Academic accommodations policy

Effective March 30,2021

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 Coordinator for the College. The ADA Coordinator at Research College of Nursing is Lynnette Siegel, 2525 East Meyer Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64132. Initial contact should be made via email at: lynnette.siegel@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 must contact the ADA 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 Coordinator.

2. Students must complete the Disability Accommodations Application and provide appropriate documentation (as described in section B.3. below) to be considered for accommodations. The Application may be obtained here. A paper copy can be obtained from the Office of Student Success.

Students must submit the completed Application and required documentation no later than 5 days prior to the desired implementation date. Any late submissions or deficiencies in the required documentation may result in a delay or denial of accommodations. NOTE: Granted accommodations are not effective retroactively. Students will not be allowed to go back and resubmit assignments or retake exams that were due and administered prior to the granting of accommodations. This underscores the importance of timely and accurate submission of requests and documentation.

3. Appropriate documentation from a qualified professional is required and should 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 suggested 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. Some common accommodation requests include, but are not limited to: testing services (for example extended time on scheduled exam days and/or reduced distraction rooms), readers, tape recorded lectures, note takers, magnified text, and specific classroom seating.

a. 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.

b. Although documentation of past accommodation history is important and will be considered, it is not decisive as to what accommodations the College may grant.

c. The College reserves the right to request additional documentation if the initial documentation is incomplete or does not meet the requirements outlined above.

Implementation of approved accommodations

If a student has been approved for accommodations, the ADA Coordinator will provide the student and faculty with an approval document outlining the accommodations. 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 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.

Modifications to approved accommodations

It is the student’s responsibility to engage the ADA Coordinator with respect to any requested changes to approved accommodations. The presumption will be that there are no significant issues of concern if the student fails to contact the ADA Coordinator to request changes. Students are not to contact the faculty member directly to request modifications to approved accommodations or to request new accommodations. The student must contact the ADA Coordinator to request changes.

Grievance procedure related to disability accommodations

A student who believes that the ADA Coordinator has not granted an accommodation to which the student believes to be entitled may submit additional information and request a review of the denial decision. If the student is not satisfied with the ADA Coordinator’s final decision to deny accommodations, he or she may file a written grievance with the College President within 10 days of the denial. 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 Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator will review the situation, consult with appropriate personnel, and make a final determination on the matter.