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Steps to Request Accommodations

 

Step 1.    Self-Identification

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Disability Services office of any disability that may require accommodations and/or classroom modifications.

a)      Students start the process by completing a Disability Services Initial Intake Form and making an appointment to meet with Disability Services staff.  This form must be completed and returned to our office with appropriate documentation of the disability before any services can be provided.  Please note that we are not obligated to provide requested accommodations if students do not meet disability requirements.   

b)     Please bring this completed form to the initial appointment.  To make an appointment, please contact the Disability Services office by phone or email.

Step 2.    Appropriate Documentation

Appropriate documentation is important in the disability accommodation process. Appropriate documentation from a qualified health care provider (such as a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, audiologist, speech language pathologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, ophthalmologist, etc.) is important for the following reasons:

1)  To establish a disability subject to Section 504 and/or ADA; and
2)  To guide the planning process regarding needed services and accommodations.

Providing documentation concerning the disability includes a formal diagnosis that identifies specific functional limitations created by the diagnosed disability, recommendations concerning needed services, and/or accommodations. Appropriate documentation depends on the specific disability but generally includes the following written documentation:

a)     What the disability diagnosis is;
b)     Date of diagnosis and how it was reached;
c)     How the diagnosed disability impacts major life functioning as well as functioning in an educational/academic environment; and
d)     Specific recommendations for accommodations in the classroom/campus environment.

We recommend that documentation be current within three years; however, there are a few situations in which we need documentation that is more current (for example, temporary disabilities such as hand injuries, surgery that affects mobility and a few other psychological or other impairments). There are a few situations where we can accept documentation that is more than three years old (for example, diabetes, blindness and a few other impairments).  Inquire with the Disability Services office to determine how current the diagnosis needs to be and what documentation is required.

Please bring documentation to the initial appointment.  If students do not have appropriate documentation, they will need to obtain it as quickly as possible, so that accommodations will not be delayed due to lack of appropriate documentation.  Please note that not all IEPs will work for accommodations in a college setting and will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Documentation can also be mailed to us.  For the Gillette Campus please send documentation to:  Gillette College Disability Services, Attn: Kristin Douglas, 300 West Sinclair Street, Gillette, WY 82718 and for the Sheridan and/or Johnson County Extension Office, please send documentation to: Sheridan College Disability Services, Attn: Tim Charles, 3059 Coffeen Ave., GMB 110, Sheridan, WY 82801.

Step 3.    Determination of Disability Eligibility and Exploration of Appropriate Academic Accommodations/Adjustments

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, “no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.”  A disability means there is “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” for an individual. Major life activities include but are not limited to “caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.” This may also include “the operation of a major bodily function.” Accommodations are designed to allow students with disabilities equal access to meeting course and faculty standards.  However, accommodations should not change or alter the standards or requirements of a course. (Retrieved on Dec. 12, 2012 from http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm).

Please note that students are responsible for seeking accommodations in the classroom.  Students can come to the Disability Services office at any time during the semester to inquire about accommodations for that semester.  Disability Services encourages students to come early in the semester to make the most of the services provided.  Students need to allow sufficient time for the disability eligibility and accommodations process. In order to receive accommodations in a college class or activity, students must follow procedures as established by the Disability Services office. According to Section 504 and ADA Compliance Guide, “A student who waits until the last minute to make a request for an accommodation is responsible for any negative consequences which might come from the untimely request.”

Documentation will be reviewed (along with information received in the initial appointment) to help determine disability eligibility.  Bring appropriate documentation to the initial appointment.

Step 4.    Accommodations Planning

After receiving documentation, we will sit down together and discuss the documentation, the initial paperwork, and classes for the semester.  During this visit, we will explore (and discuss in more depth) personal academic challenges.  Together (as long as students qualify for services) we will figure out the appropriate accommodations to help equalize learning opportunities.* To best help with accommodations, students should bring their upcoming course schedule with them to their initial Disability Services appointment.

*Please note that there are times when students do not qualify for services or when disability services may not be able to grant what your doctor recommends.  Since this is done on a case-by-case basis, there is no way to list all the examples here.  Please see the Disability Services office if there are questions regarding this matter.

Step 5.  Notification/Accommodation Letter

Once reasonable accommodations have been determined, accommodation letters are written by Disability Services and provided to the student and their instructors. These letters will not state what the disability is, but it will clearly state which accommodations are to be implemented in the classroom. These letters will delineate the responsibilities of the student, professor, and Disability Services. The accommodation process is an interactive process.  Students, Disability Services, and faculty members are responsible for fully participating in the process. The students receive the original copy of the accommodation letter for their own records, as well as a copy of the accommodation letter to be given to each one of their instructors.  Students are advised to meet with their professors as soon as possible to discuss their accommodations. Instructors will be asked to contact the Disability Services office to let us know the accommodation letter was received.  Instructors are encouraged to let our office know if they have concerns or challenges, or if they are unsure of how to implement accommodations.

Students are to come to the Disability Services office each semester to repeat step 4 and step 5 as required.  New accommodation letters will be written for their new instructors.  If students do not return to the Disability Services office we assume students are not requesting accommodations.

Call or email us at the numbers/emails below if we can be of further assistance.

Disability Services – Gillette College

Susan Serge, MA, NCC
Counseling and ADA Services

Mailing Address:
300 West Sinclair
Gillette, WY 82718

Office Location:
3251 South 4-J Road, TEC 212B
Gillette, WY 82718

 

Disability Services – Sheridan College

Ruth A. Larson, M.A., LPC

Director of Counseling & ADA Services

Tim Charles, MA, TESOL
Disability Services Coordinator

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1500
Sheridan, WY 82801

Office Location:
3059 Coffeen Ave., GMB 110 & GMB135
Sheridan, WY 82801

Phone: 307.686.0254 Ext. 2350
Fax: 307.687.7141
Attn: Susan Serge
(Please call before faxing documents)
Phone: 307.674.6446 Ext. 2701 & Ext. 2008
Fax: 307.674.3384
Attn: Tim Charles or Ruth A. Larson
Email: sserge@sheridan.edu Email: rularson@sheridan.edu           tcharles@sheridan.edu