picture of female student walking with service dog while dog looks at the camera

Disability Services

Access to Opportunity

Cedarville University welcomes students with disabilities, extending the opportunity to fully participate in the learning and living environment while promoting responsibility, independence, and self-advocacy.

What exactly is the role of Disability Services?

Disability Services is part of the Academic Enrichment Center, also known as The Cove, at Cedarville University. The Cove provides academic resources and support to all students, while Disability Services exists to ensure that students who are impacted by a disability are provided the access that they need.

Disability Services is the office designated by Cedarville University to:

  1. Evaluate accommodation requests related to the impact of a diagnosed disability.
  2. Determine reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.
  3. Keep record of documents in support of a student’s disability.

Will I have the same plan that I had in high school??

Students who attend college no longer have IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) and do not fall under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which is the foundational law for students on IEPs. Disability service providers in higher education settings operate under the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Whereas IEPs are individually written education plans that address specific academic goals with a modified academic plan for students to successfully reach those goals, ADA and 504 are civil rights, equal-opportunity laws that protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination for reasons related to their disabilities. They are designed for antidiscrimination purposes to ensure equal opportunity.

How will I know whether or not to request accommodations?

When the impact of a disability interferes with equal access to educational opportunity because a major life activity is limited, accommodations may be necessary. A diagnosis, in and of itself, does not qualify a student for accommodations. Rather, an accommodation is only assigned if, without that accommodation, the student would not have access to the same educational opportunity as other students. In the postsecondary setting, students must self-identify as a student with a disability and make the request for accommodations.

Is there a deadline for applying to Disability Services and requesting accommodations?

Academic accommodations can be requested at any time. When initially applying to Disability Services, it is best to do so during the month or two before arriving on campus. If a housing accommodation is necessary, however, the request should be made sooner. More information on academic or housing accommodations can be found under “Accommodations.”

Will I get the accommodations that I request?

It depends. When academic accommodations are requested, the student’s needs are evaluated on an individual basis by Disability Services staff. We will consider the impact of the disability diagnosis and what accommodations are necessary in order to ensure that the student has access to the same educational opportunity as all students. The student’s application to Disability Services, professional documentation that thoroughly assesses and supports the disability, and the interview with the student about limitations are all required components in evaluating the student’s needs and determining appropriate accommodations.