Access for all!
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 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.
UCF is large and frankly, can be rather overwhelming, but Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is there to create an inclusive educational environment for all students. Recently the offices of Student Accessibility Services and Inclusive Education Services at UCF merged which can only enhance the ways they can assist students with disabilities of all kinds.
The first step for any student that will be requesting accommodations would be to visit Student Accessibility Services located in Ferrell Commons 185. 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 407-823-2371 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, submit the student application by signing into your Knights Access using your NID and NID password. 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.
Each student will meet with a counselor that will go over their individual situation and come up with a plan. Some of the academic accommodations offered include (but are not limited to):
• Alternative Testing
• Course Notes
• Accessible Technology
• Alternative Formats
• C-PRINT Captioning / CART
• ASL Interpreting
• Course Attendance
SAS and IES are also there to assure that students with physical disabilities have complete access to campus and an inclusive environment. They also offer students with disabilities a non-degree academic experience in a three-year program.
Course Policy Accommodation may be appropriate when a student has a chronic disabling physical or mental condition that is cyclic in nature. Accommodations for this can be made as well. SAS/IES can also arrange for valid hangtags for handicapped parking, sign language and interpreters if needed. CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) at UCF empowers individuals and their families by providing support, assistance, and awareness within the community.
Every student is quite obviously different; therefore their plan should be too. Encourage your student to begin the process early and when it is set into place, to meet with each professor individually to be sure they are aware of their situation and accommodations. Professors will be notified of the accommodations requested for that particular course, but a personal meeting with each professor can only help. Setting a plan into place and 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.