December 6, 2017

Info for Students

Current Students

As a current student, you may already be familiar with the Student Disability Center.  We are authorized by the University to work with students who have physical/learning disabilities as well as students who have chronic physical/mental illnesses or conditions that impact their ability to be a student. Our goal is to provide you with accommodations and support that will contribute to your learning and ultimately your success to enter the world beyond college.

We believe that disability/impairment/illness, etc. are all part of the human condition. While the majority of people in society may see these characteristics as deviant or defect, we do not. We see them as part of the diversity of humankind. We also understand that you are here to be a student in an environment that was not designed to easily integrate your diversity. Our partnership with you is aimed at ensuring you have an equitable opportunity to be as successful as you choose to be as a student and our values are embedded in social justice and civil rights.

The tabs on the left provide other information that might be helpful to you as you move through this process of becoming who you are as a person with a disability in the world.

Prospective Students

Congratulations as you embark on this wonderful and challenging endeavor as a college/university student. You will find this new world to be both gratifying as well as frustrating, fearful as well as exciting, challenging as well as easy to master. You may come to this experience as you would an adventure in which you must conquer the elements. Or you may wish to see it as a new job, requiring you to learn new skills and methods. Any way you decide to approach this new endeavor, you can be certain it will change you from what you are today.

As you proceed through your college career, you will not only learn about the world from different viewpoints but you will have a deeper understanding of it. You will not only learn about others who are different from yourself but you will also learn a great deal about yourself and your connection to others. Consider this your opportunity to join the elite of society as many people in the world do not have this same opportunity and privilege. Do well by it and it will do well by you.

What You Can Expect

It is important to realize that being a student in college is different than being a student in high school. The pace is different and the expectations are different. Even the laws under which you are protected as a student with a disability are different.

If you have been a student receiving support from special education services, one of the first differences you should be aware of is that YOU are directly responsible for initiating the support you need and not the University. The input and influence of your parents is not as important at the college level as it was in your elementary or secondary schools. You actually control your own destiny. Your success or failure depends on what you do and on what you may choose not to do. You will need to be a self-advocate regarding your education as well as the support you may need to accomplish your academic goals.

The average college or university environment is based on a traditional method of teaching and learning. As part of their teaching responsibilities, in a typical class, the instructor lecture, create assignments, prepare exams to measure how much students have learned, and facilitate the learning process to the best of their abilities. Students, on the other hand, are ultimately responsible for any learning that may take place.

A typical college student is responsible for attending class, taking notes, reading the books, doing the research, writing the papers, completing assignments, and taking exams; hoping that they have learned enough to pass. While instructors are responsible for facilitating and evaluating the learning process, students are held responsible for their own learning. Whether or not an instructor is able to teach effectively for every student is not as critical as whether or not a student is able to learn under different circumstances, with different instructors, and on a more theoretical level. In other words, how successful a student is at college is dependent on how effective a student is at being a student.

As a student with a disability, there is a general expectation that you are able to manage the effects of your disability in order to meet the requirements of being a college student. For example, if your disability causes you to be disorganized, you will be expected to learn new strategies that help you become more organized. If you have difficulty showing up for class, it is expected that you will discover ways that compensate for this trait so that you show up on time and at the right place. While you may have had assistance in the past from your parents, when you come to college, you will be held responsible for the behavior that will lead to your success.

What You Will Need

“No one would be expected to be able to succeed as a neurosurgeon or a pro football quarterback without training, but countless thousands of students assume they can succeed in college even if they are not skilled in reading, writing, listening, and other basic study activities.” (Carmen, Adams, Study Skills: A Student Guide for Survival, 1984)

Success does not come without effort nor without skills. Being interested in college and motivated to learn is not enough. Your instructors will take for granted that you are able to read, write, listen, take notes and do exams and assignments effectively as well as showing up for class. They also expect you to be able to comprehend complex theories, synthesize ideas, and demonstrate how to apply theories and ideas to real-life situations.

Students who experience problems with these tasks may be faced with more difficulties than the average student and may need to develop specific strategies to overcome these obstacles. To be a successful student, then, you will need to have a plan as well as basic survival skills.

Knowing how to study is merely the beginning. Time management, how to use the library, and understanding what is and is not important for an exam are only a few of the details you will need to master if you expect to be successful as a college student.

What You Will Get

The learning process does not take place only in the classroom environment. In addition to the demands of mastering academic knowledge, you also have the opportunity to learn and develop a great deal more about yourself. Your growth as a college student is not only in the process of learning but in building your character. Balancing the demands of both your academic responsibilities and your personal obligations and needs is not an easy job. It, too, takes some planning and some trial and error before most students find the right combination of school work (thinking) and personal development (doing). But once you find that balance, the rewards are many.

While in college you have the opportunity to learn how to be a leader, how to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and how to look at the world from different perspectives. You have the opportunity to redefine what you value in life at the same time you discover what you want to do for the rest of your life. Taking advantage of some of the options available to you for participating in the greater community of the campus is only one of the many benefits you have as a college student. Learning about yourself as a complex and unique individual comes along with the experience, too.

CSU Admissions Requirements

Students with disabilities must meet the criteria established for admission to any institution of higher education in order to be considered “otherwise qualified” under current federal statutes. In general, four-year colleges and universities have admission criteria that are more stringent than community or junior colleges. For students who do not meet criteria for a four-year college or university, a two-year community or junior college may be a more appropriate option to begin the pursuit of a college education. Many classes at two-year institutions are transferable to four-year institutions.

With guidance from the state, Colorado State University has established specific admission criteria for entrance into the university’s programs. Many factors are considered and each applicant is evaluated in a holistic process. For freshmen that include such credentials as completion of required high school coursework, SAT or ACT scores, high school grade point average, and class rank (if applicable).  Priority consideration is given to applicants who have earned a minimum 3.25 GPA and have successfully completed 18 recommended high school units.  Applicants who don’t quite meet the criteria for priority are still strongly encouraged to apply since other factors are recognized in the review process.

Primary factors considered in the admission decision for transfer applicants include overall high school graduation (or equivalent), cumulative GPA earned in all college settings, and completion of required college-level coursework.  Transfer students must meet the admission requirement in mathematics. For all applicants, the admission decision includes a review of academic rigor, trends in grades, and additional personal qualities that demonstrate the potential for academic success.  Strong candidates for admission have earned at least a 2.5 GPA; all applicants must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in order to be considered.

Specific types of disabilities may have had an adverse effect on students’ prior school performance. Disclosure of the presence of a disability is voluntary.  While each institution may have different procedures, students are encouraged to submit with their application to CSU an explanation of the possible effects the disability has had on their academic record (e.g., test scores, grade point average, etc.). This identification can be included in the personal essay or through letters of recommendation.  Disability not the sole basis of an admission decision and an applicant may be admissible if there is sufficient indication of strong potential not reflected in the current achievement record.

For more details about the application process for CSU contact the Office ofAdmissions, 970-491-6909.

What to Expect

In general, students with any disability will be provided access to all university-sponsored programs and activities for which they are academically, or otherwise, qualified. Regardless of the type of disability, a student must meet the fundamental requirements of a program or activity, including courses. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to effectively access. However, the provision of accommodations should not fundamentally alter the nature of the program, activity or course.

Some courses require attendance which is often factored into the final grade. Students are expected to meet attendance requirements as part of the fundamental nature of a course. While some flexibility may be negotiated with individual instructors because of the effects of a disability, there is no guarantee flexibility will be appropriate for any type of course.

The provision of any accommodation must be initiated by the student. In other words, the university will not know an accommodation is needed until a student tells the university the accommodation is needed. Requests for accommodations are made through the Student Disability Center. Verification of a student’s eligibility for an accommodation is based on evidence, including documentation, that a student has a disability that impacts a major life activity. Students are expected to be self-advocates in terms of meeting their needs as students.

Students with disabilities are expected to meet the same criteria as any other student in both the admissions process as well as meet the University requirements for graduation. Substitution for courses may be allowed to meet specific requirements; waivers for meeting essential criteria, however, are normally not considered appropriate accommodations.

Students should be prepared to develop competencies in written and oral communication, mathematics, logical and critical thinking through the All-University Core Curriculum. Foundations and perspectives in the sciences, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, history, global and cultural awareness, U.S. public values and institutions, and health and wellness are also part of this curriculum. The requirements of the AUCC and a student’s major are combined requirements for graduation from CSU.

While some classes may present hands-on learning opportunities, many of the academic programs offered by CSU are theory-based. A student can expect a learning environment that is dependent not only on lectures and textbooks but also on self-initiative since a student is expected to be responsible for their own learning process.

The method to demonstrate mastery of knowledge is commonly at the discretion of instructors. While some courses require this demonstration through papers and projects, students are more likely required to illustrate how much they know through exams. Although some instructors may factor student effort into determining final grades, passing a course is dependent upon how well a student can demonstrate that the material was learned. Because exams are usually the method used to measure mastery of knowledge, reasonable accommodations for exams may include extra time, a reader, scribe or assistive technology, all available through the SDC.

The majority of faculty are more than willing to meet with individual students to enhance the task of mastering course content. However, it is expected that students are primarily responsible for their own learning process. Students are encouraged to seek out resources that may enhance their study skills and/or supplement their classroom instruction (e.g., tutoring).

