Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Student Accommodations

As an Ohio State student with a disability, you can register with Disability Services to be approved for accommodations. Accommodations are designed to eliminate disability-related barriers in the environment and curriculum so that you have an equal opportunity for success. Use the navigation links below to learn more about available accommodations.

Navigation Links:


Overview Video

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Exam Accommodations

Students with disabilities that impact their test-taking ability can be approved for exam accommodations. Disability Services is committed to providing an equitable testing environment for students. Exam accommodations may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Distraction-reduced space
  • Extended time
  • Assistive technology (e.g. CCTV, screen-reader software)
  • Accessible formats (e.g. Word Doc, large print, braille)
  • Computer/Microsoft Word for essay exams
  • Raised table
  • Reader/scribe

Struggling with test anxiety? Visit go.osu.edu/testanxiety to watch a video presentation on causes and intervention strategies. 

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Note-Taking Assistance

Students who have difficulty capturing real-time lecture material can be approved for note-taking assistance. Note-taking assistance can be provided in a few different ways. 

  1. Instructor-Provided Notes: If your instructor is willing to, they can provide you supplemental notes, such as an outline or comprehensive Powerpoint slides.
  2. Technology Support: Technology can provide you with an effective, independent way to capture lecture material. If you prefer handwritten notes, you may like using a Livescribe Smartpen. If you prefer typed notes, you may want to use an app like Notability or Sonocent. Once you are registered, our Assistive Technology Coordinator, Dion Elizondo, can help you with exploring different options.
  3. Peer Notetaker: Once approved for the accommodation, your instructor can help identify a classmate of yours to volunteer as a peer notetaker in the course. In exchange, Disability Services offers volunteers a small stipend ($25 per credit hour) or a certificate of volunteer hours. 

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Attendance and Deadline Modifications

For students that have disabilities with random acute episodes which may require them to miss classes or deadlines, Disability Services will approve for the student to be granted a moderate amount of flexibility with excused absences, exam dates, deadlines and participation points. With our guidance and support, you and the instructor will create a written agreement which outlines this flexibility while still honoring the learning outcomes for the course.

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Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is hardware or software designed to create an accessible user experience. Assistive technology provides disabled individuals with independence in reading, writing, communication, and physical/electronic navigation. Once you are registered, our Assistive Technology Coordinator, Dion Elizondo, can help you with exploring different technologies. Common assistive technologies include:

  • speech-to-text software (e.g. Dragon Naturally Speaking), 
  • screen-reading/magnification software (e.g. ZoomText, JAWS), and
  • text-to-speech learning tools (e.g. Read and Write Gold).

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Accessible Media

Accessible formats enable students who use assistive technology, such as screen-enlargers or text-to-speech software, to have equitable access to their classes. Accessible formats can also prove helpful for non-disabled students, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) students and students with different learning styles.

Our Accessible Media Team serves as a production and resource center for faculty/staff to provide accessible formats of their course materials, such as textbooks, handouts, articles, exams and videos. Teamwork and collaboration between SLDS, students, and instructors are essential to the accessible media production process. 

Common Accessible Media Formats:

  • PDF (image or searchable)
  • RTF (Rich Text Format)
  • Paper enlargements
  • Braille
  • Captioned videos
  • Audio description (i.e. descriptive narration of images, videos, graphs, etc.)
  • MP3 (Audio format)
  • xhtml (Audible mathematics output format)

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Sign Language Interpreting/Transcribing

We coordinate interpreting and/or transcribing services for D/deaf or hard of hearing students registered with the office. Sign language interpreting and transcribing services are available for all university activities.

Our interpreters are selected based on an assessment of interpreting skills, experience in the post-secondary setting, and the ability to handle the level of discourse common in a university setting. Our full-time staff interpreters are RID-NAD certified.

Our transcribers are trained using Typewell and C-Print, and are selected based on an assessment of transcribing skills, experience in the post-secondary setting, and the ability to handle the level of discourse common in a university setting. The student can view the real-time transcript via a mobile device or laptop from anywhere in the classroom.

