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DSS Student FAQ
How do I contact Disability Support Services?
Are ALL students with disabilities registered with UCO Disability Support Services?
No. It is possible that students with disabilities have chosen not to register nor have a need to register with UCO Disability Support Services. It is also possible that they may not have met the eligibility criteria for services. In these cases, instructors do not need to provide accommodations for those students.
Who registers with Disability Support Services?
DSS serves 700-1,000 students with disabilities each academic year.
Students register with one or more of these disabilities:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Blindness or Low Vision
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Developmental Disabilities
- Health Conditions
- Learning Disabilities
- Mental Health Disabilities
- Orthopedic or Mobility Disabilities
- Temporary Conditions/Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Who is responsible for determining reasonable accommodations?
University of Central Oklahoma Disability Support Services is the only office on campus that determines appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. Decisions regarding accommodations are based on disability documentation provided by the student and their interactive process with a DSS staff member.
How do students register for accommodations?
Students first complete an online application requesting accommodations where they will upload their disability documentation and class schedule. Once received, reviewed, meeting with DSS Coordinator, and reasonable accommodation(s) determined, an accommodation letter will be created and sent to the student via email. They can then share with instructors/staff as needed.
Are there accommodations for someone with a temporary injury/condition?
Yes, DSS will determine reasonable accommodations for someone experiencing a temporary injury/condition. Students first complete an online application requesting accommodations where they will upload their documentation and class schedule. Once received, reviewed, meeting with a DSS coordinator and reasonable accommodation(s) determined, a temporary services letter will be created and sent to the student via email. They can then share with instructors/staff as needed.
How do I notify my instructor of my need for accommodation?
- Students are encouraged by DSS to share their accommodation letter with instructors via email, in person or both and discuss ways to implement the needed listed accommodations in the course.
Does my instructor have to honor accommodations listed on a doctor’s letter?
No. They only have to honor accommodations determined by DSS.
Can my instructor require that I provide them with my accommodation letter at the beginning of the semester?
Require? No. But, instructors encourage students to present letters as early in the semester as possible.
Students do have the right to disclose their accommodations at any point of the semester; however, accommodations are not retroactive and while instructors cannot set a limited timeframe for accepting accommodation letters, they are not required to provide accommodations until receiving the letter. The best way to ensure accommodation arrangements are planned for is to discuss arrangements with students when receiving accommodation letters.
If I disclose a DSS letter midway through the semester, will I be accommodated for previous work submitted in the course?
No. Accommodations are not retroactive.
Will my accommodations make me successful?
Accommodations provide equal access to your course(s) as your peers without disabilities experience. With accommodations, you have the same chance to be successful as your peers.
How and what should I do when providing my accommodation letter to my instructor(s)?
DSS encourages you to meet with your instructors in their office when available or by email to provide your Accommodation Letter, as this provides a confidential environment for a discussion. Discuss with instructors the needed accommodations as listed for their course and how those will play out in their course.
Can my instructor ask me about my disability?
DSS encourages the instructor to focus on your abilities rather than your disabilities.
Will DSS share my disability related information to anyone?
A student’s disability is considered confidential information, and therefore is not normally divulged to persons outside Disability Support Services. DSS is only able to share disability related information to University personnel when a need-to-know basis exists.
When do my accommodations start?
Accommodations start once you have delivered your accommodation letter to your instructor and enough time has been allowed to implement said accommodations.
Are instructors required to provide the listed accommodations?
Yes, in compliance with federal laws UCO must provide accommodations to students with disabilities. However, the accommodations should not fundamentally alter the course/program. If accommodation(s) fundamentally alter or reduce the essential elements of a course, instructors should contact Disability Support Services (ext. 2516) to discuss further.
Do I have any recourse if I disagree with my accommodations determined by DSS?
Contact Disability Support Services (ext. 2516) to discuss your concerns. If not resolved, then any student who believes an accommodation was denied unjustly may file an appeal with the Section 504 Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator as per the University’s Student Complaint Procedure in Cases of Alleged Disability Discrimination and/or Harassment.
What if my instructor doesn’t know how to provide one of the listed accommodations?
Disability Support Services is available for consult in determining how to provide accommodations; please have your instructor contact us any time at 405-974-2516.
Is my instructor required to lower the course standards because I have a disability?
The standards should be the same for all students. However, some students with disabilities may exhibit their course expectations differently than their peers. Accommodations are designed to address those differences, but the end result should be the same.
Can I fail because I have disability related accommodations?
Students with disability related accommodations have the same right to pass/fail as anyone else. Provision of accommodations is not a guarantee of academic success.
Can my disability exempt me from abiding by the University Student Conduct Code?
All students are expected to abide by the UCO Code of Student Conduct regardless of one’s disability.
I am having trouble in one or all of my classes. What should I do?
Talk privately with the instructor as there are many campus resources that may assist you directly.
