What Are Disability Supports?

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Your child will have a contact person at disability services Melbourne for as long as they require accommodations, who will write letters explaining these arrangements to professors and write documents detailing these accommodations for professors. Documentation policies vary between schools.

Support Groups

Support groups are usually organized and led by professionals; others are run by group members themselves. Group meetings may be open or closed and take place either in person or online; some support groups have specific themes while others have more general agendas; these meetings might feature guest presentations by specialists as well as encourage group member discussion.

Facilitators of support groups should be sensitive to members’ emotions and encourage disclosure by asking open-ended questions that allow other group members to offer assistance, insights, or spark more fruitful discussion.

Meetings typically take place in hospitals, clinics, treatment centers or advocacy offices of advocacy organizations; but can also take place at people’s homes, community centers or churches. Most support groups are free; though some may charge fees for meeting space or refreshments. They’re advertised via word-of-mouth advertising campaigns in local newspapers or bulletin boards in doctor’s offices or libraries; with some groups sponsored by organizations advocating for specific disabilities while others supported by donors.


Disability supports are services and support designed to enable those living with disabilities to participate in daily life, from medical treatments, education, employment, housing and civil rights protections to counselors helping individuals navigate a system of services programs in order to obtain benefits that allow for full and productive lives.

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Disability Support Services Office (DSS) offers reasonable accommodations and auxiliary aids that comply with federal laws and university policies to enable students with disabilities to fully participate in learning experiences, campus life activities and residential experiences. Our accommodations aim to remove barriers that restrict equal access and ensure equal participation across campus life experiences and residential experiences.

DSS works closely with faculty and staff to foster an inclusive campus culture, promote disability culture and advocate for students with disabilities. Students needing accommodations must self-identify with the Admissions Office through documentation of their disability as outlined above before receiving accommodations; an intake meeting will then take place with a student support specialist.


Advocacy is an umbrella term that encompasses many areas and methods of advocacy. There are three primary forms: self-advocacy, individual advocacy and systems advocacy. Self-advocacy is when individuals learn how to advocate for themselves; for instance requesting longer test times at school or speaking to your physician about taking medications for anxiety. Individual advocacy occurs when an advocate works directly with an individual; this could include working as a citizen advocate or through disability agencies.

System advocacy seeks to change laws or policies that have an adverse impact on an individual. This can take the form of local efforts such as altering transportation rules, or state/federal initiatives to open access to social security benefits or housing options for example. System advocacy is a complex form of advocacy which requires knowledge of both legal and governmental processes as well as its own set of advantages and disadvantages.


Colleges do not fall under IDEA; however, they must abide by civil rights laws by offering accommodations through disability services offices and/or providing professional tutors knowledgeable of learning and thinking differences as support services.

After registering with a college’s disability services office, your child will meet with someone from its staff for an intake session to determine what accommodations might be reasonable – for example allowing extra time on tests or providing note taker services. Once this has been decided upon, an accommodation letter listing all approved accommodations will be created and sent via Accommodate directly to professors without disclosing what your disability may be; protecting their privacy in doing so.

Your child can renew or request new disability accommodations each semester through the Accommodate portal, once notifying professors. From there they can use Accommodate to select which classes need notifying faculty each time semester comes around.

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