Accommodations in higher education enable a qualified student with a disability equal access to the university’s programs, courses, services, and activities. Providing accommodations does not compromise the essential elements of a course or program, nor do they weaken academic standards. Accommodations provide an alternative way to accomplish requirements by eliminating or reducing disability-related barriers and providing a level playing field.
Through an interactive process, DSS works closely with the student and faculty, as appropriate, to implement accommodations. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and may include priority registration, testing accommodations and use of the Testing Services Center, note-taking assistance, interpreting services, alternate formats for print materials, assistive technology, para-transit registration and internship accommodations. DSS offers short-term help with organization and study skills, disability consultation and advocacy assistance, and help with course load and selection. DSS also provides information and referral services, such as how to obtain diagnostic testing and tutoring.
In reviewing the accommodation requested by the student or recommended by an evaluator, DSS may need to consult with faculty and/or may find that the accommodation is not appropriate given the requirements of a course or program. DSS may propose an alternative accommodation that would be appropriate for the student, but which neither the student nor evaluator has requested.
Eligibility for accommodations is established through a variety of information sources, including the student’s self-report, observation and interaction with the student, previous accommodations received and the particular accommodations requested, the unique characteristics of a course or program, as well as documentation from external sources, such as psychologists, educational professionals and health care providers.
If you are a veteran entering or returning to college, you may not realize that you could be eligible for accommodations through DSS. DSS and the Military & Veterans Center at Towson University collaborate to provide veterans with information about DSS and how we can assist you. It's possible that your ability to learn may have changed, even if you did not experience learning difficulties prior to your military service. Or, you may now have a physical or medical condition that impacts your ability to have equal access to the educational environment.
Registering with DSS is voluntary and strictly confidential. You can initiate the process by phoning 410-704-2638 or you can submit a DSS application.
A DSS study compared the difference in first semester GPAs between freshmen who used accommodations and freshmen who did not. The difference was significant. The average GPA of DSS students using accommodations was a 3.05 (B grade), as compared to a 2.50 (C+ grade) for DSS students not using accommodations.