Accommodations are intended to reduce barriers that students encounter and provide access to the educational environment so that students have a better chance at demonstrating their potential.
Accommodations are not provided unless a student requests them. In addition, many accommodations require specific steps or procedures to be followed in order to ensure that they are implemented successfully and in a timely manner. Knowing and understanding the specific procedures, requirements, and policies associated with requesting and utilizing accommodations will ensure that needs are met and that there is not a delay in getting the required services.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a service, program, course, activity, job, or facility that reduces or eliminates barriers that students with disabilities may encounter.
Determining what accommodations are appropriate and necessary for a particular student is a collaborative process that generally happens during the informational interview. At this time, an "accommodation plan" is crafted which lists those accommodations that are recommended for the student.
Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:
1. The barriers resulting from the student’s involvement with the campus environment (courses, programs, services, etc.);
2. The possible accommodation(s) that may eliminate the barrier;
3. Whether or not the student has access to a service, program, course, activity, job or facility without the accommodation(s); and
4. Whether or not the essential elements of a service, program, course, activity, job or facility are compromised with the accommodation.
Occasionally, or in new, complex, or sensitive circumstances, it may be necessary for DSS staff to consult with other appropriate college personnel regarding accommodations.
A faculty member is legally required under federal law (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504), to provide a reasonable accommodation as long as the reasonable accommodation does not lower or substantially modify the course/program's fundamental standards. The decision to deny an accommodation should not be made lightly. A faculty member may deny a reasonable accommodation request, but only after first providing evidence to the DSS Director how the requested accommodation will fundamentally alter the nature of the course. Faculty should contact Disability Support Services to initiate the review process.
The appeal process flow chart and reasonable accommodation guide can provide further guidance for faculty and staff.
The Disability Support Services office oversees accommodations for students who require them for their courses. However, it is the responsibility of each faculty member to make sure his or her course materials- and learning management systems- are accessible. Faculty who use Eagle as their learning management system and require technical assistance with making accommodations for a student with a disability (ex., extended time for exams, enlarged font, etc.) should contact John Fillicaro for support at (815) 921-4625.
Detailed information including policies and procedures regarding accommodations and services available at the college can be found below.