Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the questions we hear about qualifying for accommodations at Elmhurst College.

Many students assume that the laws governing accommodations for students with disabilities are the same in college as in high school, but they’re not. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not apply to higher education, and there are no IEPs in college.

In college, you’ll need to be more autonomous than you were in high school. You’re responsible for obtaining documentation, meeting with the Access & Disability Services Coordinator each term, and discussing your needs with your professors.

If you’re seeking accommodations for any type of disability, you need to provide documentation that:

  • Describes the physical and/or mental condition for which accommodation is sought
  • Explains the functional impact of that condition in academic or living situations

The College uses your documentation as a tool to identify strategies, including reasonable accommodations that will facilitate student access to courses, programs and services. Documentation is also used to establish the presence of a disability.

No. The College doesn’t offer assessment or testing services, and we’re not required to pay for assessments performed elsewhere.

Documentation has to be provided by a licensed professional who has expertise in working with adults who have disabilities like yours. For example:

  • Audiologists are qualified to provide documentation for hearing disabilities.
  • Psychologists, neurologists or psychiatrists can document an ADHD diagnosis.
  • A physician is an appropriate choice to document medical or chronic health conditions.

The key point is that the evaluator must have the appropriate training, experience and clinical information to provide a diagnosis and accommodation recommendations for an adult population.

You may submit recent IEPs and 504 Plans for review, but it’s likely that additional documentation will be required. If the IEP or 504 Plan includes current assessment or reevaluation results, it may be adequate.

Your documentation must be no more than three years old. The goal is to determine your current ability to function in academic settings so that we can provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations or auxiliary aids. In some cases, you may be asked to provide annual updates. If your medical condition changes, we may require updated documentation.

While we accept documentation year-round, we encourage incoming students to submit documentation as soon as possible after being admitted.

No, this information is confidential. Your professors will only be notified of the accommodations to be used in their classroom.

Your information is private and confidential. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), the College does not provide confidential information about you to anyone—including your parents—without your written permission. This includes not only information about your disability but also your grades.

Every organization has its own requirements for documentation of disabilities, so you’ll need to contact the specific testing agency to find out its policy. Elmhurst’s Access & Disability Coordinator is available to you navigate the process and submit documentation on your behalf.

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