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Student Frequently Asked Questions


May I meet with someone from the Disability Resource Office when I am on campus for a tour or visit?

The Disability Resource Office is happy to meet with you to discuss the registration process and accommodations that would assist you if you chose to attend Radford University. Please contact the Disability Resource Office at 540-831-6350 (Phone) or 540-922-1176 (VP for ASL Users) to schedule an informational session.

Should I disclose that I have a disability during the admission process?

Self-disclosure of your disability is voluntary and it is crucial to understand that it is illegal to inquire about disability during the application process. As part of the application process, you may be asked to complete a personal statement. Disclosing your disability in this statement is voluntary. It is important to understand that if you disclose your disability in this statement, you will not automatically be registered for services through the Disability Resource Office. To receive accommodations you must provide appropriate documentation and complete all necessary procedures for becoming a fully registered student with the Disability Resource Office.

Are there separate admission standards for students with disabilities?

No. A student with a disability must meet the same admission standards as his/her non-disabled peers.

Will it hurt my case or help my case to inform Admissions that I have a disability?

Admissions will evaluate your application in the same manner that all applications are evaluated. For additional information about the college’s admission procedures visit http://www.radford.edu/content/radfordcore/home/admissions.html.

If I am receiving accommodations at another college or university will I automatically receive accommodations at Radford University?

No. You must self-disclose to the Disability Resource Office, provide appropriate documentation, and have completed the process to becoming a registered student with the DRO before accommodations can be provided.


Registration and Documentation

How do I receive services?

Students will be asked to complete a Student Registration Form, provide appropriate documentation, and complete an interview with a Disability Services Specialist to determine eligibility and reasonable accommodations.

What documentation does the Disability Resource Office need?

In determining eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the student must demonstrate that a qualified professional has established a formal diagnosis of a disability and that there is evidence of a substantial limitation in one or more major life activities. Please see RU Documentation Guidelines for more information along with examples of acceptable documentation

The RU Documentation Guidelines will satisfy the request for accommodations at Radford University, but may not guarantee accommodations at other universities or on standardized exams given by ETS.

Where and when do I send my documentation to become registered with the Disability Resource Office?

Students with disabilities who have been admitted to Radford University and wish to request accommodations are encouraged to submit the Student Registration Form and appropriate documentation as soon as a decision has been made to attend RU. Documentation and forms may be submitted in person to the Lower Level of Tyler Hall Suites 054-069, faxed to 540-831-6525, mailed to PO Box 6902 Radford, Virginia 24142, or emailed to dro@radford.edu

Do I need to submit new documentation every year?

No. Once you are deemed eligible for accommodations, updated documentation is not necessary unless your needs have changed. You must however, fill out a request for accommodations each semester you would like to receive accommodations through the Disability Resource Office. This informs the Disability Services Specialists of your new class schedule and that you would like to continue services.


Transitioning from High School to College

I was in a special education class (IDEA) or had a 504 Plan in high school. Am I automatically entitled to the same services that I received in high school?

In Kindergarten through 12th grade the student is entitled to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law governs procedures only in K-12, not in post-secondary education. Special education is mandated to provide a free and appropriate education to public school students through the provision of instructional services and modifications. The school is responsible for ensuring a student’s progress. This does not apply to universities or colleges.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are the primary laws that govern the procedures for post-secondary education. Universities/colleges must ensure that a student does not encounter discrimination due to a disability, and must provide reasonable accommodations that allow the student to fully participate in the university/college programs and/or classes. Special education classes, IEP’s, or 504 Plans are not developed at the university level.

If I am a student with a disability, will the Disability Resource Office seek me out to provide services like my counselors did in high school?

Under IDEA (K-12th grade), it is the responsibility of the schools to provide services and seek out students with disabilities. At the university/college level, students with disabilities are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IDEA no longer applies in the higher educational setting. Since this is the case, the legal obligations change. There is no special education at the university/college level. Universities cannot seek out students with disabilities. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out services.

What role can my parents have in helping me request accommodations from the Disability Resource Office?

Laws for universities/colleges dictate a student who is 18 years old or older is legally recognized as an adult. As an adult, you the student, must self-disclose to the Disability Resource Office, provide appropriate documentation, request accommodations, and notify us of any specific disability related needs or concerns. You the student must make all requests for accommodations, whether for academics or housing. We cannot honor requests from parents. While the Disability Resource Office is happy to discuss concerns with your parents, please be aware that confidentiality laws prevent us from discussing specific information with parents, unless the student has signed a FERPA release allowing us to speak with your parents.

