Student Disability Services

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there a separate admissions process for students with disabilities?
  2. If I send information on my disability to the admissions office, am I automatically registered with Student Disability Services?
  3. Are students with disabilities allowed into every academic program and activity?
  4. If I register with Student Disability Services, will it show up on my permanent record?
  5. What is considered a disability?
  6. Will a high school Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan provide sufficient documentation of a disability?
  7. How can I get documentation/evaluation for a learning disability or ADHD?
  8. Do accommodations give students with a learning disability or ADHD an unfair advantage?
  9. How do I get classroom accommodations?
  10. Are course substitutions or waivers allowed based on a disability?
  11. Do all students with disabilities get priority registration for classes?
  12. Is there a charge for e-text?
  13. If I sustain a temporary disability am I eligible for services?

Q. Is there a separate admissions process for students with disabilities?
A. No. Clemson University has a rigorous admissions process and regardless of the disability, a student must meet the same admissions criteria. A student is not asked about a disability; however, a student might wish to disclose that they have a disability to explain certain situations. For example, a student with a diagnosed learning disability that affects his or her language processing may have not completed the foreign language requirements for admissions. If all other requirements are met, disclosure of the learning disability may be used to review the application through an exceptions process.

Q. If I send information on my disability to the admissions office, am I automatically registered with Student Disability Services?
A. No. Disability information is highly confidential and not shared between offices without specific requests from the student. A student must meet with staff in Student Disability Services and self disclose with adequate documentation before accommodations can be provided.

Q. Are students with disabilities allowed into every academic program and activity?
A. Clemson University must provide access for students with disabilities to any program or activity provided to any student. A student with a disability must be otherwise qualified such as meeting the minimum grade point average, meeting technical standards, etc.

Q. If I register with Student Disability Services, will it show up on my permanent record?
A. No. What is considered a student's permanent record is maintained by the registrar's office and is completely separate from records maintained in Student Disability Services. Records are held in strict confidence, and information is released only on a "need to know" basis with written permission from the student.

Q. What is considered a disability?
A. As defined by the Americans with Disability Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a disability is a mental, physical or emotional impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

  • Physical, mental or emotional impairment means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine; "mental impairment" means any psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
  • Substantially limits means 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; the availability of some mitigating measure (such as a hearing aid for someone with a hearing loss that brings hearing acuity within normal limits) is not to be considered when determining if the disability substantially limits the individual.
  • Major life activity means functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.

Q. Will a high school Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan provide sufficient documentation of a disability?
A. No. Although the IEP and 504 Plan is valuable information used to discuss appropriate accommodations, documentation from a licensed professional is necessary. Guidelines for documentation of a learning disability or ADHD can be found within our website.

Q. How can I get documentation/evaluation for a learning disability or ADHD?
A. Student Disability Services and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) have a list of local professionals who can test students for LD or ADHD. They can also offer suggestions on how to locate a professional in your local area. CAPS does provide these evaluations on a limited basis and there is usually a waiting list.

Q. Do accommodations give students with a learning disability or ADHD an unfair advantage?
A. No. Accommodations are based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment. The purpose is to provide the student with an environment to obtain information and demonstrate mastery of the information being tested by minimizing or eliminating the impact of the disability. Accommodations are to level the playing field, not provide unfair advantage.

Q. How do I get classroom accommodations?
A. Students meet with Student Disability Services staff to review documentation and establish appropriate accommodations. To ensure consistent, appropriate accommodations students are to provide each faculty member an AAL developed with Disability Services staff that will outline accommodations usually allowed. Students meet with faculty in their offices to discuss accommodations. Students do not have to disclose a specific disability; however, discussion on why an accommodation is needed is recommended. Faculty are asked to provide only the accommodations listed on the letter.

Q. Are course substitutions or waivers allowed based on a disability?
A. Course substitutions are allowed under strict circumstances with specific recommendation from the documentation. Course essential to student's major will not be considered for substitution.

Q. Do all students with disabilities get priority registration for classes?
A. No. Priority registration for students with disabilities is to allow for accommodations only. For example, if a student has a mobility impairment or needs extra time on a test due to a learning disability, priority registration is provided to allow appropriate scheduling. It is not automatic, nor does it continue if a student no longer needs the accommodation.

Q. Is there a charge for e-text?
A. There is no charge for scanning your books. However, often we must cut up your book to scan it. Should you desire to get your book re-bound, we have a list of places in the area to refer you to get your books re-bound.

Q. If I sustain a temporary disability am I eligible for services?
A. Although temporary disabilities are not covered under ADA /504, services may be provided on an as-needed basis. Personal care such as transportation cannot be provided. However, services such as scribes can be provided as well as instruction on how to use the accessible Clemson Area Transit System.