Self-Advocacy in Higher Education

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, public institutions of higher education must provide “reasonable accommodations” for students with documented disabilities who identify themselves to the disability  services office at the school, and request accommodations.

Questions Often Asked by Disability Service Providers

1. Can you describe your disability?

2. What kinds of difficulties have you experienced in academic settings?

3. What are your strengths and challenges?

4. What type of accommodations or services did you receive in high school? Which were the most beneficial?

5. Have you used adaptive equipment in the past? If so, what types of equipment or software were useful to you?

6. Do you have current documentation of your disability from a psychologist, physician, speech pathologist, or other qualified professional?

7. Are you a client of the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Services?

8. Why do you want to go to college?

Questions Students May Ask the Disability Services Coordinator

1. How do I contact the student disability office?

2. What services are available through the office, and how do I arrange for them?

3. What type of documentation is needed?

4. What are faculty members told about my disability and how do they learn about my accommodations?

5. What do I do if a faculty member doesn’t want to provide accommodations?

6. Does the disability services office help with study, writing, test-taking skills, or time management?

7. Are tutors available through the disability services office? Are they professional or student tutors? Is there a charge?

8. Is academic advisement through the disability services office or in coordination with my regular academic advisor?

9. What types of adaptive technology are available (e.g., computer software, closed captioning, TTY, FM system)?

10. How do I arrange for audio books?

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