Student Disability Services works to increase on-campus accessibility


Sofia Garcia, Editor-in-Chief

With a mission to “empower students with disabilities to achieve access so they can be successful at UTSA and beyond,” the Student Disability Services helps bridge the gap between students and equal accessibility. They serve students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, blind and low vision, communication disorders, head injuries or traumatic brain injuries, learning disorders, mental health disorders and physical, systemic and mobility issues. They also serve those who are deaf and hard of hearing. There are many steps that a student with disabilities can take to ensure equal access to a successful academic career. 

The steps and policies are as follows: 

Provide proper documentation of your disability. This could include diagnostic testing, medical records and/or a letter from a provider. Your documentation will go before the Documentation Review Committee. The committee meets once a week during the year, excluding holidays, and serves to make decisions regarding eligibility. 

Once your paperwork has been reviewed by the committee, an email will be sent to your UTSA email address. The email will ask you to make an appointment with a Disability Specialist. An interview with the Disability Specialist will take place and they will help determine what kind of accommodations are necessary. Once accommodations are approved, the Accommodation Notification Procedures must be followed by every student in order to ensure instructors are notified through a letter. Accommodation letters are then sent to both the student and instructor. After each letter is received, the student and instructor will meet and discuss a plan of action.

There are also rights and responsibilities to be maintained by students with a disability. 

“Students with disabilities have the right to equal access to courses, programs, activities, services, and facilities offered at UTSA. Students are also entitled to reasonable accommodations. Students have the responsibility to provide acceptable documentation of disabilities and to register with Student Disability Services if they would like to receive accommodations. If students deem it necessary to receive accommodations for a particular class, students have the responsibility to inform the instructor, to deliver the accommodations letters that verify their approved accommodations, and participate in the discussions about how their needs can be met,” as stated by the Student Disability Services website. 

Their values reflect their inclusive and helpful environment.

“We value equity, respect, empowerment, and connectedness for all students with disabilities. We promote a comprehensive, accessible environment where students are viewed on a basis of ability, not disability. We advocate for the development of self-reliance and personal independence. We demonstrate our commitment to diversity, personal growth, and development through employing best practices. We envision a universally designed academic community that supports the inclusion of all students with disabilities.”

The Student Disability Services office can be found in the Multidisciplinary Studies Building in room 3.01.16. Their office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Their phone number is (210)-458-4980, and you can reach them by email at [email protected].