Getting Started: Registering with DRS
Students who wish to register with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), located at 110 Wilder Tower, will self-identify by completing a student application, submitting documentation of disability, and participating in an initial appointment with a DRS Coordinator.
DRS has implemented a new system for the management of academic accommodations. Students new to DRS, not yet registered with DRS and would like to register with DRS should register at Accessible Information Management System (AIM). We will be adding additional information about training and tutorials to this web page throughout the summer.
Disability-related documentation should be from an appropriate, qualified professional who is trained in diagnosing the particular medical, psychiatric, or cognitive condition. Credentials and contact information of the diagnosing professional should be included, and diagnosing professionals should not be family members or have a close, personal relationship to the individual being evaluated. Documentation should include diagnoses, any prescribed medications or therapies, compliance with those therapies, and any side effects the therapies might have on the student academically. The DRS Medical Documentation Form, or a similar description on office letterhead, completed by the student's treating or prescribing health care professional, is typically required. Diagnosis of a disability does not necessarily establish the need for accommodations.
Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) and Summaries of Performance (SOP) from high school are helpful; however, they alone are not sufficient and need to be supplemented with a current and complete evaluation, or updated medical information.
For students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Learning Disabilities (LD), a full psychological-educational evaluation is typically required, and will help to determine how the ADHD or LD affects the student in an academic setting.
Students with Asperger's or Autism may also be asked to provide a full psychological-educational evaluation to determine appropriate academic accommodations.
Because each student's situation is unique, DRS invites potential students to meet with a DRS Coordinator to discuss the documentation that may be needed to determine appropriate accommodation. Documentation requirements vary by situation. No student should delay meeting with DRS out of concern for having inadequate or inappropriate documentation.
Note that other institutions and/or testing agencies may have different criteria for approving accommodations and require different kinds of documentation.
The Initial Meeting
The Initial Appointment provides an opportunity for the student's DRS Coordinator to understand the student's disability experience. During the Initial Meeting, the student and his/her Coordinator will discuss how the disability affects the student and the accommodations that have been successful in providing access. The Initial Appointment typically occurs after the student completes the DRS Student Information Form and submits disability-related documentation to the DRS office.
The Coordinator and student will discuss:
- the student's academic history, including the accommodations the student has used and the effectiveness of those accommodations
- the direct impact the student's disability has on his/her classroom interactions and learning, including how the student takes in lecture information, how he or she participates in class discussions, and how the student interacts with online or web-based learning
- how the student studies, including the study methods used, how the student manages homework and assignments, and how the student completes the required readings and written assignments
- how the student processes and takes tests
- the essential or basic requirements of the student's course of study; appropriate and effective accommodations for typical courses will be discussed and determined between the student and the Coordinator
- recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and other support services will be considered within the context of the student's current academic program
Accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case and sometimes on a course-by-course basis, through consultation between the student, the DRS Coordinator, and the professor of the course.