STUDENT HANDBOOK POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING AND USING AN ACCOMMODATION

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1 STUDENT HANDBOOK POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING AND USING AN ACCOMMODATION Students with Disabilities Can Accomplish Their Educational Goal When Given the Opportunity The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO Room 106 Union East Building Phone: (915) Voice Fax: (915) Website: 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Welcome from The Center for Accommodations and Support services II. Vision and Mission of Department III. Documentation Guidelines IV. Temporary Disabilities V. Rights & Responsibilities (Students, Faculty, CASS) VI. Support Services A. Note Taking B. Interpreting C. Reader D. Auxiliary Aides E. Classroom Accessibility F. Priority Registration G. Testing Accommodations H. Advocacy Course Substitutions Absence Considerations Tardy Consideration Extended Time For Coursework I. Adaptive Technology J. Tutoring Services VII. Grievance Policy and Procedures VIII. Section 504 and ADA

3 I. WELCOME FROM THE CENTER FOR ACCOMMODATIONS AND SUPPORT SERVICES (CASS) Individuals with disabilities have the right to equal access and opportunity. In support of this effort, our department maintains that when given appropriate support services and accommodations, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students with disabilities can participate in all aspects of higher education. We welcome the opportunity to provide classroom accommodations and services for those who have a temporary or permanent disability and need assistance in their pursuit of their degree completion. II. VISION AND MISSION OF DEPARTMENT VISION The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) aspires to provide students with disabilities, accommodations and support services to help them pursue their academic, graduation, and career goals. Through these efforts students will have the opportunity to participate freely in all facets of University life. MISSION The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) provides students with accommodations, resources, advocacy, and outreach to enhance and support their pathway to academic and occupational success. As an outcome, students will be able to engage as active members of the campus community, and benefit from participation in an inclusive and supportive academic environment. Questions about these policies and procedures should be addressed to: The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) 500 West University Avenue 106 UTEP Union Building East El Paso, TX Phone: (915) Fax: (915) at or visit the department s web page at 3

4 III. DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES The Staff of CASS certifies that a student qualifies as a person with a disability and needs an accommodation. It is the responsibility of the student seeking services to provide CASS disability related documents from the appropriate licensed professional to verify the existence of a disability and need for services. This information is used to determine the extent of the disability and appropriate accommodations needed. Any cost-related expenses for obtaining documentation are borne by the student. Institutions may request documentation for the following reasons: To verify the existence of a disability To assist in the determination of eligibility for auxiliary aids, services, and individual needs to minimize the impact of the disability To personalize the student s right to equal access and opportunity at the institution Services and/or support are not retroactive. Students receive services once they have met with director of CASS to determine eligibility and needed accommodations. Pending receipt of documentation, CASS reserves the right to deny services and/or accommodations. At CASS s discretion, limited services can be provided for one semester while documentation is being submitted to department. For learning difficulties with either no previous assessment or outdated assessment. Need to Know Basis The university considers information about a student's disability highly confidential. All contact information and documentation received at Disabled Student Services Office (DSSO)is kept in separate confidential files. Therefore, no information in answer to inquiries about a student s disability or documentation will be released without the student s prior written consent or on a need to know basis. A "Need to know" is determined by CASS and very specific to certain situations such: to take action under specific circumstances requests for course substitutions for legitimate safety and health concerns of the student special accommodations in housing facility grievance procedures special financial aid considerations documentation and accommodation committee review 4

