East Carolina University. Tomorrow starts here.®
 
Division of Student Life
Department for Disability Support Services


 

Policies and Procedures

Policy of Nondiscrimination

In September 1973, Congress passed Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 states: "No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely on the basis of his/her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) gives individuals with disabilities civil rights protection that is similar to that provided to all individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. The act guarantees equal opportunity in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. Consistent with the ADA and Section 504, the policy of East Carolina University is that no qualified individual with a disability may be discriminated against on the basis of his or her disability. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to seek admission to the university, and applicants are actively recruited for employment. East Carolina University is making affirmative efforts to accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities. Such efforts include elimination of physical barriers and the provision of individual accommodation. Our goal at the University is to promote institutional programs and employment practices that are accessible to all individuals with disabilities.

 
 

Introduction

Through the Department for Disability Support Services (DSS), the university seeks to meet individual needs by coordinating and implementing internal policy regarding programs, services, and activities for individuals with disabilities. The department functions as a source of information and advice and as a communication link among individuals with disabilities, faculty and staff members, state rehabilitation agencies, and the community at large. Accommodating individuals with disabilities in a mainstreamed environment is the overall objective of the DSS. The philosophy of DSS consists of four basic elements:

  • No individual will be discriminated against, denied the benefits of, or excluded from participation solely on the basis of the existence of a disability
  • Physical and attitudinal barriers, inasmuch as possible, will be removed
  • Individuals with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to pursue their educational goals
  • Each student is unique with needs that are tailored to the individual

The Department is the centralized agency for receiving disability related documentation and the approval of requested accommodations. The process of documentation review involves an individual assessment of the individual's disability with respect to the documentation presented and the accommodations requested.

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ADMISSION TO ECU

Policy
Individuals with disabilities enter the university through the established admissions procedures that are required of all applicants. Neither the nature nor the severity of one's disability is used as a criterion for admission. Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements as established by East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina General Administration Office.

Procedure
Students requesting application materials should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in the Whichard Building at (252) 328-6133 or the Office of Graduate Admissions in Ragsdale, Room 131, at (252) 328-6012. Applicants may also apply online at http://www.ecu.edu/admissions. DSS is available to meet with students to discuss the need for accommodation upon enrollment at East Carolina University. Please call (252) 737-1016 to schedule an appointment.

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PRIOR TO ARRIVING AT ECU

Policy
Prior planning is critical to a smooth transition and adaptation to ECU. Accommodation planning should begin at least one month prior to the student's arrival on campus.

Procedure
New Student and Transfer Orientation sessions are offered throughout the summer and at the beginning of each new semester. Orientation is an excellent opportunity for the student to initiate the accommodation process. Students that have not received orientation session information can do so by contacting the Office of Orientation and the First year Experience at (252) 328-4173. At orientation the student may need to take placement exams for particular areas of study. Accommodations are available during orientation and can be arranged by calling DSS at (252) 737-1016. Please be sure to check in with DSS during orientation so that we may begin gathering the necessary information for providing accommodations. Students and parents are also encouraged to read the document in the Appendix A to learn about the differences between disability services in High School and College.

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QUALIFYING FOR SERVICES

Policy
Students requesting disability accommodations from the university must self identify. Except in the case of readily apparent conditions (i.e.: blindness, quadriplegia) students are required to submit current documentation of their disability to the department prior to the implementation of services. Students requesting accommodations from the university must have a disability as defined by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In cases where documentation is deemed insufficient, the student may be required to participate in additional evaluation. Students must also complete and submit the "Request for Accommodation" form. The University reserves the right to consult with university professionals in reviewing and assessing documentation when it is necessary for approving accommodations.

Procedure
Students must complete the required “Request for Accommodation” form, which is available in this manual and online at http://www.ecu.edu/dss. A student that has decided to attend ECU should contact his/her diagnostician for a copy of their disability documentation to submit with the “Request for Accommodation” form. Upon approval of accommodations, the student must schedule an intake meeting with the Associate Director.

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RECORD MAINTENANCE AND CORRESPONDENCE

Policy
Records for students with disabilities are maintained in the DSS office until 5 years after the last semester of enrollment. Documents that relate to the student's disability are not a part of the academic record in the Registrar's Office. Except when deemed necessary, information regarding one's disability is not released without the consent of the student. The Department maintains a secure computer database that allows for the monitoring of academic progress. All correspondence to students registered with DSS will be by electronic mail. Students are responsible for checking their university assigned e-mail accounts for access to announcements regarding the Department.

