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Disability Services > Parents FAQ

Parents Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is my role as a parent of a college student with a disability?
    Students need support and often this support is found in family and friends. However, students must also be challenged in a way that produces growth and development. Appropriate parental involvement must take place within these boundaries and while keeping in mind the long term best interest of the emerging young adult. Such involvement as it relates to the University life most often involves advising and encouraging your student as they grow and make their own educated decisions.
  2. I have heard that my son or daughter can sign a waiver that will allow me to speak with staff at the disability office. Is this true?
    A college student can sign a release of information consent form, giving staff permission to share information with parents', staff, and faculty directly involved with their accommodations. However, you should know that even if a student signs a release, the Office for Disability Services strongly encourages students to be aware of all information discussed and present during meetings. The release of information consent form can be printed off by clicking Release of Information Consent (.pdf).
  3. Can I request accommodations for my student?
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not allow students' academic information to be discussed without their permission, except by School officials with legitimate educational interest. This means that the Office for Disability Services, by law, can only discuss a student's school related issues with a parent once a student has signed a Release of Information consent form (.pdf).
  4. My student has an IEP/504 Plan. Is that sufficient for college?
    An IEP or 504 Plan addresses your student's needs in the K-12 educational program. However, colleges and universities are very different in the information they require and the accommodations that are available. This includes how a college may address your student's needs for accessing its educational program. While the IEP or 504 Plan will provide of current documentation, additional information containing professional assessments and recommendations may be required. Please refer to the documentation guidelines, at www.uu.edu/studentservices/disabilityservices/, for your disability specific requirements and necessary information required by the Office for Disability Services.
  5. What kinds of accommodations are offered?
    Accommodations are individualized to address specific functional limitations resulting from a disability. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
    • Reduced distraction for testing
    • Books on Tape or E-Text
    • Note taking support
    • Extended testing time
  6. What is the process for requesting accommodations from Union University?
    Students can access the procedures and guidelines for requesting reasonable accommodations at the Office for Disability Services website at www.uu.edu/studentservices/disabilityservices. The site includes a section on How to Request Accommodation and a link to Register Online. After the application and supportive medical documentation is submitted, the materials are evaluated to determine if any appropriate accommodations are available. The Director will then be in contact with the student to discuss disability specific needs and possible accommodations. When accommodations are finalized, the student is sent a verification letter known as a Letter of Accommodation. As parents, you may also refer a student to the Office for Disability Services if you feel that an undiagnosed disability may exist. Our Office will then refer the student to appropriate testing if needed. Please send an email to the Director, Jon Abernathy, at jabernathy@uu.edu or call at (731) 661-6520.

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Meet the Staff
  • Jon Abernathy, M.S.Ed.Jon Abernathy, M.S.Ed.
  • Director
  • Office: PAC F-19
  • Phone: 731-661-6520
  • Fax: 731-661-5187
  • E-mail: jabernathy@uu.edu
  • Box: 1806
  • X
Location and Hours
  • 1050 Union University Drive, Jackson
  • Penick Academic Complex, Hallway F, Room 19 (Between Union Station and the Library)
  • 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday