Disability Support Services Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies to receive accommodations and services from Disability Support Services?

Disability Support Services (DSS) provides academic accommodations and auxiliary aids for students with many types of disabilities, including learning disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, psychiatric disorders, traumatic brain injury, deaf and hard-of-hearing, blind and low-vision, mobility impairments, medical conditions, autism spectrum disorders and temporary disabilities. To learn more about necessary documentation to qualify for academic accommodations and auxiliary aids, please visit the "Documentation Guidelines" section of the website.


What is the process for a student to receive accommodations?

Registering with DSS is a one-time process. Once determined eligible, the student is required to submit the Accommodation Request form online each semester to request Accommodation Notices be sent to instructors.

How long will it be before a student receives academic accommodations?

Turnaround time from receipt of documentation to processing of letters varies. There is no specific deadline or required to initiate accommodation process.

The required steps are as follows:

  • Documentation is received, reviewed and assigned by DSS administrative staff.
  • Additional documentation may be necessary to determine eligibility.
  • An initial interview is completed by a DSS coordinator.
  • The Accommodation Request form is completed by the student (each semester).
  • Accommodation notices are emailed to the student's instructors.
  • Students are encouraged to initiate a conversation with their instructors regarding their academic accommodations.

If you have questions, contact your assigned coordinator. If you do not know who that is, refer back to the Accommodation Notice or contact DSS.


How should faculty respond to a student who says, "I am waiting for an initial DSS interview"?

DSS does not encourage faculty to provide academic accommodations without an accommodation notice. Students can disclose their need for accommodation to the DSS Office at any point.

What are the expectations for faculty?

When an Accommodation Notice is received from DSS, faculty members must comply with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which mandates that students with disabilities receive academic accommodations that are reasonable and appropriate.

When notes are part of the accommodation, whose responsibility is it to find the note-taker?

A student with accommodation of volunteer note-taking should do the following:

  • Ask a classmate to volunteer to take notes
  • Provide carbonless duplication paper that is available in the DSS office to the volunteer note-taker
  • If the student has difficulty with this process, seek assistance from the instructor

NOTE: Paid note-takers are generally hired by DSS for students with specific disabilities.


What if the student requires assistive technology?

If the student has the accommodation of assistive technology (i.e. Kurzweil, Zoomtext, Jaws, etc.) and you have questions, contact DSS' assistive technology specialist. If you need immediate assistance and you cannot reach the AT specialist, contact DSS' AT technician on Southern Wake Campus.

What is the difference between "service animals" and emotional support animals?

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Staff may ask two questions: (1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is any animal that is often used as part of a medical treatment plan as therapy, but they are not considered “service animals” under the American with Disabilities Act. However, based on ADA guidelines, ESAs are considered a reasonable accommodation for students with a documented disability and a physician’s specific accommodation. ESAs can be any animal. Students utilizing ESAs must be registered through DSS.

When a student faints or has a seizure in class, what is the appropriate response?

Please refer to the Wake Tech Emergency Medical Protocols & Response Checklist.

911 must be called. However, the student can refuse service and/or transport once first responders arrive. This releases Wake Tech from liability.