Procedure
The “Request for Accommodation” form allows the student to provide specific details regarding to whom DSS may release information. Students requesting a copy of their records must provide written permission to DSS prior to releasing documentation. Students should periodically check their e-mail accounts for announcements regarding upcoming events as well as registration deadlines.

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Academic Adjustments

When appropriate, academic accommodations will be made. It is generally considered non-discriminatory to adhere to academic standards that are essential to a course of study (i.e.: setting a grade point average requirement for admission to a particular program). Requests for academic accommodations must be made in a timely manner. All requests for services should be made to DSS no later than two weeks prior to the start of the semester. Although every effort will be made to fulfill late requests, untimely requests may result in a delay, substitution or denial of accommodation. Academic adjustments must be supported by the documentation and may include the following:

 
FACULTY NOTIFICATION

Policy
Faculty notification is initiated by the student. Faculty will not be notified by DSS that they have a student with a disability in the classroom.

Procedure
To request letters to present to faculty, students should stop by, call or e-mail DSS at the beginning of each semester and request that accommodation letters be generated. Except in unusual circumstances letters may be picked up within 48 hours. The “Accommodation Letter to Faculty” request form can also be filled out online at the DSS Request Forms web page.

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REGISTRATION

Policy
DSS makes every effort to secure priority scheduling of students with disabilities who are approved for early registration by the Department. Students are approved based on their need for the university to make advance preparations. All students regardless of priority status are encouraged to use DSS as a registration site. All completed schedules should be in the office no later than one day prior to the beginning of registration. DSS is not responsible for and will not process schedules that are not filled out completely. Course prerequisites are the responsibility of the student. DSS does not have the authority to "special add" students into restricted classes. The student's desired schedule and choice of faculty member are not guaranteed by DSS.

Procedure
During the fall and spring semesters, all students have the opportunity to participate in the registration process for their next semester's classes. Students registered with DSS should go to their advisors the week before registration opens to get approval of their course schedule. Once the advisor has signed the registration form it may be delivered to DSS for processing. All schedules that are in the DSS office and properly signed by the advisor will be registered for classes on the approved registration day.

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TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS

Policy
Initiating the testing accommodation procedure is the responsibility of the student. Testing accommodations may include extended time, scribe, computer for written exams, use of a spell checking device, calculator, exam readers, and accessible test formats such as Braille and enlarged print. Requests for test format changes (i.e.: oral testing vs. multiple choice) will be decided on an individual basis. Unless there is a time conflict, tests will be scheduled at the same time as the rest of the class. A student who misses a test or exam scheduled with DSS will be required to notify the faculty member. DSS will not reschedule exams without the approval of the faculty. A student who is late for a scheduled exam must finish the test in the time remaining (extended time will be calculated from the scheduled time of the test, not the time of arrival). Final exams will only be rescheduled in accordance with university policy.

Procedure
Testing Accommodations are arranged by filling out a testing accommodation form. These forms are located on the bulletin board outside the DSS office and online at the DSS Request Form web page. To ensure testing accommodations including hiring a proctor, these forms must be filled out completely and turned into DSS no less than 48 business hours prior to the test or exam.

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CLASSROOM ADJUSTMENTS

Policy
Classroom accommodations may include: adaptive technology; auxiliary aids; sign language interpretation; assistive listening devices; note taking; use of tape recorder; priority seating and alternative testing. Students receiving in-class support services must attend classes on a regular basis or risk losing those services.

Procedure
Prior to formally requesting degree modification based on a disability, students should first make an appointment with the Associate Director of DSS. If it becomes necessary to request deviation from the prescribed course of study, the student should consult the Dean of the college or school or the Chairperson of the department of the student's major. The Dean or departmental Chairperson will petition by letter to the registrar for substitutions or exceptions sought and state the reasons thereof. Any deviations from the applicable published degree requirements must have the approval of the appropriate departmental Chairperson or school Dean.

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DEGREE REQUIREMENT MODIFICATION

Policy
Students are expected to complete all degree requirements for graduation in their major. In accordance with university policy, only under unavoidable and exceptional circumstances will the faculty permit substitution for or exemption from the prescribed curricula. Specifically, the study of a foreign language has been deemed a fundamental requirement for many degree programs within the university. The ADA requires that universities offer reasonable accommodation to qualified students; however, it does not require the adjustment of standards that would fundamentally alter degree requirements.

Procedure
Prior to formally requesting degree modification based on a disability, students should first make an appointment with the Associate Director of DSS. If it becomes necessary to request deviation from the prescribed course of study, the student should consult the Dean of the college or school or the Chairperson of the department of the student's major. The Dean or departmental Chairperson will petition by letter to the registrar for substitutions or exceptions sought and state the reasons thereof. Any deviations from the applicable published degree requirements must have the approval of the appropriate departmental Chairperson or school Dean.

