Disability Services

As our mission and ministry, 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.

This mission is fulfilled by honoring the uniqueness of each student, assisting students in gaining access to resources and services they require in order to have the opportunity to be successful and aiding students to develop and practice self-advocacy skills. It is also fulfilled by consulting with faculty and staff to provide 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 the Office of Disability Services.

View the Disability Services Handbook for more information on our mission and policies. For questions on required disability documentation, view the Guidelines for Documentation of DisabilityFor compliance guidelines, view the Disability Grievance Procedure.


Staff

 

Mr. Jarrod Heathcote, M.S.
Coordinator of Disability Services
479-524-7464
JHeathcote@jbu.edu

Graduating from JBU in 2008 with a B.S. in youth ministry, Jarrod Heathcote knows the ins and outs of JBU. Heathcote was diagnosed in third grade with a learning disability and has participated in learning centers and Student Support Services for the entirety of his academic career. He understands what its like to have a learning disability in college and how to succeed here at JBU. Heathcote holds a Master of Science degree in higher education leadership. Heathcote also married and has four children.

 

A Point-by-Point Comparison of the Ways Services Differ Between High School and College

High School Services

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.

 

College Services 

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.