What is the difference between high school and college for students with disability
The main difference between high school and college as it relates to disability accommodations is that the student must initiate and advocate for their accommodations. This advocacy includes completing an application to request their accommodations for the first time, sending their faculty notifications through the AIM (Accessible Information Management) system each semester, and speaking with instructors about their accommodations. If you feel you are not receiving your stated accommodations and you have spoken with your instructor about that concern, you can contact our office and we will work with you and your instructor towards a resolution.
Here are resources to help you understand the differences:
High School vs. College with Disabilities
Department of Education Office of Civil Rights: College Transition Information
What documentation is needed to qualify for services from Student Accessibility Services?
In general, the documentation should:
- Be provided by a licensed professional, qualified in the appropriate specialty area; the report should be on letterhead, dated and signed.
- Include both diagnostic information and an explanation of the current functional limitations of the condition. It should be thorough enough to indicate whether or not a major life activity is "substantially limited," that is it should explain what the extent, duration, and impact of the condition is
- In most cases, it should be relatively recent; a suggested guideline is less than 3 years old. Documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying (e.g., a sensory disability) may not need to be as recent, but some chronic and/or changing conditions require even more current information to provide an accurate picture of functioning.
- Be detailed enough to support the accommodations that are being requested. Accommodations are determined by assessing the impact of the person's disability on academic or work performance.
- For a variable or progressive condition, include the degree and range of functioning.
- Address the impact of medication or other treatments on major life activities.
How are accommodations determined for college?
After you complete an application requesting accommodations through our AIM Student Portal, our office will contact you via email requesting a consultation meeting time. In addition to reviewing your documentation, I ask you questions around the barriers you have experienced or expect in college and the life impact of your disability. We will determine together what accommodations are appropriate and reasonable based on your disability documentation and your narrative.
Our office follows the standards of AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability). Its framework is guided by an interactive process with the student. Documentation is considered one piece of the puzzle. In a college setting, we do not provide remedial intervention, but we often have more assistive technology options than high schools.AHEAD Professional Guidance on Accommodation Requests and Guidelines for Documentation
What can I do to prepare for college transition with my disability(ies)?
- Make sure you have a conversation with your family, parents, and/or teachers about your disability diagnosis, and what you should understand about the unique ways it has shaped who you are and how you navigate barriers best.
- Discuss with those people how your disability has contributed to your unique strengths and discuss how you can leverage those strengths in college.
- Recognize the challenges and stigma you may have experienced. How do you plan to face those challenges in college? Find out what resources will be available for you on campus.
- Plan how you will communicate if you are experiencing challenges in college. What is your plan? Who will you communicate with about your challenges?
What is most important for me to know about utilizing my accommodations and ensuring
I have full access to college?
- 1) After you receive approval for disability accommodations, check for understanding of next steps and follow through with your part of the accommodation process. If approved, you will receive information about your accommodation eligibilities from Student Accessibility Services after your consultation including detailed instructions on how to send your faculty notification letters. You will also need to initiate requests in the AIM system relating to alternative textbook, peer notetaking, and test taking if you are eligible for those accommodations. Every semester, you will be responsible for sending faculty notifications about your accommodations through the AIM system.
- You will need to talk to your instructors about your accommodations. There is no need to disclose your disability, but only to speak with them about your specific needs related to the accommodations requested.
- Self-advocacy is proven not only to be required in many instances, but it also has been proven to contribute to the academic success of students with disabilities. If you have not done this much in the past, we are here to support you as you learn these skills.
Alternative Testing FAQs
What is the Student Accessibility Services Testing Center?
Student Accessibility Services operates the Testing Center on the 2nd floor of Beeghly Library. Students registered with SAS and receiving exam accommodations may elect to have their exams proctored in the Testing Center by the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator. The Testing Center, with its six private rooms and 13 study carrels, allows for a distraction reduced testing environment.
What are the Testing Center hours?
The Testing Center operates from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the Fall and Spring terms. The Testing Center is closed on Mountain Day, Reading Day, Liberal Arts Symposium day, and during all scheduled breaks. The Testing Center does not operate during the Winter and Summer terms.
Do I need to schedule an exam in the Testing Center if my instructor is going to proctor
No, you do not need to submit and Exam Request if you are going to test with your instructor. Exam Requests are only necessary if you will be coming to the Testing Center for your exam.
Why do I need to notify my instructors about my testing accommodations before submitting
an exam request?
All exam requests are made via the AIM online portal. AIM will not allow you to submit an exam request until your faculty have been notified in writing of your accommodations. You must customize and request your accommodations via AIM at the beginning of each term to notify your instructors.
Is my exam scheduled as soon as I submit an Exam Request?
No, exams are not scheduled until after Testing Center staff review and approve the Exam Request. You will receive an email confirmation when the request is approved.
What happens if my Exam Request is not approved?
Your Exam Request will not be approved if it does not fit within the parameters reported by your instructor. The Testing and Accessibility Coordinator will contact you so that changes can be made to bring the request in line with your faculty member’s exam instructions.
What do I do if I am not going to make it to the Testing Center on time?
Contact the Testing Coordinator as soon as possible to determine if the exam can continue or needs faculty approval for rescheduling.
