Illinois State University
Illinois State University
Jump over the College navigation bar.

Student FAQs  

Disability Concerns provides the following answers to commonly asked questions that students may have about our services.

Admissions

Documentation

Transitioning from High School to College

Academic Accomodations

Other Accommodation Questions

General Questions

Answers

Admissions

May I meet with someone from Disability Services when I am on campus for a tour or interview?  

Disability Concerns Coordinators are happy to meet with you to discuss accommodations that would assist you if you choose to attend Illinois State University. Please contact Disability Concerns at 309-438-5853 or visit the office in 350 Fell Hall lto schedule an informational session.  If you need resources in an alternate format, please inform us at the time that you schedule your appointment. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Disability Concerns by exploring our website.

Back to top

Should I self-identify that I have a disability during the admission process?  

Self-identification of your disability is voluntary and it is crucial to understand that it is illegal to inquire about disability during the application process.  As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a personal statement. Disclosing your disability in this statement is voluntary. It is important to understand that if you disclose your disability in this statement, this will not be considered a self-identification to receive accommodations. To receive accommodations, you must self-identify to Disability Concerns, request accommodations, provide appropriate documentation and complete the procedures to become a client of Disability Concerns.

Back to top

Are there separate admission standards for students with disabilities?  

No. A student with a disability must meet the same admission standards as his/her non-disabled peers.  A student with a disability can choose to discuss his/her disability in the personal essay that is a part of the application for admission.  If a student is denied admission because s/he does not meet the admission standards, s/he may appeal that decision to Admissions. Information concerning your disability will be considered during this appeal process if you choose to disclose your disability as part of your appeal. 

Back to top

Will it prejudice my case, or help my case, to inform Admissions that I have a disability?  

Admissions will evaluate your application in the same manner that all applications are evaluated. Illinois State University wants to admit students who will be successful. Your potential for success will be evaluated on your high school academic performance, ACTs, SATs, essay and school activities. For additional information about the college's admission procedures, visit the University's Admissions website. Documentation of your disability should be sent separately to the Disability Concerns office.

Back to top

 If I am receiving accommodations at another college or university will I automatically receive accommodations at Illinois State University?

No. You must self-identify to Disability Concerns, provide documentation, and have completed the process to become a client before accommodations can be provided through Disability Concerns at Illinois State University.

Back to top

Documentation

How do I apply for services?  

Students must self-identify to Disability Concerns and request accommodations. You will be asked to complete a “Request for Disabilities Services” form and provide documentation. This form must be completed in person at the Disability Concerns office or on the phone with a Coordinator. The Documentation Review Committee will review your documentation and determine if you are eligible for accommodations. If you are eligible to receive accommodation the Coordinator with contact you and schedule an intake appointment for you to become a client of Disability Concerns.

Back to top

 What documents does Illinois State University need to assess eligibility for accommodations based on a disability?

Illinois State University is required to assess eligibility for accommodations and determine what accommodations are appropriate to an individual’s disability needs based on the documentation provided by the student. This is done in compliance with the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The copies of current diagnostic assessments documenting the nature of the disability (e.g., for a learning disability, a neuropsychological assessment) are required. High School Special Education IEP’s or 504 plans are not sufficient. While the IEP or the 504 Plan shows that a student received services in K-12, they are not considered sufficient sources of documentation of disability to provide reasonable accomodation under the ADA.

Back to top

Who is responsible for paying for documentation to verify my disability?  

You and/or your family are fully responsible.

Back to top

When and where do I send my disability documentation?  

Students with disabilities who have been admitted to Illinois State University and wish to request accommodations must submit disability documentation to Disability Concerns. Contact Disability Concerns, submit your documentation and request accommodations soon after you are admitted in order to ensure that accommodations can be provided before your first semester on campus.

Back to top

Do I need to submit a new request and documentation every year?  

No. Once you are approved, become a client and you receive your Disability Concerns ID Card, you are eligible for accommodation, as long as you are a student at Illinois State University.

Back to top

 I suspect I have a learning disability. Can Disability Services conduct the assessment to provide a diagnosis?

Universities are not required to conduct or provide assessments for documentation of disability. The student is responsible for providing current documentation and any additional testing assessments, if necessary. Disability Concerns’ Coordinators will provide referral information.

