Everyone Has a Right to Easy Accessibility
When my oldest began college, which can feel tremendous by way of size alone compared to high school, she was relieved to know that some of the accessibility accommodations for her ADHD would follow her. The idea of sitting amongst hundreds of pencil tapping students was somewhat intimidating. Of course, she still had to show necessity through diagnosis and jump through a few hoops to make it all come together, but it was well worth it. FSU is large and frankly, can be rather overwhelming, but the Student Disability Resource Center is there to create an inclusive educational environment for all students by way of academic accommodations, testing support, assistive technologies, and coaching.
The first step for any student that will be requesting accommodations would be to visit the Student Disability Resource Center located on Traditions Way at 108 Student Services Building. Do not hesitate to reach out to them right away. SAS is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (with extended testing hours). Their phone number is 850.644.9566 or (TDD for the D/deaf)
850.644.8504 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note: Parents, do not call for them. They make it quite clear that college students need to advocate for themselves here.)
Prior to your first meeting, which cannot happen until after you have attended orientation, students must submit an application. Be sure to provide any available documentation that indicates a history of a disability diagnosis. These steps will save you time later, but do not hesitate to attend your first meeting because you don’t have all the documentation together. The application deadline for academic accommodations is 7 business days prior to the date needed.
You may apply for services at any time during the semester, but the SDRC will require 7 days to process your application and schedule the intake meeting. Accommodations are not retroactive, meaning they only apply from the point of completing the intake meeting and submitting the letter of accommodation to your faculty member. Faculty members also have one week to implement approved accommodations from the date the student meets with their faculty member regarding the approved accommodations. (Personally, I recommend each student meet with their professor early on to discuss their accommodations, regardless of the fact that each professor will be notified by the SDRC. Putting a name and face on each personal situation helps.)
The types of disabilities the SDRC works with include, but are not limited to are:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
- Learning Disabilities (LD)
- Psychological Disabilities (e.g. depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, etc.)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
- Medical and Chronic Disabilities
- Mobility Disabilities
- Blind and Visually Impaired
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Temporary Disabilities Accommodated Testing
- Alternative Text Services
- ASL Interpretation
- Assistive Technology Lab
- Food Allergies and Accommodations
- Housing Accommodations
- Note Taking Services
- Reduced Course Load Policy
- Transportation Services
- Common/Study Spaces
- Grievance/Complaint Procedures for Persons with Disabilities
SDRC can also arrange for valid hangtags for handicapped parking if needed. Emotional support animals are allowed with some restrictions. Every student is quite obviously different; therefore their plan should be too. Encourage your student to begin the process early. Setting a plan in place and/or making sure their campus is fully accessible can most definitely ease the pressures of college as well as make a very large school feel smaller.
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