According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person with a disability is defined as someone with a mental, physical, or emotional challenge that significantly one or more of the major daily tasks including engaging in manual activities, walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, reading, writing, learning and/or working. Individuals with disabilities can also have many strengths including resilience, determination, and high motivation.
Entering a new environment such as UNH can be tough for many students as they try to adjust to new academic responsibilities and social experiences while likely being more independent from their family. Students with disabilities may face unique challenges of adapting to new physical spaces, balancing being independent while receiving assistance, and deciding to whom and how to disclose challenges that may be less visible to others such as processing difficulties and learning disabilities. Even if people are quite supportive, it could feel stressful to be one of the few or even the only person with a disability among a group of friends.
If these experiences are emotionally difficult, meeting with a counselor may be helpful. You can have safe time and place to share your experiences of having a disability, and of course, anything else that you would like to talk about such as how you feel emotionally, your relationships, and how your classes are going. We realize that a disability affects people’s life, but does not completely define them.
UNH Psychological and Counseling Services is located at Smith Hall, Room 306, is physically accessible to all students and has a ramp and elevator. There are accessible bathrooms on the first floor. To make an appointment, either visit the PACS in-person during open hours (Mon, Thur, Friday, 8AM-5PM & Tue, Wed 8AM-8PM) or call our main number at 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH).
If you had a disability while in elementary or high school, you may have received accommodations inside and outside of the classroom such as a note-taker, extra time on examinations, and assistive technology. These same services may be available to you here but in order to receive them, you have to meet with a Student Accessibility Services staff person. If you are unsure if your documentation is complete, Student Accessibility Services staff can help. Student Accessibility Services is located in the same building as PACS but is on the second floor; to make an appointment and/or learn more information about the accommodation process, please visit their website at http://www.unh.edu/studentaccessibility/
Students who are having learning problems but have never been formerly evaluated may be unsure if they have a learning disorder for which they could receive accommodations. PACS can refer you to someone in the community for a learning disability assessment. For more information, please visit the Services section of our website and call us at 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) to schedule a learning disorder intake.
For students who are experiencing academic challenges, visiting the Center for Academic Resources (CFAR) may be helpful. Like Student Accessibility Services, CFAR is located on the second floor of Smith Hall. For more information, please visit https://www.unh.edu/cfar