A grade point average is calculated as a ratio of the cumulative number of credits a student has and the cumulative quality points from each letter grade received (for example, A=4 quality points, B=3 quality point, etc.).  Students who maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA or above are considered in good standing with the University. Students who fall below a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be placed on academic probation.  Students then have two semesters for undergraduates and one semester for graduate students, in which to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or better.  At the end of academic probation semesters, if a student’s cumulative GPA is still below a 2.0, the student will be dismissed from the University. (Petitions for exceptions are possible.)  Decisions regarding dismissal are made through the Collaborative for and Student Achievement.

Rights and Responsibilities

The following information is adapted from Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education:  Know Your Rights and Responsibilities, a publication from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.  Last revision:  March 2007.  To order a full copy online, go to www.edpubs.org or read the full copy at www.ed.gov/ocr/transition.

Note:  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is another federal law that applies to the education of students with disabilities. It is administered by the Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. The IDEA and its Individualized Education Program (IEP) provisions DO NOT apply to postsecondary schools.

Following each section, information is provided as to what to expect from Colorado State University.

Here’s What You Need to Know

The Office of Civil Rights enforces Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. School districts and postsecondary schools (e.g., colleges) in the United States are subject to one or both of these laws, which have similar requirements. Although both school districts and postsecondary schools must comply with these same laws, the responsibilities of postsecondary schools are significantly different from those of school districts. Below are questions and answers that provide specific information to help a student with a disability be successful in transitioning from high school to college and/or in negotiating the support available at a college or university.

As a student with a disability leaving high school and entering college, will I see differences in my rights and how they are addressed?

Yes.  Section 504 and Title II protect elementary, secondary and postsecondary students from discrimination. Nevertheless, several of the requirements that apply through high school are different from the requirements that apply beyond high school.  For instance, Section 504 requires a school district to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each child with a disability in the district’s jurisdiction. Whatever the disability, a school district must identify an individual’s education needs and provide any regular or special education and related aids and services necessary to meet those needs as well as it is meeting the needs of students without disabilities.

Unlike high school, a college or university is not required to provide FAPE.  Rather, a postsecondary school is required to provide appropriate academic adjustments, often referred to as accommodations, as necessary to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability. In addition, if a college or university provides housing to nondisabled students, it must provide comparable, convenient and accessible housing to students with disabilities at the same cost.

The federal mandates of Section 504 and the ADA require Colorado State University to provide equal access without discrimination based on a person’s disability.  It does not ensure any student will graduate, or for that matter receive an education, but only that a student will have the opportunity to benefit from and participate in any program or activity for which a student is qualified. Each student is held responsible for the learning process.

Other important differences are addressed in the remaining questions.

May a postsecondary school deny my admission because I have a disability?

No.  If a student meets the essential requirements for admission, a postsecondary school may not deny admission simply because the student has a disability.

CSU does not discriminate in admission decisions based on a person’s disability.  However, it may be advantageous for a student applicant to explain how the presence of a disability has impacted his or her education thus far and how the student has been able to be successful.  This factor may be important in the overall holistic evaluation of an applicant’s qualifications.

Do I have to inform a postsecondary school that I have a disability?

No.  However, if a student wants a school to provide an academic adjustment, the student must identify as having a disability.  Likewise, a student should let the school know about a disability to ensure that accessible facilities will be available and assigned.  In any event, the disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.

If a student feels an accommodation will be needed in order to complete or participate in any activity sponsored by CSU, it is imperative that those needs be conveyed to the appropriate entity.  For example, to participate in Oorientation, admitted students are asked if any accommodations will be necessary based on a disability.  This information is then used to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to provide access.  For most academic accommodations, the entity to notify is the Student Disability Center (SDC).

What academic adjustments must a postsecondary school provide?

The appropriate academic adjustment must be determined based on a student’s disability and individual needs.  Academic adjustments may include auxiliary aids and modifications to academic requirements as are necessary to ensure equal educational opportunity.  Examples of such adjustments are arranging for priority registration; reducing a course load; substituting one course for another; providing note takers, recording devices, sign language interpreters, extended time for testing, and, if telephones are provided in residence halls, a TTD for a student’s room; and equipping school computers with screen-reading, voice recognition or other adaptive software or hardware.

The SDC provides many of the accommodations listed above including priority registration, sign language interpreters, and extended time for testing.  Once a student’s need is made known to RDS, a memo outlining the approved accommodations is provided for a student’s instructors as some accommodations will need instructor cooperation and participation.  Housing and Dining Services usually provides specific accommodations in residence halls.  Accommodations affecting a student’s academic program are negotiated with the student’s advisor and their specific college. The Assistive Technology Resource Center also provides assistance in accessing computers and the electronic environment.

In providing an academic adjustment, a college or university is not required to lower or effect substantial modifications to essential requirements.  For example, although a school may be required to provide extended testing time, it is not required to change the substantive content of the test.  In addition, a postsecondary school does not have to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity or would result in undue financial or administrative burdens.  Finally, a university or college does not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing.

A student with a disability at CSU is expected to meet all the requirements needed to graduate in a given program of study.  While substitutions of courses may be appropriate, essential courses of a major are usually not negotiable for substitution.  Waivers generally are not acceptable for any requirement unless there is a substantially documented need. However, if the waiver fundamentally alters the academic program, it is not appropriate as an accommodation.  While CSU does not provide services of a personal nature, the SDC can assist a student in locating appropriate resources.

If I want an academic adjustment, what must I do?

A student must inform the school that he or she has a disability and needs an academic adjustment.  Unlike a school district, a postsecondary school is not required to identify a student as having a disability or assess that student’s needs.

A student with a disability is not known to CSU unless they self-identifies and that identification is made known to the SDC. Accommodations are not automatically provided unless the appropriate entity (SDC) is aware of the need.  The SDC is the only entity that collects information about students with disabilities. Since self-identification as having a disability is a personal disclosure, this information is kept confidential by  SDC.  While the SDC collects aggregate data on students with disabilities, personal information is not shared without the student’s permission and/or on a need to know basis according to federal guidelines (FERPA).

A postsecondary school may require a student to follow reasonable procedures to request an academic adjustment.  The student is responsible for knowing and following these procedures.  Postsecondary schools usually include, in their publications providing general information, information on the procedures and contacts for requesting an academic adjustment.  Such publications include recruitment materials, catalogs and student handbooks, and are often available on school Web sites. Many schools also have staff whose purpose is to assist students with disabilities.  If a student is unable to locate the procedures, the student should ask a school official, such as an admissions officer or counselor.

To be recognized as a student with a disability at CSU, a student must come in and meet with an accommodations/advocacy specialist in the SDC. This ‘registers’ the student as a student with a disability at CSU. Students must provide appropriate documentation to verify the presence of a disability (or have a self-evident disability). The SDC accommodations/advocacy specialists will confirm the disability and determine if the student is eligible for accommodations.  It is up to the student, however, to choose whether or not the accommodations will be implemented.

When should I request an academic adjustment?

Although a student may request an academic adjustment from a postsecondary school at any time, the student should request it as early as possible. Some academic adjustments may take more time to provide than others. The student should follow a school’s procedures to ensure that the school has enough time to review the request and provide an appropriate academic adjustment.

The sooner a student comes to the SDC, the better. In general, accommodations are not provided retroactively so it is important a student requests accommodations prior to the time they may be needed. The determination of eligibility for accommodations requires a student to first meet with an appropriate the SDC professional staff member (usually a specialist).  If a specific type of accommodation is needed, the student may need to be referred to another department on campus before the accommodation is provided. Examples of the types of accommodations that take at least a week or more to implement include sign language interpreters and print in alternative format. Alternative testing accommodations must be scheduled at least 7 days prior to the exam.

Do I have to prove that I have a disability to obtain an academic adjustment?

Generally, yes.  A school will probably require a student to provide documentation that shows he or she has a current disability and need an academic adjustment.

The SDC requires documentation that verifies the presence of a disability from someone who is qualified to make that determination (or diagnosis) and who is not related to the student. Students with visible disabilities may not be required to provide documentation.  For more specific details on CSU documentation guidelines go to Documentation Guidelines.

What documentation should I provide?

Schools may set reasonable standards for documentation.  Some schools require more documentation than others.  They may require a student to provide documentation prepared by an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist or other qualified diagnostician.  The required documentation may include one or more of the following:  a diagnosis of the current disability; the date of the diagnosis; how the diagnosis was reached; the credentials of the professional; how the disability affects a major life activity; and how the disability affects academic performance.  The documentation should provide enough information for student and the school to decide what is an appropriate academic adjustment.

Although an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if the student has one, may help identify services that have been effective, it generally is not sufficient documentation. This is because postsecondary education presents different demands than high school education, and what the student needs to meet these new demands may be different.  Also in some cases, the nature of a disability may change.

Depending upon what an IEP or Section 504 plan provides, CSU may accept this documentation as a means to verify the existence of a disability. However, it generally is not sufficient to determine whether or not an accommodation is needed.  That assessment will involve a discussion between the student and the SDC specialist.  An accommodation must be consistent with the type of known disability. The SDC may also request additional documentation if needed.

If the documentation that a student has does not meet the postsecondary school’s requirements, a school official should tell the student in a timely manner what additional documentation is needed. The student may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation.

Who has to pay for a new evaluation?

Neither the student’s high school nor a postsecondary school is required to conduct or pay for a new evaluation to document a student’s disability and need for an academic adjustment.  This may mean that the student has to pay or find funding to pay an appropriate professional for an evaluation.  If the student is eligible for services through a state vocational rehabilitation agency, the student may qualify for an evaluation at no cost.  To locate a state vocational rehabilitation agency through the following Web page:  http://www.jan.wvu.edu/SBSES/VOCREHAB.htm

CSU offers screenings for a variety of learning disabilities through the Psychological Services Center to enrolled students. A student may need to go through a more formal diagnostic assessment to verify the presence of any particular disability or condition.  Local diagnosticians are available in the community and may offer a discount for the assessment.

