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Student Support Services

Disability Policy

 

Disability Policy (pdf file)

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 disabled students 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 his or her 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 (in the case of undergraduate and graduate students) or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (in the case of Law School students), in writing, of his or her 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.

Law Students:

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 Academic Affairs for the Law School.  Implementation and arrangement of all accommodations is handled by the Associate Dean of Academic 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 Academic 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 Academic 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

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 Assistant 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 learning disability, the Director or Assistant Director of Student Support Services will complete an official Notice of Disability form which details the appropriate accommodations for that student. Each semester, the Notice will be sent to instructors at the written request of the student. In all other cases of a documented disability, a letter will be sent to each professor at the student’s request that will explain the accommodations that have been approved by Student Support Services for that particular student. If faculty have questions about granting accommodations not mentioned in a Notice or Letter of Disability, 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 Assistant 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 Academic 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