Student Frequently Asked Questions

Disability Self-Identification and Requesting Accommodations

Accommodations for Exams

Other

Where is the Office of Student Disabilities Services (SDS) in the Weingarten Learning Resources Center located?
The Weingarten Center is located in Stouffer Commons off of Woodland Walk. Additional information about locating our office can be found in the Find Our Office section of the website.

Disability Self-Identification and Requesting Accommodations:

How do I self-identify with the Office of Student Disabilities Services (SDS)?
Any student who has a disability and wishes to self-identify, can complete the Self-Identification Form.  Submission of this form is the first step in the Self-Identification Process.
Any student who is requesting accommodations will also need to submit documentation of the disability and schedule an in person meeting as part of the collaborative process in determining eligibility for accommodations.
How do I continue to use my approved accommodations throughout my time at Penn?
Once approved for accommodations students must meet with an SDS professional each semester to implement their accommodations. It is recommended that students complete this process at the beginning of the semester.
What type of documentation do I need to receive accommodations?
More information can be found in the Documentation Guidelines section of our website.
How do I request accommodations for housing?
To request housing accommodations, students must complete the Self-Identification Form and have their doctor complete the Request for Housing Accommodations Form.
I received accommodations before coming to Penn. Do the same accommodations apply or transfer?
All students requesting accommodations at the University of Pennsylvania would need to submit a Self-Identification Form, submit documentation, and complete the Self-Identification Process. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
I recently sustained an injury and need transportation. How can I get transportation on campus?
Transportation is available through the Penn Department of Transportation and Parking with the Penn Access Transit (PAT) vehicle. Contact SDS at 215-573-9235 for additional information on Penn Access Transit. Information regarding other temporary injuries can be found on the SDS website.
What do I do if I disagree with a decision made by SDS?
If students disagree with SDS's determination of eligibility or reasonable accommodations, they are encouraged to meet with the SDS Director to try to resolve the matter informally. Students may then also seek review of the determination through the Reconsideration Process.

Accommodations for Exams:

Why can't I see my classes in MyWLRC?
Accommodations for exams can only be requested in the online portal, MyWLRC after having a meeting with an SDS professional staff member. Please call SDS at 215-573-9235 to schedule an appointment.
I am approved for exam accommodations. How do I sign up to receive them?
To arrange accommodations for exams, students will need to submit requests through the online portal, MyWLRC. All requests to take exams with accommodations must be submitted at least 7 days in advance to ensure they can be scheduled. Exam details will be updated in the MyWLRC account as it becomes available to SDS by the course instructor(s).  For more information about exam accommodation procedures, please review the Exam Accommodations - Rules and Responsibilities.
Please note: Students are required to check their MyWLRC account on the morning of their exam to obtain the most up-to-date information.
Please note: Deadlines for requesting accommodations for final exams are different than the regular semester and are posted in advance. This information can be found in the Exam Accommodations - Rules and Responsibilities.
When will I find out the details of my exam? Where will it take place?
There is no need to panic. Exam details are available on MyWLRC as soon as SDS receives the information from course instructors. Once exam requests are submitted by students in MyWLRC initial notification will generally be sent out to professors 1 week in advance of the exam date, however, occasionally exam details are received as late as the day prior.
Helpful tip: Often times, exams will be administered in the Weingarten Center at Stouffer Commons. However, during high volume times due to space limitations exams will be provided off site. All information regarding locations can be found in MyWLRC.
Am I able to change the time of my exam?
Time change to exams can be provided. Approval must be given by instructors and communicated to vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu. Students are responsible for making these arrangements and should be proactive to address potential date/time conflicts. The earlier an exam request is received, the more likely it is that SDS will be able to schedule the requested time. Generally, changes cannot be made with less than 7-day notice.
Helpful tip: students often send an email to the instructor of the course and copy vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu and request the confirmation be sent via "reply all."
For more information about exam accommodation procedures, please review the Exam Accommodations - Rules and Responsibilities.

Other:

I am a student interested in working at SDS. What positions are available and how do I apply?
SDS has a variety of positions available for interested student workers, both work-study and non-work-study students. Positions are available for note-takers, exam proctors, e-text conversion, etc.
Students interested in serving as a note-taker for the current semester should fill out the following form to gather Information for Potential Candidates for Fall 2016 Note-takers Form and will be contacted in the case they are chosen for the position.

Students interested in the positions for exam proctors, should contact Grace Conte, Assistant Director at gconte@upenn.edu with their resume and those interested in the e-text converting positions should contact Amrou Ibrahim, Assistive Technology Specialist at amrou@upenn.edu with their resume.

Where do I find information about an emergency evacuation for students with disabilities?

Students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors with disabilities must be cognizant of emergency evacuation procedures.  More information about emergency evacuation can be found on our website at the following link: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/emergency_evacuation.

IMPORTANT:  If you are alone at the time of a fire or emergency evacuation, notify the University Police Communications Center (UPCC) of your location - call extension 511 or 911.
What are some resources I should know about?
The University of Pennsylvania offers resources for all students, including but not limited to resources pertaining to academics, health and welfare, various communities, jobs and finances, and for graduate students. More information can be found at the following link: http://www.upenn.edu/services/student.
The University of Pennsylvania also has a help line that is monitored 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Any member of the Penn community can contact the help line at 215-898-HELP.
Where can I find information about scholarships for students with disabilities at Penn?
SDS accepts applications from Penn students for several scholarships. More information about the scholarships offered and the application can be found on the Scholarships for Students with Disabilities page.