Letter to Incoming Students with Disabilities (and Their Parents)

Welcome to the University of Tulsa! We are so glad you are here! This letter will provide you with some important information about disability accommodations and how to make a successful transition to college. As a college student, you will be taking on significant responsibility for your own life and success. This may be very different from high school, where accommodations were built to guarantee your success. You will be the one taking charge of your schedule, making sure you get to class, and seeking support when you need it (such as tutoring). We will check in with you regularly and be here to help you, but you will need to take ownership for asking for what you need.  Accommodations provided in high school are often different from those provided in college based on different applicable laws and purposes. We are here to help you and will provide you with full access to educational programs and opportunities. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you start off strong at TU:

Your Responsibilities

  • You will need to self-identify about your disability for accommodations. Visit our webpage for info and accommodation-specific procedures. Getting started is very easy. Talk to us about what has worked for you before, and provide your IEP/504 Plan (if you had one) and documentation of your disability. Be prepared for the possibility that the accommodations you received in high school may not be the same ones provided to you during your time as a college student.
  • If you need accommodations that may take extra time to arrange, you should plan accordingly and start preparing weeks before the semester starts. Some examples might be needs for alternative formats and interpreting services. Feel free to contact your professors ahead of time to request the list of books you will need and the syllabus. If you have a condition that may cause you to miss class, we recommend you contact all of your professors ahead of the semester to talk through how this will work and learn about any course requirements that could be challenging with absences. There are some classes where attendance is an essential requirement. If that is the case, you may want to work with your Academic Advisor to change your class schedule and this is easiest when done early.
  • Locate all your classes ahead of the semester and find your path around campus. Check to make sure any needs you have can be met in your classrooms. If not, please contact Student Access right away so we can help—time is needed to change classrooms.
  • If you need breaks between classes or will need extra time on exams, work with your Academic Advisor to schedule your classes with adequate time between for you—avoid back-to-back classes that could create difficulty with completion of exams with extended time as much as possible. You will receive priority registration for classes as part of your accommodations as an undergraduate student to help you get the class times you need.
  • If you take medication, make arrangements to have it available—whether being shipped to you or working to get it filled at a local pharmacy.
  • If you have not yet purchased tuition insurance, we highly recommend doing so. This is something to especially consider if you have a known health condition that could flare up and cause you to need to withdraw from your classes at some point. It helps protect your investment in higher education. More information is found on the Bursar Page.

How We Will Help

  • We encourage you to talk to us early and often—we will reach out to you periodically to check on how things are going and how we can help. We want to get to know you and are here to help you any time. Our relationship is with you, as the student, and your information is confidential and protected—it cannot be shared with parents or others under federal law without your permission. We may contact you if a professor reports any concerns (such as missing class or a low score) and try to help. Your parents may have a vested interest in your academics, so make plans to talk to them about how you are doing—we do not do this for you.
  • Ask us about campus services that are available to all students like Student Success Coaching and Tutoring. We have a collection of resources, apps, and specific Success Plans online. And come check out our Sensory Room that is available to you!