CAS Frequently Asked Questions

Transitioning from High School to College

For students with disabilities moving into higher education, we suggest learning about your rights and responsibilities. Below is one of many important websites with helpful information for students. 

U.S. Department of Education

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education:
Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

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 and/or classes. 

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 be able to describe how the disability limits their functioning (functional limitations). A student should be able to express some ways that they could be accommodated. 
  • Being Proactive: A student should provide acceptable documentation to the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) and complete an application for CAS services. A student should learn to work collaboratively with professors to ensure their success with the accommodations. A student should be able to identify if their accommodations are not being met and contact CAS in a timely manner to discuss. 

I was in a special education class (IDEA) or had a 504 Plan in high school. Am I automatically entitled to the same services that I received in high school?

No. Not all high school accommodations will be reasonable in the college environment. Your 504 or IEP plan does not automatically follow you to college. You will need to apply to CAS. Together the student and the CAS access specialist will determine reasonable accommodations for the college environment. 

If I am a student with a disability, will the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) seek me out to provide services like my counselors did in high school?

No. It is the student's responsibility to apply for CAS services. Universities cannot seek out students with disabilities. 

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

While the Center for Accessibility Services is happy to discuss concerns with your parents, please be aware that confidentiality laws prevent us from discussing specific information with parents, unless the student has signed a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release allowing us to speak with your parents. Contact the Office of the Registrar for more information on FERPA. 



If you need accommodations to participate in the Radford University application process please inform the University Admissions office at or phone 540-831-5371. 


May I meet with someone from the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) when I am on campus for a tour or visit?

CAS is happy to meet with you to discuss the application for CAS services process and reasonable accommodations that would assist you if you chose to attend Radford University. Please call CAS at 540-831-6350 or email to schedule an informational session.

When on campus for QUEST visit the CAS office as your schedule allows.

Should I disclose that I have a disability during the admission process?

Disclosing your disability is voluntary. Please note, if you disclose your disability during the admissions process, you will not automatically be registered for services with the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS). CAS is the department on campus that approves official disability related accommodations that have been determined as reasonable through a completed interactive process with a student and the CAS offices.

Are there separate admission standards for students with disabilities?

No. A student with a disability must meet the same admission standards.

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

Admissions will evaluate your application in the same manner that all applications are evaluated. For additional information about the college’s admission procedures visit Radford University Undergraduate Admissions website.

If I am receiving accommodations at another college or university will I automatically receive accommodations at Radford University?

No. Before Radford University accommodations may be determined and provided, you must self-disclose to CAS, complete the application for CAS services process, and engage in an interview with a CAS Access Specialist. Documentation may be requested. Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case by case basis by each college or university. 


Applying for CAS Services and Documentation

What documentation does the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) need?

A CAS Access Specialist may request documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This documentation 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. Please review the Center for Accessibility Services Documentation Guidelines for more information.

Do I need to submit new documentation every year?

No. Generally, once a student has completed the process for accommodations with CAS, new documentation is not required unless a student is requesting an additional need related to disability.

By being approved for services through CAS, do I automatically get these services when taking standardized tests (GRE, Praxis, VCLA, etc.)?

No, to receive accommodations with standardized exams, the student must register with that testing company and complete their requirements to receive accommodations.




Academic Accommodations

Looking for information about housing, dining or interpreting accommodations, please see our Accommodations Information tab. 

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. All accommodations are determined on an individual case-by-case basis. Reasonable accommodations at the university/college level may differ from those available to the student in high school. Accommodations are available to ensure access to the material and are not to fundamentally alter the content of the curriculum.

Are accommodations retroactive?

No. Accommodations are not retroactive. Students should work with their CAS Access Specialist and the faculty member to put their accommodations in place prior to the start of the semester.  

What if I need changes in my accommodations?

If at any time you feel you need additional or different accommodations, please schedule an appointment with your assigned CAS Access Specialist to discuss. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your request for new accommodations if the documentation on file does not support that request. If you are experiencing changes in the status of your disability, CAS may request updated documentation to better accommodate your changing needs.

