Student Frequently Asked Questions

Requesting Accommodations FAQ


What is the definition of a disability under the ADA? 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one more major life activities.” The ADA regulations include both visible and non-apparent disabilities, such as physical and physiological disabilities, mental and psychological disorders, intellectual disabilities, and specific learning disabilities among many others.

What is Disability Support Services?

Disability Support Services (DSS) works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to minimize barriers and support an accessible campus community. When barriers to access occur, Disability Support Services works one-on-one with students to determine accommodations and facilitate access to programs and services. This includes academic, housing, dining, and temporary accommodations for incoming and currently registered students.  

What is considered a temporary disability? 

DSS recognizes students with temporarily disabling conditions which are a result of injuries, surgery, or short-term medical conditions may require access to services and resources provided by the DSS office. Examples of temporary disabilities may include, but are not limited to broken limbs, hand injuries, concussions, or short-term impairments following surgery or medical treatments. 

How do I request accommodations?

The process to request accommodations includes submitting an online request, meeting with a DSS specialist, and providing any available disability documents. For more information about the accommodation request process, see Students Seeking Accommodations.

What type of documentation do I need to receive accommodations?  

DSS uses a variety of sources of information to assist in determining reasonable and appropriate accommodations.  Students are asked to submit any disability documentation they would like DSS to review as part of the accommodation request. Disability documentation may consist of assessments, reports, diagnostic evaluations, and letters from qualified professionals (e.g., healthcare providers, psychologists, diagnosticians, licensed mental health clinicians). In addition, copies of accommodations approved at previous schools such as 504 plans, IEPs, or standardized exam accommodations can be helpful sources of supporting documentation. Disability documentation is particularly helpful when it answers the following questions:

  • What is the diagnosed condition(s)?
  • How does the diagnosed condition(s) currently impact the student (preferably in a higher education setting)?
  • If medications are prescribed, what side effects does the student experience?
  • What supports or accommodations have helped the student up until now?

What if I don’t have any documentation? 

Disability documentation is not needed for the initial appointment; however, if needed, a DSS specialist may request documentation to support the accommodation request.

What kind of accommodations can I receive?

A DSS specialists will work one-on-one with you to determine reasonable accommodations that are designed to mitigate the unique impact of your disability/disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may be approved to address disability-related barriers you may face in regard to Mines housing, dining, and academics. In some cases, further discussion and consultation with staff or faculty may be required as part of this process.

I’m a transfer student; will I receive the same accommodations at Mines that I had at my previous institution?

Accommodations are determined through the interactive process and do not automatically transfer from one institution to another. DSS specialists work with you to determine reasonable accommodations at Mines. In some cases, further discussion and consultation with staff or faculty may be required as part of this process.

I already have an IEP/504 plan from high school. Will I receive the same accommodations in college? 

Accommodations from high school will likely look different in a higher education setting. Please refer to Accommodations in High School vs. College for more information. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education publishes Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education (PDF).

How long does it take to be approved for accommodations?

You are invited to meet with a DSS specialist once the accommodation request is submitted.  You will receive an email with a link to schedule an appointment via your Mines email account. Typically it takes 2-3 weeks to meet with a DSS specialist and determine accommodations. The process can take longer if additional documentation is needed.  Please note, if you wait to reach out until the week before final exams begin, DSS may not be able to address these requests.

How far in advance should I apply for accommodations as an incoming student?  

You can request accommodations at any time; however, some accommodations are limited based on availability. Some accommodations require more coordination than others and could be subject to availability at the time of the request. You are encouraged to apply for housing accommodations prior to any housing application deadlines set forth by Residence Life.  Meetings begin each March for incoming students who plan to start in the fall.    

Can my parents/family/support persons participate in the DSS registration process? 

Students initiate the process to request formal DSS accommodations and can include their parents/guardians to the extent they choose. For more information on what to expect as a student in higher education with a disability, please read the following from the U.S. Department of Education:  Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education (PDF).

Are accommodations retroactive?

Accommodations are not retroactive. Students are responsible for notifying professors of their approved accommodations through the AIM student portal. This should be done once registered and at the start of each semester. Professors are not responsible for implementing accommodations until they are notified.

What if I only need accommodations for one or two of my classes, but not all of them? 

Once accommodations are approved, you can select which accommodations you would like to notify individual instructors of and utilize for each class.

Does DSS provide diagnostic evaluation services? 

No, DSS does not offer evaluation or diagnostic testing services. Students seeking diagnostic services should work with their doctor or provider if applicable. DSS can provide a list of community resources upon request.

