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Frequently Asked Questions

What does Disability Support Services do?

Disability Support Services(DSS) provides services to students with disabilities to insure accessibility to university programs. DSS offers accommodations counseling, evaluation referral, disability-related information, adaptive technology counseling and equipment, and interpreter services for academically related purposes. DSS does not offer disability evaluation and/or testing, tutoring, personal expenses, attendants or scholarships.

What constitutes a disability?

A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is an example of a major life activity. If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.

What does substantially limiting mean?

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.

What is a major life activity?

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

What should I know when applying to Midwestern State University? Are there any special procedures?

Students with disabilities must apply to MSU through the regular admissions procedure. There are no special admissions procedures. A student may, however, apply to Educational Testing Services for provision of accommodations when taking standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT or TASP. Contact Educational Testing Services for further information.

Does the Disability Support Services play a role in students with disabilities admission to Midwestern State University?

The Disability Support Services does not have a role in students with disabilities’ admission to the institution. DSS can answer general questions but for specific entrance requirements, please forward questions to the Admissions Office at (940)397-4334.

What should I do if I have a disability and want to receive accommodations?

If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, you will need to provide documentation of that disability to the Disability Support Services. This documentation must be supplied by a qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. An appointment should be scheduled with a counselor in the DSS to review the documentation and the need for services.

What is acceptable documentation?

Acceptable documentation should reflect the following:

  • Should be current (in most cases, within three to five years)
  • A specific diagnosis
  • Medical and educational history related to the disability
  • Level of severity of the disability
  • Current medications/treatment
  • Functional limitations due to the disability
  • Recommended academic accommodations

I received accommodations in high school or I had an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Can I use the IEP as documentation?

The IEP is a valuable resource of information, but it cannot be used as documentation of the disability.

What role do my parents play in the process?

Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. In this case, the student is responsible for their own accommodation requests and disability-related decisions. However, students are encouraged to have an open dialog with their parents. Parents can be a wonderful source of support.

What kinds of accommodations are available?

Academic accommodations include, but are not limited to, extended time testing, interpreters, note-taker services, scribes, reader services (e.g., books on tape, electronic text), registration assistance, and adaptive technology services.

DSS also assists students with issues and situations related to advocacy, accessibility, on-campus housing, leadership development and advising.

Do I need to register with anyone if I don't want any accommodations?

Yes, it is still a good idea. You might later take a class in which you need accommodations and all of your documentation would be on file. This would lead to a quicker response.

If a student registers with the Disability Support Services, will it show up on transcripts and/or diplomas?

No. The fact that a student is registered with our office or receives reasonable accommodations does not appear on student records. Students who receive reasonable accommodations do not receive a modified degree; they have earned the same degree as all other graduates of Midwestern State University.

Does Midwestern State University provide testing for learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders?

Midwestern State University does not provide comprehensive testing for either learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. Testing for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders must be obtained through an appropriate off-campus professional.

Can the Disability Support Services excuse absences?

No. Academic departments set their own attendance policies and class attendance is an expectation of Midwestern students. Please make further inquires regarding attendance policies to the specific department. A statement regarding absence may be added to a letter of accommodation to explain circumstances to instructors, but it is still up to the department’s discretion whether or not absences are excused.

Can Midwestern forward a copy of documentation to another school if a student transfers?

Please keep a personal copy of all documentation that you submit to the Disability Support Services. The DSS does not release copies of documentation back to students or send them to other institutions (except where permitted or required by law). However, the DSS will send a copy of your letter of accommodation to verify what reasonable accommodations you received at Midwestern State University. All requests for this must be made in writing.

Can the Disability Support Services provide copies of documentation once it has been submitted?

No. In compliance with a variety of laws governing the release of medical information, the Disability Support Services does not release documentation. Exceptions are made where permitted or required by law.