Frequently Asked Questions
Note: If you are looking for information about how to request accommodations or get access to services, please click on the "Requesting Accomodations" link to answer most of your questions.
Does Rutgers offer services for students with disabilities?
For any student who has been deemed eligible for special services, Rutgers provides accommodations and/or modifications in order to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to participate in all Rutgers programs, services, and activities. The purpose of accommodations is not to ensure success, but rather to provide access and equal educational opportunity.
Do I have to disclose my disability to anyone at Rutgers?
You are not required to disclose your disability to the university. However, if you apply to the Office of Disability Services you must provide documentation of your disability. Your disability status will only be shared with relevant Rutgers faculty, staff or administration on a need-to-know basis. After you have been approved for accommodations at Rutgers, you will not receive any retroactive accommodations on work completed before the approval for accommodations was made.
What are some of the services Rutgers offers?
Services for students approved by the appropriate review committee may include, but are not limited to the following:
Students are encouraged to talk with a coordinator in the Office of Disability Services to determine what accommodations may be most appropriate and effective. Please note that services and accommodations are only offered to students who are approved for them through the documentation process. For more information on this process, please go to the "Requesting Accommodations" page.
When should I submit my documentation?
The sooner, the better, as the documentation review process may take up to 30 business days. Thus, you are encouraged to initiate the process as early as possible.
At my last school, I received different or more accommodations than Rutgers is willing to grant me. Why is there such a difference in services between Rutgers and my last school?
High schools often offer services and accommodations meant to help ensure a student's success. At college, the governing laws dictate that a university simply not discriminate against students with disabilities and provide access to curriculum. As a result, the services that a college provides may be vastly different from those to which you were accustomed in high school. For more information on this subject, please click on the link here to "IDEA, IEP'S, and Section 504 Plans: What Happens in College?"
Similarly, you may find that services at Rutgers are different than those you might have received at another post-secondary institution. This is not unusual; colleges may have differing philosophies on accommodations or some schools may be able to offer access to more extensive services.
If you have been denied an accommodation you received at a previous school, some of the reasons for this may include the following:
Is it ever too late to request accommodations?
There is no deadline for when a student can begin the documentation process to apply for accommodations; some students don't even get identified with a learning disability or other disabling conditions until their senior year. However, as stated elsewhere on this page, accommodations will not be provided retroactively, and grades will not be changed after a student is approved for accommodations. Students who have used accommodations at their previous institution and who choose not to apply for accommodations when they arrive at Rutgers should know that there is no opportunity to retake exams or courses if they are unsatisfied with their grades. Even if a student can establish that he or she had a disability at the time of the course in question, or used accommodations at a previous school, Rutgers will generally not expunge or re-examine coursework completed before the student was reviewed and approved for accommodations at Rutgers University.
If you have been approved for accommodations, you will have to abide by certain timelines depending upon the kind of accommodation you need (e.g., sign language interpreter). Such information will be provided by your Coordinator for Students with Disabilities and is also available in the Student and Coordinator Manual.
Do I have to use all of my accommodations in every class?
Some accommodations may not be appropriate for all classes. For example, if you have been approved to use a blank sheet of paper as a placeholder on multiple choice exams, and the instructor gives only essay exams, then the accommodation is irrelevant.
If you choose, however, not to use an accommodation in a given class, then you will not be given the chance for a re-test or a make-up an assignment with accommodations at a later date.
Can I request an accommodation directly from my professor, before I have been approved for accommodations?
No. You should not request academic accommodations from faculty unless you have been approved by the appropriate documentation review committee and have received a Letter of Accommodation from your Coordinator.
If I get approved, who informs my instructors about my accommodations?
You do. If you are approved, you are responsible for promptly picking up your Letter of Accommodation from your Coordinator, meeting with each of your instructors and providing each of them with a copy of the letter. You and your professor should then discuss how the listed accommodations will be implemented.
What if my professor refuses to provide an accommodation listed on my Letter of Accommodation?
Contact your Coordinator as soon as possible to resolve the matter. Avoid arguing with your instructor about why you were not accommodated.
What if a student has been approved for accommodations on one of Rutgers' regional campuses, but taking classes on another?
Rutgers University has three regional campuses: New Brunswick, Newark and Camden. On occasion, students may be admitted to and/or matriculating on one campus, but taking a class on another campus. Students should always contact their assigned coordinator to make requests for accommodations. This means that even if accommodations are needed for classes on another campus, the student must always request accommodations through their coordinator. The coordinator will be responsible for arranging accommodations with the appropriate campus offices where the class is being held.
For example, if a New Brunswick student is approved for Extended Time for in-class exams, but is taking a class on the Camden Campus, the student must contact his/her coordinator on the New Brunswick campus to request exam accommodations.
Here's another example; if a Newark student is approved for Notetaking Assistance, but is taking a class on the New Brunswick Campus, the student must contact his/her coordinator on the Newark Campus to request Notetaking Assistance.
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Last Updated: 02/01/2012