RU Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy


Academic Accommodations

What reasonable academic accommodations are available for students?

Reasonable academic accommodations are based on the nature of the disability and the impact of the disability on the academic environment. All accommodations are determined on an individual case-by-case basis. Reasonable accommodations at the university/college level may differ from those available to the student in high school. No accommodation can or will violate the technical standards of a course or program.

Examples of accommodations may include extended test times, reduced distraction testing environment, a volunteer peer note taker, use of a recording device, alternate text, etc.

Are accommodations retroactive?

No. Accommodations are not retroactive. Accommodations for students with disabilities do not take effect and will not be supported by DRO staff until you have self-disclosed and completed the registration process with the Disability Resource Office. If you feel you are struggling with your classes due to your disability, it is in your best interest to self-disclose to the Disability Resource Office early in the semester to provide yourself with the best possible opportunity for success.

What if I need changes in my accommodations?

If at any time you feel you need additional or different accommodations, please schedule an appointment with your assigned Disability Services Specialist to discuss. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your request for new accommodations if the documentation on file does not support that request. If you are experiencing changes in the status of your disability, the DRO may request updated documentation to better accommodate your changing needs.

What if I’m not able to maintain a full time course load because of my disability?

Radford University recognizes that some students may not be able, by reason of disability, to successfully manage a full time course load of a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester for undergraduate students or nine (9) credit hours per semester for graduate students. These students may continue to participate in the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities afforded to full time students, the DRO may make available as a reasonable accommodation, Reduced Course Load.

Students should be aware that a reduced course load requires additional coordination of services and could impact the following:

·         Financial Aid status

·         Health/Automobile Insurance

·         Eligibility for Athletics

·         University Billing

·         Progression towards degree completion

Is my disability information shared with my professors or other campus faculty/staff?

No. The Disability Resource Office maintains the security and confidentiality of all files. The information in your file is not shared with anyone unless you request and sign a DRO Student Release of Information form or self-disclose to your professor or campus faculty/staff.

How do I communicate my accommodation needs to professors if I am eligible?

You should schedule a time to meet with your instructor during office hours to present them with the accommodation paperwork. Make sure that both you and your professor have discussed each accommodation and any logistics that need to be decided upon (i.e. for the accommodation of “Copy of professor notes”, the student will request as needed from the professor). Complete the Academic Accommodations Contract with your instructor and return the white copy to the DRO. Please do not sign the Academic Accommodations Contract, if you are not in agreement or comfortable with all of the accommodations or strategies you and your professor have discussed. If this happens, thank the professor for his/her time and set up an appointment to discuss the situation with your assigned Disability Services Specialist.

My instructor is not providing me with my accommodations. What should I do?

If you feel that you are not being afforded your accommodations, and you have already had a discussion with your instructor to try and resolve the issue, please set up an appointment to meet with your Disability Services Specialist.

Do you offer closed captioning services and/or do you have sign language interpreters?

Sign Language Interpreters and closed captioning services are available. Please contact Jesica Myers, Coordinator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for more information.

Email: jthomas6@radford.edu          Phone: 540-831-1505

Will the DRO provide me with personal attendants or equipment?

The DRO does not provide personal attendants or equipment for personal use. Students are responsible for securing their own personal attendant. Some equipment is available for student loan for a 2 week period to determine if the equipment may be beneficial for personal purchase. Students are permitted to use the Assistive Technology lab located in the DRO Monday-Friday 8:00-5pm and the Assistive Technology lab located in McConnell Library.



Where do students with disabilities receive academic advising?

Academic advising is available to all students through the advising centers within his/her specific college.  The Disability Resource Office does not provide academic advising or assist with course scheduling.

Please visit http://www.radford.edu/content/provost/home/about/advising.html  to locate contact information for your specific college advising center.

Is tutoring provided specifically for students with disabilities?

The DRO works collaboratively with the Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) on campus. All tutoring sessions should be scheduled by the student through the LARC. There may also be tutors available through individual academic departments as well as clubs and organizations on campus.

How will I know when to register for my courses for the next semester?

