Disability Support Services
The Office of Disability Support Services offers a range of services to both support and accommodate students with disabilities to succeed in their academic programs. The process involves three steps:
Contact the Disability Support Coordinator (DSC). The DSC will explain the documentation requirements to determine eligibility for services.
Upon determination of eligibility, the DSC will work with the student to determine the appropriate accommodations.
These accommodations are put into an accommodation plan which is then presented to each student’s instructors. Information is held in strict confidence and is only shared with identified staff and professionals on a need-to-know basis.
In this process, students, faculty and the DSC enter into a partnership, sharing the responsibilities and actions necessary to identify and implement the accommodations that support the needs of each student. Please see our FAQs section for more information or contact the DSC.
In addition to determining eligibility and developing accommodation plans, the Office of Disability Support provides other services to support the success of students with disabilities. They include:
- Academic and career advising;
- Technology solutions;
- Consultation regarding study skills;
- Assistance with finding electronic and audio versions of texts;
- Assistance in finding community resources for learning or mental health evaluations;
- Working with faculty in implementing accommodation plans;
- Serving as a liaison between faculty and students, as needed;
- Assisting students in formulating a student success plan; and
- Facilitating accommodations requiring collaboration with Student Success Programs.
Eligibility & Appeals
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, an individual with a disability is defined as a person who "has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities of such an individual; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having an impairment." Examples of disabilities that may qualify a student for accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- Learning disability;
- Intellectual disability;
- Attention Deficit Disorder;
- Blindness or visual impairment;
- Deafness or hearing impairment;
- Mental health disorders (e.g. bipolar, anxiety, depression);
- Speech disorders;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Physical disabilities;
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders;
- Chronic illness;
- Asperger’s Syndrome;
- Temporary disabling medical conditions.
If a student is not found eligible in accordance with ADA guidelines, the student will be informed in writing of the decision and the reason(s) eligibility was denied. The student has the right to appeal the decision.
In the event of a disagreement with the Disability Support Coordinator over eligibility for services or with an accommodation plan, the student may appeal the decision to the ADA Coordinator at Salem Community College by following these procedures:
- Visit the Student Affairs Information Desk in Donaghay Hall and ask for the “ADA Appeal Process” form.
- Submit the completed form by mailing/delivering to the Dean of Student Affairs, Donaghay Hall, 460 Hollywood Avenue, Carneys Point, NJ 08069.
- Within ten (10) days of receipt, a letter will be sent indicating that the request for appeal has been received along with a description of the appeals process.
- Within thirty (30) days of receipt, a written determination will be sent to the student.
Once found eligible, the student and the DSC (Disability Support Coordinator) mutually determine the academic accommodations to include in the accommodation plan. The DSC will review the documentation presented by the student, then through an interview and discussion process with the student identify the academic accommodations that will best “level the playing field” based on the specific disability needs of that student.
An accommodation plan is the final document, signed by both the student and the DSC, defining the academic accommodations. The student shares the plan with each instructor to verify and then use as the basis for discussion to find the best way to meet the accommodations in that class.
Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- Extra time on tests;
- Study guidance for exams/quizzes;
- Providing class lecture notes;
- Distraction-free setting for exams;
- Use of math fact charts;
- Preferential seating;
- Recording lectures;
- Audio texts when available;
- Exams read by reader or electronically;
- Enlarged print textbooks, handouts, exams;
- Scribe-written answers for exams/quizzes;
- Use of spell-check software or devices for assignments in class;
- Electronic texts (E-texts) when available.
ADA accommodations at the post-secondary level are designed to provide “equal access.” For example, a student who is deaf may need closed captioning or a sign language interpreter to provide equal access to learning. On the other hand, accommodations cannot give students an unfair advantage. For example, accommodations cannot alter the content or pace of a subject or dictate what teaching methods the instructor must employ. In other words, accommodations are designed to remove the barriers to learning and once in place, students with disabilities are held to the same standards as all students.
