In addition to discussing the need for and providing documentation for accommodation, students with disabilities also have the following rights and responsibilities:
- equal access to all programs at all of Arapahoe Community College campuses;
- disability related records will be used to determine appropriate services and will be maintained separately from academic records;
- students initiate all requests for services and/or accommodations through the Disability Services Office;
- students need to give ACC advance notice of needed accommodation;
- students will need to meet with a Disability Services Specialist for an intake appointment and discussion about the nature and impact of their disabilities;
- submission of documentation is not the same as the request for services; these are two different steps in the process of determination and provision of appropriate accommodations
- ACC reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of the requested accommodation(s) on a case by case basis, utilizing the professional judgment of the Disability Services Specialist.
- Additional information may be requested to determine eligibility for services.
- Relevant information regarding the student's disability may be shared with those who have a legitimate educational interest.
The Disability Services Office recognizes that some students have a disability that impacts their academic or campus experience. The Disability Services Office advocates for an accessible educational environment by working collaboratively with students and ACC faculty, staff, and administration to coordinate reasonable accommodations that allow equal access and opportunity to our courses, programs, and services. Ultimately, this can improve a student's ability to learn, study, and participate in campus activities.
An individual with a disability is defined as anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, working, or learning. The ADAAA further defines "disability" as broadly covering people in three categories:
- people who currently have a disability;
- people who have a history of a disability; and
- those who are regarded* as having a disability whether or not they actually have a disability.
*According to the ADA, individuals who are regarded as having a disability are protected from discriminatory treatment but are entitled to reasonable accommodations.
Students may inquire about resources without need for commitment to anything. Interested students need to meet/speak with a Disability Services Specialist about their situation and the potential need for accommodations and other resources. Resources will not be coordinated otherwise. It is important that the student take the initiative in this conversation.
Because each individual is unique, the office asks that any interested student meet with us. Documentation requirements vary. The Disability Services Specialist will talk to the student about documentation during the initial conversation. No student should delay meeting with the office out of concern for not having appropriate paperwork.
Students can inquire about resources with assurance that conversations will remain confidential. When students decide to use resources, the Disability Services Specialist will explain how communication with others on campus works. Students may be asked to sign a Consent to Release of Information form if additional information from outside agencies is needed.
Common resources include academic accommodations, such as collaboration with other departments on campus to make programs, policies, and procedures accessible, as dictated by individual approved request(s).
- Preferential seating
- Deaf Interpreter
- Extended time on exams
- Distraction free testing
- Volunteer note taker or note taking services
- Reader/scribe for exams
- Use of assistive equipment or software
- Books in alternative format and alternative format handouts
- Ergonomic furniture
- CART service
- Possible adjustments to course attendance policy
Other accommodations are available on a case-by-case basis.
For academic accommodations that will be used in the classroom, the student will receive an accommodation letter from our office and will be expected to give it to the course instructor. The student and the course instructor are responsible for discussing ways in which the accommodations will be coordinated in each specific classroom. Instructors handle accommodations differently based on a number of factors. To use academic accommodations successfully, the student should be a good self-advocate and manage the details necessary to arrange accommodations with each instructor. The student can discuss this process with Disability Services. A Disability Service Specialist can assist in this process.
The Disability Services Office determines accommodations on a case by case basis. When evaluating a request for accommodations, the following are considered through an interactive process with the student:
- barriers resulting from the interaction between the disability and campus courses, programs, services, and activities;
- possible accommodations that may remove the barriers;
- whether or not the individual has equal access without accommodations;
- whether or not the essential elements of the program or course are fundamentally altered by the accommodations;
- reasonable and unreasonable accommodation guidelines.
Accommodations are modifications to the ways in which things are usually done. The purpose of effective accommodations is to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate and benefit from college services and programs.
Arapahoe Community College is not required to offer or provide an accommodation, to admit or continue to admit an individual with a disability to any course, program, service or activity, or to provide educational opportunities and other services when:
- the educational standards or mission of Arapahoe Community College would be substantially altered;
- the nature of the course, program, service or activity would be fundamentally altered;
- the student is not otherwise qualified (with or without accommodations) to meet the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in an education course, program, service or activity;
- an undue financial or administrative hardship (college-wide) would be caused by the accommodation; and
- if the individual would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
Additionally, ACC is not required to provide accommodations of a personal nature, such as a personal care attendant or equipment for personal use.
Students who have questions or concerns regarding the denial of accommodations or possible discriminatory action may request a review by contacting the Disability Services Office. This review will include consultation with the Assistant Director of the Disability Services Office and any other relevant parties. If, after this review, the student continues to believe he or she has been discriminated against due to disability, he or she may contact the ADA Coordinator/Director in a timely manner to file a civil rights complaint (AP4-31a). Forms are available online or at the Student Affairs Office.
Arapahoe Community College recognizes its responsibility to help facilitate a campus-wide climate that does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of disability. The responsibility of upholding a climate that allows for equal access to all campus opportunities is share equally among all faculty, staff, and students.