FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
When should I notify Muhlenberg about my disability?
Students with disabilities do not need to disclose their disability status or condition during the admission process, however it is recommended that students disclose as soon as possible after being accepted and having formalized the decision to attend. The Office of Disability Services offers phone consultations to assist in many areas in the orientation to Muhlenberg. Whenever possible, students should disclose their disability status or condition before the June Advising Event. By disclosing early, students will be invited for a special pre-advising session with a Disability Services Specialist during June Advising Event, before their meeting with a faculty advisor.
Who should I contact regarding my disability?
Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services should consult with the Office of Disability Services to initiate the disability determination 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 consistent with the documentation findings and which do not alter essential elements of a course or compromise the academic integrity.
What accommodations will I receive?
Accommodations are determined case-by-case basis with consideration given to the documentation, evaluator recommendations, previously history, and the impact nature of the diagnosed condition. In all cases, a determination of eligibility for accommodations is dependent upon the documentation supporting a significant limitation in a major life function. (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 requested. Requests for accommodations that alter the essential elements of the course or compromise academic integrity will not be approved. Please refer to the Documentation Guidelines and Accommodations section on the website for more information.
If I received 504 accommodations or had an IEP in high school, will the same accommodations be provided?
Section 504 Plans and IEPs are helpful in understanding the history of the student’s disability or disorder and may provide valuable information about previously employed accommodations and services. At the post-secondary level, these documents serve as supplemental material to the evaluative documentation. Some accommodations received in a high school setting may not be appropriate for the college setting, such as unlimited time on tests or exams. At the post-secondary level, supporting documentation through an evaluation done within the past 3 years or using adult norms would be required. (Please refer to the Documentation Guidelines). An excellent resource for the comparisons between the IDEA, 504, and the ADA can be found at the US Department of Education website.
Who do I contact if I need special housing accommodations?
Students requesting special housing accommodations must complete the Special Housing Request process. General policies and forms are available through the Office of Disability Services and Residential Services websites. Students must submit the application, supporting documentation, and participate in an interview with staff in the Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services convenes the Special Housing Request Committee for a determination on all requests. If approved, the Committee’s recommendation is then forwarded to the Director and Assistant Director of Residential Life for follow-up housing assignment. Please refer to the Special Housing Request Application and Diagnostician Form for more detailed information.
Who do I contact if I need special dining accommodations?
Students requesting special dining accommodations must complete the Special Dining Request process. General policies and forms are available through the Office of Disability Services and Residential Services websites. Students must submit the application, supporting documentation, and participate in an interview with staff in the Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services convenes the Special Dining Request Committee for consultation and recommendations for follow-up services. The Committee’s recommendation is then forwarded to the Dining Services personnel for coordination of additional services. Please refer to the Special Dining Services Request on our website for more detailed information and instructions for application.
How will I notify my professors about my accommodations?
The Office of Disability Services will meet with students to discuss appropriate accommodations for their classes. Based on the specific course requirements and the students’ specific accommodation needs, an individualized and deliberative approach to accommodations will be made. An Accommodation Plan is mutually developed and the student will then deliver the Accommodation Plans to their professors for a conversation about how the accommodations will be implemented.
Who should I contact if I need any special, Assistive Technology?
Students should contact the Office of Disability Services for assistance in determining if Assistive Technology is an appropriate accommodation for you specific classes. The Office of Disability Services staff would be happy to discuss AT options… Please consult the Technology Toolbox on our website for additional information. Requests for Assistive Technology services and devices should be made as soon as possible before the beginning of each semester, especially if textbooks must be obtained in an electronic format. For first year students, the dialogue about Assistive Technology requests should start during the June Advising Event.
I had a foreign language waiver in high school. Will I get it at Muhlenberg?
No general academic requirement at Muhlenberg College will be waived. In certain instances, students with disabilities that impact foreign language acquisition may petition for an exception to academic policy, (Substitution or Pass/Fail); in mathematics (Pass/Fail if not required for the student’s major course of study). The Office of Disability Services staff would work with the student to guide them in this process. To request an exception to policy, the student would petition the Dean’s Ad Hoc Committee for Exception to Policy. For more specific information, please see Policy Exceptions.