Overview of Disabilities
Students who have disabilities are well-oriented for success in college, particularly when effort is made to available utilize campus resources. Meet with a disability services coordinator to ensure that your disability is documented at the Student Disability Center in order to obtain needed academic accommodations. Some academic accommodations include: academic workshops, drop-in and small group tutoring resources at theStudent Academic Success Center, group counseling, relaxation/biofeedback resources or individual counseling at Counseling Services. Use theInternship and Career Center throughout your college experience to prepare yourself for post-college by learning about careers, networking, and gaining valuable work/internship experiences. Additionally, become involved in campus clubs and organizations for a richer college experience.
Allies are those friends, family members, faculty/staff members, advisers, and others who are on the team that supports us in finding or making our way through life. Your first potential ally is someone you know well-- yourself!
Advocating for Accommodations
Self advocacy for college students who have disabilities means recognizing and dealing with the disability-related needs you have without losing sight of the fact that you are a person first and a person with a disability second. Universities are required to provide appropriate accommodations to ensure that they do not discriminate on the basis of disability. However, the university does not have to accommodate until you identify yourself and document your disability. Four keys to getting needed academic accommodations are:
- Ask the Student Disability Center (SDC): The first step is registering and giving them the documentation that you need to receive support. You will be assigned to a Disability Specialist who will work with you to figure out what accommodations are appropriate. Students must request academic accommodations prior to or at the beginning of each quarter by completing an SDC Accommodation Request Form.
- Ask early: For example, ask the professor the first day of class to set up test accommodations with you if you need these. By asking early you can prevent crises and lower your stress.
- Ask often: Professors may forget your disability accommodation needs. If you need speakers to face you when lecturing so you can lip-read, for example, and your teacher forgets to do this repeatedly, you may need to arrange a nonverbal signal to use with them to remind them.
- Ask elsewhere: If a particular professor or staff member does not seem willing or able to meet your accommodation needs, seek assistance elsewhere, from the Student Disability Center (SDC), SHCS, your adviser, or other campus allies.
As much as you can maximize the positive and minimize the negative, you’ll find greater ease in achieving your goals. Focus on your abilities more than your limitations. Everyone has both abilities and limitations. This is not to say that you don't acknowledge that you have a disability, but rather, by focusing on and developing your abilities you can feel good about all the things you can do.
- Avoid unrealistic comparisons.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Appreciate yourself - all of yourself.
How We Can Help
SHCS provides brief individual therapy, group therapy, and offers referrals for ongoing therapy. Please see our website’s detailed listing of groups and workshops that may be particularly helpful to you.
- SHCS Counseling Services
- SHCS Group Services: (See Support Group: Living with Chronic Illnesses & Disabilities)
- Student Disability Center
- Student Disability Advocacy Facebook Group
- Student Academic Success Center
- Internship and Career Center
- Wright’s Law: Continuing and Higher Education Guide for those with Disabilities
- For more information on the rights of those with disabilities visit the U.S. Department of Justice's Guide to Disability Rights Laws.