Once the school has received the necessary documentation from me, what should I expect?

The school will review a student’s request in light of the essential requirements for the relevant program to help determine an appropriate academic adjustment. It is important to remember that the school is not required to lower or waive essential requirements. If the student has requested a specific academic adjustment, the school may offer that academic adjustment or an alternative one if the alternative would also be effective. The school may also conduct its own evaluation of a student’s disability and needs at its own expense.

A student should expect the school to work with them in an interactive process to identify an appropriate academic adjustment.  Unlike the experience in high school, however, the student should not expect the postsecondary school to invite parents to participate in the process.

Once enrolled, students are considered adults and responsible for their own behavior, including the process of learning.  When encountering difficulty, a student should expect to deal with CSU officials directly in resolving the difficulty. Parents are not generally expected to intervene and therefore, may not be given much authority in decisions affecting their student.

What if the academic adjustment we identified is not working?

The student needs to let the school know as soon as possible that the results of an accommodation are not what is expected.  It may be too late to correct the problem if the student waits until the course or activity is completed. The student and the school should work together to resolve the problem.

No accommodation can be a substitute for the learning process. Therefore it is necessary to determine what works as well as what does not work for any student to determine other accommodations. A student needs to notify the SDC as soon as they are aware that an accommodation is not effective. Often other strategies may need to be developed to ensure a student has an equal opportunity to benefit from or participate in a particular course or activity. However, the possibility always exists that an effective accommodation is not available for any given situation.

May a postsecondary school charge me for providing an academic adjustment?

No.  Furthermore, it may not charge students with disabilities more for participating in its programs or activities than it charges students who do not have disabilities.

CSU does not charge any student for accommodations. However, students may need to provide for the cost of other services on campus as would any other student.

What can I do if I believe the school is discriminating against me?

Practically every postsecondary school must have a person – frequently called the Section 504 Coordinator, ADA Coordinator, or Disability Services Coordinator – who coordinates the school’s compliance with Section 504 or Title II or both laws.  A student may contact this person for information about how to address these concerns.

If a student encounters discriminatory behavior on campus, the first place to start is to report it to one of a SDC specialist. If the situation is not resolvable, the student will be referred to the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). This department is responsible for the university’s compliance to non-discrimination laws and regulations. A student may file an informal or formal complaint that will be investigated by the OEO.

The school must also have grievance procedures. These procedures are not the same as the due process procedures with which a student may be familiar from high school. However, the postsecondary school’s grievance procedures must include steps to ensure that a student may raise concerns fully and fairly and must provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints.

School publications, such as student handbooks and catalogs, usually describe the steps needed to start the grievance process.  Often, schools have both formal and informal processes. If a student decides to use the grievance process, they should be prepared to present all the reasons that support the request.

If a student is not satisfied with the service provided by the SDC, the first person to see is the SDC director. If the problem is not resolved, the student is encouraged to consult the OEO for further investigation. The SDC abides by decisions granted by OEO.  General grievance procedures are available on the OEO website: Office of Equal Opportunity.

If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome from using the school’s grievance procedures or she/he wishes to pursue an alternative to using the grievance procedures, a student may file a complaint against the school with OCR or in a court.  To learn more about the OCR complaint process from the brochure How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, contact OCR at the addresses and phone numbres below, or athttp://www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/howto.html

If more information about the responsibilities of postsecondary schools to students with disabilities is needed, read the OCR brochure Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities: Higher Education’s Obligations Under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA.  To obtain a copy, contact OCR at the address and phone numbers below, or at http://www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/auxaid.html

To receive more information about the civil rights of students with disabilities in education institutions, contact OCR at:

Customer Service Team, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., 20202-1100.  Phone:  1-800-421-3481, TDD: 1-877-521-2172.  Email:  ocr@ed.gov.  Web site:  www.ed.gov/ocr.

Disability Specific Info

Students with certain types of disabilities may be interested in particular details about the campus. The tabs below will provide additional information about what to expect at CSU if a student has a disability that affects the ability: to move from place to place, to see or hear, or to learn. In addition, we’ve collected information for students who have conditions that may affect them emotionally or psychologically or who have other health-related conditions that may impact a students life in other ways.

Any Disability

In general, students with any disability will be provided access to all university-sponsored programs and activities for which they are academically, or otherwise, qualified. Regardless of the type of disability, a student must meet the fundamental requirements of a program or activity, including courses. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to effectively access. However, the provision of accommodations should not fundamentally alter the nature of the program, activity or course.

Some courses require attendance which is often factored into the final grade.  Students are expected to meet attendance requirements as part of the fundamental nature of a course. While some flexibility may be negotiated with individual instructors because of the effects of a disability, there is no guarantee flexibility will be appropriate for any type of course.

The provision of any accommodation must be initiated by the student. In other words, the University will not know an accommodation is needed until a student tells the University the accommodation is needed. Requests for accommodations are made through the SDC. Verification of a student’s eligibility for an accommodation is based on evidence, including documentation, that a student has a disability that impacts a major life activity. Students are expected to be self-advocates in terms of meeting their needs as students.  For more information on self-advocacy, visit the Access Project.

Students with disabilities are expected to meet the same criteria as any other student in both the admissions process as well as meet the University requirements for graduation. Substitution for courses may be allowed to meet specific requirements; waivers for meeting essential criteria, however, are normally not considered appropriate accommodations.

Students should be prepared to develop competencies in written and oral communication, mathematics, logical and critical thinking through the All-University Core Curriculum. Foundations and perspectives in the sciences, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, history, global and cultural awareness, U.S. public values and institutions, and health and wellness are also part of this curriculum. The requirements of the core curriculum and a student’s major are combined requirements for graduation from CSU.

While some classes may present hands-on learning opportunities, many of the academic programs offered by CSU are theory-based. A student can expect a learning environment that is dependent not only on lectures and textbooks but also on self-initiative since a student is expected to be responsible for their own learning process.

The method to demonstrate mastery of knowledge is commonly at the discretion of instructors. While some courses require this demonstration through papers and projects, students are more likely required to illustrate how much they know through exams. Although some instructors may factor student effort into determining final grades, passing a course is dependent upon how well a student can demonstrate that the material was learned. Because exams are usually the method used to measure mastery of knowledge, reasonable accommodations for exams may include extra time, a reader, scribe or assistive technology, all available through the SDC.

The majority of faculty are more than willing to meet with individual students to enhance the task of mastering course content. However, it is expected that students are primarily responsible for their own learning process. Students are encouraged to seek out resources that may enhance their study skills and/or supplement their classroom instruction (e.g., tutoring).

A grade point average is calculated as a ratio of the cumulative number of credits a student has and the cumulative quality points from each letter grade received (for example, A=4 quality points, B=3 quality point, etc.). Students who maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA or above are considered in good standing with the University. Students who fall below a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be placed on probation. Students then have two semesters in which to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or better. At the end of two semesters, if a student’s cumulative GPA is still below a 2.0, they will be dismissed from the University. (Petitions for exceptions are possible.)  Decisions regarding dismissal are made through the Collaborative for Student Achievement.

Mobility Impairment/Wheelchair users

Students who use wheelchairs, crutches or canes, or have other mobility limitations (e.g., from amputations, back injuries, extreme fatigue, etc.) may find the following information useful.

Academics

Students who use wheelchairs or have other mobility limitations (including limited use of hands/arms as well as ambulatory difficulties) should be able to physically access all academic programs for which they are academically qualified. Some academic programs may require certain physical abilities so it is recommended that a student with a disability that affects mobility check to see if any required activities will be problematic. Students are expected to meet the same requirements as other students for admission and for graduation in any academic program. If a student anticipates an accommodation may need to be made for a particular physical limitation, the student may need to negotiate what might and might not be accepted as an accommodation.

A student will be provided an accommodation for any physical activity required to participate in a course as much as possible. If the activity is a fundamental requirement of the course and a student is unable to perform the activity, the student may be considered unqualified for the course. If the course is essential to a particular program of study, a substitution may be possible if approved by the academic program. Waivers for particular courses or fundamental activities are not generally provided as an accommodation.

Accessibility

CSU continually improves and enhances the level of physical access of the campus. However, since the campus was originally designed over 100 years ago, not all buildings and/or areas may be completely wheelchair-user friendly. In addition, as the campus has grown, buildings are located over a larger area and on different campuses.

Fortunately, the buildings used for most classes are located on the main campus and are relatively close to each other with accessible paths. For those buildings that are further from the center of campus, “disabled” parking is usually located near an accessible entrance.

It is strongly suggested to those who have mobility limitations to assess the physical layout and location of classes prior to the beginning of each semester to ensure an easy and convenient route is identified.

Students who live off-campus will need to consider transportation needs to and from campus. Many of the bus routes in Fort Collins are accessible although the location of bus stops may be problematic for some. Dial-A-Ride, a paratransit service offered by the city, may be one option for those with severe limitations and who are not located near a bus stop.

Physical Access

The campus is physically accessible although it is not “barrier free.” The majority of classroom buildings have at least one accessible main entrance (with automatic doors), an elevator and at least one accessible pair of restrooms. If a particular class is in an inaccessible location, the class may be moved. Requests to move classrooms should be made through the SDC. Students with mobility limitations should check out the locations of their courses prior to the first day of classes so that needed changes can be made in a timely manner.

