Register for Services
To receive disability accommodations at Southern Miss, students must register with the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA), then discuss their accommodation requests with the ODA director, assistant director, or disability specialist. To register with ODA, students must take the following two steps:
Step 1: Complete two forms, an ODA Application and a Consent Form, then return them to ODA. Both forms can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:
Step 2: Submit documentation of your disability that must be provided by an appropriate health care professional. Below are links to documentation guidelines that can assist you in gathering necessary information from your doctor or a qualified health care provider. Each set of guidelines outlines the exact information that is; needed and it should be shared with your health care professional. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that this information is submitted to ODA. All fees associated with obtaining documentation are the responsibility of the student. The following is the university’s list of documentation guidelines for various disability categories:
All disability documentation that is submitted to ODA is kept confidential and will be used in determining eligibility for coverage under ADA and making decisions on accommodation requests.
It should be noted that registering with ODA is a completely separate process from seeking admission into the university. Further, ODA does not review students’ disability documentation until a student has been admitted into the university.
Students requesting accessible campus housing should indicate their medical needs on their Residence Housing Application.
Once a student's documentation and application have been approved by ODA, the student is registered with ODA. However, the student must then meet with ODA to discuss their accommodation requests. For more information on ODA's procedures, please refer to the ODA Manual (PDF).
Shared Responsibilities: ODA, Faculty, Staff and Students
Achieving reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities involves shared responsibility between ODA, students, faculty and staff. It is the responsibility of the university to educate personnel and faculty regarding the rights of students with disabilities and the university’s policies and ODA’s procedures. Southern Miss faculty and staff must provide reasonable accommodations that assist students in accessing university resources and in fulfilling degree requirements as established by the university. When students request accommodations without a letter from ODA, faculty and staff must refer the students to ODA. Then ODA will verify the documentation of the disability and plan for reasonable and appropriate accommodations that meet the mandates of federal legislation.
Follow-up and Evaluation of Services
Once accommodations are implemented, ODA contacts students to monitor and evaluate services. At the end of each semester, students are asked to evaluate the ODA services by completing a satisfaction with services questionnaire (see the ODA Evaluation of Services form in Appendix B of the ODA Manual). Students are expected to keep ODA updated on their current contact information. If the need arises for ODA to quickly relay messages, accurate phone numbers, mailing and/or email addresses are essential. Faculty and staff should inform ODA as soon as possible about any problems with approved accommodations.