Accessibility Accommodations for all Students
Accessibility for all students is an important issue. Before college, I went to public schools in my town and they were huge. There is only one high school in my town so everyone knows each other and all the classes were pretty large. I quickly learned that simple tasks don’t come as easily to every student. So many students, including my little sister, have diagnoses such as ADHD and ADD. It is definitely hard for many to be able to focus in crowded rooms full of people. My little sister always tells me that taking a test in a loud room with people talking, pencils turning, and doors slamming, was practically impossible for her. My sister was definitely nervous about it being such a large university with classes sometimes full of more than 50 students, but IU has done nothing but provides her, and every student, with amazing resources.
At IU, the Disability Services Center is there to create an inclusive educational environment for all students by way of academic accommodations, testing support, assistive technologies, and coaching. Their main priority is to make sure all students have the proper resources they need to thrive and succeed in their learning environment making accessibility for all the main goal. If any IU student is disabled and cannot walk, students can use the Accessible Van Service while on campus as long as they have a doctor’s note or can describe their diagnosis. It is first come first serve and the van will only transport students to or from class from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm throughout the school week.
IU welcomes Service & Emotional Support animals on campus once a student has properly registered through the Office of Disability Services for students and shown the proper documentation. IU recognizes not only dogs but miniature horses on campus for service animals. I don’t know about you, but if I saw a miniature horse on campus, my day would be made! Just an FYI- emotional support animals are not always considered the same thing as service animals.
For any accommodation, the first step for any student that will be requesting accommodations would be to register for the services. All students must complete the DSS request for services form and provide documentation for the disability. Once this is complete and DSS receives the student’s request, the access coordinator will contact the individual to set up an appointment to discuss the student’s services and the support they will be given.
Make a note in your calendar now- each semester students must submit a new semester request form in order to renew one’s academic accommodations. Make sure you are not late with this because you do not want to have to start off your semester with no accommodations. If a student wants to submit a request for the new semester, visit the IU student portal, select accommodation from left side navigation, semester request, add new, then type out the academic accommodation you would like to receive.
Lastly, students with any accommodations are responsible for giving professors a copy of their academic modifications memo. I would recommend doing this right when classes start so all of your professors are aware of your circumstances.
There is sometimes a white line on what really is considered a reasonable accommodation so if you are ever curious, no one is stopping you from taking a look.! I was honestly enlightened once I realized just how many accessibility support systems IU has to offer for students. If you ever feel like you need more emotional support, reach out because I promise you are not alone. No matter the student, at times college gets overwhelming for everyone, so it is nice to know that there are helpful resources if a student ever needs it!
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