Academic advising plays a key role in the success of students with disabilities as they make the transition to post secondary institutions. During the academic advising process, students may identify themselves as having a disability. Advising students with disabilities may present considerations to maximize utilization of needed services as well as appropriate course selection.

Identified students whose conditions meet the legal definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act may receive reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services after completing the required disability determination process including the submission of appropriate documentation.

If a student discloses to you that they are an individual with a disability, you become an agent of the College for the purpose of referring the student to the appropriate office for further information and direction. Students with disabilities should be instructed to contact the Office of Disability Services to obtain information about the disability determination process.

If a student discloses a disability, ask the student these questions:

  • Has the student made contact with the Office of Disability Services?
  • Did the student have a pre-advising appointment with the Office of Disability Services? (Please look for the ODS Pre-Advising Form in the student's advising folder.) If the student is intending to connect with ODS and has not yet done so, please invite them to visit ODS in the lower level of Seeger's Union.

In the meantime, you are in the middle of advising! What should you do:

When advising students with disabilities about course selections/ schedules students may ask/mention:

  • How their area of disability will impact class selection and course schedule.
  • How they obtain extended test time accommodations similar to what they had in high school.
  • How they get an “exemption” for foreign language similar to what they had in high school. (Exceptions to the foreign language requirements for students with disabilities must to go through an established, formal procedure, which begins with contacting ODS.)
  • How their area of disability will impact coursework and faculty assignments.
  • How they learn about accommodations and services

The answers are easy…. Please refer students to the Office of Disability Services!

When advising students with disabilities, please keep in mind: Disclosure of a disability must be kept confidential, although FERPA allows you to pass the name on to the Office of Disability Services and other appropriate offices on campus. Once the eligibility determination has been completed, ODS will send notification to faculty advisors that the student is working with our Office. Please keep this notification letter in the student’s permanent file.

Additional Resources: