Disability Services

Disability Services

Obtaining academic accommodations

Penn State Beaver welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments, we can help you to receive those adjustments and prepare you to accomplish your academic goals.

Documentation

First, you must schedule a meeting with Jill Tress, liaison and coordinator, Learning Center and Disabilities Services Office, 724-773-3867. She will gather information and documentation from your medical doctor, neurologist, psychologist, or psychiatrist concerning your disability and will file the necessary paperwork to establish your case.

You will find information about appropriate documentation for your disability at Penn State's Educational Equity website.

Your information must be current. If it is old or outdated, which may vary depending on your diagnosis, you may need to return to your doctor for an update on your condition. For some conditions, this may require retesting.

If your documentation is correct, complete, and updated, according to the website above, you will be awarded academic accommodations.

Receiving accommodations

Letters will be prepared for your faculty members, stating your needs only. Your professors will not be apprised of your diagnosis, which is strictly confidential. You will hand deliver your letters to each of your professors, preferably at the beginning of each semester, so they will know who you are. You are strongly advised to hand deliver these letters prior to the start of classes or on the first day of class.

You must meet with your professors to discuss your needs and how they will be satisfied within the context of each course. An out-of-class appointment for this discussion will probably be necessary.

Your responsibilities

You are responsible for your own needs! Make sure you contact the coordinator immediately to obtain the help you need. Be sure to follow up with her to address problems and/or additional needs that may arise during the semester and/or academic year.

You will be responsible for keeping appointments with professors and tutors, if needed. You will also be responsible for the safe return of assistive devices you may borrow from the Center for Academic Achievement.

Renewal

You will need to go through the process of obtaining Letters of Accommodation every semester. The coordinator will not automatically alert your professors about any disability until you request this service. Usually, your initial documentation will suffice for the entire time you take classes at Beaver campus.

Temporary impairment

If you become temporarily impaired due to an illness or accident, you must contact Nurse Barb Kugel (724-773-3955). She and Jill Tress will work together to help students who have short-term special needs during the recuperation process. For more information, please visit Services for Students with Temporary Impairments.

Helpful links