Disability Support Services provide accommodations in order to provide an equal opportunity for Clark students who experience disabilities to engage in their education. "Accommodations" are academic adjustments or supports. Examples of accommodations are sign language interpreters, extended time for tests, a reader, or alternate format (i.e. braille, e-text, large print). All accommodations are provided free of charge to qualified students. An accommodation plan is determined by DSS with the student on a case-by-case basis, according to the nature of the disability and to meet each student's individual needs.
Documentation from an appropriate professional is preferred and very useful in determining accommodations. There are cases when Disability Support Services (DSS) staff exercise professional judgment, in lieu of documentation. Note: the types of accommodations could be limited without professional documentation. This page outlines Steps for Requesting when you have documentation as well as Steps when you do not have documentation.
Steps for Requesting Accommodations
Student should following these steps in order to request accommodations. Due to confidentiality, no other individuals, including parents, case managers, etc., can request accommodations on a student’s behalf.
Complete a Getting Started Form. This basic form consists of contact information and five brief questions. If you have your documentation ready, you can also upload it after this questionaire.
Provide DSS with current disability related documentation if you have it. DSS asks for documentation of your disability and/or temporary health condition to be turned into DSS by uploading it from the link you get emailed after completing the Getting Started Form.
If you do not have any documentation and cannot get documentation: Complete the Disability Declaration Form and upload it from the link you get emailed after completing the Getting Started Form. Here are situations where you can use this form instead:
- If a student experiences barriers to getting a diagnosis or a student has a challenge tracking down documentation from several years ago.
- If a disability is apparent and the need for a requested accommodations can easily be established, documentation may not be needed. For example, some students who are wheelchair users may just need alternative furniture.
Meet with DSS for an Access Meeting. *Currently DSS is booking 3-4 weeks out at the start of Fall term 2023. Please still schedule with us and go through our process to help you this term and future terms.
The access meeting will provide DSS with information about your strengths, weaknesses, disability, and requests. The intent of the initial appointment is to be an interactive process with discussion of appropriate accommodations based on your disability. Many times the accommodation determinations will be made during the initial meeting. Determinations are based on any submitted documentation and what you report as impacts of your disability during the meeting. (Once in a while, an accommodation requires consultation with another DSS staff member. In these cases, DSS will notify you of this approval/denial within 7 business days of the initial appointment.)
Generally, students schedule this meeting right after they register for courses; as DSS can better finalize your accommodation plan for your first term. However, if you need Assistive Technology support with the registration process, plan to request Braille materials, need ASL interpreters for your classes, or think you need testing accommodations on the placement exams, please go through these steps before you register.
Note: you need to be able to access your Clark student email address and password at your Access Meeting for your myDSS account. If you have not set up your Clark student email account please try to before your DSS Access Meeting. Visit the TechHub website for support.
Request Your Accommodations Each Term. You will need to request accommodations to DSS each term that you would like the accommodations to be in place. Students request accommodations each term in myDSS. Students can also schedule their exams for testing accommodations in myDSS. We will introduce you to myDSS during your Access Meeting.
Questions about these steps?
Please contact us with any questions, visit our DSS homepage for the various ways to contact us: Zoom, email, and phone.
- We are discovering more symptoms of long COVID that can impact mental and physical wellbeing. Long COVID is becoming recognized as a health condition and DSS is viewing it as a temporary disability.
- Students experiencing Long COVID with impacts on major life activities (ie learning, concentrating, sleeping, etc.) can engage with DSS by going through the steps listed above. Accommodations that exist for other disabilities may also be beneficial for those experiencing Long COVID. DSS will consider accommodations for a term or so and/or during students temporary impacts.
A student who experiences medically-necessary absences related to pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions can request accommodations, such as flexibility with attendance, flexibility with deadlines, and ergonomic seating. Students seeking a pregnancy-related accommodation can follow the steps in this Requesting Accommodation process. We invite you to contact the DSS office for any questions.