Referring Students to SAS

If a student identifies as having a disability

  • Thank the student for sharing and encourage the student to request an accommodation email be sent to you through SAS.
  • If the student is not registered with SAS, please refer them to Apply for Services with SAS.
    • Students may appreciate your offering to connect them with SAS. For instance, with a student's permission, you are welcome to email SAS and copy the student to make an introduction.
  • If the student expresses confusion or reluctance about registering with SAS, we suggest reassuring the student that you support them in having access to any accommodations and services that are appropriate but that you need SAS' guidance in order to provide them. Students can also meet with us without applying for services and should just ask for an "SAS Inquiry" meeting.
  • Especially if a student is asking for additional time on a test, an extension, or another adjustment related to a disability specifically, SAS recommends that you not provide an adjustment informally. For instance, the student may expect it in the future too, and/or another student in the class could reasonably expect similar treatment.
    • Alternatively, you can ask the student what aspects of your course they have concerns about, and if you decide to make adjustments accordingly, you can offer these to all students in the course via a universal design approach.
  • Students with a temporary condition or injury may characterize their conditions as disabilities, but these conditions often do not reach the threshold of a disability that is eligible for accommodations through SAS. Please review and share injuries and temporary conditions for more information.
  • You are always welcome to consult with SAS (; 603-646-9900).

If a student has not identified as having a disability

Students share a variety of concerns with faculty regarding their academic and personal lives. For instance, if a student references wondering if they have a disability or otherwise seems uncertain what services or support they may qualify for, please refer them to Where to Start. This page summarizes a range of available supports, many of which may provide relief of symptoms such as test anxiety and difficulties with focus (e.g., Student Wellness Center, Academic Skills Center, and Counseling Services), and may be more appropriate than a referral to SAS. Other resources include information on disability prescreenings.

As faculty, you have good instincts about student learning, and at times you may be in a position where you believe a student needs additional support and/or wonder if they have a disability that is interfering with academic performance. If this happens, here are a few recommendations:

  1. Invite the student to schedule a meeting with you to check in about how the course is going.
  2. Share with the student your performance-related observations, not speculations. For example, "I notice that you do very well on your homework but are having more difficulty with exams," or "I notice you were participating in discussion less the last two weeks" instead of "I think you may have a disability."
  3. Students will often open up to you in these situations and may even share that they have wondered about a disability. These meetings present a great opportunity for you to connect students with resources. If you list a range of resources (and we hope you include SAS) in your syllabus, it normalizes help-seeking and makes your recommending a resource to the student just part of your course.

Always feel free to contact SAS to discuss individual decisions about referrals. Email, or call 603-646-9900.