The Office of Disability Services facilitates equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities and serves as a resource for faculty and staff as they work with students who have disabilities.
We honor the uniqueness of each student, assisting students in gaining access to resources and services they need to have the opportunity to be successful and aiding students to develop and practice self-advocacy skills. ODS also consults with faculty and staff to provide the information needed as they work with students who have a variety of disabilities.
The Office of Disability Services coordinates services needed by students who have physical, learning, emotional and psychological/psychiatric disabilities. All requests for accommodations, whether physical or academic should be made through ODS.
Each student must provide adequate documentation of their specific disability. To review required documentation, view the Guidelines for Documentation.
Students should meet with Coordinator of Disability Services Jarrod Heathcote to further discuss accommodations that can be provided.
Students should deliver accommodation letters to their professors and talk with them about the necessary accommodations for their situation.
Contact the Coordinator of Disability Services Jarrod Heathcote if students are having problems with the following procedures or in their college experience.
There are some differences in the disability services for high school students versus college students.
The K-12 educational system is governed by two laws that deal with students with disabilities - the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504.
Under IDEA, children with disabilities are entitled to a "Free and Appropriate Public Education."
Section 504 in the public schools includes "Free and Appropriate Public Education" language, and accommodations include services to assure a student's success.
Public schools receive federal funding to provide remedial and special education services.
Plans, either the Individual Education Plan or a 504 Plan, drive all services and accommodations. These plans involve all teachers, counselors, and absolutely require a parent's signature. The student's participation in the planning is optional.
"Placement" is determined by the student's "team" and outlined in the plan. It must, by law, be in the least restrictive environment.
Students are qualified for public education simply by being of the appropriate age and because they have a disability.
Everybody knows about a student's placement and practically everyone signs the plan. Each teacher knows about a student even before he or she entered the classroom and has a good idea of what the student's needs are.
Public schools, for the most part, are responsible for appropriate assessment of a student's disability.
The school, while the student is in attendance, provides assessment, physical or other therapy, or personal care.
Teachers may be expected to learn all they can about the disability of a student in one of their classes.
Institutions of Higher Education are governed by two laws that deal with students with disabilities - the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Equal access to education is the governing principle - no one is entitled to anything, but rather students have civil rights and they must advocate for themselves in order to enjoy those rights.
Section 504 upholds the institution's right to maintain academic standards, and no accommodations may be permitted to reduce that standard for any student. Thus, there is no "free" education, and accommodations must be reasonable and assure a student's access, not success.
Colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations, but receive no additional financial support to provide support services or auxiliary aids. There is an Accommodation Plan, but instructors are only contacted with student's permission. Parents are not involved without the student's permission. The student is responsible for advocating for the accommodations needed. Placement integration is assumed.
Colleges adjust the environment through accommodations but don't provide alternative environments (e.g. a resource room) for students.
There is an Accommodation Plan, but instructors are only contacted with student's permission. Parents are not involved without the student's permission. The student is responsible for advocating for the accommodations needed.
Placement integration is assumed. Colleges adjust the environment through accommodations but don't provide alternative environments (e.g. a resource room) for students.
"Otherwise qualified" in the legislation that governs colleges, means that the student must meet all entrance and academic requirements with or without reasonable accommodations.
Disability Services never contacts a professor without expressed permission from the student. Thus, the student must initiate all actions regarding accommodations with each professor, for each course, every semester. In addition, students have the civil right to refuse accommodations if they do not need or want them; if they do not request an accommodation, it is assumed they do not want it.
Colleges do not have to provide assessment for disabilities, but can expect that the student will provide documentation of their disability that meets accepted guidelines.
The student is responsible for personal services (arranging and paying for) - personal care, medical and related requirements, just as would happen if they were living independently and not attending school.
Professors need know only that which applies to the accommodations the student requests.