I'm not sure what college I want to attend. What services will DRS at the University
of Memphis provide?
In addition to the disability-related accommodations a student needs, DRS can provide
students with additional services such as math tutoring, one-on-one assistance with
paper writing and study skills, as well as executive functioning and time management
skills through Weekly Academic Coaching Meetings with a Coordinator or Graduate Assistant.
What are the admissions requirements for SWDs?
There are no separate admissions criteria for people with disabilities. The admissions
criteria of the University of Memphis must be met by each person who applies.
Are there any scholarships for students with disabilities?
There are two scholarships for students with disabilities at the University of Memphis:
the Exchange Club Shackelford Scholarship and the William P. Roberts Scholarship.
Both are primarily for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. More information
may be found on the website: http://www.memphis.edu/scholarships/ In addition, some
students may qualify for tuition assistance through Vocational Rehabilitation. For
more information on Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation, please visit their website:
http://www.tn.gov/humanserv/rehab/vrs.html Students from others states should contact
a vocational rehabilitation office in their state.
Does the University have accessible rooms in the residence halls?
Physically accessible rooms are available. Requests are made through Residence Life,
but students requesting accessible rooms must be registered with Disability Resources
for Students. Additional information may be obtained through their website: http://www.memphis.edu/reslife/
I don't have a physical or visible disability. Can I still register with SDS?
DRS assists students with a variety of disabilities. Some students have hearing, visual
and mobility impairments, while other students have psychological, cognitive, or emotional
disorders. The largest population the office assists is students with ADHD and/or
What is the cost for services at DRS?
The University of Memphis is fortunate to offer all services, including tutoring and
coaching services, to students registered with DRS at no additional cost.
Do you work with a lot of students with ADHD?
We work with many students with ADHD for whom we provide valuable tools such as weekly
Academic Success Coaching, scheduling advice, tutoring, and help with the development
of appropriate strategies to achieve their short-term and long-term goals in life.
Do you work with a lot of students with chronic illness?
We work with a number of students with chronic illness, and their professors, to promote
engagement and success both in the classroom and on campus. Our office also provides
these students with access to early registration, scheduling advice, tutoring, and
help with the development of appropriate strategies to achieve their short-term and
long-term goals in life.
Do you work with a lot of students with psychiatric disorders?
During the 2013-2014 academic year, there were 485 students registered in the LD/ADHD/ASD
Program. About 80% of those students were diagnosed with ADHD. There were 213 students
registered with DRS who identified as having psychiatric disorders and 105 students
identified as having chronic illnesses.
What kinds of accommodations are available?
Accommodations are decided on a case-by-case and course-by-course basis. One student's
needs may not be the same as another student; similarly, what is reasonable and appropriate
in one course, may not be in another. With specific documentation and a meeting with
a staff member, DRS will be able to determine what is reasonable or appropriate.
My best friend and I both have the same diagnosis, but he gets note takers, and I
don't. Why can't I have them, too?
Accommodations are as varied as the students registered with DRS, so what is needed
to ensure equal access of one student has may not be the same as another. Each student
has accommodations based on his or her own specific needs, the nature of the course
that is being taken, and the documentation he or she has on file with the office.
To find out more, check with the Coordinator and see what accommodations might be
Can I use my laptop for note taking?
Please check with each professor individually to make sure they allow students to
use laptops during class.
Can I take my test on a computer?
Students are encouraged to meet with their Coordinator to determine if the use of
laptops or computers are reasonable or appropriate accommodations based on their documentation
and the essential requirements of the class.
I just got diagnosed with ADHD and I've never used accommodations, not even in high
school. Can I still get accommodations in college?
It is possible that accommodations are appropriate, even without a history of accommodation
usage. Speak with the LD/ADHD/ASD Coordinator about what information will be needed
to register with DRS.
I haven't been successful in learning or completing a foreign language. I have an
LD, so I can get out of that, right?
While not all majors at the University of Memphis require a foreign language, some
do. If the foreign language requirement is essential for the degree, the student will
have to take the foreign language. If the student wants to pursue a foreign language
substitution, he or she should meet with the appropriate Coordinator to discuss the
process of requesting a foreign language substitution. After the meeting, DRS may
recommend a foreign language substitution to the Dean of the College or School in
which the student is enrolled. The Dean then makes the final decision and will provide
a list of classes that should be taken in lieu of a foreign language.
Can you make my math requirement go away?
The University of Memphis considers math to be an essential general education requirement
for all degree programs.
I need extra time on the (GRE, TEAS, PRAXIS, LSAT, MCAT, etc). Is that possible?
Applications for standardized tests are typically done online; however, students who
need testing accommodations may need to submit a paper application. Be advised that
some processes for approving accommodations can take as long as TWO MONTHS. It is
important that the student makes sure his or her information is up-to-date before
submitting the application. For the applications needing verification from DRS, the
student will need to set an appointment with the appropriate Coordinator to discuss
the accommodations needed and additional information DRS may need to complete for
the application. If a letter is required, DRS will write it and give it to the student
to be included with the application.
