Frequently Asked Questions
How do special education services differ from university accommodations?
Special education is mandated to provide a free and appropriate education to public school students through the provision of instructional services and modifications. The school is responsible for ensuring a student’s progress. It does not apply to universities or colleges. Universities, on the other hand, must ensure that a student does not encounter discrimination due to a disability and must provide reasonable accommodations that allow the student to fully participate in university programs/classes.
Are there separate admission standards for students with disabilities?
No. Students with disabilities must meet the same admission standards as their peers without disabilities.
If I register with the ODS, will it show up on my academic record?
No. A student’s academic record is maintained by the Registrar’s Office. All disability documentation and information related to a student with a disability is maintained in a confidential file in the Office of Disability Services (ODS) office.
If I am receiving services elsewhere, will I automatically receive them at Texas State University?
No. The ODS reviews all disability documentation according to our Documentation Guidelines. Therefore you may or may not qualify for the same accommodations at Texas State University. For this reason, we strongly encourage students to send a copy of their disability documentation to the ODS for a review as soon as you are admitted. It is important that students have information regarding accommodations in order to make an informed decision about which university can best meet their disability needs.
What if I suspect I have a disability?
ODS does not screen students for indicators of a learning or other disability. It is the student's responsibility to get diagnosed or documentation for a disability from a certified professional (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist or physician) in order for ODS to establish the student's need for appropriate accommodations. We have the 2019 ODS Clinical Referral List, which includes local, certified professionals in the San Antonio, San Marcos, and Austin areas. The Office of Disability Services does not endorse any of the certified professionals on this list.
Could I be in college and have an undiagnosed learning disability?
Possibly. Approximately 50% of the students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders served through the ODS were not diagnosed until they were students at Texas State University. If you are a currently enrolled Texas State student and suspect you have a disability, we recommend you to register with and contact the ODS office for an initial consult.
I cannot write due to a broken arm, can you help?
The ODS can provide note taking paper to students who cannot take notes due to temporary disability and were approved for volunteer note takers. The student can provide the paper to fellow classmates who will serve as their note taker. Depending on the nature of the class, the ODS may also approve the student in acquiring copies of course notes used in class or professor notes. The ODS can also provide a scribe for exams.
When and where do I send my disability documentation?
The ODS encourages admitted students to securely provide a copy of their disability documentation to our office via in person, fax to 512.245.3452, or upload through a provided Texas State File Transfer link as early as possible to ensure that accommodations can be provided in a timely manner. Please do not email any confidential information. ODS will review the need for accommodations and support services based on the student’s disability documentation(s) and disability based-need(s). It may take up to 30 business days for the ODS to review students' submitted documentation. ODS will notify the student to schedule their Accommodations Review Meeting via email after their submitted documentation has been reviewed.
What types of accommodations are provided by the ODS?
The Office of Disability Services determines accommodations that ensure students with disabilities have equal access to all university programs and activities. Types of accommodations include but are not limited to:
- Extended time on examinations
- Reduced distraction environment for testing
- Note-taking assistance
- Alternative text
- Special Groups (Early) Registration for classes
- Preferential seating in the classroom
- Sign language interpreting services*
- Captioning (speech-to-text) services*
*The criteria used by the ODS to determine if interpreting or real time captioning services is a reasonable accommodation for an individual student may include, but is not limited to:
- It is required to provide results of the student’s audiological evaluation documenting the nature and severity of the hearing loss in order to receive services,
- Age of onset of the student’s hearing loss and type of loss,
- The student’s ability to benefit from accommodations such as preferential seating and amplification with an FM system,
- The student’s previous experience using sign language or oral interpreters.
- The student’s English literacy skills. For captioning services, English proficiency should be sufficient to allow for reading and comprehension of the captioned text of the lecture.
Do you only provide sign language interpreters for classes?
No. In addition to providing interpreting services for deaf and hard of hearing students in class, students can request an interpreter for tutoring sessions, a play, lecture, student organization meeting or any other university-sponsored event by completing Interpreting Request.
Does ODS offer tutoring for students registered with the office?
No. The ODS does not offer tutoring services. Tutoring is available for all enrolled Texas State students at:
- Collaborative Learning Center
- Computer Science Tutoring
- Math CATS (Computing & Tutoring Service)
- Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC)
- Student Support Services (SSS)*
- Veteran Academic Success Center
- Writing Center
*SSS provides one on one tutoring for students with disabilities who qualify for their program. SSS is a federally funded grant program and serves a limited number of students so you must apply early!
