your college or university Disability Accommodation Process.
If you are a student with a disability or disabling condition, you are entitled to reasonable and appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services that provide you with equal educational opportunities at your college or university. Make sure to check with your institution's designated office for determining eligibility and facilitating student access in academic settings.
The disability verification process is a systematized way of verifying and acquiring the information with regards to proving the truth in a person who is claiming that s/he is under the disability category. Before an individual will be able to benefit, s/he must supply sufficient proof that they are indeed a disabled person.
Typically, to request accommodations at your college or university, follow the steps below:
1. Complete your college or university disability verification process.
Once you place an order and complete our intake assessment, you'll be connected with an in-state-licensed provider. Over a series of therapeutic and administrative sessions, your nearby licensed mental health provider will assess, develop, determine, and document your disability.
This disability determination can be performed by any licensed mental health or medical provider.
2. Submit supporting college or university documentation.
That documentation, along with other appropriate paperwork, will be provided to your college or university, establishing your non-obvious disability and disability-related need for academic accommodations.
See below for an example of our documentation.
3. Schedule an Intake.
Finally, your college or university will review your eligibility for accommodations based on the information provided. If eligible, they'll collaboratively work with you to develop an appropriate 504 Accommodation Plan based on your self-report and supporting documentation.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination based on a disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance including public preschool, elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. Under Section 504, students with disabilities have rights to reasonable accommodations.
Accommodations for your college or university.
Accommodations are a means of providing qualified students college or university with disabilities a similar opportunity to benefit from their educational experience as their non-disabled counterparts. The obligation to provide accommodations for students with disabilities is not a new concept. Most publicly funded educational institutions have been subject to similar obligations for many years under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Whether you have been aware of it or not, your college or university has probably been providing some type of accommodations for students with disabilities for quite some time.
During the 1995-96 academic year, six percent of first year students reported having a disability that affected hearing, speech, mobility or vision, but that number is increasing. In fact, current reports suggest that 1 out of 11 college students have reported that they have a disability (U.S. Dept. of Education, 1999). Not every student in your college or university with a disability will be eligible for or need an accommodation. However, as more students with disabilities enroll in post-secondary education, the need for accommodations will increase.
Introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark civil rights legislation, was enacted in 1990. ADA’s purpose is to ensure that people with disabilities are granted equal access to employment, public services, places of public accommodation, transportation, and telecommunications.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by public entities. These provisions include publicly funded educational institutions such as universities, colleges, and technical schools. Privately funded educational institutions are subject to similar non-discrimination requirements under Title III of the Act and employers are covered under Title I.
The prohibition against discrimination is very broad and encompasses all the programs, activities, and services that your institution provides. In general the Act requires… that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from or participate in your services.
A major thrust of the ADA is to ensure that people with disabilities gain access to the mainstream of American society. Access to education is one key to opening the doors of mainstream society to people with disabilities.
One way college or university strives to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access is by providing accommodations for qualified people with disabilities. Accommodations are a necessary part of meeting the requirements of the ADA. The college’s obligation to provide accommodations extends to prospective and enrolled students, employees, members of the public who may wish to attend public events or activities sponsored by the college, and to any other individual who is eligible to attend, enroll in or benefit from the college’s programs, services or activities.
What Is, and Isn't, A Disability?
The term disability refers to the inability or the lack of capacitance in doing a particular task. According to the World Health Organization, fifteen percent of the global population are deemed disabled.
A disabling condition is defined as a “diagnosable substance abuse disorder, serious mental illness or disability, including the co-occurrence of two or more of these conditions.” For many cases, evidence of the disabling condition must include third-party documentation of the disability, such as a signed declaration from a qualified healthcare professional.
List of disabilities.
Eligible disabilities include:
- physical disabilities
- deaf/hard of hearing
- blind/low vision
- learning disabilities
- acquired brain injury
- attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- intellectual disabilities
- autism spectrum disabilities
- mental health disabilities
- other disabilities which limit one or more major life activities and which imposes an educational limitation (Title 5 Regulations, Section 56032-56044, 56002).
At a minimum, our documentation will address:
- Functional impact(s)/limitation(s) on the client, particularly as it applies to the residential setting.
- Frequency, duration, and severity of the impact(s), as well as exacerbating factors.
- Treatment plan, as well as specific required maintenance regimens.
Our Disability Documentation will contain:
- The credentials of the licensed mental health care practitioner.
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability.
- A description of the diagnostic methodology used.
- A description of the current functional limitations.
- A description of the expected progression of stability of the disability.
- A description of the current accommodations, services or modifications.
- Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive services, assistive services, compensatory services, and/or collateral support services.
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How This Works.
Important note: a qualified evaluator is considered a health care professional who is licensed to treat the condition being assessed. Additionally, family members are not considered appropriate evaluators for a student, regardless of professional qualifications.
This document was supported in whole or in part by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H324M980109). However, the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred. Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document, however please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material. This report is also available on the web
Portions developed by: Sean Lancaster, Daryl Mellard and Melissa Krueger of the University of Kansas CRL, Division of Adult Studies.