The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual: 1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, 2) has a record of such impairment, or 3) being regarded as having such an impairment.
In education, accessibility is a proactive approach to ensuring that learning experiences are as free from barriers as we can make them. Accessibility isn't about making assignments easier or fundamentally altering course material. It isn't about giving students with disabilities an advantage over other students. Rather, accessibility is about presenting information in alternative ways so everyone can access it.
Accommodations are changes that remove barriers and provide the student equal access to learning. Accommodations meet a specific and unique need of a student. Accommodations don’t change what is being taught, they change how the student learns the material. Examples of accommodations include allowing extended time on exams for a student with a learning disability or providing a note-taker for a student with a motor impairment.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a qualified individual with a disability is "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification 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 a public entity."
The Accessibility Services Office at Hutchinson Community College is dedicated to providing equal opportunity and access to all students. Accessibility Services works closely with students, faculty, and staff so that individual needs are met.
The goal of Accessibility Services is equal access and opportunity for all students. We will work with you to help determine if there are supports or services that might assist you in meeting your college education goals.
Students who wish to request accommodations based on documented disabilities should contact the Coordinator of Accessibility Services to schedule an intake interview. During this initial meeting, the discussion will focus on how the disability affects the student and what accommodations will be needed. Early contact is encouraged as it can take weeks (or months in the case of recorded textbooks and assistive technology) for accommodations to be arranged.
Students will complete the Application for Accessibility Services.
Students will be required to provide appropriate documentation of their disability. The documentation must follow established guidelines and must include justification for the requested academic accommodation. The documentation needs to be sent directly to:
Coordinator of Accessibility Services
1300 N. Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501
Email Accessibility Services
The Coordinator of Accessibility Services will determine if the documentation is adequate to both establish the existence of a qualifying disability and to support the requested accommodations.
Students must request accommodations each semester and requests should be made as far in advance as possible.
Students must notify the Coordinator of Accessibility Services of any schedule changes.
Disability documentation is used to verify the nature and extent of the disability by identifying the current functional limitation(s) caused by the disability to determine appropriate accommodations.
Documentation should be from a qualified professional.
Documentation should identify the disability and the impact the disability has in a post-secondary environment.
Accessibility Services will determine eligibility and appropriate accommodations, case by case, based on the quality, recency, and completeness of the documentation submitted. Documentation can vary but may include: Individualized Education Plans, 504 plans, Mental Health Treatment Plans, and evaluations from medical professionals.
A Disability Determination Form to be completed by a qualified professional can be requested from the Accessibility Services Office.
Contact the Accessibility Services Office! We will meet with you to discuss options.
If a temporary disability (concussion, broken arm, etc.) affects a student’s equal access you may be eligible for accommodations. Make an appointment with Accessibility Services. If you have documentation from your medical provider, bring it to your appointment.
While pregnancy is not a disability, a student with pregnancy-related complications may need accommodations. Some of the accommodations we can offer include accessible furniture, consideration for breaks in class, and support with navigating campus.
Please schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services to discuss your unique experiences and develop an accommodation plan.
All disability-related information held in the Accessibility Services Office is considered confidential and will only be used for academic purposes without written student consent.
A Letter of Accommodation is sent out to the instructors you have each semester to notify them of your approved accommodations. The student must sign this Letter of Accommodation each semester in order for it to go out to instructors.
Talk privately with the student to discuss your observations. The student may reveal he or she has a disability or that they had an IEP or 504 plan in high school. Let the students know that they might qualify for support at the college level and refer them to the Accessibility Services Office.
If he or she is not aware of any particular difficulties, he or she may still be referred to the Accessibility Services Office for an intake appointment. It is not unusual for high-ability students to be identified with a learning disability at the college level. Often the compensatory strategies used at the secondary level are no longer adequate in a demanding university setting. Suggest that the student call or email the Accessibility Services Office at (620) 665-3554 or email@example.com for further information.
Instructors must use accessibility guidelines when developing classroom material. Accessibility Training is available in Bridge.
The first thing to determine is whether the student has a Letter of Accommodation setting forth the accommodations approved by Accessibility Services. If the student does not have such a letter, do not seek to arrange accommodations with the student yourself; refer him or her immediately to Accessibility Services.
A Letter of Accommodation is a letter from Accessibility Services that lists the specific academic accommodations that have been approved for an individual student. A student who has a Letter of Accommodation, dated in the semester in which the class is taking place, is currently registered with Accessibility Services and has provided medical documentation of his or her disability.
If a student asks for accommodation but does not deliver a Letter of Accommodation (LoA) from Accessibility Services verifying eligibility for academic adjustments, it is strongly recommended that you contact Accessibility Services or direct the student to do so. Similarly, if a student asks you for accommodation, and that specific accommodation is not listed in the LoA, you are not obligated to provide it. To reiterate, you are urged not to arrange accommodations for the student; refer him or her instead to Accessibility Services. If you are ever uncertain about your obligations, please call at 620-665-3554 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessibility Services is the campus office designated to work with all students to put in place the appropriate accommodations. They provide a wide array of support services, accommodations, and programs to remove barriers to full participation in College programs and services.
A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment designed to mitigate the impact of a student’s disability without compromising the integrity of an academic course or program. Reasonable accommodations may include:
auxiliary aides such as sign language interpreters
Providing reasonable accommodations allows students with disabilities to have equal access to education and services at the College. Students with disabilities are required to meet the same academic and technical standards as their non-disabled peers, using reasonable accommodations.
Yes. Faculty should always keep disability-related information confidential. For many students with disabilities, disclosure of their disability is a very personal and sensitive matter. You can always contact Accessibility Services if there are any questions, issues, or concerns. Inappropriate disclosure of disability information must be avoided.
Accessibility Services encourages but cannot require registered students to sign their Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of each semester. A student can register with Accessibility Services at any time during the semester. Once the LOA is signed, it is emailed from Accessibility Services to the instructor within 24 hours. Accommodations, however, are not retroactive.