Academic Accommodations

Are accommoadations retroactive?

No. Accommodations are not retroactive. Accommodations for students with disabilities do not take effect and will not be supported by the Office of Disability Services until you have self-disclosed and completed the registration process.

If you feel you are struggling with your classes due to your disability, it is in your best interest to self-disclose to the Office of Disability Services early in the semester to provide yourself with the best possible opportunity for success.

How do I communicate my accommodation needs to professors if I am eligible?

You should schedule a time to meet with your instructor during their office hours to discuss your accommodations. Make sure that both you and your professor have discussed each accommodation and any logistics that need to be decided (for example, for the accommodation of “Copy of professor notes,” the student will request as needed from the professor).

How do I take my test if I receive testing accommodations?

If you receive testing accommodations, you will take your tests and quizzes in the Academic Support Center. Your professor will send your test to the Office of Disability Services (JUTN) or the Academic Support Center in the Library (JUFL) and you will take your test at a scheduled time.

The Academic Support Center is open for testing Monday-Friday. If those hours do not work for your testing needs, please email the Academic Support Center.

Is my disability information shared with my professors or other campus faculty/staff?

No. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) maintains the security and confidentiality of all files. The information in your file is not shared with anyone unless you request and sign an ODS Student Release of Information form or self-disclose to your professor or campus faculty/staff.

My instructor is not providing me with my accommodations. What should I do?

If you feel that you are not being afforded your accommodations, and you have already had a discussion with your instructor to try and resolve the issue, please set up an appointment to meet with the .

What if I need changes in my accommodations?

If at any time you feel you need additional or different accommodations, please schedule an appointment with the to discuss possible changes. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your request for new accommodations if the documentation on file does not support that request. If you are experiencing changes in the status of your disability, the Office of Disability Services may request updated documentation to better accommodate your changing needs.

What if I'm not able to maintain a full-time course load because of my disability?

Johnson University recognizes that some students may not be able, by reason of disability, to successfully manage a full-time course load of a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester for undergraduate students or nine (9) credit hours per semester for graduate students. These students may continue to participate in the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities afforded to full-time students and the Office of Disability Services may make a reduced course load available as a reasonable accommodation.

Students should be aware that a reduced course load requires additional coordination of services and could impact the following:
• Financial aid status
• Health/automobile insurance
• Eligibility for athletics
• University billing
• Progression towards degree completion

What reasonable academic accommodations are available for students?

Reasonable academic accommodations are based on the nature of the disability and the impact of the disability on the academic environment. All accommodations are determined on an individual case-by-case basis. Reasonable accommodations at the university/college level may differ from those available to the student in high school. No accommodation can or will violate the technical standards of a course or program.

Examples of accommodations may include extended test times, reduced distraction testing environment, a volunteer peer note taker, use of a recording device, alternate text, etc.

Will the Office of Disability Services provide me with personal attendants or equipment?

The Office of Disability Services does not provide personal attendants or equipment for personal use. Students are responsible for securing their own personal attendant. Some equipment is available for student loan.


Are there separate standards for students with disabilities?

No. A student with a disability must meet the same admission standards as his/her non-disabled peers.

If I am receiving accommodations at another college or university will I automatically receive accommodations at Johnson University?

No. You must self-disclose to the Office of Disability Services, provide appropriate documentation, and complete the process to becoming a registered student with the Office of Disability Services before accommodations can be provided.

May I meet with someone from the Office of Disability Services when I am on campus for a tour or visit?

If you are visiting one of our campuses as a potential student, the Office of Disability Services is happy to meet with you to discuss the registration process and accommodations that would assist you if you chose to attend Johnson University. Please contact the Office of Disability Services at 865.251.2426.

Should I disclose that I have a disability during the admission process?

Self-disclosure of your disability is voluntary and it is crucial to understand that it is illegal to inquire about disability during the application process. As part of the application process, you may be asked to complete a personal statement. Disclosing your disability in this statement is voluntary. It is important to understand that if you disclose your disability in this statement, you will not automatically be registered for services through the Office of Disability Services.

To receive accommodations, you must provide appropriate documentation and complete all necessary procedures for becoming a fully registered student with the Office of Disability Services.

Will it hurt my case or help my case to inform Admissions that I have a disability?

Admissions will evaluate your application in the same manner that all applications are evaluated.

Registration and Documentation

Do I need to submit new documentation every year?

No. Once you are deemed eligible for accommodations, updated documentation is not necessary unless your needs have changed. You must, however, fill out a request for accommodations each year you would like to receive accommodations through the Office of Disability Services. This informs the Director of Disability Services of your new class schedule and that you would like to continue services.

How do I receive services?

Students will be asked to complete a Student Registration Form, provide appropriate documentation, and complete an interview with the Director of Disability Services to determine eligibility and reasonable accommodations.

What documentation does the Office of Disability Services need?

In determining eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the student must demonstrate that a qualified professional has established a formal diagnosis of a disability and that there is evidence of a substantial limitation in one or more major life activity. Please see Johnson University documentation guidelines for more information and for examples of acceptable documentation.

The Johnson University documentation guidelines will satisfy the request for accommodations at Johnson University, but may not guarantee accommodations at other universities or on standardized exams.

Where and when do I send my documentation to become registered with the Office of Disability Services?

Students with disabilities who have been admitted to Johnson University and wish to request accommodations are encouraged to submit a registration form and appropriate documentation as soon as a decision has been made to attend Johnson University. Documentation and forms may be submitted in person to the Tennessee Office of Disability Services in Richardson Hall, room 265 or the Florida Office of Disability Services in the Academic Support Center in the library; mailed to Johnson University, Office of Disability Services, Box 1645, Knoxville, Tennessee 37998; or emailed to the .

