Frequently Asked Questions for Academic Accommodations
Who do I ask for accommodations?
Every college is required to have an office or an individual responsible for ensuring equal access for students with disabilities. The Office of Disability Services for Students is located at Student Center 126. Office Phone: 956-326-3086 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
When should I submit my documentation?
Students should submit documentation as soon as possible to ensure that expensive, or difficult to arrange accommodations are ready by the first day of class. For example, if Brailled texts are required, documentation and a list of required books should be submitted at least a couple of months prior to these needed services to ensure adequate time to have the textbooks Brailled since many colleges outsource this service and it is a very time-consuming process.
Is it ever too late to request accommodations?
Students may submit documentation and provide accommodations at any point during the semester, but any grades already in place or tests taken BEFORE accommodations were granted will not be changed or repeated with accommodations. Not all accommodations can be immediately implemented, and no grades given during the implementation period will be changed.
Do I have to pay for accommodations at the college?
Students are not charged for academic accommodations which are determined by the college to be necessary to ensure equal access for a student with disabilities. Students MAY be charged for any additional accommodations not normally provided to all students, such as the purchase of books to be altered into audio format.
Do I have to use all of my accommodations in every class?
No, a student has the right to never mention his/her disability to a teacher and to never submit the accommodations request letter to that teacher, or to any teacher if so desired. However, the student may not make up work or tests with accommodations at a later date if he chooses not to present the letter at the beginning of the semester. Also, a student must present the letter at least one week prior to any test for which accommodations are desired
Why is there a difference between the services I received before and those received at TAMIU?
College accommodations usually differ considerably from high school modifications. Colleges are not required by law to provide modified curriculum, different tests, reduced assignments, or personal assistance of any sort. Accommodations may also differ between colleges. There are many reasons for denial of accommodations received at a previous college:
1. The documentation does not meet the college’s guidelines
2. The documentation does not support the requested accommodation.
3. The accommodation would fundamentally alter the activity, course, or program
4. The accommodation is in conflict with the academic policies of the college
5. Providing the accommodation would pose a direct threat to the student or others
6. Providing the accommodation would constitute an undue financial or administrative burden to the college
Who informs my instructors about my accommodations?
Students are responsible for presenting their accommodation letters to the instructors. If a student has an Internet course which never meets with the instructor, the DSS (Disability Student Services) Office will inform the instructor of the student’s accommodation request. The student is still responsible for arranging all tests request.
Can’t I request an accommodation directly from my instructor?
No, instructors have no obligation to provide any accommodations to a student without the Accommodations Request Letter issued by the Disability Services Coordinator. All accommodations must be approved by this department before the instructor is obligated to provide any accommodations to a student.
What if I need help with transportation, medical services, psychological services, or personal hygiene services?
Colleges are not responsible for providing any services of a personal nature, including transportation (unless transportation is being provided for all students as in the case of a field trip or athletics). Students must arrange all services themselves, or request assistance from an outside agency such as the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).
What if my Disability requires a waiver of a course in my program?
Most colleges do not waive essential courses in a student’s curriculum. If the course is part of the “Core Curriculum” required by the college’s state, the course will most likely NOT be waived. Every college should have a policy in place to evaluate possible course substitutions when a student’s disability precludes him/her from being able to successfully complete that course.
What kind of accommodations can TAMIU provide for me?
Texas A&M International University's DSS offers a variety of services for students with disabilities, including the following: accessible furniture in classrooms, assistance in recruiting note takers, assistance in ordering audio books, equipment loan (e.g.,recorders, Livescribe Echo Pen, Colored Overlays), materials enlarged (e.g., exams, handouts), sign language interpreters, alternative testing arrangements, counseling and other reasonable services.
What is the most important part of the Registration Process?
1. Have your Documentation ready.
2. Plan ahead
3. Be ready to be your own advocate. Your college experience will be what you make of it. This is your time to shine!
Student Counseling and Disability Services
Student Center 128
Phone: (956) 326-2230
Fax: (956) 326-2231