5 Documentation needs to be adequate and current: Current within the last 3 years of first enrolling at UTEP. However, CASS will accept documentation that is older for conditions that are permanent or nonvarying. Some conditions that are chronic and/or changing may require more current documentation and/or frequent updates. Documentation must include both diagnostic information and an explanation of the current manifestations or functional limitations on the condition. Documentation must be provided on letterhead of the certified professional. It should be thorough enough to demonstrate whether or not a major life activity is substantially limited and support the accommodations that are being considered (including the extent, duration, impact of the condition, and impact of medication). Specific documentation for a Hearing Loss: A copy of audiogram indicating limitations in hearing. A copy of tuition waiver from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services - Division for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DARS - DHHS) only indicates that an individual qualifies for a tuition waiver and does not verify what accommodations are needed. Specific documentation for a Visual Impairment: A copy of letter from an optometrist or ophthalmologist indicating limitations in vision. A copy of tuition waiver from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services - Division for Blind Services (DARS - DBS) only indicates that an individual qualifies for tuition a waiver and does not verify what accommodations are needed. Specific documentation for Psychological/Psychiatric Disorders: such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorders, depression, bipolar, etc. need to come from a licensed mental health professional including clinical social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologist: A clear statement of disability, including DSM-IV diagnosis Must reflect the current impact that the psychiatric/psychological disability has on the student s functioning and present symptoms A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested Medical information relating to the student s needs, including the impact of medication on the student s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment 5

6 Specific documentation for an Attention Deficit Disorder: A list of questionnaires, interviews and observations used to identify the ADD behaviors. A summary should include information regarding the onset, longevity and severity of the symptoms A complete psycho-educational evaluation, including a cognitive assessment with a report of the interpretation of data Information concerning the impact of the ADD on the educational setting, including functional limitations Medication history and current recommendations regarding Medication The exact DSM-IV diagnosis Information concerning co-morbidity Specific documentation for a Learning Disability: Testing must be comprehensive: o Aptitude o Achievement o Information processing Testing must be current within the last 5 years (older evaluation will be considered if assessment was performed after the age of 16 years of age) There needs to be a clear and specific evidence of a learning disability Include test scores / data Include diagnostic reports with the names and titles of evaluators as well as the date(s) tested. IV. TEMPORARY DISABILITIES Many students will experience a temporary disability at any point in their progress toward degree attainment. Such temporary disabilities can result from athletic injuries, car accidents, traumatic experiences, head injuries, and pregnancy, among 6

7 other examples. All UTEP students with temporary disabilities are eligible for classroom accommodations and should make an appointment to become registered with the CASS office as soon as possible to receive these accommodations. Depending on the student s current class schedule, the severity of the temporary disability, and the accessibility of their classrooms, adjustments to the class or to the student s schedule might need to be made. The following options are available in regard to any UTEP student s temporary disability. A. If the temporary disability occurs early in the semester, the student may : 1. Make arrangements with the professor to complete assignments outside of the classroom. 2. Request to be reassigned to a different section of the same course in an accessible location. 3. Withdraw from the course and register to take the class as an independent study with the professor s permission. 4. Withdraw from the course(s) if the remaining assignments cannot be completed over a reasonable period of time. 5. Request, if the classroom is now inaccessible, it be relocated to an accessible location if no other options are feasible. B. If the temporary disability takes place a few weeks or more into the semester, the student may : 1. Request that an Incomplete be given as a grade if the assignments can be completed within a year. 2. Withdraw from the class if the assignments cannot be completed within a reasonable amount of time, if the deadline has not already passed. 3. Request a medical withdrawal, but must be aware that the withdrawal will be from all classes on their course schedule for that semester. In all cases of temporary disability, the student should remain in close contact with their professors. In considering options it is recommended that students consult with their academic advisor and/or a CASS staff member, when appropriate. V. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENT/FACULTY/CASS RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Expect all disability-related information to be treated as confidential. CASS is the university department that has been designated to review disability documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations. Receive appropriate accommodations in the classroom and/or campus. 7

