Disability Services Resources for Students

Additional resources and information for prospective and current students.
In this Section

Transitioning to College

Adapted from Santa Clara University's Office of Accessible Education in reference to the AHEAD Guiding Principles (2010), the chart below outlines some of the differences between high school special education and college.

Applicable Laws


I.D.E.A. (individuals with Disabilities Education Act) A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
Section 504, Rehabilitation  Act of 1973 Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
I.D.E.A. is about SUCCESS A.D.A. is about ACCESS



Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on specific disability categories in I.D.E.A. Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations.
Eligibility and consent to services results in provided services, accommodations, and modifications.  Documentation alone may not qualify a student automatically for accommodations. 




Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers.

Student must self-identify to Disability Services.

Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school. 

Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student. Reasonable and appropriate accommodations are determined in partnership with Disability Services.

Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance and are notified of your disability. 

Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance and do not know information related to your disability unless a student self-discloses that information. 

Parental Role

Parental Role



Parent has access of student records. 

Parent does not have access to student records without student’s written consent.

Parents advocates for student.

Student advocates for self.

Parents and students are participatory in the accommodation process and have direct communication with staff. Students are participatory in the accommodation process and have direct communication with staff.




Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments.

Professors are not required to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines.

You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class.

You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class.

You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough.

You need to review class notes and text materials regularly.

Teachers remind you of your incomplete work or assignments.

Professors typically do not alter assignment deadlines or remind you of incomplete work.

Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent.

Professors expect you to get any notes (from classes) you missed from classmates.

Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance.

Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance. 

Grades and Tests

Grades and Tests



I.E.P. or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading. 

Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay) are generally not available. Accommodations on HOW tests are given (extended time, test proctors) are available when supported by disability documentation.

Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material  

Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.  

Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates.

Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due and how you will be graded.

You may graduate as long as you have passed all required courses with a grade of D or higher.

You may graduate only if your average in classes meets the departmental standard.

Teachers frequently conduct review sessions, pointing out the most important concepts.  

Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions.  

Consistently good homework grades may raise your overall grade when testing grades are low.

Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade. 

Study Habits and Responsibilities

Study Habits and Responsibilities



Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an I.E.P. of 504 plan. 

Tutoring DOES NOT fall under Disability Services. Students with disabilities must seek out tutoring resources as they are available to all students.

Your time and assignments are structured by others. 

You manage your own time and complete assignments independently. 

You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly las-minute test preparations. 

You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class. 

Personal services for medical/physical disabilities are required. 

No personal services are required.

Students are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught in class. 

Students are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class. 

Students are not responsible for knowing what is required to graduate or tracking their own progress. 

Students are expected to select their own majors and/or minors and are expected to learn the graduation requirements for their program

Assistive Technology

The Disability Services office and university does not guarantee the accuracy of information listed below, nor does it endorse all the information within third party sites. 

This list is not exhaustive and other resources may exist that are not listed. You are encouraged to look for additional tools or information that may assist in the topic of interest or need. These resources are supplemental in nature and are not accommodations.  

Focus, Organization, and Productivity
  • Speechify: Take pictures for text-to-speech
  • Rewordify: Simplifies text to increase comprehension
  • OpenDyslexic chrome extension: Changes font boldness and style
  • Immersive Reader in RedShelf
  • Changing Ease of Access or Accessibility settings in a computer to change contrast, font size, etc. 
  • Focus Booster: Resource for different study techniques and time tracking
  • GoConqr: Resource for flash cards, mind maps, flow charts, etc.
  • Grammarly: Checks writing and corrects grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. 
  • Zotero: Research assistant to help keep track of resources and citations
  • Purdue OWL: Style guides for citations and activities to improve writing skills
  • Using the dictation feature in Word or Google Docs for speech-to-text