Academic Accommodations Handbook

INTRODUCTION

The Handbook for Students with Disabilities has been developed to provide students with an outline of the services provided by Student Academic Accomodations. Please familiarize yourself with the information outlined in the Handbook. If you have additional needs, please contact the office. Student Academic Accomodations (Academic Accomodations) is committed to providing a community that ensures full participation for students. Academic Accomodations provides assistance to students that will facilitate their independence and academic progress. Additionally, Student Academic Accomodations is a resource for faculty and staff members.

HOW DO STUDENTS ACCESS SERVICES?

Students with disabilities who wish to access services should contact Academic Accomodations. Provision of services begins with an intake process during which the functional issues related to the disability are identified and appropriate strategies, resources and accommodations determined.

How do Students Qualify for Services?

Student Academic Accomodations is committed to serving all students with disabilities as defined by federal regulations. Individuals with temporary disabilities are also served by Academic Accomodations.

A qualified person with a disability is:

  • An individual who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity.

The federal legal definition of a disability includes a person who:

1.       Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity.

2.       Has a record of such impairment.

3.       Is regarded as having such impairment.

Students must provide documentation of their disability and their need for accommodation before receiving services. In the case of a medical, physical, or psychological disability, students should submit documentation from a qualified professional stating 1) the nature and severity of the disability, 2) current functional impact, 3) the diagnostic procedures used, and 4) recommendations for assistance.

●        Students diagnosed prior to graduation from an accredited high school may submit the psychoeducational evaluation (or other existing documentation) on file at the respective high school;

●        Students diagnosed after the completion of high school should submit a psychoeducational evaluation performed by an appropriately qualified professional.

Information obtained is confidential and is used solely for the purpose of identifying appropriate support services. Information regarding a student’s disability is only released with permission of the student.

How Does a Student Obtain Services?

Services must be requested by the student each semester. Students must complete a Service Request Form (SRF) to initiate their requests, which should be done prior to or at the beginning of the semester to help ensure timely provision of necessary accommodations. Students must also identify themselves to their instructors to facilitate implementation of the identified classroom accommodations. Consultation among the student, his/her instructor(s), and the Director of Student Academic Accomodations may be necessary for some accommodations. Each student is encouraged to act as his/her own advocate and has the primary responsibility for securing assistance. Early and regular contact with Academic Accomodations  will help ensure the timely identification and provision of services and accommodations.

WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?

Assistance is tailored to the needs of the individual student. Services will be designed in a manner intended to remove barriers which hinder learning and which allow maximum independence. Reasonable accommodations will be based on need, not desire or convenience. Services are intended to provide equal access and equal opportunity.

Academic support services offered, based on individual need, include:

Instructor Notification

To aid students in securing appropriate services, our office provides instructors with written notification of the functional impact of a student’s disability without giving the specified disability. Our office also provides instructors with recommendations for academic accommodations. Students must also identify themselves to their instructor(s) for implementation of the identified classroom accommodations.

Note-taking Assistance

Students may arrange for notetaking assistance by securing a volunteer note-taker or by tape recording lectures. Working with Academic Accomodations to obtain copies of instructor’s lecture notes, as available, is also an alternative.

If the volunteer notetaking option is selected, it is the student’s responsibility to contact Academic Accomodations. A letter will be sent to the student’s instructors requesting an in-class volunteer note-taker solicitation. It is then the student’s responsibility to obtain the volunteer’s name and number from the instructor.

If the recording option is selected and a student does not have a recorder, students may check-out a Livescribe Pen from Student Academic Accomodations as available. Students are responsible for the return of tape recorders and tapes at the conclusion of each semester, or they will be billed for the cost of the equipment.

Alternative Testing

Students with disabilities may request accommodations in course examination requirements or formats. Authorized testing accommodations are designed to assist students in demonstrating skills or acquired knowledge rather than the impact of the disabilities.

For students with disabilities requiring exam accommodations, students need to schedule testing through the Academic Accomodations and the Lasso Center. 

 

Alternative Format Text Materials

Student Academic Accomodations provides assistance to students in obtaining texts in alternative formats (i.e., e-text, digital recording,  braille). If a student is eligible to obtain alternative textbooks and equipment, Academic Accomodations will assist the student in processing application(s) to Learning Ally, formerly RFB&D, and/or Bookshare, or with other publishers if necessary. Academic Accomodations will work with students to order books through his/her own membership, OSU’s institutional membership(s), publishers, and other available resources to obtain required texts.  Students need to identify the required texts as soon as possible to begin this process. Early identification and requests are important in order to ensure timely receipt of materials. Priority enrollment is meant for this purpose.

