Student Disability Services
Faculty and Staff Handbook Appendix 6: Student Disability Services
Student Disability Services Policies and Procedures
This policy has been adopted by Nashville State Community College in an effort to identify, prevent, and/or remedy discriminatory barriers and practices related to reasonable accommodations and equal access for qualified students with disabilities. The policy is in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- A Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. Written previous diagnosis of such an impairment will be regarded as proof of its presence.
- Qualified individuals with disabilities are defined as individuals who, with or without reasonable modifications and accommodations, meet the essential eligibility requires for programs, services, and activities offered by Nashville State.
- Physical impairments are defined as any physiological disorders, or conditions, cosmetic disfigurements or anatomical losses affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
- Mental impairments are defined as any mental or physiological disorders, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.
- Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments for qualified individuals with documented physical or mental limitations which ensure that requirements do not discriminate on the basis of the disability. The reasonable accommodation should reduce or eliminate unnecessary barriers between the individual's abilities and the requirements for performance unless the requirement to be demonstrated is essential to the program of instruction being pursued by the student or is relevant to a licensing requirement.
Note: It is the obligation of the student to request reasonable accommodations. The student also has the right and may refuse reasonable accommodations.
- Undue hardships are defined as actions requiring significant difficulty and expense. Hardship is based upon the institutional rather than a departmental budget.
Nashville State prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities and encourages full participation in all College programs, physical facilities, activities, and events. The College seeks to provide reasonable accommodations, which will ensure that "no otherwise qualified student with a disability" shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination.
The Student Disabilities Director is responsible for resolving all classroom and instructional issues.
Procedures for Policy Implementation
It is the student's responsibility to voluntarily and confidentially disclose information regarding the nature and extent of the disability. The College does not assume responsibility for providing accommodations or services to students who have not identified themselves as having qualifying disabilities.
The process of identification begins by registering with the Student Disabilities Director. This is the first step in arranging special accommodations and assistance. Students will receive accommodations only if appropriate verified documentation of a disability is on file and/or not over three years old. Medical, educational, psychological, and/or other evaluative information is considered documentations. The Student Disabilities Director will maintain the documentation in a secure and confidential place.
Nashville State will be responsible for the following:
- Procedures by which a student may disclose the presence of a disability and request the accommodations or auxiliary aids he/she believes are necessary for obtaining equal access to, or participation in, college programs and activities.
- Procedures by which confirmation of the student's disability and assessment of the appropriateness of the requested accommodations or auxiliary aids will be made.
- Procedures by which approved accommodations or auxiliary aids can be arranged or obtained; and
- Procedures shall be provided to the student in the most appropriate format, i.e., written, Braille, audio-tape.
All procedures above are located in the Student Disability Director's office and in the Library.
Students with disabilities:
- Shall be expected to make timely and appropriate disclosures and requests and to engage in appropriate and responsible levels of self-help in obtaining and arranging for accommodations or auxiliary aids;
- Will be required to submit medical or other diagnostic documentation of disability and limitations and may be required to participate in such additional evaluation of limitations as may appropriately be required prior to receiving requested accommodations; and
- Shall first seek funding for specialized support services (transportation, tuition, text books, hearing aids, and other individually prescribed devices) through the Tennessee Human Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Placement Tests and Examinations
Appropriate methods of alternative testing for students with disabilities will be determined on an individual basis, taking into consideration the nature of the disability. With adequate advance notice, the Student Disabilities Director will provide and assist with alternative testing services, equipment, readers, or writers. Proctored tests which require extra time will be given in a secure, quiet environment conducive to educationally sound testing procedures. Test accommodation requests are initiated by the student and are coordinated by the Student Disabilities Director with advance notice.
Use of Auxiliary Aids
Auxiliary aids include any service, adaptive equipment, or other educational aid which will enable a student with a disability to participate in or benefit from the educational process. The Student Disabilities Director and the student will determine what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary. Primary consideration for assistance will be given to the student's request. Such accommodations will be employed only when deemed necessary and as long as the alternative method in non-discriminatory to nature, is not unduly limiting to the educational process of the student, and is reasonable for the individual circumstances.
"Undue hardship" relative to the purchase of auxiliary aids is to be determined by the President or his designee and is to be based on the overall resources of the College rather than the resources of the individual department involved.
