Frequently Asked QuestionsAcademic Advising
Do I come to SDS for my academic advising?
The Office of Student Disability Services does not provide academic advising to students with disabilities. Students must contact the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience office at (662) 915-5970 or the department of their scholastic major for advising information.
Because of regulations governing confidentiality, academic advisors will not be notified by this office of the names of students with disabilities. If a student believes that his/her disability should be considered while arranging course schedules, that student should disclose the disability to the academic advisor.
Students with disabilities are subject to the same process for scheduling advisor appointments as are all other students. It is the responsibility of the student to make advisor appointments early enough that they may benefit from priority registration.
I have been placed on academic probation/suspension/dismissal. How do I appeal that decision?
Students requiring additional information about appealing academic decisions should contact the Office of the Registrar at (662) 915-7792. Students are also encouraged to review the appeal process as detailed in the M-Book.
Where can I get additional funding to help me through school?
Students with disabilities who may require additional funding and/or support sources in order to attend school are encouraged to investigate the three options listed below:
Chucky Mullins Scholarship Fund
The Chucky Mullins Scholarship Fund was designed specifically for students with physical disabilities at the University of Mississippi. This fund is not administered through the Office of Student Disability Services. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid Office at (662) 915-5549 for information regarding scholarship criteria and application process.
Department of Rehabilitation Services/Vocational Rehabilitation
Vocational Rehabilitation/Rehabilitation Services is a Federal/State program which provides individualized support services and funding to qualified people with disabilities in order to assist them in becoming self-sufficient and self-supporting. Interested students should contact the Office of Rehabilitation Services for information regarding criteria and the application process.
Students may contact the Oxford, Mississippi office at (662) 234-7517 or they may contact their state office. Contact information for each state’s Department of Rehabilitation Services office can be found at this link: https://rsa.ed.gov/.
Students are also encouraged to research funding opportunities over the world wide web. A good place to start is the DO-IT website at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Academics/financial-aid.html
I have a disability and don’t quite meet the requirements for admission to the University. Can SDS help me?
The University of Mississippi does not have a separate set of admissions criteria for students who have disabilities. Students requiring additional information about the admissions process should contact the Admissions Office at (662) 915-7226.
What should I do if I cannot attend class because of my disability?
Attendance is considered an essential aspect of a post-secondary education. As such, the University and the Office of Student Disability Services cannot accommodate the inability to attend class. Accommodations are considered to be supplements to the classroom experience. They are not intended to replace regular classroom attendance and participation. All students, including those with disabilities, are expected to comply with the University’s attendance policy as specified in the M-Book. Students who may miss some class because of a disability related reason should discuss attendance requirements with their instructors.
What should I do if I want to appeal an academic or accommodation decision?
The University of Mississippi has procedures in place both for the appeal of grades or other academic decisions (academic probation, dismissal, etc.) and for the appeal of decisions regarding accommodations for students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities do not appeal academic decisions through the Office of Student Disability Services. To appeal an academic decision (such as a grade and an academic dismissal), students should contact the Registrar’s Office at (662) 915-7792 for information. Students are also encouraged to review the academic appeal procedures as outlined in the M-Book.
To appeal a decision regarding verification or accommodation decisions for students with disabilities, contact Becki Bressler, the ADA Coordinator, at (662) 915-7735.
What happens if my disability causes me to act in a way that may be inappropriate?
Students with disabilities are expected to follow the same rules of personal and academic conduct as are all other students. Students with disabilities who violate the personal and academic codes of conduct as specified in the M-Book will face the same consequences and disciplinary action as those without disabilities.
How does the University protect my confidentiality?
The confidentiality of disability-related information is protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Confidentiality is strictly enforced in order to protect the privacy of the student and to prevent the student from being discriminated against based on a disability. Disability-related information is treated as medical information and is handled under the same strict rules of confidentiality as is other medical information.
Information concerning disabilities will be kept confidential, except that (1) faculty and instructors may be informed by the student regarding any accommodations they may be required to assist with; (2) safety and health personnel may be informed, when and to the extent necessary if the condition might require emergency treatment; (3) government and/or University officials investigating compliance with the above mentioned Acts shall be informed upon request; and, (4) as may be required by law.
Confidentiality and Faculty
Faculty and instructors do not have a right to information regarding a student’s specific diagnosis. If faculty and instructors are going to be asked to assist in accommodating a student, that student is required to voluntarily disclose the need for accommodation by delivering to the faculty/instructor an Instructor Notification of Classroom Accommodations form. This form verifies that the student is registered with the Office of Student Disability Services and informs the faculty member of the determined reasonable accommodations. Students are not required to disclose the nature of the disability to the instructor, only the need for accommodations.
Confidentiality and University Records
Disability-related information is kept strictly confidential even after the student has left the University. A student’s status as registered with SDS will never appear on any University-generated transcript. This information will not be provided to graduate schools, to transfer Universities, or to potential employers. The student’s status will not be released to anyone for any reason (except as noted above) without the student’s written permission.
Confidentiality and Parents
Students enrolled at The University of Mississippi who are over the age of 18 are considered adults and as such their confidentiality is protected. No information, written or oral, will be released to other persons without the student’s written permission. We understand and are sensitive to the needs of parents regarding the emotional and educational condition of their children. As such, we have developed a release form that students can sign which allows us to speak with parents. Signing this form is completely voluntary and students may revoke their permission at any time by notifying this office in writing. Copies of the parental release form are available at the SDS office. Students should complete and sign this form in the presence of SDS staff.