Students may check-out equipment to play accessible textbooks or use available Assistive Tech Software. Students are responsible for the return of equipment and materials at the conclusion of each semester.

Student Academic Accomodations will scan and/or provide e-text copies of the required text materials. Use of Assistive Technology by students is expected as a means to provide access to printed material. (See “Equipment Loan.”) Training on equipment software use is available.

Interpreter Services

In addition to the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Specialist, freelance interpreters/real-time captionists and local agencies are utilized to provide interpreter services. Students using interpreters/real-time captionists must notify Academic Accomodations, (918-293-4855) as soon as possible of needs. Priority enrollment is meant to assist in early notification. If a class is missed, at least 12-24 hours advance notice is expected. A “no show” or notice less than 12-24 hours will be counted as a “miss,” except in extenuating circumstances. Three misses will result in suspension of services until the student meets with the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Specialist or Director.

Classroom Accessibility

If a student with a disability enrolls in a course that is scheduled in an inaccessible location, the student should notify Academic Accomodations to obtain a change in classroom location.

Accessible Parking Permits

Purchase of a campus parking permit is required for all students/faculty/staff. Permanent or temporary University accessible parking permits are available through the OSUIT Campus Police. Students who have a State accessible license plate/hang tag on their registered campus vehicle can provide documentation of this fact for purchase of a University accessible parking permit. Both accessible and temporary medical permits are for the absolute and specific use of the permit holder only.

Equipment Loan

Student Academic Accomodations has the following equipment available for loan to students. Equipment should be returned, in good condition, at the end of the semester or the student’s Bursar account will be charged for damage or replacement cost.

  • FM System
  • Daisy/MP3 player-digital talking book player for RFB&D disks
  • Hand magnifier- hand-held magnifier (up to 6.5 times)
  • Keyboards-keyboards for one-handed and two-handed typing
  • Mouse/Touch pad-trackball mouse and USB touchpads
  • Oklahoma ABLE Tech resources (as available)
  • Two-track tape players and mini cassette player—typical tape players

 

Assistive Technology

The following software/equipment is available on/off campus.  To access Assistive Technology (AT) software off-campus, go to the AT website on http://access.okstate.edu, then click AT software on campus, then click installation guide for the software.

Software

  • Voice recognition  (Dragon Naturally Speaking) - limited to 20 user licenses
  • Screen reader (JAWS) - campus computer labs
  • Screen magnification (MAGIC) - campus computer labs
  • Scanner/Reader (Open Book, WYNN) - campus computer labs
  • Read&Write Gold (For PC and MAC)

Equipment

  • Cannon Scanner  - LASSO Center, NCAT 3rd Floor
  • CCTV, Optelec  - LASSO Center, NCAT 3rd Floor
  • FM System - LASSO Center, NCAT 3rd Floor
  • Enhanced Vision Magnifier- LASSO Center, NCAT 3rd Floor

Check with Academic Accomodations regarding changes/additions to this list.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

To ensure personal safety in emergency situations, the following guidelines should be observed by students with disabilities in advance of an emergency. Notify instructors and/or classmates of the type of assistance you need during an emergency situation.

In the event of a fire, immediate and complete evacuations are preferred if it can be accomplished in a safe manner. If immediate and complete evacuation is not possible, ask someone to assist you to a “safe area,” such as an enclosed stairwell, until emergency personnel arrive and complete evacuation. The assisting individual should stay with you until emergency personnel arrive. In addition, you should ask a second person to immediately notify emergency personnel of your location and the type of assistance required.  [See enclosed “Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Plans for OSUIT”].

In the event of a tornado warning, you should utilize elevators and proceed to the lowest floor of the building. Request assistance from instructors or classmates if assistance is needed. If elevator use is not possible, then fire evacuation procedures should be followed. Once you have reached the lowest possible floor, remain in the corridors away from windows and exterior doors.

COMPLAINTS

Students may register complaints regarding physical, programmatic, or attitudinal barriers they encounter at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology using the “Incident Report Form” available upon request. This procedure has been implemented to: 1) identify physical access problems on the campus; and 2) use feedback from students to improve the delivery of services.

Request for Review of Provision of Accommodations

Students who wish to contest either a decision of Academic Accomodations regarding requested accommodations or curricular accommodations or a decision of a faculty member to not provide recommended accommodations can initiate a review through the Academic Accomodations Office.”

