Disability Resource Center
Welcome to the Disability Resource Center (DRC)! The DRC is a place where students, faculty and staff can come for campus, community, and nation-wide resources; accommodations, adaptations, and universal design support; accessible technology, app aids and so much more. The University of Minnesota Crookston is committed to equitable access for both academics and campus life.
Whether you come to us online, or on campus, you will find ideas that transition from college to personal achievement to work.
Our mission.... All A’s: Able, Aware, Accessible
Disability Resource Center Handbook
The DRC handbook contains important information about registering with our office and how we work with you and your instructors to facilitate reasonable access. Please take a few minutes to read it as it contains essential information.
Learn more about services available before the semester begins, in and out of the classroom, as well as additional services at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Grievances / Student Concerns and Complaints
Find out more on Grievances/Student Concerns and Complaints
Prospective Students and Families
Prospective Students and Families
The services available from the Disability Resource Center at UMC may be an important factor in your college choice. We are excited to meet students and families when they come on campus, or we can skype, call or email to answer any questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please look below for a list of frequently asked questions and some information on how to prepare your student for college.
Q. Is my disability confidential?
Student disability records are confidential and are not stored with other student records on campus. We recognize the right of the student to disclose their disability as they deem necessary. Accommodation letters that go to the faculty do not disclose the disability.
Q. How do I get my accommodations?
See the “Students” tab for eligibility and the process. You can call our office anytime to discuss possibilities.
Q. How are high school and college accommodations different?
College access is mandated by A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973. High Schools are under legislation called I.D.E.A. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). ADA and Section 504 provide for accommodations that will offer equitable access. IDEA is about driving student success. That means that in your grade school, teachers and staff approached you and your family about your learning barriers, arranged your accommodations and your school may have paid for any assessments. In college, you must self-identify to the DRC and advocate for yourself when you find barriers in both classes, activities and residential life. Colleges do not write IEP’s or use a 504 for accommodations although those documents can be used as documentation for planning accommodations at college.
Some academic accommodations that you were given in high school may not be the same as those you will receive in college. Accommodation planning at college is done through the “interactive process”. That means that you, the DRC and your faculty may be involved in creating accommodations that will remove barriers for you and still maintain the core competencies of the class. Your accommodations are “at will” which means that you choose when you will use them. In high school your parents have a role in your accommodations. In college, if you want your family involved in your disability planning, you must sign a form that gives parents access to information.
Q. How can I prepare for a transition to college?
There are a few ways that you can prepare in advance. Always free to call the DRC with any questions. You may want to:
- Learn your disability rights as a college student. You can do that by reading the following materials (from the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights):
- Students with Disabilities Preparing for Post-secondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
- Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators
- Try to obtain documentation of your disability in advance such as an IEP, a 504 from high school and/or any testing or diagnostic records from professionals including medical and mental health. You can fax it or email it to UMC.
- Under certain conditions, Vocational Rehabilitation in your state may offer assistance with education to help you reach your career goal if you have a disability. Check with them before you come to college.
- For Minnesota see http://mn.gov/deed/job-seekers/disabilities/
- Or look for the website for your state. Most cities have an office for Vocational Rehabilitation. We have students who receive a variety of service from VR including, financial assistance, disability related technology, career counseling and more.
- Increase your independent living skills. Students may want to know how to do laundry, do some cooking, manage their finances, clean an apartment, sew on a button, be neighborly, make appointments, and keep track of their medication. A basic understanding of your health insurance is also a good idea.
- Make sure that you have a good understanding of your own disability. Students should read their documentation and know how to talk about their strengths and weaknesses as well as any ideas or accommodations that have worked well for them in the past.
- Decide to be your own advocate. Come to the Disability Resource Center during the first week of classes and come back any time you find are struggling with academics or campus life. If we sit down and talk, we can re-look at accommodations and try new ways to do things.
- Consider the use of accommodations on entrance exams including the ACT. Examples for a qualified disability include extended test time, alternate format tests, breaks etc.
- Get health check-ups, eye exams, dental appointments, and any prescription updates before you come to college.
- Before the term begins, take a tour, visit us in the DRC and discuss your access concerns.
Resources for Faculty and Staff
Resources for Faculty and Staff
As a University of Minnesota faculty or staff member, do you sometimes struggle to figure out how to best serve students with disabilities on campus? Do you sometimes wonder what is "required" and whether you have to do everything that a student asks you to do?
