If you are thinking about enrolling or are currently enrolled at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and you have a disability or think you may have a disability, this is the place for you.
A disability is defined as "a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities" (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). These may include physical, cognitive, or psychological disabilities.
What does Student Disability Resources and Services do?
Students with disabilities at TAMU-Commerce are encouraged to participate in all aspects of campus life. Therefore, Student Disability Resources and Services (SDRS) provides services to students with disabilities to ensure accessibility to university programs. SDRS offers accommodations counseling, evaluation referral, disability-related information and resources, adaptive technology counseling and equipment for on campus use, testing accommodations, and interpreter services for academically related purposes. SDRS does not provide disability evaluations, tutoring, attendants, scholarships, or pay for personal expenses; however, we will provide referral information.
Admissions for Students with Disabilities:
There are no special admissions procedures for students with disabilities at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Students with disabilities must satisfy the same requirements and undergo the same process for admission as every other student.
The question frequently comes up about whether a prospective student should disclose a disability during the admissions process. As a general rule of thumb, if your application is marginal, then disclosing your disability and special circumstances in the essay portion of the application can help you.
Registering with SDRS:
In order to receive disability-related accommodations and services, you should abide by the following process:
- Apply and be accepted for admission to Texas A&M University-Commerce through the regular admissions process.
- Complete the SDRS application packet and provide current and comprehensive documentation of a diagnosed disability which requires accommodations. See Guidelines for Documentation information sheet.
- Register with SDRS at the beginning of each semester by completing and submitting an accommodation letter request form.
In order to register with the office, a student must present documentation of a legally recognized disability. You can submit your information in person to our office in Gee Library, Room 132, or fax to 903.468.8148, email StudentDisabilityServices@tamuc.edu, or mail.
Once documentation is submitted:
- The Director of Student Disability Resources and Services reviews all documentation and determines whether the student is eligible to receive services based on the documented disability.
- Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are determined by the director and student based on the documented needs, previous accommodations, and functional limitations of the student. Refer to Accommodations Section to view more information on accommodations.
- During the initial meeting of the student with a member of the office of Student Disability Resources and Services (SDRS), SDRS policies and procedures are discussed with the student. The student is responsible for delivering the accommodations letters generated in this meeting to the instructors. Students are encouraged to meet with their instructors to discuss their testing and other accommodations and to answer any questions the instructors may have.
The documentation submitted to our office should be current according to the guidelines for documentation, comprehensive, and include the following:
- A specific diagnosis, including level of severity.
- The specific findings in support of this diagnosis including relevant history, observations of the individual, tests administered, test results, and your evaluator's interpretation of those test results. For a diagnosis of Learning Disability, ADD or ADHD, a neuropsychological examination or psycho-educational evaluation is required to determine eligibility for services as a student with a disability. Objective evidence of a substantial limitation must be provided.
- A description of the student's functional limitations as they are directly related to the stated disabilities and necessitate any accommodations.
- The evaluator's name, address, telephone number (in the event our office needs to contact the evaluator), and professional credential relevant to the diagnosis. (i.e., M.D., Ph.D., LSSP).
- The documentation must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed.
How to get Documentation:
The professional making the diagnosis of a disability should be an appropriately trained evaluator, such as a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or educational diagnostician. For example, an audiologist would diagnose a hearing impairment; a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker would diagnose a psychological disability. Documentation from a family member or family friend is not acceptable.
SDRS provides Guidelines for Documentation. If you have any questions about documentation that is requested, please feel free to contact Student Disability Resources and Services at 903.886.5835.
SDRS reserves the right to request additional information or evaluation. However, information regarding resources to use in obtaining an evaluation is available from our office. We also maintain a list of local evaluators.
SDRS serves as the repository for medical documentation of disabilities. Documentation submitted to SDRS is confidential and used solely for the purpose of assisting students in identifying and securing accommodations and services to support their full participation at Texas A&M-Commerce.
- Accommodations are provided on an individual basis as needs arise.
- Examples of accommodations include extended testing time, interpreters, note-taking, reader services, scribe services, audio books and other adaptive technology.
- Although not accommodations, SDRS supports students with issues and situations related to advocacy, accessibility, and on-campus housing.
- SDRS is a resource for information including, but not limited to, tutoring services, study skills and time management, community resources, disability awareness, and various university services.
What is on-campus special housing?
On-campus special housing is residence hall housing with accommodations for students with disabilities.
What are some special requests that can be made regarding housing?
Some special housing requests that can be made, based on application and documentation submitted, are:
- Wheelchair Accessible room
- First floor room
- Strobe light (for hearing impaired students)
- Braille (for room numbers)
- Bathtub or Roll-in shower
- Use of a service animal
Are there handicapped accessible rooms on campus?
Yes, there are handicapped accessible rooms on campus.
What is the application process for students with on-campus special housing needs?
The application process for students with on-campus special housing needs is:
- A student must be admitted to Texas A&M University-Commerce.
- To fill out a housing application login to myLEO. The application requires a deposit. If you are requesting special housing accommodations, you must indicate this on the housing application.
- If a student makes an accommodations request directly with Residential Living and Learning, they will be referred to the Department of Student Disability Resources and Services (SDRS).
- The student must provide documentation of disability that supports the need for the requested housing accommodation(s).
- Student Disability Resources and Services will review the application and documentation.
How will I know if I am approved for on-campus special housing?
- If the documentation supports the requested need, SDRS will send the student a letter stating what accommodations have been approved. A copy of the letter will be forwarded to Residential Living and Learning.If the housing request is not supported by the documentation, then SDRS will contact the student to notify them of the decision or to request additional documentation.
- 2. Once the Accommodation Approval Letter has been reviewed by Residential Living and Learning staff, they will notify the student of their placement or may contact the student with further options available.
Can a student with on-campus special housing needs request a specific roommate?
A student with on-campus special housing needs may request a specific roommate. Both students must apply for housing with the Department of Residence Life before the request can be processed.
Can a student's personal attendant live in the residence hall?
A student's personal attendant may live in the residence hall provided that the personal attendant is a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The University does not provide, but can assist the student, in finding a personal attendant. A student needing a personal attendant should discuss this with the department of Student Disability Resources and Services.
SDRS is not required to provide readers or study devices for courses not offered by TAMU-Commerce, individually prescribed devices, personal attendants, or tutorial services.