Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning Student Disability Services (SDS) 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:

Process for Registering with Student Disability Services LOOK AT CHANGING PAGE NAME

What is an accommodation letter?

An accommodation letter is a document issued by Student Disability Services (SDS) 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 (SDS) can be viewed at Programs and Services.

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 (SDS) for an appointment. The college does not provide diagnostic services. However, 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 (SDS) staff, and how can I contact them?

Contact SDS.

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

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


Faculty Role and Responsibility

To facilitate their important role in insuring the delivery of approved classroom accommodations, upon receiving the memorandum from Student Disability Services, faculty is responsible for:

  • Meeting privately with the student to discuss the approved accommodations.
  • Providing the accommodations in a fair and timely manner.
  • Contacting Disability Services immediately to discuss any questions or concerns with regards to the memorandum.
  • Referring any student who is requesting accommodations without written approval to Student Disability Service. If the disability is visible, accommodations are appropriate and should be provided until the required documentation is processed by Student Disability Services.

Reasonable accommodation in the classroom is an individual civil right guaranteed by federal legislation (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504). Once the accommodations are identified, the accommodations must be provided.


Student Disability Services will provide services in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973*, as amended, and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Your Rights Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)


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 contact Student Disability Services (SDS), 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 (SDS).

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

View the Process for Requesting Special Testing.


No. Students choosing to use Testing or test through Student Disability Services (SDS) 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 through Student 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 (SDS) for support. It is the responsibility of the student to request services.

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