What resources will DRS provide?
In addition to the disability-related accommodations a student needs, DRS can provide students with additional support like math tutoring, academic writing and study skills, as well as structural and organizational assistance 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: https://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: https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/ds/vocational-rehabilitation.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 the website: https://www.memphis.edu/reslife
I don't have a physical or visible disability. Can I still register with DRS?
DRS works with 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 serves is students with ADHD and/or learning disabilities.
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 students with ADHD?
DRS serves 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 students with chronic illness?
DRS works with a lot 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 students with psychiatric disorders?
During the 2016-17 academic year, there were 654 students registered in the LD/ADHD/ASD Program. There were 303 students registered with DRS who identified as having psychiatric disorders and 153 students identified as having chronic illnesses.
What kinds of accommodations are available?
Accommodations are decided on a case-by-case, course-by-course basis. One student's needs may not be the same as another’s. Similarly, what is reasonable and appropriate in one course, may not be in another. With specific documentation and a meeting with a Coordinator, DRS will be able to determine what is reasonable or appropriate with each individual.
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 appropriate in each individual case.
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. If this is needed as an accommodation, it can be arranged with your instructor.
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 teach individual’s 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 DRS Coordinator about what information will be needed to register with DRS and help determine reasonable accommodations.
I haven't been successful in learning or completing another language. I have a learning
disability, I can be exempted for taking that course?
While not all majors at the University of Memphis require a World Language Requirement, some do. If the World Language Requirement is essential for the degree, the student will have to take the foreign language. If the student wants to pursue a World Language Substitution, he or she should meet with the appropriate Coordinator to discuss the process of requesting a World Language Substitution. After the meeting, DRS may recommend a World 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 World Language.
Can you remove my math requirement?
The University of Memphis considers math to be an essential general education requirement for all degree programs. This requirement cannot be waived.
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 their Coordinator to discuss any needed accommodations and additional information DRS may need to complete 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 students’ confidentiality; 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 with a need to know will be informed of a student's registration with DRS. Their specific disability information will not be shared.
Will my transcript/diploma indicate that I was registered with DRS or used accommodations?
There are no identifiers on transcripts or diplomas that a student was registered with, used accommodations via, 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 or her major based on personal interests and values, and skill levels. 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 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 creating enough study time, working with tutors, and engaging in other good practices for academic success.
I need a handicapped parking placard. Where do I go?
"Designated accessible parking areas are available to persons with 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 disabled parking permits. The priority parking permit fee will be assessed to FACULTY/STAFF for 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 Center (CRIS), and to and from the Park Avenue campus. The Blue Line is accessible for students who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues.
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, 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.