Governors State University believes education should be accessible to everyone. If you have a temporary health issue or a permanent disability, Access Services for Students with Disabilities is here to support you and help meet your individual needs.

We provide academic and technical assistance to students and work closely with faculty to facilitate access in the learning environment. We provide students with temporary or permanent disabilities, reasonable accommodations and services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.



    We work with the campus community to create accessible and inclusive environments for all our students. Sometimes there may be elements in a class that make it difficult to participate or to show your true knowledge. If that is the case, that's when we can be the academic support you need. You can start by registering with us. This is a three step process:

    1. Contact our office by email:, by phone 708.235.3968 or in person, Room B1215 in the Academic Resource Center.
    2. Set up an appointment that is convenient for you to assess your specific needs and determine the appropriate accommodations for you.
    3. Provide documentation that verifies your disability and supports your diagnosis. Please bring the documentation you have on hand and we'll let you know if we need additional information



    • Extended Time on Tests
    • Reduced Distraction Testing area/room
    • Recording of Lecture
    • American Sign Language Interpreters
    • Captioning
    • Textbooks in Alternative format
    • Reader
    • Scribe
    • Accessible seating arrangements



    GSU is committed to providing all students equal access to university programs and facilities. Students who need accommodations based on disability should contact the Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities (ASSD).  Students must register with ASSD before faculty are required to provide appropriate accommodations. For more information or to register, please contact the Director of ASSD, Room B1215 or or 708-235-3968. To ensure that learning needs are met, contact ASSD the first week of classes.



    Robin Sweeney, Director of Student Disabilities is responsible for arranging and administering all testing accommodations for students with disabilities.  You must notify your instructor and contact Robin ONE WEEK in advance to receive testing accommodations. It is your responsibility to inform the instructor and set up a testing time.  Teresa can be contacted at 708-235-3968 or email at Please note the procedures below:

    Disability Testing Accommodation Procedures

    • A student must first establish his/her status as a person with a disability by submitting documentation (medical, neuropsychological, psychoeducational, etc.) to the Director of Disability Services.
    • Extended time does not mean unlimited time or that the student has additional days to complete the exam. The exam must be completed on the same day as other students unless approved by the instructor and the Director of ASSD.
    • Students who request testing accommodations must notify instructors and the Testing Coordinator a MINIMUM of at least 1 week prior to the testing date to reserve a time.
    • Students are expected to arrive on time to their scheduled exam appointment.
    • Prior to entering the Testing Room, students are required to turn off cell phones, remove jackets, and leave all bags and books in student lockers provided in the Academic Resource Center.
    • NO walk-in testing allowed.
    • Students utilizing the Testing Room will be monitored during test-taking by two video surveillance cameras and the presence of a testing proctor.
    • Students may only leave the Testing Room to use the restroom in an emergency.  Departures from the Testing Room for any other purpose other than a restroom break will result in closure of the exam, dismissal from the Testing Room and an immediate return of the unfinished exam to the Testing Coordinator.
    • During Final Exam week testing space is limited, therefore notifying the Testing Coordinator early is crucial and arriving on time is necessary.  Latecomers will have to reschedule their exam time to another available appointment.
    • Testing times must coincide with the office hours of the Academic Resource Center and its staff.

    Legal Statement:

    In accordance with federal law, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Governors State University must provide reasonable exam accommodations to qualified students with a disability.  Exam accommodations are provided to minimize the impact of a disability by providing students an equal chance to demonstrate mastery of information.  Academic Access for Students with Disabilities (ASSD) is designated by the university to verify, determine, and provide appropriate accommodations for qualified students.  Student may establish this accommodation by submitting appropriate documentation to the Director of Disability Services.  Faculty are not responsible for determining exam accommodations; however they must comply with federal law by utilizing the ASSD exam service OR by providing the appropriate accommodation(s) independently to qualified students.  Faculty can verify student request for exam accommodations by contacting the Director of Disability Services by email: or by calling 708-235-3968.




    What constitutes a disability?

    A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.   Learning is an example of a major life activity.  If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.

    What does substantially limiting mean?

    According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.

    What is a major life activity?                                                                                                               

    According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

    What are academic adjustments/accommodations?

    Appropriate academic adjustments or accommodations create an equal access to education, as long as it doesn't require a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum. This is determined by the institution.


    What should I do if I have a disability and want to receive accommodations?

    If you have a disability, as determined by the ADA and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, that is impacting your academic performance, you will need to provide documentation of that disability to Access Services for Students with Disabilities. This documentation must be supplied by a qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. An appointment should be scheduled with the Coordinator of Student Disability Services to review the documentation and the need for services.

