Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a person with a disability is defined as any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
Students who self-identify and provide sufficient documentation of a qualifying disability are entitled to receive reasonable accommodations, such as modifications of programs, academic adjustments, or auxiliary aides as a means to participate in programs and activities.
THE ROLE OF THE OFFICE OF DISABILITIES SSS:
- To review the student's documentation to determine reasonable accommodations.
- To write letters and otherwise facilitate communication with professors on behalf of students who have given the Office of Disabilities of SSS authorization for academic accommodations.
- To act as an advocate for students with disabilities.
THE ROLE OF THE FACULTY:
- To implement a student's accommodations as outlined in the letter from the Office of Disabilities of SSS.
- To contact the Office of Disabilities of SSS if the accommodations require clarification, or if the professor has any concerns about the student's progress.
- To maintain a student's confidentiality.
THE ROLE OF THE STUDENT:
- To be responsible for self-identifying and meeting with the appropriate administrator in the Office of Disabilities of SSS to discuss needed accommodations.
- To provide current and complete documentation to the Office of Disabilities of SSS.
- To authorize the Office of Disabilities of SSS to write letters documenting and disclosing the disability to faculty who need to be informed in order to provide accommodation.
- To meet with professors to discuss approved accommodations and share the letter from the Office of Disabilities of SSS.
- To meet with the Office of Disabilities of SSS administrator at the beginning of each semester to request accommodations.
- To follow the policies of the Office of Disabilities of SSS.
Faculty FAQs A STUDENT APPROACHES AN INSTRUCTOR AND DISCLOSES HIS/HER DISABILITY BUT DOES NOT HAVE A LETTER FROM THE ACADEMIC RESOURCE CENTER. IS THE INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE ACCOMMODATION?
If a student discloses his/her disability, ask whether he/she has met with someone in the Office of Disabilities of SSS. If the answer is yes, then the student must present the instructor with the letter that outlines the accommodation(s). If the answer is no, then tell the student that he/she must go to the Office of Disabilities of SSS to discuss his/her needs. The instructor is not obligated to implement accommodations if the student has not registered and followed the policies and procedures of the Office of Disabilities of SSS.
WHAT KINDS OF ACCOMMODATIONS ARE PROVIDED?
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis after reviewing documentation from a medical professional. Some commonly used accommodations include the following:
- Alternate format materials
- Assistive technology
- Extended time and/or computer use for examinations
- Note-taking services
- Readers for students with visual impairments
- Scribes for examinations
WHO DETERMINES THE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?
The Office of Disabilities of SSS coordinator determines accommodations based upon the medical documentation and the student's history of using accommodations in previous academic situations.
WHAT ABOUT STUDENTS WHO HAVE TEMPORARY INJURIES, SUCH AS A BROKEN ARM?
Although students with temporary injuries are not covered under the ADA, the Office of Disabilities of SSS acts as a resource to the deans advising students with temporary injuries.
WHAT SHOULD AN INSTRUCTOR DO IF A PROBLEM ARISES WITH A STUDENT WHO HAS A DISABILITY?
It is highly recommended that the instructor contact the Office of Disabilities of SSS and discuss the situation with the appropriate administrator. For example, if the student fails to attend class, then the instructor should notify and discuss his/her concerns with the Office of Disabilities of SSS coordinator.