Chicago State University

Student Services

Procedures for students requesting services. All services require at least a two-week notification. ( In some circumstances services may be provided sooner but ample notification is still required.) Services and accommodations do not include the following: personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, or readers/typists for personal use or study time.

What is the Purpose of Accommodations?

The purpose of academic accommodations is to assure that there is equal access to and the opportunity to benefit from all educational programs of Chicago State University. Chicago State acts in accordance with two relevant laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Here are some important things to know about academic accommodations:


  • provide students with disabilities with equal access to course instruction, materials, and evaluation
  • “level the playing field” and minimize the impact of the student’s disability on their academic performance
  • do not guarantee success and do not provide an unfair advantage
  • must be reasonable and cannot alter the essential requirements of the course

If you ever have a question about how an accommodation applies in a class, please contact the Abilities Office  at 773-995-4401.

The American Psychological Association has created a disABILITY Resource Toolkit that addresses questions and concerns about providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. See their section on Explaining Reasonable Accommodations for more information .

Verifying Eligibility and Determining Reasonable Academic Accommodations

It is the student’s responsibility to identify himself/herself to The Abilities Office and to provide documentation of a disability. Strict documentation guidelines exist for different types of disabilities and require a current diagnosis, prognosis, and explanation of how the disability may impact the student’s academic performance.


The Abilities Office coordinator will determine appropriate accommodations and services based upon the nature of the disability and your academic needs. Services for students with disabilities include, but are not limited to:
  • orientation to using the Abilities Office
  • testing accommodations and exam proctoring for disability related needs
  • private test location
  • equipment loan
  • photocopying
  • relationship with Dept. of Rehabilitation
  • conversion of classroom materials in accessible format when requested
  • coordination of interpreters and real-time translation
  • priority scheduling of classes
  • assessment of disability-related needs
  • consultation with faculty members regarding academic accommodations as needed and/or requested.
  • computer lab with adapted software.
  • coordination of note taking assistance and/or lab assistance
  • audio /digital books
  • readers and /or scribes
  • faculty notification

Accommodation Letters

The Abilities Office communicates a student’s approved accommodations via letters that are requested and delivered by the student to their instructors.  The letters include all of the classroom accommodations that are approved for an individual student. In order for students registered with The Abilities Office to have access to accommodations, students must:

  1. Request accommodations via the Accommodation Request form link ( ) on the Abilities Office website.
  2. Pick up the letters from The Abilities office and deliver them to instructors.
  3. Discuss accommodations with each instructor.  The Abilities Office recommends that students meet with instructors during office hours or by private appointment to discuss any necessary accommodations or essential elements of the course.
  4. Students must repeat steps 1-3 each semester.
  5. PLEASE NOTE:  After receiving an accommodations letter, instructors have up to 5 business days to provide the approved accommodations.  This is to allow time for any administrative planning that may need to occur.  Thus, students should request, pick up and deliver accommodation letters well in advance of class exams.
  6. These letters contain confidential material and should be handled and filed accordingly.

Equipment Loan

No equipment will be loaned out if a student's file is not complete.(Application on file, medical documentation and current class schedule.) The appropriate form must be completed in order to receive equipment.

Note takers

The Abilities Office provides note takers to qualified students.   Currently, note takers are fellow students who are in the same class.  We provide carbonized copy set paper so that a student can take notes and share a copy of the notes at the end of class.

Telephone Hotline

The Abilities Office established a telephone hotline which can be accessed through our general office telephone number (773/995-4401). This hotline, which was initiated in an effort to assure that all students have access to campus announcements, provides verbal details of CSU events and announcements. To hear these announcements, call the Abilities Office at 773/995-4401 and then press the number “1” when prompted. Any questions regarding this system should be directed to the Abilities Office at the number listed above.

New Policy Language

New Policy Language – College of Education

Petitions presented to the Admissions and Standards Committee for a College of Education policy modification which could constitute a request for an academic adjustment or modification based on a disability will be process as such and will therefore be referred to the Abilities Office for processing.

Students submitting such petitions to the Admissions and Standards Committee (Committee) will receive notice from the Chair of the Committee that the petition has been forwarded to the coordinator of the Abilities Office.  A student, who prefers not to pursue this process, should notify the Committee Chair.