Welcome to Iowa State University!


The transition to college is a challenging time for most students--and it may be more challenging for a student with a disability.  Student Accessibility Services (SAS) staff recommends that students with disabilities contact our office as soon as possible so that we can work together to determine eligibility for services, identify likely challenges, and coordinate reasonable accommodations. 


Advocacy is supporting or recommending a particular cause or policy. It is important that students understand that it is their responsibility to advocate and communicate their educational needs with our office and their professors. An excellent way to get involved to raise awareness about disabilities on campus is to join the Alliance for Disability Awareness, which is a student lead organization and supported by SAS. 

Test-taking strategies and studying are skills that are essential to succeeding in college. In high school, you may have been given time to complete assignments, reading, and other tasks in class. In college, you will be expected to complete everything outside of class. There are many resources that Iowa State University offers to help ease with this transition. The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides opportunities for students to develop skills that promote success, practice leadership, and become self-directed learners through the delivery of high-quality academic support services. Some of these services include individual academic coaching, exam preparation, supplemental instruction, tutoring, and more! SAS and ASC work together very closely to ensure that students are meeting their academic needs! 

Organization makes the transition to college so much easier. Whether that be an app on your smartphone, planner, or other preferred methods. The ASC provides resources that help students plan out their entire semester at the beginning of each semester and work with the student to find an effective personalized plan of action. SAS has composed a list that can be found here of helpful apps and resources for students. 


Applicable Laws

High SchoolCollege
Special Education LawCivil Rights Law
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
IDEA is about SUCCESSADA is about ACCESS


Required Documentation

High SchoolCollege
IEP (Individalized Education Plan and/or 504 Plan)A high school IEP and/or 504 are not sufficient, ISU Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides specific documentation guidelines required for each category of disability
The high school provides evaluation at no cost to the studentThe student must obtain an evaluation
Documentation focuses on determining whether a student is eligible for services based on specific disability categories in IDEAAppropriate medical documentation must meet specific guidelines and include information regarding functional limitations and the need for specific accommodations


High SchoolCollege
Student is identified by the high school and is supported by parents and teachersStudent must self-identify to the Office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
The school is primarily responsible for arranging accommodationsThe student is responsible for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations with faculty
Teachers approach students they believe may be in need of assistance

Faculty members are open and helpful, but expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance

Parental Role

High SchoolCollege
Parents have access to student records and may participate in the accommodation processParents do not have access to student records without the student's written consent
Parents advocate for studentStudent advocates for self



High SchoolCollege
Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter the pace of assignmentsFaculty are not required to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines


Grades and Tests

High SchoolCollege
IEP or 504 plan may include fundamental modification to the program, assignments, test format, and/or gradingFundamental modifications to the program, assignments, test format, and/or grading are generally unavailable, accommodations may not alter the fundamental nature of the course or impose an undue burden on the institution
Makeup work/tests are often availableMakeup work/tests are seldom available; if they are, they are at the faculty's discression
Teachers often remind students of assignments, exams, and due datesFaculty expect students to read, save, and consult the course syllabus


Study Responsibilities

High SchoolCollege
Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of IEP or 504 planTutoring does not fall under Student Accessibility Services (SAS), students with disabilities must apply for tutoring via Tutoring Services
Student study time and assignment completion are structured by othersStudent must manage own time and complete assignments independently
Time required to study outside of class may be limitedTime required to study outside of class will be at least 3 hours for each hour spent in class


Additional Resources