Procedure No. 4.2
Area: Board of Trustees

Adopted: 12/10/99

Revisions Approved: 5/3/17

Description: PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING SERVICES TO STUDENT WITH DISABILITIES

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Definition of Disability

A person with a disability is defined as an individual 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 impairments, psychological/emotional disabilities, speech and/or hearing impairments, mobility impairments or learning disabilities.

Reasonable Accommodations

Eligibility

Eligibility for student accommodations is based on medical and/or other professional documentation of disability as well as the impact the disability has on the students’ access to their education. Contact the Assistant Director of The Center for Accessibility (CFA) for information about appropriate documentation of disabilities. Call 609-343-5680, email cfa@atlantic.edu or stop in the Office of Counseling and Student Support. Please note this is an individualized process, and will vary based on student needs. It is the responsibility of the student with a disability to identify himself/herself as having a disability and to request academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and/or modifications necessary to receive equal access to the College’s program, activities and services. The person with a disability can initiate self-identification by seeking assistance from The Center for Accessibility. Students who self-identify elsewhere will be referred to the Center for Accessibility.

Provision of Accommodations

In order to receive accommodations in a timely manner students are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the CFA for documentation review and individualized need assessment. The process for obtaining reasonable accommodations is as follows:

  1. Complete and submit the CFA Registration Form
    Upon completion of this form, the student will receive a confirmation email of their submission. Students are encouraged to call 609-343-5680, email cfa@atlantic.edu or stop by if accommodations are needed to complete this form.
  2. Schedule an intake meeting
    Upon receipt of the registration form a representative from CFA will contact the student to schedule an intake meeting with the assigned counselor. This meeting can be done in person, via Skype, or by phone.
  3. Submit appropriate documentation
    On or before the intake meeting, students must submit documentation, which includes a diagnosis of medical condition(s) and sufficient information regarding the impact on the students ability to perform and/or function. Documentation must support the need for the accommodations requested. Please consult the CFA guidelines for examples of acceptable documentation. (link).

    The documentation can be submitted in one of three ways.
    1. Sending as an email attachment to: cfa@atlantic.edu
    2. Faxing to 609-343-5680
    3. Bringing the documentation to the intake appointment
  4. Determination
    Upon completion of the intake, The Center for Accessibility will review the submitted documentation. Students will receive a response within 10 business days with one of the following application statuses:

Reasonable Accommodations Approved: when a student’s request for reasonable accommodations have been approved, the student will be required to schedule a follow up meeting with their assigned counselor to finalize the process for receiving accommodations. This meeting can be done in person, via Skype, or by phone.

More Information Needed: when a student’s request for reasonable accommodations cannot be approved due to insufficient documentation the student will be notified via email that will specifically outline the additional documentation or information needed.

Application Not Approved: when a determination is made that the student is not entitled to the accommodation requested, the student will receive notice of the denial, via email.  A student may request a follow up meeting with the Center for Accessibility in order to discuss rationale for the denial, and to advise the student of his/her right to seek reconsideration and to appeal the determination. 

Areas of Responsibility For Providing Accommodations

  • The Center for Accessibility does not have the sole responsibility for providing modifications and or auxiliary aids for students with disabilities. Rather, it is the function of this office to assist and enable all areas of the college to meet mandated responsibilities. Recommendations for the services will be developed in consultation with the appropriate faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
  • The Right To Succeed: Atlantic Cape Community College believes that all students are entitled to an equal opportunity to succeed academically.
  • Faculty are requested to inform students about services available to them through the CFA
  • Atlantic Cape Community College is committed to ensuring that all accommodations are implemented in a timely manner under the supervision of the Center for Accessibility.

II. RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

Students Rights and Responsibilities

  1. A college student with one or more disabilities has the right to equal access to educational opportunity. This right is provided under the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In some cases, in order to have equal access, the student may need reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids in the classroom and other areas of the campus. It is the student's responsibility to self-disclose their disability to the Center for Accessibility so that reasonable accommodations can be provided in a timely manner. It is also the student's responsibility to provide the appropriate documentation supporting their request for reasonable accommodations.
  2. Students who have received reasonable accommodations are expected to use these aids or accommodations in a responsible manner.
  3. A student who is entitled to extended time on a test is to follow the procedures listed below.
  4. A student who disagrees with the determination of a request for reasonable accommodations has the right to dispute this determination to the ADA/504 Coordinator. Students are responsible for notifying the CFA if they have any problems or difficulties regarding approved accommodations.
  5. The decision to request and or utilize accommodations is solely the decision of the individual student.

