Applying for Services
See eligibility, registration, and other required documentation for application submission.
To be eligible for accessibility related services, you must have a documented disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act of 1973, and ADA Amendments Act of 2009.
According to these regulations, you are disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities: walking, standing, seeing, hearing, sitting, breathing, learning or taking care of yourself. Impairments include hearing, visual, mobility, psychological, chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.
These federal rules prohibit discrimination in recruitment, admission or treatment against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. If you have a documented disability, you may request accommodations that enable to you participate in and benefit from all University programs and activities.
First-year and transfer students may apply for accommodations once admitted to the University. Current students may apply at any time; however, accommodations are not retroactive. Students are responsible for identifying themselves to SAS and present proper documentation to receive academic accommodations.
Students must complete the online Application for Accommodations, click on "STUDENTS" and use your USF Net ID to sign in. Supporting documentation can be submitted through one of the following:
- Attached to the online Application for Accommodations in electronic format (e.g. PDF, DOC)
- Emailed to: email@example.com
- Faxed to: (727) 873-4828
- Hand delivered to SAS office (Student Life Center – SLC 1203)
- Mailed to: Students Accessibility Services, 140 7th Ave South, Student Life Center – SLC 1203, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
The process of reviewing the application and supporting documentation may take 7-10 days. We will then contact the student via USF email to set up an intake appointment. Intake appointments are approximately 1 hour and must be completed before accommodations are approved.
Documentation for an accommodation must be current, complete, and completed by a qualified professional. Evaluators should not be related to the individual being assessed.
All documentation must be:
- on letterhead
- signed by the qualified professional
- name and title
- license number of the evaluator
Documentation varies depending on the specific accommodation need and each student’s documentation is individually reviewed.
Verification and Guideline forms are available to assist in the documentation process.
Minimally, the documentation must establish the current functional limitations resulting from the disability. The documentation must provide enough information about the history, scope, and depth of the disability for the University to determine the presence of a disabling condition which significantly impairs a major life function and imposes limitation on some activity associated with the academic process. A school plan such as an Individualized Educational Plan or a 504 Plan is insufficient documentation in and of itself to determine eligibility. These school plans may be included as a part of a more comprehensive evaluative report and are often helpful in describing students’ strengths as well as possible deficits. A formal diagnosis is expected.
All documentation is reviewed by the professional staff of SAS. In some cases, students are requested to provide more documentation than originally submitted.
It is important to recognize that accommodation needs can change over time and are not always identified during the initial diagnostic process. A prior history of accommodation, without demonstration of current need, does not in and of itself warrant provision of a like accommodation. SAS will make the final determination as to whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided to the individual. In addition to documentation as described below, transfer students should provide written verification of accommodations received (and dates served) from the previously attended school(s).
All documentation submitted to SAS is considered confidential and cannot be released to anyone without your permission. This includes test date, accommodation information, medical information and case notes. All records are stored in locked cabinets.
Accommodations and Services
Accommodations are designed to compensate for the impact of a student’s specific disability
and may vary from class to class.
Classroom and Testing Accommodations may include but are not limited to:
- Permission to record lectures
- Volunteer note-taker - if available, copies of class notes from a fellow student
- Services of ASL interpreters
- Preferential classroom seating
- Adaptive classroom furniture
- Extended time and reduced-distraction environment for exams
- Use of computers for essay/written exams
- Services of scribes or readers for exams
- Alternative format textbooks
- Adaptive equipment including magnifier, screen readers and speech-to-text software
- FM Listening System for hearing impairment
Academic Coaches work with registered SAS students individually and in small groups to provide support in areas such as time management, organization, exam preparation, study strategies, communication and social skills.
SAS provides students with Accommodation Lettersfor instructors. The Accommodation Letter includes classroom and testing accommodations approved for a student.
After your initial registration, you should:
- Visit AccessSAS during the first week of every semester and log in using Net ID and password.
- Download and print Accommodation Letters as PDF documents.
- Deliver/email Accommodation Letters to each instructor and discuss accommodations as appropriate. We recommend students meet with instructors during office hours or by private appointment to discuss any necessary accommodations or essential elements of the course.
Students are eligible for testing accommodations if their disabilities require extended time for tests, a reduced-distraction environment for tests, reading/writing assistance or adaptive equipment to complete tests. In-person accommodated exam services remain closed until further notice. Please contact SAS for assistance with exam accommodations as SAS students will continue to receive appropriate accommodations.
Students with documented disabilities may qualify for a course substitution. Applies only to the USF General Education requirements. To apply for a course substitution, the student must be registered with SAS for accommodations, present documentation from a qualified medical provider that supports the request and complete the SAS Petition for Course Substitution form.
Students who have short term medical conditions or temporary injuries may benefit from services. Students seeking assistance with a temporary injury or medical condition should contact us for support.
SAS provides resources to students and faculty to help students achieve academic success. USF has several on campus and off campus resources. Visit the main SAS website for a full list of available resources (opens in new window).