ADA Accommodation Procedures
Process for Requesting Accommodations
- The student contacts the ADA compliance officer and asks for accommodations.
- The student provides the ADA compliance officer with recent, professional documentation of the disability. The student must provide documentation from a professional service provider to the ADA compliance officer that includes the description of the disability, names and results of tests administered as appropriate, the effect of the disability upon the student‘s ability to participate in accelerated degree programs, activities and services of the University. The testing assessment must have been completed in the last three years and include the summary of findings and listing of accommodations suggested.In addition, suggestions for specific accommodations that would allow equal access to University programs, activities and services are invited.
- The ADA compliance officer and the student work together to determine accommodations; instructor(s) will be consulted when necessary. The student will work with the ADA compliance officer to complete the Academic Accommodations Request Form prior to each course, listing the requested accommodations. The form will be considered completed when signed by the ADA compliance officer. A copy of this form will be given to the instructor of each course for which a form was submitted.
- The ADA compliance officer prepares paperwork stating approved accommodations.
- A memo from the ADA compliance officer is provided to instructor(s). The student will work with course instructors to obtain the needed accommodations, following up with faculty or the ADA compliance officer if the accommodations are ineffective or if additional assistance is needed.
- Accommodations are provided.
- The student and direct ADA compliance officer evaluate accommodations with input from instructor(s).
To receive services from Baker University, a student must provide the ADA compliance officer with documentation of the disability from an appropriate professional. The nature and type of documentation depends on the disability.
Purpose of Documentation
Documentation legitimizes a student's request for accommodation. The documentation designates the individual as a person with a disability and provides a rationale for reasonable accommodations. The student is responsible for the cost of obtaining the documentation. All documentation is considered confidential and will not become a part of the student's academic records.
Documentation for Physical & Health-Related Disabilities
To determine eligibility to receive accommodations and support services, the ADA compliance officer must have specific information from the student and his or her health-care provider.
Documentation of a health-related disability must be submitted as a letter on official letterhead from a physician, typed and signed. It should include the functional limitations, information about whether the condition is stable or progressive, and information regarding side effects, if any, of medication. Also, information should be provided regarding situations that may exacerbate the condition.
General Guidelines for Documentation
- It must come from a licensed professional (unrelated to the evaluated individual) trained in the appropriate specialty area. The documentation must be printed on letterhead, dated, and signed by the evaluator. It must also include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about licensing or certification.
- It must include a description of the criteria or testing used to diagnose the disability. The description should include a list of the diagnostic tests used, a list of the results of the diagnostic procedures and tests and the dates they were administered.
- It must include a clear diagnostic statement, an explanation of limitations and recommended accommodations. It should clearly explain the impact the disability has on major life activities, as well as any impact the disability has on the student's learning environment.
- It must be current, in most cases no more than three years old. Baker acknowledges that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a learning disability is viewed as lifelong. Although the disability will continue, the severity of the condition may change over time.
- It must be comprehensive. School plans (IEPs or 504 plans, for example), while helpful if included with other diagnostic instruments, are not sufficient documentation by themselves. Accommodations cannot be provided until current and appropriate documentation is received.
It is the instructor’s responsibility to communicate with the student, to review the academic accommodations request form and to discuss the specific accommodations requested. Questions and concerns are to be expressed and discussed in order to reach mutual understanding and establish an effective working relationship between faculty and student.
The faculty will respond to the request for academic accommodations in a timely fashion following the procedures attached to the academic accommodations request form.
A student should not discuss a disability with faculty without providing an academic accommodations request form. If a student approaches a faculty member, the instructor should refer the student to the director of student services for self-identification of the disability and assistance. The instructor may provide individual academic accommodations without the assistance of the director of student services. In this case, the instructor is assuming all responsibility for working with the student and providing the accommodations.
Faculty are encouraged to seek assistance as needed from the ADA compliance officer in providing accommodations for students.