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Registering and Requesting

SAS reviews accommodation requests from undergraduate and graduate students. To receive accommodations, a student must enter a two-step process: Students must first self-identify and register with Student Accessibility Services. Then, they must request their accommodations every semester or year, depending on the accommodation.

In order to access accommodations at Clark University, students must register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). To do this, you must:

  • Self-Identify: Students must decide if they want to self-identify with their disability (ies) and disclose to Student Accessibility Services. If a student does not self-identify with SAS, accommodations cannot be requested. Self-Identification can be as easy as a phone call or email conversation to get started.

If a student is going to request housing accommodations, they should also self-identify with Residential Life and Housing (RLH) while filling out any of their housing forms. For new students this means identifying their accommodation requests on housing forms as early as May. For returning students this means identifying their accommodation requests on housing forms in early February for housing the following fall. Returning students requesting housing accommodations should submit documentation as early as possible so they can have their intake meeting well before housing selection. If a student is requesting a housing accommodation for the fall they should aim to schedule their intake to take place between early February and early March, at the latest. So, a student making housing accommodation requests should aim to submit documentation prior to early February.

  • Submit Documentation: Students should provide the director or associate director of Student Accessibility Services with the necessary documentation.

New students should submit this documentation as soon as possible, ideally early in the summer before their first semester at Clark. Students can submit documentation to SAS via any of the options under the SAS section of the Contact Us page.

Please note that documentation can take up to two weeks to review. Documentation is considered confidential material and is housed in SAS, only office staff have access to this information.

Please review our Documentation Guidelines

  • Intake Meeting: A requesting student then has an intake meeting with a professional staff member of SAS. During this meeting the staff and the student will enter an interactive process where a student will be able to share on how their disability impacts them and why they are requesting the requested accommodations. If the staff establishes that an accommodation is needed in order for the student to gain access to their Clark experience, then an accommodation approval can be made during that meeting. In the case of an accommodation denial, the director will inform the student on next steps if the student wishes to request the accommodation again in the future and/or offer alternative accommodations.

After registering with SAS, approved accommodations are not automatically put into place each year. A student must request access to their approved accommodation(s) by filling out the forms discussed below. Filling out these forms informs SAS what accommodations the student wants access to and allows the student to give SAS their consent to reach out to appropriate offices to put the accommodations into place. Please note, approved accommodations are not guaranteed unless the request is made in a timely manner.

Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations like extended time on tests and alternate format text are not automatically put in place after approval. Each semester a student approved for academic accommodations wants access to them they need to fill out an Academic Accommodation Consent Form. Doing so requests your accommodation for any given semester and also requests that SAS sends to your professors an Accommodation Letter. An Accommodation Letter details that you are registered with SAS and what your accommodations are. It does not discuss the nature of your disability(ies). Student Accessibility Services will make every attempt to send these letters within five business days from the date of the request.

It is vital that at the start of every semester a student also introduces themselves to their professors, especially to professors where in their class you’ll be using academic accommodations. You should tell them a bit about you as a student, including your academic strengths and challenges. You might also want to tell them a little on how your disability impacts you in the classroom. Doing so can form a connection with your professor and make that class all the better! If you need help in this area of self-advocacy, please contact the SAS office.

For more information on accessing academic accommodations, like testing accommodations, please see our Policies and Procedures.

Housing Accommodations

Housing accommodations like medical single and rooms on the first floor are not automatically put in place after approval. Each year a student approved for housing accommodations wants access to them they need to fill out a Residential Life and Housing Accommodation Consent Form. Doing so requests your housing accommodations for any given academic year and gives SAS permission to reach out to RLH regarding your approved accommodations. For returning students, please fill out this form during lottery time, in April, when requesting your accommodation for the following academic year. For new students who just got approved, fill this out as soon as possible during the summer prior to moving to campus.

Fundamentally altering the nature of the course or program is not considered a “reasonable accommodation.”

Documentation Guidelines

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) requires that all students who are requesting accommodations submit recent documentation. In most instances, recent is considered to be within the past three years unless stated otherwise below. This documentation is used to determine eligibility for accommodations. Below are the guidelines for any piece of documentation and below that are additional documentation guidelines organized by disability type.

Please Note: Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and/or 504 Plans when submitted alone are usually not considered sufficient documentation, but may be included with the necessary documentation.

Documentation should include a recent evaluation, by a credentialed professional, who is not a family member. Documentation needs to be be typed with the provider’s official letter head, dated, and signed.

Documentation must:

  • Clearly state the diagnosed disability
  • State the functional limitations resulting from the disability
  • Discuss how these limitations impact academic performance and/or one’s dorm experience
  • Make recommendations for accommodations.
    • When making recommendations, the documentation should make evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations and services requested.

Documentation needs to be entirely in English; it is the student’s responsibility to get documentation translated into English as necessary by either the provider’s office or by a third party that is not the student, another student, or a member of their family. Some options for acceptable translators are Clark faculty members, a local embassy, and certified translators outside of Clark. The translator needs to notarize their translation; this should at the very least include providing their name, title, organization they represent, and their signature on the translated document.

