The Role of Access Services
The Access Services Director works with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that students with physical, medical, learning, or psychological disabilities are provided with equal access to all college programs, activities, and services in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The Director advises students about the College's policy, procedure, and resources, reviews students' clinical documentation, and collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that College requirements and procedures do not discriminate and/or have the effect of discriminating against individuals with disabilities. If this is found to be the case, accommodations may need to be made. These accommodations help to minimize, as much as possible, the limitations resulting from the disability and are designed to provide the individual with an equal opportunity to participate in College programs and activities. At the same time, however, the College is not required to make a modification that it can demonstrate would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, cause substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum, cause a substantial alteration in the manner in which services are provided and/or create undue financial or administrative burden.
Accommodations and the Faculty Role
Typical academic accommodations may include extended time on tests, alternative formats for textbooks, elimination of physical barriers and/or a quieter room to take an exam.
Faculty members are consulted in advance if there is any question about whether an accommodation will alter a fundamental course or program requirement. In such situations, the deliberative process is used to determine an outcome.
Faculty members are also contacted in advance if we discover that a student’s needs require additional preparation time (e.g., arranging scribes, lab assistants, electronic course materials, captioning, etc.). Some course materials (e.g., electronic texts, recordings, Braille or tactile diagrams) can take weeks to arrange. For these classes, it is very important that faculty are able to provide textbook and Moodle information to Access Services no later than Dec. 1 for the spring semester and no later than June 1 for the fall semester. Faculty need to be aware that, if accessible materials are needed but not available, then materials cannot be used with any student in the class.