Accessibility Services

Spalding University Accessibility Services

Spalding University is committed to ensuring equal access to university programs for students with disabilities. Accessibility Services, provides academic assistance and support for students covered by the American Disabilities Act or ADA. The ADA utilizes a three-pronged definition of disability.  For the purpose of coverage under the ADA, a person with a disability is defined as an individual who:

1. Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or

2. Has a record or history of such an impairment; or

3. Is perceived or regarded as having such impairment.  Accessibility Services is committed to making the learning environment “accessible” for all students who meet one or more of the aforementioned definitions of disability. (http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm#anchor62335)

Requesting Services

  • Students may self-disclose their need for Accessibility Services on their Spalding University Admissions application.
  • They may contact Accessibility Services directly.
  • For undergraduates, presentations are given at both Adult Accelerated Program (AAP) and traditional day student orientations to discuss available services and provide contact information.
  • Faculty/staff may suggest students contact Accessibility Services for assistance.

Student Responsibilities

  • Students are required to complete an application for services.
  • Provide documentation verifying diagnoses from a physician, psychologist or certified mental health professional. Along with the diagnoses the professional must provide recommendations for academic adjustments.
  • Meet with Accessibility Services to discuss the accommodations they are entitled to under ADA regulations.
  • Misuse of any accommodations, may lead to accommodations being suspended or revoked, depending on the severity of the infraction.
  • If students are unable to provide documentation from a psychiatrist, psychologist or certified mental health professional, they are referred to the Spalding University’s Counseling and Psychological Services for a full battery of assessments. This process is time consuming and may take one or more sessions for the Spalding University Counseling Center to schedule and complete the assessments.

Accessibility Services Responsibilities to Students

  • Clearly disclose federal laws and Spalding University guidelines regarding services provided to each applicant.
  • The Director researches current regulations and recommended academic adjustments for specific diagnoses, consults with professional colleagues, and consults the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for updates on nationally standardized accommodations.
  • When creating an academic adjustment letter for faculty/staff, reasonable accommodations, as defined by the ADA, must be clearly stated.
  • Accessibility Services provides the student with an original and copies of the academic adjustment letter to provide to faculty/staff.
  • If students file any grievances because they feel their rights are being violated, the Accessibility Services program may provide guidance with the procedure set forth in the Spalding University Catalog.

Accessibility Services Responsibilities to Faculty

  • Provide assistance in implementing academic adjustments as needed.
  • Address questions regarding accommodations, students’ progress, and needs.
  • Accessibility Services cannot discuss with faculty/staff a student’s specific diagnosis or diagnoses.
  • Collaborate with the faculty to ensure that academic adjustments do not detract from the academic integrity of the course.

Faculty/Staff Responsibilities to Student

  • Faculty/staff provide the accommodations as specified in an accommodation letter.
  • If students do not provide letters, accommodations should not be provided. Oftentimes, this can lead students to believe all accommodations will be provided without documentation. It is critical, as a teaching tool, to place the responsibility on the student to understand the importance of documentation and that accommodations cannot be given without an accommodation letter from Accessibility Services.
  • Likewise, faculty/staff must never ask for or accept documentation regarding any diagnosis. That information is protected under law and should be given to Accessibility Services by the student or the student’s guardian. The only documentation available to faculty/staff is the accommodation letter.

Shared Responsibilities

  • The Accessibility Services office provides assistance with any and all accommodations. While the most used accommodations are extended testing time and private/quiet testing rooms, additional accommodations may be implemented.
  • Students are responsible for providing testing requests 48 hours in advance to be assured of available space.
  • Accessibility Services proctors testing. A private and quiet room is defined as one person in a room that is in a quiet area and will not be entered by anyone while the student is testing. Testing space is limited, so various times throughout the testing day may be needed to accommodate students.

Faculty must

  • Provide a proctor and private testing room.
  • IF the faculty member cannot provide testing accommodations please notify Accessibility Services immediately. Please include the amount of time the class will be given to complete the exam and if the student must return to class upon completion of proctored exam.
  • Provide the test prior to the scheduled testing time
  • Alert Accessibility Services if an exam has been rescheduled

Please contact Accessibility Services with questions or comments.

Kelly Cogar Director of Accessibility Services 502-873-4161 kcogar@spalding.edu