Q. What constitutes a disability?
A. A disability is defined in the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Q. What does “substantially limiting” mean?
A. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.
Q. What is a “major life activity?”
A. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
Q. What should I do if I have a disability and want to receive accommodations?
A. If you have a disability, you will need to provide documentation of that disability to the Office of Disability Services. A qualified professional, who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question, must provide the documentation. An appointment should be scheduled with the Director of the Office of Disability Services at Nicholls to review the documentation and the need for services.
Q. I received accommodations in high school and I used an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or School Board Level Committee (SBLC). Can I use the IEP or SBLC as documentation?
A. The IEP and SBLC are valuable resources of information, but it cannot be used as documentation for Nicholls.
Q. If I am a client of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is there anything special I should know?
A. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will often fund services for you, if you are completing a college degree as a part of your DVR employment plan. You must advise the Director of the Office of Disability Services that you are using the Vocational Rehabilitation Office.
Q. How can I obtain a permit for accessible (handicapped) parking?
A. To get a handicapped parking permit, contact Parking Services at (985) 448-4526 or visit their office located in Calecas Hall.
Q. I need a large desk or left-handed desk in my classroom. Who do I contact to request a desk?
A. Contact ODS at (985) 448-4430 to get a large or left-handed desk delivered to your classroom. Please have the buildings and room numbers available when calling.
Q. I had an accident and I am on crutches or I have a cast on my hand. Can the Disability Services Office help me?
A. Yes. The Office of Disability Services will assist students with temporary disabilities. You must bring a written statement from your doctor explaining the injury and the length of the temporary disability. If you injure your hand and you are unable to write, the Office of Disability Services can assist by providing a note taker and/or writer for exams.
Q. How does an instructor know what accommodations will be made?
A. Once the student has provided the Office of Disability Services with their class schedule, letters are typed to each instructor identifying the student’s accommodations. The student should meet with each instructor to discuss the specific accommodations that the instructor finds most adaptable or appropriate for the class.
Q. If I have disability questions, whom do I contact?
A. For more information, please visit or contact our office:
Office of Disability Services
Nicholls State University
P. O. Box 2087
Thibodaux, LA 70310
Reviewed July 2015