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TUTORING

Policy
Tutorial services are available to all students at East Carolina University through academic departments. Personal or private content specific tutoring is considered the financial responsibility of the student. DSS will assist the student in locating a tutor.

Procedure
Individuals in need of tutoring should make an appointment with a DSS counselor.

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REQUESTING AN INTERPRETER

Policy
It is the responsibility of the student requesting interpreting services to provide the office with their schedule immediately after registration. In the event of late registration, every effort will be made to secure accommodations as soon as possible. Any changes to a schedule prior to, or after the start of a semester, should be reported immediately to the Assistant Director for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

Upon request, DSS will provide interpreting services for meetings, plays, presentations, or other functions sponsored by the University. Interpreter request forms should be submitted to the Assistant Director no later than one week prior to the event. Request forms should be filled out as completely as possible to ensure that the appropriate interpreters will be provided. Requests received less than one week before the scheduled event will be honored if possible.

Procedure
An Interpreter Request Form should be submitted to the Assistant Director no later than one week prior to the event. Request forms are available on the bulletin board outside of Slay 138 and online at the DSS Request Form web page. For additional information regarding interpreting policies and procedures please refer to Appendix B.

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HOUSING ACCOMMODATIONS

Policy
East Carolina University will consider reasonable housing accommodations for students with disabilities. The deadline for requesting modified housing accommodations is May 1st of each year. Each case will be individually evaluated annually with respect to the documentation presented and the accommodations requested. Housing accommodations may include room adaptations and adjustments. When the documentation shows that a private room is a necessary method of meeting the housing needs of a student with a disability, East Carolina University will consider exceptions to its general room rate structure unless doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the housing program. In order for the student with a disability to be approved to receive a private room, he/she must provide sufficient documentation completed by a qualified professional.

Procedure
A student requesting housing accommodation should indicate such on the “Request for Accommodation” form. This completed form and documentation should be submitted to DSS by May 1st. In addition, a housing application must be on file with University Housing.

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BARRIER REMOVAL

Policy
Students may not be excluded from a requested course offering, program or activity because it is not offered in an accessible location. New construction will be planned in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards.

Procedure
Any student wishing to address issues regarding physical barriers should meet with the ADA Coordinator/Director of Disability Support Services.

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PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANTS / DEVICES

Policy
DSS does not provide personal care attendants and personal auxiliary devices.

Procedure
Students having issues with personal attendant or auxiliary aid needs should make an appointment with a DSS counselor for referral information.

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SERVICE ANIMALS

Policy
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are permitted in University facilities for persons with documented disabilities. A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing, providing minimal rescue or protection work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items. The service the animal is providing must be directly related to the functional limitation of the person’s disability. Animals requested to provide calming influence, affection, emotional stability, security, comfort, or friendship do not meet the definition of a service animal and will not qualify as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Requests for such animals may therefore be denied. Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or is disruptive to the college community may be excluded, regardless of training or certification.

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CLASS ATTENDANCE

Policy
As stated in the undergraduate catalog, students are expected to punctually attend all lecture, laboratory sessions and field experiences in courses for which they are registered. Absences are counted from the first class meeting, and absences because of late registration will not be automatically excused. DSS does not issue official written excuses for absences. DSS can provide written verification of a disability based on appropriate documentation. This verification may address the legitimacy of but not necessarily excuse an absence.

Procedure
Should issues regarding class attendance arise, make an appointment with DSS as quickly as possible.

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GRIEVANCE

Policy
Any student having a grievance related to a disability is entitled to prompt and equitable resolution of his/her complaint.

Procedure
Informal Grievance Process

1. If any student alleges a grievance based on disability discrimination an immediate appointment should be made with the Dean of Students.
2. At the time of making the appointment, the student should state specifically the need to discuss a discrimination grievance.
3. The Dean of Students will set an appointment date and discuss the grievance with the student as soon as possible but, in any event, within three school days after the request. The grievance should be discussed freely and in an informal and relaxed manner with the Dean of Students. Witnesses or other individuals who may assist in resolving the grievance should be consulted at the request of the student or the Dean of Students.
4. The student will be advised of the corrective action and/or decision of the Dean of Students as soon as possible but no later than three school days subsequent to the date of the conference.

