Parent Information

For Parents

The staff at Ability Services appreciates support from every parent. We invite you to contact us with general inquiries, concerns, or feedback. Please understand, however, that even when we're arranging a student's accommodations, it's rare that we actually know what the student is experiencing. Typically we don't know unless the student or a parent tells us. The reason is because college students are considered legal adults with a strong right to privacy. The Ability Services staff do not attempt to closely monitor specific students.

FAQ's For Parents


No. Parents may be invited by the student to attend intake meetings and share details on what may be helpful, but ultimately the student makes the decision on which accommodations are requested.

No. Students are considered legal adults at 18 and are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This protects a student’s right to privacy concerning their records. Students do have an option to sign a confidential release of information through the Ability Services Office to allow information to be shared with parents or another individual providing support to that student.

No. The primary role of the Ability Services office is to support students by providing academic accommodations, coordinating with faculty, and problem-solving any accommodation issues that arise. Ability Services does not offer 1:1 support to students in the area of time-management, organization, academic coaching, tutoring, etc.  Separate services on campus provide these supports. If the student needs this level of support, connect with Student Support Services, Tutoring Center, Speech and Hearing Clinic, etc. 

504 and IEP plans are not transferred to college from the K-12 setting.  504 and IEP plans can be submitted as supporting documentation that aid in determining what accommodations are reasonable for the student in a higher education setting. The Ability Services office needs documentation that specifically addresses the student’s diagnosis and how that diagnosis affects the student academically. Students are asked to have an appropriate licensed clinical professional complete the Ability Services Collaborative Document. It is also helpful to submit the student’s most recent evaluation or assessment.

Possibly. In order to receive an accommodation, a student is required to have a documented disability. Under section 504 of the ADA, disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. A student experiencing test anxiety is to have a documented diagnosis, and the diagnosis needs to demonstrate that it substantially limits one or more major life activity for that student. Students who do not have a diagnosed condition and experience test anxiety should reach out to Ability Services to receive resources about testing, evaluation services in the area and counseling supports on and off campus.

Students are able to connect with the Ability Services office at any point over the course of each semester. It is encouraged that students who are eligible for accommodations connect with Ability Services before the start of the semester as arranging accommodations can be a lengthy process if the student does not provide sufficient information that demonstrates a need for academic accommodations.  It is difficult to process successful accommodations late in the semester.  During the final month of each term, intake appointments to determine appropriate accommodations will be conducted with the intent of creating accommodations for the following academic term.  Accommodations are not retroactive, meaning they cannot address an issue that occurred in the past. Accommodations can only address present and future student concerns. 

Equal Access for Students

Fostering Independence, Reducing Barriers, & Promoting Inclusion


Ability Services

Confidential Fax: 715.425.0742
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
123 Rodli Hall