Students Considering Registering with SSD

student signing in at front deskImportance of Registering with SSD

Post-secondary education differs from earlier levels of education with regard to disability services. At Northwestern and all other colleges and universities, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) that he or she has a disability and to request accommodations and services if needed. A student who has a disability but has not registered with SSD is not entitled to services or accommodations.

Some students who received disability-related services in high school may decide to try taking their Northwestern courses without any accommodations or services. SSD recommends that those students nonetheless provide documentation of their disability. In this way, the SSD office can easily serve the student if he or she later finds that accommodations are needed. SSD maintains confidentiality of information, meaning that records contained in SSD files are housed only in the SSD office and are not part of the student's academic file.

Description of Intake & Accommodations Determination Process

Please visit our page detailing eligibility for services and review our documentation guidelines page so that you know what documentation of your disability will be required. If you have any questions about this process, please utilize this direct link to our office email address or call 847-467-5530.  We recommend that you submit your documentation via mail, FAX, or in person before we schedule a 1-hour intake appointment with you.

Here's a summary of the 4-step procedure to register with SSD:

  1. Send (email, mail, or FAX) or personally deliver documentation of your disability to SSD in Room 21 of Scott Hall.
  2. Complete SSD's online application.
  3. Contact the SSD Office after your documentation has been submitted to ensure that it has been received and to set up an appointment for an in-person intake interview to discuss possible services and accommodations.
    • Students who are not local but hope to register prior to arriving on campus can arrange for Skype, FaceTime, or phone intake appointments.
    • Intake appointments will not be scheduled each quarter during the last two weeks of the quarter or during finals week. Instead, you can schedule an intake appointment at the beginning of the following quarter.
  4. Sign an agreement listing your accommodations once the appropriate accommodations have been thoroughly discussed and agreed upon.