The Lory Student Center, the Morgan Library, CSU Health and Medical Center and the Student Recreation Center buildings are all accessible to students using wheelchairs. The majority of student support services for students are also located in accessible locations. If a student is unable to access a particular office or person due to architectural barriers, arrangements will be made to provide a service or meeting elsewhere.

Housing

All first-year students are required to live on campus unless they live with their parents in the Fort Collins area. Not all residence halls are accessible for students using wheelchairs. However, as new residence halls are built, access has been included in the design.

At the present, one of the older residence halls and closest to classroom buildings, Braiden Hall, provides a “suite-style” living arrangement (one bathroom shared between two rooms; two people per room). There is an elevator providing access to the upper floors, laundry facilities, and study rooms. Dining services are also available in this residence hall.

Braiden is located nearest major classroom buildings and is recommended for students who might have difficulty with distances. An “accessible” room can be requested as a “single” (without a roommate) to accommodate the space needed for a wheelchair or other equipment.

Summit Hall, one of the newer halls, offers “suite-style” rooms with some single occupancy rooms.  Dining services are not available in this residence hall but are available across the street at the Academic Village. The Academic Village and Laurel Village, which are both newer residence complexes, also have full accessibility features.

Family and graduate housing (apartments) also include a limited number of accessible units. For more information, contact Housing and Dining Services, Palmer Center, 1005 W. Laurel, (970) 491-6511.

Parking

Parking on campus is at a premium.  There is a charge to park on campus for everyone. Some lots have parking meters; others are restricted to specific groups and require a CSU parking permit. Most lots will have specific spaces designated as “disabled” spaces, either by a blue sign or blue parking meter. In order to park in the unmetered “disabled” spaces, you will need a CSU “H” Parking Permit. Parking at any blue parking meters requires you to pay (unless you have a CSU “H” Parking Permit.)

Regardless of your State Disability permit, in order to park in any “handicapped” spaces (with or without a meter), you will need a CSU “H” parking pass or another parking pass. The cost of the “H” parking permit is equivalent to the cost faculty and staff pay for the privilege of parking in lots that are closer to the center of campus.  The “H” parking permit allows you to park in restricted lots but does not limit you to only designated “handicapped” spaces. If you choose to park in a blue metered space, you are required to pay unless you have a CSU “H” Parking Permit.

Most of the general “handicapped” spaces are larger than average spaces and some will provide enough room for vans with lifts. However, these spots may not always be available during peak daytime hours. It is suggested that you come early to campus in order to find the most convenient spot for your needs. A limited number of “handicapped” spaces may be reserved for specific drivers (via license plate). If you park in any of these, you run the risk of being towed regardless of whether or not you have a CSU “H” Parking Permit.

Verification of the need for a CSU “H” parking permit is required. For more information, contact Parking and Transportation Services, located in the Lake Street Garage, 970-491-7041.

Community

The accessibility of Fort Collins varies. Most of the major shopping areas, recreation activities and city services are accessible to persons using wheelchairs, including the availability of “disabled” parking. However, it may still be necessary to call ahead to ascertain the level of accessibility for some locations. While accessible housing can be obtained, choices may be limited due to a student’s unique needs. For more information on community access issues, contact Disabled Resources Services (DRS), 424 North Pine, Suite 101, Fort Collins, CO, 80524, 970-482-2700. DRS is the local independent living agency for this area of Colorado.

Community transportation services for those using wheelchairs are also somewhat limited as not all bus routes may be accessible. Dial-A-Ride is a para-transit system that provides door-to-door service and has an application process for eligibility.  For more information on accessible bus routes and Dial-A-Ride, contact Transfort, (970) 221-6620.

SDC Support

Priority Registration

Students with mobility limitations may benefit from priority registration. This provides an earlier access time into the online registration system for selecting classes and allows for a better opportunity to arrange a schedule that meets particular needs. The registration period for a semester begins in the middle of the prior semester. Each class is given access at different times, with athletes, upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) and graduate students first to register.  Priority registration gives an undergraduate student with a disability access to registration at the same time graduate students are able to register. It does NOT give a student priority to getting in a class but merely an earlier chance to reserve a space in the class. Priority will be given to a student until he or she graduates. To be eligible for priority registration, a student must self-identify with the SDC.

Classrooms Accessibility

Some classrooms may be located in an inaccessible area of a building.  It is possible to move some classes to another part of the campus for accessibility reasons. A student who finds a class location problematic should contact one of the SDC specialists to see if moving it will be possible.

Accessible Transportation Services

The SDC provides limited transportation support via an accessible van. These services are provided to students with either permanent or temporary mobility limitations. Services are restricted to on-campus travel and those with permanent mobility limitations are given priority. Transportation services are usually rides that bring a student to and from specific locations on campus.

Wheelchair Rental

Students who experience a temporary mobility limitation may borrow a wheelchair for a specific duration.  A deposit is required at the time of the loan and returned once the wheelchair is no longer needed.

Alternative Testing Accommodations

If a mobility impairment interferes with a student’s ability to take an exam, alternative testing accommodations might be an appropriate accommodation. Students may find them helpful if, for example, they have difficulty writing or they cannot sit for long periods of time. The SDC would be able to provide a scribe or a location where a student could stand or lie down while taking an exam.

There may be other services or support that would be helpful for a student with a mobility limitation. For more information as to what may be available for students with mobility limitations, contact one of the SDC accommodations specialists at 970-491-6385.

Blind or Visual Impairment

Students who are blind or visually impaired may find the following information useful.

Academic

Some courses or programs may require the ability to see in order to complete specific activities (e.g. laboratory work). However, in general, reasonable accommodations or modifications can often be implemented to compensate for this ability in doing the activity.

The method to demonstrate mastery of knowledge is commonly at the discretion of instructors. While some courses require this demonstration through papers and projects, students are more likely required to illustrate how much they know through exams. It is possible to accommodate students through different testing environments and formats. Although some instructors may factor effort into determining final grades, passing a course is dependent upon how well a student can demonstrate the material was learned.

Classroom Activity Access

Students are encouraged to explore the requirements of specific courses the semester prior to enrolling in such courses so that appropriate accommodations or modifications can be arranged in a timely manner.

A student may be able to meet with a faculty member prior to taking a course to discuss the specific requirements.

A student may also wish to discuss specific courses with an SDC accommodations specialist to determine whether or not the course can be adequately accommodated for participation. Student cooperation and collaboration are expected in developing an effective accommodation for specific activities.

Access to Text/Printed Materials

With advanced notice, the print material can be converted into an accessible format through the SDC. The most commonly used accessible format used by most students is an electronic format that is accessible to screen readers or other types of assistive technology. Materials can also be converted into Braille through a Braille embosser. Before text is converted to an accessible format, SDC will refer students to the Assistive Technology Resource Center for an assessment of their needs. This assessment is to help determine the most effective format for the student and gives direction to the SDC in the conversion process. Contact an SDC specialist or the coordinator of alternative text accommodations for more information.

The Morgan Library provides several electronic resource room that houses adaptive equipment for students to use independently. Some of the equipment available includes a video magnifier, screen magnifiers and readers, dictation software, and computers with Braille conversion software and a refreshable Braille display. Some prior training is required for some equipment. Contact ATRC for specific training information.

Accommodations

The provision of an accommodation begins only once the need is made known to appropriate university personnel. A student must be considered eligible for an accommodation based on the documented presence of a disability and the significance the limitation has to participate in a course or program.

A student who needs accommodations in courses should first meet with one of the SDC accommodations specialists. After an assessment of needs, the SDC specialist will provide the student with a letter that will be given to each faculty member for each course for which an accommodation will be needed. This letter verifies for the faculty member that the accommodation is appropriate for a student’s need. A faculty member need not provide an accommodation simply on the word of a student.

In addition, if specific arrangements need to be made with a faculty member, one of the SDC specialists will be able to facilitate these arrangements, providing the SDC specialist is contacted in a timely manner.

There are no guarantees that a student will receive exactly the accommodation requested. Accommodations are provided that give effective access to the academic environment and for which resources are available.

Academic Participation

The presence of a visual impairment does not automatically exempt a student from any academic requirement, including science and mathematics. Many courses and activities can be adapted with prior planning. Some courses may require individual tutorial assistance while others may need adaptive computer equipment. Other accommodations may also require the direct involvement of instructors for specific modifications.

Students are encouraged to discuss their accommodative needs with an SDC specialist prior to enrolling in specific courses so that accommodations can be arranged appropriately.

Electronic Information and Technology

ATRC provides individual assessments for adaptive devices for both classroom and other academic activities. Short-term loan of equipment is offered for students who do not have access to their own equipment. Equipment available for loan includes alternative keyboards, screen magnification and reading software, and dictation software. Training is provided through ATRC. Students are referred to ATRC as early as possible so that appropriate equipment can be located or purchased for a particular classroom or course accommodation.

A student who has their own assistive technology may need to check on its compatibility with University systems prior to using it for specific coursework. Some courses may require the use of course-computers only for the completion of assignments. In those cases, specific adaptations may need to be in place prior to the student starting the class and require training in order to use specific software to access specific assignments. For more information concerning computer and other technology access, contact the ATRC, 302 Occupational Therapy Building, 970-491-6258.

Transportation

Transportation in the Fort Collins for those who are unable to drive consists of a bus service, a para-transit system. The Transfort bus service is available for free to all students through student fees. For more information on bus routes contact Transfort, 970-221-6620.

SDC also provides limited transportation to students through its Transportation Accommodations. Rides are limited for academic activities only and are dependent upon the availability of drivers. Students must schedule their rides through the SDC Transportation Services Coordinator.

