Differences between IDEA and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA)
There are a number of differences between IDEA provided in elementary and high school where a student may qualify for modifications and accommodations. These students may have received services above and beyond that were not offered to students without disabilities. At the university level, qualified students with disabilities are entitled to academic accommodations that eliminate barriers which would prevent a student from equal access to the learning environment under the ADAAA. Accommodations are intended to “level the playing field,” not offer an academic advantage. In other words, the university is not required to lessen requirements or modify a class to the degree that it jeopardizes the academic integrity of a course.
Differences between Texas State, Community Colleges and other 4-Year Colleges and Universities
The method used to provide services for students with disabilities varies at every community college and 4-year private and public college in the country. For student’s with a disability who are planning to attend and/or transfer to Texas State University (hereafter referred to as Texas State) which includes the Round Rock Campus (RRC), this guide is designed to familiarize them with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) including the philosophy of service provision, documentation requirements and services offered by the ODS.
Self advocacy is at the core of all services provided by the ODS office. Students with disabilities at Texas State are expected to be active participants in the accommodation process. Our philosophy is based on the foundation that self advocacy begins with a student knowing about and understanding their disability so they can express their needs to faculty members and others. Being a self advocate also means knowing your rights and responsibilities as it relates to your specific accommodations. A self advocate can also compromise when needed, in order to get the most out of a situation. As it relates to accommodations, this does not mean settling for something that is ineffective or does not meet your needs. A good self advocate also knows when and where to go for help.
Documentation Requirements at Texas State
Management of Services
Every student who qualifies for services from the ODS will be assigned an ODS Specialist who will serve as their primary point of contact for ODS services. The ODS Specialist will meet with each student to review their approved accommodations and the process necessary to receive each accommodation.
As a self advocate, every student is responsible for informing faculty members and other appropriate university personnel about their need for accommodations. Professional staff in the ODS will help facilitate access to accommodations through written and/or verbal communication with faculty and staff members.
How Accommodations are Determined
The ODS will, upon request, review disability documentation for the purpose of determining appropriate accommodations for any potential student or applicant for admission. Students with disabilities must meet the same admission requirements as other students.
Accommodations selected will be based on the documentation provided in accordance in the guidelines outlined above; a future student should not assume that the accommodations they received at their prior institution/high school will also be provided at Texas State. Within 30 days of the ODS receiving a student’s disability documentation the information will be reviewed to determine accommodations. After accommodations are identified, the student will be contacted for an appointment with an ODS Specialist. Eligibility for the approved accommodations are not in effect until you meet with an ODS Specialist to discuss and review your approved accommodations.
Types of Accommodations and Services Provided
Specialized support services are based on the individual student's disability-based need. Services available include, but are not limited to:
- Special groups registration of classes
- Providing textbooks in alternate format including audio files
- Approval of accommodations for academic exams and quizzes
- Assistance in accessing adaptive computer equipment
- Liaison and advocacy between students, faculty and staff
- Disability management counseling
- Provision of sign language and oral interpreting services
- Information and referral to on and off-campus resources
- Provision of captioning (speech to text) services
The ODS maintains all disability documentation in a confidential file and will not release information to anyone outside the office without a student’s written consent. The ODS professional staff may discuss, in general terms, a student’s disability with a faculty or staff member as it relates to the student’s accommodations. There is no record made of a student receiving services from the ODS on a student’s academic transcript.
ROUND ROCK CAMPUS
In addition to serving students with disabilities at Texas State, the ODS is also committed to meeting the needs of students with disabilities enrolled in classes at the Texas State Round Rock Campus (RRC). These services are coordinated by Autumn Guel, Student Development Specialist, in the One-Stop Center. The processes for accessing some services and accommodations at the RRC may differ from those described for the main campus.