Accommodations and Services

The Office of Student Disability Services is required to offer accommodations to students based on their disability. Please see our list of Accommodations below. Most reasonable accommodations will need to be requested by the student each semester. Requests can be made through an interactive process between the student and an SDS staff member.

The Office of Student Disability Services also has Enhanced Services, called Project Pass, which students can choose to participate. By signing up for Project Pass (enhanced services), students are required to use all the services. Please see the Project Pass tab for more information about Project Pass.

SDS Accommodations

Testing Accommodation

The SDS Office provides a quiet, distraction-free testing environment. Testing in our office also allows students to have extended time for exams. The following are guidelines to help everyone understand their part in the SDS Office testing procedure.

Scheduled exams are to be taken in our office at the same time as the class exam unless there is a conflict with the student's schedule. When a schedule conflict occurs, an arrangement will be worked out between the student and the professor in advance. This can be found on the accommodation sheet the professor signs, and an alternate time will be listed if needed. The professor can discuss this with the office if they prefer a certain time.

The Responsibilities of the Students:

  • It is the responsibility of each student to notify the professor if they typically take exams in the SDS Office. The student will present the professor with an accommodation form to sign to notify the professor that they are using this service.
  • The student will schedule all exams with our office at least three business days in advance. They can call, email, or leave a voicemail in order to schedule exams. Students can also access the online scheduling form under the "forms" tab on our website. We ask that students notify our office at least three business days in advance so that we can notify the professor that we need a copy of the exam. 

     

The Responsibilities of the SDS Office:

Once a test has been scheduled by the student, the SDS Testing  Center Supervisor will email the professor to notify him/her that we need a copy of the exam.

Exams can be delivered:

  • Via the professor
  • Emailed to msu.accesstesting@murraystate.edu
  • Faxed to the office at 809-4339
  • Picked up by a representative from the SDS Office
  • The exam is sealed and locked in a filing cabinet until the time of the test.
  • We do not copy any exams without the instructor's permission.
  • A student worker will return the completed exam to the professor or designated person as soon as possible.
  • Some students need a reader during their exam. All readers are staff members or graduate students. Undergraduate student workers are not allowed to read exams to our students nor do they work in the SDS Testing  Center.
  • If you have more than one student taking the same exam, they will not be allowed to sit near each other.

The Responsibilities of the Professor:

  • If you give pop quizzes, please notify us so we can make some type of arrangements.
  • We assume that all tests are closed book, closed note exams. If you allow open book, open note exams, please let us know.

Final Exams

Finals week is an extremely busy time for our office.  We try to schedule these exams at least a week in advance to make sure everything runs smoothly during that hectic time. We appreciate your patience, cooperation, and assistance during this time.

The SDS Office Policy on Cheating. We have a zero tolerance policy on cheating. If we suspect a student of cheating, we will gather up all notes and testing materials and return everything to you to take the appropriate action.

Housing

How to apply for a Reasonable Housing Accommodation?

Students may apply for a reasonable housing accommodation at the same time they apply to live on campus (new applicants), or at the same time they renew their on campus housing assignment (returning residents).  A reasonable housing accommodation request includes: 1) completing the Reasonable Housing Accommodation page (accessible through a student’s online housing application) and 2) providing Supporting Documentation.   

Documentation must:

  1. be a signed letter on professional letterhead
  2. be from the student’s medical or mental healthcare provider or licensed therapist
  3. include a diagnosis of the individual’s disability
  4. contain a clear description of the current impact and functional limitations resulting from the disability
  5. include a statement supporting the student’s specific housing accommodation

Please note that students requesting a reasonable housing accommodation for the first time must include current supporting documentation.  Students renewing their housing accommodation request may be expected to submit current documentation annually.  Individuals requesting a housing accommodation related to a mental/emotional disorder (anxiety, depression, etc.) must submit updated documentation annually.


Accessing the Online Housing Application:

The online housing application is accessible from a student’s myGate account.  To access the housing application, click on the Money Tab and find the link to the online housing application located under the heading, Housing Office.

