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Facts About Disability

Students with documentation of a physical, learning, or psychiatric disability may be eligible for accessibility assistance through the Accessibility and Disability Service at the Counseling Center.

Students with physical disabilities present unique classroom access and accommodation needs associated with limitations in mobility, speaking, hearing, and/or vision.

Students with medical disabilities may have difficulty with participating in their academic programs due to the disorder or the ongoing treatment protocol.

Students with learning disabilities have neurological impairments that interfere with and slow down information processing, memory and retrieval, and output. These disabilities can impact reading, writing, math, attention, concentration, and/or overall organization·

Students with psychiatric disabilities have a chronic and debilitating psychological diagnosis that interferes with their ability to participate in a routine educational program. Examples of diagnoses in this category include Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) may experience inattentive, hyperactive, and/or impulsive behaviors due to a dysfunction of the central nervous system. These behaviors may compromise an individual’s social, vocational and academic performance.

Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder experience difficulties with communication, social interaction, abstract reasoning and expression of feelings and emotions. Learning disabilities, anxiety or hyper- or hypo-sensitivity might co-exist with autism.

Some students with disabilities have registered with the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) and received accommodations. Other students may not realize that they have a particular problem and that treatment and accommodations are available.


  • Speak to the student in private about your concerns.
  • Treat each student with sensitivity and respect.
  • Acknowledge the difficulties that the student is having.
  • Refer students for whom there is no DSS verification to the Counseling Center in Shoemaker Building, where they can access a variety of services designed to mitigate concerns.
  • Encourage students who have registered with DSS to meet with a DSS counselor for consultation about the concern.
  • Refer the student to the Accessibility and Disability Service at the Counseling Center.
  • Be open to follow-up consultation with DSS regarding accommodations for the student.
  • Using patronizing language with the student.
  • Underestimating or questioning the stated disability.
  • Assuming the student understands the academic limitations imposed by the disability.
  • Assuming the student qualifies for accommodations without DSS verification.
  • Underestimating or questioning the student’s abilities.
  • Making assumptions about the student’s understanding of the academic limitations imposed by the disability.
  • Assuming that the student qualifies for accommodations without DSS verification.
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