Common Questions

  1. What is the Office of Disability Services (ODS)?

    The Office of Disability Services (ODS) works with students who self-identify that they have a disability and who provide appropriate documentation supporting their claim. The ODS confirms the disability and determines appropriate accommodations for the student. The ODS also assists students and instructors in obtaining and providing reasonable accommodations.

  2. What types of disabilities do you serve?

    The ODS serves students with any disability that impacts a major life function. Some examples of common disabilities that Polk State College serves include, but are not limited to, the following: learning disabilities; attention deficit disorder; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; autism or Asperger’s syndrome; hearing impairments; visual impairments; physical disabilities; diseases such as cerebral palsy, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes; and mental illness such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. To speak with the Director of Disability and Counseling Services to learn more, contact 863.669.2309.

  3. What is an accommodation?

    An accommodation is something students with a disability are legally entitled to receive based on documentation. It helps them to succeed in the academic setting.

  4. When should I self-identify with the ODS?

    Students are encouraged to self-identify with the ODS as soon as they register at Polk State. Students may register with the ODS anytime during the semester; however, accommodations and services begin at the time the student is approved by the ODS.

  5. What are examples of accommodations you provide?

    Typical accommodations include, but are not limited to, priority registration, faculty notification letters, note-taker services, readers, scribes, tutoring, alternate formats for printed materials, accessible classroom furniture, auxiliary aids and services, assistive-technology resources, extended testing time, distraction-reduced testing areas, course substitution, and TRiO support services.

  6. What documentation do I need to receive services?

    In order to qualify for services, the ODS needs documentation from a qualified professional describing your disability, listing functional limitations, and giving recommended accommodations. Documentation should be current, within the past three years.

  7. I am an online student. How do I register for accommodations?

    Contact the Director of Disability and Counseling Services at 863.669.2309. The Director will then e-mail you a copy of the Disability Self-Disclosure form and tell you what documentation you will need to send in order to get approved for services. Once you have completed the Self-Disclosure form and provided the appropriate documentation, the Director will send you a welcome letter and contact your instructors to let them know of your approved accommodations.

  8. Is my documentation kept confidential?

    Yes. Students sign a release of information so the  Director of Disability and Counseling Services can share information with your instructors regarding your accommodations. Your disability is not disclosed unless you give the ODS written permission.

  9. How is obtaining services different from high school to college?

    At the collegiate level, students are required to self-identify to the ODS and provide documentation of their disability. Any testing that needs to be done is not provided or paid for by the College.

  10. Will I have to attend special classes?

    No. You will attend the same classes as other Polk State students.

  11. Can my parents call to see how I am doing?

    In order for the ODS to give your parents any information regarding how you are doing at Polk State, you will need to sign a release form with their name(s) that gives the ODS permission to speak with them.

  12. Will my instructors be notified of my disability?

    No. All information is kept confidential unless you give the ODS written permission to release it. The accommodation letters that your instructors receive only state your name and the accommodations you are eligible to receive.

  13. What do I do if I need a reader or a scribe for a test?

    Tests with readers or scribes are taken in the TLCC. They will arrange for a reader or scribe to be present, but the request must be made at least one week prior to the test.

  14. What do I do if I want to take a test in the TLCC?

    Please give the TLCC and your instructor at least one week’s notice that you will be taking an exam there. The TLCC will arrange for your instructor to submit the test to the TLCC. The TLCC will require your license or Florida ID, and you will not be able to use your cell phone during the test.

  15. If one of my accommodations is extended time, do I have to take my test in the TLCC?

    Yes. Extended time extensions can only be used in the TLCC and in certain online class settings. If you choose to take your test in the classroom, you will not be allowed to use extended time and you will not be allowed to re-take the test using extended time.

  16. How much extra time will I receive with extended time?

    Extended time is determined on a case by case basis depending on the documentation provided to the ODS.

  17. What do I do if I have registered with the ODS, but my instructors say they have not received my accommodation letter?

    Contact the Director of Disability and Counseling Services immediately.

  18. If I decide not to use my accommodations for a test and I fail, can I re-take it with my accommodations?

    No. The ODS recommends you always use your accommodations for all tests.

  19. If I register with the ODS in the middle of the semester, will my instructors let me re-take tests I did poorly on earlier in the semester?

    No. Accommodations go into effect on the date you are registered and approved by the ODS.

  20. Do I have to use my accommodations?

    We encourage students to always use your accommodations. However, it is ultimately the student’s choice to use them.

  21. Can a teacher decide that I cannot have my approved accommodations?

    No. Contact the Director of Disability and Counseling Services immediately if this occurs.

  22. I think I have a learning disability. Is there someone on campus who can test me?

    Polk State does not conduct testing for learning disabilities, nor does the school pay for outside testing. The Director of Disability and Counseling Services can give you information as to where you can go in the community to be tested.

  23. Will I receive the same accommodations as I did in high school?

    Not necessarily. When you meet with the Director of Disability and Counseling Services, you will discuss the accommodations you used in the past that helped you achieve success in the classroom. You and the Director will determine what accommodations will best suit your academic needs.

  24. What do I do if I am having a problem with an instructor who refuses to let me use my accommodations?

    Contact the Director of Disability and Counseling Services immediately.