Disability Services Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Because we know the transition from active duty to a college classroom can be challenging, Disability Services would like to make this transition as smooth as possible. Resources to accommodate a disability can open up educational opportunities.

You may email the Director of Disability Services (disabilityservices@hsutx.edu) for further information or contact the Veteran Benefits Coordinator, Kimberly Beal, at kbeal@hsutx.edu or 325-670-1203.