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Office of Accessibility

Common Questions

How do I request academic accommodations, residential accommodations, or meal plan modifications?

Students may request academic accommodations, residential accommodations, or meal plan modifications by contacting the Office of Accessibility and submitting the appropriate documentation as outlined for the specific request.

What types of documentation are required?

Documentation types vary based on the request. Students can learn more about Academic Accommodations, Residential Accommodations, and Meal Plan Modifications by clicking that item in the menu bar and reviewing the documentation requirements listed on that page.

Who can provide documentation?

Documentation should be provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has appropriate and comprehensive training, relevant experience, and no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. An appropriate match between the credentials of the professional making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected.

Why do I need documentation?

Documentation is required because it confirms the diagnosed disability and provides recommendations for the accommodation or modification. The Office of Accessibility uses this information to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations for each student’s specific needs.

When should I submit my documentation?

Incoming students should submit their documentation to the Office of Accessibility as soon as they are accepted for admission, but no later than July 1 prior to fall enrollment. Time is needed to review the documentation and make the necessary recommendations prior to the fall term. This also provides the Office of Accessibility time to follow up on any missing items and communicate with faculty and staff in a timely fashion. Waiting beyond this deadline may cause delays in receiving the appropriate services.

Current students should submit documentation as soon as possible to ensure accommodations and modifications happen as quickly as possible as not to disrupt the student experience.

How do I know I have been approved for my academic accommodation, residential accommodation, or meal plan modification?

Academic accommodation letters will be provided to student the student to distribute to faculty members prior to the first day of classes. Emails will be sent each term informing them of the process for picking up and distributing the letters. will be sent to the student, relevant faculty for the upcoming term, and the student’s academic advisor. Academic accommodation letters will be sent prior to the first day of each term. It is important to remember that academic accommodations are not retroactive and students should complete the request process prior to the beginning of the term to ensure services are available, even if they do not plan to use them in a particular course.

Residential accommodations will be communicated to the student once documentation has been reviewed and approved. These accommodations are most effectively handled prior to the beginning of each academic year to ensure an appropriate space is available to meet the documented need. Failure to provide the documentation prior to housing selection or room assignments may result in the inability to meet the requested accommodation.

Meal plan modifications will be communicated to the student in writing via email prior to the beginning of each academic term. The Office of Accessibility will contact the appropriate offices at Birmingham-Southern College to make modifications to the meal plan and if needed, provide reimbursement for meal plan fees already paid.

I had academic accommodations in high school, but what if I’m not sure I need them in college?

It is better to have the academic accommodations in place from the beginning rather than waiting until it is too late. Having Academic accommodations does not mean you are required to use them in every or any class - we encourage you to have a discussion with your faculty member to determine what is best for you in that particular setting. Remember, academic accommodations are not retroactive so it is advised to register them prior to the beginning of the academic term and use them if needed. Having the accommodations at the beginning of the term gives you the tools you need for success.

I don’t want others knowing I have an academic accommodation or residential accommodation - will this information be kept confidential?

All information regarding your disability is kept in the strictest of confidence. Only with your consent will information about your disability or accommodation be shared with others and is only done so on a need-to-know basis. The Office of Accessibility takes your privacy very seriously and your information is never shared outside of the College without your expressed written consent.