Transitioning from High School to College

How do accommodations differ from high school to college?

Accommodations differ from high school to college in a variety of ways including applicable laws, required documentation, self-advocacy, parental role, instruction, and testing. You can read all of the details here.

I was in a special education class (IDEA) or had a 504 plan in high school. Am I automatically entitled to the same services that I received in high school?

In kindergarten through 12th grade the student is entitled to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law governs procedures only in K-12, not in post-secondary education. Special education is mandated to provide a free and appropriate education to public school students through the provision of instructional services and modifications. The school is responsible for ensuring a student’s progress. This does not apply to universities or colleges.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are the primary laws that govern the procedures for post-secondary education. Universities/colleges must ensure that a student does not encounter discrimination due to a disability and must provide reasonable accommodations that allow the student to fully participate in the university/college programs and/or classes. Special education classes, IEPs, or 504 plans are not developed at the university level.

If I am a student with a disability, will the Office of Disability Services seek me out to provide services like counselors did in high school?

Under IDEA (K-12th grade), it is the responsibility of the schools to provide services and seek out students with disabilities. At the university/college level, students with disabilities are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IDEA no longer applies in the higher educational setting. Since this is the case, the legal obligations change. There is no special education at the university/college level. Universities cannot seek out students with disabilities. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out services.

What role can my parents have in helping me request accommodations from the Office of Disability Services?

Laws for universities/colleges dictate a student who is 18 years old or older is legally recognized as an adult. As an adult you, the student, must self-disclose to the Office of Disability Services, provide appropriate documentation, request accommodations, and notify us of any specific disability-related needs or concerns. You, the student, must make all requests for accommodations, whether for academics or housing. We cannot honor requests from parents. While the Office of Disability Services is happy to discuss concerns with your parents, please be aware that confidentiality laws prevent us from discussing specific information with parents, unless the student has signed a FERPA release.

Other Questions

Do you have designated parking for persons with disabilities?

If you are a student with a state handicap placard from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there are designated spaces for parking on the entire campus. However, you must still purchase a Johnson University student parking pass in addition to your DMV placard before you can park in the designated spaces on campus.

Please contact the Student Life Office for more information about parking regulations and policies.

How do I request accommodations for a standardized exam offered by ETS or another outside testing agency?

Each testing agency has their own process for requesting accommodations. Please contact the testing agency to find out what information is necessary to apply for accommodations. For questions, please call or meet with the Director of Disability Services.

How will I get prescription medication for ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc.?

There are many pharmacies close to both of Johnson’s campuses. We suggest you have your prescription transferred to one of them so you are able to regularly access your prescribed medication as necessary.

I am currently undergoing testing to determine if I have a diagnosis of a learning disability, ADHD, etc. Can I still receive services?

If you are currently undergoing testing, please set up an appointment to discuss eligibility for provisional accommodations. Provisional accommodations are granted on a case-by-case basis and are good for one semester through the Office of Disability Services.

I need an emotional support animal. What should I do?

Students who need an emotional support animal must contact the Student Life office on their campus with questions about their animal.

I sustained a temporary injury. Am I eligible for services?

Yes, with documentation from a medical professional, students with temporary injuries or medical conditions are eligible for temporary services through the Office of Disability Services. Please contact the office to set up an appointment with a Director of Disability Services.

If I become a registered student with the Office of Disability Services, will it show up on my academic record?

No. The Office of Disability Services adheres to the laws governing confidentiality. Once registered, all documentation and information becomes confidential and is maintained in a secure location in the ODS. Documentation of a disability is never part of a student’s academic record.

Is tutoring provided specifically for students with disabilities?

Academic help is available through the Academic Support Center on both campuses.

What are some strategies I can use to advocate for myself?

The first step is to know yourself, including your strengths, your weaknesses, and what type of accommodations you need. Have a goal and a plan of action to obtain that goal. Obtain assistance from a mentor or other persons you could use as resources. The mentor could be a professor, an older student with a disability, an adviser, or the Director of Disability Services. Learn what resources are available on campus. If you do not know something, ask for help.

What are the most important factors for a student with a disability to succeed in college?

The university/college setting is challenging, and it can be even more demanding for a student with a disability. It is important that you create an academic plan with your advisor that best fits you. Seek accommodations for your disability early. Even if you think you may not use your accommodations, it is best to go ahead and complete the registration process and get your accommodation paperwork in place should you need to use them. At the college level, it is up to you how and when to use your accommodations.

What is the process for obtaining housing accommodations?

Your request for housing accommodations will not be considered until you have completed all of the necessary on-campus housing application requirements through the Student Life Office. If you have questions, please contact the (865-251-2137) or the (407-569-1331).

What role do my parents have in requesting accommodations?

Disability Services recognizes that parents play a significant role in student success. We welcome parents to attend the registration appointment with our office. However, we do encourage students to increase their self-advocacy skills while at the University. This includes being responsible for their success while at Johnson. Disability Services exercises an open door policy with students and encourages students to contact our office when assistance is needed.

Parents should also be aware of FERPA restrictions that the office must adhere to.

What should I do if I have never received accommodations and suspect I have a disability?

If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, please contact the Office of Disability Services (865-251-2426) to schedule an appointment with the Director of Disability Services. The director will guide you through the process of seeking appropriate documentation that may potentially verify a disability.

A list of agencies that conduct testing in the community is also available.

Where do students with disabilities receive academic advising?

Academic advising is available to all students within his/her specific school. The Office of Disability Services does provide some academic advising and assists with course scheduling for those who need class substitutions. Students should schedule a time to meet with the Director of Disability Services by registering and scheduling online.