The Catholic University of America

Students studying together at the library

Getting Started


On behalf of the Office of Disability Support Services, We would like to welcome you and invite you to explore our website.  Our goal is to assist all students with disabilities get the most out of our campus community.  We hope that you find the information on our website both informative and helpful. 

If you are a new student registering for the first time, it is important that you submit your registration form and documentation as soon as possible so that we have enough time to review you submissions and discuss your needs for the upcoming semester.  Links to the Registration form and documentation guidelines can be found in the “Important Information” section below.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you have any questions about the registration process, need more information about our services or have any concerns.  We look forward to working with you to assist in your future endeavors at Catholic University.


All incoming undergraduate students with a documented disability are strongly encouraged to attend our Smart Start Orientation program. Registration information and specific details will be available in March. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

All incoming graduate and law school students with a documented disability are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible to discuss accommodation needs. Please feel free to contact us  with any questions or to set up an initial registration meeting.

Smart Start Orientation 


Important Information to Get Things Started

All prospective students are encouraged to make initial contact with DSS in the early stages of their college planning,  particularly if you have questions about what documentation is required for eligibility purposes for certain disabilities.   DSS will send information about our services and documentation requirements to help the student prepare.  DSS staff are also available to meet with the student at any time.

DSS does not recommend that prospective students submit their documentation to Admissions.  It is advisable to send documentation directly to DSS, after you have been admitted.  Your eligibility for services/accommodations from DSS is a separate process and is done independently of the Office of Admissions.

After documentation and the DSS Registration form are reviewed, DSS will send an email notification to the student’s CUA email account acknowledging receipt of the documentation and eligibility status.  Prospective students that do not yet have a CUA email account will be notified via their personal email address.

At any time during the Admissions process, students are welcome to meet with disability counselors to provide information about eligibility for academic support services and accommodations, appropriate documentation of disability, housing considerations, and transition issues.

Transitioning to CUA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ( FERPA)


Applying to CUA


Registering with DSS

Although it is not required that students with disabilities register, students who wish to use accommodations must be registered with DSS. DSS feels that it is important to start things off on the right foot and therefore encourages students to contact us as early as possible. Students registered with DSS receive many benefits that can greatly enhance the academic experience.   
In order to best help you and get things started in the right direction on the first day of class,  students are asked to submit documentation of their disability and the completed necessary forms to Disability Support Services prior to arrival. The first step is to submit your registration forms and documentation.

Once we have reviewed your information, we will be in touch with you about the status of your file.  At any time, you are welcome to call, or schedule a time to meet to discuss your situation.  During your registration meeting, you will discuss Accommodations and services,  Campus and local resources, Policies and procedures and Responsibilities.

  Students are welcome to meet with the DSS staff at any time. We are always here to help you and work with   you to answer questions and provide resources and information to help you achieve your potential. 

  If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Disability Support Services. We look forward to working with you.

General Information about DSS 

Transition Resources

Below are some resources that might be helpful as you prepare for the transition from highschool to college

  • AHEAD: The successful transition of students with disabilities to, through and beyond college is a team effort. AHEAD offers information to students, parents, professionals and employers so that all are aware of the wide range of resources that are available.
  • Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities and ADD (Peterson's Colleges With Programs for Students With Learning Disabilities Or Attention Deficit Disorders) available through any bookstore.
  • Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD). Serving as a link and a resource between students with disabilities and employers and career opportunities.