Students With Disabilities

Specific-Needs FAQ

I used to have an IEP in elementary, middle, or high school. Does that mean I will automatically get accommodations in College?

Having an IEP alone will not result in the award of accommodations. You will need to provide Florida College with clinical proof that you have a current diagnosis of disability – and that you are receiving any appropriate treatment for it – both within the last 18 months.

Click here for Florida College’s detailed requirements.

What are “Accommodations?”

For a brief explanation of accommodations, click here.

What is a “Voluntary Declaration of Disability?”

The Voluntary Declaration of Disability, or VDD for short, is a two-page form that any applicant or student seeking Specific-Needs Student status and accommodations must complete. The applicant or student must also submit extensive supporting documentation.

Click here to read the Florida College policy for SN students.
Click here to read and download the VDD.

If I have a disability, do I have to submit a VDD?

No, you do not. You only need to submit a VDD if you wish to apply for accommodations.

If I had accommodations in high school will I get them automatically in College?

Not necessarily. To qualify for accommodations at Florida College you will need to submit the VDD and meet the requirements as given here.

How do I find out if I will qualify for accommodations?

First, you must read the Florida College policy, click here

Next, you must submit a VDD form and all supporting documentation. Click here

Once the Florida College Advising Office (AO) has reviewed your Specific-Needs Student application materials, you will be informed whether you have been awarded SNS status and whether you qualify for accommodations.

If I qualify for accommodations, which ones will I get?

There is no way to know in advance. Each applicant’s circumstances and needs are reviewed by the AO on a case by case basis, so that each person receives individual and personalized consideration. Once that review is completed, the AO will inform you if you qualify. If you do, you will receive a Letter of Accommodation which will describe the specific accommodations you will receive.

Do accommodations cost me anything?

Some do and some don’t. For example, if a student is granted extra time on tests, there is no charge for that. Costs for that are borne by the College. Likewise for other similar accommodations.

On the other hand, all students, whether SNS or not, who are granted the privilege to record class lectures are expected to purchase their own digital recorder and maintain it at their own expense. The same would be true for any other personal device used in the classroom.

What if I don’t want accommodations? Do I have to use them?

No, you don’t. The choice always rests with the student. In fact, if you already know in advance that you’d rather not have accommodations, then you do not need to submit the Voluntary Declaration of Disability (VDD).

Let’s say I am granted accommodations and I decide to start out without them. Then I change my mind and decide I want to use them. Can I still have accommodations then?

Yes, you can change your mind at any time. However, if accommodations have benefited you in the past (in high school or at another college), or this is your first semester in college, then we strongly recommend that you start out using accommodations at Florida College if you qualify for them. However, if you decline accommodations at any time, and then later on you decide to resume using them, you will need to resubmit the VDD and all supporting documentation, if your paperwork is more than 18 months out of date.

What if I start out using accommodations, and then I decide that I don’t want or need them after all?

Well, again, you can change your mind. You may cease using accommodations at any time. The student is always in control of whether accommodations are used. If you decide not to use accommodations, you must inform the AO in writing.

How Often May I Change I Mind?

You may change your mind about using your accommodations once per academic year. Each time you change your mind, you must inform the Advising Office in writing.

Can I lose my accommodations?

Yes, you can. There are three ways this can happen:

First, if a student falsifies the VDD or any supporting documentation, accommodations will be revoked and further disciplinary action may be taken.

Second, if you do not follow the College’s regulations regarding accommodations, you may lose them.

Third, if you do not comply with the disability-related treatment plan provided by your health care provider(s), then the College may terminate your accommodations.

This is important, so be sure you understand these points.

Here’s an example: Let’s say a student has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and has been prescribed a medication to improve concentration and focus. The student must take the medication as prescribed to receive accommodations. If the student does not, then the student may lose accommodations.

Here’s another example: A student has been directed to meet regularly with a professional counselor or therapist, but the student decides not to do so. The student may lose accommodations.

For more information on this issue, click here.