Get College Accommodations
“I looked into the Support Services Office for accommodations, and have found them to be amazing! It’s a blessing to have them on campus. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
It is estimated that 25% of veterans entering postsecondary education may have conditions such as TBI, PTSD, depression, physical, and sensory impairments. These conditions will affect individual students in different ways depending on the type and severity of the condition. However, if you have an injury, it is important to consider how your college experience may be impacted so that you can develop strategies for academic success before you start classes.
One such strategy is to request academic accommodations. Every public 2 and 4 year college or university has an office in charge of assisting students with disabilities. Colleges and universities may call this office by different names, but you will often see it referred to as Disability Support Services, Student Accommodations, or Student Support Services.
Why should you check out the Disability Support Services Office? If you are a wounded warrior, you could get accommodations that can help you such as priority registration. This allows you to register for your classes before the general student population which can be very helpful because, without priority registration, your first choice of classes may not be available. Other common accommodations include extended time on tests, testing in a limited distraction room, and notetakers who take notes for you anonymously in class.
These accommodations are individualized and are based on your medical and psychological documentation. The college you attend will determine if you are eligible for services and will provide you with an accommodations letter or form that will identify the accommodations that would be beneficial to you in school based on your documentation of your disability. Give a copy of this accommodation letter to your instructors at the beginning of each semester so that they can provide the accommodations that you need to be successful in your classes.
Keep in mind that each college and university has different documentation requirements. Once you have narrowed down your choice of colleges, contact the Disability Support Services Office or go to their website to find out their documentation requirements. If you do not have the documentation that the college specifies, take the documentation requirements with you when you go to see your doctor or psychologist at the VA medical center or other community provider, and ask them for updated documentation that fits the requirements of the school.
Getting Online Accomodations
Just like getting accommodations in the classroom, students taking distance learning courses can also receive academic accommodations. Students who wish to receive accommodations in an online class must follow the same process for getting accommodations in a face to face classroom. Even in a distance learning program, it is the veteran’s responsibility to disclose a disability to the school’s accommodations office as well as the instructor in the course. For online courses, students can usually submit their Notification of Accommodations form to their instructor in an electronic format like a PDF via email. Some examples of accommodations in an online course include extended time on assignments and tests or books in an alternate format.