Frequently Asked Questions - Student FAQs
What is a disability?
An individual with a disability is defined as any person who:
"Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks), has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment."
What is meant by "is regarded as having such an impairment" in the definition of disability?
For example, a person with a facial disfigurement may not have an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, but others may regard him or her as having one due to how he or she appears.
Isn't "disability" and "handicap" the same thing?
A "disability" is a condition caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease that may limit a person's mobility, hearing, vision, speech, or mental function. A person may have more than one disability. A "handicap" is a physical or attitudinal constraint imposed upon a person; for example, stairs, narrow doorways, and curbs are handicaps imposed upon people with disabilities who use wheelchairs.
What is a reasonable accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an individual without a disability. Some common academic accommodations include extended time on tests, use of peer note takers, use of computer with spell check, and provision of sign language interpreters.
How does a person become eligible to receive accommodations?
To become eligible, a person must have a documented disability and inform the University
that he or she is requesting accommodations based on that disability.
A student must:
1. Contact Student Disability Services;
2. Provide specific documentation of the disability from a qualified professional;
3. Consult with an advisor in Student Disability Services to determine appropriate accommodations.
Who determines the accommodation?
Student Disability Services staff determine the accommodations using:
- Documentation of the disability from qualified professionals provided by the student
- Information gathered from an intake process, and
- Information from history of the disability.
The determination of reasonable accommodations considers the following:
- Classroom or physical barriers,
- The array of accommodations that might remove the barriers,
- Whether or not the person has access to the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility without accommodations, and
- Whether essential elements of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility are not compromised by the accommodations.
What is a note taker?
A note taker is another student, recruited by the faculty member, who agrees to provide copies of lecture notes taken during class. The note taker may make copies of notes at Student Disability Services or use carbonless paper available at no charge from Student Disability Services.
Who is responsible for requesting an interpreter?
To receive interpreter services the student must contact the Interpreter Coordinator at least two weeks before the semester begins, place a request for interpreting services for the upcoming semester, and provide a current schedule. This process must be followed so that we can efficiently provide services and accommodations on the first day of class. If a student makes any changes to his/her course schedule, he/she must notify the Interpreter Coordinator immediately. The Interpreter Coordinator will have one week from the date of written notification to provide services for any changes to class schedules already in place.
For outside class requirements, such as field trips or other assigned activities, as well as meeting with professors during office hours, students should request an interpreter from Student Disability Services. The interpreter request form is for students who are currently registered with Student Disability Services (SDS) and is intended for academic purposes on the main Texas Tech University campus only.
Interpreter requests for events lasting less than 3 hours require at least 72 hours
advance notice. Requests submitted with less than 72 hours' notice cannot be guaranteed.
Interpreter requests for events lasting longer than 3 hours (e.g. conferences, training, etc.) require at least 3 weeks advance notice in order for
our office to determine the appropriate accommodations. Events outside of Lubbock
will be considered on a case-by-case basis contingent on availability of interpreter
services in the area. Remember the no-call /no-show policy applies to Interpreter
Request assignments as well.
*Note: In the event that interpreters are not available, other appropriate services will be considered (e.g. RCART, UbiDuo, FM System, or other supportive technology).
If a student registers with Student Disability Services, will it show up on transcripts and/or diplomas?
No. The fact that a student is registered with our office or receives reasonable accommodations does not appear on student records. Students who receive reasonable accommodations do not receive a modified degree; they have earned the same degree as all other graduates of Texas Tech University.
As a high school senior, what do I need to do to attend Texas Tech and register with Student Disability Services?
Students with disabilities go through the regular admissions procedures. Application materials can be found online or requested by calling the Admissions Office at (806) 742-1480. To request accommodations through Student Disability Services, first review what the documentation standards are for your disability and then submit an application. It can certainly help to work with your high school to ensure that your records are in order before you arrive at Texas Tech.
How do students go about transferring to Texas Tech and registering with Student Disability Services?
Students with disabilities go through the regular admissions procedures. Application materials can be found online or requested by calling the Admissions Office at (806) 742-1480. To request accommodations through Student Disability Services, first review what the documentation standards are for your disability and then submit an application. Please be aware that just because one institution provides an accommodation, another institution may not provide the exact same accommodation.
Does Student Disability Services play a role in students with disabilities' admission to Texas Tech?
No. Student Disability Services does not have a role in students with disabilities' admission to the institution. Please direct all questions to the Admissions Office at (806) 742-1480.
How do students request a course substitution based on their disability?
Course substitution requests are made to the Academic Dean of the students' college. The Student Disability Services staff can provide a letter for the student that states whether the student is registered with Student Disability Services and how their disability may affect their performance in the academic area for which the substitution is being requested. The student then provides this letter to the appropriate Academic Dean. This process may differ for graduate students.
Does Texas Tech University provide testing for learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders?
