Rights and Responsibilities
Lewis & Clark College is committed to serving the needs of our students with disabilities. Ensuring equal access for all students is a collaborative effort between the Office of Student Accessibility, students, and faculty. All participants have a role in making education accessible. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is essential to the process of accommodation.
Students with disabilities have the right to:
- equal access to programs, activities, and services at Lewis & Clark College.
- information that is reasonably available in accessible formats.
- reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services that are determined on an individual basis.
- appropriate confidentiality of information relating to disability issues.
- appeal decisions regarding the determination or provision of accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services (See Grievance Procedure link above).
Students with disabilities have the responsibility to:
- self-identify to the Office of Student Accessibility when accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services are needed and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary.
- provide documentation that meets eligibility guidelines, if the student is requesting disability support services and/or accommodations.
- request necessary accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services in a timely manner.
- meet Lewis & Clark academic and institutional standards.
The Office of Student Accessibility has the right to:
- request current documentation that meets eligibility guidelines to verify the need for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- select effective accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services in consultation with the student and on a case-by-case basis.
- refuse a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services if the documentation fails to verify the need for the student’s request, if the documentation is not valid or current, or if the documentation is not provided in advance of need.
- refuse to provide an accommodation, auxiliary aid, and/or academic adjustment that is inappropriate or unreasonable in such a manner as to 1) pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others; 2) constitute an alteration to an essential element of a course or program; or 3) pose an undue financial or administrative burden to Lewis & Clark College.
- maintain Lewis & Clark academic and institutional standards.
The Office of Student Accessibility has the responsibility to:
- provide information regarding policies and procedures that is reasonably available in accessible formats.
- determine reasonable and effective accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services in collaboration with the student.
- provide or arrange for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services so the student has an equal opportunity to participate in courses, programs, activities, and services.
- maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication regarding student disability issues.
Faculty members have the right to:
- request in writing from the Office of Student Accessibility notification of a student’s eligibility for accommodation.
- contact the Office of Student Accessibility to clarify student requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- maintain Lewis & Clark College’s academic and institutional standards.
Faculty members have the responsibility to:
- provide reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services in a timely manner.
- meet with students who have provided written notification of their disability via the Office of Student Accessibility and have made a direct request for accommodation, to establish the means of providing accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- contact the Office of Student Accessibility to request clarification or support with accommodations.
- maintain the confidentiality of information regarding disability issues.
- refer to the Office of Student Accessibility those students who request accommodations but have not set up an Accommodations Letter nor met with staff in the Office of Student Accessibility.
Lewis & Clark College is committed to serving the needs of its students with disabilities. Professional staff in the office of Student Support Services ensure that students with disabilities receive all of the benefits of a comprehensive selection of services, and a formal Student Disability Grievance Procedure provides prompt and equitable resolution of any complaints arising out the College’s responsibilities under the ADA Amendments Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other pertinent federal, state, and local disability anti-discrimination laws.
Lewis & Clark recognizes physical and mental disabilities that include mobility, sensory, health, psychological, and learning disabilities, and provides reasonable accommodations once the disability is adequately documented. While Lewis & Clark’s legal obligations only extend to disabilities of a substantial and long term nature, it is also the College’s practice to honor reasonable requests for accommodations for temporary disabilities such as a physical injury, illness or pregnancy.
It is the responsibility of the student to make their disability and needs known in a timely fashion and to provide appropriate documentation and evaluations to support the accommodations the student requests. A student with a disability who requires accommodations must notify Student Support Services (this includes CAS, Law School and Graduate School of Education & Counseling students), in writing, of their desire for accommodations as soon after admission as possible. Students should not assume that this information is known to either of these offices because the student’s application indicated the presence of a disability. Once the College has been notified and specific accommodations are appropriately documented and requested by the student, the College works with the student and relevant campus contacts to set up the approved accommodations.
The procedures for obtaining accommodations differ among the Northwestern School of Law, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. However, the services each offers are quite similar and the procedures are all intended to effectively provide for the appropriate needs of the student with disabilities within the structure and policies of each school.
Undergraduate and Graduate Students:
Requests for accommodations should be routed through the Student Support Services office in Albany 206.
Documentation of a disability and requests for accommodations are routed through the Student Support Services office. Once approved for accommodations, a copy of the documentation and a letter outlining approved accommodations is sent to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for the Law School. Implementation and arrangement of all accommodations is handled by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for the Law School. In some cases, the adjustments will be made in consultation with faculty but individual faculty members will not make accommodations directly with students. In a like manner, all exam modification requests from law students are also to be directed to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs of the Law School. Because of the time required to make arrangements to accommodate these requests, Law School students with long term or permanent disabilities must make such requests no later than one month before the last day of classes. Exam accommodation requests must be renewed each semester, in writing to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for the Law School, by the student.
Documentation of Disabilities
1. Physical Disabilities
The documentation must reflect the student’s present level of functioning in regard to the major life activity that is impaired, and must include the documenting professional’s recommendations for reasonable and/or recommended accommodations.
