The process of accommodations is an ongoing, interactive, and communicative process that involves the student and Accessibility Services. Each accommodation request is different; therefore, Accessibility Services makes the effort to review each request in depth to meet the unique needs of each student.
- Submit an Accommodation Application.
- Upload documentation of your disability. (Have questions about documentation? Review our Documentation Guidelines.)
- Participate in an appointment with Accessibility Services Staff. This meeting can be in-person or over Zoom.
Accessibility Services Staff will contact you via your SU email to schedule an appointment with you. This can be an in-person or Zoom meeting. If a first-year incoming student, please provide an email where we can reach you. This must be a student’s email.
- During the meeting we will discuss the following:
- Impact of your disability
- History of using accommodations
- Requested accommodations
- How to use accommodations
- You will have the opportunity to schedule follow-up meetings with Accessibility Services throughout your time at Shepherd. You can meet as frequently as you wish.
Following the appointment, all information will be shared with the Director of Accessibility Services for a status review. The student will receive email communication with one of the following application statuses:
- Reasonable accommodation(s) approved: when a student’s request for reasonable accommodations has been approved, they will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of their accommodations letter for their records only. This letter is shared with faculty through a semester request completed by the student via Accommodate. If housing accommodations, it is shared with Residence Life.
- More information needed: when a student’s request for reasonable accommodation cannot be approved due to the need for additional information, the student will be notified via email or phone call of the request for additional information.
- Application Not Approved/Alternative Accommodation: when a student’s request is not approved, or an alternative accommodation is suggested, the Director of Accessibility Services will contact the student to discuss the details and to provide next steps, if applicable.
Students who are in the process of transitioning to college from high school and currently enrolling into Shepherd are welcome to have parents accompany them to the meetings with the specialist for general information and registration with the office. Parents may not request accommodations and/or services on behalf of their student. The student must request services and accommodations. It’s important to note that, because the academic accommodations are provided for students, the process for requesting and providing academic accommodations requires the active participation of the student. Accessibility Services needs to have open communication directly with the student to assess the needs and wishes of the student who is requesting the accommodation. For this reason, our policies and procedures require the student’s involvement.
Written consent provided by students under FERPA entitles parents to information regarding their student’s educational program; however, such consent does not entitle parents to participate in the accommodations process. This authorization of a parent as a delegate does not allow parents to insist that students not be contacted directly or involved in the accommodation process.
The Office for Civil Rights has ruled that students must initiate the process, be active participants in the accommodation process and have direct interaction/contact with the Accessibility Services Staff.