It is the policy of St. Mary College not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of handicap or disability in matters of admissions and educational activities, programs and services, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and applicable State law. It is the policy of St. Mary College and its’ agents to engage in an interactive dialogue with the student in order to implement reasonable accommodations. The provision and coordination of accommodations for students registered with Disability Support Services (DSS) shall not require the College to fundamentally alter the academic objectives of an individual course, curriculum, program, or degree. Upon request and as required by law, the College will provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified student with a disability. The procedures for requesting an accommodation and processing those requests are contained below.
In addition to these procedures, a student may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, for alleged violations of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
Requests for accommodations should be made far enough in advance to allow DSS adequate time to review registration documentation submitted by the student, establish whether the student is eligible to receive accommodations, and determine reasonable accommodation(s) through an interactive process with the student. Generally, it is best to request accommodations several weeks before a semester begins or as soon as a disability becomes known.
I. Accommodation Request
- Students begin the process by completing the following this link to Accommodate.
- When applicable, students are also to submit the SMCM Disability Accommodation Form to their licensed clinician for completion. The licensed clinician can scan and e-mail the forms to firstname.lastname@example.org or the student can bring them to their meeting with the Coordinator for Disability Support Services.
- When applicable, students will be asked to provide supporting documentation that demonstrates how their disability limits participation in one or more of the following:
- Access to facilities of the College
- Documentation should be current and from an appropriate credentialed professional who can diagnose the student’s disability
- Type of documentation will vary depending the nature of the disability and accommodations requested
For more information on what documentation is needed, visit ELIGIBILITY
All documentation related to a student’s disability shall be kept confidential and retained by DSS. The DSS file shall be maintained separately from other student records maintained by the College.
II. Eligibility Determination
- Disability Support Services will contact the students within 5 business days to acknowledge the request and schedule a meeting
- The purpose of the meeting is to engage the student in an interactive process to determine whether the student is:
- A qualified individual
- Eligible for the specific requested accommodations
- Eligibility for accommodations is established through a variety of information sources, including:
- The student’s self-report
- Observation and interaction with the student
- Previous accommodations received and the particular accommodations requested
- The unique characteristics of a course program
- Documentation from external sources, such as psychologists, education professionals and health care providers
III. Accommodations Determination
- Accommodations are determined on a case by case basis and may include, but are not limited to:
- Priority registration
- Testing accommodations
- Use of Testing Services Center
- Note-taking assistance
- Caption services
- Alternate formats for print materials
- Assistive Technology
- Para-transit registration
- Internship accommodations
- Once eligibility has been established, Disability Support Services will determine reasonable accommodations required by the student
- Disability Support Services may find that the accommodation is not appropriate given the requirements of a course
- Disability Support Services may propose an alternative accommodation that would be appropriate for the student, but which neither the student nor evaluator has requested
IV. Accommodations Letter
- Disability Support Services will develop an Accommodations Letter for the student that provides the professor with the student’s approved accommodations
- The Accommodations Letter will also include information on how to implement those accommodations
- Disability Support Services will work with the student on how to schedule a meeting with their professors and how to go over their Accommodations Letter with their professors
- The student is then expected to schedule meetings with their professors to provide them with a copy of their Accommodations Letter and discuss a plan on how to implement the accommodations throughout the semester for the course
- Disability Support Services will provide assistance as needed to the student and professors in implementing accommodations
- It is the responsibility of Disability Support Services to work with the student and the professor (and Department Chair or Dean as appropriate) to facilitate effective and timely implementation of reasonable accommodations.
- The student should contact Disability Support Services immediately if they feel they are being denied reasonable accommodations or that reasonable accommodations are not being implemented in an effective and timely manner.
- All parties will prioritize accommodation implementation meetings as requested by Disability Support Services
- The College will use good faith efforts to resolve ant outstanding issues within 5 business days
- If the student is not satisfied with the results of the good faith efforts, they may file a complaint with the Office of the Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.