On-Campus Support Services
Learning Resource Center (LA 334) The Learning Resource Center is an academic resource center available to
all students. Tutoring is available through the Writing Center (LA 334), the Math
Tutor Center (MATH 107), and Chemistry Tutoring (CSB 101). Tutoring in other subjects
(UC 226) offers confidential personal and career testing and counseling to currently-enrolled
Student Health Services
(UC 238) provides outpatient services to currently-enrolled UNO students.
As a parent of a student with a disability, you probably have many questions and concerns
about your son’s or daughter’s future college experience. This guide was written with
you in mind — to answer questions, address concerns, describe the new roles your son
or daughter and yourself will play in the accommodation process, and explain how post-secondary
disability services differ from high school services and supports.
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) works to ensure that educational programming
and services are accessible to students with disabilities. Section 504 of the Vocational
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
of 1990 prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities. According to
these laws, no “otherwise” qualified individual shall, solely by reason of his or
her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be
subjected to discrimination” in any program or activity. Individuals who are protected
under these statutes include those with physical, sensory, or learning disabilities
or other disabilities, such as health impairments or psychological impairments.
As a parent, it is important to understand that the laws that protect students with
disabilities are different at the high school and post-secondary levels. High schools
are governed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and by Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Post-secondary institutions are governed by
the ADA and by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The document “Comparison
of Disability in High School and College” outlines some of these differences.
Transitioning to Higher Education
Preparation is essential for a successful transition to college for all students and
even more so for students with disabilities, as these students may be less likely
than their peers without disabilities to persist and earn a post-secondary degree.
Contrary to what many students and parents may believe, this preparation should begin
long before college campus tours, interviews, and applications enter the picture.
Your son or daughter should begin preparing for life after high school by learning
about his/her disability, how the disability affects him/her academically, what coping
skills have proven to be effective in the past, and what his/her strengths and weaknesses
are. An awareness of how academic needs can be met, especially for a student with
involved needs, can help ensure a successful transition. Self-advocacy skills are
also crucial to a successful post-secondary experience. These skills are not learned
overnight. Rather, students need time and practice to develop and fine-tune these
Many college freshmen are unprepared for the amount of responsibility that they will
face in the postsecondary environment. Your son or daughter can begin developing these
abilities gradually by taking increased responsibility for his/her education while
still in high school. Encourage his/her participation in the transition planning process,
as appropriate. If an academic, accommodation, or teacher-related problem arises,
encourage your son or daughter to problem-solve and address the situation independently,
while you offer support and additional help, only if needed.
Finally, an awareness of the impact of the post-secondary environment on academic
success is also important. College students are expected to meet deadlines, be prepared
for class and tests, and make wise use of their time. Making sure your son or daughter
has developed good time management, organizational, and study skills will go a long
way in preparing him/her to be a successful college student.
The Accommodation Process
Post-secondary institutions provide academic accommodations to students who provide
documented evidence of a disability that substantially limits a major life activity
(e.g. learning, hearing, seeing, etc.). Accommodations are designed to ensure equal
access to academic programming and services. Accommodations must be reasonable and
cannot alter the essential requirements of a course or program that a student is expected
In order to register with Disability Services and receive academic accommodations,
your son or daughter must self-identify as a student with a disability by completing
an intake form, providing documentation, and completing a collaborative interview.
As a parent, your role throughout this process is one that is primarily supportive
rather than directive. Your son or daughter will be expected to lead the collaborative
interview with a Disability Services staff member, as well as meetings with his/her
instructors. Following is additional information about the initial intake process:
Disability Services requires current documentation from a qualified physician or other
licensed professional in a field related to the disability. Since each disability
is unique, guidelines for what constitutes appropriate documentation for a particular
disability are available. Please note that a copy of an Individual Education Plan
(IEP) or a 504 Plan alone is not sufficient documentation. Documentation guidelines
can be found on the website under information for students.
The student will meet with a Disability Services staff member and should be prepared
to discuss the impact of his/her disability in the academic environment, his/her history
of accommodations and the accommodations being requested. This information, together
with the results of the documentation review, will help our staff talk with the student
and determine reasonable accommodations for the student.
When a decision has been made regarding accommodations, Disability Services will prepare
accommodation agreement forms. It is the student’s responsibility to present these
forms to his/her instructors in a one-on-one meeting. The student should be prepared
to discuss with his/her instructors the impact of his/her disability and how the requested
accommodations will support him/her in the classroom.
Disability Services is committed to ensuring all information regarding a student remains
confidential as required by “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (FERPA).
Student files maintained by DS are accessed by authorized office staff only. Information
will be shared only after a student has signed a consent form or if required by federal
or state law.
- The entire accommodation process must be student-initiated. It is not the post-secondary
institution’s responsibility to initiate the accommodation process for the student.
While you as a parent may want to advocate for your son or daughter and assist in
the accommodation process, confidentiality laws prohibit college/university personnel
from discussing your son’s or daughter’s information with anyone, including parents,
without written consent from the student.
- Your son or daughter is responsible for ensuring that appropriate documentation is
obtained and forwarded to Disability Services.
- Your son or daughter must distribute the accommodation letters to his/her instructors
in a one-on-one meeting.
- Accommodations such as note-taking services and testing accommodations require the
student to follow certain procedures. If these procedures are not followed, your son
or daughter could risk losing the support of these accommodations.
- If your son or daughter experiences any difficulties with his/her accommodations or
if the status of his/ her disability changes, it is his/her responsibility to inform
Disability Services ASAP. If our office does not hear from your son or daughter, it
will be assumed that all is well.
- It is your son’s or daughter’s responsibility to contact our office every semester
to request accommodations for that semester. Accommodations are not put in place until
requested by the student.