Welcome to The Catholic University of America's Office of Disability Support Services.

We hope that the information you find on our website is helpful to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by phone, email or set up an in-person appointment with one of our staff. We look forward to working with you.

COVID-19 Update

In light of Catholic University’s movement to online classes due to COVID-19, we want to reassure students who may have questions about their accommodations during this time.

Academic Accommodations
            • I have questions about my accommodations. What should I do?

              If you ever have questions or concerns about your accomomdations, reach out to DSS. You can call us at 202-319-5211 or email us at cua-dss@cua.edu 

            • How do I get a letter of accommodation?

              If this is your first time receiving accommodations at Catholic University, you will need to register with DSS. You can find out more about this process on our website.

              If you have received accommodations previously and need a letter of accommodations for Spring 2021, please request a letter of accommodation on our website. We will email you a PDF of the signed letter 2-3 business days after receiving the request.

            • How do I give my letter of accommodation to my professor?

              After receiving your letter of accommodation, you will need to email it to your professor and set up a time to discuss how you will utilize your accommodations in their course. If you would like a template for these emails, please email cua-dss@cua.eduPlease remember that accommodations are not retroactive - give this letter to your professor as soon as possible.

            • I have a concussion. Do I qualify for accommodations?

              First, please make sure to notify your physician or Student Health Center to ensure you are receiving proper medical care. Then, please call (202-319-5211) or email (cua-dss@cua.edu) DSS for next steps. We can work with you and professors to provide temporary accommodations. Accommodations cannot be used until you meet with DSS, so contact us immediately.

            • I have the accommodation for faculty assigned reading materials to be in an accessible format. How can I get accessible copies of my reading materials?

              Please submit a request (found here) and email confirmation of purchase or rental to cua-altformats@cua.edu

            • I did not use my SmartPen last semester and do not intend to use it in Spring 2021; what should I do with it?

              Please email DSS at cua-altformats@cua.edu in order to arrange a return so that another student can utilize the SmartPen. If you would like to request different note-taking accommodations, please email us at cua-dss@cua.edu to schedule a meeting to discuss changes to your letter of accommodation.

            • I would like to use a SmartPen for Spring 2021 but don't have one yet; what should I do?

              Please email us at cua-dss@cua.edu to schedule an appointment to discuss changes to your letter of accommodation. You can also begin familiarizing yourself with the SmartPen technology on our website (found here).

              • How do I renew my Sonocent license?

                Please email DSS at cua-altformats@cua.edu to let us know that you want to renew your Sonocent license.

              • I have an accommodation for a student notetaker. What do I do?

                Please review and adhere to the process for enacting your student accommodations as outlined on the DSS website here.

            Housing and Dining
              • Am I able to live on campus in Spring 2021?

                Please contact Housing Services to inquire about housing options and availability for the Spring 2021 semester.

              • I am going to live on campus in the spring, and I need to request a housing accomomdation. What do I do?

                You will need to go through the Housing Accommodations process. Please review and follow the process as indicated here.

            Registration and Meetings
            • I have a very busy schedule but would still like to meet with DSS. What should I do?

              Please email (cua-dss@cua.edu) or call (202-319-5211) DSS so that we can best assist you.

            • Do I have to come into the office to register with DSS?

              No, you do not! You start the registration process at the DSS website. All DSS meetings, including those for registration, will be held virtually for Spring 2021.

            • How can I meet with a DSS staff member?

              To protect students and staff, all meetings will be held virtually via Zoom. To schedule a meeting call us at 202-319-5211 or email us at cua-dss@cua.edu

            • Can I meet with a learning specialist?

              Yes, learning specialists are continuing to support students. If you would like to work with a learning specialist, please call us at 202-319-5211 or email us at cua-dss@cua.edu

            • Will I still receive my testing accommodations, even in online, hybrid/hy-flex, etc. environments?

              Yes, you will still receive accommodations for all quizzes, tests, exams, and finals. To receive testing accommodations, please fill out a test request on our website.

            • How do I get my test accommodations?

              For students to receive testing accommodations, they must follow the test accommodation process, listed on our website.

            • My professor said they will give me extra time outside of the DSS testing accommodation process. Do I still need to request testing accommodations through DSS? What do I do?

              DSS handles formal accommodations at CU. In order to receive formal testing accommodations, you must request them through DSS according to the test request process. Please submit a test request even if your professor says they will offer extra time, so that DSS can support you and the professor.

            • I want to change the date/time of my exam. What should I do?

              If a student wants to change the date and/or time of the test, they must email DSS (cua-dsstesting@cua.edu) and the instructor to engage in the rescheduling process. DSS will work with the student and instructor to coordinate the rescheduled test.

            • Will DSS proctor tests in Spring 2021?

              DSS is exploring the possibility of proctoring tests in Spring 2021 and will update students as soon as possible.

      For Professors
          • Do remote students receive accommodations?

            Yes, all students with accommodations receive accommodations, whether in person or remote. If you have questions or concerns about accommodations or students, please contact DSS by calling us at 202-319-5211 or emailing us at cua-dss@cua.edu.

          • I have a question or concern about a student with an accommodation. What should I do?

            Please contact us so that we can talk with you through your questions or concerns.

          • I am concerned about a student but have not yet received a letter of accommodation from them. What should I do?

            Please contact us so that we can talk with you through options and supports.

          • Can I force students to keep their cameras on during Zoom classes.

            We understand that Zoom classes can be challenging, especially from a social interaction and discussion perspective. However, we encourage you to allow students to remain off camera if they choose for the following reasons: undisclosed disabilities; housing insecurity; poor WIFI/internet service access; precarious home life or busy household; etc.

          • My student has an accommodation for 'leaving class when symptoms occur.' Does this apply in an online setting, such as during a Zoom class?

            Yes, this still applies in an online setting and Zoom class. Please work with your student to discuss if/how they should communicate their need to leave class with you.

          • I would like to audio record my lecture. How can I make this accessible?

            Great question! Audio recordings can be helpful to some students, but can provide accessibility challenges for others. If you choose to use audio recording, please make sure to provide a transcript of the recording as well. Please contact DSS or CTE if you would like to discuss how to provide a transcript.

          • I want to give my student extra time on a test. Do I need to include DSS in this process?

            Yes, please encourage your student to submit a test request through DSS in order for us to coordinate and support you and the student.

          • Will DSS proctor my tests?

            DSS is exploring the possibility of Zoom proctoring for students with accommodations whose peers are Zoom proctored and will provide an update as soon as possible.

          • Updated December 18, 2020
          • PLEASE NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list; additional FAQs may be added as DSS receives more or different information. 

      For more general questions, please make sure to refer to the broader Catholic University FAQs provided on the “Responding to the Novel Coronavirus” webpage, found here: 


      Finally, Catholic University’s top priority is the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. If you have any concerns, questions, or just want to talk with a staff member, please reach out to us via email (cua-dss@cua.edu) or phone (202-319-5211). 

      DSS follows the normal operating schedule of the university, including snow days, observed holidays and summer hours.

      Regular Hours

      Monday to Friday

      9:00am - 5:00 pm

      Regular hours commence the first week of the semester.

      Summer Hours

      Monday to Thursday
      9:00 am - 5:00 pm
      9:00 am - Noon