Service Animals

Trained service dogs are permitted on campus and are allowed to accompany their handlers into most spaces on campus. Service dogs need to be and well behaved while on campus.

The residence halls do permit service dogs as long as they are trained and well behaved. However, a student may need to negotiate with Housing and Dining Services as to where the animal is allowed to relieve itself for grounds maintenance purposes. Contact HDS at 970-491-6511, for more information if you are considering living on campus.

For more information about service dogs please visit our Service Animals page.

SDC Support

Many students with visual impairments have their textbooks converted to an accessible format. Formats include PDF, Word, or MP3 files. The process of conversion requires time so the earlier a student informs SDC of the need for accessible text accommodations, the sooner a student receives the reformatted text. For compliance with copyright laws, students are expected to purchase their books which will be unbound and scanned as part of the conversion process. Once scanned and converted, the books are rebound and returned to the student.

Students also are eligible for assistance with test taking. SDC offers alternative testing accommodations that allow students the use of a reader, scribe, or assistive technology. Arrangements for alternative testing are negotiated between the student, instructor and the SDC coordinator of alternative testing accommodations.

SDC will assist students in locating other appropriate services and information as needed. If you have further questions concerning CSU and the accommodations that are available to you as a student, please contact the SDC.

Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Students who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, or have other conditions that affect their hearing may find the following information useful.

Academics

Students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing will be provided access to all academic programs for which they are academically qualified. They are also expected to meet the same requirements as other students for admission and for graduation.

Students for whom American Sign Language (ASL) is a primary language are expected to understand written English as appropriate to a higher education environment. In general, course requirements are not modified as an accommodation. Students must be able to comprehend abstract ideas as well as perform concrete tasks.

The method to demonstrate mastery of knowledge is commonly at the discretion of instructors. While some courses require this demonstration through papers and projects, students are more likely required to illustrate how much they know through exams. It is possible to accommodate students through different testing environments and formats. Students are not necessarily graded on effort although some instructors may factor this in when determining final grades.

Classroom Interaction

Class environments can range from 200+ student lecture halls to a small seminar or discussion groups.

As with any other student, a student who is Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing will be expected to participate in class discussions. A student is encouraged to contact their instructors during the first week of the semester so that they are familiar with a student’s particular communication style/manner. At this time, a student also may discuss any other needs they may have in a hearing environment that may affect the acquisition of information.

The types of accommodations most commonly used by students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing are sign language/oral interpretersFM systems and class transcribers.

Some courses may use videos as instructional aids. Unfortunately, not many of these videos will be closed-captioned. There are several options available to accommodate Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students who need to view videos. Please contact the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations for possible suggestions.

Instructor Awareness

Not all instructors may have had experience working or communicating with someone who is Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. A student may need to help orient the instructor to their particular communication needs to help ensure appropriate interaction.

If a class requires an interpreter, the SDC will provide the instructor with written information for suggestions on how best to work with a student who is Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. Interpreters are expected to meet with the instructor prior to the class to discuss how best to be a facilitator for communication for the student, the instructor and other students in the class.

FM systems are also available for students who do not use interpreters and have enough hearing to benefit from them. The SDC provides these systems on loan to an individual student for their time at the University. The SDC will facilitate the use of the systems between the student and instructor as needed.

Instructors may also be able to share lecture notes and/or copies of lecture slides. However, some material may not be available to students due to copyright protections.

If a class transcriber is provided as an accommodation, a student will be provided with a digital copy of the transcribed lecture. However, a student may also need to interact directly with an instructor for clarification of class material.

Other Academic Needs

Generally, if a student needs to meet with an instructor immediately after class, arrangements can be made with one of the class interpreters.

An accommodation will be provided through the SDC if a student needs support for communication:

  • To attend group meetings for classes,
  • To attend tutoring sessions,
  • To attend events required by class,
  • To meet with an instructor, or
  • To communicate in any other academic situation

When possible, prior notice of the need is required (at least 3 days in advance, if possible). Other accommodations that may be needed for these occasions are provided on a case-by-case basis. Contact the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations for more information.

If a student is in a class that uses interactive computer software dependent upon sound, accommodations may take some time to arrange. A student should contact the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations as soon as possible once this type of requirement is known.

Accommodations

The provision of an accommodation begins only once the need is made known to appropriate University personnel. A student must be considered eligible for an accommodation based on the documented presence of a disability and the significance the limitation has to participate in a course or program.

A student who is Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and needs accommodations in courses should first meet with the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations. After an assessment of needs, the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations will begin the process of arranging accommodations. If an accommodation requires the assistance of the instructor, the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations will provide the student with a letter that will be given to each faculty member for each course for which an accommodation will be needed. This letter verifies for the faculty member that the accommodation is appropriate for a student’s need. A faculty member need not provide any accommodation simply on the word of a student.

In addition, if specific arrangements need to be made with a faculty member, the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations will be able to facilitate these arrangements, providing he/she is contacted in a timely manner.

There are no guarantees that a student will receive exactly the accommodation requested. Accommodations are provided that give effective access to the academic environment and for which resources are available.

Sign Language and Oral Interpreting

Sign language or oral interpreting services are provided, at no charge, to qualified Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students for classes and other academic meetings or university-sponsored programs. Although other SDC staff may not be very proficient in sign language, all are willing to communicate with students through alternative means when necessary.

SDC hired qualified interpreters from the surrounding community for classroom/other accommodations. All interpreters employed by the university through SDC are graduates of a recognized Interpreter Training Program and/or otherwise, have the skills necessary to interpret a college-level curriculum.

Requests for interpreters for classes and academic situations need to be made through the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations in a timely manner in order to ensure assignments of interpreters can be made appropriately.

Class Transcribing

Class Transcribers (CTs) is a relatively new service at CSU. These individuals are primarily for students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. A CT does not substitute for a student attending a particular class, but rather helps the student have equal access to spoken or verbal information.

Cognitive or Neurological Disabilities

Students who have conditions that significantly affect the learning process and/or the ability to interact effectively with others may find the following information useful regarding the academic expectations at CSU.  In addition, students who have head injuries or who are on the Autism Spectrum may benefit from additional support provided through the Opportunities for Postsecondary Success program, a grant program that provides one-on-one mentoring and support.

Academics

Cognitive disabilities can significantly impact an individuals ability to process information and comprehend ideas. These disabilities can include but are not limited to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AH/HD), specific learning disabilities, and traumatic brain injuries. Students with neurological conditions such as those on the Autism Spectrum may also encounter difficulties that affect their learning process and/or ability to interact effectively with others.

Students with cognitive/neurological disabilities are expected to meet the same requirements as other students for admission and for graduation. In general, course requirements are not modified as an accommodation. Students must be able to comprehend abstract ideas as well as perform concrete tasks.

The method to demonstrate mastery of knowledge is commonly at the discretion of instructors. While some courses require this demonstration through papers and projects, students are more likely required to illustrate how much they know through exams. It is possible to accommodate students through different testing environments and formats. Students are not necessarily graded on effort although some instructors may factor this in when determining final grades.

Students who maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average or above are considered in good standing with the university. Students who fall below a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be placed on probation. Students then have two semesters in which to raise their GPA to a 2.0 or better. At the end of two semesters, if a student’s GPA is still below a 2.0, he/she will be dismissed from the university. (Petitions for exceptions are possible.)

Students who receive a failing grade in a course may take advantage of what is called “repeat/delete.”  This means a student can take the class again and substitute the passing grade for the failing grade.  However, this can only be used for up to nine (9) credit hours.

Admissions

Individuals with cognitive/neurological disabilities may have difficulty meeting all the criteria required for admission to CSU due to the effect of their specific limitations. All applicants are evaluated holistically and information provided by the applicant as to how they have been able to be successful with a particular disability may be helpful in this analysis.  Contact Office of Admissions for more information about criteria for admission.

Students are encouraged to disclose as much information as needed to ensure admissions counselors have an adequate perception of a student’s potential. A student may be admitted under specific conditions if it is determined that a student has potential.

Students who want to attend CSU but do not meet the criteria for admissions may be able to transfer in after taking courses at another institution. Students must meet the criteria for transfer, including a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Courses at another institution must be considered equivalent courses at CSU in order to receive transfer credit.

Expectations

While some classes may present hands-on learning opportunities, many of the academic programs offered by CSU are theory-based. A student can expect a learning environment that is dependent not only on lectures and textbooks but also on self-initiative.

The majority of faculty are more than willing to meet with individual students to enhance the task of mastering course content. However, it is expected that students are primarily responsible for their own learning process. Exams are usually the method used to measure mastery of knowledge.

Students should be prepared to develop competencies in written and oral communication, mathematics, logical and critical thinking through the All-University Core Curriculum. Foundations and perspectives in the sciences, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, history, global and cultural awareness, U.S. public values and institutions, and health and wellness are also part of this curriculum. The requirements of the AUCC and a student’s major are combined requirements for graduation from CSU.

Advising

Each student is assigned an academic advisor or academic success coordinator once a specific major is declared by the student. Students not yet decided on a major or who want to enter a controlled major will be assigned to an advisor/ASC through the Collaborative for Student Achievement. Controlled majors require the completion of specific courses and a minimum GPA before a student is accepted into the department. Contact the Collaborative for Student Achievement for more information on courses as a student with an undeclared major or about controlled majors.

Advisors/ASCs help plan a student’s path toward completion of not only the requirements of the major but also those needed for graduation. Not all advisors/ASCs, however, will be familiar with a student’s particular needs concerning a cognitive disability. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors their particular learning difficulties as well as strengths and to consult with an SDC specialist concerning their selection of courses.