8 Appeal decisions regarding accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Disclose disability to CASS and provide adequate documentation to verify the existence of a disability that supports the need for an accommodation Request accommodations two weeks before the start of semester by contacting CASS so that accommodation request letter can be prepared by the first day of class. This does not apply to students who need an accommodation that requires advance planning, such as readers, interpreters, accessible classrooms, etc. Discuss with faculty accommodations needed in the classroom and provide him/her with accommodation letter to support request o The student should schedule a conference with the professor NO LATER than the second week of classes to clarify any accommodation needs or questions pertaining to the classroom environment or course assignments o If the student requests services later in the semester, the student should discuss accommodation needs with faculty as soon as possible Follow procedures with faculty and CASS to receive an appropriate accommodation Personal independent living needs or other personal disability-related needs such as coordinating services of personal care attendants or acquiring homework assistance is the responsibility of the student and not CASS Adhere to the UTEP student code of conduct and meet academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the educational program or activity o Every student is held to the same high standards o The university is not obligated to provide an accommodation that will require substantial change to course or program or activity Attend classes regularly o Class attendance is a reasonable expectation for college students o If the student is unable to attend classes because of a disability, he or she should contact the professors and CASS immediately o Absence consideration may be made on an individual basis when accommodation does not substantially alter essential elements of the course or program or activity Bring concerns about accommodations or services to CASS in a timely manner o CASS is usually able to help correct problems as they arise o However, if efforts to resolve the problem are unsuccessful, students have the right to file a grievance through CASS 8

9 RIGHTS OF FACULTY: To request verification of a student s eligibility for any requested accommodations. Such verification will be in the form of an accommodation letter prepared by CASS and given to student. Expect the student to initiate accommodation requests Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of their courses and evaluate students on this basis. Students with disabilities need to meet the same course expectations as their peers without disabilities Determine location where student will be accommodated during an exam/quiz. If a professor needs to use proctoring services CASS to administer exam/quiz, then expect CASS to administer exams/quizzes in a secure and monitored environment. RESPONSIBILITIES OF FACULTY IN PROVIDING ACCOMMODATIONS: Provide accommodations in the classroom and/or course examinations only to students who are registered with CASS. Faculty is not obligated to provide an accommodation to a student who is not registered with CASS Use proctoring services when unable to accommodate a student during an exam/quiz because he/she: o is unable to provide needed extended time o does not have needed space o does not have needed adaptive technology Discuss with CASS any concerns related to an accommodation or arrangements that have been requested by the student that may jeopardize the academic standards or integrity of the course. Treat information about a student s disability and accommodation as confidential Include a statement in course syllabus encouraging students to come to CASS to request an accommodation. RIGHTS OF CASS: 9

10 To receive appropriate documentation from the student prior to services being initiated. Academic accommodations can be denied when appropriate documentation has not been provided to CASS by the student Determine eligibility and appropriate accommodations Expect students and faculty to work cooperatively with CASS to facilitate academic accommodations Deny unreasonable academic accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary services. Accommodations can not impose undue hardship to, or fundamentally alter, a program or activity of the university. RESPONSIBILITIES OF CASS IN PROVIDING ACCOMMODATIONS: Inform students of their rights and responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Provide a letter to request accommodations. This notice indicates to professors that the student has provided proof of a disability and that the requested accommodations are considered reasonable and appropriate Protect students with disabilities from discrimination by treating information about their disability as highly confidential o The student is NOT required to disclose any details or diagnoses related to the disability to anyone outside of CASS o Information about student s disability will be shared only on a need to know basis or with student s written consent o Need to know is determined by CASS Inform students of established grievance procedure with regard to CASS services, policies, or procedures Act as student/faculty liaison and provide advocacy as needed to insure campus, program, course, etc. is accessible Final determination of an appropriate and reasonable accommodation is made by the Staff of CASS in collaboration with faculty or Academic deans or chairs 10

