Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a qualified individual with a disability in college?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a qualified individual with a disability is "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity."

If a student with a disability qualifies for accommodations in high school, will they receive the same accommodations in college?

A students' history of accommodations is discussed during the intake process and is considered when applying accommodations to the academic environment.  Colleges are not required to provide accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a class or that will pose an undue administrative or financial burden on the institution. In addition, accommodations provided may not be the same at different post-secondary institutions.

What is the purpose of accommodations in a college setting?

The purpose of accommodations is to provide access and equal opportunity. Mesa Community College provides students with disabilities academic accommodations in order to ensure that students have an equal opportunity to participate in all Mesa Community College programs, services, and activities.

How will the instructors know that a student needs accommodations?
An Instructor Notification Form will be issued to the student once the required documentation has been reviewed and reasonable accommodations are determined. The accommodations will be in place as soon as the student takes the form to the instructor for signature and the signed form is returned to the DRS office.
Can students change their minds about using or not using accommodations?
Yes, but students are urged to get their accommodations in place and communicate with their instructors that they are registered with DRS and may need their accommodations during the semester.   Accommodations are never retroactive. For example, a student cannot set up accommodations at midterm and expect to be able to retake tests with accommodations that were taken prior to midterm.
Will the Instructor Notification Form be automatically given to students every semester?
No. You must arrange for accommodations before or at the beginning of each semester. The DRS office will not automatically assume the student will want the same accommodations for each class the following semester. Each semester, students must make an appointment with DRS office to request accommodations.
How much time is needed to facilitate an accommodation?
Mesa Community College handles each student's request on an individual basis, given a reasonable time frame. Please refer to the chart below when requesting a special service. Although the following time lines are preferred, Mesa Community strives to provide the services as quickly as possible.
Type of Accommodation Time Needed
Alternative Textbooks 3 weeks*
Sign Language Interpreters One week for individual assignment; Pre-registration no less than two weeks before the semester is required for on-going classes.**
Closed Caption for videos Four weeks
Note takers Two weeks ***
Testing Accommodations requiring readers, scribes and private rooms Two working days before the test; the day of the test and weekends do not count
Brailled Exams and Handouts Seven Working Days
Brailled Math, Science and Technical Materials Six Weeks
Classroom Assistants Two weeks ***
Adaptive Equipment See DRS Manager

* Depending upon response from the publishing company

** Interpreters cannot be guaranteed for the first week of classes if request is less than two weeks ahead of the semester

*** Available for in-person classes only

Who is responsible for making sure that accommodations are put into practice?
The student is responsible for carrying out their part in implementing the accommodations.  
This could include the following:
  • Setting up meetings with professors in order to discuss the specific needs regarding accommodations.
  • Filling out Test Accommodation Request Form and following up to ensure alternative testing arrangements are in place as per the Test Accommodation Requests Student Guide.
  • Recording lectures or discussions
  • Using the Adaptive Technology Lab for assistive technology software/hardware
  • Managing the note taking process
  • Communicating with DRS staff regarding any requirements for assignments that need accommodations
Will DRS provide services like helping me get around campus, pushing my wheelchair or helping me to get ready for the school day?
No. When it comes to everyday daily living related services the responsibility is that of the individual. For example, if you need help dressing, washing, to be reminded to take medication, need assistance to get from place to place, etc., that is a personal service that you need in order to function on a daily basis, whether you are in college or not.