Priority registration no longer guaranteed for students with disabilities


Emma Ruby

Students registered with the Office of Accessible Education for testing and academic accommodations will no longer be provided automatic priority registration for classes, an email sent from the office informed students last month.

In the past, all students registered with the office received automatic priority registration, however a review completed by the Office of the Provost called the effectiveness of that system into question.

“Starting this semester, effective for next spring, priority registration will not be provided as an accommodation automatically as part of registration with our office,” the email said. “However, requests for the accommodation will be considered on an individual basis including an updated review of the functional limitations of your condition and supporting documentation.”

Olivia Dadoun, political science sophomore, said that she has taken advantage of priority registration in previous semesters to ensure she is in classes that best suit her learning style, and the thought of no longer having this luxury automatically upset her.

“I feel that there is a lot of anxiety coming out of these changes,” Dadoun said. “When all of my friends found out about it we collectively freaked out and we were really worried and scared because we’ve never had to deal with not having priority registration.”

Seniors, military veterans, honor students, athletes, evening undergraduate students and graduate students remain unaffected by the office’s registration changes and will still receive priority registration for the spring semester.

“It makes me feel like they value honors students and athletes more than they value students with disabilities,” Dadoun said. “They didn’t end their priority registration but they ended ours. I feel like we are undervalued and that our disabilities were not taken seriously.”

Dadoun filed an appeal with the Office of Accessible Education and was granted priority registration for the spring, but said she wishes the office had been more transparent with students as to why their registration was taken away in the first place.

Accessibility counselor Dario Bayardo said that the change will help the office better execute its intended purposes by more specifically identifying the limitations of individual students that require priority registration due to disabilities.

“Compared to the previous process of automatic provision with registration, the case-by-case review and eligibility determination will better-facilitate access to those with need while helping to ensure the overall effectiveness of this support for all students who are impacted,” Bayardo said.