11 VI. SUPPORT SERVICES Accommodations need to be requested two weeks before the beginning of the semester Students that need advanced planning such as the hiring of interpreters or books-on-tape, readers, accessible classroom, etc. should request accommodations one month before the beginning of semester Reasonable accommodations are provided only to students with known disabilities who are registered with the office of CASS Type of accommodation provided is determined by degree of barrier and/or limitation and are provided to allow equal access and opportunity to students with disabilities; for that reason, each student is given individual consideration. Requests for changes or additional services must be referred to the Director of CASS for review to determine if accommodation requested is reasonable and appropriate A. Note Taking Services May include one or more of the following: Auxiliary aides such as use of a tape recorder, laptop, Braille-n-speak, etc. to record class lecture (student is responsible for supplying equipment) Copy of professor s notes and/or transparencies, etc. When available, student can obtain copies of transparencies and other visual materials from professor. Non-carbonized paper paper is provided by CASS for student to use (classmate providing copy of notes is not compensated as a note taker, this is strictly done on a voluntary basis) Note taker for class lecture classmate who volunteers to provide a copy of lecture notes and is compensated at $ per class per semester. It is the student s responsibility to attend class. Note taker and faculty are not obligated to provide notes to lecture that the student does not attend class Student needs to attend class regularly to continue receiving copy of notes Absences exceeding three may result in note taking services being suspended until student meets with the director of CASS If there is a medical reason why the student cannot attend class he/she must contact CASS immediately o Student needs to request a note taker from professor so that he/she can make an announcement in class anonymously. Student needs to speak with CASS immediately when notes are not provided at end of period, or are unclear or difficult to read 11

12 B. Interpreting Services Sign language interpreter CASS staff member who facilitates communication in the classroom Student must request Interpreter services for class lecture month prior to the beginning of semester to ensure availability. Student needs to notify CASS more than 24 hours in advance of a cancellation due to illness or other absence. More than three absences, CASS may discontinue services until student meets with director of CASS to discuss reason for excessive absences If interpreter is a no show after 10 minutes from the beginning of class, the student should contact CASS immediately Interpreters are instructed to wait 5 minutes for each half hour of class. If the student does not arrive within that time, the interpreter will return to department unless otherwise instructed by CASS. For meetings with faculty/staff, orientations, or other campus events, student will need to notify CASS one week in advance to secure interpreter services. For theatre performances, student will notify CASS one month in advance to secure interpreter services To request replacement of interpreter assigned: The student will need to meet with the Coordinator of CASS to discuss his/her concern The Coordinator will observe the interpreter in the classroom The Coordinator will meet with the interpreter and student to discuss concern and make recommendations that may include replacing interpreter C. Reader Services To obtain reader services for textbooks and/or course materials, the student is required to purchase a copy of the textbook(s) for the course to receive an alternative format and/or reader 12

13 Materials in Large Print or Braille o The student needs to bring materials that need to be converted into large print or Braille one-week before materials are needed to CASS o The student will be contacted by CASS when materials are ready to be picked up Books-on-cd are ordered from Learning Ally o The student needs to request books-on-tape 1 month before the start of semester to be available the first week of class o Books-on-CD that are not picked up within the first three weeks of the start of the semester (fall/spring) or the first week during summer sessions will be returned to Learning Ally and they will not be reordered within that semester o Student s record will placed on hold if books-on-cd are not returned to CASS by the last day of final exams. Reader (CASS staff member) o Student need to request this accommodation 1 month before the start of semester o Student will need to discuss due dates of reading material(s) with reader assigned and sign time sheet of reader to verify hours worked MP3 Audio or Text File o Textbooks can be converted to an audio or text file by CASS only when it is not available through Learning Ally or through the publisher o Student will need to request this accommodation 1 month prior to the start of semester o CASS will provide audio or text file of textbook on CD to student o Student will be asked to sign agreement indicating that: he/she has purchased copy of textbook audio or text file will be used for homework purposes only and will not be duplicated or distributed in any way o A financial hold will be placed on the student s record if CD is not returned to CASS by the last day of final exams D. Auxiliary Aides and Adaptive Technology Examples of auxiliary aides 13