I don't really need accommodations. I really just need someone to help me stay on
track and accountable. Is that okay?
Many students say they get the best help from DRS through Weekly Academic Coaching
Meetings. Students are invited to schedule an appointment any time to discuss important
issues, or they can set Weekly Academic Coaching Meetings with their Coordinator or
a Graduate Assistant.
I don't want anybody to know I'm registered with DRS. Is that okay?
DRS places great emphasis on maintaining the confidentiality of students; however,
there may be some instances in which the student would want others to know. For example,
if the student wants to use accommodations on tests, he or she will need to speak
with the professor and present him or her with a memo from DRS. These memos let the
professor know that the student is registered with DRS and outline any approved accommodations.
These memos are for information purposes only and do not include a student's diagnoses,
unless the student requests that information to be included.
DRS will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of all students registered
with the office. Only those faculty or staff with a need to know will be informed
of a student's registration with DRS.
Will my transcript/diploma indicate that I was registered with DRS or used accommodations?
There will be no identifiers on transcripts or diplomas that a student was registered
with DRS, used accommodations, or utilized services through DRS.
I'm afraid my professors will grade me harder if I use my extended time.
Professors may not grade any student on a scale different from other students. Accommodations
are not "extra help", they are like a step-ladder one might use to change a light
bulb. They are tools a student uses in an academic environment. Accommodations are
not designed to give a student an edge over other students. In fact, the accommodations
should make the student's experience an equal one to that of his or her peers.
I have a reading disorder. What should I major in?
A student with a disability should choose his/her major based on personal interests
and values, skill levels, likes and dislikes. Success in any career or field of study
is largely dependent on how hard one is willing to work to pursue it. The harder a
student is willing to work to be successful, the more likely he or she will enjoy
success and the rewards that come with that hard work. No person should be advised
out of a major or career path they have chosen simply because of a disability. DRS
will, however, talk with students frankly about the field in which they want to work,
the practicalities of majoring in that field, the coursework involved and the nuances
of working in that field. We will work with each student on appropriate accommodations
and make sure they are structuring enough study time, and working with tutors, when
I have a math disorder and want to major in engineering. Can I do that?
A student with a disability should approach career choices based on personal interests
and values, skill levels, likes and dislikes. No person should be advised out of a
major or career path they have chosen simply because of a disability. DRS will, however,
talk with students frankly about the field in which they want to work, the practicalities
of majoring in that field, the coursework involved and the nuances of working in that
field. We will work with each student on appropriate accommodations and make sure
they are structuring enough study time, and working with tutors, when appropriate.
I need a handicapped parking placard. Where do I go?
"Designated accessible parking areas are available to persons with physical disabilities
who have a registered University of Memphis parking permit and a valid disabled parking
permit issued to the student or employee by a State Department of Safety. No additional
fee will be assessed to STUDENTS for physically disabled parking permits. The priority
parking permit fee will be assessed to FACULTY/STAFF for physically disabled parking
permits. This permit authorizes the permit holder to park in accessible parking spaces
in priority parking lots and in other non-reserved, general permit parking spaces
on campus." (from the University of Memphis Parking Services website)
Do you provide on-campus transportation between classes for SWD?
DRS does not transport students between classes, but students may utilize The Blue
Line campus shuttle around campus, across the Southern Avenue train tracks to the
Campus Recreation Intramural Services Center (CRIS), and to and from the Park Avenue
campus. The Blue Line is accessible for students who use wheelchairs or have other
Will DRS find and hire a personal attendant for me?
If the personal attendant is needed to perform specific tasks in the classroom as
a disability-related accommodation, DRS will provide a classroom attendant. Typically,
the student should provide for his or her own attendant to assist with personal, daily
activities. Requests for and questions about personal attendants should be discussed
with the student's Coordinator.
What is "Assistive Technology"?
Assistive Technology (or AT) is any tool used to help people become more self-sufficient.
Two examples of assistive technology are text-to-speech and speech-to-text software.
To create text-to-speech, DRS can scan documents and materials into a computer and
the computer will read the text to the student. With speech-to-text software, students
talk into a microphone and the information is typed into a computer document. AT reduces
the need for another person to assist a student with whatever task they have, making
the student more independent.
I am pregnant. What can DRS do to help me?
A student who is pregnant is not considered to be a person with a disability; however,
a student who is experiencing health complications due to pregnancy may be eligible
for disability-related accommodations. These actions are determined on a case-by-case
basis. Students who are pregnant are covered under Title IX and are served by the
Office of Institutional Equity.
English is a second language for me, and I do not fully understand my instructors.
Will you provide me with note takers or extended time on exams?
Students who are English language learners (aka ELL or ESL), are not typically eligible
for services or accommodations through DRS, unless they are also a person with a disability.