Yes. Almost all colleges and universities must comply with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with disabilities Act as amended (ADAA) 2008. These laws require accommodations to assist students who are otherwise qualified in having equal access to all areas of campus life. The U.S. Department of Education provides the following brochure to explain the difference between high school and college services: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html.
For students with disabilities, the Cutler Center is a portal to assist students with disabilities in obtaining appropriate resources and accommodations. We collaborate with faculty and departments across the college to remove barriers for students.
A disability is any condition that substantially impacts one or more areas of life functioning and has been present for more than 6 months. A disability may be visible such as a mobility or visual impairment. A disability may be invisible such as a learning disability, ADHD, PDD, psychological disability or a chronic medical condition such as migraines, fibromyalgia or POTS.
Contact the Cutler Center and request an appointment. You will meet with the Director of Disability Services to discuss your disability and reasonable accommodations. Documentation is frequently required to complete this process.
The process of determining accommodations in college is a collaborative process between the Director of Disability Services and the student. The student should provide documentation which can help with this process. For students with a Learning Disability or ADHD a psychoeducational assessment can be very helpful for planning. For all students including those with psychiatric or health and mobility related disabilities, information on current functioning, and expected need for accommodations in academic and residential areas of campus life, will assist planning. Forms for obtaining this information from current service providers can be found on the Accommodation Process page.
Forms for documenting specific disabilities
Special Education services are mandated in K – 12 schools through the Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Colleges do not have special education services. However, Section 504 of the ADA does require that all qualified students with disabilities be provided equal access to college. Colleges provide accommodations and services to insure equal access. The services you received as part of your Individualized Education Plan may be available to you as ADA accommodations.
The purpose of accommodations is to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate and benefit from all aspects of the college experience. These can include changes in class requirements such as time extensions and location for exams, provision of an auxiliary aid such as a note taker or alterations to architectural barriers.
Some modifications that are not required by law include accommodations that would:
Once the accommodations are determined, your faculty can be informed. Each semester you will need to request a letter be sent to the faculty of classes in which you plan to use accommodations. It is your responsibility to discuss with your faculty how the accommodations will be carried out in the class.
You can request an appointment with the Director of Disability to discuss the reasons you feel you may require additional assistance.
You may inquire about resources without commitment. At any point in your college career you may decide that a service may prove useful and contact us at that point. Using any service is your decision. However, it is often helpful to find out what is available. So we encourage students with disabilities to contact us as we can start to develop a plan for assistance beginning the summer before admission and at SOAR.
All documentation is kept on file at the Cutler Center. It does not become part of your administrative file. The information or indeed the fact that you have a disability is not shared with anyone without your written consent.
Yes, absolutely. Please contact our office and discuss any accommodations you might require and how to obtain them.
Please request an appointment with us. We can meet and discuss your questions and concerns. If further evaluation is required we can refer you to the appropriate campus resource or help you determine a resource off campus. If you initiate an evaluation either with our counseling center or an outside professional, we can offer accommodations on a temporary basis for a semester.