High School vs. Post-Secondary
Both college and the services available to you differ in important ways from what you may be accustomed to in High School. How you obtain services, apply for them, and the responsibility placed on you may well be different than what you are familiar with. If you are entering college for the first time, it is important to understand what to expect from the Disability Services Center, other student services offices, as well as faculty, staff, and yourself. The documentation forms on this site are provided for the convenience of your physician, psychologist, or other certifying professional.
What's the Difference?
As you may know, the laws applying to students with disabilities at the college level are different from those applying to grades K-12. In high school, you received services under IDEA or Section 504; these were typically spelled out in an IEP or 504 Plan. At the University, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as Section 504, protect you from discrimination based on your disability.
Services at the University level are provided to give you equitable access to an education rather than to guarantee that you will learn or achieve success. While we provide many services which will help you to compensate for the effects of your disability, the University does not change its academic requirements to accommodate itself to you as your high school may have done.
Also, you may or may not receive the same services provided to you in high school. You will be responsible for completing all of the same work as any other student, but perhaps in a way that works better for you. The process for obtaining accommodations for your disability will differ too.
A most important difference is that you (not your parents, teachers or the University) are responsible for identifying yourself as a student with a disability, requesting services, making best use of those services, or even choosing not to use services. Your parents are not involved in this process, unless you specifically request this in writing.
In addition to obtaining services, you will be responsible for scheduling your classes, making sure that assignments are completed, and meeting with instructors and teaching assistants when necessary. DSC Staff and other student services departments, especially the Student Affairs area of your College and major, can be helpful while you are learning to navigate the University system.
The University does not provide personal services or individually prescribed devices as your high school may have done. Personal services include assistance with bathing, grooming, food preparation, housekeeping, orientation and mobility, and the like. You or your family will be responsible for obtaining and funding these services, perhaps with assistance from the County Department of Social Services. Individually prescribed devices include hearing aids, glasses, braces, wheelchairs, other mobility devices, etc. Your family's health insurance or the State Department of Rehabilitation may be able to help pay these expenses.
How Will I Obtain Accommodations at UC Irvine?
When you return your Statement of Intent To Register (SIR) you will be issued a UCInetID. You will then be able to register with DSC and set up an appointment. You will be asked to provide applicable documentation for your disability. See the page on how to Register with DSC.
If you are a continuing student or visiting student please contact Disability Services Center at least two weeks before you will need accommodation services.
DSC Staff will review your documentation and may need to ask you for additional information in order to assure that you will receive appropriate services. You and a member of the DSC staff will be able to meet and discuss the type of services that you will need.