Incoming and Unregistered Students
Welcome to the Disability Resource Center! We are excited to connect with you and support you in your Northeastern experience. See below for information about the accommodation request process, documentation guidelines, how to contact us, and other information about registering with the DRC.
Accommodation Request Process
To receive accommodations through the DRC, students must provide documentation of a disability that demonstrates a current substantial limitation. Accommodations are approved based on a review of the information that is submitted. Our review process is conducted on a case-by-case basis. Students should complete the following steps:
Submit any additional clinical documentation showing a history of services or other relevant information via your DRC portal
If necessary, submit a disability-specific disclosure form to be completed by a clinician (see documentation guidelines below)
Submit all documentation to: DRCdocumentation@northeastern.edu.
After Documentation is Submitted
Documentation Review by the DRC
After the DRC has received documentation, determinations for approved accommodations are made by committee utilizing an interactive, multi-source approach. This process typically takes at least 2-3 weeks, as accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. If the committee determines that more information is required, the committee will reach out to the student to request further documentation.
Invitation to Register
Upon being approved for accommodations, the student will receive an email from a DRC specialist inviting them to register with the Disability Resource Center. During this meeting, the DRC specialist will review approved and denied accommodations with the student, as well as policies and procedures for accessing accommodations.
In addition to the Student Disclosure Form, the DRC may request any of the following documents:
- An evaluation or a Disability Disclosure Form completed by a qualified professional (see disability-specific documentation).
- Verification of any prior accommodations including an IEP, a 504 plan, or the private school equivalent.
- SAT, ACT or IB accommodations and verification from other post-secondary institutions.
- Documentation will be reviewed in the order that it was received. During high volume times, reviews may take several weeks.
- Prior use of specific accommodations in high school or at a prior institution does not guarantee the same accommodations will be granted at Northeastern
- A diagnosis, while an important part of the documentation review process, in and of itself may not qualify a student for accommodations
Questions regarding these guidelines may be directed to DRC@northeastern.edu or (617) 373 – 2675.
Transitioning to Northeastern
The following informational video series is for students who are transitioning to Northeastern University’s Disability Resource Center or Learning Disabilities Program. Each session will outline important information about making the transition from high school to college.
“Coming to Northeastern” discusses the differences between receiving accommodations in high school and in college, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), how civil rights law affects you, what “reasonable accommodations” are and what they are not, and what your responsibilities are as a college student receiving accommodations. Watch the video here.
“Navigating College with a Disability” talks about how understanding your disability impacts your daily life and how it is an important step to succeeding in college. It also reviews some of the things that you are now responsible for, such as initiating the process to receive supports and accommodations, and managing your academic career while at Northeastern. Watch the video here.
“Preparing to Succeed,” explores how ‘starting successfully’ means taking initiative before you arrive on campus. It includes tips for how to start and stay organized throughout the semester and information about who can support you during this transition. Watch the video here.
“Utilizing the DRC’s Services” explains how the DRC can provide more than just accommodations, how the DRC website is your go-to place for accessing info about your accommodations, and how to schedule a meeting with your specialist or an advisor by using your myNortheastern portal. Watch the video here.
“Helpful Technology” goes over some different technologies you’ll use at Northeastern, how to navigate various features of the myNortheastern portal and Canvas learning management system, and some assistive technology that can support you based on learning style and disability while at college. Watch the video here.
A video about parent support for students is available here.
The DRC encourages incoming students to manage their own communications with the DRC. Parents can support students in applying for DRC accommodations by:
- Encouraging the student to contact the DRC several weeks before classes begin.
- Assisting the student in locating necessary documentation, such as neuropsychological evaluations or history of accommodations.
- Brainstorming questions that student can ask a DRC specialist.
Temporary Conditions or injuries lasting six months or fewer are not considered permanent disabilities and generally do not qualify as a disability under federal or state laws. However, the Disability Resource Center may be able to work with you and your professors to provide strategies or services if you are injured or have a temporary condition. You will be asked to provide documentation from a clinician attesting to your condition.
If you would like to inquire about temporary support please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Please note, the university does not provide transportation to/from classes for students.
Learning Disabilities Program
The Learning Disabilities Program (LDP) is a fee-for-service academic support program for undergraduate students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. Basic accommodations for students with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorder are provided at no cost by the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
For information about Northeastern’s Learning Disabilities Program, please visit their website.
Frequently Asked Questions for Incoming Students
I have a diagnosed condition but I don’t need any formal accommodations right now. Should I register with the DRC?
We do encourage students to apply for accommodations even if they are not sure if they will need to use them. Accommodations are not retroactive, so we suggest applying sooner rather than later, in the event you need to use them in the future.
What documentation do I need to submit?
