Purpose:

To establish the process to provide access for students with disabilities to the college’s services, programs, activities, academic resources, and opportunities, and define eligibility for these services.

Scope:

Students

Responsible Party:

Disability Services Coordinator, Student Success Coordinator, Vice President of Student Affairs, and/or the President

Policy Statement

The college will provide reasonable accommodations in its services, programs, and activities to provide equal access to persons with disabilities pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and other relevant federal and state laws. Modifications and reasonable accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis. Limitations on accommodations include those that would fundamentally alter the nature of the college’s services, programs, or activities.

Accommodation of Disabilities

Students or prospective students with disabilities as defined by applicable law have the right to request reasonable accommodations from the college.  Where applicable, the college will make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations under this policy may include modifications to the college’s policies, practices, and procedures where necessary for individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would require a fundamental alteration in the college’s programs or curriculum or pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  Examples of some areas in which reasonable accommodations may be available include, but are not limited to, classroom and/or testing situations, academic support resources, access to facilities, assistive technology, registration, and parking.  In setting forth this policy, it is important to note that the college does offer programs with technical standards and functional abilities requirements which are essential functional requirements for the profession.  Individuals must be able to meet those technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, to participate in the college’s programs.  NOTE:  The use of an intermediary, including, but not limited to, personal aids, assistants, caregivers, readers, and interpreters, that would require a student to rely on someone else’s power of selection, detection, observation, and communication will not be permitted.  For more information on the technical standards necessary for admission and graduation, refer to the Technical Standards and Functional Abilities for Admission and Graduation or contact the Vice President for College Services and Institutional Research or the Coordinator of Student Support.

Procedure for Requesting Accommodation

Documentation for Reasonable Disability Accommodation

A student seeking accommodations for their disability must initiate contact with the disability services office to begin the process for requesting accommodations. For information regarding disability accommodation and/or reasonable accommodations, please contact:

Disability Services Coordinator, 1423 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO 65802, 417.269.3225, disabilityservices@coxcollege.edu.

Documentation of Disability An otherwise qualified student who identifies as having a disability and requests reasonable accommodation will be required to provide appropriate documentation from a licensed provider, which indicates the student’s current disability diagnosis and its impact, and demonstrates a substantial limitation in a major life activity such as learning, seeing, walking, hearing, etc. This documentation must be sufficient to establish the need for accommodation(s) as outlined and may be comprised of, but is not limited to, psychoeducational assessment or medical records from a licensed provider. To accurately assess a condition and make determinations about reasonable accommodations, it is essential the student provide the disability services coordinator with documentation establishing the presence of a disability and explaining how the disability affects major life activities. The college may request additional medical documentation of the disability and and/or the need for an accommodation plan during the interactive process.

A student will complete an application for disability support through the DSS office, and provide appropriate documentation as discussed above. A student will then participate in an intake interview with disability support staff. A student may submit this application at any time during the program of study; however, the college recommends submitting requests as early as possible to allow time to make any necessary arrangements.

The student will meet with DSS office staff to complete the DSS office application for services, discuss needs, arrangements, responsibilities, etc. This meeting may be conducted in person at a campus, or remotely. If, because of the student’s disability, clerical or other assistance is required in understanding or preparing the application for disability support services, this will be provided upon request.

Reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be considered may include but are not limited to:

The academic and technical standards required for participation in an education program or service.

The educational environment and intended outcome of the program, course, and/or service.

The education-related abilities and functional limitations of the applicant or student and whether the accommodations(s) provide a reasonable opportunity for equal access; and

The impact of requested accommodations upon the operation and educational mission of the college, including its compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

Reasonable Accommodation Determinations

When requests are made for modifications to academic requirements, the college will provide individuals who are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced to evaluate if a reasonable adjustment or accommodation is available which would meet those requirements, and if an appropriate alternative is available that meets the underlying reason for the requirement

The college is not required to offer or provide a modification or accommodation when:

An accommodation would substantially alter the educational standards of the college.

An accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, course service and/or activity.

Considering the applicant’s or student’s qualifications along with the requested accommodation, the student is not otherwise qualified to meet the academic, behavioral, and technical standards required for admission or participation in an educational program, course, service and/or activity.

An accommodation would cause an undue financial or administrative hardship on the college; or

Reasonable accommodation would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Reasonable accommodation does not negate the following:

Requirements for successful completion of a program, course, service and/or activity.

Adherence to generally acceptable standards of behavior.

Adherence to the student code of conduct; and,

Adherence to administrative and faculty/staff directions and instructions.

Timeframe for Submission. Documentation must be submitted within a reasonable timeframe.  To obtain accommodations by the start of an academic period, the individual should submit the materials required by this section to the Disability Services Coordinator at least three (3) weeks before the first day of classes.  Such notice allows the individual and the college a reasonable time to engage in the process set forth in this policy.

Implementation of a written accommodation plan

Once a student has been determined to have a disability and reasonable accommodation(s) has been established, a written accommodation plan will be developed by the student’s disability services coordinator. A written plan detailing the accommodations will be provided to the student for the purpose of sharing with instructors and necessary college personnel. To receive accommodations, the student is responsible for delivering the written plan and discussing the requested accommodations with instructors and necessary college personnel. Disability services staff are available to support student efforts to put accommodations in place. It is the student’s responsibility to promptly inform the DSS office of problems with their accommodations. The DSS office will maintain a confidential file which includes documentation of the student’s disability, the student’s written accommodation plan, and historical information documenting the college’s response to the student’s request for accommodations.

