Academic Accommodations Policy

As of August 1, 2017

Introduction

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities. These laws require the College to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified students with disabilities. Generally, the term “disability” means that an individual has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. This policy is intended to guide the student disability accommodation process once a request for an academic accommodation has been made.

Those with questions about this policy, including prospective students who may need a disability accommodation during the admissions process, should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at Research College of Nursing is the Dean of Nursing: Dr. Julie Nauser, 2525 East Meyer Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64132 | (816) 995-2855 | julie.nauser@researchcollege.edu.

The Interactive Process Between the College and the Student

A. General

1. At the postsecondary level, students are required to self-identify as a person with a disability and affirmatively make a request for an accommodation to the College. Once a request has been made, the College will engage in an interactive process with the student to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodations are available.

2. A student requesting an accommodation based on a disability must have a disability covered by law and be qualified with or without reasonable accommodation. The College is only obligated to provide reasonable accommodations, and it is not required to fundamentally alter its programs to accommodate a student. Thus, not all accommodation requests will necessarily be granted.

3. Accommodation requests and supporting documentation are reviewed on an individualized, case-by-case basis. As such, approved accommodations may vary from person to person and from environment to environment for students with the same disability diagnosis. Documentation of a specific disability does not translate directly into specific accommodations.

4. During the interactive process, appropriate College officials may be consulted to determine the appropriateness of requested accommodations and how best to implement certain accommodations.

5. Temporary accommodation may be available while the College engages in the interactive process to determine whether ongoing accommodation is appropriate and, if so, what reasonable accommodations are needed. However, temporary accommodations do not reflect a determination that ongoing accommodations will be granted and/or what reasonable accommodations are appropriate, nor do they create an obligation on the part of the College to continue accommodating the student

B. Requesting Accommodations and Documentation

1. Students should arrange a meeting with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator in order to request accommodations. Students should not make accommodation requests directly to faculty members; if this occurs, faculty members will refer students to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.

a. The College encourages the timely request of accommodations prior to the start of a semester because the documentation and determination process may take some time. However, accommodation requests can be made and will be accepted and considered at any time. NOTE: Granted accommodations are not effective retroactively so that students will not be able to re-do assignments or re-take exams with accommodations that they originally took before they asked for and received accommodations.

b. Some common accommodation requests include: testing services (including extended time on exams and/or reduced distraction rooms), reader, tape recorded lecture, note taker, magnified text, and specific classroom seating. This list is not exhaustive and students should feel free to request other accommodations for consideration by the College.

2. Appropriate documentation will be required. This may vary depending on the circumstances but should generally include (1) a description of the qualified professional’s credentials, (2) a description of disability-related impairments as they relate to the student’s ability to learn and participate in the academic program, (3) a description of any tests, assessments, facts, observations, records, other materials, and/or evaluations that the professional relied on in arriving at their specific diagnosis, and (4) a list of accommodations which the professional believes would allow the student to fully and equally participate in his/her educational program and how the professional expects the suggested accommodations to help the student.

  • The fact that specific accommodations are recommended by a professional does not guarantee that those accommodations will be granted; the College may provide alternative accommodations instead.
  • While documentation of past accommodation history is important and will be considered, it is not decisive as to what accommodations will be granted by the College.
  • The College reserves the right to request additional documentation if the initial documentation does not provide sufficient information.

Implementation of Approved Accommodations

Once a student has been approved for accommodations, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will prepare a document outlining these accommodations. This document will be provided to the student and the course coordinator for the courses the student is enrolled in for that semester. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the approved accommodations with the course coordinator of each course for which the student wants the accommodations to be implemented.

A student who believes that an approved accommodation is not being appropriately implemented, or is otherwise having difficulty with a faculty member related to accommodations, should first attempt to resolve the issue informally with the faculty member involved. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator may act as a liaison in some circumstances in order to assist in resolving issues between the student and the faculty member. If the situation cannot be resolved informally, the student may file a grievance in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

Checking-In, Modifications, and Additional Accommodations

Students who have approved accommodations should check-in with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator prior to the start of each semester. The purpose of checking-in is to generally discuss the implementation of the student’s accommodations, identify any issues of concern, discuss the student’s upcoming class schedule, consider whether any additional accommodations are necessary or if current accommodations need to be modified, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to engage the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator in this discussion, and the presumption will be that there are no significant issues of concern if the student fails to contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator to check-in.

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, students do not need to wait until the pre-semester check-in to request additional accommodations or modifications. Students who have been granted accommodations may request additional accommodations and/or modifications to their already granted accommodations at any time by contacting the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.

Grievance Procedure Related to Disability Accommodations

A student who believes that the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator has not granted him/her an accommodation to which he/she is entitled may file a grievance within 10 days of the denial. The grievance should be in writing and filed with the College President. The President will review the situation, consult with appropriate personnel, and make a final determination on the matter.

A student with any other grievance related to disability accommodations, such as, for example, a faculty member that the student believes is not implementing accommodations appropriately, may file a written grievance with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. The ADA/Section 504 will review the situation, consult with appropriate personnel, and make a final determination on the matter.