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AP 5140 Disabled Student Programs and Services

References:

29 U.S. Code Sections 701 et seq.;
NWCCU 2020 Standard 2. G. 1.
ORS 659.850
The Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, CFR 104.43
AP 5530 - Complaint and Grievance Procedure


Rogue Community College maintains a plan for the provision of programs and services to students with disabilities designed to assure that they have equality of access to classes, programs, activities, and events.

RCC abides by The Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both laws were created to insure non-discrimination and directly impact post-secondary education.

Americans with Disabilities as Amended, 2008 (ADAAA) & Section 504 and the Rehabilitation Act 1973 defines a disability as “A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; a record of such impairment; being regarded as having such an impairment.”  Access and Disability Resources (Access) at RCC operates from a social progressive definition, that disability is a result of the interaction between the individual and the environment. 

Examples of disabilities include:  learning disabilities, blindness, deafness, mental health diagnoses such as PTS, ADHD, depression and anxiety. Traumatic brain injury and medical diagnoses such as chronic migraines, lupus, and diabetes are also included.   

The ADA states ". . .no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity."

According to Section 504, "Any institution receiving federal funds cannot discriminate on basis of disability and must provide equal access."

The College is required to provide students with appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in a school's program. Accommodations must be effective and remove the barrier, be appropriately related to the student’s disability/functional limitation, and maintain essential elements of the course. Accommodations must not impose a direct threat to others or a student’s self, give a student an unfair advantage, be of a personal nature, or present an undue hardship.

Staffing
At RCC, the Access and Disability Resource office consists of an Access and Disability Resource Coordinator, two Access and Disability Resources Specialists, an Administrative Assistant and generally two student workers that provide services to RCC students at all three campuses.

Intake Process
In order for Access and Disability Resources to provide reasonable and appropriate academic accommodations for disabilities, a student is asked to complete an Access application, provide documentation, meet with the Access office, learn to identify and then request the accommodations that the student is eligible to utilize. Students who do not have documentation at the time of their appointment may be provided provisional accommodations for one term.  Decisions by Access on accommodation requests are made within a week and in some instances on the same day. Third party information may not be necessary to confirm a disability or evaluate requests for accommodations when a condition or its impacts are readily apparent or comprehensively described.

When there is not adequate information to make a decision on accommodations, additional documentation that is specifically tailored to a functional limitation will be requested.  A student can request their own documentation from the student’s providers, such as health care providers, high school or college records, mental health care providers, the Veteran’s Administration (myhealthyvet.gov), or from Vocational Rehabilitation. Students may utilize the Access Verification form and give it to their providers to complete or provide Access with copies of their medical records, evaluations, or diagnostic reports.  Access is also able to send signed releases of information to provider’s offices, high schools and colleges to request student’s documentation. 

Student Rights
In accordance with federal law, FERPA, documentation regarding a student’s disability is kept in a separate, confidential digital file managed by Access and Disability Resources and will not be a part of a student’s academic record.

Knowledge of a student’s specific disability is not disclosed to individuals outside of Access and Disability Resources.  Access will only disclose a student’s disability with a student’s written consent.  Exceptions of this requirement include: a threat to a student’s self or others; a past, present or potential threat to a child or vulnerable adult; or if RCC receives a court order to disclose the information.

Students are informed of their rights and responsibilities in regards to the ADAAA and Section 504 during their intake appointment with Access.  Student are provided information to contact Access should an accommodation not be provided by an instructor.  Should an accommodation be disputed by an instructor or department, Access will provide support for the student to find a solution. If an accommodation is denied by Access, students may pursue a compliant or grievance through the RCC AP 5530 - Complaint and Grievance Procedure.

Accommodations
Academic accommodations are modifications or adjustments that provide equal access and opportunity so students can participate in RCC courses, facilities, services, and activities. Academic accommodations are determined on an individual student basis, based on student self-report, documentation, and functional limitations.

There are a variety accommodations, both low tech and high tech, available to students. Access and Disability Resources provides training to students on the use of assistive technology.

Adaptive/assistive equipment and technology is loaned per term, placed in classrooms, or available by appointment in the Adaptive Lab on an as-needed basis for qualifying students. Examples of adaptive/assistive equipment and technologies include: adaptive tables which are tables at various heights for a person in a wheelchair, adaptive chairs which are ergonomically designed chairs for people with physical disabilities, digital voice recorders, assisted listening devices, Echo Smartpens, Echo desktop software, and computer software such as JAWS and Dragon Naturally Speaking.

ASL interpreting, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Typewell are available to assist student who are deaf or hard-of-hearing in both credit and non-credit college courses.  These services are also available for related activities such as conferences and meetings with other college staff including Advisors, Counselors, and instructors. Interpreting services for all RCC sponsored events are available.

Options for note-taking services include: Note Taking Express, use of digital recorders and/or Smartpens. Note Taking Express is a full featured note taking service online that uses a student's uploaded recordings from their lectures to have typed notes produced in 24 to 48 hour turnaround times. Lectures are recorded via the NTE Hub on a mobile device or in conjunction with another digital recording medium.

A digital recorder or Smartpen can be checked out from the College library with a printout of a student’s Letter of Introduction verifying this accommodation.

Students with verified print disabilities may be eligible for electronic textbooks (eBooks). This means that students may be eligible to receive their textbooks as a PDF or Word file. A PDF file can be enlarged for ease of reading on the screen of a computer, laptop, tablet or phone and used with a text reader which will read the book in an electronic voice.

Access and Disability Resources provides accommodations for exams for students who have been approved for this accommodation. Class exams are proctored and may include accommodations such as a reader and/or a scribe, access to a word processor or computer, extended time, a distraction reduced testing location, a raised or lowered workspace, and other special equipment.
At the beginning of each term a student checks with their instructor to see if their individual Letter of Introduction was received and discusses the student’s testing needs. Private testing rooms are available for students to take their quizzes and exams.

Course Substitutions
Course substitutions are available as an accommodation for students with a qualifying disability in programs where the substitution of a course would not fundamentally alter the essential functions of a certificate or degree program.  

Short Term Measurable Objectives and Long Range Goals
Access and Disability Resources will continue to measure the number of students requesting accommodations per term and accommodations provided in order to understand which accommodation are more effective at removing barriers.  As a longer term goal, the office will begin to capture data and write reports on the degree to which system level barriers or attitudinal barriers impact course completion for students with disabilities.  Access will work closely with Instructional Media to continue to promote accessible online course content.

Rescinds Procedure Number: None

Approved:  April 13, 2020