May 24, 2019

New Student Information

Welcome to the SDC Ramily!

Welcome new students, parents, and families! We are excited to welcome you to the SDC family. This is your introduction to the Student Disability Center, what we do, offer, and how to get involved. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can support your educational access and success here at Colorado State University.

Our Vision and Mission

What We Do

Meet our Staff

We Accept You

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. 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.

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 Admission 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.

Just Accepted, Now What?

Congratulations on accepting admission to Colorado State University and welcome to the Ramily! As you begin the pre-orientation and orientation process, here are some accommodations you can request even before you enroll in classes and start on day one of the semester:

Academic Accommodations

If you are in need of academic accommodations, we encourage you to connect with us early. We recommend requesting accommodations before starting your first semester at CSU. To request accommodations, you will need to meet with an accommodation specialist. To schedule an appointment you can call our office at 970-491-6385 or email

Housing and Dining Accommodations

Are you in need of housing or dining accommodations to make your campus life the most accessible before you move in? You can fill out the Housing & Dining Accommodation Request for Accommodation Form. You will then want to contact our office by phone at 970-491-6385) or email at to set up an appointment to start the housing accommodation process.

Placement Exam Accommodations

Ask for testing accommodations for your placement exams prior to taking them. If you have already taken your placement exams without accommodation but feel like you need accommodations, please connect with us at 970-491-6385 or to get accommodations for your placement exams and you can take it again with accommodations.

Steps to Connect

Once you have accepted your journey as a Ram and have completed Ram Orientation, please follow these steps to connect with our office.

Step One:

Call 970-491-6385 or email us to set up an appointment with an accommodation specialist so we can get to know you! It’s always best to be able to put a face to a name and give students a warm welcome.

Step Two:

You will meet your accommodation specialist who will become one of your many resources throughout your journey at CSU. Your specialist will discuss your strengths, interests, and goals and how CSU can best provide access to all aspects of your college life at CSU. This is where you identify accommodations (academic adjustments) to the college environment that best suit your individual needs. Add them to your email and phone contacts so you can reach out whenever you need some additional support.

Step Three:

If you haven’t already, you can submit documentation (or verification) of your disability to your Accommodation Specialist (if applicable). Your accommodation specialist will discuss the documentation needed and advise you on where to find this documentation if you don’t have any. Don’t have any documentation? That’s ok! We will still meet with you and provide accommodations while we identify the best ways to move forward.

Step Four:

Each semester don’t forget to complete your Accommodation Letter Request Form prior to the first day of classes (or anytime thereafter) so that the Student Disability Center can send your letters to your professors and copy you. This informs them about the accommodations you need to access your classes.

Step Five:

You’ve done it! You are officially a CSU student and you are now in your first day of class. How does it feel?

Now that your instructors have your accommodation letter and you now have access to the syllabus, you can review the course outline, content, and requirements. Find a time to intentionally connect with your professor through email, phone, office hours, or via appointment to check in with them about any questions, concerns, or logistics that need to be sorted for the accommodations to run smoothly. If you run into any challenges working it out with your professor, your Accommodation Specialist is always there to assist with finding creative solutions.

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.

Academic Expectations

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.


CSU is a residential institution that offers primarily in-person classes. When enrolling in in-person classes, students are expected to attend class in-person.

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 disability-related barriers that a student encounters, there is no guarantee flexibility will be appropriate for any type of course.

Competencies and Requirements

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.

Grade Point Average

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.


All first-year students are required to live on campus .  There is strong evidence that living on campus results in higher academic performance (i.e., GPAs).  CSU requires that all newly admitted first-year students without previous college experience, who are single, under 21 years of age, and not living with their parents in the Fort Collins area, live in the University residence halls for the first two consecutive terms of their attendance.  Credits taken concurrent with high school and/or credits attained through Advanced Placement (AP) do not apply towaSDC living experience.

Requests for an exemption to live on campus as an accommodation due to a disability must first be assessed and verified by the SDC director and must be supported by appropriate documentation that links the need for the accommodation with the effects of the disability. SDC provides an assessment of the need to the Director of Residence Life regarding the request for an exemption based on the disability. The decision regarding the housing exemption is made by the Director of Residence Life.

Students with disabilities may apply to live in any of the residence halls although not all are accessible for students who use wheelchairs and not all rooms are air-conditioned.  All rooms are designed for two to four students to a room with either a shared bath between two rooms (suite style) or a common bath for a given floor.  Common eating facilities are available and a resident from any hall has the option to eat at any of them.  Most adaptations for specific dietary conditions are possible.  Students are encouraged to meet with the dietician within Dining Services to explore the options available.  Please contact Dining Services Dietician at (970) 491-4714 for more information.

Specific accommodations may be requested, including “single occupancy”, modified meal plans or having a service dog or emotional support animal (ESA).  Documentation for accommodations in university housing must be provided and verified by SDC before the accommodation is provided.

Requests for an emotional support animal (ESA) must supported by appropriate documentation that indicates the need of the ESA for the student’s ability to benefit from the residence hall experience.  ESA are only permitted in a student’s living environment; they are not permitted anywhere else on campus.

Single occupancy requests due to a disability must be made early as space may not be available.  For more information on any accommodation within university housing, contact: Housing and Dining at (970) 491-6511.

Methods of Instruction

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).

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 2011.

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.

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 a variety of accommodations including extended time on exams/quizzes, sign language interpreters, and note-taking support.  Once a student’s need is made known to the SDC, a letter outlining the approved accommodations is provided to a student’s instructors as some accommodations will need instructor cooperation and participation.  Housing and Dining Services usually provide 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:

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 at

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

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:  Web site: