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Quick Guide – Referral Process

How does a student register for Student Accessibility Services?

  • The student self-identifies as a person with a disability to the SAS office.
  • The student provides the SAS office with documentation of their disability. This documentation must be completed by a qualified professional, must be current, may show a history of accommodation usage, and outline the functional limitations associated with the disability.
  • The SAS staff evaluates the disability documentation (SAS does not provide diagnostic testing but can make community referrals).
  • If SAS determines that additional documentation is required, that information is relayed to the student.
  • If documentation is considered sufficient, an intake meeting is scheduled for the student to meet one-on-one with a SAS staff member.
  • During the intake meeting, the student provides an impact statement relating how their disability affects them. Accommodations and SAS policies/procedures are discussed at this meeting.

How should faculty refer a student for services?

  • Referrals from faculty are encouraged, and the SAS contact information is available on the SAS website. (U218, 362-7017; North Campus; Surf City; and Burgaw by appointment).
  • If a student discloses to faculty that they have a documented disability, an immediate referral is appropriate.
  • If a student references using accommodations at another school (high-school or post-secondary), a referral is appropriate.
  • Referrals can be made by providing the student with SAS contact information and encouraging them to make a connection. Faculty are welcome to walk with the student to the SAS office, as SAS operates on an open-door basis. Phone calls to SAS staff are also welcome.

A faculty member suspects that a student has a disability, what should be done?

  • Faculty should not ask a student if they have a disability. However, if a student is struggling, it is appropriate to address the struggles by asking general questions about past academic performance. Many times the student will self-disclose during a one-on-one private conversation. Another option is to offer the student a list of resources such as the Learning Lab or Counseling, and include SAS in the general list.
  • Conversations with the student should be private in nature. Be careful not to assume the individual has a disability. Wait for the student to disclose. It is not appropriate to coerce the student into disclosing that they have a disability. It is the student’s right to choose. It is important for these conversations to be positive and helpful.

Should faculty refer a student to SAS if they have a temporary disability (such as a broken arm)?

Yes, SAS will attempt to work with a student who has a temporary disability that impacts their studies. Accommodations/services may include a temporary special parking permit, use of a scribe, assistance with notes, etc.

A student is not registered with SAS but has requested accommodation. Should faculty refer them to SAS or provide the accommodation without involving SAS?

  • It is certainly a faculty member’s right to honor requests relating to class work without the approval of the SAS office. However, it is best practice to refer any student who requests accommodation to SAS.
  • This will ensure consistency in dealing with students with disabilities and may prevent future problems or complaints.
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