Register with Disability Services
It is the student's responsibility to self-identify as a student with a disability. The student receives information during the admission process regarding the availability of services at Penn State. The student may also be referred by staff, faculty, parents or others at any time throughout the student's educational experience. Complete and submit the Information Request Form for additional information.
- The disability counselor requests appropriate documentation regarding the student's disorder. The student is provided written information as to the specific documentation requirements and process for coordination of services. Students should submit their documentation to Disability Services at the Health & Wellness Center. Documentation must be completed by the appropriate clinical professional and contain information related to diagnosis, objective testing and/or psycho-educational evaluations, define severity of functional limitations, and provide recommended academic accommodations.
- An intake meeting is scheduled between the disability services counselor and the student. During the intake interview, the student's condition and functional limitations are discussed, services are explained, the student's rights and responsibilities are reviewed, and the student signs an information release form.
- Once documentation is provided, it is reviewed and evaluated. A documentation review board reviews the documentation to determine eligibility under the ADA. The board consists of disability specialists, psychologists, medical professionals, and other assigned staff. The Board determines if:
- The documentation meets Penn State's guidelines for appropriate documentation.
- The student's condition meets the criteria for having a disability under the ADA. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
- If the student's disorder is determined by the documentation review board to meet the definition of a disability, then a determination will be made regarding reasonable accommodations.
- The determination for reasonable accommodations is an interactive process between the student, the disability counselors, the provider of the documentation, and if necessary, in collaboration with the student's instructor. Once reasonable accommodations are determined, the student's counselor drafts an accommodation letter specific to each course in which the student is enrolled. Recommended accommodations may vary for each course based on the specific design and requirements of the course.
- Students are required and responsible for presenting accommodations letters to faculty when requesting needed services and accommodations.
Welcome to the Disability Services at Penn State Altoona. At Penn State, we are committed to providing a welcoming, encouraging, and empowering environment for students with disabilities to ensure equal access, full participation and reasonable accommodations for their academic pursuits. Disability Services is responsible for coordinating support services, reasonable academic accommodations, and promoting disability awareness in the university community. I encourage you to consider participation on the Penn State Altoona Disability Services Advisory Board if you would like to have a more active role in enhancing the services to students at Penn State Altoona who receive services. Please contact Dr. Joy Himmel at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.