Important Terms for DRS

Accommodations – a way of ensuring students with disabilities have equal access to programs and an equal opportunity in courses; e.g., extended time on timed assignments, a low stimulus environment for testing, assistive technology

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – legislation passed that requires public venues, government property, services, and programs to be accessible for people with disabilities

ADA-AA – Americans with disabilities Act – Amendments Act – specifies criteria for service animals and expands description of major life activities.

ADHD – Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder; includes Asperger's Syndrome

Alt Text/Format Text – alternative format texts; books and materials in a format other than traditional paper and ink; could be audio format, Brailed; could be read aloud by a person and recorded, or through a computer software program

Assistive Technology (AT) – technology used to provide access and foster independence for people with disabilities; can include special adaptive software, and any kind of adaptive device

BVI – Blind/Low Vision, Visually Impaired

Brailled – a raised-dot, tactile language that is "read" via touch

D/HoH – Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Hearing Impaired

Documentation – information from an appropriate medical or licensed professional which details a student's diagnosis, treatment and functional limitations that may impact that person in a learning environment; usually includes recommendations for accommodations

ESA – Emotional Support Animal (see also: Service Animal) – an animal that provides emotional support to a student with anxiety or psychiatric impairments; has limited access compared to a Service Animal; with approval and permission, ESAs are allowed in residence halls; neither ESAs nor other non-Service Animal-animals are generally allowed on campus; see the University Policy related to animals on campus

Faculty memos – letters from the DRS office that inform faculty members of a student’s registration with DRS and appropriate academic accommodations that have been approved for the student

IEP – Individualized Educational Plan, typically utilized in a K-12 setting; useful, but is not typically considered as sufficient documentation in a post-secondary setting; also referred to as a “504 Plan

Initial Meeting – meeting with a Coordinator which finalizes a student's registration with DRS; typically, this meeting is used to determine which accommodations are reasonable or appropriate for college classroom settings

LD – Learning Disability; includes Dyslexia (reading LD), Dyscalculia (Math LD), and Dysgraphia (written LD); could include Specific Learning Disability or Learning Disability, NOS (not otherwise specified)

Learning Specialist (Educational Specialist) – staff member with DRS who works with students on academic skills, strategies, paper drafting and proofing, structure of assignments, etc.

Major Life Activities – As stated in the ADA-AA, include, but are not limited to: "caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working; the operation of a major bodily function" including, but not limited to: "functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions"

Med Form (MD Form) – form used by DRS and completed by the student's medical professional; includes: diagnoses, treatment, medication, possible side effects, functional limitations, and impact on person's major life activities

Note takers – classmates recruited by DRS staff to provide copies of lecture notes; typically taken on non-carbon-reproduction paper and presented to the approved student at the end of each class; notes may also be taken using a "smart pen", which creates an electronic version of the notes for use with assistive technology software

Psychological-educational evaluation – an assessment administered by a licensed psychologist; can be used to determine a diagnosis; typically includes an IQ test and an achievement battery of tests; should include a history of the person's development, how they approach learning, memory and working speeds; typically includes recommendations for accommodations by the evaluator

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act) – precursor to the ADA

Section 504 – section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which outlines the responsibilities of educational institutions, as well as the education of people with disabilities

Semester Plan Meeting – appointment that occurs each semester between student and DRS Coordinator; outlines appropriate accommodations for the student's classes, as well as a plan of action to stay on track for that semester; also a time to discuss campus and office resources available to the student

Service Animal (see also: Emotional Support Animal) – an animal that has been trained to perform a specific disability-related service for its person; Service Animals have full access via its person, so long as safety and health of the animal and others aren’t compromised. Service Animals require no specific badge or harness. People with Service Animals are allowed to be asked 2 questions related to the Animal and its service: 1) Is this animal in service of a disability? 2) What service or task has it been trained to do to assist the person?

Speech-to-text – a computer program which translates spoken words (via microphone) and translates the speech into text through speech recognition software

Summary of Performance (SOP) – a document issued by a student's high school (or equivalent) that details the "academic achievement and functional performance" of the student based on the student's unique needs and goals; intended to help the student transition accommodations from high school to college; not typically considered sufficient documentation in a post-secondary setting

Test Accommodation Form – used to notify DRS of a student's intent to take a test in the DRS Office; outlines the professor's expectations as to how tests will be administered

Test Proctoring – monitoring of a test by DRS to ensure appropriate test security

Text-to-speech – a computer program that translates an electronic document and "reads" it (via computer amplification, speakers, or headphones)

Weekly Academic Coaching Meeting – standing appointments at DRS, 15 to 30 minutes in length, in which the Coordinator (or GA) and student meet to discuss academics, college in general, diagnoses, effectiveness of accommodations, general life or executive functioning