Points of consideration for personal statements 1. Explain the nature of your
Points of consideration for personal statements 1. Explain the nature of your disability and why you are requesting accommodations. Include a description of the day‐to‐day impact of your disability ‐ not just the impact on academic tasks, like taking exams (e.g., impact on interpersonal relationships, employment, course withdrawals, personal organization, driving record, financial management, etc). 2. Focus on your areas of difficulty rather than your strengths. This can feel awkward, because oftentimes students with disabilities are taught to put their “best foot forward” and emphasize their strengths when speaking about themselves. However, the personal statement is not the time to talk about how well you have been doing. It is actually the place to emphasize and highlight what has been difficult. It is essential that you connect your accommodations to any successes. The burden to prove that the requested accommodations are necessary is on the student. Be very clear about the barriers posed by the test, and the anticipated outcome if the accommodation you are requesting is not in place. The barrier must be grounded in the nature of your condition, and substantiated by the documentation you are providing. 3. Pay close attention to the language you use to describe your needs. The cover letter should not refer to a preference for an accommodation, but rather should emphasize your need for the accommodation. Your job is to explain why the accommodations you are requesting are necessary to ensure your access to the exam. For example, you should not say things like “I would do better with” or “to ensure my success,” as accommodations are designed to ensure access, not success. You should also avoid using phrases such as “learning differences,” as agencies are only interested in disabilities that require accommodations. It can be difficult to start writing a personal statement.

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