The Department of Disability Services (DDS) at Monmouth University recognizes that parents and caregivers of students with disabilities are accustomed to playing an active role in their child’s education, such as working closely with his/her Child Study Team to facilitate accommodations in the classroom. The laws that govern accommodations for students in Elementary and High School differ from those that govern accommodations in Higher Education. Therefore, at the college level, the service model changes significantly.
Students are viewed as adults once they turn 18; therefore, at the post-secondary level, students are now in control of accessing their accommodations. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the goal is to protect the individual’s privacy. At Monmouth University, we have the utmost respect for our student’s privacy. As a result, the responsibility shifts from the parent(s)/guardian(s) to the student. However, parents or caregivers still have an important role, such as providing support and information, but more importantly, encouraging your student to develop self-advocacy skills. Many disabilities are life-long; therefore, it is imperative to learn this skill prior to transitioning to the workforce.
Students are responsible for initiating the process of applying for accommodations. Our website will guide them on how to do that, but they are welcome to contact the DDS office directly whenever they need assistance. First, a student must self-identify as having a disability in order to initiate the process of applying for accommodations via the Accommodate Confidential Registration Form. DDS staff will then review the required documentation and determine reasonable accommodations they can provide within the confines of the law. Once a student is registered with the Department of Disability Services, it is their responsibility to activate their accommodations every semester and self-disclose to their professors. DDS encourages students to have a personal conversation with their professors regarding their disability and how the approved and accommodations will benefit them in their courses.
Although your students will be assigned a contact person in DDS, our role is not that of a Case Manager. Rather, our primary role is to ensure equal access to education for students with disabilities. Additionally, DDS is available to offer support and provide information to the student as they access their accommodations during their academic career at Monmouth University. Our primary focus, again, is promoting self-advocacy for our students. Collectively, we can aide in providing services to enable your student to have success at Monmouth University, and ultimately prepare them with the skills for a successful transition to the workforce.