Students taking a stroll on campus
Disability Support Services
Welcome! Our staff is committed to helping you succeed at Oakwood University. We provide services for emotionally, physically and learning impaired students. Our goal is to assist students in developing the necessary skills to succeed at this institution.
Students seeking accommodations or support services from Disability Support Services are required to register with the office.
Disability Services empowers students with disabilities to realize their academic and personal potential by facilitating equal access and coordinating accommodations and support services for eligible students. This approach is consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and places an emphasis on a student’s ability and independence.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have a documented disability. How do I receive academic adjustments? What will I need in order to receive academic accommodations?
In order to receive academic accommodations, you must present appropriate documentation to the Disability Support Services (DSS) office. You will also need to complete a registration form. The DSS team will determine what services you may be eligible to receive. Services will be determined based on documentation, discussions with faculty, if necessary, and the course in question.
What if I require academic adjustments during a test?
If appropriate documentation has been presented that demonstrates a need for academic testing adjustments, there are a couple of options. They include: possible testing accommodations, extended time and/or a distraction-reduced environment in which to take the test. Before the test, the student will need to consult with either their professor or the DSS office to find out where the test will take place. If tests are to be taken in the Disability Support Services, the student is responsible for setting up the test time. We require two days’ notice to schedule an exam. A class syllabus can be used to schedule the entire semester’s test dates with the DSS office. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they are ontime for the test and cancel if needed. We are an extension of the classroom and their rules do apply. The professor is responsible for making sure the test arrives at the testing place before the appointed time.
I think I may have a learning disability or Attention Deficit Disorder. Where can I go to get tested?
There are several private psychologists and psychiatrists who can do this type of testing. Ask your doctor if they can recommend one, or look for a local doctor who will suit your needs. If, however, you are unable to locate professionals in your area, there are a number of psychiatrists/psychologists in the Huntsville area that will be able to assist you. Please note that testing will be at your expense.
If I have a disability or temporary injury that makes it difficult for me to take notes, can you provide a note taker?
It will be your responsibility to discuss with your professors possible accommodations to address your limitations and also to make arrangements to get notes from a classmate. In the event that this is not possible, DSS will communicate with the appropriate professors to make accommodations that will be in your best interest. It is also your responsibility to make sure that documentation addressing your injury or disability is received in our office no later than 48 hours so that the necessary steps can be put in place in a timely manner.
What if I have broken my leg and just need accessible parking on a temporary basis?
In this case, a letter from a doctor may be sufficient to get a temporary accessible parking permit. If a permit is needed for more than one semester, you will need to get a placard or license plate from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Disability Services Confidentiality Policy
Student Disability Files are kept separate from academic files and are stored in a secure location within the Health and Counseling Services. The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34CFR, Part 99) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and records maintained by Oakwood University Disability Support Services. According to this act, prior written consent by the student is required before our DSS office may release disability documentation or records to anyone. An exception is made in unusual circumstances, such as the case of health and safety emergencies.
Register with Disability Support Servicers
Registering with Disability Support Services is not the same as registering for university. When you register to attend the university, you will not be asked if you have a disability and no information will be sent to our office regarding your registration. You apply for admission to the university prior to applying for services with the Disability Support Services.
Step one – submit all of the following
- An application form
- Provide documentation on your disability (Documentation needs to be from a qualified professional)
- A list of services provided in high school and/or other schools attended (Individual Education Plan from high school or letter of services used from previous colleges attended) may be helpful but this is not considered proper documentation.
Step two – schedule an interview
Once all documentation materials have been received and reviewed, you will need to schedule an interview with Disability Support Services director.
Submit forms to
Oakwood University Disability Support Services
7000 Adventist Blvd.
Huntsville Al 35819
It is the student’s right and responsibility to disclose their disability to the Disability Support Services in order to receive the accommodations that they need. Please click here for more information regarding the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities.
The DSS utilizes discretion and flexibility in determining how accommodations will be provided on a case-by-case basis. The intake process is conducted in a structured interview between an individual and the DSS staff to explore previous experiences, past accommodations, and determining what has been effective or ineffective in providing accommodations.
Any documentation provided will assist in the determination of appropriate accommodations. The DSS reserves the right to request additional documentation in order to determine appropriateness of reasonable accommodations. Documentation relating to disabilities will be regarded with the highest confidentiality and is maintained by the Disability Support Services.
Please note the following:
- A particular accommodation request does not guarantee that it will be granted if it is deemed not reasonable or other suitable techniques are available.
- Prior receipt of accommodations in high school for example, does not guarantee receipt of the same accommodations at Oakwood University.
- Missing paperwork may result in a delay of reviewing the requests for accommodations.
For more information regarding your rights in secondary education, please refer to: US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
According to the National Association of American with Disability Act (ADA) Coordinators, “To be eligible for services, students with disabilities must identify themselves and present professional documentation to the Disability Support Services”.
Unlike in high school, where it is the responsibility of the administrators and educators to identify students with disabilities, in higher education it is the student’s responsibility to self-identify.
Disability Support Services Feedback
Office of Health and Counseling Services
Phone: (256) 726-7840
Fax: (256) 726-7471