FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. When should I notify Muhlenberg about my disability?
Although you need not disclose a disability during the admission process, it is advisable to disclose as soon as possible after being accepted. This will permit the Office of Disability Services to contact you and assist in many areas of orientation to Muhlenberg. Whenever possible, students should disclose before the June Advising Event. By disclosing early, students will be invited for a special pre-advising session with a Learning Specialist during June Advising Event, before meeting with a faculty advisor.
Q. Who should I contact regarding my disability?
Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services should first consult with the Director of the Office of Disability Services to initiate the disability-designation process. If a student’s disability documentation results in a determination of eligibility for accommodations and services, an Accommodation Plan is developed. An Accommodation Plan provides accommodations that are reasonable, which are linked to documentation findings, and do not compromise the integrity of the course or degree. Students with disabilities engage in the full range of experiences available to all Muhlenberg College students including curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities. For additional disability-related information including documentation requirements, check the Office of Disability Services website.
Q. What accommodations will I receive?
Accommodations are determined case-by-case based on the documentation and the nature of the disability. In all cases, a determination of eligibility for accommodations is dependent upon the documentation supporting a significant limitation in a major life function. The documentation must clearly connect with and support the requested accommodation. If the documentation is incomplete or does not support the requests, further information may be needed. Accommodations that alter the essential elements of the course will not be approved. Please refer to the Documentation Guidelines and Accommodations section on the website for more information.
Q. If I received 504 accommodations or had an IEP in high school, will the same accommodations be provided?
Although 504 plans and IEPs are helpful in understanding the history of the disability or disorder, they are not adequate to implement accommodations in a college environment. An excellent resource for the comparisons between the IDEA, 504, and the ADA can be found at the US Department of Education website. At the post-secondary level, supporting documentation through an evaluation done within the past 3 years or using adult norms would be required. Some accommodations received in a high school setting may not be appropriate for the college setting, such as unlimited time on tests or exams. Please refer to the documentation/disclosure policy.
Q. Who do I contact if I need special housing accommodations?
Students must fill out the Special Housing Request Form available through the Office of Disability Services and Residential Life. Students must submit Documentation for the disability-related Special Housing Request to the Office of Disability Services where it will be evaluated to determine if the request for special housing consideration is appropriate. The Office of Disability Services convenes the Special Housing Requests Committee for a determination on all requests. The Committee’s recommendation is then forwarded to the Director and Assistant Director of Residential Life.
In most cases, Special Housing Requests are limited to individuals with physical/mobility disabilities and health/medically-related disabilities. Special Housing requests will not be assigned until after the deadlines established by Residential Services. Refer to Special Dining Services Request for more detailed information and instructions for application.
Q. How will I notify my professors about my accommodations?
Each of the offices supporting students with disabilities (Office of Disability Services, Academic Resource Center, Counseling Services, and Health Services) will provide you with an Accommodation Plan to be given to each professor. Based on the particular course, appropriate recommendations for accommodations will be made. The student will then deliver the letter to the professor and have a conversation about how the accommodations will be implemented. In all cases, requests for accommodations that alter the essential elements of a course will not be approved.
Q. Who should I contact if I need any special, Assistive Technology?
You should contact the Office of Disability Services for assistance in determining if Assistive Technology is an appropriate accommodation for you. Requests for Assistive Technology services and devices should be made as soon as possible before the beginning of each semester, especially if textbooks need to be requested in electronic format. For first year students, the dialogue about Assistive Technology requests should start during the June Advising Event.
Q. I had a foreign language waiver in high school. Will I get it at Muhlenberg?
No general academic requirement at Muhlenberg will be waived. In certain instances, however, a student may petition for an exception to academic policies and perhaps receive a course substitution. Any changes to the requirements at Muhlenberg are only considered after the student has completed 8 course units with at least a 2.0 grade point average. Petitions for first year students will be heard only if the student is currently enrolled in the class in question. To request a course substitution, the student would then need to petition the Dean’s Ad Hoc Committee for Exception to Policy for any changes to the requirements. For more specific information, please see Policy Exceptions.