Student Disability Services

Frequently Asked Questions

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What services are available for students with disabilities?

A variety of services are available to a University of the Incarnate Word student with a disability. These services may include, but are not limited to, interpreters for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, assistance with print materials, reader/scribes, note taker assistance, recorders, assistance with the registration process, adaptive equipment, print materials converted to audio CDs and test accommodations.


How do I apply for services?

To receive assistance at the University of the Incarnate Word, you must register for services through the Office of Student Disability Services. All services are elective and must be requested by the student. Arrangements for services may be made directly through the office of Student Disability Services, Administration Building, room 105.

To register, you need to provide the office with the appropriate documentation of your disability. A Request for Letters on Accommodations form must be completed each semester to maintain services once officially enrolled with our office. All services should be requested in a timely manner.


Who will be responsible for arranging accommodations?


Each semester you can request Letters of Accommodation for each of your instructors. These letters will outline, (1) Your course responsibilities and what accommodations are prescribed for your disability (disabilities). The day-to-day arrangements are between you and your instructor and when necessary between you, your instructor and the UIW Testing Services.


When should I talk with my instructor(s) about the accommodations listed on my Letters of Accommodation?

Specific accommodations will vary according to the student and the severity of the disability. Therefore, it is important that you meet with your instructor(s) early in the semester to discuss your disability and the specific accommodations that you require. You should meet with your instructor(s) during the first week of the semester.


I’ve been told that I should talk to my instructor(s) about my disability. What should I talk about?

Topics that generally need to be addressed with the instructor include: classroom accessibility and seatingtest taking, and recording procedures, reproduction of written materials and visual aids, and lecture procedures, such as lecture notes, or how to utilize an interpreter in the classroom.


What if my instructor(s) asks questions about my disability?


If an instructor asks you questions about your disability, it is up to you how you choose to answer. People who don’t live with disabilities often learn about them from people who do. Typically, the more you can comfortably share about what works for you, the better your instructor will understand. On the other hand, if he or she wishes to find out more information concerning your disability from the Office of Student Disability Services, this additional information can be obtained only after you have given your written permission.

Click here to access a Release of Information Form (PDF)


Will Student Disability Services excuse my extended absences from class due to my disability?


Medical conditions that may require extended absences from classes cannot be reasonably accommodated if participation in the class is a requirement. The Office of Student Disability Services cannot excuse absences from classes, as this is a faculty responsibility. Even if the student’s instructors excuse additional absences, the student will still be responsible for all missed information, homework, papers, and assignments.

What should I expect from the Office of Student Disability Services?


The staff of Student Disability Services (SDS) believes that a person with a disability can succeed and can take control of his or her education. The staff further believes that self-understandingself-efficacy and self-helpare the keys to empowerment. It is the role of the staff of SDS to provide the student with information about services and accommodations that are available, to explain the procedures to be followed, and to coordinate the options that are chosen. The rest is up to you.


The University of the Incarnate Word supplies “Access”,you supply the “Success.”


What are my responsibilities at the University?


  • You are responsible for making the initial contact with the staff of the Office of Student Disability Services. It is advisable to make this contact before or immediately after the semester begins.
  • It is your responsibility to bring documentation of your disability that accurately addresses your current abilities and needs to this initial meeting. If you are new to the University or new to the Office of Student Disability Services, this documentation is needed to determine if you are eligible for services and accommodations. Not everyone with a documented disability meets the eligibility requirements for services and/or accommodations. This documentation also helps in the prescription of accommodations and services that are most appropriate for you.
  • You must come in person (requests will not be accepted from parents/guardians of a student with a disability, or disability advocates, or friends of a student with a disability, etc.) to the Office of Student Disability Services and request Letters of Accommodation each and every semester. It is your responsibility to complete and turn in a Request for Letters of Accommodation Form to the SDS Office so that the accommodation letters can be completed. Letters for your instructors take time to prepare. Therefore, you will not be able to pick-up your letters until 48 working hours (2 working days) after you place your request.

Click here to access a Request for Letters of Accommodation Form (Word)

  • You are responsible for notifying the SDS Office if you need more, fewer, or modified letters for your instructors. Sometimes your schedule will change in the first couple of weeks of class, and you may find that you do not have letters for the correct instructors. You will need to come back to the Office of Student Disability Services to make any necessary changes. You also may not wish for all your prescribed accommodations to be listed on every Letter of Accommodation. In this case, you will also need to convey the needed alterations to the SDS Office so that the changes can be made.
  • If receiving a copy of the “instructor’s lecture notes” is one of your accommodations, then you are responsible for making any copies of the notes that are necessary. The only responsibility of the instructor is to make the notes available to you. You can either write your own notes from the instructor’s copy or you can have the instructor e-mail the notes to you and you can print them or you can make a copy of the instructor’s notes using one of the copy machines on campus. Neither the instructor nor the Office of Student Disability Services is responsible for making copies for you.
  • If you are not receiving all of your accommodations or if you believe you are being discriminated against because of your disability, it is your responsibility to let the Office of Student Disability Services staff know immediately after the incident has occurred. Waiting days, weeks and/or semesters after the incident decreases the chances of the situation being resolved in a timely and equitable fashion.


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