Establishing Eligibility for Academic Accommodations

If you received accommodations in school through an IEP or 504 plan, or if you did not receive accommodations in school but believe you have a disability that could affect your college work, you may be eligible to receive academic accommodations at Lawrence. Read the information on this website and contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator for assistance.

Differences between high school and college

If you received accommodations in school, be aware that the process works differently in college. Because you are an adult, you must request accommodations in order to receive them. No one else (parents, providers, etc.) may make the request for you. Academic accommodations are arranged on a course-by-course basis, and they must be arranged in advance in order to be provided. For more information on the differences between high school and college accommodations for students with disabilities, see HS-College Differences (PDF).

The need to be proactive

Because you must arrange accommodations in advance, you should establish eligibility early, even if you are unsure whether you will need accommodations for your courses. You should also review each syllabus at the start of the term to decide whether to request accommodations for that course. Once an assignment or exam is complete, you may not request an accommodation, even if your academic performance was affected by disability.

Who is eligible

In order to be eligible to receive academic accommodations, you must have a disability and be otherwise qualified. Disability means that you (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) have a record of such an impairment, or (3) are regarded as having such an impairment. Otherwise qualified means that you are able to meet all of a program’s requirements in spite of the disability.

Required documentation

To be eligible for accommodations, you must submit documentation that:

  • clearly identifies the disability;
  • clearly describes the functional limitations resulting from the disability; and
  • specifies accommodation(s) consistent with the above.

Documentation should be provided from a licensed professional qualified to make the diagnosis (such as a medical doctor or psychologist), and it should identify the tests or instruments that formed the basis of the diagnosis, including scores. For disabilities that are not readily apparent or that may change over time, documentation should be recent enough to describe the present condition and limitations (be aware that testing agencies may require documentation that is even more current).

Students who do not yet have appropriate documentation are encouraged to meet with the Accessibility Services Coordinator to arrange temporary accommodations for one term while the documentation is being secured. Lawrence can also help arrange testing for learning disabilities or ADHD; contact the coordinator for more information.

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