Office of Counseling
& Disability Services

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where are you located? 

We are located on the second floor of the King Frazier Student Center, Suite 233.  We are right across from the elevator.  Our phone number is (912) 358-3115. Our fax is (912) 358-3616. Ms. Amelia Castilian-Moore, Coordinator of Disability Services can also be reached via email at moorea@savannahstate.edu. 

Am I eligible for services? 

If you have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, you maybe eligible to apply for services. Having a clinical diagnosis does not automatically mean you are disabled.  Disabling conditions could include (but are not limited to):  

Mobility Impairment,

Visual Impairment,

Hearing Impairment,

Learning Disabilities,

Attention Deficit Disorder,

Acquired Brain Injury,

Psychological Disorders,

Pervasive Developmental Disorders ( Autism Spectrum Disorders),

and Systemic Medical Disorders. 

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act guarantee persons with disabilities protection from discrimination based on disability.  These laws, as they apply to colleges protect otherwise qualified students (those who meet all the academic and technical standards of admission and their academic program) in the areas of admission, recruitment, academic requirements, housing, financial aid and non-academic services. 

What are accommodations and how do I apply for them? 

Accommodations are academic adaptations or services that allow a student with a disability to have full access to academic information and access to demonstrate they mastered the information.  Accommodations do not guarantee success, but they provide equal access.  The accommodations do not compromise academic standards or the mastery of essential course skills.  To receive services, students must:

  • Self identify to the Coordinator of Disability Services
  • Complete an intake appointment to discuss needs
  • Provide documentation of the disability that meets Board of Regents Standards

To apply, contact the Coordinator of Disability Services for an intake appointment to discuss your needs.  Usually, students do this as soon as they are accepted for admission.   If you have records documenting your disability, please bring them with you.   If you don’t have documentation, that’s OK… we will discuss and explain how to get it. ( See Options for Assessment webpage.)   Students with disabilities must provide up to date thorough documentation of their disabilities that meets standards set by the Board of Regents.  (See Documentation Requirements webpage.)   These requirements are available in print from  our office and on our website.   All documentation of Learning Disability, ADD, Psychological Disorders, Acquired Brain Injuries and Pervasive Developmental Disorders must be sent by the Disability Coordinator to the Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders for review and approval.  This approval process usually takes about two weeks.   It can take awhile to set up doctor appointments or arrange for an assessment or to gather all the documentation from high school and get your case approved, so apply early!  

What accommodations are available to me?

Savannah State University must provide a student academic adjustments to ensure that s/he receives an equal opportunity to participate.  We provide reasonable, effective, appropriate accommodations to you, based on your individual documented needs.  Your accommodations must not undermine the academic standards set by your professor or program.  Typical accommodations include, but are not limited to:  

  • extra time on tests,
  • a low distraction test room,
  • typing essay exams on a computer,   
  • word processor with spell check for essay exams,    
  • read aloud books ,
  • enlarging print,
  • access to special software or adaptive equipment,      
  • moving an inaccessible classroom, 
  • assistance with finding a volunteer note taker,
  • permission to tape lectures,
  • help with transcribing answers on a test,
  • assistance with accessible housing on campus, and
  • Regents’ Exam accommodations

How does the accommodation process work? 

Every semester, on the first day of class, our office gives you documents called your Accommodation Letters for you to share with your professors.  You meet with each professor privately in their office and give them a copy of the Accommodation Letter and discuss your needs.  The Letter outlines what accommodations you are entitled to receive.  The professors sign the Accommodation Letter Acknowledgement Form and you return it to our office promptly.  Though you may feel a little awkward the first time you do this, it gets much easier as you learn how to effectively advocate for yourself. The Coordinator of Disability Services helps you arrange accommodations such as read aloud books or test accommodations. 

Is there a fee for accommodations or assessment? 

Accommodations are provided at no cost to you, but any costs related to an assessment or providing the documentation are your responsibility.  Lower cost resources for documentation can be discussed. 

Do I have to take special classes? 

Students with disabilities take all the same classes and must meet all the same requirements as other students.  There are no special or separate classes for students with disabilities. 

What if I am not sure I have a disability? 

Many adults with undiagnosed learning or attention or psychological disabilities are able to cope in high school, but struggle with the additional academic demands in college despite their best efforts.   If you think you may have a learning disability or an attention or psychological problem, we can discuss your areas of difficulty, describe resources and help refer you for assessment.  We know it can be very uncomfortable to confront this possibility, but having an assessment so you can understand your strengths and weaknesses can make a big difference in your academic success.  We strongly recommend this valuable investment in yourself and in your future. 

How can I have an assessment done if I need documentation?  

Please see the webpage entitled Options for Assessment.  We will be glad to refer you to an appropriate resource for medical or psychological evaluation and may be able to help you find a low cost option. 

What about my privacy? 

We work hard to maintain your confidentiality and privacy, as mandated by federal law.  When you graduate, there is nothing on your transcripts or diploma that indicates you received accommodations.   Minimal necessary information is only shared with faculty or staff when there is a legitimate educational need to know in order for them to fulfill their professional responsibilities.  We also expect that students who receive services will respect each others’ privacy if they see each other in our office, just as they want their privacy respected. 

If I need test accommodations, where will I take my tests? 

When you meet with each professor and show them your Accommodation Letter, you will discuss this and decide if the professor can provide the needed test accommodations or if you need to take your tests in the Disability Office.  We have four small private testing rooms and can provide test proctoring and test accommodations as needed.  

How will test accommodations like extended time work for online classes or online tests? 

There are two options here. We can obtain a printed version of the test and let you answer the questions with pencil and paper and then sign onto the test site and input your answers.  Or sometimes the professor can adjust the timer on the test. 

What if my disability causes me to be absent frequently? 

Each professor has the right to set policies regarding attendance, notification of absences, acceptance of late work and make up work for his/ her class and to determine if a student has met the essential functions of the class.  The Office of Counseling and Disability Services cannot automatically override those policies.  At some point in each class, no matter how valid the excuse, if you have missed too much of the class, you have missed too much to be successful.

Our office can help you discuss your issues with the professor. Professors want to see you be successful and will work with you as much as reasonably possible. It is important that you review and understand the professor’s policies as outlined in the class syllabus. You do have the opportunity to drop any class for any reason or withdraw from all classes before midsemester and receive a W grade.  If you need to completely withdraw from school after midsemester because of a medical / disability / emergency issue, we can help you with the appeal to withdraw process.  It is your responsibility to check with Financial Aid about your Standards for Academic Progress status and how your award is impacted by dropping class(es) or withdrawing from school. Dropping classes and withdrawing can impact your eligibility to live on campus too if you fall below 9 hours.                              

What are my basic responsibilities? 

  • Complete the intake process with our office and provide documentation of your disability. 
  • Bring us a copy of your schedule each semester before classes begin so we can prepare your Accommodation Letters. 
  • Pick up your Accommodation Letters on the first day of class each semester.  Meet privately with professors, discuss the Accommodation Letter, discuss how tests will be handled if you receive test accommodations, have them sign the Acknowledgement Form and return it promptly to us.  
  • If you need test accommodations from our office, schedule tests with us at least 48 hours in advance. 
  • Communicate on a regular basis with us and your professors so we can help you effectively.  Make sure we have up to date contact info so we can reach you. Check your email and voice mail regularly for messages from us. 
  • Understand that our office cannot override professors’ policies about attendance, due dates, make up work and missed tests.
  • Uphold the academic standards and Code of Ethics of the university.