What resources will help me advocate for my needs with the disability services (DS) office?

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  • Build a support network!
    • Talk to your instructors about what accommodations you need in the classroom. Request a meeting with the DS office with your instructor present. (Note, you do not need to disclose your disability to your instructor.)
    • Connect with other students who have advocated for what they need. Ask them what worked.
  • Be specific when discussing why you need the accommodations you are requesting.
    • Be prepared to explain the barriers you are encountering and how the requested accommodations will remove those barriers.
  • Learn and use resources about laws that schools and DS offices must follow for providing accommodations for deaf students.
  • Become familiar with your school’s grievance (sometimes called appeal or student complaint) process.
    • This may be available in the DS Student Handbook on their website or given to you during your initial meeting. Ask for a copy from the DS office if you cannot locate one online.
  • Save all emails and document all contacts made with the DS office, including dates and type of requests in the order they happened. Write down important notes about each situation.
    • Keeping a copy of this information will be helpful if you need to file a grievance or submit a complaint.

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Updated on July 29, 2022

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