Program Models

  • Individual contact is available at the freshman level to provide instruction and modeling of advocacy skills and accessing of services
  • By the time students are juniors and seniors, our one-on-one time has lessened, as they have gained the skills needed to be their own best advocate.
  • Achieving independence over time is the goal.

Two-tiered Model of Service:

  • Accommodations provided by law
  • All accommodations are provided by our Accommodations Team
  • Accommodations are in place to remove the academic barriers that exist due to the manifestations of the disability
  • Accommodations are not meant to guarantee success for the student, they are to ensure fair and equal access
  • Individual meetings with a Disability Specialist are an additional service beyond legal mandates


  • Exams: extended time, reader, writer, computer for typing answers, limited-distraction environment
  • Classroom: notetakers, recording lectures
  • Individual: alternative format materials (i.e. recorded or scanned textbooks)
  • Authorized accommodations are based on the unique manifestations of the documented disability and the functional limitations resulting from the disability; therefore, not every student will receive the same accommodations.

Meeting with a Specialist


  • Clarify the student’s documentation as a first-step to explaining authorized accommodations
  • Get feedback from each student on an ongoing basis regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of their accommodations


  • Assist student in selecting classes for the next term and in preparing to meet with their faculty advisors
  • Help students negotiate their way through petitions, incompletes, etc.


  • Clarify what the assignment is asking for or refer the student to the professor for further clarification
  • Help the student figure out what steps to follow and what resources to use to get an assignment done
  • Help students determine why an assignment might not be going well

Communication with Professors:

  • Help student decide what the professor needs to know
  • Help the student plan how to approach the professor and communicate information
  • Help the student figure out how to contact hard-to-reach faculty
  • Engage in direct advocacy with professors only if invited to do so by the student and if such an action is compatible with the student’s independence

General Academic Monitoring:

  • Discuss how each of the student’s classes is going
  • Help the student identify and articulate what is working well and what is interfering with success
  • Refer the student to academic resources such as the tutoring program and supplemental instruction

Study Skills and Organization:

  • Provide modeling of study strategies such as creation of mnemonic devices, reading comprehension techniques, etc.
  • Help student design a time management program that will fit his/her cognitive style and lifestyle
  • Model how to set up and use planners and “master notebooks” to organize course material. For example, using a 3-ring binder with tabs for the syllabus, lecture notes, completed texts, lab reports, vocabulary lists, etc.