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How to Obtain Accommodations

 

How to Obtain Classroom Accommodations—New Incoming Students

Step 1:  Students must complete and submit a Request for Accommodations form, available from the Office of Disabilities Services AND submit documentation substantiating the disability to:

Phillip Gehman, Coordinator of Disability Services
514 University Ave., Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Documentation may include a psychological evaluation, Summary of Performance or Medical Provider form. Although I.E.P.'s and 504 Plans are helpful, they are generally not accepted in lieu of other documentation.

Step 2:  Students will receive a preliminary letter and phone call regarding eligibility for accommodations. 

Step 3:  Studenst must meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services (CDS) within the first two weeks of the semester to obtain formal Letters of Agreement for Accommodations which they will deliver to each relevant instructor. The student should return the signed letter/s to the CDS as soon as possible. Students are responsible for making arrangements for extended testing time, testing in a noise reduced area, etc. Susquehanna University does not have a separate testing facility. Although our faculty is very accommodating, students are discouraged to expect their instructors to sign the Letter of Agreement at the end of class. A discussion should take place at the appropriate time and place. 

How to Obtain Classroom Accommodations—Returning Students

Step 1:  Students must schedule an appointment with the Coordinator of Disability Services (CDS) by contacting gehman@susqu.edu in the first two weeks of classes each semester. During that meeting students will discuss accommodation needs for each class and draft a Letter of Agreement for Accommodations.

Step 2:  Students must then take the Letter of Agreement for Accommodations to each professor to discuss the needed accommodations. The CDS is available for consultation regarding suggestions or alternative accommodations. Both the student and the professor should sign the contract and the student should return the signed agreement to Office of Disability Services.

Securing Housing or Dining Accommodations

Please note that a single room assignment is only granted to students for whom no other accommodation is deemed reasonable, and only when available. A medical condition alone does not qualify a student for a single room assignment.

Step 1:  Students must complete a Request for Accommodations form and a Housing/Dining Accommodations form.

Step 2:  A physician must complete a Medical Provider form or supply other medical information. The form should be sent to the Coordinator of Disability Services (CDS) who will review it.

Step 3:  The CDS will contact the student via phone call to discuss the need for the requested accommodation/s.

Step 4:  If approved, the CDS will contact Associate Director of Residence - Operations, or the Director of Food Services to recommend the accommodation. The student will then be contacted by the Director/s to identify the most appropriate options available.

Roommate Conflicts and Disabilities

The Disability Services Office and the Residence Life staff recognize that some students may need more help being proactive because of a disability or sensitive issues surrounding a condition. These students are encouraged to discuss their issue with the CDS and possibly the Resident Advisor (RA) as early as possible in the semester. Moreover, students with chronic health impairments are encouraged to discuss their condition with the CDS, RA and roommate (if appropriate) as soon as possible, particularly if the condition will worsen with continuous conflict and stress. Students are strongly encouraged to report any roommate conflicts to the RA immediately. Room or roommate change requests brought to the CDS during the semester will immediately be reported to the Assistant Director of Residence Life. If students have not already made a good faith effort to resolve roommate conflicts, they may be asked to do so. The CDS will make the final decision to move/change a room assignment due to a chronic health issue that is exacerbated by roommate conflicts. 

Arranging for Alternate Texts (E-Texts or Audio Books and Braille)

Students should contact the Office of Disability Services to discuss specific needs for alternate texts as soon as their schedules have been finalized. 

We will assist students in obtaining the needed texts in a variety of ways as follows:

  • Requesting an electronic copy (e-text) of the text from the publisher.
  • The Print Shop at Susquehanna University will scan the book into a PDF file, or if necessary, a Word file, and place on a CD, commonly referred to as e-text. Students requesting this service should read the following guidelines:

Guidelines for Text Book Scanning

  • Contact the CDS to receive approval before taking any books to the Print Shop. The CDS will inform the Print Shop that the student has been approved for an e-text.
  • Students should scan only the books that are absolutely needed. This means that students must read the course syllabus and preview the book/s before they are taken to the Print Shop. All textbooks will be returned to the student in e-text format as soon as possible.
  • All e-texts must be returned to Disability Services at the end of the semester.
  • All e-text will be copied onto CD (e-text) unless otherwise specified (thumb drive, shared drive, etc.)
  • Remember:  Textbooks will be dismembered!  The spine will be cut off and the book will be rebound with ez-coil or spiral bound depending on the size of the book.  Hard cover books will also become spiral bound and the cover will be given back to the student.  Textbooks cannot be scanned without this process.  Resale of the book to the bookstore will depend on the condition of the book.

Textbooks can be scanned by chapter if time allows, and in an emergency situation, the text will be scanned as one file. Another option is obtaining audio books from the Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic. Payment for services is dependent upon student or institutional membership options.Obtaining e-texts from http://www.bookshare.com/.

Computers

The Office of Disability Services works with the Office of Information Technology to provide student assistance with their computers. The offices will work with students to identify arrangements for access to assistive technology software. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services to request technical help.

Requesting a Course Substitution (Foreign Language or Mathematics)

Students at Susquehanna University are never exempt from taking a required course. However, course substitutions may be considered. All course substitutions must be approved through the Disability Services Office and the Course Substitution Committee. No student is given a course substitution before acceptance to Susquehanna or as a condition of their acceptance. The Admissions Office is not entitled to grant or promise course substitutions to any student. Students wishing to obtain a course substitution, for example, for a foreign language or mathematics course, must inform the Coordinator of Disability Services as soon as possible upon being accepted to Susquehanna. All course substitutions must be approved through the Disability Services Office and the Course Substitution Committee. Course Substitution Policy.

Temporary Accomodations

In some cases, the university will provide provisional, one-time accommodations to students who are in the process of obtaining documentation for their disability. In order to be considered for temporary accommodations, students must show that they are actively working to obtain appropriate documentation for their disability. 

Appeals Process

Students who disagree with an accommodation decision may appeal the decision by submitting a written statement of appeal to the coordinator of disability services and the Provost (for academic matters) or the vice President of Student Life/Dean of Students (for non-academic matter), who will make a final decision.  An appeal must be submitted within ten working days of the initial accommodation decision. The appeal will be reviewed within five working days, and the student will be notified in writing of the decision by either the Provost or the Dean of Students. The initial accommodation decision will remain in effect until the appeal has been reviewed and a decision rendered. 

 



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