I just want to say this because it makes me so angry and I feel like not enough people have said it: disability services at college are fucking super, incredibly ableist. There was an FWD/Forward post last week where people started talking about this in the comments. But I just sometimes get so pissed off I can't stop thinking about it.
It's fucked up to have for example an entrance for wheelchair users that the wheelchair user has to actually make a phone call to have opened. (The other day I saw an elevator in the art building at school which said exactly that--there was a little phone next to it that said "dial [this number] on this phone if you need to use the elevator.") I think that most people who work in disability services would understand this is fucked up. But that's exactly what disability services are like, if not worse.
People have to prove they're disabled. They often have to have documentation stating that they are disabled that's less than five years old, or sometimes even less than one year old. For one thing this costs money, but for another thing, a lot of people with disabilities like ASD and ADHD don't find it super easy to run around getting a lot of documentation together.
We also don't find it easy to do things like apply for accommodation for every individual test we take, which is often a rule. On the FWD/Forward thread, a person with ASD and Tourette's was talking about how she basically never gets accommodation for her tests because she can't do all the things they require her to do in order to get accommodation.
First of all, why do people have to have recent documentation? Have there been many cases of developmental disabilities, like ASD, just disappearing? Do people with for example dyscalculia just suddenly get better, and then continue to try to get accommodations because they're just a shitty person who wants to get a leg up on everyone else?
Second of all, explain this kind of bullshit (this particular bullshit is from here): Colleges and universities have no responsibility to identify or seek out students with disabilities. It is the student's responsibility to make his or her disability known to the proper individuals, to provide correct and current paperwork documenting the disability, and to request accommodation personally. In addition, the student's documentation must support the need for a service or accommodation in order for it to be approved.
Even though the person is paying to go to school and the disability services office and the professors are paid to help the person learn, the student must: find the proper individuals, have conversations, request accommodation (even if this kind of stuff is hard), find all their paperwork, bring it in, and most importantly initiate everything. Even if all this thought and travel is physically or emotionally wearing on the student. Even if the student just can't do this stuff at all and it never happens, because of the nature of the disability. Who cares.
I feel like there's almost a sense of glee. I feel bitter saying that, but that's how it feels: "come on you little wuss, it's not our responsibility to help you, it's your responsibility to jump through a billion hoops in order to be worthy of our help. And if you're too disorganized or tired or anxious to do that stuff, well, fuck you, we only want to help disabled people who have certain kinds of disabilities that don't affect their brains or their energy level very much. Special, magic, just-like-everyone-else disabled people (actually, we only want to help disabled people who are better than everyone else). So go fuck yourself."