Eligibility for Accessibility Services
- According to the Americans with Disability Act, in order to be enrolled with Accessibility Services, a person must meet with each aspect of the following criteria:
- The person must be regarded as one who has a disability.
- The person must identify themselves to the institution.
- The person must present the institution with documentation regarding their disability. The documentation must reflect the student’s need for academic accommodations.
- Definition of a Disability
Section 504 defines a person with a disability as:
- Someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- A person who has a record of the disability
- Someone who is regarded as having the disability.
- Physical Impairment
Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfiguration, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:
- Special Sense Organs
- Respiratory (including speech organs)
- Hemic and Lymphatic
- Skin and Endocrine
- Mental Impairment
Any psychological neurological disorder such as organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.
- Major Life Activity
Any function such as: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
Accommodations Administered By Accessibility Services (AS) under The Americans With Disabilities Act:
- Students who choose to receive accommodations through Accessibility Services must provide documentation to AS and meet with an accessibility advisor to discuss their accommodation needs. This is an essential step in acquiring academic accommodations. Students may request an academic accommodation, but the college is not required to provide the specific accommodation requested if another accommodation is reasonable. A student is required to submit documentation of disability at the initial application for services. Documentation must specifically support the need for any accommodations requested. No accommodations will be given without appropriate documentation. If another evaluation is obtained after the initial intake or the disability has changed in some way, specifically worsened and limitations have increased, further documentation must be presented to AS. All accommodations are decided on a case-by-case basis and are subject to change if disability- based needs change. Accessibility Services is not responsible for reevaluation expenses.
- At the beginning of each subsequent semester, students must complete a Semester Accommodation Request Form. Students will receive Accommodation Letters based on information received taken from documentation produced by the student. After filling out their Semester Accommodation Request Form, students may request their Accommodation Letters by emailing an Advisor in Accessibility Services. Students are responsible for distributing their accommodation letters to their professors. AS will not mail letters to professors.
- Specialized services such as a reader, note taker, interpreter etc. should be indicated on the Semester Accommodation Request Form.
- For each subsequent semester it is always best to request accommodations at the beginning of the semester. No accommodation letters will be given out the last week of classes or final exam week, unless it is requested by the professor. The professor must legally give the student a reasonable accommodation. The professor should receive the letter in a reasonable amount of time before the test, which is typically three (3) days advance notice.
How to Request a Specific Accommodation:
- Request a copy of semester accommodation request form; on the form write down each of your classes as well as the specific accommodation necessary for the class..
- Inform an advisor in as that you would like to request an accommodation.
How to Utilize the Accommodation Known as “Extended Testing Time”
- At the test proctoring sign in notebook, sign your name on the page displaying the date and time that you would like to take your test. In the sign in book, please indicate if you will need a reader or a scribe during testing.
- Pick up a Test Proctoring Agreement Form and fill out the top portion of the form. At least three days before the test, hand the test proctoring agreement form to your instructor.
- On the day of testing, make sure you sign in.
- After completing the test, sign out.
College differs from high school in the way that academic accommodations are provided. When a person with a disability needs an academic accommodation in high school, a team of educators are assigned to that student to discuss classroom instructional accommodations and implementation.
This is not the case with colleges and universities. Legislation states that in order for one to receive services from a college or university, a person with a disability must first disclose their disability to the institution. At RCC, the person should disclose this to Accessibility Services (AS).
The Director of Accessibility Services will ask you to bring in documentation regarding your disability. The cost of the documentation is the responsibility of the student. If the initial documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable accommodations, Accessibility Services has the discretion to require additional documentation. Accessibility Services reserves the right to deny services or accommodations pending receipt of documentation. Appropriate documentation must meet the following criteria:
Documentation must be from a licensed audiologist that includes a diagnosis and information as to how the disability impacts the student in an academic environment.
Documentation must be from one of the following types of licensed psychologist: clinical, educational, school, neuropsychologist, or from a learning disability specialist. Documentation must include a diagnosis and list of reasonable accommodations.
Documentation should be from a qualified professional (e.g., physician, licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist) and must include a diagnosis and list of reasonable accommodations.
Documentation must be from a licensed medical doctor that includes diagnosis and how the disability impacts the student in an academic environment.
Documentation must be from a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor that includes diagnosis.
The Law upholds student/educational rights; however students are also entrusted with specific responsibilities. Any abuse of services provided by AS will lead to a cancellation of accommodations. An example of the correct way to use AS services, is to request a needed academic accommodation, and as it is delivered-use the accommodation to promote one’s educational success. An abuse of accommodations includes requesting services but failing to use them.
If communication facilitation (CF) services have been requested, and you know that you will be unable to attend class, you should provide Accessibility Services with at least 24 hours advance notice so that CFs can be informed. In some situations, students may not be able to provide 24 hours notice, however, any advance notice is considered sufficient. Failure to provide ANY ADVANCE notice is considered a no-Show.
In order to give advance notice you can:
- Contact Accessibility Services at 845-574-4541 and speak either in person or leave a message.
- Contact Admissions at 845-574-4224.
Failure to provide notice will result in services being automatically suspended and a letter sent to the student informing the student of the policy and appropriate procedures. Services will remain suspended until the student makes an appointment with the Counselor for Accessibility Services to reinstate accommodations.