Appeal of the informal process

5. If a grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student by the Dean of Students, the student has the right to appeal to the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity. The appeal must be made to the Director within two working days subsequent to the decision of the Dean of Students.
6. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity will review the case in its entirety, interviewing any and all witnesses deemed necessary, including, where deemed appropriate, a conference involving all parties with the grievance and prior decisions made in an effort to resolve the grievance.
7. The Director will render an opinion within five working days after receipt of the appeal. The decision of the director will be final and will terminate the student's rights pursuant to the informal grievance procedure.
8. If the decision and/or corrective action taken by the Director is not satisfactory; the student has a right to request a formal hearing of the grievance by a grievance committee in accordance with the Formal Grievance Procedure as follows.

Formal Grievance Procedure

The formal process involves a committee composed of any one from faculty, staff or student body of the university will be appointed in cases involving discrimination based on disability. The aggrieved student will select the first member of the committee. The Vice Chancellor for Student Life or other member of the administration will select the second member. The two members selected will then agree upon the selection of a third member who will become the chair.

9. The formal procedure requires that the request for a hearing by the student be in writing. The letter will set forth the nature of the grievance, including the names of individuals involved in the complaint. The letter will also nominate, by name, the first member of the hearing committee. If necessary, the student may obtain the assistance of the student attorney general in drafting the letter. The letter should be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life.
10. Upon receipt of the letter of request form, the student and the Vice Chancellor for Student Life will take appropriate action to nominate a second member to the committee.
11. The first two members of the hearing committee will mutually agree upon a third member of the committee who will act as chair.
12. The committee thus formed should complete hearing of the grievance within fifteen days after being formed when possible. Rarely should it be necessary to extend this time. The request for an extension of time should be made to and approved by the Vice Chancellor for Student Life at his or her discretion. The committee will comply with all of the rules for a due process hearing (see the student handbook). The committee will maintain a complete record of the hearing by tape recording or other method as deemed appropriate by the committee.
13. The committee will summarize its actual findings, its conclusions, and make recommendations in writing as to its decision and/or corrective action. The summary findings and recommendations will be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life within three working days subsequent to the conclusion of the hearings.
14. The Vice Chancellor for Student Life will act upon the recommendations and findings of the committee initiating any corrective action deemed appropriate to resolve the grievance. The entire record of the hearing and the action taken by the committee will be retained on file for a period of one year subsequent to the hearing.

Appeal to the Chancellor

If the action taken by the Vice Chancellor for Student Life is not satisfactory to the student, he or she may appeal the case to the Chancellor within three school days subsequent to the decision by the Vice Chancellor as outlined above. Action taken by the Chancellor is final and will exhaust the administrative efforts of the student.

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INTERNSHIPS AND PRACTICA

Policy & Procedure
If a student will require accommodation, it is the student's responsibility to request accommodation in advance. The unit offering the academic program should inform students how much advance notice the unit requires to identify an appropriate internship/practicum placement and to make arrangements for accommodations (e.g., one semester, one year, etc. before the internship/practicum semester). Because the student may not fully realize the need for accommodation--they may not have a sense of what the internship setting will specifically demand--the department should initiate a meeting one semester prior to placement during which information about internship expectations might be shared and, once better informed, the student might then initiate a request for accommodative planning.

The student, the unit, and DSS need to begin early (at least one semester before placement) to plan for accommodations. Because it may be difficult to know what accommodations will be needed until the agency is involved and the nature of accommodations may vary across agencies, units may prefer early agency involvement in identifying needed accommodations.

The student and unit should seek a placement agency that (1) will provide an appropriate educational experience, (2) will make reasonable accommodations for the student, and (3) will negotiate with the student and the university to provide the services needed.

The student, the unit, and DSS should identify the accommodations needed, including resources and adaptive/assistive equipment, in advance of negotiations with the placement agency.

The student, the unit, DSS, the university legal counsel (210 Spilman, phone: 252-328-6940), and the placement agency will develop a plan and negotiate accommodations satisfactory to all parties. Placement agencies are also subject to ADA requirements and may have a contact person who is familiar with the accommodations already being provided to agency employees. The agency ADA contact person may be able to provide assistance in making arrangements for student placements.

The student must be an active participant throughout the process of identifying a placement agency and identifying and negotiating accommodations.

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APPENDIX A

Significant Differences between High School and College Disability Services

High School

College/University

Applicable Laws

I.D.E.A. A.D.A.
Section 504 Section 504
Rehabilitation Act Rehabilitation Act

Required Documentation

I.E.P. (Individual Education Plan) and 504 Plan Varies depending on the disability, I.E.P and 504 are not sufficient, must include the testing on which the accommodations are based.
School provides evaluation at no cost to student. Student must get evaluation at own expense.
School conducts evaluations at prescribed intervals. Student generally not required to be re-tested after initial documentation approved.

