Our office of Specialized Support Services (Disability Services) provides students an equal opportunity and we are dedicated to providing services and accommodations to students with documented disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and any other applicable regulations.
Prospective or current students who either have a documented disability(s) or would like to learn more about the Office of Specialized Support Services, are encouraged to visit us at least 3 to 4 weeks before classes begin to discuss and, if appropriate, start the intake process.
To be eligible for services through the Office of Specialized Support Services you must be a current student and have documentation from a licensed professional that:
- Is no more than 5 years old
- States the nature of the disability, and
- Clearly describes the kinds of accommodation recommended by the licensed professional.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities. According to these laws a “person with a disability” means any person who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working)
- Has a record of such an impairment, or
- Is regarded as having such an impairment
Physical disabilities vary greatly. Some students with physical disabilities may also have mobility disabilities. Possible accommodations may include:
- Ensuring that classroom and examination rooms are wheelchair accessible
- Some arrangements for seating may be necessary, (e.g., provision of table for writing)
- Labs must be accessible with enough knee space underneath counters and appropriate height counter tops. Aisles should be wide enough for mobility.
- Some students may have difficulty writing and may prefer to tape lectures or use a note taker.
- For some students extended test time, a scribe for exams and/or other exam accommodations may be necessary.
Possible accommodations may include but are not limited to:
- Informing instructors to use verbal clues instead on nonverbal clues, and to verbalize locations and name objects
- Students that are taping lecture may require front row seating
- Ask instructors to provide students with a copy of any pictures, graphs and overheads
- Books recorded on tapes may be needed by some students
- Some students may need readers for exams
- Materials for coursework and/or exams may be needed in Braille
Hard of Hearing or Deaf:
- May require interpreting services
- Front row seating may be required, in order to see the speaker’s face to lip-read and/or that of the interpreter
- Instructors may need to be informed to face the student when talking, to speak clearly and naturally and not to block the area of their mouth when speaking
- Because of difficulty of taking notes and lip-reading (or focusing on interpreter) at the same time, students may need a note-taker
Possible Accommodations may include:
- Because of difficulty in maintaining focus, some students may need an extended amount of time to take tests.
- For some students, common noises during exams (i.e. tapping pencil and/or fingers on desk) may distract the student and cause them to lose their focus. They may need to take their exams in a distraction-free test area.
- Also, because of being easily distracted, front row seating and tape recording lectures may be appropriate for some students
Learning disabilities vary greatly among students with this disability. Below is a list of some of the common accommodations used by students with specific learning disabilities:
- Some students with learning disabilities may require taped texts.
- To enhance concentration and understanding, some students may require front row seating to tape lectures or may use a note-taker.
- Instructors may be asked to give instructions both orally and in writing to avoid confusion.
- Where appropriate within the course of study, some students may require permission to use simple calculators, scrap paper and spelling dictionaries during exams.
- For some students, extra time or an extension for written assignments may be needed.
- Dictating reports and exams may be an option for students who are unable to communicate effectively through printing, writing or typing.