How to Register with SDS

  1. Admission to the university and documented diagnosis. To register with SDS, you must first be admitted as a student to Wayne State University and have a documented condition or diagnosis.

  2. Schedule an initial appointment. Complete the online registration form to begin the process. After this form has been submitted, a specialist will contact you to schedule your first appointment.

  3. Provide documentation of disability. If you are registering with SDS, you will need to read the Disability Documentation Guidelines that apply to everyone, as well as the documentation guidelines for your specific disability. In order to register with SDS, you must have sufficient documentation. Providing SDS with documentation in advance of your intake appointment will expedite the process. You are strongly encouraged to submit your documentation prior to the initial appointment. Documentation can be faxed to SDS at 313-577-4898 or delivered in person. If it is not possible to provide documentation prior to your appointment, please bring the documentation with you to your appointment.

  4. Meet with a disability specialist. At the initial appointment, you will discuss the history of your disability with a specialist. You should have a good understanding of your disability and how it impacts your learning. Appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be discussed and the disability specialist will issue accommodation letters for your professors. Assistive technology needs will also be discussed and requests processed. You must also provide the disability specialist with your current detailed class schedule if you are registered for classes. After your appointment is complete, follow up meetings may be scheduled with your disability specialist.

Before your first appointment:

  • Provide sufficient documentation of disability (via fax to 313-577-4898, or in person)

What to bring to your first appointment:

  • Sufficient documentation of disability (unless you submit this in advance)
  • Current detailed class schedule

As a registered student with SDS, you may:

  • Use priority registration for classes
  • Use SDS study rooms
  • Engage in ongoing support from your disability specialist throughout the semester

Documentation guidelines

General documentation policies that apply to everyone

In order to establish that an individual is covered under the guidelines of the ADA and ADAA, documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits a major life activity, including walking, sitting, standing, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, communicating, thinking, concentrating, and other similar activities. Quality disability documentation has the following essential elements:

  • Testing should be recent, relevant and comprehensive, and, if appropriate, documentation must also contain test scores and interpretation (ex. learning disability report, audiogram, etc.)
  • Documentation must show a substantial impact on one or more major life activities
  • Indicate whether the impact is current and stable or fluctuating (fluctuations may require updated documentation of the condition)
  • Documentation must effectively confirm the nature and extent of the disability based on current professional standards and techniques
  • Documentation must effectively validate the need for accommodations
  • Evaluation must be provided by a licensed clinical professional familiar with the history and functional implications of the impairment(s) and must not be member of the student's family
  • Evaluation must show the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability, along with the name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator
  • Report must be dated and signed by the evaluator
  • Report should include all documentation for multiple disabilities disclosed

Incomplete or insufficient documentation of disability

If a student submits incomplete or inadequate documentation for determining the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodations, Student Disability Services has the right to request further documentation, with the student bearing the cost of the evaluation. SDS does not do any diagnostic evaluation of disabilities but can provide students with testing resources.


Student Disability Services follows strict standards of confidentiality in the management of student disability information. SDS is the sole holder of disability documentation and this documentation is kept separate from other records, such as the student's permanent educational record. Accommodations provided by Student Disability Services do not appear on the academic transcript and there is no marker on the transcript to indicate that a student is registered with SDS.

It is important to be aware of the responsibility that SDS bears in a "need-to-know" student case. In the case of disclosure of any information to a faculty or staff member, it is decided on a case-by-case basis. When students request accommodations, it may be necessary to discuss with a faculty or staff member the nature of the disability and the relationship of the disability to the course in order to implement the appropriate accommodations without making a full disclosure of the disability to the faculty or staff member.

To summarize:

  1. Student Disability Services has an obligation to confirm disability status in order to issue appropriate accommodations.
  2. Students have a right to privacy and not to have confidential information freely disseminated throughout the university.
  3. When students register with SDS and sign the accommodation form, they are acknowledging that some level of disclosure to a faculty or staff member may be necessary in order to implement requested accommodations.
  4. Disability documentation records are not shared directly with any faculty or staff member outside the SDS office.
  5. In the event that a registered SDS student seeks a course waiver at the institution, it may be necessary to submit documentation of the disability in the General Educational Adjustment request process to the adjustment committee members. This General Educational Adjustment Committee is not part of SDS.
  6. To assist in ensuring confidentiality, all accommodation letters faculty receive from a student in a given semester should be destroyed once the student has completed the course and a grade submitted or if the student officially withdraws from the course.