​I have many questions about topics including registration as a student with a disability, available accommodations, attendance, 504 plans, IEP's, etc. Where will I find the answers to these questions?

We recognize that college is a new environment and a time of transition for the student and parent. Because college focuses on the student, these types of questions are addressed for the student on our website. Please encourage your student to read our Frequently Asked Questions in the Students section. You may also choose to view them there.

What is my role as a parent who has a college student with a disability at CMU?

Students need the support, but not the control of parents and other family members. Appropriate parental involvement must take place within the boundaries set by law, by good sense and by keeping the long term best interest of the emerging young adult in mind. Such involvement as it relates to University life most often involves advising and encouraging the college life from the sidelines. Only the most extreme circumstances, such as those that seriously threaten the health of the student, allow for direct parental involvement.

I have heard that my student can sign a waiver that will allow me to speak with staff at CMU. Is this true?

A college student at CMU can sign a waiver giving staff permission to share information with parents. However, you should know that Student Disability Services staff requires that the student handle any matters related to our office, including registration and accommodations. We do not work with the parent in place of the student. 

What is my student’s role as a college student with a disability at CMU?

Any student's role is to successfully transition into an independent adult. We know that students with disabilities face the same challenges as every college bound young adult plus the challenges related to limitations imposed by disabilities. However, their role still remains to successfully transition into an independent adult. The time for dependence is coming to a close. Therefore:

  • We do nothing about the student, without the student” – Any action regarding access to services, seeking special assistance or providing reasonable accommodation must be initiated by the student.
  • “We speak with the student, not about the student” – All communication in any matter related to the student flows through the student.
  • “No one speaks for the student, or acts for the student but the student” – We look to the student to express their needs, provide us with information that will help us assist them, and keep in contact with us.
  • Federal Law requires this. University policies require this. But most importantly, our desire to provide students with the best service in this time of transition requires this.

In high school, teachers keep me informed of how my son or daughter is doing in classes. Will a professor contact me if my student is having difficulties in class?

In college, students are to know how they are doing and to seek assistance if they are having problems. The college is not permitted to release information about a student's academic progress.

Can I speak with a staff member about my student's schedule, so that I can help them plan the semester?

In college, students are expected to do their own planning. This includes deciding which degree program to enroll in, and which courses to take each semester. Staff members do not consult with parents about a student's schedule.