The SDC specialists can provide added insight into what to expect and the possible impact a particular schedule may have on a student.

Course Requirements

The AUCC includes the requirements of composition and mathematics, either of which may be difficult for some students with particular learning disabilities. Students have the option of taking the equivalent of these courses at another institution (e.g. community college) for transfer or completing the requirements at CSU.

Composition is a general requirement for graduation. Students who have difficulty with the process of writing may need to employ a variety of strategies to meet this requirement. Contact an SDC specialist or the English Department for more information.

All students must take the Math Placement Exam prior to taking any mathematics course at CSU. Three (3) credits of mathematics are required for graduation. These credits may be completed through a three (3) credit course (e.g. in applied mathematics or through the PACE  program). The PACE program offers a series of self-directed one (1) credit courses in algebraic functions. The satisfactory completion of the three PACE courses (or transferred equivalent) is a pre-requisite for majors that require advanced mathematics. Group tutoring sessions are available for any student enrolled in lower-division mathematics courses. For more information, contact an SDC specialist.

Individual substitutions for courses are initiated through the department of a student’s particular major field of study. (Substitutions are generally not allowed for courses considered essential to a particular major.) Any alteration to a student’s course of study must be supported by appropriate disability documentation and negotiated within the student’s major department and approved by the department’s college. Exceptions for requirements must also be approved by the Provost. Final approval for any substitution or alteration is required by the University’s Registrar for graduation purposes, excluding extra time for completion.

Tutoring and other support can often help students complete difficult requirements, especially if there are no other alternatives available for essential courses of a major.

Interacting with Instructors

Students with cognitive disabilities are strongly encouraged to discuss their needs for accommodation with their instructors within the first two weeks of classes. Students are expected to provide instructors with an accommodation letter from an SDC specialist that verifies the need for accommodations.

If an instructor is unfamiliar with the accommodations needed for a cognitive disability or hesitant to work with the student, the SDC staff will help facilitate or negotiate the provision of a specific accommodations. Instructors are encouraged to consult with the SDC concerning accommodations so it is recommended that a student also contact the SDC prior to meeting with an instructor to discuss what might be needed.

Faculty are provided academic freedom to determine what is and is not required for their particular courses. Each will also have their own teaching style. While minor changes may be requested of a faculty member (e.g. deadlines for assignments), significant changes to course requirements and/or teaching style is generally not considered a reasonable accommodation.

Some courses may be taught by a Graduate Teaching Assistant who is supervised by a professor. Some accommodations may have to be requested from, or negotiated with, the supervising professor even though many GTA’s are given the authority to implement them

Accommodations

The provision of an accommodation begins only once the need is made known to appropriate University personnel. A student must be considered eligible for an accommodation based on the documented presence of a disability and the significance the limitation has to participating in a course or program.

A student who needs accommodations in courses should first meet with an SDC specialist. After an assessment of needs, an SDC specialist will provide the student with a letter that will be given to each faculty member for each course for which an accommodation will be needed. This letter verifies for the faculty member that the accommodation is appropriate for a student’s need. A faculty member need not provide an accommodation simply on the word of a student.

A student who does not request accommodations prior to receiving an unsatisfactory grade on an exam, or for a course, will not have that grade “forgiven” after the fact, regardless of whether or not an accommodation was needed. Students can take the course again and request a “repeat/delete” procedure that would substitute the second grade for the first, providing the second grade is higher. The deleted grade will not be included in calculating the student’s overall GPA.

In addition, while faculty play a major role in the accommodative process, not all may be familiar with how best to accommodate a student with a cognitive disability. Therefore, the student is responsible for initiating the accommodative process as well as for participating in determining what would be the most appropriate and reasonable accommodation.

An accommodation cannot alter the fundamental nature of a course or program, nor is it to produce an undue administrative burden.

There are no guarantees that a student will receive exactly the accommodation requested. Accommodations are provided that give effective access to the academic environment and for which resources are available.

Extra Time

Students with cognitive disabilities may need extra time to complete assignments within a semester. This is considered a reasonable request that is negotiated with individual instructors. However, unlimited time is not considered a reasonable accommodation.

Some students may also find it necessary to take longer in completing course requirements for a particular major. While fifteen (15) semesters is considered optimal for completion of a degree, students often find it necessary to extend their student status in order to balance the demands of the courses with their learning abilities. Decreased course loads per semester are often recommended, especially during the first two years, so that students have the opportunity to adjust to the pace of university study. Specific combinations of courses, too, can have a detrimental impact on students. Since some courses are not taught every semester, it may require students an extra semester or two to ensure all courses are completed as successfully as possible.

Extra time may be an appropriate accommodation for taking exams and quizzes. Students may be eligible for time and a half or double time, depending upon their individual need. This determination is made by one of the SDC accommodation specialists after interviewing a student and evaluating appropriate documentation.

SDC Support

Students with cognitive disabilities must have appropriate documentation on file with SDC before they will be considered eligible for accommodations. This documentation must be from someone qualified to diagnose the specific cognitive disability and who is not related to the student.

Documentation should describe the student’s strengths, as well as weaknesses, caused by the cognitive disability. Suggestions concerning accommodations are helpful.

Before any accommodation is implemented by the SDC, a student must first meet with an SDC specialist for an intake and assessment meeting. At this time, they will suggest appropriate accommodations that might be useful. These accommodations can include but are not limited to priority registrationalternative testing, textbooks in an accessible, and note-taking support.

Students are also encouraged to meet regularly with an SDC specialist if so desired. Assistance is available with advising (in consultation with academic advisors), study strategies, and problem-solving as well as providing guidance in dealing with day to day issues of student life. Appropriate referrals will also be made if a particular concern is outside the purview of the SDC.

Tutoring

While tutoring is not considered an accommodation, it is often very helpful for students with cognitive disabilities. Peer tutoring is usually available from a variety of sources. Some tutoring is provided as group study while other tutoring may be one-on-one.

Tutoring offered by specific departments is generally free. Private tutors may also be found through academic departments for a fee. Some tutoring programs are sponsored directly by the university. The following resources are used most often by students with cognitive disabilities:

The SDC may also have available information and resources for more specific needs related to tutoring.

Mental Health Conditions

Students who have mental health conditions that impact their ability to participate in some academic activities may find the following information useful.

Academics

Mental health conditions and other conditions that affect a person’s behavior can significantly impact an individual’s ability to meet the demands of an academic environment. These conditions, or disabilities, include but are not limited to: Bi-Polar Disorder, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and conditions described as on the Autism Spectrum.

Students with these disabilities are expected to meet the same requirements as other students for admission and for graduation. In general, course requirements are not modified as an accommodation. Students must be able to complete course requirements within a reasonable amount of time. While some leeway may be possible with deadlines, students are expected to complete courses satisfactory as part of the criteria needed for graduation. Students are encouraged to be aware of the effects their course load may have on their ability to complete them within a semester. A reduced course load may be indicated if a particular combination of courses produces demands that may not be conducive with the manifestation of a particular disability or condition.

The method to demonstrate mastery of knowledge is commonly at the discretion of instructors. While some courses require this demonstration through papers and projects, students are more likely required to illustrate how much they know through exams. It is possible to accommodate students through different testing environments and formats. Students are not necessarily graded on effort although some instructors may factor this in when determining final grades.

Students who maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average or above are considered in good standing with the university. Students who fall below a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be placed on probation. Students then have two semesters in which to raise their GPA to a 2.0 or better. At the end of two semesters, if a student’s GPA is still below a 2.0, they will be dismissed from the university. (Petitions for exceptions are possible.)

Advising

Advisors or Academic Success Coordinators help plan a student’s path toward completion of not only the requirements of the major but also those needed for graduation. Not all advisors/ASCs, however, will be familiar with a student’s particular needs concerning a disability. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors/ASCs the impact their condition may have on achieving academic goals and to consult with an SDC specialist concerning their selection of courses.

An SDC specialist can provide added insight into what to expect and the possible impact a particular schedule may have on a student.

Individual substitutions for courses are initiated through the department of a student’s particular major field of study. (Substitutions are generally not allowed for courses considered essential to a particular major.) Any alteration to a student’s course of study must be supported by appropriate disability documentation and negotiated within the student’s major department and approved by the department’s college. Exceptions for requirements must also be approved by the Provost. Final approval for any substitution or alteration is required by the university’s Registrar for graduation purposes, excluding extra time for completion.

Behavioral Expectations

Classes are taught with the expectation that students will attend the majority of sessions. Some courses may also have requirements related to attendance.  For example, laboratory courses often limit the number of sessions that can be missed and/or made up. If a particular type of disability impacts a student’s ability to attend sessions, the student is strongly encouraged to work with both the instructor and an SDC specialist to see if an appropriate accommodation is possible that would not negatively impact the completion of the course.  Students are expected to provide instructors with an accommodation letter from an SDC specialist that verifies the need for accommodations.

Faculty are provided academic freedom to determine what is and is not required for their particular courses. Each will also have their own teaching style. While minor changes may be requested of a faculty member (e.g. deadlines for assignments), significant changes to course requirements and/or teaching style is generally not considered a reasonable accommodation. Some courses may be taught by a Graduate Teaching Assistant who is supervised by a professor. Some accommodations may have to be requested from or negotiated with, the supervising professor even though many GTA’s are given the authority to implement them.

The majority of faculty are more than willing to meet with individual students to enhance the task of mastering course content. However, it is expected that students are primarily responsible for their own learning process. Exams are usually the method used to measure mastery of knowledge. However, in-class discussion and participation may also be critical for assessing a student’s performance and mastery of the course.

