Parent FAQs


Can my student meet with someone from the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) when we are on campus for a tour or visit?

The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) staff are happy to meet with any student to discuss the registration process. Students must first receive an admissions letter stating acceptance into the University. The student should contact the Center for Accessibility Services at 540-831-6350 (Phone) or 540-922-1176 (VP for ASL Users) to schedule an informational session. 

When on campus for QUEST attend the break out session with the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) or stop by the CAS table during the QUEST fair.

Should my student disclose that they have a disability during the admission process?

Self-disclosure of a student’s disability is voluntary and in no way mandatory. During the application process, students may be asked to complete a personal statement. Disclosing a disability in this statement is voluntary. Student who choose to disclose a disability in this statement, will not automatically be registered for services through the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS). To receive accommodations a student must provide appropriate documentation and complete all necessary procedures for becoming a fully registered student with the office.

Is it mandatory for a student to inform Radford University that he or she has a disability?

No. Disclosure of a disability is on a voluntary basis. However, a student cannot be found eligible for accommodations until he or she self discloses to the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) and completes the registration process.

Are there separate admission standards for students with disabilities?

No. A students living with a disability must meet the same admission standards as his or her peers.

Will it hurt my student’s case or help my student’s case to inform Admissions that I have a disability?

No. The Admissions Office evaluates student’s applications in the same manner that all applications are evaluated. For additional information about the college’s admission procedures visit Radford University Admissions website. 

If my student is receiving accommodations at another college or university will they automatically receive accommodations at Radford University?

Not necessarily. Once admitted, students must self-disclose to the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS), provide appropriate documentation, and have completed the process to becoming a registered student with the CAS before accommodations can be determined or applied.

Registration & Documentation

How do students receive services?

Students will be asked to complete a Student Registration Form, provide appropriate documentation, and complete an interactive interview with a Disability Services Specialist to determine eligibility and reasonable accommodations.

What role can I have in helping my student request accommodations from the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS)?

Laws for universities/colleges dictate a student who is 18 years old or older is legally recognized as an adult. As an adult, a student must self-disclose to the Center for Accessibility Services, provide appropriate documentation, request accommodations, and complete an interactive interview. Parents cannot request accommodations for Radford University students but may attend a consultation session. The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) staff are happy to discuss the process with parents, however, confidentiality laws prevent staff from discussing specific student information with parents unless the student has signed a FERPA release allowing us to speak with specific individuals, including parents. Students can change the status of a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) form at any time.  

What types of documentation does the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) accept? Will a prescription form with a diagnosis suffice?

In determining eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the student must demonstrate that a qualified professional has established a formal diagnosis of a disability and that there is evidence of a substantial limitation in one or more major life activities. See the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) Documentation Guidelines for an explanation of acceptable documentation. 

NOTE: Documentation submitted to the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) for accommodations at Radford University will not guarantee accommodations at other universities or on national standardized exams by ETS such as the VCLA, Praxis I or II, NCLEX, or others.

Does my student need to be retested or reevaluated in order to receive accommodations?

We encourage students to submit documentation that meets the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) Documentation Guidelines. If the accommodations a student is seeking are not substantiated, a Disability Services Specialist will request additional documentation to support the request under the ADA. 

Where and when should my student submit documentation to become registered with the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS)?

Students who have been admitted to Radford University and wish to request accommodations are encouraged to submit the Student Registration Form and appropriate documentation as soon the acceptance letter is received. Documentation and forms may be submitted in person in Russell Hall, Third Floor, Suite 325, faxed to 540-831-6525, mailed to PO Box 6902 Radford, Virginia 24142, or scanned and emailed to Patrons should know that email is a convenient way to submit documentation but it is not 100% secure or confidential.   

Does my student need to submit new documentation every year?

No. Once a student is deemed eligible for accommodations, updated documentation is not necessary unless the the disability has changed and or if a student is seeking a change in accommodations. Students must complete a new Request for Accommodations Form each semester in which accommodations are being requested.  

Transitioning from High School to College

My student was in a special education class (IDEA) or had a 504 Plan in high school. Is he/she automatically entitled to the same services that he/she received in high school?