Student Role

Student is identified and supported by parents/teachers. Student must self-identify to the Disability Services Office or designated office.
Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to the school. Primary responsibility accommodations belongs to the student.

Parental Role

Parents have access to student records and participate in the accommodation process. Parents do not have access to disability related records unless student provides written consent.
Parents advocate for students. Students advocate for self.

Teachers/Professors

May modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments. Not required to modify curriculum.
Use multi-sensory approach. Tend to rely on lecture; may or may not use multi-sensory approach.
Weekly testing, mid-term, final, and graded assignments. Testing and assignment frequency vary.
Attendance taken and reported. Attendance often not taken; student is responsible for attending class.

Grades

Grades may be modified based on curriculum. Grades reflect the quality of work submitted.

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APPENDIX B

Interpreting/Transliterating Policies and Procedures

Requesting Services

It is the responsibility of the student requesting interpreting services to provide the office with their schedule immediately after registration. In the event of late registration, every effort will be made to secure accommodations as soon as possible. Any changes to the schedule prior to, or after the start of a semester, should be reported immediately to the Assistant Director for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

Upon request, DSS will provide interpreting services for meetings, plays, presentations, or other functions sponsored by the University. Interpreter request forms should be submitted to the Assistant Director no later than one week prior to the event. Request forms are available outside of Slay 138 or on the DSS website at http://www.ecu.edu/dss/Interpreting_Request_Form.pdf. Request forms should be filled out as completely as possible to ensure that the appropriate interpreters will be provided. Requests received less than one week before the scheduled event will be honored if possible.

Cancellation of Interpreters/No Shows

It is the responsibility of the student to inform DSS if he/she does not plan to be in class on a given day. If three consecutive classes are missed without informing DSS, interpreting services will be suspended pending a meeting with the Assistant Director.

Interpreters will wait 15 minutes for every hour of class up to a 45 minute maximum. (Example: If a class is 1 hour, the interpreter will wait for 15 minutes. If the class is three hours, then the interpreter will wait 45 minutes.

In the event that an interpreter fails to show up for an assignment, the student should contact DSS as soon as possible. If available, a replacement will be sent or other attempts will be made for other accommodations.

Team Interpreting

Team interpreters are used for classes or events 1.5 hours or longer, in situations when an interpreter works for 2 or more consecutive one-hour classes, or as deemed necessary by the working conditions.

Exams

When taking an examination in class, the student has the option to have interpreter remain or you may excuse them. Be sure that before an interpreter is dismissed that the instructor does not plan to lecture afterwards. If you are taking a test in a class that is team interpreted, please let the Assistant Director know so that we may release or reschedule one of the interpreters ahead of time.

Interpreters will not automatically be assigned for final exams. During the final exam week, all services are by request only. If the student would like an interpreter for a final exam, the student should contact the Assistant Director at least two weeks in advance.

Assistive Listening Devices

Hard of Hearing students may check out an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) for use in the classroom. They may be checked out on a short-term (day/week) or semester basis. As early as possible in the semester, make an appointment with the Assistant Director.

Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD/TTY)

Students may use the TDD/TTY in the office of DSS during normal hours (8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday) or contact Relay NC at 711 in order to communicate with campus offices and departments. We have several that can also be checked out on a short-term (day/week) or semester basis.

Closed-Captioning

Students will need to check their syllabus at the beginning of the semester for each class. If there are dates that the professor/instructor plans to show videotapes, the student should inquire as to whether or not they are closed-captioned. If they are not, DSS can caption these tapes with at least two-three weeks prior notice. If there are any questions please refer them to the Assistant Director.

Interpreters

While DSS will consider individual preferences in the assignment of interpreters, it reserves the right to make all interpreter assignments. These assignments are in DSS’s sole discretion and may be based upon many factors which may include, but may not be limited to, availability, certification, qualification and the appropriateness of the request based on actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

Role/Responsibilities of the Student

Register with the Department for Disability Support Services

Notify DSS of any schedule changes as soon as possible.

Arrive on time for class.

Direct questions about class material, procedures, policy and related items to the professor/instructor of the course.

Refrain from interpersonal conversations with the interpreter are inappropriate during class time. Please reserve

these conversations for before or after class.

Discuss any issues that you may have about the interpretation with the interpreter first. If there is still a problem, contact the Assistant Director.

Role/Responsibilities of DSS

Assist qualified students with disabilities in obtaining reasonable accommodations.

Provide qualified interpreters for students who need interpreter services.

Assist faculty and staff in the provision of reasonable accommodations.

Respond professionally to concerns and issues raised by the student, interpreter, staff or faculty member.

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