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Learning Support and Accessibility

Disability Services

Guidelines & Procedures

Clarks Summit University (CSU) is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The purpose of accommodations is to provide equal access to educational opportunities to students with disabilities.

Any student enrolled in classes at CSU who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and impacts the educational environment is eligible for disability services. Documentation supporting the impairment must be obtained at the student’s own cost and effort. Disability Services reserves the right to deny services and/or accommodations until the appropriate documentation has been provided. Determined on a case-by-case basis, reasonable services/accommodations are based on the nature and severity of the disability, the requirements of the course/program of study and the consultation with the student.

The university will not provide accommodations that would fundamentally alter the essential characteristics or nature of a program. Additionally, the university need not provide the exact accommodation requested by the student. The university may provide alternate accommodations as long as they are reasonable and appropriate.

The university reserves the right to establish qualification and other essential standards and requirements for its courses, programs, activities and services. All students are expected to meet these essential qualifications, standards and requirements, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Students with disabilities have the same responsibility as other students to meet the university’s academic and behavioral standards and follow the university’s general policies and guidelines regarding standards of conduct.

Please note, the process of being approved for accommodations can take a minimum of one to two weeks. Ideally, this is accomplished before classes begin but may occur at any time during the semester. Submitting your documentation in a timely manner is strongly encouraged in order for accommodation requests to be reviewed and approvals to be completed as quickly as possible. Accommodations are not retroactive; they do not affect tests or work completed prior to submission of accommodations requests and medical documentation.

Guidelines & Procedures
 
High School
Post Secondary
Applicable Laws    
  IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Act ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  IDEA – is about SUCCESS ADA – is about ACCESS
Required Documentation    
  IEP -Individualized Education Plan / 504 Plan High School IEP and 504 are NOT sufficient; documentation guidelines needed for each category of disability
  School provides evaluation at no cost to student Student gets evaluation at own expense
  Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on disability categories in IDEA Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations AND demonstrate the need for specific accommodations
Self – Advocacy    
  Student identified by school and is supported by parents and teachers Students must self identify to the Disability Services Office
  Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student
Parental Role    
  Parent has access to records and can participate in the accommodations process Parent DOES NOT have access to student records without student’s written consent
  Parents advocate for student Student advocates for self
Instruction    
  Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments Professors are not required to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines
  You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class
  You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough You need to review class notes and text material regularly
  Teachers remind you of your incomplete work of assignments. Professors may not remind you of incomplete work design or alter assignment deadlines
  Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent Professors expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed
  Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance
Grades/Tests    
  I.E.P. or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay) are generally not available. Accommodations to HOW tests are given (extended time, test proctors) are available when supported by documentation
  Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material
  Makeup tests are often available Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them
  Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates Professors expect you to read, save and consult the course syllabus; it spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due and how you will be graded
  You may graduate as long as you have passed all required courses with a grade of D or higher You may graduate only if your average in classes meets the departmental standard
  Teachers frequently conduct review sessions, pointing out the most important concepts Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions
  Consistently good homework grades may raise your overall grade when test grades are low Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade
Study Responsibilities    
  Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an I.E.P. or 504 plan. Tutoring DOES NOT fall under Disability Services. Students with disabilities must seek out tutoring resources as they are available to all students.
  Your time and assignments are structured by others. You manage your own time and complete assignments independently
  You may study outside of class as little as zero to two hours per week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation. You need to study at least two to three hours outside of class for each hour in class.
  Personal services for medical/physical disabilities are required No personal services are required
  Students are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class Students are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class
  Students are not responsible for knowing what is required to graduate or tracking their own progress Students are expected to select their own majors and/or minors and are expected to learn the graduation requirements for their programs of study

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 U.S.C. 1232 g(d) states that generally speaking, parents of children who attend or have attended a school or facility that receives funding have rights under FERPA. When a student turns 18 years old or enters a post-secondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to parents under FERPA transfer to the student (“eligible student”). However, FERPA provides ways in which a school may – but is not required to – share information from an eligible student’s education records with parents, without the student’s consent.

