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Rules & Practices for Services to Students with Disabilities

Commitment to Equal Access

University Appointed Authority

Declaration of Need

Evidence

Accommodation Requests

Interpreter and CART Services

Confidentiality

Reduced Course Load

Grievance

Commitment to Equal Access

Within the guidelines set forth in this document, Tarleton State University faculty, staff, and students are committed to providing an accessible and supportive environment for students with disabilities. Equal access for qualified students with disabilities is an obligation of the University under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Tarleton State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability against otherwise qualified individuals in any program, service or activity offered by the University. The University is committed to insuring that no qualified individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids or other reasonable services.

University Appointed Authority

The Director of the Center for Access and Academic Testing has been appointed the authority to make decisions on behalf of the institution regarding accommodation requests by University administration. The Director may consult with an advisory committee comprised of faculty and professional staff in considering specific student requests and with the University Diversity, Access, Equity and Disability Services Committee regarding policy, guidelines, and resources.

Declaration of Need

Students seeking to receive consideration for disability related accommodations or services must identify themselves to CAAT. Although students may choose to identify themselves to CAAT at any point in time, we strongly encourage early contact in order to best assure that accommodations, services, and resources are in place. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate contact and to provide sufficient evidence.

Evidence

Provision of appropriate evidence is of two-fold importance: establishing that a student is a person with a disability and thereby entitled to equal access according to federal mandates, and establishing that a student has a need for accommodation in order to obtain equal access. Evidence must demonstrate that the disability creates a substantial limitation to a major life activity. In order to be considered for accommodations, a current need for the requested accommodation(s) must be established.

Accommodation Requests

Requests for accommodations are made in person (if feasible) during a meeting with a professional staff member within the Center for Access and Academic Testing after the provision of appropriate evidence. Requests for accommodations may be made at any time; however, it is to the benefit of the student to contact the Center prior to the semester for which accommodations are being requested. Typically, decisions regarding accommodations will be determined within two weeks of the request. Longer consideration may be needed in certain circumstances (i.e. additional evidence needed, exploration of options with technology, etc.) Once appropriate accommodations have been identified, letters will be created that describe the accommodations the student may be requesting for his/her respective courses, living environment, etc. It is the responsibility of the student to deliver the letters to the instructors and to discuss any course specific issues at that time. Students who believe that agreed upon accommodations are not appropriately provided should contact the Director of the Center for Access and Academic Testing for support in mediation. If a student is not satisfied with actions taken, s/he should follow the grievance procedure outlined in this document.

Interpreter and CART Services

Deaf students requiring an interpreter or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) should follow the process outlined above for the initial request. Interpreters and CART providers are employed by or contracted with CAAT, not the individual receiving services. Therefore, any additions or changes to interpreting or CART service requests must be made through CAAT. Please note that, due to the location of Tarleton State University’s main campus, access to resources is limited.  All efforts will be made to fulfill requests for interpreters and CART, but insufficient notice may result in a delay or lapse in services. CAAT recommends the following to ensure that the efficient provision of services can begin on the first day of classes:

  • Request interpreter or CART services one month prior to the first day of the semester for which services are needed.
  • Register for classes as quickly as possible and notify CAAT when your schedule is available.
  • Complete an Interpreter/CART Services Cancellation Form for any class(es) for which services are NOT needed two weeks prior to the first day of the semester.

If additional interpreting or CART services are needed for programs or activities outside of class, please request these additional services from the Center for Access and Academic Testing with as much advance notice as possible.

Confidentiality

Tarleton State University recognizes and respects the sensitive nature of disability related information and adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in handling such information. All disability related information is collected and maintained by the Center for Access and Academic Testing. Documentation of disability is accessed only by Center staff.

Reduced Course Load

Students requesting a reduced course load (less than 12 semester hours) while maintaining status as a full time student should pursue the request as described previously in this document. The Center for Access and Academic Testing, in consultation with the advisory committee, will make a determination. Students approved for this accommodation will access all of the rights and privileges afforded any full time student at the University. However, issues may arise that are beyond the University’s scope of decision making (such as federal financial aid) that must be negotiated by the student.

Grievance

A student, faculty member, or staff person has the right to file a grievance concerning allegations of failure to comply with laws, regulations, and policies set forth for students with disabilities. The following procedure should be followed in doing so:

  1. The student, faculty, or staff member will present, in writing, to the Director of the Center for Access and Academic Testing reasons why the accommodation in question does or does not compromise the essential requirements of a course or program. If the grievance is against the Director, communications should be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Multicultural Initiatives.
  2. The Director of the Center for Access and Academic Testing will address the issue in coordination with the Student Disability Services Advisory Committee, and will provide the decision to the grieving party in writing.
  3. If the student, faculty member, or staff person chooses to request a review of the appeal, s/he may do so by providing a written request to Academic Affairs.

The grieving party may also, at any time, contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR); completion of the grievance process described above is not a requirement for OCR involvement.