This FAQ is designed to answer the common questions that families have about what they and their current or future college student can expect, what accommodations are available, and strategies students with disabilities can use to have a successful and rewarding college experience. While some of the information in this FAQ is specific to processes and procedures at Methodist University, much of the information provided here is more general and applies to most colleges and universities. In this FAQ, we use the gender-neutral “they/them” pronouns so that our language is applicable and relevant for all students, regardless of gender identity.

Frequently Asked Questions

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We help students with disabilities obtain reasonable accommodations to provide equal access and opportunities in their academic courses, degree programs and related support services. Appropriate services are determined on an individualized basis and may include housing or dining accommodations, classroom access, testing accommodations, accessible textbooks, assistive technology and other services based on disability-related need.

There are some accommodations that may remain the same but a 504 or IEP does not automatically transfer to your university. Students must register with the Student Access & Accommodations Office and complete an intake to determine reasonable accommodations based on how their diagnosis impacts them. Accommodations are tools that students use to ensure equal access to education. Modifications (such as the ability to retake a test if below a certain grade, a shortened exam, or reduction in assignments) are NOT accommodations and are not granted at the University level. Students with accommodations must meet the same academic, technical, professional requirements and standards as all other students.

A disability is any physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such a person’s major life activities. Some examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental health conditions – Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD
  • Cognitive/Learning Disorders – ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism
  • Chronic Medical – Diabetes, Chron’s Disease, Lupus, Chronic Migraines
  • Sensory – Hearing Loss, Vision Loss
  • Neurological/Mobility – Brain Injury, Seizure Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis

The most common accommodations are:

  • Extended test time.
  • Provide a testing environment with minimal distraction.
  • Permission to audio-record class lectures.
  • Electronic copies of posted slides/lecture notes and handouts.
  • Provide seating arrangements.

All accommodations are determined based upon appropriate documentation and student interview. The above list is not exhaustive; further and/or specific accommodations may apply depending on a) the diagnosis, and b) the severity of the diagnosis.

Accommodations may also apply for temporary situations, i.e., a broken limb, one-time surgery, or temporary medical treatment. It is expected that the student communicates with their professor(s) in all situations, chronic or temporary, to arrange provision of accommodations.

Accommodation differs between K-12 and post-secondary. One of the biggest differences between K-12 and post-secondary is modifications. At the K-12 level, modification can mean anything from retaking exam if the student scores below a specific score or have less questions on their exams than the other students. Post-secondary does not do modifications. Students with disabilities are required to do what all other students in that class/program/degree are required to do. They use their accommodations to accomplish that. Not all institutions use the same method to meet an accommodation. One example is note taking. Most institutions do not use people to take notes for students. In fact, that method is the least effective. Students could use software on their laptops or a recording device. The student will receive reasonable accommodations they are eligible for. Most important, the accommodations a student uses at Methodist will transfer to their field of work.

No. Any information about student accommodations is stored securely within Student Access & Accommodations Office. Students are in control of requesting their accommodation letters each semester and those letters listing the accommodations are only sent to the professor of record for each course the student chooses to use their accommodations for. Students’ diagnoses are never shared outside of the SAAS office, and all student documentation is protected under both HIPAA and FERPA laws.

No, you do not need to go through the registration process again every semester. If you are already registered with SAAS, when you register for classes at the beginning of each semester, you will simply email SAAS and request your accommodation letters for your new courses.

If students receive a new diagnosis after their intake appointment, they will need to provide documentation of the diagnosis to SAAS. Once received, the student would need to schedule an accommodation review appointment. SAAS staff will then add any reasonable accommodations to the student’s profile and accommodation letter.