What kind of disabilities services should I ask for? I am a freshman in college and I'm not really sure what I might need from the Office for Disability Services (ODS) for T1D, and the ODS counselor isn't really sure what is appropriate to offer. Thanks.
You’ve already taken a smart step at the start of your college career by getting in touch with ODS! I went through my first two years of college not even knowing I could have registered with my university’s student disability services program having T1D. If you had a 504 plan (or other accommodations) during high school, you may want to bring that document with you to your next meeting with ODS. ODS can see how they can be formatted to fit your needs in a college setting. Here are some accommodations that might be beneficial:
- Permission to eat in class and leave to use the restroom. In my experience, very few professors have an issue if you eat in class or need to get up to use the restroom. However, just in case you come across one who does have a problem with this, you may want to have accommodations already in place
- Extra time on tests and/or the ability to retake tests at another time. Running high or low can seriously affect concentration levels, which impacts your ability to perform well on important exams. You may want to ask for accommodations to be able to take tests at another time in the event you are having unpredictable blood sugars.
- Early registration- for a lot of diabetics, being on a schedule is important. College classes (especially long labs) can have very early or late start and end times. Having access to registration before the general student body could help you more easily establish a schedule that would best fit your needs.
Best of luck in your freshman year!
Welcome to your freshman year, you have a wonderful experience ahead of you. The only thing I would add to the wonderful advice from Maddy is that ODS at my University helps me receive University excused absences for doctor’s appointments. The value of this service will depend in large part on your college’s attendance policy. My school has a very strict attendance policy, so excused absences are a must in order to keep my grades intact. I hope this is helpful, and that you have a great first year at school!
Editor's note: Have a question about diabetes but don't know who to ask? Submit an anonymous question here and you may have your question answered by our columnists on our blog! For more information about accommodations in college and beyond, check out our Off to College booklets.