While funding for accommodations to ensure equal access to educational opportunities is provided by the Institution through the usual budget process, the funding for auxiliary aids is primarily the responsibility of the state vocational rehabilitation agency. There may, however, be situations where a student is not eligible to be a client of the vocational rehabilitation agency. In such cases, the primary responsibility for ensuring reasonable accommodations for the student shifts to the College.
Current auxiliary aids may include but are not limited to:
Readers, tutors, large print material, voice capability microcomputers, sign language interpreters, laser printers, scribes, Jaws Software (scans text and converts to text), note takers, magnifiers, Franklin Spellers, tape recorders, calculators, electronic dictionary, FM systems for the hearing impaired, headphones, large typewritten print, Braille "N" Speak, applications for Recordings for the Blind.
Individually prescribed devices, personal care attendants, readers for personal use, or other study devices of a personal nature are NOT considered auxiliary aids.
Academic Programs should be modified, as necessary, to ensure that they do not discriminate against qualified applicants or students with disabilities. These modifications should not affect the substance of the educational program or compromise educational standards, nor should they intrude upon legitimate academic freedom. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements (including credit load), substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degrees, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted. For example, a degree program may permit an otherwise qualified student who is deaf to request a course change. The Student Disabilities Director, in collaboration with department heads, will act as the liaison in this process.
Academic requirements that are essential to programs of instruction or to any directly related licensing requirement are not regarded as discriminatory.
Program Examinations and Evaluations
Program Examinations and Evaluations or other procedures for evaluating a student's academic achievement should be adapted to permit evaluation of achievement of students with disabilities. The results of the evaluation must represent the student's achievement in the program or activity, rather than reflecting the student's disabilities. It is the student's responsibility to request test accommodations at enrollment time or according to the procedures outlined by the institution. Testing accommodations may include but need not be limited to:
- Enlarged materials
- Oral test
- Brailled material
- Taped test
- Extended time
- Preferential seating (front)
- Alternate format (color copy)
- Environment free of distractions
Voluntary Acceptance of Aids, Accommodations and Separate Program
All services, programs, and activities offered by the College are to be administered in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified students with disabilities. It is permissible to develop separate or different programs only when necessary to provide individuals with disabilities a program that is equal in effectiveness to that provided for other students. Even when separate programs are permitted, students with disabilities cannot be denied the opportunity to participate in programs that are not separate and different. Students with disabilities may not be required to accept an accommodation, service, aid, or separate program designed for them even when the benefit to do so may be obvious. Such services are to be accepted strictly on a voluntary basis.
Communication and Information
The Student Disabilities Director will take measures appropriate to the individual needs in communicating information to persons with sensory impairments, including readers, qualified interpreters, written materials, notepad, pen TDD's, or other special devices. With adequate advance notice, information in the college's publications will be made available in alternate format upon request by individuals with disabilities.
Campus buildings, pathways, parking, and other physical facilities at Nashville State are to be accessible so that no individual with a disability is denied access. The student is responsible for making physical access needs known with reasonable advance notice to allow time for relocation. Requests for physical access should be made in writing to the college ADA Coordinator.
Student Disabilities Program
The Student Disabilities Director will be responsible for:
- Maintaining and registering self-identified students with documented disabilities;
- Coordinating and providing support services to individuals with disabilities;
- Monitoring and documenting verification of disabilities;
- Developing procedures and arrangements for appropriate accommodations;
- Encouraging and promoting self-sufficiency and individual personal growth in the overall educational experience as it relates to programs, policies, procedures, services, activities, facilities, and resources;
- Serving as a liaison and advocate for individuals with disabilities between the faculty and students in resolving disputes and/or issues. Procedures have been established for resolution of student concerns involving academic and instructional accommodations. Students filing a complaint or grievance should go to the college ADA Coordinator to obtain procedures;
- Referring students to Security to obtain special handicapped parking permits;
- Providing continual disability awareness training for faculty and/or students; and
- Assessing and recommending aid/adaptive technological needs of students with disabilities.
Since the College frequently holds classes, programs, or activities in other facilities, steps should be taken to use facilities that are accessible. Contractual or lease agreements should reflect efforts to ensure accessibility.