Prospective Students: Overview
The Office of Disability Services provides adjustments for any disability, most importantly, any functional limitations of your disability.
All prospective or new students must:
- Once you are admitted to UIS, contact the Office of Disability Services to discuss your disability and needs.
- Schedule an initial interview in person or online/phone (if you’re an online student) with a specialist to register with the Office of Disability Services. Complete paperwork (application, confidentiality agreement, release of information forms, etc.) during initial appointment.
- Complete an ODS application for services
- Complete a Release of Information form
- Provide documentation of your disability that meets UIS criteria for obtaining disability related academic
adjustments. Read more about disability documentation criteria
- Request adjustments for your classes during the first two weeks of the semester.
- Hand deliver letters of adjustments and verbally discuss those adjustments with each of your professors. If you’re an online student, email the letters to your professors.
- Review the ODS Student Resource Manual
- See online degree programs
Frequently Asked Questions by Parents of Students with Disabilities
Q: Who does the UIS ODS serve?
A: The ODS serves undergraduate and graduate students with various types of disabilities, including learning, physical, sensory, psychological, neurological and chronic medical conditions. The students must provide appropriate documentation. It will be reviewed, and if approved, will be accepted and the student may register for academic adjustments.
Q: Should my student disclose his/her disability status on the application for admission to UIS?
A: The UIS does not require students with disabilities to disclose a disability status on the application for admission. The decision of disclosure of a disability is a personal one. The UIS does not reject an application of a student with a disability because of the disability. It may be helpful to disclose information that might help the admissions committee understand why one semester of grades is lower if due to medical issues related to the disability.
Q: How does my student register with the ODS?
A: To register in the ODS, completion of both the application, requesting academic accommodations/services and appropriate disability documentation. After review and approval of the student’s application and documentation, the disability specialist (ds) will meet with the student to determine the academic adjustments requested and produce an adjustment letter for the student to give professors of courses requesting adjustments.
Q: How do high school services for students with disabilities differ from services received in college?
A: It’s important to know that an individualized education plan (IEP) may be used as documentation for academic adjustments requested for one semester. The student will sign a form that states they will provide ODS with the appropriate and approved documentation. If the documentation is not provided the student will not be eligible to receive academic adjustments. The documentation provided will be reviewed and if approved will be accepted.
Q: My student has a physical-mobility disability, how accessible is the campus of the UIS?
A: The UIS is a very accessible campus. All buildings are accessible and there are curb cuts and ramps available where needed. All activities and events are accessible; however, if an activity or event is not accessible it will be reported and will either be relocated or cancelled.
Q: My student feels uncomfortable approaching faculty about a disability. Does ODS provide any assistance or guidance to ease the anxiety of talking with faculty?
A: Yes, the ODS staff are available to talk with students and also provide role-playing about any situation that is uncomfortable for the student. For example, approaching their professor with an academic adjustment letter.
Q: My student has an illness and may miss class due to a documented illness. What can ODS do to support my student and work with the professors when this occurs?
A: The ODS asks for documentation to support any disability and illnesses that require academic adjustments. Once the documentation is approved by ODS, her disability specialist will assist her but she will need to contact her specialist to inform them when this occurs and together they will work with her professors. The adjustment letter will state that at the discretion of the professor, they may miss class due to an illness or disability. It is the professors’ decision regarding approval of any absence from class.
Q: What if the documentation my student has is older than the acceptable date, what is the next step?
A: If the request is for the same disability, we can use outdated documentation for that disability for one semester, until the student obtains updated documentation. The student will sign a form that says they will provide the appropriate documentation for the next semester. It states also they will not be given adjustments without the updated approved documentation.