Is a full academic course load required to receive support from DSS?

No, DSS works with all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are registered either full or part-time.

Is my disability information confidential?  

Yes. DSS is dedicated to preventing unauthorized access to information, maintaining the accuracy, integrity, and confidentiality of information and ensuring the appropriate use of information. DSS strives to put in place appropriate safeguards to secure the information we collect in all formats: on paper, electronically, and verbally. These practices are consistent with the policies of the university as well as applicable laws and regulations. DSS uses a secure software platform, Accessible Information Management (AIM), to house all disability documentation and accommodation information.

DSS office complies with FERPA guidelines. Please visit Compliance at Mines: FERPA to learn more.


UTILIZING ACCOMMODATIONS: Questions about my accommodations

 What is AIM? 

AIM stands for Accessible Information Management and is a secure software platform that is used by Disability Support Services. Students who are registered with DSS have access to the AIM Student Portal.

What can I do in the AIM Portal once receiving accommodations? 

You can complete the following in the AIM Portal once approved for accommodations: 

  • Sign E-Agreements 
  • Send Accommodation Letters to Faculty 
  • View Accommodation Letters 
  • Submit an Exam Request 
  • View approved accommodations 

How do I send accommodations letters?

You are required to send out accommodation letters to faculty at the start of each semester or once registered. It is recommended that you confirm receipt of the accommodation letter with your professors.  This will ensure your professors are aware of your accommodations. For step-by-step instructions visit: Sending Accommodation Letters.

For more information see AIM User Guides.

How do I view my approved accommodations?  

Step 1:  Log into Student AIM Portal from Disability Support Services homepage.

Step 2: On the left-hand tool bar, under My Accommodations, select My Eligibility.  Approved accommodations will be visible under My Eligibility.  Students are encouraged to review their accommodations in the AIM portal for accuracy and reach out to DSS with any questions or concerns. 

How do I know if I sent my accommodation letters?   

The My Mailbox feature in AIM is a very useful tool that will provide a record of this activity. My Mailbox is located on the left-hand toolbar for your reference. My Mailbox will also provide a record of all exam requests and other activities in AIM.   

I can’t log into AIM. What do I do?   

  • You will not be able to access AIM until you’ve completed your intake with a DSS representative.  If you have submitted an application, follow instructions provided by DSS via email.   
  • If you are an incoming student, you will not be able to access AIM until you have accepted your offer to attend Mines. You’ll need to set up your Mines credentials first.   
  • If you’ve had your intake interview, you’ll need to use your Mines credentials to log into AIM. This is your Mines username and password.  
  • If those situations do not apply, contact DSS immediately for assistance. There could be an issue with your AIM account and a DSS representative will work with you to resolve it. 

I’ve logged into AIM, but my course schedule doesn’t show up.  

Once you sign your e-agreements, your course schedule should populate automatically.  If you log into AIM and do not see your course schedule, please contact DSS for assistance at

Are accommodations retroactive? 

Accommodation letters are not retroactive. Students must send accommodation letters to notify faculty of approved accommodations each semester.  Timely notification of accommodations is needed in order to coordinate accommodations.   Faculty are not responsible for providing accommodations if they have not received an accommodation letter.

Do student accommodations apply to labs and field sessions? 

The way accommodations are implemented in a lab or field session may look different than in a classroom. The process for determining reasonable and appropriate accommodations for some labs and field sessions may require some additional collaboration between DSS and the faculty.  

Once I’m registered with DSS, are my accommodations set in place for the rest of my time at Mines?

Once registered, your accommodations remain active during your time at Mines. Some accommodations may be specific to certain situations and not applicable in all courses (e.g., specific labs, field sessions, etc.). Accommodation letters are not automatically sent to professors every semester. You are required to send out your own accommodation letters through AIM each semester. If there’s a need to adjust accommodations at any point, you should request to meet with your DSS specialist.

What do I do if I have a problem with my accommodation?   

If you have questions or concerns around your accommodations and/or how they are being implemented in your courses, please contact your DSS specialist to discuss your concerns further.  If you need assistance in scheduling an appointment with your DSS specialist, please contact DSS at 

My current accommodations don’t seem to be working out; can I adjust my accommodations or request additional accommodations?

Once registered with DSS, you should contact their DSS specialist anytime throughout the semester to discuss potential adjustments or additions to your accommodations. You do not need to submit another accommodation application. Please note, if you wait to reach out until the week before final exams begin, DSS may not be able to address these requests. Additional documentation may be needed depending on the request.   

