For Students...

  • How is college different from high school with regard to services for students with disabilities?
    • There are several differences that students should be aware of. Please see How College is Different from High School.
  • Are 504 Plans and IEP accepted for use in documentation of a disability at the college level?
    • 504 Plans and IEP's are not considered to be acceptable documentation, however, this information is useful in understanding prior academic experiences of the student. Testing used to document a disability may be considered if current (usually within three years) and administered by a professional, and if such testing and evaluation meet guideline requirements and are deemed adequate to the College in documenting a substantially limiting physical or mental impairment.
  • Will I receive the same accommodations that I received in high school?
    • Requested accommodations must be consistent with the College's academic goals and standards. Accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis, based upon individual student's requests. Therefore, accommodations may vary, are required to be reasonable, and are subject to the current needs of the student. Students should not assume that accommodations provided in high school will be provided in college.
  • When do I contact Central Michigan University about my disability?
    • Upon matriculation, students receive information regarding the procedure for disclosure. Students should contact the Office of Disability Support Services as soon as possible.
  • What is considered to be acceptable documentation?
    • Documentation must be current, it varies depending on the disability, and is outlined in the "Documentation Guidelines". Central Michigan University reserves the right to determine the adequacy of submitted documentation.
  • I have a disability but no current documentation. What should I do?
    • The Office of Student Disability Services can assist students in obtaining the documentation necessary by conducting an initial screening and then referring students to a local practitioner if necessary.
  • What types of classroom accommodations are considered?
    • Typical accommodations depend on the disability and include, but are not limited to, extended time on tests, alternative (distraction-reduced) testing location, note takers, scribes, tutors, recorded materials, large print materials, etc.
  • I think I have a disability that interferes with my academic performance but I have never been tested. What do I do?
    • Student Disability Services can assist students in obtaining the documentation necessary by conducting an initial screening and then referring students to a local practitioner if necessary.
  • Is there special advising available for students with disabilities?
    • Yes, you may contact any of the staff of Student Disability Services, work with your content area advisor, work with staff in Academic Success Centers in the residence halls or work with the staff of Academic Assistance and Advising.
  • Are housing accommodations available?
    • Yes, upon matriculation, students should complete their housing and meal plan registration on-line. At that time students will be asked if they have any special considerations for their housing needs. Additional documentation supporting special requests will be necessary. Documentation may be submitted to Student Disability Services.
  • If I have a handicapped sticker on my car, do I need to buy a CMU Parking Permit?
    • Any vehicle parked on Central Michigan University streets or property by a Central Michigan University student, faculty member, staff member, resident of a University housing unit, visitor or vendor, must be registered with the CMU Police Department. There must be displayed on such vehicle the permit or permits received on such registration. In order to legally park in an accessible (or "handicapped") space, a vehicle must additionally display either (a) a State of Michigan certificate of identification or special automobile registration plates issued for the handicapped under the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code; or (b) a similar certificate of identification or special automobile registration plates issued by another state.

      Be aware that Michigan law states that hanging placards can be displayed from the rearview mirror only when the vehicle is parked. It is illegal for the placard to be hanging from the rearview mirror when the vehicle is being driven. Any questions about parking and permits can be answered by the CMU Police Department Parking Services division, 989-774-3083.


For Parents...

  • 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 under the “Student Wanting to Register with OSDS” links. 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 son or daughter 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 son or daughter’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 his/her needs, provide us with information that will help us assist him/her, 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 son or daughter'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.
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