14 Assistive listening devices (ALD)--provided to students with a moderate to severe hearing loss to amplify and access spoken information in lecture, etc. o A student can check out an ALD from CASS the first day of class o The student is responsible for damage to or loss of ALD while in their care o The student is required to return ALD to CASS by the last day of final exams o A financial hold will be placed on a student s records until ALD is returned to CASS or the student has paid for cost of repair or to replace lost or damaged ALD o A videophone is available in the Women s Resource Center Union Building West Room 106. E. Classroom Accessibility Students who need to ensure that their class is located in an accessible classroom, or those that need access to adjustable desks or chairs, should register early with a CASS staff member. Appointments for assistance are strongly recommended to be scheduled with the CASS staff member no later than the last week in September for Spring Semester, or by the first week in April for Summer and Fall Semester registration. Students are also encouraged to promptly inform a CASS staff member if any of their proposed class locations do not meet their needs. CASS staff members work closely with the Registrar and the individual academic departments to ensure that all students have classroom access. F. Priority Registration Priority registration allows students who have already registered with The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS), to register for classes during the early registration period. Priority registration is granted to these students when there is a disability-related need. Priority registration can help to address any of the following student concerns: Attend class in an accessible classroom. Availability of special furniture in the classroom such as adjustable desks and chairs. Access to American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters. Provision of textbooks and assigned readings in alternative format. An adjustable class schedule, such as to ensure there is enough travel time between classes. Please note: To ensure timely assistance it is strongly recommended that students submit all priority registration requests to a CASS staff member no later than the last week in September for Spring Semester registration, and by the first week in April for Summer and Fall Semester registration. In the event that the 14

15 recommended time period for submission of a priority registration cannot be met, students should contact CASS office for further guidance and assistance. Procedure for Priority Registration: 1. Student meets with their academic advisor and have their proposed class schedule reviewed and approved. Course registration can be done by the academic advisor except when the advisor becomes aware of classroom accessibility limitation, in which case the actual course registration should be done by the CASS staff member. 2. Student removes any academic, disciplinary, or financial holds. Such holds can include unpaid parking tickets, unpaid tuition or fees, and that of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). 3. Student makes a priority registration appointment with a CASS staff member. 4. Student and the CASS staff member, reviews the course sections to determine if at least one option is available for the student to be registered in an accessible classroom. 5. If alternatives to an inaccessible classroom are not available, a request to move the classroom to an accessible location by the CASS staff member will be made with the Registrar and the respective academic department. G. Testing Accommodations The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that a student with a disability has the right to take exams with appropriate accommodations that allow him/her to demonstrate his/her abilities rather than his/her disability; depending on the student and the exam, one or more accommodations may be needed The student will need to take an exam/quiz at the same time and date as the other students in the same class unless the professor gives permission for a different time when a conflict exists: The student has another class immediately after the course student is scheduled to take exam, he/she will need to speak with the professor to get permission to take the exam at a different time such as earlier or later that day, the day before or after, or at another date and time specified by the professor. CASS does not have the authority to change the date and/or time of the scheduled exam. This must be approved by the professor. Students are encouraged to schedule their classes one hour apart to allow for the extended time, when feasible Exams proctored by professor 15

16 The professor should administer an exam with needed accommodation(s) within their classroom or department. However, CASS is available to proctor exams, in Room 106 Union East Building if the professor cannot administer exam with needed accommodations because he/she: o Is unable to provide needed extended time o Does not have needed space and/or adaptive technology If professor administers the exam, he/she will be responsible for providing all accommodations necessary for the exam Exams Proctored at CASS The student must notify CASS no later than 72 working hours prior to scheduled exam to ensure proctoring space is available. Any exam scheduled with less than 72 working hours notice WILL NOT be proctored at CASS, no exceptions. CASS is responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of an exam. Thus, students are monitored during the exam by video/audio equipment and CASS staff. Any student suspected of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Students immediately Students are expected to complete their exam within the allotted extended time Only items that have been approved by the professor will be allowed into the testing area Backpacks, fanny packs, purses, caps/hats, cells phones, pagers, walkmans, disc players, or any other electronic equipment will not be allowed into the testing area CASS is unable to pick up last minute exams. Therefore, if the exam is not at CASS by the scheduled date and time, it will be the responsibility of the student to make other arrangements with the professor Accommodations on exam/quiz (may include one or more of the following) Extended time o Students can receive time-and-a-half or double-time with double-time being the maximum o Requests for additional time beyond that assigned must be reviewed and approved by Director of CASS one week prior to a scheduled exam 16

