Disability Support Services arranges appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities under the following conditions:
Disability Support Services is responsible for the coordination of programs and services for qualified students with disabilities.
DSS staff will discuss the student’s request for services with the student to determine appropriate accommodations and/or consult with the faculty member of the involved office regarding the request. When there is any question about the appropriateness of a student’s requested accommodations, the DSS coordinator will inform the student of the decision.
To the limits of the law, the Office of Disability Support Services protects each student’s right to privacy, except as permitted by the student expressly for providing support services to that student. The student may sign a Release of Confidential Information for this purpose.
Disability information is to be treated as medical information and held to the same strict rules of confidentiality as is any other medical information. This rule applies to both the comprehensive documentation that students are required to produce in order to establish the existence of a disability and the student’s need for accommodation.
The coordinator of Disability Support Services establishes such record-keeping procedures as are necessary to document institutional responses for requests for accommodation. DSS recognizes the highly confidential nature of disability related information and restricts access to this information.
Disability Support Services makes regular efforts to provide current and up-to-date information to faculty, staff, and students regarding disabilities and the available programs and services relating to them at St. Bonaventure University.
Academic requirements will be modified, as necessary, to ensure that they do not discriminate against qualified applicants of enrolled students with disabilities. Academic requirements that are essential to programs of instruction are not considered discriminatory. These modifications shall not affect the substance of the educational programs or compromise educational standards.
Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degrees, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted. Because of the diversity of individual needs relating to disabilities and the uniqueness of each class, students must discuss their requests for course modifications with their instructors each semester.
Examinations or other procedures for evaluating students’ academic achievement shall be adapted, when necessary, to permit evaluating the achievement of students who have a disability. The results of the evaluation must represent the student’s achievement in the program or activity, rather than reflecting the student’s disability. Questions regarding appropriate evaluations may be addressed to the coordinator of Disability Support Services.
It is the student’s responsibility to request test accommodations according to the procedures outlined by this policy. Accommodations may include but are not limited to:
Disability Support Services does not provide the following:
Students will provide instructors with a verification form to sign acknowledging receipt of the accommodation letter. Any questions about accommodations should be addressed to the coordinator of Disability Support Services.
In keeping with “reasonable accommodations” for students with disabilities as mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the Teaching and Learning Center’s staff will do its best to provide a distraction-reduced environment in conjunction with extended time for testing.
For those students who qualify for extended time and alternate location, and who have set up appropriate accommodations through the Disability Support Services Office, the Teaching and Learning Center will provide exam proctoring provided the following guidelines are adhered to:
In testing situations, students with print disabilities, such as visual impairments and learning disabilities, may be eligible to use reader services. Students must check with the coordinator of Disability Support Services to see if they are eligible. The Kurzweil software is available for students to use, or a reader can be a DSS staff person, except in special cases where technical subjects require more expertise. Decisions on who shall be a reader are made on a case-by-case basis by the coordinator of Disability Support Services.
Eligible students are encouraged to enroll in their own individual account with RFB&D. If there is a membership fee, the student is responsible for the payment. Students may also contact the State Commission for the Blind to see if they are eligible for financial assistance. Students will contact academic departments for required textbook information for the courses they enroll in. Students are responsible for ordering and returning the recordings they will need.
If the student has difficulty obtaining textbook information from course instructors, the student must contact the coordinator of Disability Support Services.
Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act do not state that an institution must make course substitutions as reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities; rather, these laws state that the institution must consider whether making such a substitution would be a reasonable accommodation. A substitution is not reasonable if it would result in lowering academic standards or requiring substantial program alteration. Therefore, while a course substitution could be a possibility, it is not an obligation.
To initiate a request for a foreign language substitution, students must meet with the coordinator of Disability Support Services (DSS) and provide appropriate documentation of a severe, language-based learning disability that would warrant a course substitution as a reasonable accommodation. The student must also fill out a Course Substitution Request Form and sign the Consent for Release of Confidential Information.
Students who are granted a foreign language substitution must take 2 courses (6 credits) chosen from a list of recommended courses, available from the coordinator of DSS. Chosen courses may not be requirements of the student’s major(s) or minor(s). The chosen courses must be approved by the dean.
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