Documentation can vary based on your individual diagnosis. All students should complete a Student Self-Disclosure Form and provide verification of any prior accommodations they have used. Additionally, we require information about your diagnosis from a currently-treating clinician. You can find more information about documentation guidelines here.
I had an IEP or 504 plan in high school. How can I request accommodations?
Please note that a 504 plan or IEP establishes a history of accommodation use, but alone they are not enough to approve accommodations in college. You will also need to provide a Student Disclosure Form and any updated clinical documentation.
Who will have access to the very personal information contained in my documentation? Will the DRC share this information with anyone or will any of my official records be flagged if I receive accommodations?
All documentation is strictly confidential, only DRC professional staff have access to it. We only share your approved accommodations with professors. Anything else is shared only with the student’s consent. There are no public records that will indicate that you received accommodations. Advisor, residence life staff, and co-op employers do not have access to any DRC information.
Does the DRC have anything to do with admission to Northeastern?
The DRC does not have a role in the admissions process. We do not review applications or supply any input on particular applicants.
I was last evaluated in high school. How recent does the evaluation documentation need to be?
The DRC does not limit evaluations based on age. Instead, we use a multi-source process to determine eligibility for accommodations and the time at which the evaluation was conducted is considered in this review. It is possible you will need an update, but we encourage you to speak with a specialist first. You can find more information about documentation guidelines here.
I don’t have a formal diagnosis, but I am really struggling. How can I be evaluated?
Please contact the university’s Behavioral Health Referral Coordinator at UHCS to get a referral to an off-campus provider. You can find more information at their website or the coordinator can be reached by phone at 617-373-2772, option #5.
I recently received a diagnosis. How do I know what accommodations to request or if I would qualify for services?
The DRC has a disability specialist available during operating hours to meet with you in person or on the phone to talk about this in more detail. They will ask you some questions about your experience and guide you through the process of requesting formal accommodations. The process is entirely confidential and you may change your mind at any time.
Will I need to resubmit documentation each semester?
No, once you officially register with the DRC and complete the Student Service Agreement, you do not need to resubmit documentation. Should you wish to apply for additional accommodations, you can always submit updated or additional information at any time.
I am taking classes online or on a different Northeastern campus. Can I still request accommodations?
The Disability Resource Center provides accommodations to all eligible students taking classes across Northeastern’s global network. Regardless of where you are taking classes or if they are online, the accommodation approval process is the same.
Does the DRC provide tutoring?
The DRC does not provide content tutoring, but the university does offer academic tutoring for all students through a variety of resources including the Writing Center and the Peer Tutoring Program. We recommend discussing tutoring resources with your academic advisor.
What is the difference between the LDP and the DRC?
The DRC provides accommodations to all eligible students. The Learning Disabilities Program is a paid application-based academic support program designed for students whose primary diagnosis is a learning disability or ADHD. Please see the LDP’s website for additional information.
When do I send in my documentation?
You can send it at any time after you have applied to the university, but keep in mind that it can take up to two to three weeks to review your documentation once you have submitted documentation. For this reason we encourage you to begin working with our office as early as possible.
I’ve read that you want documentation well in advance of my needing services, why? When will I hear back about my accommodation requests?
Documentation goes through a thorough, case-by-case review process. Due to the volume of documentation we receive, it can take some time for it to move through our queue. Also, if the Documentation Review Committee determines that we need additional information from you, it could take time for you to submit it. Please allow two to three weeks for our accommodation review process. A specialist will email you when the documentation committee completes their review and provide you with next steps.
If I wait to register with the DRC until after classes start and I run into difficulty, will I be able to go back and retake my exams?
Services and accommodations are NOT retroactive. They begin only after you have provided adequate documentation and have had a registration meeting with a Disability Specialist. For this reason, we encourage students to start the process proactively.
I would like to try to navigate college without receiving any help from the DRC. Can I register later if I need it?
The choice of requesting or using accommodations is always yours to make. However, since it can take several weeks for documentation to get through the review process, it is better to submit documentation so that accommodations are in place if needed. You can then choose when to use your approved services and there is no penalty for not doing so.
Accommodation Appeal Process for Students with Disabilities
Northeastern University is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services for students with disabilities. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, students are eligible to receive reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations are meant to ensure equal access, and are not meant to impose an undue burden or fundamental alteration to any program.
Northeastern’s Disability Resource Center internal appeal process has been designed to provide students a means of seeking internal resolution if they believe their accommodation requests were unduly denied.
- The student should submit a written appeal via the Formal Accommodation Appeal Form (available here).
- Once the appeal form is received, a review will be conducted by the Senior Director, Mary Barrows, who will consult with the student pertaining to the appeal.
- The Senior Director will respond within 60 days with a written statement detailing the DRC’s appeal decision.
Once a decision has been made in the accommodation appeal process the decision is final.