Faculty Members' Rights and Responsibilities

  1. A faculty member is not required to provide reasonable accommodations unless presented with a Center for Accessibility “ADA Accommodation Letter” by the student citing specific accommodations that are to be provided for that specific course.
  2. The nature of the accommodation must not compromise essential course content or requirements for satisfactory course completion.
  3. A faculty member who disputes a reasonable accommodation or auxiliary aid recommended by the Center for Accessibility must provide the accommodation until the dispute is resolved. Faculty should contact CFA immediately to discuss the dispute.
  4. The faculty member will be notified by the CFA if a student expresses concern about the manner in which the reasonable accommodation is administered.
  5. Written instructions from the instructor are required for the testing center if the testing center is to be used for extended time testing. The CFA is to be informed if there are any problems making the necessary arrangements with the testing center.
  6. Be advised that the Atlantic Cape Community College Center for Accessibility is the main point of contact for issues related to ADA compliance for all faculty members serving students. CFA can be reached at cfa@atlantic.edu and/or (609)-343-5680
  7. If a student makes a disability related complaint to any faculty member the Assistant Director of the Center for Accessibility must be contacted IMMEDIATELY to ensure an appropriate and timely resolution.
  8. It is the responsibility of the faculty to ensure that all classroom materials are made accessible to students with disabilities. The CFA will offer assistance If faculty are unable to make any class material accessible. Please contact Chad Bullock the CFA Adaptive Technology Specialist at cbullock@atlantic.edu with any concerns.

Center for Accessibility Rights and Responsibilities

  1. The CFA ensures that no qualified individual with a disability shall be excluded from or denied the benefit of any service, program, or activity at Atlantic Cape Community College.
  2. The CFA will provide trainings (in person, and web based) each semester to faculty and staff on the creation of accessible materials for the students. The schedule is posted on the college website. Additionally, the CFA is available to assist with questions related to the accessibility of materials.
  3. The CFA will respond to any and all requests for reasonable accommodations at all points within the semester including after accommodation letters have been issued.
  4. The CFA will provide ongoing trainings to students on the use of assistive technology and accommodations. This schedule will be posted on the CFA website.
  5. The CFA acts as the liaison between CFA students and faculty. The CFA will advocate for student rights as required under the ADA, and advise both students and faculty accordingly.

III. GUIDELINES FOR ACCOMMODATIONS

Extended time for tests and examinations:

  1. The student is responsible for scheduling their exam with the Testing Center at least 5 days in advance of the exam.
  2. Extended time tests (duration to be determined at time of intake based on provided student documentation) may be proctored by someone designated by the Assistant Director of the Center for Accessibility in consultation with the director of testing services at the specific campus where the test is to be taken, or by the faculty member giving the exam.
  3. Every effort will be made to ensure the student is able to take the test at the same date and time as their peers.
  4. It is faculty responsibility to ensure the testing center has the exam before the test date. Under no circumstances are students to transport their tests and/or examinations to the Testing Center. Security of the test materials is then provided by the Testing Center staff. The faculty member may pick up the test or arrange for delivery under secure conditions.
  5. Proctors who act as scribes and/or readers for CFA students will read test items exactly as given. Proctor readers will not provide additional information, interpretation or definitions about test items unless specifically included as part of the modifications provided to students.
  6. Tests will be administered in accordance with written instructions from the instructor.

Extended Time for Written Assignments

To be provided on a case-by-case basis after consultation between the course instructor and the Assistant Director of the Center for Accessibility.

Audio Recording of Class Lectures 

Permitted for each student who has been given the accommodation by the CFA. The College may require the student to sign a Recording agreement specifying limited use of the taped material.

Note Takers

To be provided for students who, because of developmental physical and/or learning disabilities, need assistance with taking lecture notes during class sessions. This need must be specifically defined in the documentation provided by the student. Note takers are not required to attend class and take notes when it is known that the student receiving this service will be absent for any reason. Note taking software and assistive technologies that specifically assist in note taking are available to all CFA students with this approved accommodation.

Sign Language Interpreters

The student who qualifies for this service is responsible for contacting the Interpreter, as much in advance as possible, when the student will not be attending class.

Aides/Personal Assistants

The College does not provide Personal Aides or Assistants. It does not provide services of a personal nature, which includes assistance in transporting, eating, toilet usage, guides and dressing, etc. If students have questions on how to obtain a personal care attendant the CFA will provide pertinent referral information.

Specialized Equipment

The College does not provide personal devices such as wheelchairs, and individually prescribed devices such as hearing aids. Information on modified or specialized equipment available at the college may be obtained in the office of Counseling and Student Services.

Building and Room Location

When necessary, classes may be moved to an accessible location to accommodate a student with impaired mobility, or under documented special circumstances. This determination shall be made, by the Assistant Director of CFA. The Assistant Director will consult with the faculty member and the head of the department for the specific course regarding the selection of an alternate location.

Course Substitution

  1. Course substitution will be considered as a reasonable accommodation if supported by documentation and provided the substitution does not fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program in which the student is enrolled or excuse the student from courses that are integral to that program.
  2. This decision shall be made by the Academic Dean of the Division of the student's major field in consultation with appropriate faculty, the Assistant Director of CFA, and/or the ADA/504 Coordinator.

Transportation

  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 handicapped accessible.
  2. Field trips and field experiences for courses that have enrolled students with disabilities must be made to accessible sites. If there is an insurmountable barrier to providing access to a site that is essential to the course or program, students with disabilities denied access must be provided an alternative educational experience that offers comparable and equal instructional benefits.