What if I only want to use my accommodations for some classes but not others?

When accommodation letters are sent to instructors in AIM, you’ll have the option to pick and choose which accommodations to utilize for each course. Even after sending the letters, you have the ability to choose when you would like to (or not like to) utilize your accommodations.

A faculty/staff member is refusing to provide my accommodations. What should I do?

It’s important to contact DSS immediately if you experience issues with your accommodations. DSS is available to assist with problem solving situations or conflicts that occur with the delivery of accommodations in the classroom.

 I’m planning to study abroad, will my accommodations transfer?  

Accommodations do not automatically transfer to other institutions, including universities or programs abroad. If you are attending a program abroad that is not affiliated to Mines, you will need to work with that institution directly to request accommodations. If you are attending a Mines sponsored or affiliated program abroad, you will need to work with DSS and the professors involved in the program to determine what accommodations are reasonable and appropriate in that setting. Some accommodations may not be possible abroad.

Housing & Dining Accommodations FAQ

I have dietary restrictions, can I eat safely on campus?    

If you have dietary restrictions register with DSS and submit a dining accommodation request. DSS collaborates with Dining Services and Residence Life to determine appropriate dining accommodations.

How do I apply for a housing or dining accommodation? 

Complete the supplemental housing and dining accommodation request. Once submitted, you will receive an email confirming receipt of the request along with instructions on scheduling an appointment with a DSS specialist. Documentation describing the dietary restrictions is reviewed as part of the accommodation request.

I’m a first-year student living on campus, can I have a car? 

Per Mines Parking Services, first-year students living on campus are not permitted to purchase parking permits unless they have certain, specific needs to have a car on campus. All parking waiver requests should be directed to Mines Parking Services. The parking waiver request process is outlined on the Mines Parking Services website.

How do I request a meal plan waiver?

DSS does not approve meal plan waivers.  Mines Dining Services offers several options to support students with a variety of food allergies and  dining restrictions. If you have dietary restrictions, submit an accommodation request. DSS, along with a dietician from Dining Services, will collaborate to determine reasonable and appropriate dining accommodations.

Assistance Animals FAQ

  What is an assistance animal?

An assistance animal is an animal of any species that, by its mere presence, provides comfort and/or support to an individual with a disability. An assistance animal is an accommodation that must be approved by Disability Support Services before the animal is allowed on campus. Documentation supporting the request is required.

Where am I allowed to bring my assistance animal on campus?

Assistance animals are not permitted on campus unless approved as an accommodation by Disability Support Services. If approved as an accommodation, assistance animals are allowed in Mines residence halls and outdoor spaces. Assistance animals are not permitted in dining halls, classrooms, or other campus buildings.

What is a service animal?

A service animal is a dog* that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.  *Although service animals are defined as dogs, entities covered by the ADA must also modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable as a provision under the ADA.  

How do I bring my service animal to campus? 

Service animals do not need to be registered through DSS. For more information visit Service and Assistance Animals at Mines.

 What do I need to know about bringing an animal to campus? 

Guidelines and policies are posted on the Mines Student Policy Library. The following documents can be found:

 What is the process to request the accommodation of an assistance animal?  

Prior approval is needed. Complete the online request and upload documentation to request to bring an assistance animal to live with you in campus housing. Please refer to the request form under Service and Assistance Animals at Mines.

Mines Testing Center FAQ

How do I take an exam or quiz with the MTC? 

Only students with approved support services and accommodations can utilize the testing center. If you need to request accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disability Support Services.

What most speeds up the MTC’s approval with my exam request with an alternative time?

When submitting an exam request, include a note in the Additional Notes field that you received instructor approval for a time and or date that is outside of the regularly scheduled exam. If the MTC does not see instructor approval, an email will be sent to you through AIM requesting you to modify your request to include approval. These added steps can delay getting an exam request approved by the MTC. 


  • Illness: If you miss a scheduled exam at the MTC due to illness, you should notify your professor and arrange an alternate time to complete a make-up exam. Once this arrangement has been made, submit another request in AIM and explain the situation (illness and instructor approval for the new day/time) in the Additional Notes text box.  
  • Scheduling Conflicts: If your extended time on exams creates a time conflict with your back-to-back classes, please see the Scheduling Conflicts section in Helpful Scheduling Information.
  • Class Times Before 8am or after 5pm: If you have a class that takes place outside of the MTC’s business hours, please submit your exam requests for the next available time in your schedule that falls within MTC business hours (8am-5pm) and within 3 days of the exam  and leave a note in the Additional Notes text box explaining why you are requesting to take an exam outside of the regular class time and that you have professor approval for the alternate time. 

