University of Southern Indiana

For Parents

Source: The information in the following letter was originally written by St. Olaf College Student Accessibility Services, Northfield, MN, and has been adapted for use by the University of Southern Indiana Disability Resources staff.

 Dear Parents:

 Welcome to the exciting, sometimes overwhelming, world of becoming a parent of a college student!  This information is meant to serve as a guide to you as parents as you prepare for this new chapter in your family’s life.

 To get started with Disability Resources, your son or daughter needs to submit documentation and schedule an initial appointment. Those appointments can be scheduled during the summer (the very best choice if you are within driving distance of campus), during the week that your student moves in on campus, or any time during the first semester. The earlier the better! Contact Michele Barnett at or 812-461-1961 to schedule the appointment.

 In order to help ease the transition to independence for both you and your son/daughter, please consider these tips:

1. Encourage your student to be responsible and accountable for his/her own educational experience.  You can foster independence and responsibility in a variety of ways, including encouraging your student to:                                              

  • Check the USI Eagles email account on a regular basis and respond to all emails in a timely manner.                                                              
  • Meet with instructors right away when questions or difficulties arise.        
  • Maintain contact with the academic advisor and disability resources coordinator throughout the year.                                                            
  • Seek out and become familiar with college resources.                            
  • Comply with all college policies.                                                          
  • Self-advocate, especially when it comes to the disability.

2. If your student contacts you because s/he is very upset about something, advise your student to seek help from the available college resources.  These could include instructors, disability resources staff, counseling services, academic advisors, the Dean of Students office, or housing and residence life staff.

3. Ask your student to keep you informed about academic progress.  Please remember that grades and other academic information are not mailed to students’ homes, and there is not a parent portal where you can check grades.

Here are a few pointers about what not to do:

 1. Please do not ask your child to give you his/her USI password. This information is confidential. Instead, encourage your student to keep you informed of important academic information (such as grades).

2. Please do not call or email faculty members and ask for information about your child.  Instead, talk directly with your son or daughter.  Encourage your student to be in close contact with the faculty member and the Disability Resources staff.

Campus Resources:

There are many resources available to USI students.  Here are some that you may want to be familiar with:


Resources for Parents:

The following list includes a list of articles and books that you may find helpful as you navigate through this new process:


Who to Contact:

Again, please encourage your son or daughter to communicate independently with instructors, advisors, and other college personnel if they have a question or concern.  If you have further concerns, please contact:

  • Disability Resources Office – 812-464-1961

Best to you as you begin this exciting journey! 

Contact Ronda Stone


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