First time applicants will be prompted to pay a $150 security deposit.  Returning residents who have an active deposit on file will not be expected to pay an additional housing deposit.

 Access to the Reasonable Housing Accommodation page is determined by how a student responds to the 1st Floor Housing page of their online application.  From the 1st Floor Housing page students will be prompted to select one of three options from a drop down menu.  Two of the three options are related to having a disability.  Students may simply select the one item that is most appropriate and click save and continue at the bottom of the page.  If a student selects one of the two items related to having a disability the student will be prompted to complete their Reasonable Housing Accommodation page. 


Reasonable Housing Accommodation Page:

This is where a student can indicate the nature of their disability and specify the specific housing accommodation they are requesting. 

Some common housing accommodations may include, but are not limited to: 

  1. an ADA accessible room/bathroom
  2. a private room and/or private bathroom
  3. an emotional support animal
  4. first floor housing
  5. a housing assignment on a quiet floor
  6. climate-controlled room
  7. permission to bring an additional refrigerator

Upload Documentation Page

Students will be given the option of submitting their supporting documentation in the form of an electronic attachment.  Although students do have the option to upload their documentation, it is not required to submit their documentation in this manner.  If a student does not have their documentation readily available in an electronic version, documentation may be submitted directly to the Office of Student Disability Services by either the student or their medical, mental healthcare provider, or licensed therapist via mail, fax or email:

Mail:

Office of Student Disability Services

423 Wells Hall

Murray, KY 42071

Fax:

270-809-4339

Email: 

kashlock@murraystate.edu or msu.studentdisabilities@murraystate.edu 

Please note, students will need to click ‘Confirm Application’ from the final page of their online housing application to officially submit their application/reasonable housing accommodation request.

Residents are highly encouraged to submit their request(s) for a housing accommodation:

  • for fall semesters by April 1st
  • for spring semesters by December 15th
  • for summer terms, one month prior to the first day of class

Requests for reasonable housing accommodations made after the start of any semester will need to be initiated by contacting the Office of Student Disability Services at 270-809-2018.

For more information, please see Housing Disabilities Assignment and Appeals.

Parking

To receive Accessible Parking Accommodations for a permanent disability or a temporary disability/injury –

The student must:

o   In person:  423 Wells Hall

o   Via fax:  270-809-4339

o   Via email:  msu.studentdisabilities@murraystate.edu

Section 1 is to be completed by the student and Section 2 is to be completed the physician.  Please note that the student must purchase a Murray State parking permit and register their vehicles (if they have not done so already).

A temporary parking accommodation may be given to a student while the student is waiting for their doctor to complete Section 2 of the Accessible Parking Form.

State issued disability placards MUST be accompanied by a Murray State issued disability permit. 

The Accessible Parking Form is available in person, by phone, or online at the following locations:

  • Office of Student Disability Services (SDS), 423 Wells Hall; 270-809-2018 or 270-809-6942.
  • Parking Office; Murray State Police Department; 270-809-4812 
  • Accessible Parking Form

University Hours of Operation:

  • August-May, Office Hours:  8:00am-4:30pm
  • June-July, Office Hours:  7:30am-4:00pm

For more information regarding parking, visit the Parking Office website.

Meal Plan 

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with our Director or Associate Director to discuss a meal plan adjustment or accommodations related to food allergies or dietary restrictions.  The student would need to register with our office, and have documentation on file that would support the need for specific accommodations or adjustments.  Students are also encouraged to contact Katie Ullery (Katherine.Ullery@sodexo.com), the Registered Dietitian with Sodexo.  Katie can provide students assistance with dietary needs and food allergies the student may be experiencing.

Interpreters/Captioning

Please make an appointment with the Director or Associate Director. Students will need to discuss the type of accommodation they have used before: interpreter, FM system, C-Print captioning are a few examples.

Note Taker

The Office of Student Disability Services works in collaboration with Otter.ai to provide students a note taking accommodation.

