College Policy 2.06
Servicing Students with Disabilities
Part 1. Responsibility
At Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) is the designated office that obtains and files disability-related documents, certifies eligibility for services, determines reasonable accommodations and develops plans for the provision of academic accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are provided to ensure access to all College courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities, including those that are off-site; such as field trips, internships, and field work.
OSD provides or arranges a variety of auxiliary services for the College, such as sign language interpreting, document conversion, assistive technology, exam modifications and academic assistance. Students with disabilities are also offered other services, including information, referral, advocacy, study skills assistance, advising and other individualized services that may be needed for equal access to campus.
Part 2. Certifying Services
Staff from OSD request disability-related documents from the appropriate licensed professional to certify a student as having a disability and to determine reasonable accommodations. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student. If the initial documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable accommodations, the office has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost of obtaining additional documentation is also borne by the student.
Students reporting learning or attention difficulties are interviewed and screened by OSD free of charge and are given referrals for preliminary testing on-campus or for comprehensive and diagnostic testing in the community. The student is responsible for testing costs after the initial screening. Staff from OSD certify that a student has a disability and register disabled students for services provided through OSD; students who are found to be nondisabled are referred to other campus and community resources for assistance. Pending receipt of documentation, OSD reserves the right to deny services or accommodations.
Part 3. Determining Accommodations
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity. An equal opportunity means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly situated student without a disability. The College is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified disabled student. To determine reasonable accommodations, OSD may seek information from appropriate faculty and staff regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities. Final determination of reasonable accommodations is made by OSD. Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:
- The barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment;
- The possible accommodations that might remove barriers;
- Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility without accommodations; and
- Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations.
Part 4. Accommodations
Reasonable accommodations are individualized and flexible, based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment. Below is a partial list of common academic accommodations:
- accessible classroom/location/furniture
- advance notice of assignments
- alternative ways of completing assignments (e.g., oral presentation versus written paper)
- assistive computer technology
- assistive listening devices
- auxiliary aids and services (notetakers, lab or library assistants, readers, interpreters)
- captions for film and video material
- course or program modifications
- reduced course load
- document conversion (alternative print formats: Braille, large print, tape, electronic, raised lettering)
- early syllabus
- exam modifications
- alternative test formats, such as providing a reader or writer, computer, or basic calculator for exams, quiet exam room, or extended time
- priority registration
- study skills and strategies training
- time extensions
- taped lectures
Part 5. Obtaining Academic Accommodations
- Disabled students who require accommodations must seek assistance at OSD in a timely manner, usually prior to the start of classes or as soon as a disability becomes known.
- Disabled students will provide documentation of their disabilities and how they limit their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities of the College.
- OSD will file official documentation of the disability, including information about the manifestations of the disability.
- OSD will ensure that disability-related documents are kept confidential and shared with College personnel on a limited and need-to-know basis only.
- OSD and the disabled student will discuss the interaction between the disability and the academic environment and determine reasonable accommodations. Consultation with faculty, staff, and outside professionals regarding essential elements and reasonable accommodations will occur in situations that are new, complex, or sensitive.
- OSD will outline the process for the provision of reasonable accommodations and will present this verbally and in writing to the student. In determining reasonable accommodations, the following questions will be answered: what accommodations will be provided; why they will be provided; when they will be provided; who is responsible for providing them; and how they will be provided. Additional procedures for use of interpreters, assistive listening devices, captioned videos and assistive technology devices will be given in writing to the student.
- OSD will write individualized letters to faculty members certifying that the student has a disability and stating the determined reasonable accommodations. The provision of accommodations is often shared among faculty, the student and OSD. The letter also invites faculty to contact OSD if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations. Instructors will be expected to assist with the provision of accommodations when reasonable and necessary. Instructors are not expected to compromise essential elements of the course or evaluation standards.
- The student with a disability will be responsible for delivering the individualized letters to faculty. If the faculty member is not available, the student should request assistance from OSD.
- Disabled students will be responsible for contacting OSD if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely way. OSD will work with College personnel and disabled students to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations. Students should follow the College grievance policy if they have not received timely and appropriate service from OSD.
- Faculty is responsible for contacting OSD if an accommodation interferes with the ability of the student to meet the essential requirements for a course or program. OSD will work with the student and faculty to provide appropriate accommodations.
Date effective: 7/1/1999
Date last amended: 7/1/1999