EMU promotes equal educational opportunities and full participation for all persons. Students with disabilities are provided access to full educational opportunities through reasonable accommodations. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, “students with documented disabilities may request modifications, accommodations or auxiliary aids which will enable them to participate in and benefit from all post secondary educational programs and activities.”
This was confirmed and strengthened by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Faculty and staff support individual students needing reasonable accommodations in classroom policies and procedures due to documented needs. The faculty and staff also foster the development and use of strategies which promote self-advocacy, independence and personal success.
Students with disabilities should register with the SDSS office immediately upon acceptance to EMU so that it can be processed prior to registration and the students arrival on campus. Disclosure of a disability is voluntary. However, students need to identify their disabilities if they wish to obtain reasonable and appropriate accommodations.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What if I think I have a disability?
A: Come to the Student Disability Support Services (SDSS) Coordinator in the Academic Support Center to discuss your situation.
Q: What if I had a documented disability in high school and haven’t told anyone at EMU. . . but now I know I need extra help?
A: Come to the Student Disability Support Services (SDSS) Coordinator in the ASC to discuss how we can work together to meet your academic goals at EMU.
Q: How recent does my documentation have to be?
A: It is best if the documentation is no more than three years old if you have a learning disability or attention deficit disorder. If your documentation is more than that, we will work with you to obtain an up to date evaluation that is based on adult standards. If you have another type of disability that affects your academic performance, we consider the documentation in a case by case basis.
Q: What if I have a physical or emotional disorder?
A: It is good to share this with the SDSS Coordinator and how it might affect your campus and academic life.
Q: What if I had IEPs in high school? Middle school? Elementary school?
A: This information is important for your well-being. You should speak with someone about what that means for you in a post-secondary school setting, however, current evaluation based on adult norms are needed for college accommodations. Make an appointment with the SDSS Coordinator to discuss your particular situation.
Q: Who needs to know about my disability?
A: Only those persons who you feel should know. The SDSS Coordinator keeps a confidential file with limited access to your information. It would be shared only when there is a compelling reason to do so. In that case, you would be contacted prior to its being shared. Faculty and administration members generally only need to know what you are willing to tell them. In other cases, you sign a release of information giving your permission.
Q: How do I let my instructors know about my need for accommodations?
A: The SDSS Coordinator works with you and the documentation you provide to develop a Memo of Accommodations that verifies the appropriate accommodations you need based on your documentation. Set up an appointment with each instructor at the beginning of each semester in each class for which you feel you need accommodations. Give them a copy of the Memo and discuss your needs with them. Both you and the professor sign the memo verifying that you have discussed and agreed on how you will receive the accommodations for their class. Return a copy to the SDSS Coordinator. If you don’t feel you need accommodations in a class, it is your right to choose not to use them. Accommodations are not granted retroactively.
Q: What kinds of accommodations are given at EMU?
A: All accommodations are based on the recommendations documented by the appropriate professional who evaluated the student. Some of the accommodations that students receive are a proctored test setting, extended time, alternative testing options, use of computers in testing, note-takers, preferential seating, preferential registration, syllabus in advance, use of recorded textbooks, use of adaptive technologies, reduced course load, study skills assistance, coaching, and priority single-room housing.
Q: If I am late in providing documentation, can I take tests over or redo work?
A: Receiving accommodations is based on when you present your documentation to the SDSS Office. It is only after meeting with the Coordinator to develop your Memo of Accommodations and presenting it to your course instructor for signature that you are allowed to receive accommodations. There are no retroactive accommodations. We believe that a student needs to be responsible and become an advocate for themselves with their professors as soon as the semester begins.
Q: What role does the Coordinator for Student Disability Support Services serve?
A: The Coordinator provides counsel, guidance, and support for students with disabilities. The Coordinator serves as a liaison between the student and the faculty, administration, and student life in issues that arise from their disability needs.