Frequently Asked Questions by Students

Questions Pertaining to requesting Housing Accommodations can be found here.  

Will disclosing my disability become part of my permanent records/transcripts?

All documentation submitted to the Office of Disability Resources (ODR) will remain in the office, separate from a student’s academic record.

Why does your office need documentation?

We need documentation in order to provide individualized accommodations based on a student’s functional impact associated with their disability.  Without this documentation, we will not be able to determine the necessary accommodations to assist students.

Is my 504 Plan or IEP enough documentation to get accommodations?

They are not considered adequate documentation, although they are useful in understanding the prior academic experiences of the student. Please see “Documentation Guidelines”  for specific documentation requirements based on disability.

What kinds of accommodations do you offer for students with disabilities?

Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis and are determined by documentation and demonstrated need.

Will I get the same services I received in high school?

Not necessarily. The laws governing post-secondary schools and high schools are different.  Accommodations must be consistent with the University’s academic standards and are determined by the current functional impact and demonstrated need of the individual.

Do I need to register with your office more than once?

A student only needs to register with ODR once.  However, if a request for alternate accommodations is made, then additional documentation may be requested to support the request.  Under the Federal Education and Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) institutions are only required to keep academic records for five years.  If students are returning to UMW after an extended absence, ODR may ask that they provide current documentation outlining their current functional impact.

Do I have to disclose my disability to my instructors?

If a student is in need of a classroom accommodation, they are responsible for providing their professors with their accommodation letter, provided by the ODR office.  The accommodation letter does not disclose the reason an accommodation is needed.  Details specific to disability or impact are only shared if the student provides this information.  ODR staff work with students (at their request) to assist with the self-disclosure process.

Will others treat me differently if they know that I have a disability?

All students at UMW have the right to be treated fairly.  Students who feel they have been treated unfairly should immediately report their concerns to the staff at ODR.

Where can I get testing if I suspect that I have a disability?

Students can get tested anywhere as long as the appropriate licensed professional is conducting the testing.  The ODR office does have a list of evaluators (recommended by students) in the office.  Please stop by to request this list.

What if I have a temporary disability such as a broken arm/leg or concussion?

Students with a temporary disability (duration is less than 6 months) should communicate their needs directly with faculty.

How do I get air conditioning or other accommodations in my residence hall for my asthma/allergies?

Requests for air conditioning only are processed by the Office of Residence Life.  Residence Life will as you to request  Air-Conditioned Housing Accommodation through myUMW.

How do I get a handicapped-parking permit?

Please contact Parking Management at 540-654-1129 in regards to parking needs.

Am I eligible for a substitution of the foreign language requirement?

If you are experiencing difficulty with foreign language learning, you should request an appointment with the Director of ODR to talk about possible accommodations and curricular options. In some cases, a student will be advised to pursue a request for a Foreign Language Substitution Request.

Do you offer tutoring?

The University of Mary Washington offers free tutoring to all undergraduate students, not just those with disabilities.  Contact the Office of Academic at 540-654-1010 to schedule a tutoring session or go to their Web site to sign up online.

Do you supply personal assistants to students with mobility impairment?

No. Students must hire and supervise their own personal assistants.

What steps can I take if I feel that I have been treated unfairly, discriminated against or not provided my requested accommodations based upon my disability?

The first step a student should take is to contact ODR as soon as possible.  Additional procedures are outlined in our …

Can ODR provide me copies of the documentation I provided as part of my registration for services?

No.  Once you supply ODR with your documentation, it becomes part of our permanent record.  We are unable to make copies of the documentation once it has been submitted to our office.  We recommend that students make copies of all documentation prior to submitting it to our office.

What help can I get regarding professional and graduate school testing (ex. PRAXIS (I & II),GRE, LSAT, GMAT)?

Each standardized test requires different documentation for accommodations, it all depends on what the student is requesting.  Students should review the appropriate websites for specific requirements and speak with an ODR staff member after reviewing these requirements.  Please note that documentation submitted and accepted by ODR may be different then what is required by the standardized testing board.