Prospective Students - First Time Freshman and Transfer Students

What to do before your first semester at Fresno State

  • Contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office at Fresno State and make an appointment to establish services the semester prior to your arrival.

  • Sign up for DOG DAYS, a new student orientation program designed to help new students transition into the University. For more information on DOG DAYS please visit the DOG DAYS website.

  • Make sure to provide all verification of disabilities to SSD. You are responsible for providing these documents.

  • If you have a visual impairment or learning disability that requires textbooks in alternate formats, please schedule an appointment with a Disability Management Specialist (DMS) soon after attending Dog Days so textbook arrangements can be made prior to the start of the semester.

  • For a complete list of SSD's Forms, please visit SSD's Forms page.

Difference between High School and a University

Description Secondary Education Postsecondary Education
Federal Laws
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Purpose of Legislation
  • To ensure that all eligible students with disabilities have available free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
  • To ensure that no otherwise qualified person with a disability be denied access to, or the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination by any program or activity provided by any public institution or entity (504/ADA) *Also secondary
  • For special education services
  • All infants, children, and youth (0 through 21 years) with disabilities (as defined by the state Administrative Rules for Special Education, and/or the ADA.
  • For disability services
  • Anyone who meets the entry level-age criteria of the college and who can document the existence of a disability as defined by Section 504 and ADA.
(Please note: For certain national or standardized exams at the collegiate level, an IEP from High school may not be sufficient documentation.)
  • School districts are responsible for providing trained personnel to assess eligibility and plan educational services.
  • Students are responsible for obtaining disability documentation from a professional who is qualified to assess their particular disability.
Receiving Services
  • School districts are responsible for identifying students with disabilities, designing special instruction, and/or providing accommodations
  • Students are responsible for telling Disability Services staff that they have a disability, and for requesting accommodations for each class. Accommodations (not special education) are provided so students with disabilities can access the educational programs or courses used by other students.
  • Students with disabilities learn about their disability, the importance of self-advocacy, the accommodations they need, and how to be a competent self-advocate.
  • Students must be able to describe their disability, identify strengths and weaknesses, and identify any accommodations needed and how to be a competent self-advocate.