Frequently Asked Questions: Students
Having had disability support services in high school or at another post-secondary institution does not automatically qualify you for services at IU South Bend. The laws governing the provision of services for students with disabilities at the post--secondary level are much different than those for high school. Even if you had services at another college, you must disclose your disability and provide documentation to the Disability Support Services office at IU South Bend. Appropriate services and accommodations will then be determined for your specific courses here at IU South Bend.
You will be asked to complete the DSS Intake form, which requires a disclosure of your disability. You will also need to provide documentation from a qualified professional of your disability. See Documentation Guidelines for a description of the documentation requirements.
In order to provide services through DSS, we require that you provide us with documentation of a qualifying disability. However, we can refer you to community resources, including Vocational Rehabilitation Services that may be able to assist you in obtaining an evaluation.
The determination of appropriate services and accommodations is made by considering the functional impact of the disability in relation to specific course requirements. Students are required, therefore, to meet with DSS each semester to determine services and accommodations. Although in many instances, the same services and accommodations will apply from one semester to the next; this is not always the case.
DSS does not provide tutoring. However, peer tutoring is available for many courses through the Learning Center. The Writing Center offers assistance to students in the writing process. In addition, some departments (e.g. math) offer additional study assistance. These opportunities are all free. If a student would like to hire a private tutor, DSS may be able to assist you in locating a tutor.
Class attendance policies are determined by the instructor based upon academic requirements. DSS does not provide an accommodation that exempts a student from attendance requirements because of a disability. However, we can note in an accommodation letter that missed class time is possible due to the student’s disability. It can be helpful to the instructor to know that the student does, in fact, have a documented disability that may cause him/her to miss class. It is still the instructor’s decision, though, as to how he/she will act on the situation.
The Disability Support Services office is the point of contact for the student in disclosing disability information. Although the student is certainly free to disclose information to faculty as they see fit, it is not required. If you are approved for an accommodation that involves a classroom modification, such as additional testing time, DSS will provide you with a letter that you deliver to your instructor indicating the approved accommodation. The letter does not identify the disability. You are requested to speak with your instructor concerning the logistics of implementing the accommodation, but you are not required to discuss your disability, nor to defend or justify the accommodation.
DSS has no authority to make decisions concerning course waivers or substitutions. All such requests must be made through your academic school. The role of DSS in such an instance is to verify that the student has a qualifying disability and the functional impact of the disability relative to the student’s performance in the class in question.
Yes, you should contact DSS if you need assistance as a result of a temporary condition. We may be able to assist you with alternate classroom furniture or other services. The DSS office still requires the appropriate disability documentation, even if it is a temporary condition.
In most cases, a disagreement, whether with DSS or with an instructor, can be resolved through communication. If you have an issue with your instructor, you should first attempt to speak with your instructor while also informing DSS of your concerns. DSS will become involved as necessary. If you are dissatisfied with a DSS action or decision, contact the office and let us know your concerns. We may be able to come to a resolution with additional discussion and clarification. Whether you have an issue with faculty or with DSS, a grievance process exists for you to follow (see Grievance Procedures).