In Kindergarten through 12th grade the students are entitled to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law governs procedures only in K-12, not in post-secondary education. Special education is mandated to provide a free and appropriate education to public school students through the provision of instructional services and modifications. The school is responsible for ensuring a student’s progress. This does not apply to universities or colleges.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are the primary laws that govern the procedures for post-secondary education. Universities/colleges must ensure that a student does not encounter discrimination due to a disability, and must provide reasonable accommodations that allow the student to fully participate in the university/college programs or classes. Special education classes, IEP’s, or 504 Plans are not developed at the university level.

Will the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) seek out my student like the counselors did in high school?

No. Under IDEA (K-12th grade), it is the responsibility of public schools to provide services and seek out students with disabilities. At the university/college level, students with disabilities are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IDEA does not apply in the higher educational setting.

In high school, teachers kept me informed of how my son or daughter was doing in classes. Will a professor or Disability Services Specialist contact me if my student is having difficulties in class?

In college, students are responsible for their progress in classes and should seek assistance if they are experiencing difficulties. Disability Services Specialists will not contact parents to inform them of how the student is progressing. Parents may call and inquire about a student's progress if a FERPA is on file and the student has given permission for academic information to be shared.   

Academic Accommodations

What reasonable academic accommodations are available for students?

Reasonable academic accommodations are based on the nature of the disability and the impact of the disability on the academic environment. Accommodations are determined on an individual, case-by-case basis. Reasonable accommodations at the university/college level differ from those available to the student in high school. No accommodation should violate the technical standards of a course or program.

Examples of accommodations in which students may be qualified for include extended test times, reduced distraction testing environment, Note takeing Services, use of a recording device, alternate text formats, etc.

Are accommodations retroactive?

No. Accommodations are not retroactive. Accommodations for students with disabilities do not take effect until signatures have been obtained on the Accommodations Contract. Students should contact the CAS immediately upon receipt of an acceptance letter to complete the process.  Early registration can assist students in being successful. 

What if my student is not able to maintain a full time course load because of his/her disability?

The University standard for full-time is twelve (12) credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and nine (9) credit hours per semester for graduate students. Radford University recognizes that some students may qualify for a reduced course load as an accommodation (below 12 credits). A reduced course load does NOT mean that students do less work in any class but that a student is enititled to remain in on campus housing as a full-time student at a reduced credit hour amount (i.e., 6 or 9 credits as an undergraduate)

Students and parents should be aware that a reduced course load requires additional coordination of services and can impact the following:

  • Financial Aid
  • Health/Automobile Insurance
  • Eligibility for Athletics (See the NCAA guidelines)
  • University Billing
  • Progression towards degree completion

How does my student communicate his/her accommodation needs to professors?

Students should meet with Professors during office hours to discuss the Accommodations Letter and the applicability of accommodations to the class. The student and professor will sign the Academic Accommodations Contract when all accommodations or alternate strategies are determined and documented on the contract complete with signatures. The white copy of the triplicate contract is returned to the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS).

My student’s accommodations are not being applied. What should my student do?

Students who are not receiving accommodations should contact the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) immediately. A Disability Services Specialist will assist students in resolving accommodation issues. 

Do you offer services for hearing loss?

If you have a hearing loss of any type, services are available. Please contact the Coordinator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for more information at

Will the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) provide my student with personal attendants or assistive equipment?

No. The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) does not provide personal attendants or equipment for personal use. Students that require personal care attendants are responsible for securing those services and informing the office of Housing and Residential Life. Assistive equipment is available for student loan for a 2 week period to determine if the equipment may be beneficial for personal purchase. The Assistive Technology Lab also has adaptive equipment and software available for students. Students can use the Assistive Technology lab located in the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) Monday-Friday 7am-7pm and the Assistive Technology lab located in McConnell Library during library hours. 

Other Questions

Where do students with disabilities receive academic advising?

Academic advising is available to all students through the advising centers within his/her specific college. 

Please visit Radford University's Undergraduate Academic Advising website to locate contact information for your student’s specific college advising center.