17 H. Advocacy Alternative format of exam/quiz o Large print o Braille o Exam/quiz on audio cassette o Recording answers on an exam/quiz in lieu of using scantron o Orally exam/quiz administered by professor o Quiet location with minimal distractions o Use of scratch paper o Use of a dictionary Adaptive Technology/Auxiliary Aides Used To Read An Exam/Quiz o Screen Reader o Screen Enlarger o Kurzweil Reader o Closed Circuit TV o Magnifier o Tactile images of graphs, etc. o Reader (CASS staff member) Reader does not provide explanation or assistance to questions All questions about exam/quiz will need to be referred to professor Adaptive Technology/Auxiliary Aides Used To Record Answers to An Exam/Quiz o Calculator o Talking calculator (Basic and Scientific) o Spell Check o Word Processor with or without spell check o Voice Recognition Software o Scribe Scribe does not provide explanation or assistance to questions All questions about exam/quiz will need to be referred to professor Academic and program requirements shall be modified, as necessary, to ensure that they do not discriminate against qualified students with disabilities. These modifications should not affect the substance of the educational programs nor compromise educational standards. 17

18 Modifications may include, but are not limited to: o length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements; and o substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degrees; and o adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted. Academic and performance requirements that are essential to course work or directly related to licensing requirements are not regarded as discriminatory Examples of Advocacy Course substitution o A student may be eligible for a course substitution if he/she has a physical or mental disability that affects his/her ability to participate in or complete a course successfully o A student must be a qualified person with a disability. According to Section 504, 34 CFR (k) (3) qualified person with a disability is: With respect to postsecondary and vocational education services, a person with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admissions or participation in the institution s education program or activity. o To request a course substitution: The student needs to request a course substitution from the Director of CASS The student will need to have a record of a disability on file demonstrating a substantial limitation in physical ability, visual acuity, or learning that affects participation or learning in course CASS will review student s documentation of disability and academic history CASS will submit request to the appropriate academic Dean who will then determine if the substitution request is reasonable and does not compromise essential elements of degree, program or activity. Absence Consideration o Class attendance is a reasonable expectation of college students. If a student is unable to maintain regular class attendance because of a disability, he/she should contact the professor and CASS immediately. 18

19 o A student may be eligible for absence consideration if he/she has a disability that produces severe flare ups or exacerbations or side effects to medication which may affect regular class attendance: Student will need to request accommodation from CASS and discuss accommodation with the professor before absence(s) occur Professor will need to determine how much class attendance is necessary for a student to still receive credit in course Student is responsible for making arrangements with professor to make-up work missed Tardy Consideration o A student may be eligible for this accommodation if he/she has a substantial limitation in walking and/or breathing that could affect traveling between classes o Student will need to request accommodation from CASS and discuss this accommodation with the professor before a tardy occurs Extended Time For Coursework o A student may be eligible for this accommodation if he/she has severe limitations with visual acuity, reading comprehension, physical dexterity, or has a disability that produces frequent or severe flare ups or exacerbations, has severe side effects to medications, or other conditions CASS determines to be reasonable and appropriate o The student needs to request this accommodations well in advance of coursework deadlines and speak with professors to make arrangements I. Adaptive Technology/Auxiliary Aides Adaptive technology that can be used for coursework or research is available in the Special Needs Room or the Library Technology Center on the 3 rd floor of the UTEP Library Adaptive technology that can be used during an exam/quiz is available at CASS Room 302 Union East Building 19