Back to top

Transitioning from High School to College

 I was in a special education class (IDEA) or had a 504 Plan in high school. Am I automatically entitled to the same services that I received in high school?

In Kindergarten through 12th grade the student is entitled to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law governs procedures only in K-12, not in post-secondary education. Special education is mandated to provide a free and appropriate education to public school students through the provision of instructional services and modifications.  The school is responsible for ensuring a student’s progress.  This does not apply to universities or colleges.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are the primary laws that govern the procedures for post-secondary education. Universities/colleges must ensure that a student does not encounter discrimination due to a disability, and must provide reasonable accommodations that allow the student to fully participate in university/college programs/classes. Special education classes, IEPs, or 504 Plans are not developed at university level.

Please see Transitioning from High School to University.

Back to top

 If I am a student with a disability, will Disability Concerns seek me out to provide services like my counselors did in high school?

Under IDEA, it is the responsibility of the schools to provide services and seek out students with disabilities. At the university/college level, students with disabilities are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IDEA no longer applies. Since this is the case, the legal obligations change. There is no special education at the university/college level. Universities cannot seek out students with disabilities.  It is the student's responsibility to seek out services.

Back to top

What role can my parents have in helping me request accommodations from Disability Concerns?  

Laws for universities/colleges dictate that the student who is 18 years old or older is legally recognized as an adult. As an adult, you, the student, must self-identify to our office, provide appropriate documentation, request accommodations and notifying us of any specific disability related needs or concerns. You, the student must make all requests for accommodation, whether for academics or housing.  We cannot honor requests from parents. While Disability Concerns Coordinators are happy to discuss concerns with your parents, please be aware that these laws and confidentiality prevent us from discussing specific conversations or situations with parents, unless you, the student, have signed a Release of Information allowing us to speak with your parents.

Back to top

Academic Accomodations

What reasonable academic accommodations are available for students?  

Reasonable academic accommodations are based on the nature of the disability and the impact of the disaiblity in the academic environment. All accommodations are determined and provided on a case-by-case individual basis that consider the needs of the student. Reasonable accommodations at the university/college level may differ from those available to the student in high school.

Examples of accommodations provided by Disability Concerns.

Back to top

What if I need changes in my accommodations?  

At any time, if you feel you need additional or different accommodations, you can schedule an appointment with your Coordinator to discuss your need for that change to your accommodations. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your request for new accommodations. If you are experiencing changes in the status of your disability or changes in medication, Disability Concerns may request updated documentation to better accommodate your changing needs.

Back to top

What if I’m not able to maintain a full time course load because of my disability?  

Illinois State University recognizes that some students may not be able, by reason of disability, to successfully manage a full time course load of a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and/or nine (9) credit hours per semester for graduate students. So these students may continue to participate in the benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded to full time students, Illinois State may make available, as a reasonable accommodation, a Reduced Course Load with Full Time Status.

Back to top

Is my disability information shared with my professors?  

No. Disability Concerns office maintains and secures all files. The information in your file is not shared with anyone unless you request this and sign a Release of Information form. You will receive the Disability Concerns ID Card which identifies you as eligible to receive accommodations and lists your approved accommodations. Disability Concerns does not specify your disability on the ID Card. It only lists your approved accommodations.

Back to top

How do I communicate my accommodation needs to professors if I am eligible?  

After you are determined eligible for accommodation through Disability Concerns, your Coordinator will provide you with the Disability Concerns ID Card. This ID Card confirms that you are eligible and have requested accommodations.  It is your responsibility to show this ID Card to your professors each semester and discuss you accommodations with them. It is important to note that professors do not provide accommodations to any student who does not have this Disability Concerns ID Card.

Back to top

Does Disability Concerns convert course materials into an alternative format?  

Yes.  Disability Concerns provides course materials in electronic text, enlarged print, Braille and closed captioned videos. To receive these accommodations, you must provide documentation supporting this request, have it reviewed and approved by the Documentation Review Committee and become a client of Disability Concerns. Your Coordinator will then assist you in receiving the accessible format you have requested.

Back to top

Is tutoring provided specifically for students with disabilities?  