All students are held to the principles governing student conduct. Although a student’s disability may affect how a student behaves, it does not necessarily excuse behavior that is detrimental to the learning environment, especially as it affects other students. Students are expected to behave in a respectful manner to all individuals on campus. Those who do not abide by the student conduct guidelines may be referred to a disciplinary hearing.  For more information, please contact the Student Resolution Center.

Accommodations

The provision of an accommodation begins only once the need is made known to appropriate University personnel. A student must be considered eligible for an accommodation based on the documented presence of a disability and the significance the limitation has to participating in a course or program.

A student who needs accommodations in courses should first meet with an SDC specialist. After an assessment of needs, the SDC specialist will provide the student with a letter that will be given to each faculty member for each course for which an accommodation will be needed. This letter verifies for the faculty member that the accommodation is appropriate for a student’s need. A faculty member need not provide an accommodation simply on the word of a student.

A student who does not request accommodations prior to receiving an unsatisfactory grade on an exam, or for a course, will not have that grade “forgiven” after the fact, regardless of whether or not an accommodation was needed. Students can take the course again and request a “repeat/delete” procedure that would substitute the second grade for the first, providing the second grade is higher. The deleted grade will not be included in calculating the student’s overall GPA.

In addition, while faculty play a major role in the accommodative process, not all may be familiar with how best to accommodate a student with mental health conditions or other neurological disabilities. Therefore, the student is responsible for initiating the accommodative process as well as for participating in determining what would be the most appropriate and reasonable accommodation. An accommodation cannot alter the fundamental nature of a course or program, nor is it to produce an undue administrative burden.

There are no guarantees that a student will receive exactly the accommodation requested. Accommodations are provided that give effective access to the academic environment and for which resources are available.

Therapeutic Support

The CSU Health Network, comprised of both physical and mental health services, is available to support students with mental health conditions. If a student is unable to access therapeutic support in the community or their mental health practitioner is not in the immediate community, a student may be able to receive such services from the staff of the CSU Health Network. For more information, contact the CSU Health Network.

Extra Time

Students with mental health conditions may need extra time to complete assignments and/or exams within a semester. This is considered a reasonable request that is negotiated with individual instructors. However, unlimited time is not considered a reasonable accommodation.

Some students may also find it necessary to take longer in completing course requirements for a particular major. While fifteen (15) semesters is considered optimal for completion of a degree, students often find it necessary to extend their student status in order to balance the demands of the courses with the effects of their particular condition. Decreased course loads per semester are often recommended, especially during the first two years, so that students have the opportunity to adjust to the pace of university study. It is also helpful when a student has to take a course that has the potential to exacerbate the manifestations of their condition. Specific combinations of courses, too, can have a detrimental impact on students. Since some courses are not taught every semester, it may require students an extra semester or two to ensure all courses are completed as successfully as possible.

Extra time may be an appropriate accommodation for taking exams and quizzes. Students may be eligible for time and a half or double time, depending upon their individual need. This determination is made by an SDC specialist after meeting with a student and evaluating appropriate documentation.

SDC Support

Students with mental health conditions must have appropriate documentation on file with the SDC before they will be considered eligible for accommodations. This documentation must be from someone qualified to diagnose the disability and who is not related to the student.

Documentation should describe the student’s strengths, as well as weaknesses, caused by the disability. Suggestions concerning accommodations are helpful.  Some mental health conditions may have recent diagnoses and the accommodations may not be apparent. As a student acclimates to the academic environment and demands, it is hoped that the student and an SDC specialist are able to discover what works.

Before any accommodation is implemented by the SDC, a student must first meet with an SDC specialist for an intake and assessment meeting. At this time, they will suggest appropriate services that might be useful. These services include but are not limited to: priority registration, alternative testing, and note-taking support.

Students are also encouraged to meet regularly with an SDC specialist if so desired. Assistance is available with advising (in consultation with academic advisors), study strategies, and problem-solving as well as providing guidance in dealing with day to day issues of student life. Appropriate referrals will also be made if a particular concern is outside the purview of SDC.

The SDC will assist students in locating other appropriate services on campus and in the Fort Collins community as needed. If you have further questions concerning CSU and the accommodations that are available to you as a student, please contact RDS.

Tutoring

While tutoring is not considered an accommodation, it may be helpful for students with mental health conditions. Peer tutoring is usually available from a variety of sources. Some tutoring is provided as group study while other tutoring may be one-on-one.

Tutoring offered by specific departments is generally free. Private tutors may also be found through academic departments for a fee. Some tutoring programs are sponsored directly by the university. The following resources are used most often by students with any type of disability

Welcome From the Director

Dear Student,

Welcome to the club. What club is that you may ask. It is quite an exclusive one so you should feel proud to be part of it. But you don’t remember joining one, do you? The day you discovered you had a disability, you became a member, not by choice, but by ascription. You are now officially a ‘disabled person.’ Let me explain.

The title (some call it a label) of ‘disabled’ probably does not feel as if it is a privilege, nor does it feel desirable. It is unfortunate, but true, that society, in general, has perceived this particular designation as ‘less than’ or in some way a deviant from the ‘norm’. In reality, though, to be disabled, to have a disability, is really simply part of the human condition. In and of itself, it is neither good nor bad, positive or negative, as a human characteristic. How you think, how your brain works, what parts of your body look like or what those parts are capable of doing, are all part of the variety of forms human bodies/minds take. We are all similar only through the fact that we are all so very different.

What it means to be disabled, or to have a disability, is actually a social construction. We, as a society, have constructed the meaning given to disability and, as such, have the power to reconstruct its meaning. You are now part of that reconstruction process as you join the ranks towards a college education.

In the last half of the 20th century, people with disabilities, disabilities of all kinds and shapes, began the process of redefining what it means to have a disability. They felt it should not be an automatic stigma that gave a person lower status and less access to the benefits and opportunities of society. Instead, they realized that their particular differences were merely part of what it means to be a human being. Therefore, they began to fight for the right to be considered equal participants in the world and worthy of the same opportunities and responsibilities as any other person. Their struggle back then has made it possible for you to be in college right now.

In 1977, a group of people with disabilities, many with college educations, protested against the federal government for its delay in implementing specific requirements that would give qualified individuals with disabilities the right to access education (among other things as well). This was the birth of the disability rights movement. The federal requirements at stake affected both the K-12 system as well as higher education.

The strategy of protest was very successful and resulted in specific actions by the whole of education to provide support for any qualified student with a disability. You likely got through your elementary and high school education with the support of some of these federal requirements if your disability came to you early in life. Regardless, you now have the opportunity to pursue higher learning due to other federal requirements that went into effect after this protest activity.

I wish I could say that the struggle you have in college is not much more than the struggle to learn new things about yourself and the world. You certainly do that but you also need to be aware of the other struggle you face. It is the same struggle your predecessors faced – the outdated perceptions of what it means to be disabled. You will meet many professors, administrators, and other students who simply will not understand (and at times, refuse to understand) who and what you are. It will be tough. But when that happens, please do not despair. Remember what your predecessors believed and why they fought back against such perceptions.

It took society over a century to relinquish the idea of slavery, another form of discrimination based on a human characteristic, and even though we are still battling some of its remaining effects, times have changed for the better. So, too, with the oppression imposed on those who have disabilities. That battle is much younger and we have a long way to go but as part of the club, you now have the opportunity to contribute to the effort. You are now part of the movement whether you know it or not. What you do in response to the attitudinal barriers you encounter is all part of the strategic plans of the larger war.

Your response does not need to be coercive or combative, nor does it need to be passive when you encounter those who have misguided ideas about you. You need not react in anger toward your professor, nor must you passively hide your need for accommodation and flexibility. Hopefully, your response, your strategic stance, will be assertive as you try to fulfill the rights and responsibilities you have as a participant in a college community. As mentioned, this will not be an easy task.

How people perceive you, how they evaluate your capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, will often run counter to what you know about yourself. The reactions and perceptions of others will even likely create some doubts in yourself as to who you really are. However, always remember that what society has ‘constructed’ about you can also be ‘de-constructed.’ That deconstruction begins with you and the meaning you give to your own identity as a disabled person.

One question to always ask is whether or not your particular situation is due to the barriers of the environment. If the environment were to be designed differently, would you be able to accomplish your goals? Or are you really not able to do what is required? These questions can often help determine whether your limitations are what keep you from doing what it is you want to do or whether it is something created externally. If it is the latter, it then becomes a socially constructed barrier.

Each person determines for themselves what disability means and what value it has in the grand scheme of things. You are the future that those individuals in 1977 had in mind. They knew you would be here as they had faith in the ‘rightness’ of their concept of disability. While the environment may not have changed as much as it should, or could, to accommodate to your abilities, it is now an expectation that you have the opportunity to fulfill your potential. Whether or not you fulfill that potential is always going to be your responsibility; graduation is not guaranteed. But you now have the right to have that as your goal.

The battle to transform the worldview of disability began with a small group of individuals who all differed from one another in physical and mental capabilities. Alone, none would have been able to accomplish much; together they changed history. You, too, need not fight your battle alone. Look for your allies and use the resources that are now part of the environment that were not available back in 1977 – accommodations such as extended time on tests, books in alternative format, etc. Although everything you need may not be readily available, the system did change to make sure you had a chance to prove what you are capable of doing. With that opportunity comes the responsibility to be what your predecessors had hoped for – a full participant of the community of the world as a disabled person. Be proud of that distinction as it continues to challenge others to see you as you should be seen – as a full member of the diverse human race.

