Frequently Asked Questions
What are your Office Hours?
Monday through Friday. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
How do I receive services from SDS?
Please visit our four step process here.
Why do I have to wait 10 business days to receive a determination on my accommodations request?
There are a number of reasons why, but two are what you need to know: Some accommodation requests need to be researched and vetted by other departments on campus and we handle other cases besides yours- we may have a backlog of pending requests.
How are accommodations determined?
We follow the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 to help us make our determinations. We look for how a particular disability impacts or impairs your ability to learn.
What types of services do you provide?
We provide "reasonable accommodations" as mandated by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504. We do not, however, provide personal assistance.
What is a reasonable accommodation?
It is easier to say what is not reasonable:
– If making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential nature of a program or element of the curriculum.
– If it poses an undue financial or administrative burden.
– If they create a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others.
Are SDS services free?
By law, yes, all services that have been approved as a reasonable accommodation are free.
Are my services from my old school transferrable?
No. Services are not transferable. What was reasonable for one school/environment may not be reasonable at another school/environment.
Does Student Disability Services (SDS) administer psychological testing to students?
SDS does not administer nor are we legally bound to pay for psychological testing. We will refer students to Chicago area professionals.
Can I use my accommodation services when I am accepted into an Northeastern graduate program?
Although I’ve self-identified my disability, do I have to use the services?
No. You can choose when to use your approved services.
Can I request another accommodation at a later date after my accommodations have been approved?
Yes, but keep in mind that you may have to submit more documentation if what you submitted to SDS prior is not enough to make determination on your new request.
Will my disability information be included on my final transcripts?
No. Your status with SDS will not show up on any official records.
Do you share my disability status with people outside of SDS?
SDS follows Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We will only disclose information on a need-to-know basis.
Are accommodation services retroactive?
When should I let my instructor know that I have a disability?
You do not have to tell your instructor you have a disability. You are encouraged to tell them that you’ve been approved for accommodations so that the services can be rendered effectively.
How much extra time do I receive to test in Student Disability Services and if I need more time who makes that decision?
Industry standard is time and a half (1.5x). To receive more time beyond that, the student must submit documentation showing that your disability does not allow you to finish within the time allotted by SDS. The Director of Student Disability Services makes the determination on these types of requests.
What is the purpose of extended time?
The purpose of extended time is to put you on par with the rest of your classmates. In other words, your extra time is not an advantage, but a way for you to finish your exams without your disability impacting your ability to demonstrate your knowledge under time constraints.
Can an instructor give me extended time?
Yes, however, keep in mind, what the instructor gives is not transferable to another class. That extended time was granted as a courtesy.
How can I increase my extended time on exams?
Email the Director for steps to take to increase your extended time.
Do I have to fill out an Exam Appointment Request Form for every test and quiz I want to take in the SDS testing room?
Yes. Please go to the exam appointment request form here. Please be advised that the office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Requests recieved during the weekend or a holiday, will be addressed when the office reopens.
Why can't I bring my cell phone into the testing room in cases where I might be expecting an emergency phone call?
To ensure the integrity of the exam, we ask that students leave behind all belongings that could give them an unfair advantage over their classmates. We ask that you make arrangements with others to let them know when and where you will be testing and to call SDS if there is an emergency.
Can SDS convert text for courses to an accessible format?
Yes. Request services 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the semester or as soon as the semster begins. Obtain reading lists and syllabi for your course and SDS will convert the material you requested on the list. Please contact the Program Specialist to make an appointment.
How long does it take to get my requested text converted?
Because of the demand for conversion services and the time it takes to convert text, it can take up to two weeks for text conversion to be completed.
Does SDS purchase textbooks, course materials for students with disabilities?
No. Students are required to purchase books and course materials.
When does priority registration begin?
SDS will notify you by email when to expect priority registration. If you have not been receiving these emails or thought you were approved for this service, please contact SDS.
If I would like to file a grievance/complaint against SDS, whom do I contact?
Contact Northeastern’s Affirmative Action Officer at (773) 442-5412.