Resources for Students with Disabilities

 Your responsibilities are not to diagnose or provide therapy; it is the development of a compassionate and forthright conversation that ultimately helps a student in trouble find understanding, support, and the proper therapeutic resources.

  • Students with documentation of a physical, learning, sensory, developmental or psychiatric disability and who have registered with UNF’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) are eligible to receive accommodations at the University of North Florida. 

  • Students with physical and/or sensory disabilities present special classroom access needs associated with limitations in mobility, speaking, hearing, and/or vision. 

  • Students with medical disorders may experience difficulties participating in their academic programs due to the condition itself or the ongoing treatment protocol. 

  • Students with learning disabilities have neurological impairments that interfere with and slow down information processing, memory and retrieval, and output. These disabilities can have a detrimental impact on reading, writing, math, attention, concentration, and/or overall organization. 

  • Students with psychiatric disabilities have a chronic and debilitating psychological condition that interferes with their ability to participate in the routine educational program. Examples of conditions that fall under this classification include Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but not “test anxiety”. 

  • Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects how an individual thinks, learns and experiences the world. All students with autism are different but they share difficulties in five core areas. These include: Communication, social interaction, repetitive behavior/restricted interests, sensory processing, and information processing/learning style (typically better at visual learning). 

  • THRIVE – is a specialized program at UNF to provide further assistance to students with autism. The program provides individual mentors, support groups, counseling, and other assistive services to support students with autism at the university. Contact the DRC for more information about the THRIVE program. 

  • Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) may experience inattentive, hyperactive, and/or impulsive behaviors due to a dysfunction of the central nervous system. These behaviors may compromise an individual’s social, vocational  and academic performance.

What you can do:

  • Speak to the student in private about your concerns. 

  • Treat each student with sensitivity and respect. 

  • Refer the student to the Disability Resource Center in Tom and Betty Petway Hall, Building 57, Room 1500 or (904) 620-2769. 

  • Work together with the student to find reasonable access to quizzes, tests, and other class requirements. 

  • Discuss accommodations, NOT the disability, with the student (e.g., 504 Plan). 

  • Contact the Disability Resources Center immediately if you are experiencing any doubts or are having difficulty understanding the accommodations that need to be applied.

Avoid:

  • Be mindful of using language that could be construed by the student as negative, degrading or condescending.
  • Be mindful of questioning the stated disability or changing the core requirements of the course.
  • Be mindful of assuming the student qualifies for accommodations without a DRC accommodations letter.