If you have questions about accommodations for a student in your class, or any accommodations or universal design questions for our campus, please contact the Disability Resource Center. If you are interested in education on disability issues in general, please contact the Disability Resource Center at 218-281-8587.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended states that a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities such as walking, standing, sleeping, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, self-care, learning, concentrating, working and reading.
- The majority of students we serve have non-apparent disabilities such as mental health conditions, chronic medical conditions, brain injuries, learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD. Only 20% of the population we serve has a visible disability including mobility, blind and low vision, and D/deaf and hard of hearing.
- Generally, temporary health conditions such as broken limbs, viruses, or pregnancies are not considered disabilities. However, if students experience significant impacts to their education due to a temporary health condition, they can contact the DRC and discuss options and resources.
- An accommodation is a modification that is made to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that eliminates or minimizes disability-related barriers to allow for equal access.
- There is often more than one way to accommodate a situation or activity. In order for an accommodation to be considered reasonable, however, it must meet four criteria:
- It must not compromise essential requirements of a course, program, job, activity, or facility.
- It must not cause an undue administrative or financial hardship.
- It must not compromise safety of the student or others.
- It must not fundamentally alter a course or program.
- The DRC will work with you and each student to determine if an accommodation is reasonable. Different courses may require different accommodations. Each plan is tailored to the student and their courses. For example, accommodations used in the classroom may be different from those used in a laboratory setting.
The Disability Resource Center's Process
- The Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff will meet with students to discuss how their condition impacts their educational pursuits. We then determine accommodations that are reasonable based on these impacts and the courses they are taking.
- Each semester, students are responsible for requesting a current accommodation letter and it will be emailed to their instructors.
- Students and instructors should discuss how to best implement the accommodations in each class.
- Students are responsible for requesting accommodations as early in the term as possible because the DRC does not require instructors to provide retroactive accommodations.
- Students, DRC staff, and instructors maintain contact throughout the semester as necessary to discuss any questions or concerns that may arise regarding the essential course requirements and implementing accommodations.
Students with Disabilities in Your Class
- All information regarding students with disabilities is CONFIDENTIAL
- It is important to focus conversation on the impacts and accommodations, not on the disability. Students are not obligated to disclose their disability condition to anyone outside of the Disability Resource Center.
- If there is conflict between providing accommodations and maintaining essential course requirements, feel free to consult with the students’ access consultants.
- We encourage faculty to refer students who are struggling in their courses to the DRC. We need your opinions and observations and will use them to help us identify if an evaluation is necessary and the type of assessment that may be needed to determine a potential disability. The DRC can offer provisional accommodations until we are able to get the appropriate documentation
Frequently Used Accommodations
While incorporating Best Practices or Universal Design can eliminate the need for many accommodations, it does not eliminate the need for all of them. Here is information on the most commonly requested accommodations for students with disabilities.
If your student has exam accommodations, you and the student should discuss testing arrangements. Whenever possible, students should take their exams within the department. If testing services are requires or requested, the DRC can arrange for tests with accommodations. See “Testing Services for Your Students with Disabilities”
Converting books and print documents to an alternative format, such as accessible PDF or braille, takes time⎼ between 25 and 40 hours or more for the average textbook. Learn more about document conversion. Contact the DRC to make arrangements.
Classroom Interpreting and Captioning
The Interpreting/Captioning Unit (ICU) of the Disability Resource Center in the Twin Cities provides communication access to D/deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. In the Crookston area, we must contract those services and there is limited availability in this region so advance notice is important. Learn more about working with interpreters in your classroom.
We may also use CART services, (Captioning in real time) as an alternative. Learn more about working with captioners in your classroom.
Media captioning provides access to material to D/deaf and hard of hearing students. Learn about adding captions to media (i.e. videos, YouTube, DVDs).
Trained student workers called Access Assistants or Access Specialists hired from outside the UMC community may be hired to help remove barriers for students with disabilities. They may assist eligible students with laboratory access, note taking, library assistance, individual reading, textbook taping, testing, transportation and other activities.
Testing Services for Your Students with Accommodations
UMC offers testing with accommodations for your students with advance notice. Please read the tip sheet to learn about testing procedures and fill out the test proctoring from below for each test.