What resources are available to students who are having difficulty in class or on tests but might not qualify for accommodations?
Check out the campus resources to see if any might be of assistance.
Is it fair to all students that some students receive accommodations for extra time on tests or get to take tests in a separate room?
Accommodations are in place to provide equal access. The accommodations do not provide an unfair advantage, but rather place the students on a level even with their peers.
Completing tasks quickly and on time is very important for students graduating and entering the workforce. Does allowing extended time for tests or due dates adequately prepare me for the real world?
If time is an essential element for your course, then that accommodation may not apply. Despite what we know or believe to be true in the workforce, we have a legal obligation to ensure equal access in our programs/services. Often times, students with disabilities have access at work because the environment is different than an educational setting such as UCO. If needed, individuals can receive accommodations in the workforce through their employers.
What laws protect students with disabilities in post-secondary?
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Fair Housing Act
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Oklahoma Electronic and Information Technology Act
What animals are allowed on campus?
Service animal owners only have to register their service animal with Disability Support Services if living on campus. Service animals are allowed with their owner wherever the public is allowed (including inside buildings).
Definition of a service animal: A dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities as defined by the ADA.
What questions can anyone ask me regarding my service animal?
There are two questions allowed to ascertain if the animal is a service animal when NOT readily apparent: (1) Is the dog a service animal required because of your disability? And (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Students can voluntarily register their service animal with Disability Support Services by visiting the office in NUC, room 305.
Can my service animal be excluded from any authorized area and I be subject to disciplinary action?
If the service animal displays aggressive or disruptive behavior or noises and effective action is not taken to control it; unless said noise/behavior(s) are part of the needed disability service to the owner. Also, can be excluded if it is not housebroken. Additionally, if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others it may be excluded.
What is an emotional support animal (ESA)?
An ESA is an animal that provides emotional support to an individual with a significant mental health disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of the individual’s disability. Emotional support animals are only allowed in the student’s on-campus residence once approved by Disability Support Services and Housing. Any emotional support animal outside of university housing shall be treated like a pet.
How do I get approved for an Emotional Support Animal?
For emotional support animal housing accommodation requests, please review the University's Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy and have your provider complete the ESA Documentation Form. Once you have supporting documentation complete the online housing accommodation request.
I have a pet I want to bring to campus. Where can it go?
Pets may accompany an individual in outside areas only minus university/athletic outside events and are required to be on a leash. No pets are allowed inside the buildings. The only exception would be by way of a DSS Accommodation Letter identifying such need for a student.
Do you have any suggestions for working with instructors?
Disability Support Services encourages you to discuss your learning style with the instructor to look for enhanced ways to learn the content necessary. Communication with your instructor and your interaction in the course are key!
My instructor is unable to give me my exam accommodation(s) in their area, what can I do?
Disability Support Services Testing Center may be able to assist. The following four factors must exist:
- Students are required to take the exam on campus in which the instructor is proctoring;
- Students are required to take the exam at the same time/date/location;
- Student has a current DSS accommodation letter outlining exam accommodations; and,
- The instructor is unable to provide the accommodation(s) in their respective area.
To use the DSS Testing Center, the student, after discussing with the instructor the specific arrangements, will need to schedule their exam with DSS two business days in advance. Once the student schedules with the DSS Testing Center, instructors are notified via email.
Do I have to take the exam in DSS at the same time as the class?
If that is possible with your accommodations and without interfering with your other course times, then yes. Otherwise, Academic Affairs expects the exam to be scheduled in a block that is as close to the time other students take the exam as possible.
If my instructor says extended time is already built into the class test for all, do I still get extended time?
Yes, built in time still allows all students additional time; therefore, the student with extended time as an accommodation would still be required.
Can my instructor require a lockdown browser for a student with exam accommodations?
Lockdown browsers prohibit multiple software programs to be open. If the student uses another program to access the exam due, then the requirement of the lockdown browser will need to be lifted for that student. The student’s need for use of a program will be identified on their Accommodation Letter (i.e. ability to use a screen reader/screen magnifier, text-to-speech or speech-to-text, etc.).
Can my instructor give an unannounced (pop) quiz if I have exam accommodations?
Either the instructor will give you the pop quiz in their area with your exam accommodations; or,
Your instructor will call ahead of time and inform the DSS Testing Center of your need to test with us. The student will be notified of this pop quiz during class time and that it is waiting for them in the DSS Testing Center. It is normally expected the student comes at some time on that specific day.
Do videos have to be captioned?
It is strongly recommended that all videos be captioned before implementing into the course regardless of an identified student’s accommodation need.
Does DSS require grade checks of students registered?
DSS will never ask for a grade check of students. Our mission is your access.
Where can I get tested for a disability?
Can any student, even not registered with Disability Support Services file a disability related complaint?
Helpful Campus Resources?
The University has outlined several Student Resources.