Frequently Asked Questions

Being informed about disability services is important for everyone in the SMC community.

Are students on college campuses most likely to have disabilities such as impaired vision, impaired hearing and immobility?

  • No. Disabilities include a wide range of physical, psychological, learning based, and/or health related conditions.

Are psychological conditions considered to be a disability?

  • Sometimes. Psychological conditions may meet the criteria of a disability.

Will studying for a prolonged period of time compensate for a student’s disability thereby allowing him/her to score well on an exam?

  • No. Although it is important to commit to an appropriate amount of study time, the duration of the study time is not enough to ensure academic success. Assistive technology, tutoring, alternate media format, and many other modifications can improve study time efficiency. Additionally, appropriate accommodations will improve a student’s ability to communicate what they know.

Do accommodations give a student with a disability an advantage to help balance things out so that the student can pass the class?

  • No. Accommodations are customized to fit the individual needs of a disabled person in order to address specific educational barriers. Accommodations are in place to allow a student with disabilities access to educational programs.

Are disabilities always chronic, permanent conditions?

  • No. A disability may be temporary and improve over time.

Is it true that approximately 11% of higher education students nationwide have disclosed a disability?

  • Yes. Nationally, about 11% of college students disclose a disability and seek services. However, it is estimated that many more students do not disclose their disability or request accommodations.

Do learning disabilities "run in families?"

  • Yes. Some learning disabilities do appear to be inherited.

Can students who seek accommodation support expect that their disability information will be kept confidential?

  • Yes. Disability records are private and kept separate from all other student records.

Are most disabilities noticeable by others?

  • No. Most disabilities are "invisible" and not perceived by others.

If a student accesses classroom accommodations will his/her classmates be aware of the accommodation?

  • No. In most instances, accommodations are not noticeable by classmates.

Does a disability make it difficult to learn new information?

  • Sometimes. Some, but not all, disabilities make grasping and retaining new information a difficult process.

Will a disability make it difficult for a student to communicate what they know on an exam?

  • Sometimes. Some, but not all, disabilities make it difficult to express what you know on exams.

Should a disabled student check-in with Student Disability Services each term in order to receive classroom accommodations?

  • Yes. Students must request classroom accommodations each term. Accommodations are reviewed and extended on a case-by-case and class-by-class basis. Additionally, this quick process ensures that disabled students retain control of which instructors are to be notified of accommodation requests.

To receive accommodations, must a student submit their request and/or qualifying documentation to the department for which he/she would like an accommodation such as housing, the business office, the English department, etc?

  • No. Accommodation requests should only be submitted to the office of Student Disability Services in order to receive services.