Essential Course Requirements
- Essential requirements are the learning outcomes (including skills, knowledge and attitudes) all students must demonstrate with or without using accommodations.
- When identifying essential program requirements, consider course objectives, licensing board requirements and if applicable, professional standards from a general class of occupations such as engineering, teaching, or health professions. Learn more about determining essential course requirements.
Accessible Technology Resources
We are mandated to make our courses accessible to all students and students with disabilities are just one group that will benefit. Students with language barriers, students in noisy environments, and students with different learning styles will also benefit.
Please visit AccessibleU for resources on accessible course materials.
Achieving Access in Your Class -- Best Practices/Universal Design for Instruction
Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) refers to the teaching practice that addresses the potential needs of a variety of learners. Another way to think about UDI is using the most inclusive model of teaching and learning. While instructors use a variety of approaches to incorporating UDI in their classrooms, effective UDI is comprised of the following principles:
- Create a welcoming classroom climate
- Provide clear expectations and feedback
- Incorporate natural supports for learning
- Use multimodal instructional methods
- Provide a variety of ways to demonstrate knowledge
- Use technology to enhance learning
- Encourage instructors-student contact
- Determine essential course components
Center for Teaching and Learning:
- Building Accessible Documents a Mix of Use-Now Tips and Build-a-Strategy Resources
- Incorporating Universal Design Principles in the Development, Delivery, and Assessment of Your Instruction
- “What’s that blurry thing up there on the screen? Or, ways and whys to clean up bad images.”
- “Academic Technology: Two projects aiding the quest for Universally Designed Instruction”
Other University Resources:
- OED Certificate Workshop 5: Engaging Universal Design Concepts to Increase Access and Inclusion
- Universal Design and ELLs [English Language Learner] with Disabilities
- Ilene D Alexander Projects on Universal Design
What are the guidelines for service animals in my class?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), only dogs and miniature horses can be service animals. The ADA states that there are only two questions one may ask of a person with a service animal: 1) is the dog required because of a disability; and 2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? However, it is not appropriate to ask the student to have the animal demonstrate these tasks. Other factors are considered in the cases of miniature horses. Please do not feed or provide treats for service animals. Always ask permission to pet a service animal and do not be offended if the students denies that request. These are working animals and we want them to be alert to the needs of the student at all times. Call the DRC for any questions and to alert them if a student has a service animal. Learn more about service animals.
Disability Syllabus Statement
Policy statement to include in your syllabi:
The University of Minnesota is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. The Disability Resource Center is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.
If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact Disability Resource Center at 218-281-8587 (or email at email@example.com) to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.
If you are registered with Disability Resource Center and have a current letter requesting reasonable accommodations, please contact your instructor as early in the semester as possible to discuss how the accommodations will be applied in the course.
For more information, please see the Disability Resource Center website, www.umcrookston.edu/disability.
The UMC campus map includes accessible parking, power assist doors and elevator locations.
Available Mobility Equipment
- campus scooter
Universal Design Projects
Information coming soon
Information coming soon
Visitor Accommodations and Accessible Meetings and Events
Visitor Accommodations and Accessible Meetings and Events
Visitors with Disabilities
If you are visiting our campus for a tour or an event, please call us to request accommodations in advance. We can provide an ASL interpreter or other interpretive method, accessible reserved seating, materials or presentations in alternative formats, and special dietary alternatives if we know your needs at least 48 hours prior to the event. The university does not typically provide wheelchairs or scooters although there are some mobility aides on campus for emergencies. Please plan to bring your own mobility device. Please call 218-281-8587 and leave a message with your contact information, or you can email Gail Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for Accessible Meetings and Events
If you are faculty, staff or a student and are planning a meeting or event on campus, please follow the following protocols:
When Hosting an Event
- Use these words to identify accommodation needs: "To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact [hosting office and contact information] at least two weeks prior to the event."
- Develop your program using the concepts of Universal Design, which is the design of products and environments so they are usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
- Clearly indicate accessibility features with appropriate signage.
- Ensure paths of travel to buildings, even rooms, and restrooms are accessible. Make sure power door openers are not obstructed.
- Ensure all participants can get into the building - may include providing a greeter at the door.
- Ensure paths of travel to seating are free of obstacles.
- Provide access to stage and other raised areas.