For example: Schools may disclose education records to parents if the student is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes. Schools may disclose education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter. Schools may inform parents if the student, if he or she is under age 21, has violated any law or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Process

Self Identify and Submit Documentation

It is up to individual students to decide whether they want to disclose their disabilities. The extent of services is determined on a case-by-case basis, and CSU is under no obligation to provide accommodations unless students have provided the appropriate documentation.

Documentation is kept confidential, and it does not become part of a student’s educational record.

Documentation can be delivered:

In person: 402 Jackson Hall
Email: skinder@ClarksSummitU.edu
Mail: 538 Venard Rd, South Abington Twp., PA 18411 ATTN: Summer Kinder
Attach to ADA/Accommodations Request form

Complete ADA/Accommodations Request form

Disability Services will review the accommodations Intake form and documentation.

Meet with Director

During this meeting, the student and the representative from Disability Services will discuss submitted documentation and accommodations that may be appropriate. It is important that Disability Services has all necessary documentation prior to this meeting so that accommodations can be decided upon during the meeting. After this meeting, Disability Services will notify the student of the status of accommodations requested via school-supplied email address.

Communicate with Professors

Students are to follow up with each professor/instructor to introduce themselves and to present the accommodations letter/email to each professor/instructor for implementation of accommodations.

Request Accommodations Each Semester

Once a student has registered with Disability Services, please follow the accommodation request procedure each semester since courses and needs change.

Disability Documentation Guidelines

In order to standardize the process for requesting accommodations, Clarks Summit University has adopted the standards set forth by Educational Testing Services (ETS). These standards are national standards from a well-respected organization, and many of our students will deal with ETS when they take Praxis exams or graduate school exams. We adopt these standards in order to make the process of planning and preparing for college easier for students who require accommodations. Students (and parents) are advised to refer professional evaluators to these guidelines before submission of documentation for an accommodation request.

Documentation on file for the applicant must:
  • Be typed or printed on official letterhead and be signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about license or certification and area of specialization).
  • Clearly state the diagnosed disability or disabilities.
  • Describe the functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities.
  • Be current— i.e., completed within the:
    • last three years for learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disability (ID)
    • last 12 months for psychiatric disabilities
    • Note:This requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.
  • Include complete educational, developmental and medical history relevant to the disability for which testing accommodations are being requested.
  • Include a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability; all test instruments must have adult norms. (This requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.)
  • Describe the specific accommodations requested.
  • Adequately support each of the requested testing accommodation(s).

Students should keep a copy of any disability documentation provided to Disability Services for their own records. Disability Services will maintain a student’s file no longer than three years after graduation or the last semester services are requested.

ETS Policy Statements—Guidelines of Specific Disabilities
Temporary Disabilities

Temporary impairments, such as a sprained ankle, broken bone or medical conditions related to surgery can be challenging, painful and/or debilitating. However, federal disability law such as Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, amended in 2008, does not recognize these and other short-term medical conditions as eligible to be considered for ADA protection or disability-related accommodations. There may be exceptions for temporary conditions that endure beyond six months.

Despite this, CSU Disability Services may, in good faith, as space and resources allow, be able to assist with non-ADA adjustments and to help facilitate the student’s inclusion in the community on a temporary basis.

With appropriate medical documentation and evidence of need, students with temporary needs may be able to request adjustments and assistance. To receive accommodations for a temporary disability, the individual must submit a doctor’s note, on letterhead, to our office indicating the type of disability, limitations, prognosis and estimated duration. Additionally, the student should contact all instructors to discuss means of completing class requirements and exams during the period of the temporary disability.

Academic accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis. Examples of accommodations which may be available for a temporary arm, hand or upper extremity injury may include:

  • Scribe for exams
  • Permission to record lectures
  • Extended testing time
  • Computer for essay exams

Students with temporary disabilities may want to meet with Disability Services to discuss:

  • Potential classroom and testing accommodations
  • Information on accessible routes and elevator access on campus

Disability Services and CSU DO NOT provide personal assistance to students with temporary disabilities such as building-to-building transportation or the transport of books or other personal items. Wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices are considered personal devices and are not provided by Disability Services.

