Frequently Asked Questions About Accommodations
What are "Disability Support Services"?
While the college does have an ADA coordinator, the college does not have an education specialist assigned to work only with disability students. Counselors, located in Amherst Hall, coordinate the accommodations for students who have disabilities with the faculty and staff who work with them.
Each student will be assigned a counselor of record who will be the advisor and resource as the student transitions into the college community. While the counselor will serve as a liaison between the student and other members of the college, it is the student�s responsibility to work with their individual teachers after accommodations have been awarded to determine how to implement selected accommodations.
Who can be served through disability support services?
Students who have properly documented disabilities such as: visual, hearing, psychiatric, physical, and learning disabilities.
Services are also available to students with temporary disabilities who may need some type of temporary accommodation while they are dealing with their temporary condition.
What types of accommodations are available?
- In addition to the same services offered to all students, the counseling center will coordinate classroom accommodations such as interpreters, note takers, readers.
- Accommodations vary depending on the disability.
- Coordinate process of getting necessary classroom materials such as books.
How are accommodations made?
Appropriate accommodations are made on a case by case basis and are based on complete and current documentation of the individual's disability.
Students are encouraged to apply for accommodations at least six weeks before the semester begin. It can take up to six weeks to get some accommodations in place especially if special books, materials, or equipment is required. Be aware that electronic versions of textbooks must be ordered from the publisher and that some publishers require that the book be purchased before they will release an electronic version of the book. CVCC does not purchase books for disability students.
Failure to apply early can delay getting your accommodations in place in time for the first day of classes. We cannot provide accommodations until your file is complete and all approval forms have been signed by you, the counselor and the appropriate administrators.
What is considered "documentation" of disability?
Documentation is written proof that a disability exists. This is especially important with invisible disabilities such as ADHD, LD, etc. Even with obvious physical disabilities, documentation is necessary because it provides the basis upon which DDS can determine appropriate accommodations.
The documentation submitted to CVCC must be signed by a qualified professional and must be mailed, faxed, or hand-carried in an envelope sealed by the professional. The ADA Coordinator and Counselor of Record reserve the right to refuse documentation that is hand-carried by the student. CVCC does not pay for testing.
What kind of documentation must I provide?
Documentation of your disability must be current. An IEP or 504 plans from your high school will not suffice as appropriate documentation. Documentation must provide a current diagnosis of your disability and its impact on your academic performance or participation.
For ADHD/ADD and Learning disabilities, results from an individually administered measure of academic functioning which minimally assesses performance in reading, writing, and math, and is normed (tested) appropriately for the chronological age/education level of the student. This means that the tests must be adult normed. Students who were tested before the 11th grade generally are not tested on adult normed tests.
For all other disabilities, any individually administered measure/evaluation deemed appropriate for the diagnosis by an examiner or medical professional.
Reports must include all test scores, specific standard scores & grade equivalents & health, physical, or mental assessments appropriate for the diagnosis, a specific diagnosis or summary of findings AND a list of accommodations suggested by the examiner or medical professional.
Any additional information, such as a history of accommodations, to help CVCC Counselors insure the most appropriate accommodations are provided. (Please note that an IEP or 504 plan is generally not detailed enough and lacks adequate supportive information to be used as the sole source of documentation.)
What is considered current documentation?
This depends on your disability. In the case of a learning disability, current documentation consists of testing results obtained within the last three (3) years.
In the case of a physical disability, health impairments, or mental disability, a report that identifies the current condition, treatment, and implications for academic performance would suffice. Documentation must indicate an impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual (i.e. caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and/or working). Documentation must also provide recommendations for accommodations.
Who pays for the evaluation/documentation if I do not have current documentation?
Unfortunately, CVCC cannot pay for your evaluation. We will attempt to refer you to community resources that may be able to assist you.
Where do I get documentation?
Documentation can come from a variety of sources which include among others:
- The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Your school district (provided the test instruments and scores are included)
- Private physicians; licensed psychologists
- Private rehabilitation companies
- Veterans Administration
- Other offices services students with disabilities at other colleges or universities where you have received services
How will my documentation be used?
- To certify that a disability is present
- To demonstrate that the disability causes a substantial limitation to a major life activity such as learning
- To establish eligibility for specific accommodations that will help even the playing field with your non-disabled peers
Can Accommodations be provided without written documentation?
Yes, on a temporary basis, when the disability is clearly evident (for example a person using a wheelchair; a person who is blind; a student with a broken limb)
Can faculty or staff see my documentation?
The details of your specific disability are private and only you can give permission for this information to be available to faculty or staff.
Only two circumstances will grant faculty or staff access to your documentation and disability information:
- You give permission for the documentation to be shared.
- That there is a need to know. This usually occurs when a threat to harm a person or property is known.