Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Student Questions

Disability Support Services staff are happy to meet with you to discuss accommodations that would assist you if you choose to attend East Carolina University. Please contact Disability Support Services at 252-737-1016 to schedule an informational session. If you need resources in an alternate format, please inform us at the time that you schedule your appointment.

No. A student with a disability must meet the same admission standards as his/her non-disabled peers. If a student is denied admission because s/he does not meet the admission standards, s/he may appeal that decision to Admissions.

In Kindergarten through 12th grade students are entitled to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law governs procedures only in K-12, not in post-secondary education.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are the primary laws that govern the procedures for post-secondary education. Universities/colleges must ensure that a student does not encounter barriers due to a disability and must provide reasonable accommodations that allow the student to fully participate in university/college programs/classes. Special education classes, IEPs, or 504 Plans are not developed at the university level.
Universities are not required to seek out students with disabilities. It is the student's responsibility to self-identify.
Reasonable academic accommodations are based on the nature of the disability and the impact of the disability in the academic environment. All accommodations are determined and provided on a case-by-case individual basis that consider the needs of the student. Reasonable accommodations at the university/college level may differ from those available to the student in high school. Reasonable accommodations may include extended time for tests, low distraction environment, e-text, reader, sign language interpreter.
No. You must self-identify to Disability Support Services, provide documentation, and have completed the process to become registered before accommodations can be provided through Disability Support Services at East Carolina University.
If you are satisfied with your Academic Adjustments which were originally agreed upon, all you will need to do is come into the office and request your accommodation letter at the start of each new semester to give to your instructors.
No. Once you are approved, you are eligible for accommodation, as long as you are a student at East Carolina University.
At any time, if you feel you need additional or different accommodations, you can schedule an appointment with the office to discuss your need for that change to your accommodations. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your request. If you are experiencing changes in the status of your disability or changes in medication, Disability Support Services may request updated documentation to better accommodate your changing needs.
No. Disability Support Services office maintains and secures all files. The information in your file is not shared with anyone who is not affiliated with DSS unless you request this and sign a Release of Information form, or if a specific exemption is applicable. One of these exceptions allows persons within the university with a "legitimate educational interest" to access this information. Therefore, the Department for Disability Support Services may discuss portions of your student record with university employees who have a "legitimate educational interest".
After you are determined eligible for accommodation through DSS, you will meet with a DSS Staff member. At this intake meeting you will discuss your academic accommodations and receive a letter to give to your professors. This is an opportunity to make contact with your professor and if needed, explain more about your situation. This letter is the indicator for you to receive your accommodations for the course.
Yes. Disability Support Services provides course materials in electronic text, enlarged print, Braille and closed captioned videos. To receive these accommodations, you must provide documentation supporting this request, have it reviewed and approved by the Committee and become registered with DSS. The staff will then assist you in receiving the accessible format for which you are eligible.
There are several tutoring resources available to all East Carolina University students; all are free of charge. The Pirate Tutoring Center (PTC) has tutors available for learning, time management and core freshman classes. There are two writing labs on campus and a Math Lab as well. There may also be tutors available through individual academic departments.
Disability Support Services employs sign language interpreters who are qualified to provide sign language interpreting that will meet the needs of our students who are deaf. Sign Language Interpreters are provided to eligible students registered with the Disability Support Services office for classroom interpreting, related coursework interpreting or interpreting of any campus events. Sign language interpreters are also available for campus events as long as the request is done in a timely fashion.
If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, contact Disability Support Services at 252-737-1016 (TTY). An appointment will be scheduled with a staff member who specializes in the type of disability you suspect. Staff will guide you through the process of seeking appropriate documentation that may potentially verify a disability.
You must submit a Housing contract to University Housing. Your request for accommodations will not be considered until you have submitted that contract. After you have submitted that contract call Disability Support Services at 252-737-1016 (TTY) to request housing accommodations. You will be required to submit documentation supporting your request for accommodation. This documentation will be reviewed, a determination will be made if it supports your accommodation request, and you will be contacted about the approved accommodation and your Housing room assignment.
No.   If you are a student with a state hang tag from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there are designated spaces for handicapped parking on the entire campus. If you do not have a state tag, and require parking closer to the center of campus, requests for such are considered through Disability Support Services only. Documentation supporting such a parking space must be provided to and approved by Disability Support Services before permission to park will be issued.


Faculty Accommodating Students with Disabilities Questions

Yes, With the exception of the STEPP program (link) students with disabilities must meet the admission standards of both UNC General Administration and East Carolina University.

Students are provided information regarding our services in admission and orientation materials. Additionally we ask all faculty to include the following statement on their syllabi:

"East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a disability must be registered with the Department for Disability Support Services located in Slay 138 ((252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY))."

No, students requesting academic accommodations and adjustments must be registered with and approved for accommodations by DSS. A student requesting an accommodation in your class must give you a "Faculty Notification Letter" from DSS. We encourage students to present their letters to you early in the semester but they may request accommodations at any time during the course.
Students registered with DSS have all had an intake orientation and know the procedure for requesting testing accommodations. In this situation, our expectation is that the student will take the test in the classroom. In the event of a situation where the student, due to a physical or sensory impairment, can't take the test with the class, you may choose to send the test and the student with a signed sealed envelope to DSS.
Call the department and ask to speak with the ADA Coordinator or The Director of Student Services.


Could this be related to the disability?

Yes, there are some conditions such as Asperger's (high functioning Autism), Tourette's and some psychiatric diagnosis that may result in atypical behavior in the classroom. While the impairment may help us to understand why the behavior is occurring, we are not required to tolerate the disruption under the ADA. If you are experiencing difficulty with a student, please contact either the ADA Coordinator or the Director of Student Services immediately.

Please include a clear policy on attendance and its role in your grading scheme, if any. This is helpful for all students to know and understand at the beginning of the semester. If a student misses class due to his/her disability and it is beyond the number of absences allowed, (as clearly outlined in the syllabus) then it is recommended that there be a discussion between the faculty member, the student and DSS. Generally, if a student with a disability has missed more than three classes it is advised that a meeting like this take place as soon as possible. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) suggests considering the following questions when determining whether or not attendance is essential for a course:

1. Are there classroom interactions between the instructor and the students and among students? 

2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process? 

3. Does the functional nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning? 

4. To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of the other students in the course? 

5. What do the course descriptions and syllabus say about attendance? 

6. What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance? 

If the answers to the questions above are such that additional absences do not threaten the integrity or essential requirements of the course, please do not penalize the student for additional absences. However, if additional absences become excessive then the faculty member, DSS and the student will review options for continuing in the class.

It is the students responsibility to notify DSS of an upcoming test or exam. The testing Coordinator will email you with a request for a copy of the exam and any specific instructions regarding the administration of the test. Disability Support Services has developed a systematic and secure procedure for receiving exams from faculty and returning them once the student has taken the exam. There is a check in procedure for exams, and no student is allowed to bring backpacks or cell phones into the exam room. Additionally, the testing coordinator checks to make sure students only have materials in the exam room that were approved by their professors. As students are taking the exams, they are monitored.  Any inappropriate behaviors are reported back to the instructor.
Yes. Disability information is confidential and should never be discussed or referred to in front of classmates or other individuals. When disclosing their disabilities, students expect that confidentiality will be maintained. Any information regarding the disability will be housed in a client file in the Disability Support Services office. Disability Support Services cannot provide documentation to anyone. If you have a concern about an accommodation please call Disability Support Services and ask to speak to a DSS staff member.