    How do I contact Access Services for Students with Disabilities?

    Access Services for Students with Disabilities is located in the Academic Resource Center (formerly Student Development).  The hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 – 5 p.m.  Students needing to register should contact the Student Disabilities Services Director, Robin Sweeney at 708.235.3968 or email:

    How do I register with Access Services for Students with Disabilities?
    To register with ASSD you will need to attend an assessment interview with the Student Disability Services Director. The purpose of the assessment interview is to determine what accommodations and support are appropriate for the student's tenure at GSU.

    Should I declare my disability?
    Deciding to disclose your disability is a personal decision. However, we strongly recommend that you inform us when you've been accepted at Governors State University.  This will enable us to address your individual support requirements. All information regarding your disability will be treated in strict confidence.

    What types of support/services are available?

    • Consultation with faculty on classroom and learning access accommodations
    • Coordination of alternative textbook format services
    • Coordination of supplementary reader, note taker, and sign language/CART services
    • Coordination of academic testing services including extended time testing and distraction reduced testing room
    • Referral to campus and community resources
    • Tutorial assistance in math and writing to all students through the Academic Resource Center

    For additional information regarding services offered by GSU's Academic Resource Center, please call 708.534.4090.




    High Schools


    Governors State University




    Applicable Laws

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)



    Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA Amendment Act 2008


    Section 504


    FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

    All of the information in the College section is applicable; below are additional pieces of information.


     (see Student Handbook)



    Enable student success

    Provide equal access

    Disability Services provides equal access; student success services available for all students




    Required Documentation

    Individual Education Plan (IEP)


    Section 504 plan


    School provides evaluation at no cost to student.


    School conducts triennial evaluation intervals.

    IEP and 504s are not applicable. Original documentation required from licensed professional; report must include diagnosis, testing results, and functional limitations. Testing must be current.

    Student must get evaluation at own expense.

    Student is not required to be re-tested after initial documentation approved.

    Documentation must meet Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) standards (

    IEPs and 504s from high school may be used as additional information.


    Written permission from the student must be granted for disability services office to speak with documentation provider.



    Parental Role

    School is required to include parents in process.


    Parents have access to student records.




    Parents advocate for student.

    College officials are precluded from including parents once student is enrolled (regardless of age).

    Parents do not have access to educational, disability or health-related records unless student provides written consent.

    Students advocate for themselves.

    Parents are urged to prepare their student for college by having the student self-identify, ask questions, and obtain information during the admission and enrollment process.

    Once enrolled, parents do not have access to any information about their student unless it is an emergency (or written consent has been provided)



    High Schools


    Governors State University




    Student Role

    Student is identified and supported by parents/teachers.


    Implementing accommodations is school's responsibility.

    Student must self-identify to the disabilities services (or other designated) office (even if parents contact the office first).

    Implementing accommodations is the student's responsibility.

    Student chooses whether or not to self-identify and/or use services.

    Once student comes forward, the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services office will explain policies, procedures, and philosophy to student







    Teachers/ Professors

    Modifications to curriculum and/or changes to the pace of assignments may be made. (Not for college credit classes, however.)

    Multi-sensory approaches used.

    Frequent testing, and graded assignments used.

    Attendance taken and reported.

    Modifications to curriculum are not required. Modifying essential components of courses and/or curriculum is not an option.

    Multi-sensory approaches may or may not be used. The frequency of tests and assignments varies.


    Attendance may or may not be taken; student is responsible for attending class.



    Group work is a frequent expectation.

    Classroom attendance is considered an essential component of the College curriculum. Students that miss class frequently, regardless of the reason, may encounter situations where faculty will not take the late work and may fail the student for lack of participation




    Grades may be modified based on curriculum.

    Grades reflect quality of work submitted.

    Grades determined by each course instructor and are usually stated in the syllabus. As stated above, attendance and participation are often components of the grade.






    Once a student (or parent of a prospective student) discloses a disability to a faculty or staff member (excluding Health and Counseling Services), the information is to be communicated to Disability Services (or the faculty-staff member encourages the student to contact the office)

    If the Director receives information regarding a disability from any source, the Director then tries to contact the student to let the student know of available resources.



    Feel free to contact Robin Sweeney, Director of Student Disability Services, by phone: 708-235-3968, or by email: Access Services for Students with Disabilities welcomes students, faculty and staff to contact us regarding any questions you have about the services we provide or how to implement disability accommodations. We are excited about the many new changes that are taking place at GSU and look forward to assisting you.