Megan’s Experience with Registering for Accommodations
August 14. 2019
by Megan Lengel
Registering for accommodations should start before you even decide to attend your selected school. You should have already had a preliminary meeting with the disability resources office, where you went over the accommodations you plan on requesting and how they can meet your needs and work with you to ensure a successful college career. After you have been accepted to your university and have sent in your decision, contact the office immediately. You should have contact with the head of the office, or at least as many points of communication with office staff as possible. Arrange a meeting with the office during your welcome week, or at your earliest convenience. Ensure that you have written confirmation of the accommodations they are giving you.
At your initial meeting with the disabilities resource office, either before or after you decide to attend that respective university, YOU are the boss. It is up to you to decide what kind of college experience you want to have. They work for you. Your first official meeting as their client should conclude in you having a plan for communicating with your professors about your accommodations, having your equipment ready for your first week of classes, and a solid understanding of what your responsibilities entail. Remember, YOU should be controlling the meeting. Every university has financial limitations, but always always always fight for what you believe you deserve. If you try a piece of equipment out for a week and feel that it is unsatisfactory, speak up. It is YOUR college experience, YOUR money that you are spending to get an education. You should feel comfortable with contacting the office for ANY concern you may have. I had an accommodation letter for each professor and chose to meet with all of them in the first few weeks of class, but other students chose to email them their accommodations instead, giving them their letters in class. Either way, the disabilities office should be prepared to support in any instance of professor pushback. I didn’t face much resistance, but I had one professor that was especially hesitant to wear the FM system I had for my cochlear implant. In that case, it is important that you have a team behind you willing to back you up. Be the captain of your team when you’re in college!