For Students: Requesting Services

Students must complete these registration steps before they can receive any accommodations.

Before the start of EVERY SEMESTER…

  1. Meet with Disability Support Services (DSS) to get copies of your Accessibility Letter.
    The Accessibility Letter will be created by the DSS staff. It will list the specific approved accommodations and other DSS services that you will receive for all known university activities that semester (i.e., classes & student organizations). For confidentiality reasons, the letter will not state your specific disability. DSS staff will sign the letter, indicating approval based on knowledge of course requirements and your academic needs.
  2. Discuss your classroom accommodations with each instructor during office hours.
    Discuss your classroom accommodations and create a plan for implementation with each instructor from whom you would like to receive accommodations. Use the Accessibility Letter as a tool for discussion and contact DSS if you would like to get pointers for approaching your instructors. DSS is unable to send the letter for you or inform instructors of your accommodations on your behalf. It is your right, as well as responsibility, to disclose your Accessibility Letter to each instructor each semester even if you have taken that course or instructor previously.
  3. Sign the Accessibility Letter at the same time as your instructor and return a copy to DSS.
    The return of this letter with ALL three signatures marks the official start of your classroom accommodations for that semester. Since you may decide to use accommodations in some courses and not others, it will not be assumed that you have shared the Accessibility Letter. If you choose not to share the letter with an instructor, he/she cannot be held responsible for providing classroom accommodations. Accommodations and other DSS services cannot be applied retroactively, so it is critical that you get this letter discussed and signed as early in the semester as possible. Your instructor may choose to contact DSS if he/she has questions or require more information before signing your Accessibility Letter.

Important Points to Remember

  • Accommodations are given based on support by approved, current documentation and deemed reasonable by the University.
  • You must inform DSS immediately if your approved accommodations (the items listed on your signed Accessibility Letter) are not being provided or if new academic needs arise during the semester. It is very important that you do not wait until the end of the semester to report problems with your approved accommodations.
  • Accessibility Letters do not carry over from one semester to the next and cannot be applied to assignments or events that occur before all signatures were obtained (student+ instructor).
  • Certain services (i.e., sign language interpreters & text-to-speech software) are arranged by DSS and can begin immediately. Classroom accommodations (i.e., copies of lecture notes & extended time on exams) are arranged by you and your instructor based on the plan you developed when you both discussed and signed the Accessibility Letter.
    • For those students who have the accommodation of extended time and/or a separate quiet space, in order to take exams with DSS, the Testing Center asks that students schedule exams as soon as possible, if possible within two (2) weeks.
    • Students must go online and complete the  student examination appointment request.
    • Once the request is received, DSS will respond by emailing a scheduled time for the exam. Should you decide to cancel the exam, please notify DSS immediately. Please be aware of instructors’ deadlines for taking exams.
    • For those students requesting interpreting services for a class or an event, please complete the sign language interpreter request form.
  • It may be helpful to read “Disability and Higher Education FAQs” to increase your understanding of disability accommodations in college settings.

Regarding Title IX and Pregnancy:  

What does Title IX say about pregnant students on campus?

Title IX is a Federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, to include pregnancy, in educational programs and activities. As a result, faculty and staff members must allow students to continue participating in classes and/or extracurricular activities. Additionally, after a student discloses needs based on pregnancy faculty and staff should also work to provide students with reasonable adjustments, as necessary. Please note, for optimal adjustments, students should disclose needs based on pregnancy to faculty and staff as soon as possible.

What type of academic adjustments should I expect?

All academic or activity adjustments should be discussed with the appropriate faculty or staff member and the University’s Title IX Coordinator, before implementation; however, a few examples of acceptable adjustments include:

  • Excused absences due to pregnancy or childbirth. To the extent possible, students should provide prior notice of absence due to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Providing the opportunity to make up any work missed while the student was out. Students are expected to discuss these adjustments prior to assignment deadlines.

 Please note:

  • Students are still expected to honor the Trinity Honor Code and should complete classes with high levels of academic integrity.
  • Students may not refuse to submit assignments and should work with faculty members to submit assignments based on the adjustments provided.

When should I disclose a pregnancy?

In order to receive the best support possible, students should disclose needs based on pregnancy to faculty or staff members as soon as possible. Upon disclosing this information, the faculty or staff member will work out an appropriate adjustment procedure, with direction from Trinity’s Title IX Coordinator. In many cases, the student may be asked for appropriate documentation in order to put a suitable adjustment in place. Students also have the choice of reaching out to Trinity’s Title IX Coordinator, Sarah Phelps, directly at, 202-884-9049.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website regarding Title IX and Pregnancy.