Texas Tech University does not provide comprehensive testing for either learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. Testing for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders must be obtained through an appropriate off-campus professional. Student Disabilities Services offers a referral list of licensed professionals in Lubbock.
How does a student request disability parking?
Please read the information about disability parking on campus. All inquiries regarding disability parking should be directed to University Parking Services at (806) 742-3811.
Can Student Disability Services excuse absences?
No. Academic departments set their own attendance policies and class attendance is an expectation of Texas Tech students. Student Disability Services staff can facilitate discussion of absences with instructors or departments on behalf of the student, but it is still up to the department's discretion whether or not absences are excused.
What tutoring is available through Student Disability Services?
Student Disability Services offers a free drop-in tutoring service for registered students, and tutoring for a fee is available for students who participate in the TECHniques Center. The Learning Center also provides free drop-in tutoring for a variety of subjects. Please contact the Learning Center at (806) 742-1313 for additional information.
Does Texas Tech University have staff sign language interpreters?
Yes. Texas Tech employs full-time and part-time sign language interpreters. These interpreters provide interpreting services for classrooms and other academic situations.
Can my parents take care of all this for me?
While parents can be of assistance, the student is responsible for working with Student Disability Services and instructors. We prefer to work directly with students from the beginning as they will be responsible to work with their instructors and other Texas Tech employees.
What role does Student Disability Services play in facilitating accommodations for the THEA?
Accommodations for the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) are not made through Student Disability Services. Please contact the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Office at (806) 742-3242 for more information.
What role does Student Disability Services play in facilitating accommodations for the GRE?
Students will need to contact the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) to receive information about their accommodation request procedures. There is typically a paper request form that Student Disability Services needs to fill out. If you are registered with Student Disability Service, you can leave your GRE accommodations request form with us and we will fill it out and return it to you as soon as possible. While all requests are handled in a timely manner, please be aware that we cannot guarantee on-the-spot processing. Please factor in ten university working days for response time when you are making arrangements to send your application in by the GRE deadline.
What role does Student Disability Service play in facilitating accommodations for the GMAT?
Students will need to contact the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to receive information about their accommodation request procedures. There is typically a paper request form that Student Disability Services needs to fill out. If you are registered with Student Disability Services you can leave your GMAT accommodations request form with us and we will fill it out and return it to you as soon as possible. While all requests are handled in a timely manner, please be aware that we cannot guarantee-on-the spot processing. Please factor in ten university working days for response time when you are making arrangements to send your application in by the GMAT deadline.
Can Texas Tech forward a copy of my documentation to another school if I transfer?
While a student should always keep a personal copy of documentation, Texas Tech University will release a copy of your documentation upon receipt of a written request by the student. This request must include the student's social security number, date of birth, date of request, and specific information about where the documentation is to be sent. This request must be signed and dated by the student.
Can Student Disability Services provide copies of documentation once is has been submitted?
Yes. However, the student must come into the Student Disability Services Office and make the request, in writing, for a copy of their documentation. Original documentation cannot be released as it is part of the permanent university record.
Will a copy of my testing or Letter of Accommodation automatically be forwarded to my advisor, dean, etc.?
In order to protect each student's right to confidentiality, SDS does not provide LOAs to anyone but the faculty members chosen to receive accommodation letters through the AIM online system. If you would like for someone to have a copy of your letter, or to know of your accommodations, it is your responsibility and right to deliver that information to that individual.
Is there an office on campus that coordinates testing accommodations?
Yes. Academic Testing Services, located at 214 West Hall, coordinates testing accommodations. You can email Steve Martin, the Assistant Director, or call him at (806) 742-3671. Student Disability Services (SDS) works closely with the Academic Testing Services (ATS) office in order to provide approved testing accommodations for SDS students. To use ATS, a testing contract must be filled out by the instructor and the student and returned to ATS for processing. New contracts must submitted to ATS each semester. A testing contract must be submitted for each class in which the student has received permission to test in ATS. Be mindful that there are semester deadlines for testing contracts so they must be submitted to ATS in a timely manner. SDS students must adhere to the policies and deadlines of the ATS office in order to be provided their approved testing accommodations. Failure to do so may result in your inability to use your approved testing accommodations for some exams.
Do my accommodations apply if I study abroad?
Texas Tech University and the Study Abroad Office provides various opportunities for students to have international learning experiences. Programs are designed to enhance the development of multicultural and global competencies enormously valuable in an increasingly interconnected world. Student Disability Services works closely with the Study Abroad Office to help our SDS students understand what it means to be a student with a disability while studying abroad. Even though the ADA does not apply outside of the 50 U.S. States and your accommodations do not automatically follow you, Student Disability Services encourages all students to take advantage of this opportunity. Your SDS counselor is here to discuss the difference between accessibility wants and needs, being prepared and adapting to life in a foreign country, and other questions you might have about studying abroad.