It is the University’s policy that no student be excluded from participating in any University program or is subjected to discrimination with regard to any University program. Once a student with a disability is admitted to the University, the student is responsible for notifying the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services of his/her disability, requesting academic accommodations and providing any necessary evidence of a disability related need for the requested accommodation.
Some students with disabilities, despite the provision of reasonable accommodations, may be unable to satisfactorily complete certain courses of study. On a case-by-case basis, the University will review the circumstances affecting a student’s condition and course of study. In limited instances, the University may permit a course substitution. However, in no event will the University waive required courses, attendance policies or test formats that are essential to the degree program in which the student is enrolled.
The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 define a person with a disability as one who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning or working;
- has a record of such a disability;
- is regarded as having such a disability.
Students with temporary illnesses, injuries or conditions are not considered disabled under these laws. However, the Academic Support Center will work with such students to make appropriate adjustments to assist them within available resources.
Services Provided By Dominican
Accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are intended to remove competitive disadvantages and to enable students with disabilities to realize their potential and objectives. Appropriate modifications or accommodations will be determined on a case-by case basis and will not necessarily incorporate all requested changes.
Available accommodations may include:
- Special testing arrangements (i.e., extended time for exams, alternative testing location)
- Readers, note takers, scribes
- Individual advising
- Referral and liaison to state rehabilitation agencies
- Printed materials in tactile (Braille) and enlarged print
- Sign language interpreters
- Access assistance for students with mobility impairments
- Priority registration
- Other services as needs are identified
Dominican does not offer students with disabilities the following:
- Diagnostic evaluation for disabilities
- Special classes
- Learning center
- A reduced standard for academic performance
- Exemption to graduation requirements
- To be eligible for accommodation, students must provide the Director of Tutoring and Disabilities Services with documentation of their disability from a licensed professional, e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, learning disability specialist or educational therapist, with the competencies to determine the student has a disability which substantially limits one or more major life activities. If a student does not notify the Director of his/her disability or fails to provide the Director with adequate documentation in a timely fashion, the University cannot be responsible for providing reasonable accommodation. It will not be possible to assist students who fail to provide the Director notification of their disability until after they have been academically unsuccessful. The University does not grant accommodations retroactively. Therefore, if a student is unsuccessful because of failure to seek accommodations in a timely manner, it is unlikely that the student’s record will be altered.
- Students cannot rely on the University to identify their disabilities nor identify a particular accommodation when a student presents a disability. If a student believes he or she has a learning disability and has not been tested, the student is encouraged to contact the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services. Dominican provides neither testing nor assessment. However, the Director can refer students to an appropriate outside agency. Students must arrange and take financial responsibility for any professional testing and assessment.
- Generally, documentation of a student’s condition must be conducted within the past three years. However, older assessments of conditions that do not change over time may be acceptable. In other instances such as chronic health or psychiatric conditions, more recent evaluative information may be necessary. The documentation must include the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results and interpretation of the results. Students with certain disabilities may be required to provide additional testing or appropriate documentation.
- Documentation must define the nature of the disability, provide a detailed description of how the student is limited by the disability and clearly state the specific accommodations recommended to help the student achieve academic success. Accommodations need not be based on a student’s preference.
- All information and records about the student’s disability and accommodations, if any, are treated as confidential information under applicable federal and state laws, as well as under University policies.
- Students requesting accommodations must schedule an appointment with the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services no later than the census date (approximately two weeks after a semester begins) of each semester for which they request accommodation. If a student fails to seek accommodations in a timely manner, it may result in a delay in the receipt of accommodations. Students requesting enlarged type, a sign language interpreter, or reader must contact the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services at least one month prior to the start of each semester.
- The Director of Tutoring and Disability Services will issue a letter to each relevant faculty member regarding recommendations for accommodations. The letter is signed by the student and can either be delivered in person by the student or through campus mail.
- The Director of Tutoring and Disability Services will serve as an advisor to students and will help arrange the appropriate accommodation for each class. The Director also will consult with faculty to discuss the logistics of each student’s accommodation and how it will be managed. Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis. Please note that each student’s situation is different and accommodations for a particular student may vary from class to class and semester to semester, depending on the content and requirements of the course.
- With guidance from the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services, students are responsible for requesting recommendations from their academic departments for note takers. Students also are responsible for selecting the appropriate person(s), pending approval from the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services.
- Students requesting proctored exams must notify the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services at least 10 days prior to the exam. Students are responsible for making arrangements with the faculty to deliver the exam to the Academic Support Center. Faculty members are asked to provide specific instructions in terms of test administration (e.g., open book, time limit with extended time, etc.).
- Entering students who would like to be accommodated for the English, math or chemistry placement tests must provide the Director of Tutoring and Disability Services with the appropriate documentation (see items 1 and 4 of procedures) which must specify how the student is to be accommodated. The documentation must be provided at least 10 days before a scheduled exam.
Disability Grievance Policy
Students who believe they have been discriminated against or treated unfairly based upon a disability may file a grievance by following procedures outlined in the current student handbook. Those procedures can be found under the heading Formal Grievance Process.