Union College is committed to providing educational opportunities and an inclusive environment for students with disabilities by honoring Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and as amended in 2008, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap against persons in programs or activities benefiting from federal assistance. In a post-secondary setting, federal regulations mandate reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, which are designed to provide equal access for people with disabilities.
Reasonable accommodations are made on an individual basis and determined in consultation between the student and the Director of the Teaching Learning Center. Determining appropriate accommodations is not meant to be an obstacle course for the student with a disability; rather, it is intended to support the student. The process for determining individual accommodations may depend on three of the following: an interview with the student, observation of such disability and documentation. Every student’s situation is different and therefore the lack of documentation will not prevent a student from meeting with the Director.
The first step in accessing accommodations is to make an appointment with the Director of the Teaching Learning Center.
- During this appointment the Director and the student will review any academic and accessibility needs, review documentation, and create an accommodation plan.
- Documentation is really helpful in discussing the accommodation plan; therefore, please bring any documentation to this appointment. Some examples of documentation include: IEP, 504 plans, MDTs, evaluations from a credential doctor, and school reports. Please review the Essential Elements of Documentation under the "Documentation" tab.
If there is a need for more documentation the cost will be borne by the student.
- Once the accommodation plan is created, students will be able to complete the Semester Accessibility Accommodation form. This is completed at the beginning of each semester.
Each student who has an accommodation plan will submit a semester accommodation registration form. These assist the TLC in providing the accommodation. Any student needing assistance in completing this form may contact the TLC office.
To access accessibility accommodations, the student must have a documented or visible impairment as defined by the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
The process for determining accommodation relies on an interview with the student and on documentation. Both the interview and documentation are helpful in discussing the accommodation plan. Examples of documentation are: MDTs, IEP, 504 plans, school reports, evaluations from a credential doctor or from appropriate licensed professionals. (See Essential Elements of Documentation.)
The TLC shall limit its requests for information to only the information necessary to verify whether the individual making the request has a disability and/or to evaluate if the reasonable accommodation is necessary. If the individual's disability and the necessity for the accommodation are obvious (e.g. an individual with a physical disability using a wheelchair needs an accessible room), the individual need only explain what type of accommodation he/she is requesting. No verification of disability and/or necessity is required under these circumstances.
If the interview and/or the initial documentation do not provide relevant information, and if the disability is obvious but the need for the accommodation is not, for the purpose of providing clarification, and in order to provide the requested accommodations, the TLC/accessibility office will have the discretion to require additional information based on the accommodation request.
The cost of obtaining documentation will be borne by the student.
Students planning on taking standardize exams for programs such as Physician Assistant, Nursing, Education, IRR/Paramedics, and graduate school, may apply for accommodations for these exams. Each student should review the documentation guidelines outlined by the respective testing companies.
Essential Elements of Documentation
- The credentials of the evaluator(s) - The best quality documentation is provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
- A description of the diagnostic methodology used
- A description of the current possible barriers
Test Accommodation Policy
One of many accommodations the TLC provides is proctoring test (quizzes, test and exams) for student with disabilities; therefore, teamwork is required between the student, instructor and the TLC staff. Once a student has been approved for test accommodations, they will need to notify the TLC with their test request. This is done by submitting the online test request form. Preferably the request should be completed within three to five business days before each test. After the TLC has received the student’s request, an email will be sent to notify the instructor.
It is the responsibility of the instructor to read the notification from the TLC since details about the test time and other processes will need to be verified by the instructor. When scheduling a test for a student with a disability, instructors shall not create conflict with the student’s other class commitments. For example, asking a student to miss class in order to take an exam is unacceptable. Accommodations for pop quizzes will be arranged between the TLC, student and instructor.
Arrangements for the delivery of exams, tests or quizzes will be determined between the instructor and the TLC staff. Instructors are expected to have the test available and delivered to the TLC at least 15 minutes before the test begins. The student taking the exam will never deliver the test nor should it ever be delivered through inter-campus mail. Delivery of all exams to and from the TLC must be either hand-delivered or sent by email. If a test is delivered after TLC office hours, the exam may be placed in the locked drop box directly outside the TLC office.
When a test is returned to the instructor, the TLC staff will request a signature from the person receiving the test.
Students taking evening classes need to work closely with the TLC and the instructor to make appropriate accommodations.
Proctoring exams includes notifying instructors when a student is found cheating. The TLC staff proctoring the exam will stop the exam, call the instructor, and report the details of the situation. The instructor will then inform the TLC how to proceed.
Approved Syllabus Statement
Students who have a disability and would like to request accommodations are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Teaching Learning Center/Accessibility Office at 402-486- 2506 or tlc [at] ucollege.edu. Additionally, please let me know if you would like to discuss any additional ways I can to assist in this class.
Distance Learning Accessibility Accommodations:
Students who have a disability and would like to request accommodations are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Teaching Learning Center/Accessibility Office at 402-486-2506 or tlc [at] ucollege.edu. Additionally, please let me know if you would like to discuss additional assistance in this class.
In rare situations, a course substitution may be deemed as a verifiable academic accommodation. Such an accommodation is only approved for courses that are not an integral element to the field of study. A LEAD requirement conflicting with a verified academic accommodation may be met by substitution. An approved course substitution means hours are met through another course; it is not a waiver, or a reduction to degree completion. A substitution may not be based on an audited or previously failed course. It is also important to understand that the accommodation is not intended to shorten the student’s opportunity for learning. Rather, the goal is to provide equal access to achieving the desired learning goal.
To maintain academic integrity, the process for requesting a course substitution begins with a discussion between the student with a disability and the Director of the TLC. This initial meeting will verify the impact of the disability related to the materials of the course. After this is established, the student will submit a request for accommodation to the Vice President for Academic Administration. Each petition is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
To resolve disability-related disputes students are encouraged to first contact the Teaching Learning Center/accessibility services office at 402-486-2506. The ADA/504 Compliance Committee may be asked to assist in some dispute resolution instances.
If the dispute is not resolved the matter may be filled under the Union College internal grievance process. This policy and procedure is located in the Union College bulletin and the student handbook.
Anyone who believes there has been an act of discrimination by the college on the basis of disability against any person or group may file a complaint with the
Kansas City Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037
Kansas City, MO 64114-3302c
Telephone: 816-268-0550 or 1-800-233-3247
Email: OCR.KansasCity [at] ed.gov
In processing requests for reasonable accommodations, Union College will take all steps required by federal, state, and/or local law to protect the confidentiality of any information or documentation disclosed in connection with the requests. Such measures may include limiting access to such information to individuals specifically designated to determine and implement requests for reasonable accommodations, who will disclose the information only to the extent necessary to determine whether to grant the request, determine if the request is unreasonable, and implement any request granted, keeping all written requests and accompanying documentation in a secure area to which only those designated individuals have access, except as otherwise required by law.