not become part of the student’s permanent academic record. However, the accessibility coordinator has the right to discuss the plan with other university employees when necessary for implementation of accommodations.
Union Institute & University, under Federal requirements (Section504/ADA,) will make accommodations in the learning and the instructional environment to meet the documented needs of students with disabilities. Accommodations may not affect the general academic regulations and graduation requirements of university programs which are identical for all students, regardless of whether they have a disability or not. Finally, accommodations cannot be made for any student who does not have an education profile on file with the Accessibility Office.
To initiate a request for services/accommodations, students must complete the online Disability Disclosure Form.
The completed form goes directly to the accessibility coordinator (AC), who will contact the student to discuss an appropriate education plan (EP); additional documentation may be requested. The AC will then prepare the education plan for the student’s review and approval. Once approved by the student, the AC coordinator will distribute the EP to it to the appropriate staff and faculty to put the plan into effect. The plan will remain in the accessibility coordinator’s office: it does not become part of the student’s permanent academic record of the student.
NOTE: The student must notify the Accessibility Office at the beginning of every term / session to effect continuance of the plan.
Students with disabilities should develop is the ability to talk about his or her disability and need for accommodations. Most students aren’t sure where to start or what information is relevant. The first questions a student should ask is “How does my disability affect me?” and “How does my disability affect my studies?” The answers to these questions will help identify what modifications are needed to accommodate the disability.
Here are some general questions that may be helpful:
In your thinking about embarking on an educational program, think about how your disability affects you in terms of:
To determine the functional limitations posed by your disability, ask yourself:
In thinking about your ability to function in an educational environment, ask yourself:
The Accessibility Coordinator can be reached at: