Right of Students with Disabilities (Policy SW-2)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as amended (2008)  defines a person with a disability as any individual who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities, (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is perceived as having an impairment. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that no “otherwise qualified person” with a disability can be excluded from, denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity within an institution that receives Federal financial aid. Collectively, these Federal statutes require institutions of higher education to provide equal access to educational opportunities to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities provided that such accommodations do not:  1) fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the College’s programs, services, or activities, 2) cause undue burden to the College, or 3) pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

To be eligible for disability services, students must have a disability as defined by the ADA (as amended) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Clarkson College relies on the student’s self-report and documentation from a qualified, licensed professional when determining accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to request accommodations through the Accommodations Office and to participate in the interactive process for determination of  reasonable accommodations. Students have the choice of whether or not to utilize approved accommodations. Students must notify the Accommodations Coordinator of any approved accommodations they choose not to utilize.  

Procedure

  1. The student will initiate the process for requesting accommodations by contacting the Accommodations Office at accommodations@clarksoncollege.edu or the Accommodations Coordinator at 402.552.2693.
  2. Upon receipt of the student’s request, the Accommodations Coordinator will contact the student to set an appointment for an Intake Interview (to obtain the student’s self-report), and the student will be asked to bring all relevant documentation related to the disability(ies) and previous accommodations (if applicable).
  3. Additional documentation may be requested including, but not limited to: educational records; letters from educators; diagnostic reports; letters from health care providers; records of past accommodations; letters or records from local, state, or federal agencies, and/or VA records. 2 The following guidelines for documentation are suggested to provide adequate information to the Accommodations Coordinator for determination of appropriate accommodation services:
    1. Evidence that the evaluator has appropriate credentials, training, relevant experience, and no personal relationship to the individual being evaluated.
    2. A clear current diagnostic statement identifying the disability.
    3. A description of the diagnostic methodology used such as procedures, tests and dates of administration including a clinical narrative, observation and specific results.
    4. A description of how the disability substantially limits a major life activity of the student and/or a description of the current impairment and its functional impact.
    5. A description of the current treatment, expected progression, and the prognosis and/or stability of the disability.
    6. Recommendations for accommodations and/or auxiliary aids with rationale. The College has no obligation to adopt recommendations made by outside parties although they will be considered in determining accommodations.
  4. Once adequate documentation is received, the Accommodations Coordinator will determine if the student is eligible for accommodations, and if so, what accommodations are approved. Prior to the approval of accommodations, the Accommodations Coordinator will consult with the Program Director of the Academic Program the student is enrolled/intending to enroll in if there is any question as to whether an accommodation may pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
  5. The Accommodations Coordinator will communicate to the student whether or not he/she has been deemed eligible for accommodations, and if so, what accommodations are approved.
    1. If the student has been deemed eligible, the Accommodations Coordinator will communicate this to the student by sending out Statement of Eligibility (SOE) and Release of Information forms. The student will review, sign, and return the forms to the Accommodations Coordinator.
    2. If the Accommodations Coordinator deems the student ineligible, he or she will communicate the rejection in writing to the student. The student may appeal this decision with the Accommodations Coordinator. The Accommodations Coordinator will then consult with the Accommodations Committee, consisting of the Director of Human Resources, the Program Director of the academic program the student is enrolled/intending to enroll in, the Vice President of Operations, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Accommodations Coordinator will subsequently notify the student of the decision of the Accommodations Committee, which is final.
  6. Upon registration of classes, and with the signed SOE and Release from the student, the Coordinator of the Testing Center will email the student’s approved accommodations to appropriate faculty no later than the first day of classes. If the student makes changes to his/her schedule, the student should notify the Accommodations Office of said changes. If eligibility is determined after the start of the semester, faculty will be notified within two business days after receipt of the student’s signed SOE and Release. While faculty are notified by the Coordinator of the Testing Center, the student is also strongly encouraged to initiate communication with his/her faculty regarding accommodations in the classroom. However, if the student does not initiate contact with faculty within the first week of the course, faculty should initiate said communication. If the student is non-responsive to the faculty’s communication, the faculty should then notify the Accommodations Coordinator. If there are approved accommodations that may require additional academic preparation (e.g., captioning), the Accommodations Coordinator will notify appropriate faculty in a timely manner, within two weeks of the student’s registration of courses, to allow adequate time for said preparation.

It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the Accommodations Office any requests for changes in and/or discontinuation of accommodations. Clarkson College reserves the right to ask for additional documentation as needed.