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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Records of Student Disability Services
RG 24.13
Collection Dates: 1974-2008
4.5 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: Records of the Office of Student Disability Services were transferred to the University Archives in 2008 as Accession 2008-58. Collection processed by Brian Oleson and guide posted to the Internet in October 2009.

Photographs: Box 6









Scope and Contents

The records of the University of Iowa Student Disability Services are comprised of brochures, correspondence, magazine and newspaper clippings, official university assessments and reports, pamphlets, training guides, federal and state guidelines, and photographs.

Two folders in this collection are particularly noteworthy in providing historical background: "Initial Proposal for the S.D.S. Office" and "History of the S.D.S.", both of which are located in Box 5. 

The collection provides significant insight into the development and changes brought about by the University of Iowa Student Disability Services to accommodate students with disabilities, in accordance with Federal and state law.

Historical Note

In 1973, the Federal government passed a significant piece of legislation, Section 504: Rehabilitation Act, intended to ensure that Americans with disabilities would be provided equal protection under the law.  The impact of its passage affected virtually every facet of American society, including universities and colleges.

In response to this new legislation, the University of Iowa established the Office of Services for the Handicapped, or OSH, in 1975.  Its mission was to assist and serve students with disabilities by providing transportation and access to university buildings. 

In 1986, the office changed its name to the Office of Services for Persons with Disabilities, or SPD.  The SPD expanded and offered numerous services which included: free diagnostic testing, alternative testing arrangements, learning strategy courses, consultation with admissions, educational outreach, and greater interaction between professors and students with disabilities.

Renamed the Student Disability Services office, or SDS, its mission is to serve students with disabilities including those with learning or mental disabilities and those with temporary disabilities due to accidents or illness.

Related Materials

Organizations and Clubs Vertical Files, University Association of the Blind (RG 01.15.04)

Subject Vertical Files, Business Office Category, Affirmative Action folder (RG 01.15.05)

----. Miscellaneous Category, Services for Persons with Disabilities folder (RG 01.15.05)

----. Miscellaneous Category, Student Disability Services folder (RG 01.15.05)

----. Staff Category, Affirmative Action folder (RG 01.15.05)

Box Contents List

Box 1:

A.D.A. [Americans with Disabilities Act] Compliance Assessment materials and reports, 1992-2006

A.D.A. Forums, 1995-1997

A.D.A./S.D.S. [Student Disability Services] meeting documents and minutes, 1988-2005

Affirmative Action for Students with Disabilities, 1986-1990

----. 1991-2000

Alternative Exam Services Student Satisfaction Surveys, 2004-2006

Alternative Exam Services Statistics, 2002-2007

Box 2:

Architectural Barriers Assessments, 1975

----. 1975-1977

----. 1978-1979

Blind/Visually Impaired Students’ Rights, 1976-1993

Budget proposals and requests, 1975-1990

----. 1991-1998

Box 3:

Campus accessibility correspondence, 1975-1991

----. 1992-1994

Campus accessibility guides and reports, 1977-1992

----. 1993-2005

Campus Accessibility Surveys, 2005-2006

Box 4:

Classroom Technology Advisory Committee, 1992-1997

Deaf/H.H. Students’ Rights, 1990-2006

Emergency Response Plan for People with Disabilities, 1987-2008

External reports, 1988-1998

Faculty and staff manuals, 1978-2004

Faculty survey correspondence and reports, 1979-1993

----. 1994

Box 5:

General correspondence, 1978-2007

General statistics, 1979-1994

History of the S.D.S., 2002

Initial Proposal for the S.D.S. Office, 1974-1975 (Original title: "Iowa's Handicapped: A University of Iowa Program to Meet Their Needs for Higher Education")

Iowa City Housing Accessibility, 1983-1991

Iowa Legislation for the Disabled, 1981

Learning Impaired Students’ Rights, 1989-1997

Magazine and newspaper articles, 1974-1981

Box 6:

----. 1982-2001

Miscellaneous, n.d.

Photographs, 1979-1985

Box 7:

S.D.S. graduate assistants, 2003

S.D.S. public materials, 1984-1994

S.D.S. Self-Evaluation/Self Study Annual Reports, 1978-1981

----. 1982

----. 1982-1983

----. 1986-1987

Box 8:

----. 1988-1990

----. 1991-1993

----. 1995-1998

----. 1999-2006

Section 504: Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 1973-1988

Box 9:

Strategic planning, 1974-1990

----. 1991-2007

Student Handbook and materials, 1978-2006

Student survey correspondence and reports, 1983-1989

Transportation for students with disabilities, 1975-1992