 

What is Otter?

  • Otter gives students the opportunity to record their class lectures and turn them into smart notes (transcriptions), which can be easily highlighted, customized with personal comments, and can be searched and saved for future reference.
  • Otter gives students the ability to import (upload) audio or video files to Otter from their computer or mobile device. When a file is imported, Otter will process the audio/speech and create a transcription.
  • Users can even snap photos (e.g. of a whiteboard, a speaker, or PowerPoint slide) during a recording and they will be inserted in-line with their transcripts.
  • The student would be responsible for providing their own device to record their professors’ lectures (i.e. cellphone, laptop).
  • The student would also be expected to complete an Acknowledgement and Agreement Form to confirm their understanding on how to appropriately manage using the recorded materials during the course of the semester. Students are prohibited from sharing recordings on any social media platforms, and will be expected to delete their records at the end of each semester/term.

Students are encouraged to contact our office to schedule an in-take appointment to see if note taking assistance is a warranted accommodation.  If it is determined that a note taker is needed as a reasonable accommodation the student would be responsible for contacting our office, and requesting this accommodation each semester. 

Students are also encouraged to contact our office to discuss alternate options for receiving a note taking accommodation if necessary

Emotional Support Animals

The residential facilities on the campus of Murray State are not pet friendly.  Fish in an enclosed aquarium (10-gallon size maximum per resident) are the only pets allowed in the residence halls and College Courts.

Residents MUST register with the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS), and provide documentation from a qualified medical provider to support the need for having an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in their on-campus residence PRIOR to bringing their ESA to campus.  A student/resident who is caught having an ESA in their on-campus residence without having the approval of SDS:

  • will be given 3-business days to register with SDS, and provide appropriate documentation for the ADA Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Committee to review to determine if the animal is to be recognized as an ESA, or
  • the student/resident will be expected to remove the animal from campus within 3-business days.
  • Failure to comply will result in the student/resident being subject to disciplinary action, which may include loss of visitation privileges, or a hold being placed on the student’s account.

In addition, misrepresentation of a Service Animal is a criminal offense punishable by a monetary penalty.

 

What are the main differences between an emotional support animal and a service animal?

Service animals are animals that are trained to perform a specific work or task.  The specific work or task that these animals are trained to perform must be directly related to the individuals disability.  A common type that most people are familiar with is a seeing-eye dog; a dog that is specially trained to serve as navigation or ‘sight’ for an individual with a visual impairment.   There are only two types of animals that the Americans with Disabilities Act has approved for use as a service animal (dogs or miniature horses).  Service animals are not considered an accommodation; rather, they are required for accessibility purposes.  Service animals are generally allowed to go wherever their owner goes (i.e. the animal may be taken to class, to an on-campus job, to the cafeteria, to the library, etc.).

Emotional support animals are not specifically trained to perform a work or task; therefore, there are some limitations associated with having an emotional support animal on campus.  The Fair Housing Amendments Act influences how emotional support animals are governed, which includes on campus housing options at colleges and universities.  Emotional support animals are not trained to perform a specific work or task.  Although, comfort, support, companionship and being in the presence of an animal does have therapeutic benefits, it does not equate to performing a specific work or task.  Since emotional support animals are not trained to perform a specific work or task and are considered an accommodation and not for accessibility purposes, the animal(s) is limited to the owner’s living space.  Therefore, it is not permissible for an emotional support animal to accompany their owner to class, to an on-campus job, to the cafeteria, to the library, into a residence hall (other than the one building they have been assigned to live in while staying on campus), into another resident’s room within their assigned residence hall, etc.

Emotional support animals are to be considered domesticated animals that are traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes, and that provide therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or emotional disability.  A partial list of disabilities covered includes:  anxiety, depression, bipolar/mood disorders, panic attacks, and other emotional/psychological conditions.  Individuals are encouraged to converse with their counselor or therapist to determine which type of animal would be most appropriate.


