Services for Students with Disabilities
Policies and Procedures Regarding Students with Disabilities
Section I: Policies
It is the policy of Cedar Crest College to assure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against because of their disability and that they have equal educational opportunities.
Cedar Crest College is committed to serving the needs of its disabled students, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is the policy of Cedar Crest College to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against because of their disability and that all students have equal educational opportunities. The faculty, staff and administration strive to create and maintain an environment in which students may achieve their fullest potential, limited to the least extent possible by individual disabilities.
I. GENERAL INFORMATION:
A. Definition of Disability
A “person with a disability” is defined as a person who has or is regarded as having any mental or physical condition that substantially impairs or restricts one or more major life activities such as performing normal tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. This includes, but is not limited to, such disabling conditions as visual impairment, psychological/emotional disabilities, speech and/or hearing impairment, mobility impairment or learning disabilities.
B. Federal Law
In accordance with federal law, a student will be considered to have a disability if the student:
1. has a physical or mental impairment,
2. has a record of such impairment, or
3. is regarded as having such an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, or learning.
II. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
Accessibility to college programs is accomplished through the provision of “reasonable accommodations,” which are defined as those modifications and/or use of auxiliary aids that equalize opportunity to acquire and demonstrate mastery of information and skills. Eligibility for the use of reasonable accommodations and/or auxiliary aids is based on medical and/or professional documentation of disability and continuing need for students who have identified themselves as disabled. It is the student’s responsibility to request appropriate reasonable accommodations.
Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the professional staff of Academic Services as defined in section 1 of the Procedures. Provision of authorized accommodations will be a cooperative effort involving faculty, staff, and administrators.
Students must use accommodations in a reasonable manner.
The College may refuse to provide an accommodation that is inappropriate or unreasonable, including any that:
1. pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
2. constitute a substantial change or alteration to an essential element of a course or program;
3. pose undue financial or administrative burden on the College.
A. To be eligible to receive services, a student with disabilities must:
1. self-identify to the Director of Academic Services (as defined in section 1 of the Procedures section).
2. provide documentation from an appropriate professional containing information sufficient to determine the impact of the disability on the student at the college level. Submission of supporting documentation must be made in a timely manner, allowing for reasonable processing time (see section VII).
3. have the ability to benefit from the academic program in which the student is enrolled and must have a reasonable chance of success in that program with reasonable accommodations.
B. All students with disabilities must demonstrate (with reasonable accommodations) acquisition of skills and knowledge required for successful completion of courses in which they are enrolled.
IV. APPEAL/GRIEVANCE RIGHTS
Students shall have the right to appeal/grieve decisions regarding compliance with these policies or the laws referred to in this policy, including the determination of eligibility or the provision of reasonable accommodations. The appeal/grievance procedures are set forth in section 6 of Procedures.
Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained concerning the student’s disability, except as required by law, or on a need-to-know basis, or where there is an imminent risk of harm to the student or others. Confidential records will be maintained for a period of five (5) years, after which they will be destroyed unless a student has provided written request for the continued maintenance of records.
VI. APPLICABILITY OF COLLEGE POLICIES
All college policies and procedures as published in the college catalog and other publications shall be applicable to students with disabilities. All students, including those with disabilities, must abide by the academic and conduct policies as stated in the college catalog and the student code of conduct.
VII. CONFORMANCE TO LAW
This policy for the provision of services to students with disabilities shall be applied in conformance with current law. In the event of any conflict with local, state, or federal law, the relevant legal requirements will supersede the provisions of these policies which are in conflict with the amended or new legal requirements. Any policy related terms which are not herein defined shall be defined by the relevant law or regulation adopted pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the National Rehabilitation Act.
1. Procedure for Informing Students and Potential Students About Support Services:
a. Descriptions of services available to students with disabilities will appear in the Cedar Crest College Catalog along with information about Academic Services.
b. The following statement will appear on each Cedar Crest College course syllabus:
“Students with documented disabilities who may need academic accommodations should discuss these needs with their Professors during the first two weeks of class. Students with disabilities who wish to request accommodations should contact the Academic Services (ext. 3582).”
2. Application for Services Process: The following guidelines were developed to assure that documentation will provide sufficient information to verify eligibility and to support requests for accommodations in a timely manner.
a. Disabled students seeking accommodations need to present a written request for reasonable accommodations and the supporting documentation to Academic Services at the earliest possible date.
b. The minimum documentation requirements are as follows:
1) Diagnostic aptitude and achievement tests complete with subtest scores in percentile or standard score form.
*Preferred tests are the Weschsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised (WAIS-R) and the Woodcock-Johnson
Psychoeducational Battery – Revised.
2) It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis.
