Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning Student Disability Services are listed below.


I have a disability and have received support services in the past. How can I access services at Southwest?

Students with disabilities enrolled at Southwest can access services by:

Self-identification

It is the responsibility of the student with a disability to identify himself/herself to the Student Disability Services Office.

Macon Cove Campus

  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Farris Building, Room 2194 (Inside Testing Suite 2182)
  • Phone: 901-333-4223
  • Fax: 901-333-4788

Union Avenue Campus

  • Hours: Tuesday and Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Location: B Building, Room 227
  • Phone: 901-333-5116
  • Fax: 901-333-5200

Providing Documentation

Eligibility for services is based on providing appropriate documentation.

  • Medical Documentation:
    The medical documentation should be filled out by the designated diagnostician that is eligible to diagnose the particular disability the student has. It should obtain the date of the last diagnosis, the diagnosis, tests performed in order to reach the diagnosis, medications, functional limitations, and any recommendations the diagnostician may have to offer.
  • How old documentation can be:
    For students who have either Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or a learning disability the documentation can be, at the most, 3 years old. IEPs and Transition Plans are not documentation of a disability. For students with emotional/psychiatric disabilities, the documentation has to be updated every six months. (This does not require the student to go through a psycho-evaluation every six months; the office just needs a letter from the doctor explaining any changes/improvements that the student may be experiencing at that time.) For physical/permanent disabilities, there is not a time limit on how old their documentation can be.
  • Reasons behind updated medical documentation:
    The reason behind the need for updated testing and documentation is to better serve the students. Old documentation can hurt a student because as their disability progresses, their needs change and accommodations given to the student should meet the needs they are experiencing at that time.

What is an accommodation letter?

An accommodation letter is a document issued by Student Disability Services for students with disabilities. It is intended to provide flexibility and equalize opportunities for success. Based on a careful review of the documentation provided for the student, the accommodation letter describes the academic modifications that will become part of the student's program. Accommodations can not compromise the content of a course or the essential requirements of a degree. It is the student's responsibility to transmit the accommodation to his/her professors. The student must request an updated accommodation letter each semester.

What support services are available for students with disabilities at Southwest?

Support services available through Student Disability Services include: classroom accommodations, assistive technology, interpretive or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services for the deaf and/or hard of hearing student, support group meetings, self-advocacy training, special tutoring (case by case).

I have not been diagnosed as having a learning disability in the past, but I think I may have one. What should I do?

If you think that you have an undiagnosed learning disability, you should contact Student Disability Services for an appointment. The college does not provide diagnostic services. However, the Student Disability Services staff can assist you in accessing support services and help you to decide whether you should pursue formal testing.

Who are the Student Disability Services staff, and how can I contact them?

TheStudent Disability Services Coordinator is Sherri Scott, email sscott@southwest.tn.edu. Sherri maintains offices on both of the main campuses.

Macon Cove Campus

  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Farris Building, Room 2194 (Inside Testing Suite 2182)
  • Phone: 901-333-4223
  • Fax: 901-333-4788

Union Avenue Campus

  • Hours: Tuesday and Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Location: B Building, Room 227
  • Phone: 901-333-5116
  • Fax: 901-333-5200

Does Southwest offer any type of orientation for newly-enrolled students with disabilities?

Student Disability Services hosts an annual transition program that gives pertinent information about college resources,Student Disability Services registrant and faculty responsibilities, available services, and required medical documentation. Newly enrolled students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Does Student Disability Services pay student tuition?

No. Student Disability Services does not pay for tuition or books. However, for eligible students, Student Disability Services issues a Disability Discount Waiver that adjusts the tuition to $90. These waivers are processed by the Cashier's Office and only during specified dates each term.

Can disabled students receive classroom accommodations/modifications by telling the instructor they have a disability?

No. In order to receive classroom modifications, a student with a disability must contact Student Disability Services and present appropriate documentation of their disability. TheStudent Disability Services coordinator will then process a classroom modification memorandum for the student to present to each instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to retrieve memorandums fromStudent Disability Services at the beginning of each term. Memorandums do not travel from semester to semester and they are not retroactive.

Can an instructor choose not to comply with the modifications listed on the Student Disability Services memorandum?

No. The memorandum is a legal document and the disabled student is legally entitled to the approved modifications. If the instructor has questions as to how to meet the modifications, they should contactStudent Disability Services, but the modifications cannot be denied.

Can a disabled student waive their right to their approved accommodations?

Yes. But in doing so, it would be prudent to put that decision in writing and ask the student to confirm with his/her signature. A copy of this waiver should be forwarded to Student Disability Services.

Can a disabled student with special testing approval walk in to testing areas to take tests?

No. Students choosing to use Testing or test through Student Disability Services must make an appointment at least three (3) days in advance to do so. Because this process is done by appointments only, the disabled student may not be able to take the test on the same day as the class. All efforts will be made to avoid this instance, but it cannot be guaranteed. The instructor must get the test material, amount of time allotted to other classmates (for approved extended time purposes), and any special testing instructions to the Testing (Macon Cove Campus) or to Student Disability Services (Union Avenue Campus). Instructors are also responsible for retrieving tests. Readers or scribes for tests must also be requested throughStudent Disability Services in advance.

For additional information visit the Special Accommodations Testing page.

What can an instructor do if they believe a student has a disability?

If it is not currently addressed in the class syllabus, the instructor may make a general announcement to the class that if anyone has or believes they have a disability, they may schedule an appointment with Student Disability Services for support. It is the responsibility of the student to request services.

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