DEFINING A DISABILITY:
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 of Student Disability Services at 708.235.3968 or email: ASSD@govst.edu.
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.