If documentation does not meet this criteria, then additional documentation may be required.

All documentation needs to follow these guidelines in addition to what is required from that disability’s category below.

Cognitive and Learning Disabilities

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of cognitive or learning disabilities should provide a neuropsychological or psycho-educational evaluation conducted by an appropriately licensed professional that clearly diagnoses a disability and/or provides records showing the history of a disability. An appropriately licensed professional must be trained in psychiatric, psychological, or neuropsychological assessment. This may include but is not limited to a physician, licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, or educational psychologist.

This evaluation should include the results of a formal assessment including aptitude assessment, achievement assessment, and diagnostic interview. Test scores, including raw scores and standard scores must be included in the report or as an attached summary of test scores. In all cases the evaluation should be using adult norms.

Examples of possible tests:

  • Recognized IQ test, such as the WAIS-R
  • Psycho-educational testing such as Woodcock Johnson Psycho-educational Battery revised, Weschler Individual Achievement Test, Test of Written Language-3, Nelson-Denny Reading Test, Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-R, Scholastic Ability Test for Adults, Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude 3

The evaluation must include DSM or ICD diagnosis, as well as specific recommendations for academic accommodations.

ADHD

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of ADHD, either Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, or Combined type, can submit an evaluation or a detailed letter from a provider with the training and experience to diagnose ADHD.

Evaluation

To submit documentation for ADHD via an evaluation, a student should provide a neuropsychological or psycho-educational evaluation conducted by an appropriately licensed professional* that clearly diagnoses a disability and/or provides records showing the history of a disability. An appropriately licensed professional must be trained in psychiatric, psychological, or neuropsychological assessment. This may include but is not limited to a physician, licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, or educational psychologist.

This evaluation should include the results of a formal assessment including aptitude assessment, achievement assessment, and diagnostic interview. Test scores, including raw scores and standard scores must be included in the report or as an attached summary of test scores. In all cases the evaluation should be using adult norms.

Examples of possible assessments:

  • Barkley Rating Scales
  • Conners Rating Scales
  • Brown Rating Scales
  • Vanderbilt Rating Scales
  • Recognized IQ test, such as the WAIS-R
  • Psycho-educational testing such as Woodcock Johnson Psycho-educational Battery revised, Weschler Individual Achievement Test, Test of Written Language-3, Nelson-Denny Reading Test, Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-R, Scholastic Ability Test for Adults, Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude 3

The evaluation must include DSM or ICD diagnosis, as well as specific recommendations for academic accommodations.

Detailed Letter

To submit documentation for ADHD via a detailed letter, a provider who is trained and experienced in diagnosing ADHD can write a letter substantiating the need for accommodations. This letter should include a diagnostic statement, discuss how the disability impacts the student, and makes recommendations for accommodations. When making recommendations, the documentation should make evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations and services requested.

Disease-Related, Mobility (Physical), Sensory or Systemic Disabilities

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of disease-related, mobility (physical), sensory, or systemic disabilities must provide documentation from his or her doctor consisting of:

  • An identification of the disabling condition(s).
  • An assessment of the functionally limiting manifestations of the condition(s) for which accommodations are being requested.
  • Suggestions as to how the functionally limiting manifestations of the condition(s) may be accommodated.

The answers to these questions will provide a clear picture of the student’s limitations. If the disability is progressive or if the student experiences any change in the severity that would affect the accommodations, updated documentation that reflects the change in status must be provided.

Concussions
  • Date of injury or diagnosis
  • Date(s) of current and prior evaluation(s)
  • Reason for evaluation
  • Information regarding the presenting issues that significantly impact functioning in an educational setting
  • If cognitive rest is required, and any available info on duration
    • If cognitive rest is required, please get in contact with SAS immediately so we can contact your professors regarding any potential absences.

The Dean of Students office can also be contacted regarding concussions requiring short term cognitive rest.

Psychiatric Disabilities

An appropriately licensed professional should provide medical documentation of disability. The report should include the psychiatric history, current status, and if appropriate, medical and neurological reports. In most cases the report must be within the last year and must include DSM diagnosis, how the disability(ies) will affect the student, and recommendations for accommodations. When making recommendations, the documentation should make evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations and services requested.

If the disability is progressive or if the student experiences any change in the severity that would affect the accommodations, updated documentation that reflects the change in status must be provided.

Documentation Update

In the case of documentation that is old, it is helpful to submit supplemental documentation to fill in any gap of time between the old documentation and present day. Such supplemental documentation is called a documentation update. A documentation update should be able to assist any other documentation build a strong history of how the disability impacts a student.

Supplemental Documentation

Supplemental documentation is a broad term referring to any documentation that on its own would not be considered sufficient, but definitely can have an important role in the accommodation process depending on the situation. Below are some examples of when supplemental documentation could be helpful:

Example

If a student has a psycho-educational evaluation but it is from five or more years ago, the student can obtain supplemental documentation from the provider that treats their disability. The provider can write a detailed letter discussing how the disability still impacts the student in similar ways to how it impacted the student back when the evaluation was done. This documentation helps build the history of the impact of the student’s disability by adding supporting evidence between the old documentation and present day.