Accessibility Services

Union College is committed to providing educational opportunities and an inclusive environment for students with disabilities by honoring Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and as amended in 2008, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap against persons in programs or activities benefiting from federal assistance.

An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm

In a post-secondary setting, federal regulations mandate reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, which are designed to provide equal access for people with disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations are made on an individual basis and determined in consultation between the student and the Director of the Teaching Learning Center. Determining appropriate accommodations is not meant to be an obstacle course for the student with a disability; rather, it is intended to support the student. The process for determining individual accommodations may depend on three of the following: an interview with the student, observation of such disability and documentation. Every student’s situation is different and therefore the lack of documentation will not prevent a student from meeting with the Director.

Accommodation plan

The first step in accessing accommodations is to make an appointment with the Director of the Teaching Learning Center.

  • During this appointment the Director and the student will review any academic and accessibility needs, review documentation, and create an accommodation plan.
  • Documentation is really helpful in discussing the accommodation plan; therefore, please bring any documentation to this appointment. Some examples of documentation include: IEP, 504 plans, MDTs, evaluations from a credential doctor, and school reports. Please review the Essential Elements of Documentation under the "Documentation" tab. If there is a need for more documentation the cost will be borne by the student.
  • Once the accommodation plan is created, students will be able to complete the Semester Accessibility Accommodation form. This is completed at the beginning of each semester.

Semester accommodations

Each student who has an accommodation plan will submit a semester accommodation registration form. These assist the TLC in providing the accommodation. Any student needing assistance in completing this form may contact the TLC office.

Documentation

To access accessibility accommodations, the student must have a documented or visible impairment as defined by the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

The process for determining accommodation relies on an interview with the student and on documentation. Both the interview and documentation are helpful in discussing the accommodation plan. Examples of documentation are: MDTs, IEP, 504 plans, school reports, evaluations from a credential doctor or from appropriate licensed professionals. (See essential elements of documentation below.)

The TLC shall limit its requests for information to only the information necessary to verify whether the individual making the request has a disability and/or to evaluate if the reasonable accommodation is necessary. If the individual's disability and the necessity for the accommodation are obvious (e.g. an individual with a physical disability using a wheelchair needs an accessible room), the individual need only explain what type of accommodation he/she is requesting. No verification of disability and/or necessity is required under these circumstances.

If the interview and/or the initial documentation do not provide relevant information, and if the disability is obvious but the need for the accommodation is not, for the purpose of providing clarification, and in order to provide the requested accommodations, the TLC/accessibility office will have the discretion to require additional information based on the accommodation request.

The cost of obtaining documentation will be borne by the student.

Students planning on taking standardize exams for programs such as Physician Assistant, Nursing, Education, IRR/Paramedics, and graduate school, may apply for accommodations for these exams. Each student should review the documentation guidelines outlined by the respective testing companies.

Essential elements of documentation

  1. The credentials of the evaluator(s) - The best quality documentation is provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).
  2. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
  3. A description of the diagnostic methodology used
  4. A description of the current possible barriers

Policies

Assistance Animal Policy

Course Substitution Policy

Flexible Attendance Policy

Test Accommodation Policy

Approved syllabus statements

Dispute resolution

Confidential / Record keeping

Annual Reports

2016-2017
Number of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 77
Percentage of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 8.6%
Reported: 7/13/2017
Annual Report

2015-2016
Number of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 65
Percentage of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 7.19%
Reported: 7/13/2016
Annual Report

2014-2015
Number of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 58
Percentage of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 6.54%
Reported: 9/30/2015
Annual Report

2013-2014
Number of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 49
Percentage of students with disabilities registered with the accessibility office: 6.56%
Reported: 10/14/2014