Can I get some of my courses waived or substituted even if they are required for my degree?
The Office of Student Disability Services is not empowered to waive or substitute degree requirements. Any such requests should be made directly to the college or school in question. SDS may be contacted by the college or school in question to provide disability-related information, and we will gladly do this with the written permission of the student.
How can I get accommodations on my GRE, PRAXIS, GMAT, etc?
The Office of Student Disability Services will gladly complete relevant sections of accommodation applications for standardized tests which may be necessary for graduate education or professional certification. However, we cannot guarantee that the testing agency in question will provide the requested accommodations. Students should be aware that the documentation they submitted for accommodations through the Office of Student Disability Services may not be sufficient to qualify for accommodations on some standardized exams. Well before it becomes necessary to take one of these exams, students should research eligibility guidelines in order to avoid the last minute denial of accommodations.
Is my Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan from high school enough documentation to get accommodations?
While an IEP or a 504 Plan from the student’s high school can be helpful in showing what accommodations a student may have received in the past, it is not sufficient documentation to determine a student’s eligibility for accommodations at the post-secondary level. Students who have an IEP or 504 Plan from high school will be required to submit documentation as specified in our documentation guidelines.
Will SDS help manage and arrange my medication while I’m a student at The University of Mississippi?
The Office of Student Disability Services does not provide assistance with the management of medication. Students are STRONGLY encouraged to contact Student Health Services for assistance if there are concerns about medication or prescriptions for medication. Please contact Student Health Services at (662) 915-7274.
Is there a special orientation session for new students with disabilities?
New freshman and transfer students with disabilities attend the same orientation sessions as do non-disabled students. In addition, incoming students with disabilities will register for their first semester of classes using the same process as all other incoming students.
If an incoming student believes that his or her disability should be considered while registering for classes, that student should disclose the disability to his or her assigned academic advisor.
If you are an incoming student or the relative of an incoming student who may require accommodations during orientation please contact the Orientation Office at (662) 915-1185.
How will my instructors know that I have a disability and will need accommodations?
If direct classroom accommodations are recommended and the student chooses to use them, the student will be given an Instructor Notification of Classroom Accommodations form to give to each instructor. A new Notification form must be completed for each semester. Notification forms verify that the student is registered with SDS and informs the instructor of the determined reasonable accommodations.
The student is responsible for delivering the Instructor Notification of Classroom Accommodations form to faculty and instructors. Students SHOULD NOT hand the Instructor Notification forms to the instructors and then walk away. Students should meet with each instructor in order to discuss the approved accommodations and the implementation of those accommodations in each class.
When requested, instructors will be expected to assist in the provision of accommodations when reasonable and necessary. Instructors are not expected to compromise essential elements of the course or evaluation standards.
How can I get special parking on campus?
Arrangements for handicapped parking on the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus are not done through the Office of Student Disability Services.
Those students who are temporarily injured and may require special parking for a short period of time will be required to submit a doctor’s order requesting special parking to the Student Health Center. Students should contact the Student Health Center at (662) 915-7274 for more information.
Those students with permanent disabilities who may require handicapped parking access will be required to submit a copy of a state issued handicapped placard to the University Police Department. Students should contact Parking and Transportation Services for more information at (662) 915-7235.
Those who have questions about the location and availability of handicapped parking on campus should contact Becki Bressler, the ADA Coordinator, at (662) 915-7735.
I broke my arm/leg. Am I covered under ADA?
Although temporary injuries or illnesses are not covered as disabilities under the ADA or under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the University recognizes that such injuries/illnesses can occur during the school year and may adversely affect a student’s ability to fully participate in classes. Therefore, the Office of Student Disability Services may provide temporary accommodations to those students who have been injured or become seriously ill based on the availability of resources and service providers. Such accommodations must meet the same criteria as for permanent disabilities.
The completion of an intake application is necessary before accommodations can be provided. Documentation guidelines are similar to those that are required for other physical disorders. We require documentation from a licensed healthcare professional that clearly states the diagnosis, the functional limitations, the prognosis (specifically how long the accommodations will be necessary) and recommendations for academic accommodations.
Please be aware that the University cannot accommodate the inability to attend class. Accommodations are considered to be supplements to the classroom experience. They are not intended to replace regular classroom attendance and participation.
Where do I go if I need tutoring in one of my classes?
The Office of Student Disability Services does not have a tutoring program. Tutoring is considered to be a personal service and as such is not provided by this office. Students should contact individual departments regarding any tutoring they may provide. Tutoring information may also be found here. If a student is unable to locate a tutor through the above resources, the Office of Student Disability Services will attempt to locate one. We do not make any claims as to the ability and/or knowledge of tutors we may recommend.
I have a disability and will need assistance when I visit the Oxford campus. Who do I contact about making those arrangements?
This will depend upon the reason for your visit. If you will be on campus to attend a specific event or conference, you will contact the department or organization sponsoring the event. For instance, if you are on campus for Spring Visit Day or a prospective student tour, you will contact the Admission’s Office; if you are on campus for summer orientation, you will contact the Orientation Office; and so on. If you are unsure about who to contact regarding access during your visit, please call Becki Bressler, the ADA Coordinator, at (662) 915-7735.