Answers To Your Commonly Asked Questions

 

 


  1. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE ON CAMPUS?

  2. WHAT IS A “REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?”

  3. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES?

  4. DO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES HAVE TO PAY FOR SERVICES AND ACCOMMODATIONS?

  5. DO STUDENTS NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO RECEIVE SERVICES FROM THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE?

  6. WILL THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE STUDENT TO THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL?

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE ON CAMPUS?

The Disability Services Office coordinates all accommodations for students on campus. The coordinator of Disability Services works with students on an individual basis to review documentation to establish whether a student is disabled, identify needed, reasonable accommodations, and assist in following the procedures outlined in this Handbook.

The Disability Services Office is also a resource for faculty and staff. The DSO offers a proctoring service for testing accommodations. This service is available for faculty who are not able to provide accommodations. In addition, the coordinator of Disability Services is available for consultation on a case-by-case basis. Finally, the Disability Services Office works directly with Physical Plant to provide accommodations that may require physical adaptations to the campus
environment. Faculty and staff who are impacted by accommodations will be notified as needed.

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WHAT IS A “REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?”

Reasonable accommodations allow students with disabilities to maximize their potential by overcoming disability-related barriers and functional limitations, without requiring a substantial change in curriculum or alteration of a significant element of the University's academic program. Reasonable accommodations may include direct services, academic adjustments, or physical accessibility. An accommodation is not considered reasonable and does not have to be made if the person with a disability poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or if the requested accommodation would impose an undue burden on the University.

The determination of whether a request constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” may be impacted by the specific nature of
the course for which the student requires accommodation. Any concerns regarding the reasonableness of an accommodation should be addressed through discussions between the Disability Services Office, the faculty member who is teaching the course in question, and the student who is requesting an accommodation.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES?

Full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students with documented disabilities are eligible for services provided by
the Disability Services Office and reasonable accommodations from the University.

Types of Disabilities:
Physical Disabilities: This category includes, but is not limited to, students with hearing impairments, visual impairments, mobility limitations, and individuals with chronic illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, HIV/AIDS, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, whose impairments create a substantial limitation on a major life activity.

Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder: This category includes, but is not limited to, students with impairments that impact auditory processing, visual processing, short-term and long-term memory, attention, comprehension, and/or fine and gross motor integration, whose impairments create a substantial limitation on a major life activity.

Psychological Disabilities: Individuals with chronic mental disorders or long-term anxiety disorders may be eligible for services from the Disability Services Office, if their impairments create a substantial limitation on a major life activity.

Temporary Disabilities: Although these students are not afforded the same rights as those with permanent disabilities, the University is committed to working with these students to help them succeed without fundamentally altering the requirements of a course or program. Students who may fall into this category are students with recent head trauma, an extended non-chronic illness, or students undergoing treatment, e.g., Chemotherapy.

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DO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES HAVE TO PAY FOR SERVICES AND ACCOMMODATIONS?

While the University provides reasonable accommodations to students at no cost, students are required to work with the Disability Services Office to obtain funding from outside agencies, when necessary.

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DO STUDENTS NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO RECEIVE SERVICES FROM THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE?

Yes. The first step to opening a file in the Disability Services Office is to schedule an appointment with the coordinator of Disability Services.

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WILL THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE STUDENT TO THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL?

Yes. All information is maintained as confidential to the extent required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). When a student requests an accommodation, the administrators and faculty involved will be notified of the nature of the student's disability (if necessary) and possible accommodations with the student's permission.

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Disability Services Office
ph: 215.951.6830
fax: 215.951.2770
email: DisabilityServices@PhilaU.edu