For Parents and Students

1. What are the differences between secondary and post-secondary education in terms of disabilities services?

There are a number of differences between secondary and post-secondary services for this population. 

High School Special Education

College Disabilities Services


  1. IDEA
  2. Sections 504 and 508


  1. ADA of 1990
  2. ADA Amendment Act of 2008
  3. Sections 504 and 508


  1. IEP is identifying document
  2. School provides evaluation at no expense to student


  1. IEP is not sufficient documentation
  2. Student is evaluated at own expense

Student Role

  1. Student identified and supported by parents and teachers
  2. Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to school

Student Role

  1. Student must self-identify to Disabilities Services
  2. Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to the student

Parent Role

  1. Parents have access to student records and receive report cards
  2. Parents advocate for children

Parent Role

  1. Parents do not have access to student records unless student provides written consent
  2. Students advocate for themselves; parents are mentors


  1. Teachers may alter curriculum and pace of assignments
  2. Weekly testing, midterms, finals, and graded assignments
  3. Attendance taken and reported


  1. Professors not required to modify curriculum; expect all students to do the same work
  2. Testing and assignments vary but generally cover longer units
  3. Attendance varies by department and professor; student is responsible

2. What kinds of disabilities are accommodated at Elon University?

All individuals with disabilities who present documentation will be provided accommodations; at this time, we provide accommodations for individuals who have learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, psychological and psychiatric conditions, mobility issues, chronic illnesses, and sensory impairments. 

3. What accommodations and services are available to students with disabilities?

Students are encouraged to use the Tutoring Center and the Writing Center; these services are available to all students.  Students with disabilities are provided with accommodations that allow them to access buildings, programs, and curricula of the University.  All accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis; there is no list of approved accommodations that will be provided to all individuals that have any particular diagnosis. 

4. When should I notify Elon University about my disability?

Students are encouraged to register with the Disabilities Resources office at any time after they have been admitted to the University – the sooner the better.  Documentation will not be processed until after students have been admitted.

5. Should I disclose my disability during the admissions process?

That is entirely up to the individual.  There are some students who feel that disclosure is necessary in order for admissions officers to understand the type of students they are; these individuals may want to include information about their disability status in an admissions essay.  However, students will not be asked directly about their disability status during the admissions process, and disclosure is not required at this stage. 

6. Who do I need to contact regarding my disability?

Susan Wise is the current Coordinator of Disabilities Resources; her office is in Duke Building in Academic Advising.  She can be reached at, and her phone number is (336) 278-6500.

7. Am I required to show documentation of my disability to professors?

No.  Professors are provided accommodation letters (delivered by the student) which identify the individual as a student with a disability and list the accommodations that have been approved for that student.  No additional documentation is required for the professor.  Students are encouraged to have discussions with their professors about what their needs are and how their accommodations will be put in place; however, students are not required to disclose the specific nature of their disability issues.

8. What if I need special housing accommodations?

Medical requests for housing are sometimes appropriate.  Application materials for these requests are located at the Residence Life website here.  There are sections for the student to complete as well as a detailed section for the consulting physician.

9. What if I need a foreign language or math class waiver?

Waivers for foreign language or mathematics courses are never approved.  However, there is a process by which students may request a foreign language (or mathematics) substitution.  Students must have significant documentation indicating the presence of deficits that will make such learning extremely difficult, as well as a history of enrollment in such classes with poor results.  Students who have never taken such classes will be asked to enroll; performance in the class will be evaluated before the end of the drop/add period, and a decision regarding the substitution will be made at that time.

10. How often must I provide new documentation to the Disabilities Resources coordinator?

Once you are registered as a student with a disability, further documentation is generally not required.  However, if there are changes in your condition or you require further accommodations that are not warranted through the initial documentation, further evaluation may be requested.

11. Why do I have to fill out a Request for Accommodations form every semester?

Students’ needs change from time to time and from class to class.  It is therefore a good idea to consider how your needs are being served and if there are any additional accommodations that are necessary.