The Ultimate Guide to Disability Accommodations in College

It’s that time of the year again – when college students magically transform their lives into tiny boxes and haul them off to their cozy 8x8 college dorm rooms. But worry not. Setting up accommodations at college can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be difficult. I’m gonna share a step by step about where to start based on my experience at The University of Tampa.

1: A Friendly Chat with Your Doc
First things first, have a an open conversation with your doctor. Get a note from them outlining the disability accommodations that could make your college life a breeze. This is just a baseline – not all colleges may ask for it, but having it handy can give you that extra boost of confidence.

2: Ask for the World, Just in Case 
If you're dealing with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or other autoimmune challenges, life can be like a roller coaster ride. For me, I spent most of my time in college in remission or at least had very low disease activity. But for when I ended up flaring up it was always nice to have my accommodations in my corner. Don’t wait for the flare to come, get them set up now so they’re ready for you. You'll start at the Student Disability Center, Academic Success Center, Student Services, or some sort of office like that (every college has different names)!

3: My Accommodation Wishlist

Let's talk about your wish list – accommodations edition.

  • A computer for exams: Especially for those essay questions where typing beats handwriting any day.
  • Extra time on exams: This gave me time to complete scantrons or write if necessary
  • Living on campus was a game-changer: saving me from the daily commute hustle.
  • Access to a note taker if needed: Whether my hands were swollen and flaring or I missed a class due to an unexpected flare-up or a doctor's appointment, having notes was a lifesaver.
  • Laptop in class: Most colleges and professors allow for a laptop in class to take notes but I had that written as well

4: Early Bird Conversations
Picture this: it's the start of the semester, and you're confidently strolling up to your professor like a seasoned pro. Why? Because you've got your accommodations sorted! No need for frantic explanations when you need assistance or have to miss a class. The earlier you can talk to your professor, the better. 

So there you have it – my ultimate guide to orchestrating disability accommodations at college. Remember, these accommodations are your personal allies in this new world. They're like the co-pilot on your educational journey, ensuring you navigate the skies smoothly.

Just remember to consult your doctor, tailor your accommodations for success, and have that chat with your professors right from the start.

Now go conquer that college journey! 🎓

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