Information for Parents of Students with Disabilities
Accommodations in High School vs. College
High School accommodations are largely governed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which guarantees mandatory, free education that leads to the outcome of successful learning. College accommodations are largely governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which guarantees equal access to education with no additional outcomes specified.
A major difference at the postsecondary level is that students are responsible for self identifying and requesting reasonable accommodations if they wish to do so. Students should be aware that they must self-advocate, rather than it being left up to parents, teachers, or institutions. At Saint Louis University, Disability Services is the entity that facilitates accommodations for all students, except those within The Law or Medical Schools.
You may also view the Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities [new window] guide from the U.S. Department of Education.
Parents of Current Students
Disability Services is a resource to answer parents' questions and concerns. In some cases, information from parents can also be very valuable to the accommodation process. Parents should understand that the office's primary role is to work directly with students. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), rights with respect to education records transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.
Students are accommodated to ensure equal access and opportunity to courses, programs, and activities at Saint Louis University.
At the postsecondary level, students are the center of the accommodations process. The student must self identify and request reasonable accommodations if they wish to receive academic accommodations. The student must then coordinate with instructors to arrange how their accommodations will be carried out within the classroom.
Students may disclose their disability at any time during their academic career at SLU. While accommodations become effective as soon as they are approved and discussed with instructors, there may be time required for implementation processes (ex. alternate format materials, scheduling, etc.).
We also encourage students who are looking for additional support to utilize other campus programs. The Student Success Center provides tutoring, writing, academic coaching, and career services to all students. Academic advisors are another good resource. Other students with disabilities find support through The Student Health and Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, and involvement in student organizations.
Documentation should be from a medical provider and should confirm the diagnosis, indicate how the condition impacts the student, list any ongoing treatment, and include any history. It should be as current as possible and be typed on the medical provider's letterhead.