FAQs for Students
How do I receive accommodations?
What do I need to provide for documentation?
Students who request accommodations through the Disability Resource Center will be asked to meet with a staff member and discuss their experience of disability, barriers, and effective and ineffective accommodation strategies. Students will be asked to provide documentation that describes their disability and its likely impact on educational experiences. If no disability documentation exists, students are encouraged to meet with a DRC staff member to discuss options for assessing potential academic barriers and how it relates to the student's disability.
Many students have IEPs/504 plans from high school. While these plans do not directly transfer to college, students are welcome to submit their IEPs/504 plans as part of their documentation. The DRC staff appreciates reviewing these documents to see what has worked for you in the past.
You may review our General Guidelines for Documentation at www.missouristate.edu/disability/documentation.htm/
Will my disability information be kept confidential?
Yes. While the DRC staff will not release specific diagnoses or documentation about a disability, they may verify that a student has documentation on file and share with the faculty/staff member ideas for accommodation strategies. DRC staff may also provide curricular and program design ideas that make learning environments more equitable and inclusive.
How do I obtain an accessible parking permit?
If you have been issued a state accessible parking placard or plates, then you are able to park in accessible parking on campus. In order to use accessible parking on campus, simply obtain a typical Missouri State University parking placard from Parking Administration and use it in conjunction with your state issued accessible parking placard or plates, making sure both placards are visible. If you have further questions regarding parking, please contact Parking Administration.
Can I receive accommodations if I have a temporary injury or illness?
Typically, only students with permanent disabilities receive accommodations. If you are uncertain if your condition is a disability, do not hesitate to contact the DRC and inquire about accommodations. If you do have a temporary injury or illness, we suggest that you discuss your barriers to participation with your instructors and try to make arrangements with them directly. If necessary, the DRC can collaborate with students and their instructors to problem solve solutions to access issues caused by injury or temporary conditions.
Are accommodations retroactive?
No. Accommodations begin only when you have provided your instructors an accommodation memo from the DRC and have had a conversation about how accommodations may work in your specific classes. Instructors must also have reasonable time to arrange for the accommodations requested.
What if my accommodations don't work for me or I run into other issues?
Will the Disability Resource Center provide personal services or devices?
No. The DRC can only provide services of a non-personal nature; this may be different from your K-12 experiences. Services of a personal nature, such as a personal care attendant, orientation and mobility training, wheelchairs and hearing aids are not provided by the DRC. While these types of accommodations are welcome on campus, the DRC cannot provide them.
Disability Pride & Campus Involvement:
What is disability pride?
As students with disabilities, you can be key participants in the discussion and implementation of universal design and the socio-political model of disability. The first step is to be inclusive and proud of yourself as a person with a disability. As you begin to reframe your educational experience in light of new thinking about disability and access, you have the opportunity to be a resource on campus. Please let us know if you have feedback to offer regarding our learning environments or how you would like to promote disability pride.
"Disability pride represents a rejection of the notion that our physical, sensory, mental and cognitive differences from the non-disabled standard are wrong or bad in any way and is a statement of our self-acceptance, dignity and pride. It is a public expression of our belief that our disabilities are a natural part of human diversity, a celebration of our heritage and culture, and a validation of our experience. Disability pride is an integral part of movement building and a direct challenge to systemic ableism and stigmatizing definitions of disability. It is a militant act of self-definition, a purposive valuing of that which is socially devalued, and an attempt to untangle ourselves from the complex matrix of negative beliefs, attitudes and feelings that grow from the dominant group's assumption that there is something inherently wrong with our disabilities and identity."
- DISABILITY PRIDE. SARAH TRIANO.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DISABILITY. ED. GARY
ALBRECHT. VOL. 1. THOUSAND OAKS: SAGE
REFERENCE, 2006. P 476-477. S VOLS.
Do students with disabilities get involved on campus?
Yes! Students with disabilities are engaged in leadership organizations and activities. Below are just a few examples in which students have contributed to our campus:
- Student Government Association
- Natural High Club
- Greek Life
- Emerging Leaders
- Residence Hall Association
- Student Activities Council
- Student Employment
- Study Abroad
- University Ambassadors
- University planning and advisory committees
What is Delta Alpha Pi?
Delta Alpha Pi is an international honor society. MSU's chapter was the seventh chapter established. Because of the negative stereotyping associated with disability, students have been reluctant to identify themselves publicly. Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society presents an opportunity to change that perception by recognizing students with disabilities for their academic accomplishments. In addition, this honor society facilitates development of skills in leadership, advocacy and education for participating students.
Universal Design & Disability Studies:
What is universal design?
Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. It benefits people of all ages and abilities.
The mission and purpose of the Disability Resource Center is driven by principles of universal design and the socio-political model of disability. Through ongoing exploration and consultation provided to faculty, administration and departments within the University, the Disability Resource Center strives to promote this systemic change.
What is disability studies?
Disability Studies refers generally to the examination of disability as a social, cultural and political phenomenon. In contrasts to clinical, medical or therapeutic perspectives on disability, disability studies focuses on how disability is defined and represented in society. It rejects the perception of disability as a functional impairment that limits a person’s activities. From this perspective, disability is not a characteristic that exists in the person or a problem of the person that must be “fixed” or “cured.” Instead, disability is a construct that finds its meaning within a social and cultural context.
– THE CENTER ON HUMAN POLICY, LAW AND DISABILITY STUDES, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Does MSU have a disability studies program?
Yes! The Faculty Senate approved the Disability Studies minor during the 2013-2014 academic year. To learn more, visit Disability Studies.