3) The documentation must clearly establish that there is a specific learning disability which significantly impacts on otherwise college-level abilities.
4) The documentation must also contain sufficient information to verify accommodation needs at the college level.
*Basic skills (reading, writing, math) and information processing must be addressed.
3. Procedures for Using Reasonable Accommodations:
a. Academic Services will notify faculty members of any student in their class who may need accommodations because of a disability. The specific academic adjustments needed will also be communicated to the faculty member. Arrangements for note-takers, interpreters, etc. will be made by Academic Services.
b. Students working with Academic Services must request preparation of their Academic Accommodation Forms at the beginning of each semester by returning the “Statement of Student Responsibility” form mailed to the students’ accommodate physical mailing address.
c. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with each of their professors within the first two weeks of class. At that time, the student should give the professor the form and discuss with him/her what academic adjustments the studentis likely to need in that particular class and how they will be carried out. Professors are under no obligation to “last minute” academic adjustments.
d. Students are responsible for notifying Academic Services of any changes to their schedules to ensure the appropriate professors are notified of the accommodations needed.
e. Testing modifications:
Extended-time and “testing in a distraction reduced environment” tests shall be administered by the professor if feasible.
Backup will be provided by Academic Services if the professor cannot administer the test.
1.) Written instructions from the professor are required if Academic Services administers the test. Professors should use the Exam Information sheet available in Academic Services.
2.) Faculty may send or bring their tests to Academic Services where the exams will be kept under strict security.
After completion, the faculty member may pick up the test or arrange for delivery under secure conditions.
3.) Tests will be administered in accordance with written instructions from the professor.
f. Note-takers, scribes, and sign-language interpreters:
1) Note-takers and scribes will write down what is said and nothing more.
2) Interpreters will translate only.
g. Aides/personal assistants:The College does not provide personal assistants or services of a personal nature (including assistance with eating, toileting, dressing, or locomotion around campus).
h. Equipment:The institution does not provide personal devices such as wheelchairs or individually prescribed devices such as hearing aids.
i. Building and room location:
1) When necessary, classes may be moved to an accessible location to accommodate a student with impaired mobility, or under documented special circumstances.
2) This determination shall be made by the Director of Academic Services in conjunction with the Registrar.
j. Course substitution:
1) Course substitution may be considered as a last resort after a good-faith effort by the student, provided the substitution does not alter the nature of the program in which the student is enrolled or excuse the student from courses that are integral to the program in which the student is enrolled.
2) This decision shall be made by the Provost in consultation with appropriate department chairpersons and/or faculty after review of a recommendation made by the Director of Academic Services.
k. Field trips:
1) If a field trip is scheduled for a class in which a disabled student is enrolled and transportation is provided by the College, the transportation will be accessible.
2) Field trips and field experiences for courses in which students with disabilities are enrolled must be made to accessible sites, or alternative field trips/experiences must be offered to the entire class unless the field trip or experience in question is an essential component of the course and no reasonable alternative exists.
4. Procedure for Disposition of Records:
Students with disabilities who have requested accommodations but have not attended Cedar Crest College for a period of five (5) years, will be sent a notice (to the last known address) indicating that the student’s documentation will be disposed of in sixty (60) days unless the student presents in writing a reason which warrants record retention.
5. Appeal/Grievance Procedure:
a. In the event of a dispute regarding compliance with applicable laws, college policy, or academic adjustments, the student or faculty member initiating the process shall provide a written statement to the Director of Academic Services within ten (10) working days of the incident or circumstance.
b. It shall be the responsibility of the Director of Academic Services to set up a meeting with all concerned parties within five (5) working days of receipt of the complaint.
c. During this meeting, each side will have the opportunity to make a presentation of their interpretation of the dispute, and the Director will act as mediator. Every attempt will be made to effect a mutually agreeable solution. If an agreement is not reached at this meeting, the Director will immediately forward the complaint to the Provost who will respond in writing to all parties within thirty (30) working days.
d. The Provost will conduct the appropriate research and render a decision. The Provost’s decision shall be final.
To document a disability, please have use the appropriate checklist as follows:
Check list for documentation of physical, medical and mobility imparments
Check the list for AD/HD documentation
Check list for learning disability documentation
Check list for documentation of psychological and psychiatric disorders
What Other Services are Available?
Two professional educators in Academic Services provide assistance in mathematics, science, English, paper writing, and general academic skills. These professionals not only assist with course content but also help students learn the study skills that can improve overall academic performance.
Academic Services provides peer tutors for individuals and groups in most academic subjects. These student tutors are recommended by their professors to help other students with specific course material.
Peer tutors in English are available to proofread papers several hours per week in Academic Services. Other tutors assigned to particular courses hold review hours in other campus locations. Full information is available at Academic Services.