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Disability Support Services

Disability support services are available to all currently enrolled students who have documented disabilities that substantially limit them in one or more major life activities. Individuals eligible for services may have, but are not limited to, the following types of disabilities: mobility, orthopedic, hearing, visual, learning, psychological and attentional.
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    Registering for Services

    Eligibility must be determined in order to make arrangements for services and accommodations through Disability Support Services (DSS). Students should complete the following steps in order to open a disability file and begin receiving services.

    1. After you are admitted to Detroit Mercy, contact the Director of DSS to indicate your intent to register for disability services. You will need to print and complete a DSS Requests for Accommodations Form. A disability file will be started after the intake process is completed, and will become active upon receipt and verification of appropriate documentation.
    2. Provide current documentation (no more than three years old) that establishes and verifies your disability to DSS. See the Disability Documentation Guidelines below. If you have an immediate need and do not have documentation, please contact the Director of DSS to discuss your options.
    3. After appropriate documentation is received and verified, a meeting will be scheduled with the Director of DSS to discuss your specific accommodations needs based on your disability.
    4. The Director of DSS will provide your professors with official notifications of your approved accommodations each semester. However, letters are not automatically sent to your professors. You must contact the Director of DSS each semester to request accommodations.

    It is very important for students with disabilities to self-advocate. It is your responsibility to advise the Director of Disability Support Services if you ever feel that your needs are not being met or your accommodations are not being provided.

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    Accommodations

    Accommodations are determined on an individual basis based on each student's particular needs as identified in their disability documentation. Therefore, accommodations will vary from one student to the next. Services may include, but are not limited to:

    • Extra time for testing
    • Alternative test site
    • Note taking
    • Alternative format textbooks and materials
    • Sign language interpreters
    • CART (real time captioning) Services
    • Housing-related accommodations
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    Tutoring and Other Services

    Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to utilize the many support services offered free of charge through the Student Success Center, the TRiO Student Support Services Program and the STAR Program, including mentoring, academic success planning, study groups, and tutoring services. Tutoring, in particular, should be a part of any student's regular study program. Appointments for tutoring sessions can be made online at udmercy.accudemia.net. Participation in these activities is highly beneficial and has had proven results in supporting academic success.
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    Our Mission

    The mission of Disability Support Services, in keeping with the University's mission to provide excellent student-centered undergraduate and graduate education, is to create an accessible community where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of the educational environment. Because of our belief in the dignity of each person, and through compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, amended in 2008, we strive to promote student's independence and to ensure recognition of their abilities, not disabilities.

    Our vision is a community where disability is neutral; a community where all of its members are empowered to learn, to participate, and to experience University life fully.

Disability Documentation Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to assist evaluators in preparing letters of verification for clients/patients who need to provide documentation of a disability in order to receive accommodations at University of Detroit Mercy.

The information provided should include:

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    1. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the most current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.

    The diagnostic statement should be written using the diagnostic taxonomies utilized in one of the following: the Department of Education, the State Department of Rehabilitative Services or other State agencies, the current edition of either the DSM-IV (APA) or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems of the World Health Organization (ICD).
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    2. A description of the diagnostic tests, methods and/or criteria used.

    This description should include the specific results of the diagnostic procedures, diagnostic tests used, including dates administered. When available, both summary and specific test scores should be reported as standard scores and the norming population identified. When standard scores are not available, the mean, standard deviation and the standard error of measurement are requested as appropriate to the construction of the test.
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    3. A description of the current functional impact of the disability which includes specific test results and the examiner's narrative interpretation.

    The current functional impact on physical, perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral abilities should be described either explicitly or through the provision of specific results from the diagnostic procedure. Currency will be evaluated based on the typical progression of the disability, its interaction with development across the life span, the presence or absence of significant events (since the date of the evaluation) that would impact functioning and the applicability of the information to the request for accommodations in an educational setting.
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    4. Treatment, medications, and/or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use.

    Provide a description of treatments, medication, assistive devices, accommodations and/or assistive services in current use, and their estimated effectiveness in ameliorating the impact of the disability. Significant side effects that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance should also be noted.
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    5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time, particularly the next five years, and suggested accommodations.

    This description should provide an estimate of the changes in the functional limitations of the disability over time and recommendations concerning the predictable needs for reevaluation. Suggestions of accommodations that might be appropriate in an educational setting, supported by a disability related rationale, should be included.
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    6. The credentials of the diagnosing professionals if not clear from the letterhead or other forms.

    Provide information describing the certification, licensure, or the professional training of individuals conducting the evaluation should be provided.
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