I have a disability. How do I receive services from your office?

In order to receive services, students must self-identify with the Office of Disability Services. The student must provide documentation of their disability in order to qualify for reasonable accommodations.      

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a change that enables a person with a disability to have equal opportunities and access in the classroom with people who do not have a disability. Accommodations are not designed to give any student an unfair academic advantage.

Do I have to give proof of my disability to receive services?

Yes. Students who wish to receive services through the office must provide proof of a disability which outlines the student’s limitations in the educational setting.

All I have is my IEP from high school. Why isn’t that good enough for me to get accommodations?

An IEP is just what it stands for: Individualized Education Program. While it is based on the existence of a disability requiring special education, it is not documentation of disability. IEPs are useful because they provide a history of accommodations which assists in the crafting of a student’s accommodation plan.

I have a diagnosis. Why don’t I qualify for the services through the Office of Disability Services?

Having a diagnosis does not automatically qualify a student to receive services from the Office of Disability Services. The student must be disabled according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which defines a disability as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Some major life activities are seeing, hearing, learning, working and breathing. In order to qualify for accommodations in the college setting the major life activity that must be substantially limited is learning. The limitation must be “severe”, “profound”, “considerable”, or “to a large degree”.

Can the office help out financially in getting the documentation I need?

The Office of Disability Services does not provide any financial assistance in obtaining documentation. The student and/or his family bear all financial responsibility.

Do I have to tell my instructor what my disability is?

A student’s diagnosis and documentation are kept strictly confidential by ODS. This information will only be used to determine the most appropriate accommodations. The accommodation letter only lists a student’s accommodations. The student is not under any obligation to reveal their disability to an instructor.

What if I take a test before I sign up for my accommodations? Do I get to take that test over?

Accommodations are set up to be used once a student has come in to the office to disclose their disability and complete the self-identification process. They do not apply to previously attempted coursework. ODS recommends a student begin this process as soon as possible so that the accommodations will be in place before the student begins any coursework.

Do I have to have a meeting every semester about my accommodations?

No. It is not necessary to have a meeting every semester about your accommodations. There is only one intake interview that must be completed in the Office of Disability. After this initial intake, it is not necessary to meet unless requested by the student. However, you are responsible for coming in each semester to request your accommodation letters.

I’m not sure if I have a disability. Will the Office of Disability Services help me in getting evaluated?

Southeastern Louisiana University does not provide testing services. However, we can provide a reference list of clinicians in the area. Please contact ODS for more information.

When I was in high school, my parents and the school administrators took care of getting my accommodations for me. Will it be the same way in college?

In high school, family members usually advocate the most for students. On the collegiate level, self-advocacy becomes very important. It is the responsibility of the student to self-disclose their disability to the office. Students are required to register with the office by submitting their documentation as well as requests for accommodations. This involves communicating with instructors, university personnel and service providers. The student is also responsible for staying in contact with ODS to discuss circumstances or difficulties.

Is tutoring an accommodation?

Tutoring is not considered an “accommodation”. However, Southeastern Louisiana University has two programs in place that provide tutoring services to students free of charge. Please register with the office to learn more about the tutoring opportunities that are available.

What is the deadline to register in your office?

Students may disclose a disability at any time. The institution and faculty are not responsible for changing what happened prior to disclosure but must accommodate the student within a reasonable amount of time after the disclosure. For most classroom accommodations a “reasonable” amount of time is usually considered to be two weeks; therefore, if a student discloses that s/he needs extended time the day before the midterm that is not a reasonable amount of time to prepare accommodations.

Will I receive the same services that I received in high school?

Maybe. High school Special Education programs are required by law to provide whatever service, help, or accommodation that you need to be successful. Colleges are required by law to provide “equal access to education”, through programs, activities, and facilities. They provide access by using accommodations – not necessarily services or extra help. Access is provided through reasonable accommodations.

Does the law say that the requirements for passing a course should be “different” for disabled students?

Southeastern Louisiana University students with disabilities are expected to fully meet all academic requirements of their program or school, as the university does not waive or modify fundamental course or program requisites. However, we do have very strong supports to assist students in meeting their requirements.

Does the Admission process to Southeastern Louisiana University consider a student’s disability?


Students with disabilities apply to the University through the Office of Admissions. All students are expected to meet the competitive admissions standards of the University regardless of disability status. The Office of Disability Services does not participate in the admissions process, nor is the presence of a disability given any special consideration in admissions. Thus the admissions standards are not waived or modified based on disability disclosure.

Do you provide transportation around campus for students with disabilities?

The university has a system of shuttle buses that provide transportation to all university faculty, staff and students. A shuttle bus equipped with a wheelchair lift is available. If you are a student who has mobility access challenges, please register with ODS to learn more about available services.