How to apply for an emotional support animal?

  1. In-Take Appointment: Residents requesting to bring an emotional support animal to campus are required to meet with the Director of the Office of Student Disability Services.  If a student is requesting a support animal prior to living on campus this in-take appointment can be completed after the semester begins (within the first two weeks of classes).  If a student currently lives on campus and initiates the request for an emotional support animal while the semester is in progress the in-take appointment will be the first phase of the application process.  To schedule an in-take appointment with our Director please call our main office at 270-809-2018.

  2. Documentation: Complete and submit the Application for an EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL for a STUDENT with a Disability Form to the Office of Student Disability Services: 
    Via fax:  270-809-4339
    Via email:  msu.studentdisabilities@murraystate.edu  or   kashlock@murraystate.edu 
    In person:  423 Wells Hall

    Documentation may also be included as an electronic attachment as part of your online housing application.  Students returning to live on campus must renew their request annually and provide updated documentation every year.

    Section 1 of the form referenced above is to be completed by the student.
    Section 2 is to be completed by the resident’s doctor, mental healthcare provider, licensed therapist, counselor, or from a qualified provider who is familiar with therapeutic benefits of emotional support animals.

  3. Forms: Students will also be expected to complete a Student Registration Application as well as a Request for Housing Reasonable Accommodation Form.  If a student does not presently live on campus, applying for an emotional support animal (housing accommodation) can be done at the same time a student applies for University housing.  Our Request for Housing Reasonable Accommodation Form can be accessed through the student’s online housing application.  If a resident is making the request for an emotional support animal after the semester has already begun, and the student is already residing on campus, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Disability Services (270-809-2018) to set up an in-take appointment.  A copy of the Request for Housing Reasonable Accommodation Form will be made available during this time.
    Students will also be expected to complete an Emotional Support Animal Policy Form.  This form will be submitted electronically.  You will be sent an email with information on how to access this form from our Director at the conclusion of your in-take appointment.

  4. Email from Roommate(s) and/or Suite-mate(s): Students will also be expected to communicate with their roommate and/or suite-mates that they have requested to bring an animal to campus.  Your roommate and/or suite-mates will need to send an email to kashlock@murraystate.edu indicating that they are OK sharing space with you and your animal.  If you have multiple roommates and/or suite-mates we will need to receive an email from each one individually.

  5. Picture of Your Emotional Support Animal: Residents must also email a picture of their emotional support animal to the Office of Student Disability Services - kashlock@murraystate.edu.

  6. ADA Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Committee: Once your application is complete your request for an emotional support animal will be reviewed by the ADA Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Committee.  You will be notified via email (sent to your Murray State University email account) with a decision as soon as possible.  The Housing Office will be notified of this decision as well.

  7. Requirements from the Department of Housing: If your request for an emotional support animal is approved your Residence Director and/or your Resident Advisor will contact you to review a document called Guidelines and Agreement for Maintaining an Animal in Murray State University Housing.  This document outlines the responsibilities of you the owner for maintaining an animal on campus.
    The Housing Office will also notify all residents in your building to let everyone know that ‘a resident’ has been approved for an emotional support animal.  You will not be singled out by name and your room number will not be disclosed.  This message is intended to let all residents know that the University’s pet policy has not changed and that students would need to have a valid, medically documented reason for having an animal on campus.  This email message is also intended to give students the opportunity to let the Housing Office know if they have any allergies or other concerns about living in the same building with an animal(s).
    Please note that there are some areas within the residential colleges that have been deemed as animal free zones.  Depending on which residence hall you live in and what type of animal you are requesting to bring to campus, a reassignment may be necessary.  If a reassignment is needed, the Housing Office will communicate with you your relocation options.
    You will also be expected to provide the Housing Office with proof of vaccinations for your animal.  This is to ensure that your animal has a clean bill of health and is safe to reside on campus.
    The Housing Office will not charge you an additional deposit (i.e. pet deposit); however, please note you would be responsible for paying for any damages that may occur as a result of something your animal may have done in your room or in your residence hall.
    By law the University is required to maintain record of individuals residing on campus who have disclosed to the University (i.e. the Office of Student Disability Services or the Housing Office) that they have a disability.  If your request for an emotional support animal is granted by the ADA Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Committee, by law your name will be added to the House Bill 321 listing.  This listing will remain confidential and will only be used in the event of an emergency that would require the evacuation of your residence hall.  Names on the HB 321 listing will only be revealed to individuals who have been trained to respond to emergency situations (i.e. the Housing Department staff and both campus and community emergency personal). 