Concussions–HEADS UP

Since a concussion is considered a temporary brain injury, treatment rarely involves legally mandated accommodations through Disability Services. Instead, temporary academic adjustments are the appropriate response in supporting a student’s needs.

The examples listed below may be offered by a faculty member, without further consultation with our office, to a concussed student on an individualized and short-term basis.

  • Permission to attend and observe class without active participation
  • Extensions on assignments
  • Permission to leave class briefly on occasion
  • Preferential seating
  • Rescheduling exams if multiple exams are scheduled on one day
  • Extended time on quizzes and exams (up to double time)
  • A distraction-reduced exam space

Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list.

Student Athletes

After an initial assessment with an athletic trainer, a notification will be sent to relevant faculty members and the student’s faculty advisor by the Academics Office.

NCAA Concussion Fact Sheet

Medical assessment does not determine which academic activities students should try or in what order–only that they should start up gradually and back off their efforts briefly if symptoms worsen. Students’ return to being able to do full academic work most often takes days, but is unpredictable and may take weeks or longer. While most students with a concussion will need some academic adjustments during recovery, the adjustments will need to be considered on an individual basis. Students are encouraged to work with faculty as well as health care providers to find creative solutions that support recovery when necessary.

Students with symptoms lasting longer than two weeks, further medical considerations and academic accommodations, rather than academic adjustments, may be needed. At this point, the Vice President for Academics will work with students, their professors and Disability Services to help manage long-term considerations.

Types of Accommodations

Test Taking Accommodations
  • 50 percent or 100 percent additional time on traditional tests
  • Quiet location for testing
  • Reader/scribe
  • Use of computer to type essay exams
  • Spelling and punctuation considerations on exams
  • Enlarged font
Classroom Accommodations
  • Permission to record the course lecture
  • Preferential seating
  • Course handouts in an enlarged font
  • Course handouts in an electronic format
  • Use of computer for in-class work
  • Assistive technology in classroom
  • Use of service animal in the classroom
  • Modified attendance
Housing Accommodations
  • Accessible room
  • Air conditioning
  • Single room
  • Attendant
Alternative formats

Alternate Format Text Requests

  1. Check to see whether you can purchase your book in an e-book, audio or another format that will work for you. If it is available in another format, purchase the alternate format instead of a printed version.
  2. Check Bookshare (bookshare.org) and Learning Ally (learningally.org) to see if an alternate format of your book is available. It is advisable that you create individual accounts with Bookshare and Learning Ally to enable greater access to texts while at Clarks Summit University and beyond.
  3. If you are unable to locate/purchase/acquire an electronic version of your textbook through the methods listed above, please complete the Alternative Text Request.
  4. If you are not able to get your text in an alternate format, purchase a hard copy of your textbook. Save the receipt. Publishers require that our office have proof of purchase.

Dietary

Clarks Summit University and Aladdin Food Management Services, LLC offer many dining options capable of accommodating different dietary needs, including student specific meal preparation for allergies, in addition to a wide array of healthy eating choices. We encourage students to meet with dining services staff first to inquire about all of the dining options before pursuing a meal plan accommodation. A complete exemption from participation in the meal plan is rare and will be considered when needs cannot be accommodated by Aladdin Dining Services.

Gluten-free: There is a gluten-free zone in the dining hall where gluten-free menu items are readily available for students with gluten sensitivity.
Dairy-free: In addition to regular milk, almond milk and soy milk are also available to all students.
Special Meals: If a student requires a restricted diet because of a medical diagnosis, a request should be completed. The request must have accompanying documentation from the student’s diagnosing physician that clearly states the student’s diagnosis and necessary dietary restrictions. Special meal request forms may be obtained from the Dining Hall or from Disability Services and should be submitted to Disability Services.

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