In college/university, you may be interacting with many different members of staff, and meeting new people all the time. So, how do you go about informing all of these new people about your needs? Below are 4 steps that you can follow to help you make sure you are getting the supports you need without having to have a long, possibly uncomfortable, conversation with every new staff member you meet.
Ask your disability officer for advice
If you are worried about how to disclose your disability to members of staff, try asking your disability office for advice. Your college/university may already have a protocol in place to help you do this. If you have asked your disability officer for advice and you still aren’t sure what to do next, try sending an email.
Send an Email
If you need some sort of support that you feel is not being provided automatically, it may be a case that the staff member may simply not be aware that you require that support. For example, if you are a student with dyslexia and you need to receive the lecture slides before class, you may need to inform the lecturer of this yourself, if the disability office has not done so already. For help with writing emails, check out our adaptable template here.
Arrange a face-to-face meeting
If you have tried emailing the particular member of staff and you are still having issues, ask if you can arrange a face-to-face meeting with them. Go into this meeting with a clear idea of what you’d like to discuss and what your ideal outcome would be. You may find it useful to make notes for yourself beforehand so you don’t forget anything you think is important.
Go back to the disability office
If you’ve followed the above steps and you are still not receiving the supports that you need, go back to your disability officer and inform them of how your situation has progressed. They would be the best people to advice you in what steps to take next.