Northwest College

Disability Support Services

Steps To A Great Academic Year

STEP ONE You may request services or accommodations to fit your individual needs by scheduling an appointment for an initial interview with a coordinator of Disability Services soon after the application process begins. We will need enough information to know that you have a disability and to understand its current impact well enough to anticipate accommodations you may need or to support accommodations you are requesting. In addition to the interview, there are multiple sources and types of information that are useful, including educational records such as an Individualized Education Plan, letters from educators, diagnostic reports, letters from healthcare providers, records of past accommodations from testing agencies or employers, letters or records from local, state or federal agencies such as an Social Security Disability Insurance determination. At this initial meeting you will be asked to fill out a request for services application, a release of confidential information form, a student rights and responsibilities form, and a testing services acknowledgement form.


STEP TWO After your documentation is reviewed; you and the Disability Services Coordinator will create an Accommodation Plan based on your needs. The plan defines specific services and accommodations that you most likely will need to successfully participate in an academic program. The plan will not disclose your specific disability. At the beginning of the term, the Accommodation Plan will be submitted to all the instructors. Please be sure to let Disability Services know if you change classes during the first three days so that your new instructors may receive the plan.

You are encouraged to talk candidly with your instructors about your needs early in the term to work out the details of your plan in each course. If you need help with this, please let us know. It is suggested that within the first week of class, you make an appointment with your instructor(s) and review your accommodations privately. It is better to discuss your needs and accommodations, as well as instructor expectations, in the beginning than to wait until you are doing poorly in the classroom. If you have an accommodation for testing in the Student Success Center, either come in or call us to fill out a test request at least 48 hours in advance of each test. Please remember your instructors have many students and may not remember all the details of your accommodation plan. Be your own best advocate at the college.


STEP THREE Arrange a time to meet with the Coordinator mid-term to review your accommodations. It is important for us to know that accommodations are working in your favor. You may also find other accommodations need to be enacted as the term progresses. As an adult, you are the one taking responsibility for your own needs. Instructors will not provide additional accommodations without approval from Disability Services. After signing up for services initially, you will need to contact Disability Services each semester to have you accommodation plan sent.