External Agencies

Students who are not satisfied with the response they receive may file a complaint with any of the following agencies:

Office of Disability Concerns

2401 NW 23rd, Suite 90

Oklahoma City, OK 73107-2423

800-522-8224 (V) or 405-521-3756 (V)

405-522-6706 (TTY)

Website:  http://www.odc.ok.gov

Office for Civil Rights

Kansas City Office

8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037

Kansas City, MO 64114-3302

816-268-0550 (V)

877-521-2172 (TTY)

Website:  http://www.ed.gov/ocr

U. S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Civil Rights Division

Disability Rights Section –NYA

Washington, D.C. 20530

800-514-0301 (V)

800-514-0383 (TTY)

Website: http://www.usdoj.gov/

 

Addendum: Testing & Documentation Standards for Disability Service Providers in Higher Education

Standards and practices regarding how people are diagnosing Learning Disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD-with and without hyperactivity) still vary widely. For service providers in higher education it is a concern nationally. In addition to identifying the presence of a disability, the documentation is utilized to establish a "substantial limitation" to learning (due to the disability) as stated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to aid in determining appropriate accommodations. Having a disability diagnosis does not necessarily entitle a person to, nor require, accommodations. The presence of a disability and the fact that it "substantially limits one or more major life activity (e.g. learning)" establishes such a need. These are the criteria used in providing services in postsecondary education.

While it is not practical or desirable to create specific protocols for documenting every possible condition that might be considered a disability, it is helpful to provide a clearer understanding in the preferred profiles for the more common conditions. The Seven Essential Elements of Quality Disability Documentation noted below provides that direction in order to:

  • Help ensure that all documentation guidelines are consistent,
  • Offer direction for the case-by-case review of documentation that doesn’t fit the established protocol for a specific disability,
  • Clarify specific guidelines for diagnosticians, and
  • Provide information to individuals seeking services.

Preferred documentation is more helpful when it describes the condition, validates the need for accommodation(s) AND includes information to support educational planning. It also should anticipate accommodation needs in new contexts and facilitate referrals to outside services and agencies.

Disability documentation for the purpose of providing accommodations must both establish disability and provide adequate information on the functional impact of the disability so that effective accommodations can be identified.

All documentation should be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis. Examine the impact of a disability on the individual and within the specific context of the request for accommodations. There is no list of covered disabilities or accepted diagnostic criteria. OSUIT’s documentation policy is flexible, allowing for the consideration of alternative methods and sources of documentation, as long as the essential goal of adequately describing the current impact of the disability is met.

Determination of a disability doesn’t require the use of any specific language. Clinicians’ training or philosophical approaches may result in their use of euphemistic phrases, rather than specific diagnostic labels; this practice should not be automatically interpreted to suggest that a disability does or does not exist.

Presented documentation can be augmented through interview. Student Academic Accomodations (Academic Accomodations) may contact the evaluator, as necessary, for clarification of any information (test results, conclusions, recommendations, etc.) contained in documentation. An interview, filtered by the professional judgment, is extremely valuable in substantiating the existence of a disability, understanding its impacts and identifying appropriate accommodations.

Determination of accommodations is an interactive process. The individual with a disability is an excellent source of information on strategies that maximize access. In the context of documentation and accommodation planning, the individual is a rich, reliable, and valid source of information on the impact of the disability and the effectiveness of accommodations. The individual may be provided with his/her first choice of accommodation or an alternative, effective accommodation determined by the institution. While objective confirmation (documentation) is legitimate, so are the lived experiences of individuals.

Documentation of a specific disability does not translate directly into specific accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are individually determined and should be based on the functional impact of the condition and its likely interaction with the environment (course assignments, program requirements, physical design, etc.). As such, accommodation recommendations may vary (for) individuals with the “same” disability diagnosis and from environment to environment for the same individual.

Disability documentation should be treated in a confidential manner and shared only on a need-to-know basis. Disability-related information will be collected and maintained in Student Academic Accomodations (Academic Accomodations) in secure files with limited access.

Information on the individual’s disability is only one component of providing access. Many barriers to full participation reside in the environment (physical, curricular, attitudinal, informational) where proactive redesign can favorably impact sustainable access. Student Academic Accomodations (Academic Accomodations) works to increase overall accessibility through system change that makes the institution more inclusive and reduces the need for individual accommodation.

Seven Essential Elements of Quality Disability Documentation:

1. The credentials of the evaluator(s)

2. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability

3. A description of the diagnostic methodology used

4. A description of the current functional limitations While relatively recent documentation is recommended in most circumstances, common sense and discretion in accepting older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying is recommended. It is important to remember that documentation is not time-bound; the need for recent documentation depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual’s condition.

5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability

6. A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications

7. Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services