Office of Academic Affairs

Disability Services


Americans with Disabilities Act


Introduction

Centre College is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the College community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and expanded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Centre College seeks to provide disabled students with support services and other reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the College.

Support services for physical disabilities of students at Centre College are coordinated by the Assistant Dean for Advising and the Student Life Office. Individual students are counseled to determine appropriate accommodations and identify resources and referral to the appropriate faculty member. Services for emotional or academic disabilities are coordinated by the Assistant Dean for Advising.

Incoming students with disabilities should register documentation of a disability. Arrangements for services, equipment, classroom or housing assignments, and other reasonable accommodations may require several weeks advance notice. Applicants indicating the need for special services are encouraged to contact the Student Life Office and the Assistant Dean immediately upon acceptance to ensure timely provision of needed services. Students must note that any accommodations are provided after this consultative process is concluded—accommodations cannot be provided retroactively, so advance notice is crucial.

Rights and Responsibilities

College Rights
1) Require and maintain academic standards in all Centre College academic programs.
2) Request and review, on a case-by-case basis, appropriate and relevant documentation of an identified disability, completed by an appropriate professional source, to verify the disability and identify the need for reasonable accommodation(s).
3) Deny a request for accommodations if the documentation does not meet the necessary criteria to determine the needs of the student, is not provided in a timely manner, if the accommodation request is unreasonable or contrary to the academic standards set by the College.

College Responsibilities
1) Provide equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the College.
2) Provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with appropriately documented disabilities.
3) Protect confidentiality of all information pertaining to a student’s disability, except as required by law.

Students with Disabilities have the Right to
1) Equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the College.
2) Confidentiality of information. Any information pertaining to a disability is shared only with those College officials or professors who need to know in order to provide an accommodation.

Students with Disabilities Responsibilities
1) Self-identify to the Assistant Dean for Advising or Director of Residence Life in a timely manner as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation.
2) Provide appropriate documentation of a disability from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, the need for special accommodations, and recommendation for specific accommodations.
3) Follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations.
4) Develop self-advocacy skills and motivation leading to self-reliance and independence.

Procedures for Requesting Accommodations
A student should contact the Assistant Dean for Advising to schedule an interview. During this interview the student completes a registration form, the student’s needs are discussed, and the documentation is reviewed.

Eligibility for services is based on a combination of the student’s description of need, the thoroughness of the disability documentation (see Documentation Policies), and the determination that the documentation supports a need for an accommodation.

Once eligibility for accommodations is established and specific accommodations are determined, the student will be given an Accommodation Notification sheet to show to his or her professors. The Accommodation Notification sheet is a written record of the accommodations recommended by the Assistant Dean following a thorough interview with the student.

The Accommodation Notification sheet:
1) Notifies professors that a student is eligible for accommodations
2) Specifies approved accommodations
3) Gives advanced notice of accommodations so that arrangements can be made (note: students should speak with each provision within a week of meeting with the Assistant Dean)
4) Enhances the student’s self-advocacy skills.

Documentation of Disability
A person with a disability includes “any person who
(1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,
(2) has record of such impairment, or
(3) is regarded as having such an impairment” (Section 902, Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990).

To establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits a major life activity. If academic or classroom-based adjustments and accommodations are requested, learning must be one of the major life activities affected. Documentation submitted must:

    • Be appropriate to verify eligibility

    • Demonstrate a current substantial impact of one or more major life activities, and

    • Support the request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.

Documentation Criteria

Providing documentation of disability is the responsibility of the student. In general, the less obvious the disability, the more information is required to assess a student’s needs and make accommodation recommendations.

Documentation should be recent, relevant and comprehensive and, where appropriate, contain test scores and interpretation (e.g., learning disability reports, audiograms, etc.). If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation, the College has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining additional documentation is also borne by the student. If the documentation is complete but the College desires a second professional opinion, the College may obtain that at its cost.

Appropriate documentation must adhere to the following guidelines (from Educational Testing Services document titled “Resources for Test Takers with Disabilities: Documentation Criteria”). It is a good idea to provide these guidelines to the person performing the evaluation.
1) Clearly state the diagnosed disability or disabilities.
2) Describe the functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities.
3) Be current—i.e., completed within the last 5 years for LD, last 6 months for psychiatric disabilities, or last 3 years for ADHD and all other disabilities. (NOTE: This requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.)
4) Include complete educational, developmental, and medical history relevant to the disability for which testing accommodations are being requested.
5) Include a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability. This requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.
6) Describe the specific accommodations requested.
7) Adequately support each of the requested testing accommodation(s).
8) Be typed or printed on official letterhead and be signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about license or certification and area of specialization).
Support Services

Centre offers a range of support services designed to assist students with disabilities. Each qualified student has individual needs, and services are determined based on those needs.

Arrangements for services may require several weeks’ notice to implement so students should contact the Assistant Dean immediately upon acceptance to the College or immediately after a new diagnosis to make timely provision of needed services possible.

Some of the services available to students with disabilities include time and a half and a distraction-free environment for testing, tables for wheelchair accessibility, accessible classrooms, and accessible parking.

Students with documented disabilities are given preference for first floor rooms in specific houses on campus.

Parking

For information on obtaining a permit for wheelchair accessible parking, contact the Department of Public Safety at (859) 236-HELP (4357).

A permit may also be issued for a specified period of time for a temporary injury or disability.



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