Planning Tips for Students with Disabilities

Before Classes Begin

  • E-mail or speak to your instructor to identify yourself and explain the academic challenges you experience as a result of your disability.
  • Ask each instructor about his or her course content and what kinds of tests, papers or other assessment tools will be used during the semester. Online classes are available to all students at least five days before the term begins. Review your course syllabus, and address your questions or concerns with the instructor. If you need special accommodations, make sure you have registered with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS).
  • Familiarize yourself with the resources available to you, including Financial Aid, Advising, Career Services, tutoring and writing support and UMUC’s online library
  • Purchase your textbooks from the online bookstore. If you need textbooks in alternative format, submit your textbook list to OAS.
  • For on-site classes, students who need to audio record their lectures should secure a lightweight, reliable tape or digital recorder and batteries.
  • For on-site classes, students who need special seating should contact OAS prior to the beginning of class to ensure a proper seat or table will be available in the classroom.
  • For on-site classes, students who need an attendant or personal assistant to accompany them should employ the aide well before the first day of classes. The student should share his or her class schedule with the attendant and make sure the attendant is ready for the first day of class.

First Day of Class

  • Students have access to online course materials at least five days before classes begin. Review course content, and notify the faculty member if you have any problems accessing the course materials or if you have questions about the course. 
  • For on-site classes, arrive early to secure the best possible seat. Sit up front, close to the instructor. This will help you concentrate and minimize distractions.
  • For on-site classes, if you use special equipment, arrive early so the faculty member can work with you before class.
  • Make sure you receive a syllabus for each of your classes. Review all of the syllabi to make sure you have contact information for faculty members, including their e-mail addresses, phone numbers and appointment hours.
  • For on-site classes, if you use an interpreter or reader during class, you may need to save a seat for him or her.
  • Organize class syllabi, outlines, notes and calendars in a notebook.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact your instructor or contact OAS.

During the Term

  • For on-site classes or appointments on campus, if you use interpreter services, inform OAS of any changes in your schedule, such as adding, dropping or withdrawing from a class, or if you have to cancel an appointment on campus.
  • For on-site classes, if you need special assistance during tests, make sure you inform OAS at least one week prior to the test. This includes students who need readers, scribes, interpreters or testing in the OAS office.
  • E-mail or schedule a phone conversation with your instructor to monitor your progress. It is beneficial to do this at least once before an exam and again shortly after the exam.
  • If you think you will need the assistance of a tutor, review available tutoring options the first week of the semester. Do not wait until your first test to seek these services. UMUC mainly offers online assistance. There are some on-site locations, but hours are limited. If you need further assistance, consider hiring an outside tutor to assist with specific course content or writing challenges.

End of the Term

  • For on-site classes, request support services, if needed, for your finals (e.g., a reader, interpreter, scribe or testing in the OAS office). Remember to request these services at least one week in advance.
  • Request Accommodation Notification Letters when you register for your next semester.
  • Thank your instructors for their assistance.