Student Disability Services (SDS) provides academic and housing accommodations for CMU students with permanent or temporary disabilities who choose to register with ou office.  Students are encouraged to register as early as possible, as accommodations are not retroactive.  The SDS office is in Park Library, Suite 120.

The registration process includes:
1. Submitting an accommodation request form online at
2. Providing medical documentation from a qualified professional
3. Having a conversation with SDS staff about the request and accommodations

Central Michigan University has an online "Accommodating Disabilities" course for employees. You will receive an email from Tom Masterson on behalf of the Accessibility and Disability Advisory Council (ADAC) with instructions on how to login and complete this.

Please visit the Student Disability Services Website for more information on services and accommodations and we encourage you to review the section dedicated to faculty.

Students with Disabilities and the Classroom

Type of Disabilities

Not all disabilities are visible and some disabilities are erratic in nature.
  • Mobility – individuals utilizing wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches
  • Sensory – individuals who cannot use one of the five senses: usually vision or hearing
  • Systemic – chronic illness or disease
  • Learning – a disability that affects one specific area of learning or functioning
  • Psychiatric – a disorder which affects mood or perception
  • Traumatic Brain Injury – a significant injury to the brain
All accommodations and adjustments are determined on an individual one-on-one basis. Students may qualify for an accommodation early in their collegiate career but may no longer need that accommodation as they mature and learn to self-accommodate and build relationships with their faculty members. Students with disabilities who have gone through the registration process with Student Disability Services will have documentation from the SDS office regarding their disability and accommodation. Graduate Assistants should refer students who do not have this documentation but speak to you about a “disability” directly to Student Disability Services.
Confidentiality must be maintained at all times even if the student discloses in front of others their disability. Encourage the student(s) to speak with you privately regarding their disability and reasonable accommodations. Do not speak about these in front of others. Student Disability Services can work directly with the graduate assistant on a need to know basis and with the student’s permission.

The Basics

Attendance Policy and Absences.

Class lectures, discussions, demonstrations and all other associated educational experiences are critical to the learning process. It is the expectation of the university that students attend and arrive on time to all class, laboratory, shop, practicum, and clinical experience sessions. Students are responsible for accounting to their instructors any absence and should contact the faculty member following any absence to determine if and when work may be made up. Habitual tardiness may, at the discretion of the instructor, be considered in computing attendance.

Each instructor has the right to determine their own individual attendance policy.

If a student exceeds the number of absences allowed in the course syllabus, an instructor has the right to drop you from the class. Instructors who have received a Notification to Instructor accommodation letter stating that a student with a disability has a medical condition which may affect attendance is not required, by law, to waive the attendance requirements. The statement is merely to inform the instructor that the absence(s) may be related to symptoms or treatment of the condition. If a medical condition may significantly affect attendance, it is imperative that this possibility be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible.

Graduate Assistants should:

  • Hold students to the same standards as their classmates
  • Ask students about their strengths and difficulties
  • Incorporate Universal Design into your teaching
  • Ask questions and use the support available to you
  • Provide reasonable accommodations as outlined in the accommodation letter
  • Disability Etiquette
    • Speak to and look at the student not the sign language interpreter
    • Do not pet or touch an assistive animal while it is working
  • Call SDS if you have any questions! (989) 774-3018


Universal Design
Association on Higher Education and Disability(AHEAD)
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