How do I get my accommodation letter and forms to take to my professors?
Students who are officially registered with the Office of Disability Services and have attended their Accommodation Review Meeting may request their accommodation letter by completing the following process:
- Go to the Office of Disability Services website
- Click on the icon “Accommodation Letter”
- Log-in to the Student Affairs Information System using your Net ID and password*
*This is the same information used to check your financial aid, grades, schedule, etc.
- Once you log into the Student Affairs Information
System, your screen will list actions including “Bobcat Early Success Check,” “PAWS Alert,” “Diversity Connection,” “Student Organizations,” “Event/Activities,” and “Your iCAT (CoCurricular Transcript)” on the left-hand side of your screen. Click on the action “Your iCAT (CoCurricular Transcript)”.
- You will now be navigating through the “Your iCAT” page. Scroll down the screen and locate the section titled, “Office of Disability Services” and click on “Request Accommodation Letter.”
- After selecting “Request Accommodation Letter,” a disclaimer or notification will appear reminding students of the Office of Disability Services’ processes after requesting their letter. Click “OK”.
- After clicking “OK,” an additional notification will appear verifying that your request has been submitted. Click “OK”. Please allow ODS 3-5 business days to process and print your letter.
- Please pick up your letter in our office located at LBJ Student Center, Suite 5-5.1. Be sure to bring your Student ID with you.
- Have all your professors sign your Accommodation Letter and return the signed letter to the ODS office located in the LBJ Student Center, 5-5.1. Once returned, your academic accommodations will be considered active in the classes in which your professors signed for.
Please note, if you are enrolled in all online courses for the semester, please allow 3-5 business days after you have requested your Accommodation Letter (steps 1-7) for ODS to send your Accommodation Letter via email to your professors. You will be included on this email correspondence to provide you with verification that your request has been completed.
When and where do I sign up to be able to register early for classes?
Students registered with the Office of Disability Services may be approved of the accommodation, Special Groups Early Registration of classes. In order to access the accommodation, students ought to clear any holds on their Texas State account (advising, library, parking, etc.)., and during the Special Groups Early Registration dates, register online through CATSWEB.
Be sure to confirm that you have a $0 balance to prevent your classes from being dropped. To confirm a $0 balance either obtain a confirmation bill at the Registrar’s Office before the last day to pay and take the bill to the Cashier’s Office to obtain a receipt, or confirm your $0 balance online. If your $0 balance is not showing as receipted contact the Cashier’s Office at 512.245.2544 to be sure that any waiver you qualify for was applied to your bill.
Does the ODS provide books in an alternative format?
Yes. The ODS can facilitate access to alternative text for enrolled and qualified Texas State students. Upon request the ODS will assist a student with obtaining an accessible alternative texts. If not available through online services, the ODS may also scan and convert students' physical textbooks into an accessible alternative text.
If I am approved for books in alternative format, how do I request these materials?
Complete all of the requested information on the ODS "Alternative Text Request" form for each textbook or course material need in accessible formats for the entire semester. You can obtain these forms directly from the Alternative Text webpage on the ODS website.
Can I receive accommodations on placement exams, exams required for specific Texas State University Degrees, and course credit exams
Based on an individual student's documentation, accommodations may be approved for placement exams, exams required for specific Texas State University Degrees, and course credit exams. Students registered with the ODS who plan to take any of these exams may request a letter from the ODS verifying and listing their approved accommodations. The student will provide this letter to the Testing Evaluation and Measurement Center (TEMC) or other testing facilities. This information should be requested and arranged at least three business days in advance of the scheduled test date.
Will an ODS Specialist advise me on which classes I need to take?
No. Students with disabilities should work with an academic advisor in their college on all course requirements. An ODS Specialist can assist you with selecting classes that best fit your disability-related needs (balancing reading intensive, writing intensive classes) and recommending the names of faculty from a range of academic departments whose teaching style has been identified as accommodating the unique needs of students with disabilities.
Do you have designated parking for persons with disabilities?
All Texas State Texans must display a valid Texas State permit in addition to the disabled person plate or placard issued by TxDOT to park in a designated disabled person parking space. If all disabled spaces are full, any legal space can be used with the exception of reserved spaces such as visitor, metered, hall director, and service/delivery. Additional questions regarding parking, please contact Parking Services at 512.245.2887.