What You Need to Know About Disability Services

Hello Penn Staters!

Did you know that World Campus has support services for students with disabilities? There are often many questions and concerns about the services offered, so I thought I would spend some time addressing three of the most common ones.

Question 1: Is information about my disability available on my student record? Who will know that I have a disability?

All interactions and documents collected are strictly confidential and are not part of your student record. Only those on a “need to know basis” will be made aware that you seeking accommodations. Also, note that all your disability information and the functional limitation of your disability are kept confidential. This information will not be shared without your consent.

Question 2:  I have a disability, what kind of accommodations can I receive?

We provide accommodations to level the playing field, in other words, provide equal access to education. The accommodation is meant to decrease or eliminate the barriers due to a disability. The reasonable accommodation is based on the functional limitations, not the disability.

Question 3: When should I contact my Disability Contact Liaison (DCL)?

As soon as you are admitted/enroll or the functional limitation occurs! Keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive. If you are behind two or three weeks in your coursework and are looking for accommodations in order to catch up, the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 does not work this way.

This is meant to be a proactive approach to provide equal access to education. However, if you are behind, please do not hesitate to disclose this. Although ADAA does not work retroactively, it may help you in the future. If you have questions on this matter, please feel free to contact Terry Watson, World Campus Disability Contact Liaison.

For more information about Disability Services at Penn State, please visit the Office for Disability Services webpage.