What does Disability Support Services do?

Disability Support Services(DSS) provides services to students with disabilities to insure accessibility to university programs. DSS offers information about accommodations and disability, evaluation referral, adaptive technology training and equipment, and interpreter services for academically related purposes. DSS does not offer evaluation testing, tutoring, financial assistance, or personal attendants.

What constitutes a disability?

A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.

What does substantially limiting mean?

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.

What is a major life activity?

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

What should I know when applying to Midwestern State University? Are there any special procedures?

Students with disabilities must apply to MSU through the regular admissions procedure. There are no special admissions procedures. A student may, however, apply to Educational Testing Services for provision of accommodations when taking standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE or other entrance exams.  Contact Educational Testing Services for further information.

Does the Disability Support Services play a role in students with disabilities admission to Midwestern State University?

The Disability Support Services does not have a role in students' admission to the institution. DSS can answer general questions,  but for specific entrance requirements, please forward questions to the Admissions Office at (940)397-4334.

What should I do if I have a disability and want to receive accommodations?

If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance or have been previously documented as a person with a disability, you will need to apply and provide documentation of that disability to the Disability Support Services. This documentation must be supplied by a qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. 

What is acceptable documentation?

Acceptable documentation should reflect the following:

  • Should be current (in most cases, within three to five years)
  • Contain a specific diagnosis
  • Any medical and educational history related to the disability
  • The level of severity of the disability
  • Any current medications/treatment
  • The functional limitations due to the disability
  • Recommended academic accommodations

I received accommodations in high school or I had an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Can I use the IEP as documentation?

The IEP or ARD review is a valuable resource of information, but it cannot be used as the sole documentation of the disability.

What role do my parents play in the process?

Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. In this case, the student is responsible for their own accommodation requests and disability-related decisions. However, students are encouraged to have an open dialog with their parents. Parents can be a wonderful source of support.

What kinds of accommodations are available?

All academic accommodations are based on the documentation and an interactive intake process with the DSS counselor. 

Some accommodations may include, but are not limited to, classroom accessibility,  extended time testing, interpreters, note-taking assistance, scribes, reader services (e.g., books on tape, electronic text), and adaptive technology services.

DSS also assists students with issues and situations related to advocacy, accessibility, on-campus housing, leadership development and advising.

Do I need to register with anyone if I don't want any accommodations?

Yes, it is still a good idea. You might later take a class in which you need accommodations and all of your documentation would be on file. This would lead to a quicker response. No student is forced to use accommodations; registration just means that essential paperwork is completed.

If a student registers with the Disability Support Services, will it show up on transcripts and/or diplomas?

No. The fact that a student is registered with our office or receives reasonable accommodations does not appear on student records. Accommodations are designed to mitigate the limitations that a disability may have upon the student's ability to have the same access as other students.  Students who receive reasonable accommodations do not receive a modified degree; they have earned the same degree as all other graduates of Midwestern State University.

Does Midwestern State University provide testing for learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders?

Midwestern State University does not provide comprehensive testing for either learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. Testing for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders must be obtained through an appropriate, licensed professional.

Can the Disability Support Services excuse absences?

No. Academic departments set their own attendance policies and class attendance is an expectation of Midwestern students. Please make further inquires regarding attendance policies to the specific department.

A statement regarding absences may be added to a letter of accommodation.  This statement will request "leniency on absence policies, when educationally feasible."  The student and instructor can then contract on what is considered "reasonable absences" based on course content and expectations.  

Can Midwestern forward a copy of documentation to another school if a student transfers?

Please keep a personal copy of all documentation that you submit to the Disability Support Services. The DSS does not release copies of documentation back to students or send them to other institutions (except where permitted or required by law). However, the DSS will send a copy of your letter of accommodation to verify what reasonable accommodations you received at Midwestern State University. All requests for this must be made in writing.

Can the Disability Support Services provide copies of documentation once it has been submitted?

No. In compliance with a variety of laws governing the release of medical information, the Disability Support Services does not release documentation. Exceptions are made where permitted or required by law.

All information pertaining to disability and/or  whether a person is an individual with a disability is considered private and confidential.