Services for Students with Disabilities


Once it is determined a student is eligible, the Associate Director (AD) will work with each student to determine what package of accommodations best fits the student’s needs. Some common accommodations include:

    • Alternative Formats: For students with a demonstrated need, the Associate Director will assist in obtaining texts in audio, digital, Braille or other alternative formats.
    • Alternative Testing: Common testing accommodations include, but are not limited to, extended time (1.5X or 2X), reduced distraction environment, alternative format, use of a computer, reader, scribe, calculator or spell checker.
      • Students who have been approved for testing accommodations and plan to test in the Center for Academic Success should schedule their exams through the Alternative Testing section of SSD Online Services.  Here is a brief tutorial on how to schedule an exam .
    • Classroom Accessibility: The AD works with faculty, Facilities Management, and other SU departments to provide physical access to the classroom through accessible furniture, keys to wheelchair lifts and elevators, accessible parking, and classroom relocation.
    • Course substitutions: At times, the impact of an individual’s disability may warrant a course substitution.  Course substitutions are approved on a case-by-case basis.  For more information, please see the Course Substitution Policy .
    • Deaf & Hard of Hearing Access Services: The AD works with faculty to ensure full access to course materials for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.  Accommodations may include captioned audio/video materials, FM systems, sign language interpreters, and real-time transcription.
    • Flexibility with Attendance and/or Course Deadlines: In cases where a student’s disability is episodic in nature or requires absences from class due to ongoing medical treatment, the AD will work with the student and faculty to determine whether or not flexibility with attendance and/or course deadlines is appropriate. For more information, please see the Flexibility Implementation Guide & Agreement .
    • Peer Notetakers & Student Assistants: We use a volunteer pool of fellow students to serve as notetakers or student assistants when needed. Notetakers are students enrolled in the same class as a student with a disability who agree to provide copies of the notes they take for themselves to students through a confidential process. Student assistants may be used as readers, lab assistants, or other academically appropriate roles.
    • Priority Registration: There are limited situations in which a student’s disability may require them to have classes clustered in specific ways. These students may receive support through the registration process to ensure that their classes are scheduled in such a way as to accommodate their disability.
    • Reduced Course Load with Full Time Status: There are rare situations where a reduced course load may be the most appropriate accommodation for certain students with a disabilities. This accommodation must be requested before the start of the semester and will not be approved after the Add/Drop deadline has passed. For more information, please read through the Reduced Course Load Policy and contact the Associate Director. 
    • Temporary Accommodations: Students who are in the process of being tested for a disability or students who sustain an injury that leaves them in need of temporary assistance may contact the Associate Director for temporary accommodations.
    • Housing Accommodations:  Southwestern University will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to use and enjoy University housing.  Accommodations may include wheelchair accessible rooms, single rooms, private bathrooms, and/or Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). 
    • Meal plan Accommodations:  Southwestern University Dining Services strives to accommodate various dietary needs.  Students with special dietary needs should provide Dining Services with documentation from a medical provider that outlines the need for and specifications of the recommended diet.  If, for some reason, Dining Services is unable to meet a student’s dietary needs, that student may qualify for an exemption from the meal plan as a reasonable accommodation.