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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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What is a disability?

According to the American's with Disabilities Act, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. These activities include the ability to write, learn, read, think, memorize, hear, see, talk, or walk.

Do I have to inform a postsecondary school that I have a disability?

No. However, if you want the school to provide accommodations based on your disability, you must identify yourself to Accessibility Resources as having a disability and have an established plan with them prior to receiving ANY accommodations. Likewise, you should let the school know about your disability if you want to ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities. In any event, your disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.

How do students become registered with Accessibility Resources?

First, students must be admitted to Minnesota State University, Mankato. Then students must make an appointment to see an Accessibility Resources staff person for an intake interview and at that time present documentation of their disability. Note, anytime this information can be forwarded in advance is preferable. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis considering the functional limitations of the disability.

I received accommodations in high school and I have an IEP, can I use this?

The IEP is a valuable resource of information, but it cannot be used as documentation of the disability. Please refer to the documentation guidelines.

When should I begin to make arrangements for receiving accommodations?

You can provide documentation and establish a plan for reasonable accommodation at any time that you are an enrolled student. Preferably, students will call Accessibility Resources several weeks before starting college to begin the process. Ideally, we would like to meet with you after your summer orientation but before classes begin. Earlier registration with Accessibility Resources is essential in order to arrange for some accommodations like audio textbooks and interpreters and alternative housing requests; late registration may limit immediate assistance.

What is the policy regarding confidentiality?

All documentation is treated as confidential information and is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All information regarding students registered with the office and their documentation is kept in a locked file in Accessibility Resources. Information is released with the student's permission (signature) on a need-to-know basis with University faculty/staff who may have a legitimate educational interest.  

What accommodations are offered through your office?

The following are some services routinely provided: alternative testing (including extended time, distraction free, scribes, readers), notetaking, assistive technology, sign language interpreting, text in alternate format, priority registration, alternative housing accommodations, and advocacy.  Other accommodations may be available in reponse to individual needs.

What kinds of services or accommodations are not provided?

Personal devices such as wheelchairs or glasses, personal services such as private tutoring or personal attendants, modifications that would lower or change course standards or program standards, and services that are unduly burdensome, administratively or financially.

What role do my parents play in the process?

Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. In this case, the student is responsible for their own accommodation requests and disability-related decisions. However, students are encouraged to have an open dialogue with their parents as we know they can be a great source of support for you.

How are professors about accommodating students?

The vast majority of faculty are excellent. If a student is having difficulties with receiving the appropriate accommodations which have been established, Accessibility Resources will mediate the situation. The bottom line however is that students will be accommodated in compliance with Section 504 and the ADA.

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