If You Suspect a Student Has a Disability

If a student is experiencing academic difficulties and you suspect a possible disability, the following suggestions are helpful.

  • Just as you would with any student, request a private, one-on-one meeting with the student to discuss academic performance and concerns.
  • Focus on stating the facts; for example, “I have noticed that you do very well in class discussions and on homework, but your last two test scores are lower than expected”.
  • Give the student the opportunity to explain the situation from the student’s own perspective. If there seems to be no apparent reason, you could ask the student if this is a pattern experienced in other classes or for a long period of time in their academic career.
  • If the student experience represents a long term or wide spread concern, it would be appropriate to ask if the student has ever considered the possibility that there might be some type of learning difficulty impacting academic achievement.
  • If so, please suggest that the student make an appointment to meet with an Access Services Advisor.
  • If the student indicates an in-depth or long-term issue but it does not seem to be related to disability, you may also make a referral to Counseling. Our Counseling faculty works very closely with Access Services and can connect a student with an Access Advisor when/if appropriate. Students can schedule appointments with counselors by calling 469-3809 or by coming over to the 2nd floor of the Student Center.