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Student Accessibility Services

Parent Information

A Note to Parents

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) understands that parents have been closely involved in planning their student’s educational goals, experiences and accommodations for many years. As a student enters college, it is important for them to manage their disability, needs and responsibilities. Only the most extreme circumstances, such as those that seriously threaten the health of the student, allow for direct parental or familial involvement.

Students may sign a consent form in the SAS office that allows SAS to communicate with their parents on the student’s behalf; even with this form signed, SAS will only discuss information with parents in the presence of the student. In the spirit of the “nothing about us without us” disability identity mantra, SAS communicates with the student as the consumer of SAS services and resources.


SAS welcomes a partnership with parents and will promise respectful communication and expect the same in return. SAS staff have the right to a calm and respectful environment that facilitates productive conversation.

a male freshman student and parent speaks with an orientation ambassador

Helping Your Student Advocate

As a parent, you can play a crucial role in encouraging your student to request accommodations in college. The following list should be considered while you support your student with the process:

  1. Encourage self-advocacy: You can help your student develop self-advocacy skills, which will be essential for navigating the accommodations process in college. This includes discussing the impact of disability with your student, so the student is prepared to articulate their needs, communicate with professors and SAS staff, and take responsibility for following through on accommodations.

  2. Gather documentation: Students will typically need to provide documentation of their disability to Student Accessibility Services in order to request accommodations. You can review SAS documentation guidelines with your student and help gather the necessary documentation.

  3. Offer emotional support: The transition to college can be challenging for any student. As a parent, you can offer emotional support to your student and encourage them to seek out resources on campus that may help them succeed in college.

  4. Know the laws and regulations: Parents should be familiar with the laws and regulations that protect students with disabilities in higher education, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, referenced on our transitioning to college page. These laws require colleges to provide accommodations to students with disabilities to ensure that they have equal access to education.

Behaviors to Avoid

While you play an important role in supporting your student with a disability during the transition from high school to college, there are some behaviors you should avoid:

  1. Speak for your student: You should avoid speaking for your student during the college application process or when requesting accommodations. It's important for students to develop self-advocacy skills and learn how to communicate their needs effectively. 

  2. Do everything for your student: While it's natural to want to protect and support your student, it's important to avoid doing everything for them. Students need to develop independence, resiliency and self-management skills within the college environment. 

  3. Ignore your student's wishes: Avoid ignoring your student's wishes in the college selection process or accommodations. It’s important to respect the student’s autonomy, listen to their needs and work collaboratively to determine the student’s best course of action. 

Parent FAQ

Should my student indicate disability when they submit an application to the University?

Student Accessibility Services is not involved in the university admissions process, and we cannot help your student become admitted. Once admitted to the university, students are encouraged to follow processes outlined about how to become registered with SAS and we will be delighted to begin discussions with your student about their requested accommodations once they matriculate.

Disability is not considered in the admissions process; however, some students may choose to share information related to disabilities in admissions essays at their own discretion. Any information sent to the Offices of Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions about disability will not be forwarded.

University Admission Questions

Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School with questions about admission to Clemson University.

Student Accessibility Services
Student Accessibility Services | Suite 239, Class of ’56 Academic Success Center Building, 836 McMillan Rd. Clemson, SC 29634