Disability Support Services | Student Handbook

Disability Support Services

Disability support services play an important role in the success of students with disabilities. However, the traditional service model does not fit the needs of a distance education student taking courses at multiple schools at the same time. The offices at participating universities work together in order to serve students in this new educational paradigm.

Student Action:  Request accommodations each semester and for each course.

Obtaining disability accommodation and services is a student-driven process. This is also a confidential process. Campus coordinators do not need to be informed of a disability or the need for services unless you, the student, chooses to share that information. Since the goal of Great Plains IDEA is to have one point of entry and ease of student access, to be eligible for accommodations in a course, students must request those accommodations by registering with their home university disability support services office.

Requests for accommodations must be completed for each course and repeated each semester.

Student Action:  Register with the disability support services office at your home university.

Students sign a release of information when registering with the disability office. If the student takes a course at another university, the student’s home disability office sends the release form with an accommodation letter to the teaching university’s disability office. The letter gives basic information about the disability. Should more information be needed, such as actual documentation, the home university can forward appropriate documents to the teaching university. The teaching university disability office provides the accommodation according to its processes and procedures which may be different than those of the home university.

Faculty may NOT independently provide accommodations. And because students request accommodations each semester (for the classes they choose), it is possible that the same student may have an accommodation one semester, but not the next. Faculty are encouraged to work with their university’s disability support office for more information or assistance.

Students can obtain information about disability support services in many locations. 

Student Action:  Remain in contact with your home university's support office throughout your program

Students should remain in contact with their home university’s Disability Support Services office throughout the program.

An illustration of the steps a student should take to obtain disability accommodations and services.