Students currently registered with the Disability Resource Office will receive priority registration as an accommodation. The DRO will send out emails regularly to notify students as to when the priority registration window will occur. Make sure you have set up an appointment to meet with your advisor well in advance of your registration window, to ensure that you are registering for the necessary classes and to receive your registration pin number. The DRO is unable to access or provide students with their registration pin number.

What should I do if I have never received accommodations and suspect I have a disability?

If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, please contact the Disability Resource Office at 540-831-6350 (phone) or  540-922-1176 (VP for ASL Users) to schedule an appointment with a  Disability Services Specialist (DSS). The DSS will guide you through the process of seeking appropriate documentation that may potentially verify a disability.

The Disability Resource Office will provide referral information to the Center for Assessment and Psychological Services (CAPS) located at 423 Russell Hall on Radford University’s Campus for testing.

A list of additional agencies that conduct testing in the community is also available.

What is the process for obtaining housing accommodations?

Your request for housing accommodations will not be considered until you have completed all of the necessary on-campus housing application requirements through Housing and Residential Life. After completing all components of the on-campus housing applications, you must set up an appointment with a Disability Services Specialist to discuss how your disability impacts your housing situation and what accommodations would best meet your needs.  After meeting with your DSS, you will be given a Request for Housing Accommodations form which must be completed by a medical professional.  After the form has been filled out in its entirety by a medical professional, it should be submitted in person to the Lower Level of Tyler Hall Suites 054-069, faxed to 540-831-6525, mailed to PO Box 6902 Radford, Virginia 24142, or emailed to dro@radford.edu

Once submitted, a Disability Service Specialist will review the request and make the appropriate accommodation recommendation to Housing and Residential Life.  

Do you have designated parking for persons with disabilities?

If you are a student with a state handicap placard from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) there are designated spaces for parking on the entire campus. However, you must still purchase a Radford University student parking pass in addition to your DMV placard before you can park in the designated handicap spaces on campus.

Please contact Parking Services for more information about parking regulations and policies.

I sustained a temporary injury. Am I eligible for services?

With documentation from a medical professional, students with temporary injuries or medical conditions are eligible for temporary services through the DRO. Please contact the office to set up an appointment with a Disability Services Specialist.

I am currently undergoing testing to determine if I have a diagnosis of a learning disability, ADHD, etc. Can I still receive services?

If you are currently undergoing testing, please set up an appointment to discuss eligibility for provisional accommodations. Provisional accommodations are granted on a case-by-case basis and are good for one semester at Radford University.

How do I request accommodations for a standardized exam offered by ETS or another outside testing agency?

Each testing agency has their own process for requesting accommodations. Please see the ETS tab on our webpage for more information. If you are taking a standardized exam that is not offered by ETS, please contact the testing agency to find out what information is necessary to apply for accommodations. For questions, please call or meet with your Disability Services Specialist. 

How will I get my prescription medication for ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc.?

The Radford transit is free for all RU students and has regular routes to CVS, Kroger, and Wal-Mart, all of which have pharmacies. It is suggested that you have your prescription transferred to one of the previously mentioned pharmacies so that you are able to regularly access your prescribed medication as necessary. The Medicine Shoppe, will also provide delivery to RU dormitories should the student need medication and he/she is unable to travel off-campus. 


General Questions

What are the most important factors for a student with a disability to succeed in college?

The university/college setting is challenging, and it can be even more demanding for a student with a disability. It is important that you create an academic plan with your advisor that best fits you. Seek accommodations for your disability early. Even if you think you may not use your accommodations, it is best to go ahead and complete the registration process and get your accommodation paperwork in place should you need to use them.  At the college level, it is up to you how and when to use your accommodations.

What are some strategies I can use to advocate for myself?

The first step is to know yourself, including your strengths, weaknesses, and what type of accommodations you need. Have a goal and a plan of action to obtain that goal. Obtain assistance from a mentor or other persons whom you could use as a resource. The mentor could be a professor, an older student with a disability, an advisor, or your Disability Services Specialist in the DRO. Learn what resources are available on campus. If you do not know something, ask for help.

If I become a registered student with the DRO will it show up on my academic record?

No. The Disability Resource Office (DRO) adheres to the laws governing confidentiality.  Once registered, all documentation and information becomes confidential and is maintained in a secure location in the DRO. Documentation of a disability is never part of a student's academic record.


Feb 26, 2014
Disability Resource Office
(540) 831-6350