ELIGIBILITY AND REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS
ACCOMMODATIONS AND SERVICES
Who will have access to a student’s disability-related records?
Where is the DASS office located?
We are located in the Loyd Building suite 202 within the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (L.E.C.). The Loyd building is connected to the football stadium. Our entrance is north of gate 3. The L.E.C. is on the 2nd floor. DASS staff and the proctoring center are located on the 2nd floor as a part of the L.E.C.
Major Life Activities The phrase major life activities refers to normal functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
Physical Impairment: A physical impairment includes any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following bodily systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory and speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
Mental Impairment: A mental impairment includes any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Learning Disabilities: A learning disability is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders occur in persons of average to very superior intelligence.
SMU works to make the campus and buildings accessible to all students and visitors. For a list of wheelchair-accessible entrances for campus buildings, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click the following link for a map showing accessible parking: http://www.smu.edu/AboutSMU/Maps/Accessibility.
The University owns 5 wheelchairs (purchased in 2015) which are available for emergencies and unexpected mobility needs. They are housed in the large venues: one in Hughes-Trigg Student Center, one in Moody Coliseum, one in McFarlin Auditorium, and two in Ford Stadium.
Students with ongoing mobility needs should provide their own mobility devices. DASS can refer students to local agencies to rent or purchase scooters, wheelchairs, and walkers.
Not necessarily. The diagnosis needs to meet the criteria of a “disabling condition”. The supporting medical, psychological, and psychoeducational documentation needs to support evidence of a current, significant, and functional limitation that impacts learning. The evaluation must support a link between the disability and the requested accommodation.
Although you may request academic accommodations from SMU at any time, you should request it as early as possible. Some academic accommodations may take more time to arrange than others. You should follow SMU’s procedures to ensure that we have enough time to review your request and provide appropriate academic accommodations. We encourage new students to submit documentation in the summer before the fall semester, and are happy to review documentation as soon as a student is accepted to the University.
The University has guidelines written for the various disabilities. Specific guidelines for each type are available on our guidelines page.
Please contact DASS to request a meeting with a staff member who can refer you to a qualified professional. You may also browse the referral list on the Counseling and Psychiatric Services website:
DASS provides academic accommodations, along with access to facilities, to student with documented disabilities. Some common services are classroom accommodations and testing accommodations. DASS also offers academic coaching for students with a diagnosed learning difference, a reading and study skills class (HDEV 1110: Reading and Learning Strategies), and a student-led networking, outreach, and support group (Students for New Learning – SNL). DASS is part of the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC), which offers tutoring services, writing support, and academic skills-building workshops for all SMU undergraduates.
Each student is treated as an individual. Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis by reviewing documentation, looking for functional limitations and what is deemed appropriate for the college setting. A list of typical accommodations can be found here.
DASS does collaborate with Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) regarding the specific needs of the student. Documentation is reviewed by DASS in order for RLSH to make appropriate allowances for students with conditions that impact their housing needs. These recommendations are dependent upon documentation that is provided to the DASS office. The student must contact DASS to begin the process. For more information, please visit Types of Accommodations.
No. All services provided through DASS and the LEC are encompassed in student fees or tuition (HDEV 1110, academic coaching, etc.).
The student’s responsibility. If your DASS Accommodation Coordinator recommends accommodations for you during your DASS Intake appointment, your Accommodation Letters will be made available for each of your professors to view in their DASS Link account. Every semester thereafter, you will need to request your letters using the Semester Request tab in DASS Link. After you make your letters available to your instructors, you must still communicate with each of them to discuss how your accommodations will be implemented in their class. Accommodations are not active in a class until the instructor has received your letter and discuss your accommodation needs with that instructor.
A key tenet in disability services is confidentiality. Information shared by a student with the Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) team is held in strict confidence. This information can include the original request for services, documentation submitted for review, conversations between students and DASS personnel, and arrangements for DASS-provided accommodations like test proctoring. Except for emergency reasons, information is exchanged only as necessary in providing services, or with those with specific offices, and/or individuals for which the student has provided written permission. DASS may, at times, communicate with on-campus offices or individuals without written permission, given there is a clear educational need.
Disability-related records are maintained confidentially in DASS and are accessed by the DASS team. These records will be destroyed 5 years after a student leaves SMU.