There are many you will meet who will try to dissuade you from the title of ‘disabled’. I hope you can resist that feeling. As a person with a disability, I am proud of the distinction. While my disability may not be the same as yours, I understand the significance of the designation of my particular characteristic. It has afforded me much insight into being truly human. It challenges me to be creative in problem-solving and it strengthens my ability to accept others for who they are, making me a better person of the world. The struggles I’ve faced have made me stronger to meet all of life’s challenges.

Your particular disability can do the same for you if you so choose to see it as one of your unique attributes and use it for positive results. It connects you, too, to a much larger community of people who struggle with the same barriers you face in society. What binds us all together is not whether we have the same disability but the fact that we have all been subjected to the same outdated perception of what ‘being disabled’ means, including an environment that did not take our needs into account in its initial design.

I challenge you to construct your own meaning of being disabled and not to buy into what the rest of society seems to be telling you. In reality, there are a great many people who are trying to get another message across to the world and to you. Listen to that other message and weigh it against your own perception. Determine which message feels best for you.

Be proud of, and in, your identity. And, once again, welcome to the club.

With you in allegiance –

Rose Kreston
Director
Student Disability Center

Get Involved

Committee for Disabled Student Accessibility (CDSA)

Overview

The Committee for Disabled Student Accessibility receives $2.72 per student semester as part of the CSU student fee allocation. These funds are used to accomplish the goals of:

  • Enhancing/improving accessibility of campus
  • Removing campus wide barriers for students with disabilities
  • Promoting awareness and education of disability related issues

Responsibility

  • Acts as supplement to university’s responsibility for access
    • Allows for all stakeholders (all students) to share in changing the environment
  • Those who benefit most determine how funds spent
    • Allows intention to be turned into action
  • Helps assess how the university responds to disabled students
    • Provides feedback to the SDC for future changes for university

Participation

  • Core (voting) committee members
    • Choose to participate through (self) nomination process
    • Solicit proposals for projects
      • Any unit may submit, including SDC and Assistive Technology Resource Center
      • The costs of projects whenever possible are shared with other entities, including the university
    • Initiate own projects
    • Determines how funds are spent
  • Participation by other disabled students
    • Use of Email; proposed SDC channel for portal, etc.
  • Direct leadership opportunities for students with disabilities
    • Empowerment through decision making

Enhancing Accessibility

  • Access mandated by federal law
    • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
      • Section 504 and the ADA are civil rights protections
    • Qualified students cannot be discriminated against solely based on their disability from participating in, or benefiting from any program or activity offered by the university
  • The university is basically in compliance with the federal mandates
    • CDSA activities enhance/improve the level of accessibility, both physically, digitally and, attitudinally
  • CDSA represents the interest of over 2000 students with a diversity of needs
    • Projects need to include improvements that affect that diversity
  • Access involves both physical as well as attitudinal structures
    • How support is provided is as important as to what is provided

Projects CDSA can Fund

Physical Construction

  • Includes installation of automatic door openers, curb cuts, and ramps

    • Normal university channels can take up to a year and dependent on state funds
    • Smaller projects can be more immediately implemented
      • Example: ramp was needed for a student in a theater class; it was installed in less than two weeks
  • Past survey of access by CDSA used by the university for major improvements

Assistive Technology

  • Electronic information is inaccessible to those who are visually impaired, have difficulty with manipulating computers, or simply in reading print

    • Icons are not readable by screen readers
    • Using a computer requires manual dexterity
    • Reading print can be difficult for students with learning disabilities
  • Assistive devices are designed to access computer technology, including hardware and software
    • Example: refreshable Braille keyboard located in the library
  • CDSA works closely with the ATRC to determine what assistive devices may be needed on campus
    • Some assistive technology has been purchased for the library resource rooms located on the first floor

Equipment

  • Access to student services cannot be taken for granted by students with disabilities
  • Other equipment is often needed on campus for specific purposes, such as wheelchairs used temporarily disabled students and for providing access through alternative formats
    • CDSA purchased an accessible bus and approved up to $3000 to be used for running the SDC transportation services
    • Devices are often needed for individual student use
      • Example: FM systems for use by students who are Hard-of-Hearing
    • Equipment is usually maintained through the SDC.

Awareness

  • The SDC is a primary sponsor of disability awareness programs on campus
    • While awareness is one of the three goals of the SDC, the majority of its budget is devoted to providing specific accommodations mandated by law
  • CDSA helps to provide support for disability awareness programs sponsored by the SDC
    • CDSA has funded the cost for posters and program brochures and for specific expenses related to awareness activities
      • Example: CDSA funded the costs for a teleconference on universal design in teaching

Average Cost per Project

  • Electronic door – $1,500 per door
  • Curb cut – $700 per cut
  • TDD/FM System – $1,000 to $1,500
  • Assistive technology – ranges from $500 to $10,000 depending upon item
  • Accessible bus – approx. $40,000 for vehicle and adaptations
  • Transportation services – $9,000 to $10,000 a year (two semesters)
  • Awareness programming – $5,000 per year

The more expensive items (e.g., accessible bus) came about due to the roll-over ability of the account. Minimal expenditures one year created enough roll-over savings to consider the purchase of the vehicle. Other administrative expenses are minimal for the committee such as copying and supplies. Some administrative costs are shared with the SDC.

Past Projects Funded by CDSA

  • Improve Nature Center access – $500
  • Support Matt Roloff presentation – $500
  • QPR training materials for Active Minds – $670
  • Ramp for student center  – $1,940
  • Greg Smith presentation – $3,700
  • Tutoring expenses for Academic Advancement Center – $3,150
  • Support for alternative text production – $9,464
  • Eli Clare presentations – $3,000
  • Replacement for accessible bus – $40,000

Retrofitting an environment is a never-ending endeavor. Despite the ever-present construction, there may still be inaccessible locations. The rapid advancement of the electronic environment often creates inadvertent barriers for some users. CDSA is a vehicle to address some of these barriers. Student input as to how to address the inaccessibility of the campus, whether it be physical access, electronic access, programmatic access, or attitudinal access, is vital in order to make this a better place for all students.

Membership

Voting members are solicited through a nomination process and selected by a committee determined by the director of the SDC each year. Active members will be selected based on their expressed/demonstrated interest in issues affecting those with disabilities. Only voting members can determine how funds are expended.

Recruitment of members from the disabled student population is a high priority. All self-identified students with disabilities (through the SDC) are emailed at least once each semester to solicit interest.

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society

Overview

Delta Alpha Pi is an honor society founded to recognize high-achieving students with disabilities who are attending colleges and universities. Delta Alpha Pi celebrates and supports academic achievement, leadership, and advocacy for students with disabilities in postseconedary education.

The three Greek letters have a specific meaning.

Delta – D for Disability, but also the triangle, symbol of strength. Members of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society demonstrate strength as leaders on campus to help break down the barriers of negativism. Also, they serve as mentors and role models for other students with disabilities.

Alpha – A stands for Achievement. Alpha is the beginning, and academic achievement must come first. But A also stands for advocacy because students must advocate for themselves before they can advocate for others. Members of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society enhance advocacy skills for themselves and for the rights of all individuals with disabilities to be included fully in society.

Pi – P represents Pride, pride in academic achievement and in other accomplishments, not just as students with disabilities, but as members of the university community. Pi is a mathematical symbol that we learned to use in elementary arithmetic classes. So Pi is an appropriate symbol for education. Members of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society participate in activities designed to educate the community and society regarding disability issues and the need to apply the principles of universal design in learning.

Membership Requirements

Undergraduate Student

  • Self-identify as having a disability and be registered with the SDC
  • Have completed 24 credit hours
  • Have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.1 or higher

Graduate Students

  • Self-identify as having a disability and be registered with the SDC
  • Have completed 18 credit hours
  • Have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher

Students who meet these criteria will be contacted to see if they are interested in joining Delta Alpha Pi.

For more information about Delta Alpha Pi please contact Rose Kreston (rose.kreston@colostate.edu).

American Sign Language Club

Overview

The American Sign Language Club is a club for anyone who is interested in ASL and Deaf culture. ASL club offers about two silent activities per month while school is in session. Activities are designed to provide a supportive environment to practice sign language and learn more about Deaf culture and the Deaf community.  Activities are offered both on and off campus, some activities are in cooperation with Deaf hosted events.

For more information about Sign Club please contact Dede Kliewer (dede.kliewer@colostate.edu).

ASCSU Senators

In 2016 the Associated Students of Colorado State University  passed the “Diversity Bill” into the ASCSU constitution. This bill created voting senator seats for the seven offices in the Student Diversity Programs and Services cluster; as well as the Office of International Programs, and Adult Learner and Veteran Services.

In the spring of 2017 ASCSU voted to establish an additional senator seat for each of these offices. That means students with disabilities now will have two voices in student government. The current senator, Cerridwyn Nordstrom, will be looking for a partner Senator so if you re interested, please contact Cerridwyn at Cerridwyn.Nordstrom@rams.colostate.edu for more information.

President's Multicultural Student Advisory Committee (PMSAC)

The President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee is an advisory group to the President, university administrators, professionals, and academic faculty. The committee addresses broad issues of multiculturalism and social identity that impact the university campus and surrounding community. The committee’s primary functions are to engage in conversations with university faculty and administrators to share students’ perspectives and provide recommendations that will develop and sustain a campus climate of inclusiveness and help CSU better serve its increasingly diverse population.

The Student Disability Center has two student representative position on PMSAC. These student representatives act as a voice for people with disabilities on campus.