2. Learning Disabilities
The student is responsible for providing professional testing and evaluation results which reflect the individual’s present level of processing information and present achievement level. Documentation verifying the learning disability must: (A) be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose a learning disability, including but not limited to a licensed physician, learning disability specialist and/or psychologist; (B) include the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results, and a written interpretation of the test results by the professional (C) reflect the individual’s present level of functioning in the achievement areas of reading comprehension, reading rate, written expression, writing mechanics and vocabulary, writing, grammar, auditory processing, mathematical/nonverbal reasoning and spelling; (D) reflect the individual’s present level of functioning in the areas of intelligence and processing skills; (E) include recommendations for accommodations.
3. Psychological Disabilities
If a student has a psychological disability that affects academic performance or takes medication which causes a similar effect, documentation from a psychologist or medical doctor is required which details the effects of the disability and/or the medication on the student’s academic performance, and recommendations for accommodations.
Reasonable accommodations may include but are not limited to course load modifications, exam accommodations, readers, interpreters, notetakers, alternative textbook formats, and flexibility on assignment deadlines. Students may request specific accommodations, as can the professional health care providers who verify the disability. However, Lewis & Clark staff will have the responsibility for making the final decision on accommodations. This decision will be made on the basis of the documentation provided and the requirements of the academic program. Accommodations will not be considered reasonable if they would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or if they would be unduly burdensome for the College, either financially or administratively.
Arranging for Approved Accommodations
1. Undergraduate and Graduate Students
The Director or Associate Director of Student Support Services must approve accommodations for a disability. Once accommodations are approved, and with student written request, Student Support Services staff will notify faculty in writing of the requested and approved accommodation arrangements.
In the case of a student with a documented disability, the Director or Associate Director of Student Support Services will complete an official Accommodations Letter which details the appropriate accommodations for that student. Each semester, the Letter will be sent to instructors at the written request of the student. If faculty have questions about granting accommodations not mentioned in an Accommodations Letter, they are encouraged to contact Student Support Services.
All approved accommodations will be implemented as soon as possible by the Student Support Services office. However, students are strongly encouraged to make accommodation requests to that office as early in the semester as possible. This affords each professor the opportunity to plan for the implementation of appropriate accommodations. In particular, exam modification requests should be made to Student Support Services at least one week in advance (two weeks in the case of final exams) to allow time to work out appropriate arrangements.
If a faculty or staff member is hesitant to comply with the requested accommodations because of concerns regarding alteration of the academic program or standards, Student Support Services staff will attempt to work out arrangements which will best meet the needs of the instructor, the student and the College. If agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be appealed by the Director of Student Support Services to the appropriate department chair or dean.
2. Law Students
The Director or Associate Director of Student Support Services must approve accommodations for a disability. Once accommodations are approved, and with student written request, Student Support Services staff will notify the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for the Law School in writing of the requested and approved accommodation arrangements. All arrangements for the implementation of accommodations for law students must be routed through the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the Law School (at extension 6648), as noted above.
Updated: October 7, 2010. Pronouns and position titles updated July, 2019
Complaints Against Faculty, Staff or Other Employees of Lewis & Clark College
In the event a student believes that the procedures described in the Student Disability Policy have not been followed properly or feels that any action has been directed against them because of a disability or perception of a disability by a College faculty or staff member, the student may (1) attempt to resolve the matter informally or (2) immediately file a formal grievance, at the option of the student.
To resolve the matter informally, the student should first meet with the Director of Student Support Services, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education & Counseling, or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for the Law School, as appropriate, to see if the matter can be resolved. If the student has concerns about meeting with either of these people, they can meet with the appropriate department head or dean of the division concerned, and that person will try to resolve the matter.
If the student chooses to file a formal grievance, the following steps should be followed:
- The student shall file a formal grievance within 180 calendar days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. The student shall file the complaint in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education & Counseling, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, or the Dean of the Law School, as appropriate. The complaint shall contain the name and address of the person filing it and a brief description of the alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or other appropriate law.
- The official to whom the complaint is submitted shall convene a committee within two weeks of receiving the complaint unless prohibited by unusual circumstances. The committee shall be made up of two faculty members who have not had the student in class, the appropriate Dean, the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Wellness Services & Chief Psychologist, or another disinterested professional familiar with the type of disability involved.
- The committee shall hear testimony or receive written testimony from the student; Student Support Services staff, Graduate School of Education & Counseling staff, or Law School staff, as appropriate; the relevant faculty or staff member(s); and other knowledgeable people. The student has the right to ask for testimony from any faculty or staff whom they deem relevant to the case.
- After hearing testimony and/or reviewing pertinent documents, the committee shall report its conclusions in writing to the complainant and all other relevant parties within five working days. The decision of the committee is final.
Complaints Against Students
If a student believes that they are a victim of discrimination or harassment by another student because of a disability, they may initiate a grievance procedure by contacting one of the following College representatives as appropriate:
- The Director of Student Support Services
- The Dean of Students
The Dean of the Graduate School of Education & Counseling
- The Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the Law School
Undergraduate students should consult the section entitled “Discrimination and Harassment” in the Lewis & Clark student handbook, The Pathfinder, in order to obtain further information about grievance procedures and the adjudication of formal complaints.
Policy approved July, 1998. Pronouns and position titles updated July, 2019.