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What is an Accommodation?

An accommodation is a legally mandated modification or service that gives a student with a disability an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational process.

From one perspective accommodations can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Changes to a classroom environment or task
  • Removal of architectural barriers
  • Modifications to policies, practices or procedures
  • Provision of auxiliary aids and services, and
  • Other adaptations or modifications that enable a student to enjoy equal access to the benefits and privileges of the college’s programs, services and activities.

Reasonable Accommodations

The law requires colleges and universities to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, without compromising academic standards. Disability Support Services (DSS) determines reasonable accommodations on an individual basis . The student voluntarily provides their instructors with a letter from DSS, outlining appropriate accommodations. Academic and other accommodations include, but are not limited to: testing accommodations, adaptive technology services, and assistance in arranging other support services (e.g., interpreters, note-takers, scribes, and readers).

The best accommodations are unique to the individual and can develop from a cooperative relationship between the faculty member and the student , utilizing the assistance of DSS as needed. Instructors are encouraged to facilitate an open and comfortable line of communication between themselves and their students by including a statement in their syllabi.

An example is:

“Any student who has a documented disability and is in need of academic accommodations should notify the professor of this course and contact Disability Support Services (609-771-3199). Accommodations are individualized and in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 (as amended).”

Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations are services provided to allow students with disabilities to have an equal educational opportunity. Examples include: extended test time, interpreters, note-takers, reader services, and alternate format materials.

What Accommodations Won’t Be Provided?

  • Personal devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids or glasses, and personal services such as assistance with eating, toileting or dressing
  • Accommodations that lower or change classroom standards
  • Accommodations that would change the essence of a program

Accommodation Responsibilities

Disability Support Services is responsible to:

  • Publicize how to request accommodations
  • Maintain written procedures for handling accommodations
  • Verify student’s disabilities
  • Approve the use of specific accommodations
  • Lead role in arranging and providing accommodations in a timely manner
  • Respect and maintain a student’s right to privacy about disability information and accommodations
  • Provide information of grievance policies and procedures

Students are responsible for:

  • Registering with DSS
  • Providing professional¬†documentation of disability
  • Knowing your specific needs as they relate to your disability and how the documentation supports these needs
  • Requesting accommodations
  • Working cooperatively with DSS to determine and implement accommodations
  • Requesting accommodations as far in advance as possible
  • Maintaining the academic and conduct standards of the college
  • Talking with your instructors, using their office hours, having the faculty accommodation letter from DSS with you

Faculty /Staff members are responsible for:

  • Complying with the college’s policies and procedures for providing accommodations
  • Notifying students that accommodations are available either by putting this information on a class syllabus and/or by announcing it in class
  • Setting and enforcing academic conduct standards
  • Determining essential elements of the course or program
  • Collaborating with the student and DSS in arranging and providing accommodations
  • Permitting the use of approved accommodations
  • Respecting and maintaining a student’s right to privacy about his or her disability

Campus Organizations and Event Planning Committees are responsible for:

  • Including accommodation statements in all advertisements and registration materials for events and activities
  • Complying with the college’s policies and procedures for providing accommodations
  • Respecting and maintaining a student’s right to privacy about his or her disability