See accommodations available through our disability support services.
The purpose of Disabilities Services is to offer students with unique challenges the support needed to experience full access to Northwestern's community.
Disabilities Services works collaboratively with departments across UNW and outside organizations to provide reasonable accommodations, per the student's documented needs. A disability may be categorized as one or more of the following:
- Physical or medical
Disabilities Services follows the guidelines of "reasonable accommodations" as outlined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Students with a documented disability may receive services, if appropriate, in a variety of areas. Students seeking accommodations should contact Disability Services to start the review process for reasonable accommodations. To respect individual privacy, and in compliance with FERPA, release forms are required.
Academic accommodations are arranged through the disabilities office by providing documentation of the diagnosis, the history of the disability and any recommendations provided by the professional who diagnosed. With supporting documents, release forms, and a service agreement students who qualify are provided accommodations.
Facilities (including restrooms, classrooms, and multiple residence halls) are designed to permit handicapped persons to enroll and benefit from the education. Handicapped parking provides convenient access to the building entrances.
The following accommodations are available through the Disabilities Services:
- Classroom accommodations—instruction in class, note-taking, and other individualized assistance
- Peer tutoring
- Assistance in arranging alternative test environment, such as extended time, reader, or low distraction environment
- Assistance in arranging for recorded textbooks/alternative formatting
- Early registration options
- Advocacy with faculty and administration
- Assistive technology (e.g. Kurzweil 3000)
- Housing Accommodations
Each semester students are required to re-enroll for services, and the Disability Service staff will evaluate continued services according to each student's needs.
Note-taking is arranged between Disability Services and the professor to provide adequate notes from classroom lectures through either printed materials, PowerPoint presentations, lecture notes, or notes taken by a student.
Tutoring for writing is available to all Northwestern students through the ALPHA Center. Disability Services provides specialized peer tutoring for a variety of other subjects as needed. The student and tutor arrange a contract for a time and place to meet.
Recorded Textbooks/Alternative Formats are available for students with a documented need through Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D) or the MN State Services for the Blind. These books take time to order and must be requested with several weeks' notice.
Housing Accommodations — If you have special housing needs (ADA, 504, or other), you must contact Disabilities Services in order to start the review process for reasonable accommodations. Any requests for special housing accommodations must be made to Disability Services by May 1 for fall semester, and by December 15 for spring semester. All special housing needs must be made known and resolved prior to arriving on campus. Housing accommodations cannot be guaranteed unless requests are made and approved in a timely manner.
Services are provided with appropriate documentation. The services of note-taking, tutoring, and recorded textbooks/alternative formatting may take 3-6 weeks to order and process. Your promptness in communicating with Disability Services is critical.