IV. DISPUTED REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

If the documentation on file does not support the student's request for a specific accommodation, the student will be informed via email within ten business days of the request as follows:

  1. Specific reasons for the determination
  2. The need, if any, to provide specified additional documentation
  3. To schedule a meeting with CFA personnel to discuss alternative accommodations and/or to schedule a meeting to discuss reconsideration and appeal of the determination

V. DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

  1. Atlantic Cape Community College policies prohibit discrimination in its educational programs, activities or employment and admissions practices, as directed under Section 504 and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Inquiries regarding Section 504 and ADA compliance may be directed to the 504/ADA Coordinator.
  2. Atlantic Cape Community College personnel are prohibited from denying any disabled student who is otherwise qualified, with or without reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and modifications, from participation in any program, service or activity.
  3. Atlantic Cape Community College will ensure that all opportunities afforded to students are afforded equally to students with disabilities consistent with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

VI. LEGAL COMPLIANCE

The 504/ADA Coordinator of the college will be responsible for legal compliance and investigation of grievances for students with disabilities. In the event of a dispute regarding compliance with applicable laws, college policy or the appropriateness of specific reasonable modifications or auxiliary aids, the following procedure should be followed:

ADA/504 Grievance Procedure

If a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against in connection with any Atlantic Cape Community College program or activity because of a disability, he or she has the right to submit a grievance to have their concerns formally addressed. No qualified student with a disability shall be denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under any college program or activity. The procedures below apply to any discrimination and harassment by employees, students and/or third parties. Any form of retaliation against individuals who complain about discrimination, file grievances, or participate in the grievance process is strictly prohibited.

Grievances Covered

These grievance procedures are applicable to grievances arising from disagreements regarding requested accommodations and/or other complaints alleging that Atlantic Cape Community College has violated applicable disability anti-discrimination law.  It should be noted that nothing in these procedures shall be deemed to require Atlantic Cape Community College to fundamentally alter its programs by modifying or waiving academic requirements that it deems essential to a course of study, or materially altering applicable codes of conduct or academic integrity.  Please note that all complaints and grievances must be filed within 60 calendar days of the alleged act, in writing or via audio recording. Additionally, The Center for Accessibility will self-report to the Atlantic Cape Community College’s ADA/504 Coordinator in the event that a complaint cannot be resolved within the CFA.

Informal Grievance Process

The complainant can file an informal grievance by first contacting the Assistant Director of CFA, who (acting directly or through a designee) shall attempt to resolve the matter through informal consultations with the complainant, The Director of Counseling and Support Services, and/or other appropriate administrators over a period not to exceed ten business days. If the complaint is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction in a timely manner, the student may initiate a formal grievance process as described below. Please note that the complainant has the right to file a formal grievance at any time. Furthermore, the CFA office will self-report any instance when a complaint cannot be resolved to the ADA/504 coordinator within 2 business days. In such an instance a written statement, signed by the student, will be prepared documenting the resolution of the complaint and the manner it was resolved.

Formal Complaint Process

An individual who believes that discrimination or harassment has occurred may file a formal grievance. If accommodations are required to submit a complaint, The Center for Accessibility will provide accommodations.  The formal complaint must include the following information:

  1. A full description of the problem and any relevant facts;
  2. A summary of the steps the complainant has already taken to attempt to resolve the problem, including the names of persons involved;
  3. A statement of the requested resolution and the complainant’s rationale for the requested accommodations;
  4. Any supporting documentation; and
  5. The name, contact information and signature of the person initiating the complaint.

The ADA/504 Coordinator may interview or consult with the complainant and any other individual the he/she believes to have relevant information, including faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, all interested parties have the opportunity to provide any relevant evidence including witnesses and documentation.

The ADA/504 Coordinator will provide the results of their investigation and a proposed resolution, if any within ten business days. Possible resolutions may include but are not limited to, corrective steps and measures to provide reasonable accommodations or a determination that the complainant is not entitled to the accommodations requested. If discrimination is found to have occurred, appropriate corrective and remedial action will be taken. The ADA/504 Coordinator will promptly communicate the resolution to the complainant and the relevant department or other individuals in writing within 10 business days of the ruling. The decision of the ADA/504 Coordinator will be final and any actions taken in response will complete the grievance process. Regardless of the final result of the formal grievance process all parties involved retain the right to file a complaint with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division at https://www.ada.gov/fact_on_complaint.htm

Confidentiality

The complainant’s confidentiality shall be maintained by each person involved in the informal and/or formal investigation or resolution of a student grievance under this policy. Any disclosures regarding the complainant or the investigation, including any disclosures of clinical information provided by the student, shall be limited to the minimum necessary to accomplish the investigation or address the grievance with appropriate authorization. Upon the resolution of the complaint, all notes, correspondence and other documents relating to the grievance shall be transferred to the Center for Accessibility for storage in a confidential and secure manner.