Guidelines for General Disability Accommodation
Who is Considered a Qualified Student with a Disability?
In order to provide quality services to students with disabilities, Texas State University requires a student to provide verification of disability to the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at the time services are requested. This information will be used to establish the need for appropriate accommodations. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A temporary disability does not usually qualify as a disability; however, severity and duration will be considered.
The disability groups addressed in this guideline include: deaf, hard of hearing, physical, mobility, blind and visual impairment, and other functional limitations including cancer, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and HIV or AIDS.
For cognitive disorders refer to the “Guidelines for Acquired Brain Injury Accommodation” (Attachment VII); for Attention Deficit Disorders refer to the "Guidelines for Attention Deficit Disorder Accommodation" (Attachment VIII); for learning disabilities refer to "Guidelines for Learning Disability Accommodation" (Attachment X); and for psychological disabilities refer to "Guidelines for Psychological Disability Accommodation" (Attachment XI).
Who Can Verify a Disability and What Documentation is Required?
Documentation will be accepted from a certified, licensed or professional person whose training is commonly accepted for establishing a specific diagnosis. For example, an audiologist can verify an individual as deaf or hard of hearing; an ophthalmologist can verify an individual as blind or visually impaired; and a neurologist can verify a person as having epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury. The documentation should be on official letterhead and include the following: a statement which classifies the individual as disabled; onset, nature, duration and severity of disability; any adverse side effects caused by medication; and recommended assistance to accommodate the individual's disability. The documentation must be recent enough to sufficiently describe how the disability currently affects the individual. In certain cases, updated information may be required. If necessary, the ODS will request a release of information from the student for the Student Health Center where an individual's documentation will be submitted for review by a physician. This process will assist the ODS in establishing appropriate accommodations.
Disability certification from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Texas Commission for the Blind, Department for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, or other state or federal agencies will also be accepted.
The disability documentation should also include recommended academic accommodations. Accommodations may include extended test time, reduced distraction environment for testing, seating in front of the classroom, advance registration of classes, and reduced course load. In addition for use by the university, these recommended accommodations might be needed in the future for standardized tests including the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
Students should keep a copy of any disability documentation provided to the ODS for their own records. The ODS will maintain a student's file no longer than five years after graduation or the last semester services are requested.
How are Accommodations and Support Services Determined?
Within 30 days of receiving the disability documentation, the ODS will review the need for accommodations and support services based on the individual's disability documentation and disability-based need. The ODS will notify the student after determining appropriate accommodations in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and university policy. For a description of services available for students with disabilities at Texas State, see the Office of Disability Services brochure.