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Making a Referral to the Access Center

The Access Center provides leadership to the university community to ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal access to University programs, services, and activities through academic accommodations and collaboration in order to advance MSU Denver's commitment to inclusive excellence. The Access Center works with students who have disabilities and/or health conditions that effect a wide range of major life activities. In addition to serving students with physical and sensory disabilities, the Access Center works with students who have:

  • Psychological diagnoses such as Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, or PTSD
  • Learning disabilities such as ADHD or Dyslexia
  • Chronic health conditions such as HIV, cancer, traumatic brain injuries, migraines, or diabetes

While this is not an exhaustive list, it does represent common reasons that a student might work with the Access Center. It is not uncommon for students to be unaware of the Access Center as many students did not engage with resources in K-12. Faculty or staff are often the first people who students share health conditions and/or struggles related to disabilities in interactions. Below are some examples of when to refer a student to the Access Center to see if we can be a resource for them.

If you have questions about whether the Access Center is and appropriate resource please contact our front desk at 303-615-0200 or by email at to get connected with an Access Center coordinator.

When a referral to the Access Center is necessary:

If a student directly discloses a disability, health condition, and or pregnancy to you

Example: a student shares with you that they are depressed and on medication

Students discloses receiving past accommodations or services, either as a transfer student or in K-12

Example: a student shares they previously had extra time on an exam in another course or school and they want to have extra time on exams at MSU Denver.

When a referral to the Access Center could be helpful:

If you see a student who is struggling, you engage with them directly and share campus resources available to them, including the Access Center.

Example: A student tells you they are struggling in their Biology course, so you provide them with information on multiple campus resources including the Tutoring Center and the Access Center.

When a referral is not necessary

Example: If a student asks for help completing forms related to your department, you can assist the student rather than referring to the Access Center for assistance.

Example: A student is a caretaker for a family member who has a disability. The Access Center serves MSU Denver students who have disabilities, not their family members.

Example: A student needs to make up an exam, but is not registered with the Access Center, and has not mentioned having a disability or accommodations. Students can make up non-accommodated exams in the Office of Testing Services. ***not available for Fall 2020 semester

Documenting a referral to the Access Center:

When making a referral by email, it is helpful to cc: so we can follow with an outreach directly. If a student shares information with you about a disability, making this direct referral is not a violation of confidentiality; rather, you’re giving them the resource who can best help them explore options:

Students right to self-disclosure & confidentiality

Remember that our students are adults; they may respond best to private conversations in which you use an inquiring and supportive approach and share information about the existence and location of the Access Center office. Only the student can decide to disclose their disability, or to pursue information about services available in the Access Center. Therefore, it is essential that disability information be kept confidential as it falls under FERPA. Again, making the direct referral to the Access Center is not a violation of the student’s confidentiality but at no time should other students be informed that a student has a disability, except at the student’s request.

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