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Frequently Asked Student Questions (FAQs) Regarding Disability Accommodations

Q: What is considered a disability?

A: A disability is any physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such a person's major life activities. Examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental health conditions - Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder
  • Cognitive/Learning challenges - Attention Deficit Disorders, Learning Disabilities, being on the Autism Spectrum
  • Chronic Medical - Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Diabetes
  • Sensory - Hearing or Vision Loss
  • Neurological/Neuromuscular/Mobility - Brain Injury, Seizure Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis

Q: How can the Disability Services and Diversity Office help with my disability?

A: We are inspired by the ability of people to overcome challenges! We help students with disabilities obtain reasonable accommodations to provide equal access and opportunities in their academic courses, degree programs, and related support services. Reasonable accommodations are those which do not:

  • Lower or substantially modify essential requirements of a course or academic program
  • Fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program, or activity
  • Pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others
  • Pose an undue financial or administrative burden

Q: Will accommodations be shown on my transcript?

A: No. Any information on your accommodations is stored securely within the Disability Services and the Diversity Office and is not displayed on your transcript.

Q: Do I need to provide documentation of my disability to receive accommodations?

A: Yes. However if you don't have documentation of your disability available right now, we'll be glad to provide accommodations for one semester while you obtain it. So you'll need to provide documentation before we approve a second semester of accommodations. For example, if the first time you requested accommodations from us was for the Fall 2020 semester, we can provide accommodations for that semester without documentation but we would need it before approving accommodations for the Spring 2021 semester.

If you're having trouble obtaining documentation, please contact the Disability Services and the Diversity Office.

Q: What information does documentation of my disability need to cover?

A: Your disability documentation must be from someone who is qualified to diagnose or help you manage your disability and should not be from someone who has a personal relationship with you. Your disability documentation should contain all of the following things:

Proper documentation should contain all of the following things:

  1. Your first and last name
  2. Your date of birth or your OSU-OKC Student ID Number
  3. The date the documentation was prepared or written
    • Please note that for Learning Disabilities the best practice is to provide documentation that is no older than five (5) years.
  4. The first and last name of the person who prepared the documentation
  5. The specific name of your disability, for example: ADD/ADHD, Learning Disability – Written Expression, Seizure Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, etc.
  6. A description of how this disability affects your daily life, for example:
    • Problems concentrating or maintaining focus
    • Takes longer time to process information
    • Periods of depression or mania
    • Extreme fatigue, difficulty performing daily life activities
    • Pain in hands when writing
  7. The projected progression or stability of your disability (if not evident by the name of your disability or diagnosis)

You can also use our Disability Documentation Form to give to your health care provider or diagnosing professional.

⇒ Need an assessment for Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but having trouble with assessment cost? We may be able to help through a partnership with the OSU-Stillwater Psychological Services Center. Call or email Emily Cheng, OSU-OKC Director of Disability Services and Diversity at 405-945-3385 or emily.cheng@okstate.edu to learn more

Q: What are some commonly provided reasonable accommodations?

A: Commonly provided reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Extra time on timed exams and quizzes
  • Permission to audio record class lectures for note-taking purposes only
  • Reasonable flexibility in attendance policies and/or coursework due dates in case of a medical episode or to attend health care appointments related to their disability

Other accommodations may also be provided based on the functional impact of the student's disability and the essential learning requirements of the course or degree program they are enrolled in. Our team will collaborate with you to identify reasonable accommodations that balance your needs with an OSU quality education.

Q: How does extra time on timed exams and quizzes work ?

A: For exams or quizzes that are taken online, instructors can adjust the time limit accordingly in the online learning system. For hardcopy/paper-and-pencil exams or quizzes, it is recommended that you collaborate with your instructor to take the exam/quiz with extra time in the OSU-OKC Testing Center, located on the first floor of the Student Center building. Instructors can drop off their exams at the Testing and Assessment Center prior to the student's arrival.

Q: What should I audio record in a class?

A: Focus on recording the instructor's speaking and lecture parts. Please be aware that instructors may ask for audio recording to temporarily stop if students are sharing sensitive or personal information about themselves, or if students are giving class presentations or speeches and there is a heightened level of anxiety in the class.

Q: What is the accommodation for reasonable flexibility in attendance policies and/or coursework due dates in case of a medical episode (or to attend health care appointments related to my disability)? How does that accommodation work?

A: Some disabilities can have unexpected flare-ups and take time to treat/manage. With this accommodation, your instructors can consider and provide a reasonable amount of unpenalized flexibility in attendance and/or coursework due dates if you have a flare-up or need to receive treatment to manage your disability. The amount of unpenalized flexibility with attendance and/or coursework due dates a student may receive will be determined by the course instructor on a case-by-case basis for each individual class and each specific course component or assignment. Instructors typically consider the following things when deciding if flexibility in attendance and/or coursework due dates is possible:

  • To what extent does providing reasonable flexibility in attendance and/or coursework due dates affect the essential learning requirements of the course?
  • How is the learning experience for the student affected by providing reasonable flexibility in attendance and/or coursework due dates?
  • How is the learning experience for the class affected by providing the student with reasonable flexibility in attendance and/or coursework due dates?   

Please be aware that if a due date extension is approved, instructors are only required to offer one (1) single due date extension per coursework assignment without penalty but are welcome to offer additional due date extensions or other make-up work opportunities for each assignment at their discretion. If the student does not meet the due date for the first extension on an assignment and the instructor approves a second due date extension, instructors may deduct points for late work at that time consistent with any point deductions for late work listed in the course syllabus.

Success Tip:

  • Schedule a time to review the syllabus with your instructors and ask them which course timelines, components, exams/quizzes, and assignments can be considered for attendance flexibility or due date extension, and let your instructors know how you think your disability might affect you in the course.

Q: It's the middle of the semester and I didn't realize I needed accommodations until now. Is it too late to get accommodations in place?

A: Our team is here to help you throughout the year, and can typically collaborate with you to get accommodations approved within two business days. Please be aware that accommodations are not retroactive and are only in effect from the date shown on the Disability Accommodation Letter through the end of the identified semester, so we'll need to keep the focus on future opportunities instead of that which has already passed. Your instructor may also need enough time to prepare and provide you with the accommodations once they've been approved by our team, and we encourage students to contact their instructors and communicate on how to plan for their accommodations. 

Q: I was on an IEP in high school. What's different in college for students with disabilities?

A: We've got a specialized page just for this topic. Check out Students with Disabilities - How College Differs from High School.

Q: I want to move forward and explore accommodations. What should I do next?

A: Submit your accommodation request online or if you want to talk with our team first, schedule an appointment with the Disability Services and Diversity Office at (405) 945-3385 or okc.accessibility@okstate.edu. We look forward to collaborating with you!