Contact: Tiffany Hedges, Lead Interpreter/Transcriber

Other Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services

Deaf/Hard of hearing students may also benefit from the use of Assistive Listening Devices or captioning services.

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Consultation and Advocacy

Once registered, you can meet with your assigned Access Specialist to review academic accommodations, discuss any concerns with classes or instructors, get assistance with petitions, complete graduate testing accommodations paperwork, or learn about campus and community resources, etc. 

Each Access Specialist works with a specific set of academic programs/colleges. To learn more, visit the Contact My Access Specialist page.

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Housing/Dining Accommodations

If you ONLY need accommodations for on-campus housing or dining, then you do not need to register with Disability Services. However, if you anticipate needing additional accommodations or advocacy, you will need to complete our registration process.

Housing Accommodations

Dining Accommodations

  • Visit the NetNutrition website to discover which locations offer food items that best suit your dietary needs.
  • Contact Assistant Director of Nutrition, Gina Forster (614-247-7641 / forster.78@osu.edu) for more information.

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Disability Parking / Adaptive Transportation

Disability Parking

Visit CampusParc’s ADA Accessible Permits page for more information regarding disability parking on campus. They also offer a map of accessible parking spaces on campus

Adaptive Transportation

Ohio State Paratransit and COTA's Project Mainstream are two adaptive transportation systems for Ohio State students, faculty and staff with disabilities.

Paratransit

This service operates throughout the year, transporting passengers curb-to-curb, both on and off campus within University established boundaries. This service is available to students with both temporary and permanent mobility needs. 

COTA, Project Mainstream

This service provides door--to--door drop off. Information regarding Project Mainstream is available by calling COTA at 614-275-5833, or by accessing COTA's website.

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Other Services

Accessible Classroom Furniture

For students who need wheelchair-accessible tables or other alternative furniture in their classrooms, we will work with Classroom Services to coordinate a setup to meet your needs. 

Adaptive Recreation

Rec Sports encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services. To learn more about the adaptive recreation services available at Ohio State, please visit their Adaptive Recreation page

Assistive Listening Device (ALD)

Deaf or Hard of Hearing students may request an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) for use in the classroom environment. We partner  with Ohio State's Speech Language Hearing Clinic for equipment fitting and loaning.

Course Substitutions

We coach and support students through the course substitution petition process, including proving letters of support. 

Full-Time Status with a Reduced Course Load

If a student's disability prevents them from being able to successfully manage a full-time course load, this accommodation allows them to take reduced course load while still maintaining their full-time student status, to the greatest extent possible. The goal of this accommodation is to provide students with a sustainable path toward degree completion.

If you are approved for this accommodation, your Access Specialist will work with you and our campus partners to determine the best way to implement this accommodation. The details will look different for each student depending on several factors, such as your academic program and student type. Some aspects outside of the university's control, such as federal student aid eligibility, may still be imacted by taking a reduced course load. 

Graduate/Professional Student Accommodations

Graduate/professional students with disabilities can register with Disability Services for both general accommodations (e.g. extended time on exams) and accommodations that specifically apply to graduate-level work. Some of these graduate-specific accommodations can include:

  • accommodations for a dissertation, oral defense or thesis,
  • field placement/internship/clinical accommodations, and
  • comprehensive/qualifying/candidacy exam accommodations.

Lab Assistants

Students with disabilities which prevent them from being able to complete in-class lab requirements can request a lab assistant. Lab assistants will perform only those tasks directed by you. They will not prompt or guide you in performing a lab task.

Priority Scheduling

Undergraduate students registered through Disability Services receive priority scheduling. This means you may register for classes prior to the start of general registration. Note: This does not apply to registration during freshman/transfer orientation.

Study Abroad Accommodations

In collaboration with SLDS, the Office of International Affairs seeks to enable all students to pursue an international experience. To learn more about access and accommodations while studying abroad, visit the OIA Accommodations and Disabilities page.

Student Life

Students with disabilities can request accommodations in all areas of student life, including student organizations, student leadership programs, study abroad, campus programming, student employment and support services. 

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