Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services recognizes disability as a valued aspect of diversity and embraces access as an opportunity for hospitality, equity, and social justice. We work to ensure inclusive and sustainable learning and engagement through universally designed environments and to facilitate access, discourse, collaboration, training, and innovative programming.

Hardin-Simmons University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information in its programs and activities. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, its amendments in 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, no qualified person will be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of any program or activity operated by the University because of a disability.

HSU recognizes a student with a disability as anyone who has:

  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity,
  • has a record or history of such an impairment, or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

Contact Disability Services Office

Apply For Services

  1. Submit an application. Accepted HSU students may request disability services by submitting this application to the Office of Disability Services.
  2. Submit supporting documentation. Current (within the past three years, or as an adult) and comprehensive documentation of the disability must be provided with the application. Information concerning a student’s disability is strictly confidential and handled in accordance with University policies as well as state and federal laws. Documentation presented to the Coordinator shall be reviewed to verify the existence of a disability. Hardin-Simmons University reserves the right to request any additional documentation considered reasonably necessary to determine appropriate and effective accommodations.
  3. Schedule an appointment. Once all of the necessary documents have been submitted, the student and the Coordinator shall begin the interactive process to create an access plan. The process may take place in person or via telephone, but is a required step in determining the best and most reasonable accommodations for the student. To schedule an appointment or ask any questions, please email disabilityservices@hsutx.edu.

Submit Letter of Accommodation Request. Eligible students seeking accommodations should submit the Letter of Accommodation Request as soon as possible in the academic term (preferably during the first two weeks of a long semester) for which they are seeking accommodations. A new request must be submitted at the beginning of each academic semester.

The Coordinator shall prepare letters to appropriate faculty members concerning specific, reasonable academic accommodations for the student. The Coordinator will contact the student when the letters are ready for pick-up.

The student is responsible for delivering accommodation letters and conferring with faculty members. The Coordinator shall consult with the student and with HSU faculty and staff to ensure delivery of appropriate support services and shall serve as a liaison between the student and the faculty member as needed.

The completed forms and supporting documentation may be submitted by any of the following channels:

Email: disabilityservices@hsutx.edu
Fax: 325-670-5862
Mail: HSU Box 16158, Abilene, TX, 79698

Delivered in person to:
Rachel King in the Sandefer Memorial Building, 1st floor

In the event of an injury, surgery, or other documented short-term disability, you may apply for reasonable accommodations using the Application for Temporary Disability Services.

Disability Services FAQ

No. Students with disabilities go through the regular admissions procedures. The Office for Students with Disabilities does not have a role in students with disabilities’ admission to HSU.

Federal regulations do not require the University to diagnose disabilities. It is the responsibility of the student to advise the University of any perceived disability and to assume all costs associated with obtaining an adequate diagnosis and documentation of such disability. Testing must be obtained through an appropriate off-campus professional.

No. Documentation of a disability furnished by the student is kept confidential and will be shared with University personnel only with the permission of the student, except as required by law. The student presents to appropriate faculty members written notification of the disability in the form of a Confidential Notification of Accommodations.

  1. Apply and be accepted for admission at Hardin-Simmons University.
  2. Complete an application for Disability Services and return it along with current and sufficient documentation in the form of an evaluation performed by a qualified professional.
  3. After an application and sufficient documentation have been received, the student is required to meet with the Coordinator to discuss reasonable accommodations. In this meeting, letters of reasonable accommodation will be given to the qualified student.
  4. Qualified students must provide HSU instructors with a letter of accommodation    from the Office of Disability Services and meet with them in a timely manner to discuss the implementation of reasonable accommodations. It is strongly recommended that this is done in the first two weeks of class.

No. Accommodations are not noted on transcripts and/or diplomas. Students who receive accommodations do not have a modified curriculum or degree requirements. They earn the same degree as all other graduates of HSU, and will receive a transcript and/or diploma that is uniform in format and reported information.

No. Students must follow the HSU attendance policy which is outlined in the catalog. A statement concerning absences may be added to a letter of accommodation to explain circumstances to instructors, but excused absences are at the department’s discretion.

Service Animals

Hardin-Simmons University is committed to compliance with state and federal laws regarding individuals with disabilities. All questions regarding service animals should be directed to the Office of Disability Services in Sandefer Memorial. No documentation will be required to bring certified service animals into academic buildings on campus.

Guide to Animals on Campus

Service Animals

  • Required because of a disability
  • Trained to perform a task
  • Allowed in academic buildings
  • Not required to be registered
Assistance Animals

  • Requested for emotional support
  • Not trained to perform a task
  • Not allowed in academic buildings (Residence halls only)
  • Must be registered with Residence Life and the Office of Disability Services

Service Animals

service animal is defined in Title II: Section 35.104 under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Service animals are allowed in public places because of the owner’s need for the animal at all times.

Examples of such work or tasks include but are not limited to:

  • guiding people who are blind or have low vision with navigation;
  • alerting people who are deaf to the presence of people or sounds;
  • pulling a wheelchair;
  • alerting an individual of a seizure, change in blood sugar, or an allergen;
  • reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications;
  • calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack; or,
  • performing other duties.

For more information, see ADA.gov.

Assistance Animals

The revised 2010 ADA regulations specify that “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks,” so these animals are not considered service animals. However, an assistance animal is one that ameliorates identified symptoms of an individual’s emotional or psychological disability. The function of an assistance animal may be entirely passive with the sole role being its presence.

Assistance animals are also called:

  • Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
  • Comfort Animals
  • Companion Animals
  • Therapy Animals – Their responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals, and they usually provide visitation to hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities.

The Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) and Housing and Urban Development’s Section 504 regulations (24 CFR Parts 8 and 9) govern the assistance animals.

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