Retroactive accommodations

It is a student’s right and personal choice to disclose their disability. Disclosure can be done at any point in the semester and does not require that accommodations be used.

The DSS office cannot retroactively give accommodations and instructors are not required to adhere to accommodations retroactively if a student does not disclose their disability to the Disability Services office or to their instructors, even in the case that the student believes work submitted or exam scores received do not accurately reflect their abilities.

Procedure Following Request for Accommodation; Right to Appeal

Following receipt of all materials outlined in Section III above, the Disability Services Coordinator will review the materials submitted, with the assistance of an outside medical professional (if necessary) and conduct a confidential interview/meeting with the individual within ten (10) business days, if needed.  Reasonable accommodations are determined through collaboration of the Disability Services Coordinator, Student Success Coordinator, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the individual, appropriate faculty, individual departments, and outside professionals (as warranted).

The Disability Services Coordinator shall communicate to the individual in writing the decision about whether reasonable accommodation is necessary and can be provided without fundamental alteration of the program and/or without posing a direct threat to the health or safety of others within five (5) business days of the decision.

The individual may appeal the decision, in writing, by submitting a letter to the College President that indicates the desire to appeal, within five (5) business days after notification of the decision.  The individual’s letter should be sent to 1423 North Jefferson, Springfield, MO 65802, Attn: President.  Failure to submit a request for appeal within the time frame set forth herein will result in an acceptance of the decision and waiver of the individual’s right to appeal.

The President shall, within five (5) business days of receipt of the letter requesting an appeal, call a special meeting of the College Leadership Council to hear the appeal.

The individual shall be given a minimum of ten (10) business days advance notice of the College Leadership Council’s special meeting date.  The meeting shall be held within fifteen (15) business days of the request for appeal, unless extension is required due to extraordinary circumstances, determined in the President’s sole discretion.  The individual will be informed that the individual may appear at the College Leadership Council’s special meeting to present their request and/or relevant documentation.  During the College Leadership Council’s special meeting, the Coordinator of Student Support or another representative of the college shall present the decision and documentation and other information supporting the decision.  The individual shall have the opportunity to present their request, documentation, and reasoning.  (The Coordinator of Student Support or representative speaking on behalf of the college’s decision shall leave the meeting room during the individual’s presentation.)  After the College Leadership Council hears both the college’s representative and the individual’s statements, it shall excuse the all-meeting attendees, deliberate, and vote, based on the circumstances and the law.  (The Coordinator of Student Support or college representative presenting the college’s decision shall not be permitted to vote on this issue.)  The College Leadership Council’s decision shall be binding, and the individual shall have no further right to appeal.

The President shall inform the individual in writing of the College Leadership Council’s decision within three (3) business days of the decision.

When a reasonable accommodation is deemed necessary, the Coordinator of Student Support will develop a plan identifying the student’s condition(s) requiring accommodation, the circumstances under which accommodations are needed, and the reasonable accommodations recommended in the collaborative process described above.  Information in the plan will be distributed to those who need to know that information to put any accommodation in place.  The Coordinator of Student Support will contact individual faculty members to discuss, as necessary, the recommended accommodations and the process for implementation.  If an accommodation is provided, the accommodation applies on a prospective basis.  For example, an accommodation provided does not apply to course work completed before the request for and implementation of the accommodation was provided.  The Coordinator of Student Support arranges for the accommodation(s).  However, it is the student’s responsibility to establish and maintain communication with their instructors and the Coordinator of Student Support and to take all necessary steps to complete and perform the accommodation plan.

  1. Concerns and Complaints

Any individual who has concerns about the accommodations provided or not provided or who wishes to submit a complaint about discrimination or harassment based on disability should contact the Student Success Coordinator, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the dean of the individual’s department, and/or the President.  Any such concern or complaint will be handled under the college’s Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures for complaints based on disability, age, sex, color, race or national original, a copy of which is contained in the Cox College Catalog and may also be obtained from the Student Success Coordinator or any of the individuals listed above.

  1. Publication of Policy

This policy shall be publicized in the Cox College Catalog and shall be provided to all college faculty and administrators.

  1. Definitions

Disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

Interactive process through which the student, healthcare providers, and college each share information about the nature of the disability and the limitations that may affect his or her ability to perform in class and enabling the college to make determinations about approved modifications and reasonable accommodations.

Major life activities are activities that include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, sleeping, eating, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentration, thinking, communicating, and working.

Personal Care Attendant is an individual hired by a student with a disability to provide physical assistance to the student.

Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks, environment, or to the way things are usually done that enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to participate in an academic program.

Otherwise, qualified means a student who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can meet the academic and technical standards required for participation in the educational program or activity.

  1. Authority

This policy is maintained under the authority of the Vice President of Student Affairs and the President.

  • Related Policy

       Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures

  • Implementation 8.1.2021

Set the policy for review 2024 – 2025