I Understand the Process Behind Requesting FSU's Disabilities Services, but How Does it Work for a Student?

The following list generally applies to most students who register with our office. Specifics vary depending on the student's disability, functional limitations and accommodations that will be requested and provided.

  • First, our office must verify the student's disability and the functional limitations that result.
    • Medical or psychological records are used in this process.
    • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 Plans are not adequate to demonstrate the functional limitations of a disability.
    • In some cases, our office may determine the records provided are too old to be considered accurate. In such instances, we will recommend the student obtain a current assessment. This must be done by the student and at the student's expense.
  • Next, a counselor from our office and the student discuss the limitations of the disability and decide on appropriate accommodations. Some accommodations may be provided by our office. Other accommodations will require the student to make the request of the instructor.
  • Contact between a counselor at Disabilities Services and the student is a crucial part of determining how the student will obtain accommodations.
  • Our office will draft a letter to send electronically to a student's instructors. The letter introduces the student and informs the instructor that the student's disability has been verified by our office. It stipulates the accommodations that are reasonable and which logically address the student's limitations. Thus, the letter's purpose is to assist the student in requesting accommodations from instructors.
  • The student needs to be active in requesting their accommodations. Do not assume the professor will take care of it, that our office will pull a student through school, or that a parent can do it for them. As an adult, a student must take responsibility for their own education.
  • In the case of auxiliary aides and services, our office maintains lists of qualified professionals and equipment.
  • We recommend students identify and request accommodations with plenty of advance notice to ensure their accommodations will be there when they need them. Ideally the student should contact their instructors prior to the first day of class to discuss classroom formats and the appropriate accommodations for that class. Depending upon the accommodation they will need to remind the instructor and then confirm the arrangements have been made for their use.
  • Accommodations are provided at no expense to the student and are based upon each individual's unique needs. The process of requesting and receiving accommodations is interactive; all people involved — the student, the instructor, our office and sometimes individual departments and programs, work together to make sure the process works.
  • Each semester the student will need to request accommodations and come in prior to the beginning of the semester to sign necessary paperwork to receive those accommodations.