Aurora University

Frequently Asked Questions for New Students

When should I apply to the Disability Resource Office?
You should self-identify and submit your request as soon as possible after being accepted to the university to ensure appropriate time to review, process, and arrange for accommodations.

Why do I need to provide documentation?
The ADA states, “…validate the need for services based on an individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting.” Current documentation allows us to better understand the barriers that may exist in a collegiate setting. Proper documentation is needed to develop an accommodation plan for you moving forward.

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.

Will my IEP or 504 Plan follow me to Aurora 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 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for elementary and secondary school.

I am transferring from another college; will I automatically receive the same accommodations?
No. Documentation review decisions are made independently at every institution.

Is it ever too late to request accommodations?
You may submit documentation and request accommodations at any time, but decisions do not have an effect on work already completed. Accommodations move forward and are not retroactive. Not all accommodations can be immediately implemented; for example, you may be approved for an accommodation but that type of housing is not available. Grades previously determined will not be amended.

What are some of the accommodations offered at Aurora University?
Every student is unique, so accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis after appropriate documentation is submitted and the barriers and needs identified. AU is committed to ensuring access to learning. Some examples are sign-language interpreters, alternative format textbooks, audio recording lectures, assistive technology, and a distraction-reduced testing environment.

Do I request an accommodation directly from my instructor?
No. At Aurora University, the Disability Resource Office is the designated office to review, approve, and coordinate all accommodations.

Who informs my instructors about my accommodations?
Once approved for accommodations, the Disability Resource Office will send an email letter to your course instructors with the approved accommodations. Each letter is valid for one full academic year.

Confidentiality – Who has access to the documents I provide the Disability Resource Office?
Documentation submitted to the DRO is confidential information protected by FERPA and does not become part of a student’s permanent record.