What if I’m not able to maintain a full time course load because of my disability?

The University standard for full-time is tweleve (12) credit hours, or about 4 classes, 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 (meaning less classes, or below 12 credits, not less assignments within the classes).

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

  • Financial Aid status
  • Health/Automobile Insurance
  • Eligibility for Athletics
  • University Billing
  • Progression towards degree completion


How do I communicate my accommodation needs to professors if I am eligible? 

Each semester a CAS student is required to complete a semester request to use their accommodations. CAS will create an access plan and send an email notification to the student with instructions for setting up accommodations. Students will then discuss their access plan with each of their instructors. It is encouraged that students meet with professors during office hours to discuss the Access Plan and the applicability of accommodations to the class.  The student and professor will agree upon appropriate accommodations and electronically sign the Academic Access Plan.

My instructor is not providing me with my accommodations. What should I do?

If you feel that you are not being afforded your accommodations, and you have already had a discussion with your instructor to try and resolve the issue, please set up an appointment to meet with your CAS Access Specialist.

Do you offer closed captioning services and/or do you have sign language interpreters?

Sign Language Interpreters and closed captioning services are available. Please contact the CAS Coordinator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for more information.

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

CAS does not provide personal attendants or equipment for personal use. 

General Questions

Where do students with disabilities receive academic advising?

The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) does not provide academic advising or assist with course scheduling.  Academic advising is available to all students through the Academic Success Center.

Please visit the Radford University Academic Success Center website to locate contact information.

Is tutoring provided specifically for students with disabilities?

CAS does not provide tutoring, if a student would like to recieve this type of service, they should visit the Harvey Center for Learning and Writing which is located on the fourth floor of McConnell Library.

What should I do if I have never received accommodations and suspect I have a disability?

If you suspect you have a disability that is impacting your academic performance, please contact CAS at 540-831-6350 to schedule an appointment with a CAS Access Specialist. 

The Center for Assessment and Psychological Services (CAPS) located at CHBS 5201 (5th floor) on campus can provide full scale testing. 

A list of additional agencies that conduct testing in the community is also available.

What is the process for obtaining housing accommodations?

Once a student has completed the Housing and Residential Life process, a student should contact a CAS Access Specialist.  Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis for Radford University owned housing only. 

Do you have designated parking for persons with disabilities?

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

Please contact Parking and Transportation for more information about parking regulations and policies.

I sustained a temporary injury. Am I eligible for services?

Students with temporary injuries or medical conditions are eligible for temporary services through the CAS. Please contact the office to set up an appointment with a CAS Access Specialist.

I am currently undergoing testing to determine if I have a diagnosis of a learning disability, ADHD, etc.  Can I receive services during the interium?

If you are currently undergoing testing, please set up an appointment to discuss eligibility for provisional accommodations. Provisional accommodations are granted on a case-by-case basis and are good for one semester at Radford University.

How do I request accommodations for a standardized exam offered by ETS or another outside testing agency?

Each testing agency has their own process for requesting accommodations. Please contact the testing agency to find out what information is necessary to apply for accommodations. 

How will I get my prescription medication for ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc.?
The Radford Transit is free for all Radford University students and has regular routs to various establishments where prescribed drugs can be purchased.

What are the most important factors for a student with a disability to succeed in college?

The university/college setting is challenging, and it can be even more demanding for a student with a disability. It is important that you create an academic plan with your advisor that best fits you. Seek accommodations for your disability early. Even if you think you may not use your accommodations, it is best to go ahead and complete the registration process and get your accommodation paperwork in place should you need to use them.  At the college level, it is up to you how and when to use your accommodations.

What are some strategies I can use to advocate for myself?

The first step is to know yourself, including your strengths, weaknesses, and what type of accommodations you need. Have a goal and a plan of action to obtain that goal. Obtain assistance from a mentor or other persons whom you could use as a resource. Learn what resources are available on campus by reviewing websites, and attending information fairs. If you do not know something, ask for help.

If I become a registered student with the CAS will it show up on my academic record?

No. The Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) adheres to the laws governing confidentiality.