General Questions

What is defined as a disability?

Disabilities can be physical, psychological, or learning related. A disability is defined as significantly limiting one or more major life activities.

I think I have a disability, but I have never been tested. What should I do?

Disability Services can help students by discussing the options available. Dickinson State University does not provide screening for disabilities, but the Disability Services Coordinator can present referrals for the student to get evaluated. Students are responsible for all testing and documentation costs.

Should I Disclose My Disability?

The decision to disclose a disability belongs only to the person with the disability. Disclosure is a very personal choice and should be done only after careful thought. If you have a disability, there are no requirements that you disclose your disability to anyone at any time, but in order to receive accommodations at work or in college, you must disclose.

Will I receive the same services that I received in high school?

Maybe, but not necessarily. High school special education programs are required by law to provide whatever service, help, or accommodation you need to be successful. Colleges and universities are required by law to provide “equal access to education” through programs, services, or extra help. Access is provided through reasonable accommodations. For example, services such as word banks or reduced assignments probably won’t be provided, because postsecondary schools don’t provide modifications that would change the educational standards of coursework.

What role do parents play in the process?

A student who is 18 years old or older is legally recognized as an adult. As an adult, the student must self-identify to Disability Services, request accommodations, and submit supporting documentation. Accommodation requests and disability documentation will only be accepted from the student, not from his or her parents. However, parents are a wonderful source of support and students are encouraged to have open communications with their parents or other significant family members.

DSU Accommodations

Can I visit with the Disability Services Coordinator while on a campus tour?

Yes. If you are planning to visit our campus as you select a university, inform your enrollment coach if you would like to speak with someone from Disability Services or if you will need any accommodations during the visit. Please note that you are not required to disclose your disability at any time. The decision to self-disclose a disability during the admission process is a student’s personal choice. Dickinson State University does not have a separate admissions process or criteria for students with disabilities. Disability documentation should be submitted directly to Disability Services.

Who decides what accommodations I can use at Dickinson State University?

The Disability Services Coordinator makes the final decision after reviewing your documentation and talking with you. Accommodations will be based on how the disability interferes with access to the activity. Decisions regarding approved accommodations can be appealed using the grievance procedure.

If I am receiving accommodations at another college or university will I automatically get the same accommodations at Dickinson State University?

Maybe, but not necessarily. Each university may have different guidelines related to documentation and what constitutes a reasonable accommodation. Upon transfer to Dickinson State University, information from a previous school is helpful but it is still necessary for Disability Services to review your documentation and determine what is reasonable at our institution. 

Can I receive a failing grade for a class in which I am receiving accommodations?

Yes. Accommodations ensure “access,” not necessarily “success.” If you are struggling in a course, we recommend speaking with your academic or faculty advisor about your options for continuation in the course and/or other resources, such as tutoring.

Does being registered with Disability Services impact my academic record?

No. Being registered with Disability Services will not appear on students’ academic records.

Disability Services Application & Documentation 

How do I receive disability services at the Dickinson State University?

The registration process can be found here.

When do I need to apply for disability services?

The registration process should be started as soon as you have been notified of admission to Dickinson State University, or at least 60 days prior to the start of the semester for which you are registering, so that any accommodations you may need can be arranged.

Where can I send my disability documentation?

Disability Support Services

291 Campus Drive

Dickinson, ND 58601

Fax: (701) 483-2942
Note: please include a cover letter when faxing and indicate that the material is confidential.

Note: documentation accepted via email must be sent directly from the medical provider. 

Will my IEP or 504 Plan follow me to Dickinson State University?

No. The IEP or 504 Plan developed by your high school will not follow you to college, but the rights and protections under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply. Section 504 is civil rights legislation and provides two things: (1) nondiscrimination on the basis of disability and (2) an equal opportunity to participate. The concept of “maximizing success” is only found under IDEA for elementary and secondary school. 

Can I use my IEP or 504 Plan for documentation of my disability?

Maybe, but not necessarily. If your IEP or 504 Plan contains the necessary information, it will be accepted as documentation. Please see the Documentation Guidelines for appropriate documentation.