Question: What is Disability Services and what do they do?
Answer: Disability Services (DS) is a department at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi under the Division of Student Engagement and Success, that is dedicated to providing services to students with documented permanent or temporary disabilities. Our goal is to ensure equal access to all university programs. Our functions include but are not limited to proctoring tests, providing adaptive technology demonstrations, orientations, and consulting with university faculty and staff on disability-related matters.
Question: What constitutes a Disability?
Answer: As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a disability is a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. If any of the following exist: a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, then you may have a legally defined disability.
Question: What does "substantially limiting" mean?
Answer: According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, "substantially limiting" is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.
Question: What is a “major life activity”?
Answer: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, defines a major life activity as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
Question: What should I know when applying to Texas A&M University–Corpus–Christi and are there any special procedures?
Answer: When applying to TAMUCC, prospective students need to work with the Office of Recruitment & Admissions and follow their guidelines. There are no special admissions procedures. However, a student can apply to the Educational Testing Services for accommodation considerations when taking standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT. Contact the Educational Testing Services for further information. Address for: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Division of Participation and Success The Center for College Readiness P.O. Box 12788 Austin, TX 78711–2788 Registration with the DS office is a seperate procedure. Please contact the office for more information. Address for: Disability Services Texas A&M University Corpus Christi 6300 Ocean Drive, 116 Corpus Christi Hall, Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5717 Main Office: 361.825.5816
Question: What should I do if I suspect that I have a disability and want to receive accommodations?
Answer: If you suspect that you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, you will need to provide appropriate documentation of that disability from a qualified professional to the Disability Services Office (DS). The qualified professional must be licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. Documentation is required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in order to provide requested academic accommodations. An appointment for an intake should be scheduled with the DS office in order to go over the documentation and determine which accommodations are appropriate. See- How to Request and Receive Academic Accommodations
Question: What is “appropriate documentation"?
Answer: Acceptable documentation must reflect the following:
“Specific diagnoses supported by documentation”
“Current (in most cases, within three to five years)”
“Specific findings in support of all diagnoses including relevant history, tests administered, test scores (including subtest scores), test results, interpretation of and those test results”
“A description of the student’s functional limitations and how the limitations are directly related to the stated disabilities”
“Specific recommendations for accommodations for curriculum, instruction and testing, including an explanation of why these specific accommodations are needed”
“Documentation must be on a letterhead, typed, dated, and signed with the evaluator’s name, address, telephone number (in the event that the office needs to contact them) and professional credentials relevant to the diagnosis.”
Question: What kinds of accommodations are available?
Answer: Academic accommodations include, but are not limited to, testing accommodations, adaptive technology services, and assistance in arranging other support services (e.g., interpreters, notetakers, scribes, and readers).
Question: I received accommodations in high school or I had an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Can I use the IEP as documentation?
Answer: While the IEP provides useful information, this document, in and itself may not be sufficient. Please refer to Documentation Guidelines. Click HERE for information on the differences between High School IDEA and Post Secondary Education Section 504.
Question: What role do my parents play in the process?
Answer: Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. As such, each student is responsible for his or her own accommodation requests and disability–related decisions. However, students are encouraged to have open communication with parents or other significant family members.
Question: I have a physical disability and have trouble getting around. What types of accommodations are geared toward my needs?
Answer: Students with physical disabilities are encouraged to register with the DS Office for support and advocacy with access to buildings and other university activities. Please contact the DS office for more information.
Question: I’m a Vocational Rehabiliation client. Is there anything special I should know?
Answer: If you have a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor in your hometown, you are encouraged to have your home counselor contact Texas Workforce Commission in Corpus Christi so that services can be provided through the local office. The telephone number to the Corpus Christi DARS office is 361.878.3000 or 877.790.5203.
Question: What assurances does the DS office provide?
Answer: DS provides the following assurances:
“Civil and Equal Opportunity Rights: Students with disabilities are required to register with the DS every semester so that their accommodations counselor can help them with academic accommodations and access to buildings and other university activities. Please contact the DS office for more information.”
“Confidentiality and Non–Disclosure: Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi is committed to assuring the constitutional and statutory confidentiality protections and the rights of non-disclosure of students with disabilities. Documentation required verifying a disability is not shared with any person or entity without consultation with and written permission by the student unless prescribed by law.”
“Non–Discrimination and Advocacy: Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi promotes the elimination of discriminatory attitudinal barriers to students with disabilities and provides awareness and advocacy support in this mission. Texas A&M–Corpus Christi does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability, or any other constitutionally or statutorily impermissible reason.”
“Individualized Services & Inclusion: Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi determines all services and support needs on an individual basis. The specific disability and the essential functions of classes and programs determine reasonable accommodations, adjustments, and auxiliary aids. The University community works as a team to promote inclusion of students with disabilities in all programs and activities of the University.”
“Student Self-Determination: Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi recognizes that the development of self-determination skills and resources is critical to the academic, personal, and employment success of students with disabilities, and provides and promotes services and opportunities to support this need.”