Disability Services FAQs

Get answers to common questions about our disability services and contact our support staff.


What defines a disability?

A person with a disability is an individual (1) with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual; (2) with a record of such an impairment; or (3) who is regarded as having such an impairment.

How can I access disability services?

Make an appointment one of three ways:

  • Stop by Academic Achievement in Nazareth Hall, N4012
  • Call Academic Achievement at 651-628-3316
  • Email Academic Achievement at [email protected]

If this is your first appointment, please bring official documentation of your disability.

What is official documentation*?

Documentation should include the following details:

  • On provider letterhead
  • A dated statement of the diagnosis
  • The basis for the diagnosis (history)
  • The current functional impact of the disability on academic performance, student life, etc.

You can bring any combination of the following records:

  • Medical records (complete or a summary)
  • Past high school history of the disability
  • Past college interventions
  • IEP

* Documentation needs to be current (within five years).

Is there a cost for services through Disability Services?

University of Northwestern is dedicated to providing equal education for all students and strives to provide reasonable accommodations at no charge. However, there are some accommodations that Northwestern requires a charge for; please call or e-mail Academic Achievement for details. [email protected] or 651-628-3316.

What classes do these services cover?

Disability Services works collaboratively with other departments to provide services in all classroom situations through faculty and staff, as well as in the Writing Center.

Who will find out that I am a student in Disability Services?

Because of our concern about confidentiality as well as our compliance with FERPA, only those you tell about your disability will know, except on a service-providing need-to-know basis.