Register for Services

Getting support from DSS

If you are a student who has a qualifying permanent or temporary disability and are enrolled in an IU Bloomington course, the Office of Disability Services for Students is here to help you succeed at IU. We’ll empower you to reach your personal and academic goals and ensure that you have equal access to an education through academic adjustments, aids, and services. If at any point in the accommodations process you have questions or need help, please don’t hesitate to contact us—we’re always here to assist you.

How do I register for services?

There are many factors that impact the time it takes to arrange accommodations on the IU campus, including the time of year, how quickly the appropriate documentation is provided, and the requested accommodations. Accommodations such as extra time can often be arranged within a week with the help of instructors. However, accommodations such as sign language interpreting, braille, video descriptions, and closed captioning may take up to a month to put in place. In addition, your instructors have up to two weeks to put accommodations in place after they are notified of your approved accommodation(s). It is best to allow yourself extra time by starting early. 

Prior to establishing accommodations, we will need the medical professional who is treating you to submit documentation regarding your disability.

Documentation provides vital information about the functional limitations of your disability and its impact in a post-secondary academic environment. The intent of DSS is not to exclude students from receiving services; rather it is to ensure that those with qualifying disabilities receive appropriate accommodations.

Please know that getting a clinical diagnosis of a condition is not synonymous with disability—evidence used to make a clinical diagnosis may not be sufficient to determine if you are substantially limited in a major life activity, and how that limitation may impact you in an academic setting.

Complete the online DSS request for services form

You will receive an email from a DSS Access Coordinator within five business days of receipt of your Request for Services. The email, sent to your IU account, may indicate one of the following:

  1. that you are eligible for services based on the documentation you provided;
  2. that we need more information/additional documentation from you prior to determining your eligibility; or
  3. that you should call to speak with your access coordinator.

Your access coordinator will be your point of contact with our office. Feel free to reach out to them at any time.

Once adequate documentation is received and your need for accommodations is established, an orientation meeting will be scheduled for you and your access coordinator. During this meeting, you will discuss your request for services and any barriers you experience in your academics, academic accommodations, and other support services, as well as how to set up your university-approved accommodations. This meeting is required to be registered with DSS and to receive accommodations.

Each semester, all students who are registered with Disability Services and approved for accommodations must submit a new Semester Request to renew their academic accommodations for the upcoming term. To submit a new semester request, log in to the Student Portal from a desktop or laptop computer using Firefox or Google Chrome, and follow these steps.

  • Select “Accommodation” from the left side navigation and then “semester request” (The option will drop down).
  • Then, click the “Add New” button. (Do not complete the date fields.)
  • Your approved accommodation will display at the top of the page. Next, select the current semester from the Semester dropdown list.

Once your Access Coordinator has reviewed your Semester Request and you have met all necessary requirements for accommodation re-approval, you will be notified by email that your Memo of Accommodations is ready in the Student Portal for retrieval and distribution to your instructors.

Arranging disability accommodations to provide equitable access is a shared responsibility between the student, the instructor, and DSS through an interactive process. As a student receiving accommodations, you are responsible for giving a copy of your Memo of Accommodations to each of your instructors at the beginning of each academic term. You should meet with your instructors to discuss the implementation of the approved accommodations outlined in your memo.

Be sure to meet with your instructors early in each term—within the first two weeks of classes, if possible. Accommodations are not retroactive; they are forward moving from the date your instructor is notified and cannot be guaranteed if your instructors don’t receive reasonable advance notice.

During the meetings, you and your instructors should discuss how they will provide your accommodations throughout the course. Your Memo of Accommodations doesn’t contain any information about your disability; rather, it simply specifies the accommodations your instructors are required to provide.

Special information about exam accommodations

If you receive any accommodations that relate to the way you take tests, you should review the DSS guidelines for arranging exam accommodations before meeting with your instructors.

Scheduling exams at DSS

If it is determined by your instructor that you should take your exams at the DSS office, please follow the steps below to schedule your exams. Due to limited space, DSS needs at least five business days’ notice for semester exams and quizzes and 14 business days’ notice for finals.

The first step in scheduling your exams at the DSS office is to have your instructor complete an Exam Request Form (ERF). (A paper ERF is available upon request.) It is important that your instructor complete the entire form—this is their way of communicating their test instructions to DSS. We will follow the instructor’s directions precisely.

Generally, your instructor can fill out one ERF to cover all exams in a course. This allows you to schedule all your exams for the course in advance.

After your instructor submits the ERF to DSS, you must contact DSS staff, by phone or in person, to schedule your exams. Have your course syllabus available for easy scheduling.

You must schedule semester exams and quizzes at least five business days in advance to ensure that you get all your accommodations and a test proctor is available.

You must schedule final exams 14 business days in advance to ensure that you get all your accommodations and a test proctor is available.

Failure to meet these deadlines could result in not getting your testing accommodations.

Before the test

  • Arrive at the DSS office a few minutes early. If you are late, you will not be given additional time to complete your exam. Depending on your instructor’s directions, it is possible that you won’t be allowed to take it at all.
  • Prepare to show your ID to DSS staff.
  • Turn off cell phones.
  • Cell phones, smart watches, coats, backpacks, purses, etc., must be left in DSS lockers. You may not retrieve anything after the proctor has given you your copy of the exam.

Bathroom breaks are not permitted during the exam unless noted as an accommodation. Restrooms are available in the quiet study area on the third floor. One restroom is available in the DSS office.

During the test

Any student who is found to have a cell phone, MP3 player, notes, or other unauthorized items in the test room will have their exam confiscated immediately and will be asked to leave. DSS staff will notify their instructor of the incident.

You are expected to be quiet and courteous if there are other students in the test room. Any student who is disruptive will be removed from the test room and their instructor will be notified.

DSS proctors will not give "time warnings," especially if other students are taking exams in the test room. Plan ahead and use either a basic watch or the wall clock to keep track of your time.

You must write your name on all exam papers and fill in your Scantron (if applicable) during the time allotted for your exam. When your time is up, you will be allowed to finish the sentence you are writing, but no more than that.

If you need to leave the test room for a university approved accommodation, notify the proctor quietly. Either the proctor or a DSS staff member will escort you to the restroom or provide supervision, and the proctor will record the time you leave and the time you return. You will not be permitted to make up time that you use for this purpose unless your memo authorizes it. Students leaving the office without an escort will not be permitted to finish their tests.

After the exam

When you finish the exam, you are free to leave unless your instructor has specified otherwise.

If you are returning the exam to your instructor, please wait for DSS staff to prepare it for return.

Learn about testing modifications for placement exams

If you miss a scheduled exam, DSS staff will contact your instructor to let them know. It is up to your instructor to decide whether to allow you to take a makeup exam. You should contact your instructor immediately to discuss the situation. 

Missed exams need to be rescheduled with sufficient notice in order to obtain a space and proctor. There is no guarantee that the exam will be rescheduled in a private space or within a certain time period.

If you are going to miss a scheduled exam for any reason, contact DSS staff as soon as possible. This helps DSS staff more efficiently use our limited testing space.

Contact DSS staff if your instructor reschedules or cancels an exam. DSS must receive sufficient notice to reschedule an exam as space or proctors may not be available.