20 Examples of Adaptive Technology/Auxiliary Aides Available Screen Enlarger--magnifies icons and text on computer screen, such as Zoom Text. This program also reads text information on computer screen out loud Closed Circuit TV --magnifies written or printed materials Screen Reader software such as JAWS or Window Eyes read text information on computer screen out loud Kurzweil Readers 1000 (for students with visual impairments) or 3000 (for individuals with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, psychological disorders, etc.) o Software works with a scanner to scan and read text out loud; o Kurzweil 3000 also works as a talking word processor that reads information typed. In addition, program has word prediction to assist with spelling o Both programs have a built-in dictionary Voice Recognition Software changes spoken information into text such as Dragon Naturally Speaking Braille Embosser with Duxbury--transcribes text information into Braille Math Type--software that allows one to type math equations Talking Calculator--provides auditory feedback of basic math calculations entered into calculator (Basic and Scientific) Swell Form--provides a tactile image of graphs and drawings by raising black lines Four Track Player--tape recorder that plays back books-on-tape from Learning Ally J. Tutoring Services CASS does not provide tutoring services for students attending the university. Accommodations needed during a tutoring session may include: 20

21 o A sign language interpreter to facilitate communication between student and tutor o To use a tape recorder to record tutor explanations o Accessible table, chair, etc. to access tutoring services o Use an assistive listening device (ALD) to amplify tutor explanations o Request for the tutor to accommodate student by: Writing larger Providing frequent explanations Using different techniques to convey information such as graphs, charts, diagrams, etc. Facing student when speaking to facilitate communication o Any other accommodation CASS determines to be reasonable and appropriate VII. GRIEVANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURES From UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures, April 29, Complaint Procedures for Students, Applicants for Admission, or Other Beneficiaries of University Programs, Services, or Activities Filing a Complaint Students and applicants for admission who are dissatisfied with the decision of the Director of The Center for Accommodations and Support Services should first submit their concerns in writing to the Director of Disabled Student Services Office. The Director of The Center for Accommodations and Support Services shall give a written response within ten (10) working days. If the student or applicant for admission is not satisfied with the Director s determination, he/she should then follow the complaint and appeal options below Students and applicants for admission, or beneficiaries of University programs, services, or activities who believe that they have been denied a reasonable accommodation in violation of this policy or disability laws may file a complaint in writing with the University s ADA Coordinator. (See contact information below) The complaint must be filed within ten (10) working days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation and shall contain the name and address of the person filing the complaint, a brief description of the alleged violation, and any 21

22 documents supporting the complaint. In the case of a student or applicant for admission who has appealed an accommodation decision with the Center for Accommodations and Support Services in accordance with above, the complaint filed with the ADA Coordinator must be filed within ten (10) working days of the decision made by the Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services The ADA Coordinator shall investigate the complaint. A written statement containing the determination and/or proposed solution shall be sent to the complainant within fifteen (15) working days of the receipt of the complaint The ADA Coordinator shall maintain all records related to the complaint Appeal Students and Applicants for Admission If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the ADA Coordinator, a written appeal stating why the decision is incorrect may be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the written determination by the ADA Coordinator. The appeal must contain the name and address of the person filing it and a brief description of the reason for the appeal Beneficiaries of University Programs or Activities If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the ADA Coordinator, a written appeal stating why the decision is incorrect may be made to the Vice President for Business Affairs within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the written determination by the ADA Coordinator. The appeal must contain the name and address of the person filing it and a brief description of the reason for the appeal Review by Vice President for Business Affairs The Vice President shall review the determination of the ADA Coordinator and may consult with others as may be deemed necessary A written decision will be sent to the complainant within thirty (30) working days from the date of receipt of the complaint. The Vice President may extend the response time by an additional ten (10) working days upon notifying the complainant in writing. The decision of the Vice President for Business Affairs shall be final. 2.7 Failure to Proceed with an Appeal or Process a Grievance 22