What if I arrive late to the Testing Center for my exam?
The Testing Coordinator will contact your instructor to determine if the exam can proceed or needs to be rescheduled.
Will the Testing Coordinator let me know if my phone rings during my exam?
No, the Testing Coordinator will not alert you to phone calls or messages. All phones must be turned off or silenced when left in the Testing Office.
What do I do if I have a question about my exam?
Notify the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator if you have a question about the exam. Your instructor will be contacted via their preferred method. If your instructor does not answer by the time you are finished with the rest of the exam, the Testing Coordinator will have you answer the item and mark the exam with your question.
What am I permitted have with me during my exam?
Students are only permitted to take items approved by their instructors to the exam area. All other belongings, including computers, tablets, cell phones, and smartwatches must remain in the testing office.
How far in advance do I need to schedule my exams in the Testing Center?
Submit an Exam Request via your AIM dashboard at least 3 BUSINESS DAYS prior to scheduled exams and quizzes and 10 BUSINESS DAYS prior to scheduled midterms and finals.
How should I schedule an exam if I receive extra time and have another class right
after the one for which I am taking an exam?
You may schedule to start the exam early if you have a class right after the one for which you are taking an exam. If you also have a class directly before the one for which you are taking an exam, then you should speak with your instructor for permission to schedule at a different time on the day of the exam or on a different day if necessary. Please copy the Testing Coordinator on any instructor email correspondence concerning the scheduling of an exam.
What are my options if I am late scheduling my exam and I receive notice that Student
Accessibility Services is unable to fulfill my request?
If you are late scheduling an exam and Student Accessibility Services is unable to fulfill the request, you may
- take the exam in class during the regularly scheduled time.
- contact instructor to ask if they can proctor with accommodations
- contact instructor and request permission to reschedule to take it in the Testing Center on a later date.
What do I do if my exam is postponed?
If an exam is postponed for the entire class you may edit the Exam Request, entering the new day and/or time. Please leave a note in the comments section so the Testing Coordinator knows why you are moving the exam to a different time or day.
What if I want to change the day or time of my exam?
Any changes to the date and/or time of a previously scheduled exam must be approved by your instructor. Please contact your instructor for permission. If granted, please forward the email granting permission to the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator.
Textbooks in Alternative Format FAQs
What information do I need to submit about my textbook?
You will need to supply the textbook title, ISBN number, publisher, author(s), and edition. The ISBN is a 10- or 13-digit number unique to the specific textbook required.
When should I submit my textbook requests?
Textbooks requests should be submitted at least two weeks before the start of each semester but as early as possible. This allows time for the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator to search for and procure textbooks before the beginning of classes.
How can I find out which textbooks I need before classes start?
Required and optional course textbooks can be found on the Juniata College Online Bookstore. Please also refer to your syllabus for textbook information.
What do I enter on the request form if my textbook does not have an edition number?
If there is no edition number listed then enter 1, one, or 1st.
What happens if my textbook is not available in an alternate format?
While every effort will be made to procure a textbook in an existing alternative format, there are times when alternative formats will not exist. With student permission, the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator will arrange for the Print Shop to cut the binding and scan the textbook as a PDF for use with text-to-speech software. The textbook with be glued back together and returned, but it will be missing the spine.
Am I still responsible for any assigned reading while I am waiting for my alternate
Yes, you are responsible for any reading that must be completed while the alternate format textbook is being procured.
Can I give my alternative format textbook to a friend or classmate?
No. Alternative format textbooks are intended for the original recipient only. You may not share, duplicate, or distribute any textbook received from Student Accessibility Services.
I prefer to use the digital only version of textbooks. Do I still need to purchase
a print copy?
No! If you prefer a digital version, you may purchase your book in a digital format and forego the process of submitting the textbook information in AIM.
I like to have a hard copy to read along with when I am listening to my textbooks.
Can SAS get hard copies if I purchase a digital version?
No. You should purchase a hard copy and submit the required book information so that SAS can locate a digital accessible version for use with text-to-speech listening software.
Peer Note Taking FAQs
I have decided that I no longer need a peer notetaker for a class after attending
it at the beginning of the semester. What do I do?
You may modify the accommodation request to remove Notetaking Services for that class, contact the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator to have the service removed, or cancel the request via the Confirmation needed email once it is received.
How do I receive notes?
Notes are delivered via AIM. Log in to your AIM dashboard, click on "Notetaking Services" on the left, scroll to a particular class with notes available to download. Please contact the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator if you need assistance downloading notes.
Will the student I am receiving notes from know who I am?
No. All personal and/or identifying information is keep confidential unless you choose to share it.
What happens if no student is found to share notes?
SAS may be in contact with your faculty member to work toward a resolution for providing the needed accommodation. You may also meet with the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator to discuss assistive technology options such as audio recording or use of a smartpen.
What do I do if I no longer need or want notes from a class?
Contact the Testing and Accessibility Coordinator so that the notetaker may be notified.
I am eligible for Peer Notetaking Services but want to take my own notes. How can
I be sure I am taking good notes?
Online Universities - Note taking 101 is an excellent resource for learning about what constitutes good notetaking and for suggestions related to notetaking.