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FAQs: For Parents

How do the responsibilities of working with students with disabilities of Higher Education institutions differ from those of high schools?

The responsibilities towards students with disabilities in Higher Education institutions are very different from those of high schools.  High schools are required under IDEA (Individuals with Disabiliites Education Act) to identify the educational needs of students with a disability and provide a free and appropriate education.

This responsibility is not required of Higher Education institutions.  Higher Education institutions are required to provide appropriate academic accommodations to ensure that a student with a disability is not discriminated against.  The student is responsible for disclosing his or her disability to the institution and making specific accommodation requests.

What are the responsibilities of a student with a disability if he or she would like to receive accommodations?

A student with a disability is responsible for requesting accommodations through Disability Services (DS).  DS will not seek students out.  A student with a disability is also responsible for providing acceptable documentation of his or her disability that supports the accommodation requests.

Can I request accommodations for my child?

All requests for accommodations must come directly from the student.

Can I speak with my child’s Access Coordinator in regards to his or her situation?

As a young adult, the student may choose to have information about his or her case discussed with his or her parent(s) through signing a release.  The release cannot be a blanket release for the student’s entire college career.

Since the student is now in charge of his or her educational planning, what are some self-advocacy skills he or she should develop?

Disability Services strongly encourages students to develop these self-advocacy skills:

  • Understanding Your Disability: A student should be able to articulate what his or her disability is.
  • Communicating Disability: A student should also be able to describe how the disability limits his or her functioning (functional limitations).  A student should also be able to express some ways that he or she could be accommodated.
  • Being Proactive:  A student should provide acceptable documentation to DS and request accommodations.  A student should learn to work collaboratively with instructors to ensure his or her success with the accommodations.  A student should also be able to identify if his or her accommodations are not being met.

What is the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education of 1990?

The Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education of 1990 impacts the whole institution including activities, facilities, programs, and employment.  In regards to academics, the Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education 1990 required higher education institutions to provide reasonable accommodations for students. For more information please go to http://www.ada.gov.

Does the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) apply to Higher Education?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a law administered by the Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education.  This law does not apply to higher education.

What is considered acceptable documentation of a disability?

For information about documentation please click here.

Does a student have to inform Texas A&M that he or she has a disability?

A student with a disability does not have to disclose his or her disability to Texas A&M University.  Disclosure of a disability is on a voluntary basis.  However, a student will not receive accommodations unless he or she discloses this information.

What can a student with a disability expect in regards to admissions procedures?

In regards to admissions procedures, a student with a disability:

  • Must apply through normal channels
  • May not be asked about disability status during application by Admissions
  • May choose to disclose the disability in his or her personal statement.  As a general rule of thumb, if your application is marginal, then disclosing your disability and special circumstances in the essay portion of the application may help you.
  • May take a standardized test with accommodations.For standardized tests:
    • Be prepared to submit documentation
    • Admissions may not take any review action based upon submission of standardized test score

Will a student’s admission to Texas A&M University be denied because he or she has a disability?

A student meeting the essential requirements for admission to Texas A&M University will not be denied admission solely on the basis of disability.

Does Disability Services provide tutorial services?

DS does not provide tutorial services.  Tutorial services must be obtained and funded privately.  A listing of local tutor resources can be found in our Resource Guide, including free services available on campus to all students.

Is there a charge for receiving accommodations from Disability Services?

There is no charge for receiving accommodations from Disability Services.