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3.05.001.006 - Services for Students with Disabilities

Approved: 3/13/2014
Approved By: President's Staff
Category: 3 - ACADEMIC SERVICES
Section: 05 - STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Policy: 001 - Academic Progress Standards

Purpose

As an open door admission institution, the Community College of Beaver County is committed to the success of ALL students. The College makes every effort to provide accessible facilities and programs for individuals with disabilities as mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008. The Supportive Services Office (SSO) enhances this mission by providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.

Definitions

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability.  Qualified individuals with disabilities are persons who meet normal and essential eligibility requirements and, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job or program of study. Section 504 forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services.  It defines the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have access to, program benefits and services.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. The current text of the ADA includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009.

Academic Accommodations

Supports provided to students with disabilities for equal access to the college environment.

Disclosure

Student identifies him/herself as having a disability.

Documentation

Assessment from a licensed professional to certify the nature of the disability and recommended academic adjustments. Documentation may include a letter from a physician (on letterhead, with signature); psychological assessment; evaluation report from Blind and Visual Services (BVS); or audiologist report, and must be less than five years old. A high school Individual Education Plan (IEP) is sufficient for documentation if the request is for extended testing time only. 

Intake

Initial interview with Supportive Services staff to discuss student needs and possible accommodations.

Test Adaptation

Extended time, a quiet environment, test enlargement, scribe, use of text reader software, or other modifications to classroom testing.

Note Taker

Students who have difficulty processing lectures and taking notes at the same time may benefit from a note taker accommodation. If the instructor does not post notes on Blackboard, an in-class note taker, who is typically a student, may provide copies of notes immediately after class. In the event that a student is not available, a SSO staff member will take notes.

Escort

In some instances, students with specific physical needs may need assistance with opening doors and/or carrying books to classrooms. If this occurs, SSO will provide assistance. The College is not required to provide personal care attendants.

Sign-Language Interpreter

Person trained in translating between a spoken and a signed language for those who cannot hear.

C-Print Captioning

Service for deaf/hard-of-hearing students who prefer the printed text of lectures over sign-language interpreting. 

Assistive Technology

Any hardware, software, or piece of equipment that is used to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  Such technology/equipment may include voice activated and text reader software; talking/large digit calculators; Mylar color overlays; AlphaSmart portable word processors; digital recorders; desk projector magnification; adjustable desks; low vision pens; language translation software; and reading pen.

ESL

English as a Second Language

Services Available

A variety of services and auxiliary aids are provided for eligible students. Those services include, but are not limited to, the following: test adaptation; note-taking assistance; escorting; sign-language interpreters; c-print captioning; use of Learning Ally audio books subscription; temporary parking permits; use of assistive technology/adaptive equipment; ESL services.   Personal care attendants (i.e. assistance with toileting needs, meals, pushing wheelchairs, or assistance with homework), and personal devices (i.e. crutches, wheelchairs), do not come under the heading of accommodations. These are considered personal needs and are the exclusive responsibility of the student.

Process and Responsibilities

Once a student has been admitted to the College, she/he must disclose a disability and request accommodations in the Supportive Services Office.   Students are encouraged to request services at least three weeks in advance of the semester (six weeks when requesting a sign language interpreter). Late requests will be accepted; however there is a possibility that services may not be in place for the first day of the semester. A student requesting accommodations must provide appropriate documentation to support the request.  The College does not pay for such diagnostic testing. 

During an intake interview with SSO staff, the request for accommodations will be recorded on a “Student Request for Services” form (Appendix A)and will be forwarded to the Dean of Academic Support and Enrollment Services to determine eligibility.  Reasonable and appropriate requests will be authorized; however, requests that fundamentally alter or change program or course standards and requirements will not be approved.

Upon authorization of services, the SSO staff will send written notification of the authorized services to the student and will arrange the accommodations.  They will also distribute “Instructor Notification” forms (Appendix B) which notify appropriate instructors of the student’s approved accommodations.

The Supportive Services Office is committed to ensuring all information regarding a student’s accommodations remains confidential. Only authorized staff has immediate access to student files, and any information regarding a disability gained from medical or psychological evaluations shall be considered confidential and will be shared with others from within the institution on a need-to-know basis only. A student may sign a written consent form (Appendix C) giving the SSO permission to discuss their disability and accommodations with faculty and staff, parents, coaches, and/or advisors who require information to promote collegiate success.

CCBC does not discriminate on the basis of disability status in admissions, or access to programs and activities. The Affirmative Action Office, located in the Administrative Services Center (724-480-3366), has been designated to coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008, and applicable regulations.  Any individual who believes that reasonable accommodations have not been met, or that he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability status, may file a complaint as follows:

  1. The complaint must be in writing to the Dean of Academic Support and Enrollment Services and include the name, address, and CCBC ID number of the person filing it.
  2. The complaint should briefly describe the alleged violation of the College’s non-discrimination policy.
  3. An investigation will be conducted by the Dean of Academic Support and Enrollment Services and/or the Affirmative Action Officer, as appropriate.
  4. Following the investigation, a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and description of the resolution, if any, will be issued to the complainant. 
  5. The complainant can request an appeal of the case as follows if he/she is dissatisfied with the resolution:
    • The complainant may petition a review of the decision within ten days of receiving the written decision.
    • The petition must be in writing to the Vice President for Student Success/Provost and should briefly describe the reasons for the appeal. 
    • Upon review of the appeal, the Provost may support or amend the decision only where there is clear evidence of error and a compelling justification to do so exists.
    • Following the review, a written determination as to the validity of the appeal and new description of the resolution, if any, will be issued to the complainant.