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Student FAQs


What does the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) do?
The CDRs facilitates equal access for students with disabilities by coordinating accommodations and support services. The CDR works with graduate and undergraduate students with various types of disabilities including learning, physical, hearing, visual, psychological, and chronic medical conditions.

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What qualifies as a disability?
Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities. This is typically supported by a formal record of the impairment. "Impairment" is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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How do I register with the CDR?
Registration includes submission of both the Application for Accommodations and Services and disability documentation (see documentation guidelines). There are separate application forms for undergraduate and graduate students. (See Undergraduate Application for Accommodations & Services and Graduate Application for Accommodations & Services.) After review of a student's application and relevant documentation, CDR staff will meet with the student to discuss accommodations and services. The CDR works with students with various types of disabilities including learning, physical, hearing, visual, psychological, and chronic medical conditions.

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How do high school services differ from college disability services?

The following information is geared primarily toward families of undergraduate students. While much of the information is still relevant, please contact the CDR for further information on how you can support your graduate student.

In high school, teachers or other school personnel identified students who were in need of services, provided free assessments, and developed Individualized Educational Plans (IEP's) based on these assessments. These plans may have included a modified curriculum, specialized instruction, tutoring, academic accommodations, and other individualized services.

In contrast, post-secondary education requires students with disabilities to be much more self-directed about gaining access to the key accommodations they need. While K-12's emphasis is on ensuring students' success, post-secondary disability services is focused upon "leveling the playing field" for students with disabilities so that they have equal opportunity and equal access. With these important distinctions in mind, the following represent key features of the Center for Disability Resources at Illinois Institute of Technology.

  • Students must self identify to the CDR to request accommodations.
  • Students also must provide reasonable accommodations of their condition/disability. Colleges are not responsible for assessing or determining students' disability status or related needs. Colleges also have the right to set reasonable standards regarding the type of documentation needed / required and can further require that such documentation be current.
  • Higher education institutions, including IIT, review students' documentation and determine their disability-related needs for academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations.
  • Reasonable accommodations coordinated by the CDR for eligible students include extended time on exams, note taking services, textbooks and other materials in an alternate format, sign language interpretation, and transcription services.
  • Students are expected to follow the established procedures for receiving reasonable accommodations in order to maintain their eligibility for such accommodations.
  • The CDR consults with faculty and/or students' academic programs to ensure that accommodations do not modify the fundamental nature of these programs.

Please note: Individualized services and tutoring are not considered reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the two laws which govern the provision of accommodations at the college level.

Additional information about the differences between high school disability services and college disability services:
Going to College - http://www.going-to-college.org/
This website is full of information for students and parents to assist with the transition from high school to college.

Transition to College - http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html
This link from the Office for Civil Rights is a good place to start for answers to questions about the legal differences between high school disability services and college disability services.

Information for Parents - http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/parent-20070316.html
This link from the Office for Civil Rights provides information about how parents can assist their child with the transition to college.

College Affordability for Students with Disabilities -
http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/spotlight/affordable-colleges-for-students-with-disabilities/

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Where is the CDR located and what are its office hours?
IIT Center for Disability Resources
3424 S. State Street - 1C3-2
Chicago, Illinois 60616
disabilities@iit.edu
312.567.5744 voice
312.567.3845 fax
312.567.5135 TDD

Office hours are by appointment and generally occur Monday - Friday, between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. Please call or email  for an appointment.

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What are reasonable accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to policy, practice, and programs that "level the playing field" for students with disabilities and provide equal access to IIT's programs and activities. Examples include the administration of exams, note taking services, sign language interpretation, assistive technology, and coordination of accessible housing needs.

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How are reasonable accommodations determined?
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis after the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) considers both the student’s needs as described in their disability documentation and the technical academic standards of their course or program. Faculty members also have the opportunity to consult with the CDR on the final determination of accommodations for each of their courses and for each student. Some accommodations may be appropriate in one course or program, but not in another.

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I am a student with a disability who is taking IIT Online courses. Am I eligible for accommodations?
Students with disabilities enrolled in IIT Online courses are eligible for accommodations. In order to receive accommodations for a disability, please contact the Center for Disability Resources at disabilities@iit.edu or at 312.567.5744. You will need to submit documentation of your disability and speak with a staff member in the CDR to determine what accommodations are appropriate. Additional information about the CDR, services, and documentation guidelines can be found on this website. Advance planning is critical to ensuring that accommodations are provided in a timely manner.

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What are my rights?
Illinois Institute of Technology students with disabilities have the right to equal access to all programs, facilities, and resources offered by the university. Furthermore, they have the right to make self-directed decisions about their participation in all aspects of university life. With these principles in mind, the CDR works closely with IIT students with disabilities to ensure their equal access, to promote their independence, and to support them in the efforts to make informed academic and personal choices. More on Rights and Responsibilities.

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I'm having difficulty with a couple of my classes. Does the CDR provide tutoring?
The CDR offers a variety of support services to its students with disabilities, including individual consultation and skill building workshops that address time management and organizational skills. Additionally, the CDR will provide referrals to on- and off-campus services. For tutoring, please visit IIT¹s Academic Resource Center (ARC) at http://arc.iit.edu/.

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I'm concerned about my privacy. What is your policy on confidentiality?
The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and records maintained by the CDR. Under this federal act, prior written consent by the student is required before the CDR may release disability documentation or records, except under very specific circumstances. For further information, please refer to the CDR Confidentiality Policy.

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Because of my disability, I have special housing needs. How can I make arrangements for special housing?
In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Illinois Institute of Technology provides reasonable housing accommodations to students with disabilities. For students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in IIT’s traditional housing arrangements, accommodations are provided.

Students applying for housing accommodations must follow the university’s application procedures for housing http://www.housing.iit.edu/.  In addition to the standard application process, students must also submit a Disability Housing Accommodations Request Form and required disability documentation (see documentation guidelines) to the CDR for consideration of their requests.

Disability Housing Accommodations Procedures and Guidelines

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How do I get a job with the CDR?
The Center for Disability Resources hires students for a variety of positions, including note-takers, exam proctors, readers, research assistants, and office assistants. To apply for one of these positions send your resume and cover letter (including the position desired) to: disabilities@iit.edu.

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