23 Failure of a complainant to appeal a determination by the ADA Coordinator to the appropriate Vice President within the specified time limit shall constitute abandonment of the complaint, unless an extension has been approved in writing. Failure by the ADA Coordinator to make a determination within the prescribed time limit authorizes the complainant to forward his or her complaint to the appropriate Vice President. Contact information: 1. Director, The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS): The Director of CASS can be reached at (915) , or at by fax at (915) , or in 106 UTEP Union East. 2. ADA Coordinator: The ADA Coordinator can be reached at (915) or at by fax at (915) , or in Kelly Hall, Room Vice President for Student Affairs: The Vice President for Student Affairs can be reached at (915) , or in 301 UTEP Union East. To appeal the decision of the ADA Coordinator, submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs in Room 301 Union East Building or at Further grievance can be pursued through Section 504 and/or ADA by contacting the Office of Civil Rights at or by visit their website at for more information. VIII. SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 AND THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 An Overview of the Rights and Responsibilities of Students with Disabilities By: Jeanne M. Kincaid, Esq. Congress passed Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in It is a Civil Rights statute designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It says that: No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States.Shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial Assistance. It is also unlawful to discriminate against someone solely because of his/her association with an individual with a disability. 23

24 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which followed Section 504, of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was signed into law in July, However, most provisions did not take effect until January 26, 1992 (i.e. Title II-Governmental Services; Title III-Public Accommodations; Title I-Employment Provisions). It was further modified with passage of the Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on September 25, 2008, to clarify and reiterate who is covered by the law s civil rights protections. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 revises the definition of disability to more broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit a major life activity. The amended language also states that mitigating measures, including assistive devices, auxiliary aids, accommodations, medical therapies and supplies (other than eyeglasses and contact lenses) have no bearing in determining whether a disability qualifies under the law. Changes also clarify coverage of impairments that are episodic or in remission that substantially limit a major life activity when active, such as epilepsy or post traumatic stress disorder. The amendments took effect January 1, What is the major difference between Section 504 and the ADA? Section 504 only applies to entities that receive federal Financial Assistance. Whereas the ADA covers most establishments whether privately owned or assisted with state and/or federal funds. If a college or university is in compliance with Section 504, will it automatically be in compliance with the ADA? In most instances yes, however, to the extent that the ADA provides greater protections to individuals with disabilities, the college/university must comply with the ADA. How is otherwise qualified defined under the ADA and Section 504? A qualified individual with a disability is one who with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices; the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by (the postsecondary institution). Who is an individual with a disability? A person who: 1. has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity; 2. has a record or history of such impairment; or 3. is regarded as having such impairment What are major life activities? 24

25 Major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. When determining if a person is substantially limited, the condition, manner, or duration is considered under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity. What are the obligations of students with disabilities? In order to enjoy the protections of Section 504 and the ADA, the student has an obligation to self-identify that she/he has a disability and needs accommodation. The institution may require that the student provide appropriate documentation at the student s expense in order to establish the existence of the disability and the need for accommodation. What are the institution s obligations to students with disabilities? The institution must provide reasonable accommodations to the student s known disability in order to afford him/her an equal opportunity to participate in the institution s programs, activities and services (including extracurricular activities). A college or university may not discriminate against an individual solely on the basis of the disability. What is a reasonable accommodation? A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to participate. An equal opportunity is defined as the chance to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges that are available to a similarly situated student. UTEP is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to known limitations and otherwise qualified students with disabilities To determine appropriate accommodations, CASS may seek information from appropriate licensed personnel to verify the existence of a disability and need for an accommodation Appropriate accommodations are determined by examining the following: o The barrier resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment; o Whether or not the student has meaningful access to the course, program, service, job activity, or facility without accommodations; o Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, job activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations. 25

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