  8. Communicating with both the Office of Student Disability Services and the Housing Office: 

    You will need to contact both the Office of Student Disability Services and the Housing Office:
  • when you plan to bring your emotional support animal to campus
  • if it is necessary to make a change to the type of animal you will have on campus
  • if your ESA is no longer needed on campus

Contacts:

Office of Student Disability Services – Ken Ashlock (Director), kashlock@murraystate.edu

Housing Office – Dr. David Wilson (Director), jwilson@murraystate.edu

Classroom

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with our Director or Associate Director to discuss appropriate classroom accommodations.  The student would need to register with our office, and have documentation on file that would support the need for specific classroom accommodations.  Some classroom accommodations that may be appropriate to consider may include:  note taking assistance, permission to record lectures, preferential seating, permission to have food and/or drink in the classroom (or lab) due to a medical condition, or alternate seating arrangements (i.e. desk, table, chair due to a physical impairment).

Voter Registration

Voter registration information and forms are available for individuals with disabilities at the Office of Student Disability Services, 423 Wells Hall, Murray KY 42071. Individuals with disabilities can receive assistance with completion of these forms upon request.

Voter registration is also available online for the Commonwealth of Kentucky at:

https://elect.ky.gov/Voters/Pages/default.aspx

And National voter registration information can be found at:

www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx

Pregnancy and Parenting

Murray State University is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.

What is Title IX and what does it cover?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools. This prohibition includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – including pregnancy and parental status – in education programs and activities. The law requires that the University cannot treat students differently on the basis of sex concerning their actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Schools that receive federal funds must not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, including a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination or recovery therefrom. This also includes those who are already raising children. MSU wants every student to be able to work successfully toward graduation. The University will provide equal access to school programs and extracurricular activities to students who might be, are or have been pregnant. The University will provide services to pregnant students as they would to other students who have temporary medical conditions.

What types of accommodations may I request?
Specific accommodations will vary from student to student. Examples of accommodations may include:

  • a larger desk
  • breaks during class, as needed
  • permitting temporary access to elevators
  • rescheduling tests or exams
  • excusing absences due to pregnancy or related conditions
  • submitting work after a deadline missed due to pregnancy or childbirth
  • providing alternatives to make up missed work
  • allowing excused absences for parenting students (both male and female) who need to take their children to doctors' appointments or to take care of their sick children

How do I request accommodations?

Students:
Students may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Reasonable accommodations vary based on the student's circumstances, but may include: academic accommodations and flexibility (such as breaks during class, excused absences, rescheduling of tests, extensions of deadlines, and alternatives to make up missed work); leaves of absences or changes in work schedules; changes to housing; or other types of accommodations. Accommodation requests should be directed to Ken Ashlock in the Office of Student Disability Services. The Office of SDS will discuss the pregnant or parenting individual's needs and will ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations.  Other documents which might be helpful for this conversation include but are not limited to: class schedule, syllabi, professor contact information, contact information for the student, etc. 

Requests from pregnant, parenting or pregnancy related medical conditions should be directed to:
Ken Ashlock
Director of Student Disability Services
270.809.2018
kashlock@murraystate.edu

Reports regarding discrimination regarding pregnancy or parenting should be directed to:
Title IX Coordinator
Office of IDEA
270.809.3155
msu.titleix@murraystate.edu

Resources

Health and Medical

Academic Resources

MSU Accessibility

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