- Plan for integrated accessible seating or have someone available to move chairs.
- Provide tables of varying heights or that are adjustable.
- Designate individuals to assist in carrying materials, meals, or other items.
- Straws should be made available when liquid refreshments are provided.
- Provide materials in electronic formats to all participants prior to the meeting/event
- Provide Braille and large-print materials upon request.
- Provide sign language interpretting/captioning upon request.
- Caption all videos shown.
- Read aloud/describe visual information in presentations.
- Read the contents of bullet points, rather than referring to an item solely by number or by pointing.
- Use specific language such as "the group to my left," rather than "everyone on this half of the room."
- Provide assistance when activities require real-time access to print information and/or materials.
- Identify yourself by name when speaking.
- Ask what accommodations are desired - always ask before providing assistance and wait for a response.
- When interacting with or asking questions of an individual with a disability, speak directly to that individual.
- It is okay to use words such as walk, hear, and see.
Please note that any workshops, summer camps, etc. may require academic accommodations for students, youth, or children as well. Please contact the DRC with questions.
Here you will find some of our favorite equipment, software and apps! These tools will help students with all kinds of barriers; those with disabilities, students with language barriers, students who are learning in noisy environments, students who need to learn and multitask, and even students who didn’t get enough sleep!
Note: UMC will be using Windows 10 starting fall semester 2016.
- Find the accessibility features like Narrator for text to speech or the magnifier. A tutorial is also available.
Text to Speech (TTS)
- Windows 10 - Narrator: quick demo
- Apple Devices - Voice Dream (app)- learn about new features and a review of the software
- Readspeaker - ask the DRC for certain disabilities!
- Flashcards Pro
- OneNote (already installed UMC computers) with this tutorial
- Medisafe (app) - reminders about medications or anything else
- Dyslexie-free - a font that helps with reading for dyslexia; you can hear and read in Dyslexie font on Voice Dream (app).
UMC Campus Resources/ U of M System-wide Resources
UMC Campus Resources/ U of M System-wide Resources
UMC Campus Resources
Request to be matched with a personal tutor in most subject areas or take advantage of walk-in tutoring for math and science.
Make appointments free of charge to see the campus nurse or the visiting doctor. Call 218-281-8512 to schedule a consultation.
Accessible apartments and accessible living aids including shower chairs are available through residential life.
Computer Help Desk
Contact the Help desk for technical support for your technology devices and software.
Learn about your talents, strengths and abilities.
Find accessible parking spots on campus on the campus map. You can post your accessible parking hangtag in addition to the parking pass issued by UMC. Temporary accessible passes are available by visiting the DRC and asking for a parking accommodation.
U of M System-wide Resources
All campuses of the University of Minnesota have staff responsible for facilitating access to learning, working, and participating in campus life. For more information contact:
Disability Resource Center, Gail Myers
Disability Resources, email@example.com, 218-726-8217
Disability Resource Center, Chris Dallager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 320-589-6178
Disability Resources, Kris Barry, email@example.com, 507-258-8671
Disability Resource Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-626-1333
hospital, emergency room, clinic
323 S. Minnesota St. Crookston, MN 56716
Altru Clinic - Crookston Clinic
400 S. Minnesota St Crookston, MN 56716
Altru - Main Clinic and Hospital
1200 S. Columbia Rd. Grand Forks, ND 58201
Northwest Mental Health Center
603 Bruce St Crookston, MN 56716
Mental Health Crisis Line -(800) 282-5005
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
Options Resource Center for Independent Living
123 S. Main St. Crookston, MN 56716
Vocational Rehabilitation - Find by county/MN state directory
102 W. 5th St. Crookston MN 56716
800-657-3967 or 218-277-7863
Transportation - Paratransit services
Jefferson Bus Lines
Connections to larger cities as well as the Grand Forks airport and the Amtrak station
1345 Fairfax Ave. Crookston Mn 56716
- North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind
- The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
- AFB Career Connect
- AFB Press
- Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
- HEATH Resource Center
- Hadley School for the Blind
- Lions World Services for the Blind
- OPTIONS Resource Center - 218-773-6100 or 800-726-3692 (TTY)
- Directory of Funding Resources for Assisting Technology in Minnesota
- Rehabilitation Consulting and Services (M.D. VR) - 800-755-2745
- MN State Services for the Blind - 888-234-1257