Frequently Asked Questions About Eligibility and Application Process
Saint Xavier University is committed to ensuring that all qualified students have equal access to the academic and non-academic programs and can participate fully in all aspects of student life. The goal of the Learning Center and Disability Services office is to create an environment of equal access for students with documented disabilities, including:
- learning and attention disorders
- psychiatric disabilities
- mobility impairments
- sensory impairments
- chronic health impairments
In order to receive services for your disability, you must present documentation (at your expense) from a licensed and/or certified professional to the director of Disability Services. This documentation is used to develop appropriate and reasonable accommodations and should be within the last three years.
One thing you will find different in your transition from high school to college is that you are responsible for initiating requests for accommodations. It is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student with a documented disability, as well as those of this University. Please review these pages and contact the director of Disability Services if you have any questions:
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured services and accommodations that provide equal access to the activities and programs of this University. To establish that an individual is qualified to receive Disability Services, documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits a major life activity.
Disability documentation submitted must:
- Be recent, relevant and comprehensive, and, where appropriate, contain test scores and interpretation (e.g., learning disability reports, audiograms, etc.).
- Demonstrate a substantial impact on one or more major life activities.
- Indicate whether the impact is current and stable or fluctuating (conditions that fluctuate over time may require more recent documentation).
- Adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques.
- Clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's requests for accommodations.
- Be provided by a credentialed medical professional such as an educational diagnostician, psychologist, psychiatrist, and/or physician. A prescription note from a physician is not a comprehensive evaluation of a student's disability.
- Be dated and signed and include the name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification.
Since the process of providing accommodations involves assessing your needs for specific courses and/or campus living situations, it is necessary to review and revise your accommodation plan on a semester-by-semester basis. All accommodation requests must be submitted in a timely manner -- students should initiate the accommodation planning process immediately after admission to the college.
**For specific documentation policies based on a type of disability, please contact the director of Disability Services to receive these forms.
For all students, the documentation/evaluation must be within the last three years.
I had an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in high school. Can I use the IEP as documentation for a disability?
No. The law requires us to begin with an evaluation of your disability by a licensed professional, so we cannot accept an IEP as documentation of your disability.
All requests for accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis per the documentation provided by the student. Reasonable accommodations may include academic modifications, housing adaptations, assistive technology and/or auxiliary services. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of coursework or the materials assigned, or are unduly burdensome financially or administratively, will not be provided. Faculty/staff should only provide accommodations granted by the LCDS. Students should bring problems with accommodations to the attention of the faculty member providing the accommodations and/or the LCDS staff.
Not necessarily. High-school special education programs are required by law to provide whatever service or accommodation a student needs to be successful. Federal law has different requirements for universities. Universities are required by law to provide equal access to education through programs and facilities. We provide this access by using accommodations, not necessarily by providing services or extra help. Access is provided through reasonable and appropriate accommodations.
The LCDS does provide accommodations for students with temporary disabilities -- e.g., a broken arm or leg, recent surgery, etc. Such students will need to self-disclose to the LCDS and will be required to provide documentation of the disability according to our usual guidelines. (For example, a medical provider will need to fill out and submit a Disability Verification Form.) Upon receipt of proper documentation, LCDS will work to arrange any necessary accommodations.
Yes. Students must notify the LCDS of any accommodation needs each semester. Once a student has an accommodation letter, it is his/her responsibility to notify the LCDS of any changes to their schedule. Accommodations are not retroactive and begin once the student provides the accommodation letter to their instructor.
If my documentation from my physician states that I need a certain accommodation, is the LCDS required to give it to me?
The purpose of documentation is to verify that a diagnosed disability does exist and has been recorded as such. Good documentation will also provide enough information to support the director of the LCDS in determining fair and reasonable accommodations. A doctor or psychologist may even offer recommended accommodations. Recommendations provided by medical personnel to the LCDS can be helpful in determining accommodations, but the recommendations are not binding to the extent that the accommodation will be automatically granted. The LCDS will use all collected information to make a decision appropriate to the student, the specific situation and other guidelines.
It is not uncommon for a student to be diagnosed with a disability well into a semester or after starting college because the higher education environment is so different from previous academic experiences. In this situation, you will need to follow the same process as for a student with a known diagnosed disability from the beginning of the semester. Refer to the question: "I have a documented disability. What do I do?"
I am a student with a mobility disability, and I'm concerned about needing help in case of a fire or an emergency. Does the college have any official procedures or plans in place?
Yes, SXU has an emergency evacuation plan for students with mobility disabilities. After your self-disclosure, the LCDS will discuss preparation and add you to the confidential list of persons with mobility disabilities to ensure that, in case of evacuation, emergency personnel are aware of your location. We will also make certain that instructors and staff whom you see regularly are aware of Saint Xavier's Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures.