How To Be Your Own Self-Advocate

 Self-Advocating in the Classroom

It is important to understand each eligible student is responsible for managing their disability in college. They choose when they will take advantage of their accommodations. Students may have classes in which they determine accommodations to be helpful and other classes where they determine that accommodations are not necessary.

Once the student has gone through the process and completed all documentation needed for approval, the Accessibility Services Office will initiate communication with each of the student’s professors regarding their accommodations; the student will be copied on the email correspondence. It is then up to the student to schedule a time to meet with their professor and to “activate” their accommodations with them. Below are some helpful suggestions to get you started:

Best Ways to Speak with Professors

  • Catch the professor before or after class to speak with them; or
  • find the professor’s office hours on the syllabus and stop by their office during these times to speak with them.
  • Send the professor an email and request a chance to meet with them.

Conversation with Professor

  • Although a professor should have already received notification from the Accessibility Services Office regarding a student’s accommodations in the classroom, it is advised for students to take a copy of the email with them when they meet.
  • Inform them you would like to use (whatever accommodation) in their class.
  • Ask how they would like to proceed.

Opening the dialogue with your professor does not mean you need to share your disability details. It merely helps create open communication lines regarding how they can assist you best in their class.

Activation of Accommodation(s)

  • Activating accommodations can occur at any time. 
  • Speak with the professor right away if there is need for the accommodation(s) in their class. (It’s always a good idea to activate/utilize an accommodation at the beginning, in each class so they are set in place if there is a need in order to be successful.)

Sample Email Templates to Professors

We’re here to help!

Accommodations are here to provide equal access for students at Monmouth. There is no shame in utilizing the support services available.

Self-advocacy helps the student become a more diligent, focused, and successful student, so we want that for them; however, students never have to face accommodation issues or concerns alone. This includes running into any problems accessing accommodations with a professor. The Student Access & Support Specialist is available to meet with the student to answer questions or address concerns they may have.