 My professor has not filled out a testing agreement yet. Can I still submit exam requests?

Yes. The request(s) will sit in a queue until the agreement has been filled out. The MTC cannot review exam requests until we receive a completed testing agreement.  

 My extended time on exams creates a time conflict with my back-to-back classes. How should I go about scheduling my exams?

Please see the Scheduling Conflicts section in Helpful Scheduling Information.

What happens if I submit a late quiz/exam or forget to submit a request before my quiz/exam? 

If you don’t submit a request, receive an email that your late request has not been approved, or you do not receive an email from the testing center at all, plan to take your quiz or exam with the rest of the class. In these cases, the instructor is not obligated to provide you with accommodations.  
The MTC puts forth reasonable efforts to process and notify students of every late request by 5pm the day before the scheduled quiz/exam. However, for various reasons, it is not guaranteed that the MTC will be able to process all late requests.  Tip: Submit all quiz and exam requests as soon as possible. If a you decides not to take a quiz or exam at the MTC, please go into AIM and cancel your request. 

How does scheduling common hour exams work with extended time?

Please see the Common Hour Exams section in Helpful Scheduling Information.

How does scheduling final exams work with extended time?

In general, students should schedule their final exams to begin at the same time as listed in the Registrar’s Final Exam Schedule. However, if a student’s final exam is scheduled for the 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm block, they should schedule their exam to end by 9:00 pm (e.g., a student with 1.5x extended time would begin at 6:00 pm, and a student with 2x extended time would begin at 5:00 pm). 

I’m concerned about taking multiple final exams in one day with my extended time. What can I do? ?

Please see the Final Exams section in Helpful Scheduling Information.

My professor changed the quiz/exam day and I’ve already submitted a request. What do I do?  

Go back into AIM and modify your quiz or exam request to the new day and/or time and add a note in the Additional Notes text box explaining the professor

What should I do if the date of a quiz/exam for my class is determined after the MTC’s request deadline? 

When a student submits a quiz or exam request after the deadline, they will be prompted to provide a reason why the request is late. Choose Faculty provided quiz/exam date with less than 5 business days’ notice as the reason for the late request. If the instructor did not notify students of the quiz or exam date until after the deadline, the MTC will gather information to confirm this and then treat the request as if it were submitted on time. 

What is the process if I have an exam question for my professor?  

Immediately communicate to an MTC staff member that you have an exam question. You will be provided with an Ask a Question sheet. Fill the form out legibly and hand it to an MTC staff member. You will then return to testing and the MTC will work on contacting your professor. If we receive a response prior to you handing in your completed exam, we will provide that information to you. If you turn in your exam prior to the professor responding, we will return the Ask a Question form to your professor with your completed exam.  

If I forget my calculator, can I borrow one from the MTC?

The MTC aims to create as similar an experience as possible to what students testing in the classroom experience. Therefore, if an instructor is providing calculators to students in the classroom, the MTC will too. If an instructor is not providing calculators to students in the classroom, the MTC will not provide a calculator either.   

Can I take a break while taking my quiz or exam?  

Yes, you can take a break inside or outside of the testing room. You will need to communicate to a staff member that you are leaving the testing room. Your break time will not be added back into your testing time. 

Am I allowed to bring food and/or drinks into the testing room?  

Food is generally not permitted in the testing rooms at the MTC. You may be allowed to bring drinks into the testing room if it does not create noise or distraction. If you want a snack, exit the testing room, notify a MTC staff member that you need to access their locker, and eat in the hallway or lobby; however, the amount of time spent taking a break is not added back into your testing time.  

Can I take my take-home or non-proctored exam at the MTC?   

Please plan to take take-home or non-proctored exams outside of the MTC. If you have an approved testing accommodation you do not think can be provided in a non-MTC testing space, please email to discuss.

Accessible Campus Parking FAQ


How do I obtain a parking waiver? 

All parking waiver requests should be directed to Mines Parking ServicesPlease refer to the Parking Services website for the waiver process and requirements. For more information see Resident Student Permit Waiver.

How do I apply for a disability placard? 

Applications for disability placards are available at your local DMV office or by visiting  Any valid Mines parking permit allows access to disabled parking spaces. A disability placard must also be displayed.

If I have a disability placard, where can I park on campus? 

Please visit Mines Parking Services for a link to the Parking Map.

If I have a disability placard, do I need to purchase a Mines parking permit? 

Yes, you are required to purchase a Mines parking permit in order to park on campus.