Student Disability Services
To obtain eligibility to receive reasonable accommodations through Student Disability Services (SDS), students will need to follow the Accommodation Process outlined below. There are 4 steps to receive accommodations at Northeastern:
Understand the Americans with Disability Act/Section 504: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 / The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and amendments:
This legislation applies to the opportunities that must be available to students choosing to attend an institution of higher education. Under ADA, students pursuing a post-secondary education are responsible for documenting and requesting accommodations for their specific needs. Students are responsible for identifying themselves as students who have a disability. The student must provide the University with appropriate documentation regarding their disability and recommended accommodations.
Students are responsible for requesting specific academic adjustments or accommodations according to their documented needs. Eligibility for reasonable accommodations in post-secondary institutions is driven by the federal definition of disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts the conditions, manner, or duration under which an average person in the general population can perform a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or taking care of oneself. In a university setting, students must advocate for their own academic needs.
Students will need to print and complete the following forms:
- Student Request for Accommodations Form This is for the student to fill out, letting SDS know what you are asking for, what you've used in the past, and how you describe your disability.
- Authorization for Release of Information Form This form is mandatory for all students seeking services with SDS. This enables us to read your information and share it with key parties. Key parties are those that need to know what your accommodations may be in order for your accommodations to be implemented effectively. Key parties are trained in FERPA and other privacy mandates. Confidentially is respected at all times.
- Provider Report for Accommodation Request This form must be given to your clinician. If you are seeking accommodations for either a learning disability, ADHD, or other psychological disabilities, the form must be completed by a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist. If you are seeking accommodations for a physical disability (deaf/hard of hearing, low vision, or bone/muscle/neurological disabilities) the form can be filled out by your family doctor. If you do not have a clinician SDS will supply a list of qualified clinicians (not a list of recommendations).
Any other supporting documentation will need to be submitted with the previous 3 forms. These could include:
- IEP/504 paperwork
- A letter of approval for accommodations from the College Board
- All documentation must be no older than 3 years prior to the date of the accommodation request.
- If your documentation is outdated, you may be eligible to receive temporary accommodations while obtaining the updated documentation. (Please contact SDS to see what we would need to grant you temporary accommodations)
Submit all three forms and supporting documentation to SDS. You can use email, conventional mail, or drop it off at our office:
Student Disability Services
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue, D 104
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
Office Hours M-F: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
SDS will notify you when we have received all of your required documentation. We will notify you when we have completed our investigation and made our determination. This could take up to ten (10) business days.
SDS will notify you to schedule an appointment to go over whether your request has been approved or denied.
If your request has been approved, we will discuss:
- How an accommodation can be implemented
- SDS policies for utilizing certain accommodations
- Resources for on and off campus to get a full-range of supports
- Your Accommodation Determination Letter and how to use it
If your request has been denied, we will discuss:
- The reasons
- Other actions that can be taken or alternative accommodations
- The appeal process
Reasons why accommodations could be denied:
• 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 and
• If they create a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
• Accommodations do not transfer from one place to another. Each request is case-by-case and unique to each environment (i.e., the level of support in high school is vastly different from that in a higher education environment; the level of support from one higher education environment to another can also vary widely.)
If I receive an Accommodation Determination Letter (ADL), what are my next steps?
Save the ADL in a safe place. It will be mailed to you in a PDF format with the Director's signature. It is yours for the duration of your studies unless specified. Do not tamper with the ADL. Copies are mailed to key parties for verification.
Share your ADL with your professors before the start of the semester. In many cases, your professors are part of the accommodation process, and letting them know in a timely fashion will ease the implementation process.
- If approved for note-taking services, you must fill out the online request form 2 weeks prior to the start of each semester or as soon as possible.
- If approved for a sign-language interpreter, please contact Charlotte Buehling (C-Buehling@neiu.edu) 3 weeks prior to the start of the semester or as soon as possible.
- If approved for extended time, please fill out the online request form 2 weeks prior to the scheduled time. Let your professors know 2 weeks prior and SDS will contact you to schedule an appointment. The latest time you may take your exam is 2:30 pm
To request any other services not mentioned above, please contact SDS two to three weeks prior to the start of the semester to arrange accommodations.