Is tutoring provided specifically for students with disabilities?

The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) works collaboratively with the Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) on campus. All tutoring sessions should be scheduled by the student through the LARC. There may also be tutors available through individual academic departments as well as clubs and organizations on campus. The Center for Accessibility Services updates the bulletin board in the suite with these additional tutoring opportunities when available.

How will my student know when to register for courses for the next semester?

Students fully registered with the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS)  and utilizing classroom accommodations will receive priority registration as an accommodation. The CAS reminds students, via email, of the priority registration window. The student should set up an appointment to meet with his/her advisor well in advance of the registration window, to receive his/her registration pin number. The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) is unable to access or provide students with their registration pin number.

What should my student do if he/she has never received accommodations and we suspect he/she may have a disability?

A student who is experiencing challenges with learning in the classroom may contact the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) to schedule an appointment with a Disability Services Specialist (DSS). The DSS can provide referrals for evaluations and testing. The Center for Assessment and Psychological Services (CAPS) located at Suite 5201, CHBS on campus can provide full scale testing. 

What is the process for obtaining housing accommodations?

Students seeking housing accommodations must complete the registration process and must adhere to all deadlines and policies in the Office of Housing and Residential Life. After completing all components of the on-campus housing applications, students must meet with a Disability Services Specialist. The DSS will determine if a Housing Accommodations form is recommended. Housing Accommodation requests must be submitted by June 30 if requesting medical housing accommodations for the upcoming academic year. 

 Do you have designated parking for students with disabilities?

All students are required to purchase a Radford University student parking pass. Students with a state handicap placard from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can park in marked accessible spaces anywhere on campus.

My student sustained a temporary injury. Are they eligible for services?

Students with documentation from a medical professional, including temporary injuries or medical conditions may be eligible for temporary services through the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS).

My student is currently undergoing testing to determine if he/she has a diagnosis of a learning disability, ADHD, etc. Can they still receive services?

Students in the process of testing may be eligible for provisional accommodations for one semester. Students are qualified on a case-by-case basis.

How does my student request accommodations for a standardized exam offered by ETS or another outside testing agency?

Each testing agency has it's own process for requesting accommodations. Students should contact the testing agency regarding it's process for acquiring accommodations.    Students taking a standardized exam that is not offered by ETS, should contact the testing agency to find out what information is necessary to apply for accommodations. For more information visit Educational Testing Service (ETS) Exam Information

How will my student get his/her prescription medication for ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc.?

The Radford transit is free for all Radford University students and has regular routes to CVS, Kroger, and Wal-Mart, all of which have pharmacies. It is suggested that prescriptions are transferred to a local pharmacy so medications can be filled  conveniently. Radford Drug will also provide delivery to Radford University dormitories should students need medication and/or if the student is unable to travel off-campus. 

General Questions

What is my role as a parent who has a college student with a disability?

Students need the support, but not the control of parents and other family members. Appropriate parental involvement must take place within the boundaries set by law, good sense, and by keeping the long term best interest of the emerging young adult in mind. Such involvement as it relates to the University life most often involves advising and encouraging the college life from the sidelines. Only the most extreme circumstances, such as those that seriously threaten the health or well-being of a student, should involve the direct parental involvement.

Since the student is now in charge of his or her educational planning, what are some self-advocacy skills he or she should develop?

The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) strongly encourages students to develop these self-advocacy skills:

  • Understanding Your Disability: A student should be able to articulate what his or her disability is.
  • Communicating Disability: A student should also be able to describe how the disability limits his or her functioning (functional limitations). A student should also be able to express some ways that he or she could be accommodated.
  • Being Proactive: A student should provide acceptable documentation to the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) and complete a request for accommodations. A student should learn to work collaboratively with professors to ensure his or her success with the accommodations. A student should also be able to identify if his or her accommodations are not being met.

My student currently does not think he/she will need accommodations at the college level; however I fear they will be unsuccessful without them. What should we do?

Students may register at any time, however, the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) encourages students to register with the office prior to the beginning of the semester.  The CAS cannot guarantee academic success but having accommodations in place before classes begins can contribute greatly to a student's success.