There are several tutoring resources available to all Illinois State University students; all are free of charge. The Julia N. Visor Center has tutors available for learning, time management and writing. There may also be tutors available through individual academic departments.

Back to top

Do you have sign language interpreters?  

Disability concerns employs sign language interpreters who are qualified to provide sign language interpreting that will meet the needs of our students who are deaf/Hard of Hearing. Sign Language Interpreters are provided to eligible students registered with the Disability Concerns office for classroom interpreting, related coursework interpreting or interpreting of any campus events.

Back to top

Other Accommodation Questions

What should I do if I have never received accommodations and suspect I have a disability?  

If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, contact Disability Concerns at 438-5853 or visti our office in 350 Fell Hall. An appointment will be scheduled with a Coordinator who specializes in the type of disability you suspect. The Coordinator will guide you through the process of seeking appropriate documentation that may potentially verify a disaility. All students seeking services from Disability Concerns must provide appropriate documentation of disability to receive accommodations.

Back to top

What is the process for obtaining a housing accommodation?  

You must submit a Housing contract to University Housing Services. Your request for accommodations will not be considered until you have submitted that contract. After you have submitted that contract call Disability Concerns at 309-438-5853 or visit our office in 350 Fell Hall to request housing accommodations. You will be required to submit documentation supporting your request for accommodation. This documentation will be reviewed, a determination will be made if it supports your accommodation request, and you will be contacted about the approved accommodation and your Housing room assignment.

Housing information for students with disabilities is available on the University Housing Services Accommodations page.

Back to top

Do you have designated parking for persons with disabilities?  

Yes. Parking is available for students who have a disability related need. If you are a student with a state disabled hang tag from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there are designated spaces for disabled parking on the entire campus.  You must first purchase an ISU parking tag and register your state tag with the Office of Parking and Transportation before you can park in the designated disabled spaces.  If you do not have a state tag, and require parking closer to the center of campus, requests for such parking spaces can be made and are considered through Disability Concerns only. Documentation supporting such a parking space must be provided to and approved by Disability Concerns before permission to park will be issued.

Back to top

Are accommodations retroactive?  

No. Accommodations are not retroactive. Accommodations for students with disabilities do not take effect until you have self-identified to Disability Concerns, provided appropriate documentation, completed a “Request for Services” form, been approved eligible for accommodations and received your Disability Concerns ID Card. If you feel you are struggling with your classes due to your disability, it is in your best interest to self-identify to Disability Concerns early in the semester to provide yourself the best possible opportunity for success.

Back to top

General Questions

What are the most important factors for a student with a disability to succeed in college?  

Many students view university/college as a fresh start and a time to do things on their own. Due to differences in requirements in high school and university/college, the strategies that worked in the past may not work now. It is important that students know about their disability and the accommodations they will need in order to make an informed decision about which university/college can best meet their disability needs.

Select a university/college that is a comfortable size and has appropriate majors and support. The university/college setting is challenging, and it can be even more demanding for a student with a disability. It is important that you choose a major that you like. This will allow you to have greater focus on your work. Seek accommodations for your disability early. Planning is essential to your success as you make the transition to the university/college environment.

Back to top

What are some strategies I can use to advocate for myself?  

The first step is to know yourself, including your strengths, weaknesses, and what type of accommodations you need. Have a goal and a plan of action to obtain that goal. Obtain assistance from a mentor or other persons whom you could use as a resource. The mentor could be a professor, an older student with a disability, an advisor, your Coordinator at Disability Concerns, etc. Learn what resources are available on campus. If you do not know something, ask for help from your chosen mentors.

Back to top

If I become a client of Disability Concerns will it show up on my academic record?  

No. A student’s academic record is maintained by the Registrar’s Office.  All disability documentation and information related to a student with a disability is maintained in a confidential file in the Disability Concerns office.

Back to top

I'm a Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) customer. Is there anything special I should know?  

If you are currently working with a Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) counselor in your home town, please speak to that counselor about transferring your file to the Illinois State University DRS counselor. If you do not have a home town DRS counselor or have other questions regarding DRS, you may contact the Illinois State University DRS counselor at Disability Concerns at 309-438-5853 or visit our office in 350 Fell Hall.

Back to top

2014-11-05T08:43:21.559-06:00 2014
©