Documentation Requirements & Standards
To become eligible for services through the Office of Disability Support Services, documentation is meant to:
- Demonstrate a preponderance of evidence showing that the disability substantially limits a major life activity;
- Provide information that will help determine the reasonable accommodations needed to alleviate the barriers of an identified disability; and
- Include a deliberative, collaborative process that is responsive to the unique experience of each individual.
The documentation must meet these standards and requirements:
- The type or degree of documentation required depends on the nature of the disability and the accommodations that are requested or needed. The Disability Support Coordinator spells these out clearly after the initial meeting with the student.
- In order to determine eligibility and accommodations, multiple factors may be considered. In accordance with the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) May 2012 guidelines, primary documentation comes from the self-reporting from the student, secondary documentation comes from observation and interaction, and tertiary documentation comes from information from outside sources. Outside sources may include information from medical, learning, or psychological evaluations; test scores; past academic history; and/or medical diagnoses. A structured interview will take place with each student requesting services.
- The Disability Support Coordinator will determine the degree and type of documentation required, filtered by his/her professional judgment, in order to verify the disability and determine how it is “substantially limiting." In addition, documentation can serve an important role in determining what accommodations may be needed. The type and degree of documentation requested will vary depending on the nature of the disability and if additional information is needed to supplement documentation from other sources.
- If outside documentation is requested, it is the student’s responsibility to supply the necessary documentation. Evaluations/IEPs/504 plans from high school; evaluations conducted by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or other public agencies; or SCC supplied forms completed by licensed or certified professionals/doctors are typically the main sources for outside documentation at Salem Community College. The Disability Support Coordinator assists students in this process.
- Throughout the entire process, students will be interactive participants.
- An accommodation plan will be developed once eligibility and accommodations are determined. A signed copy will go to the student to show his/her instructors and a copy will be placed into the student’s file in the Disability Support Services Office.
- Accommodation plans will be renewed and reaffirmed by signature each semester.
- Documentation can be shared with staff and professionals on a “need-to-know basis." Otherwise, the information gathered on each student is held in strict confidence. A Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release form must be signed by any student 18 years or older to share or release information with parents.
- If a student is found to be ineligible for services or there is disagreement as to accommodations, the student will receive a letter indicating the reasons for the decision. The student has the right to appeal the decision to the ADA Coordinator.
Responsibilities of Student, Faculty, and Disability Support Office
Responsibilities of the Student
Students are required to be active participants in the relationship with the Office of Disability Support Services. Specifically, students are expected to:
- Self-disclose the disability to the Disability Support Coordinator;
- Provide current documentation certifying the disability and the need for accommodations in accordance with the criteria and standards outlined by the Office of Disability Support Services;
- Follow through on the student’s role in making sure accommodations are implemented;
- Notify individual faculty members of the accommodation plan;
- Request accommodations for all outside the classroom tests including but not limited to, certification or licensing tests; tests to quality for admission into designated SCC programs; entrance tests; and/or credit granting exams.
- Discuss with each instructor the best way to implement the accommodation plan in his/her class;
- Arrange planning meetings each semester with the Disability Support Coordinator when notified;
- Develop the self-advocacy skills to self-disclose or to inform faculty members of a disability; and
- Notify the Disability Support Coordinator of any problems in the implementation of accommodations or requests to change accommodations.
Responsibilities of the Faculty
Faculty play an important role in the accommodation plans of a student. To ensure that students are receiving maximum benefit from their accommodation plans and that all legal requirements are being met, faculty members are expected to:
- Familiarize themselves with a student’s accommodation plan when received;
- Discuss with the student how the accommodations will be executed in the class;
- Implement the accommodations as specified in the plan;
- Seek assistance from the Disability Support Coordinator should questions, concerns or problems arise;
- Maintain confidentiality in all matters related to students with disabilities or their accommodation plans;
- Ensure that any documentation received is stored in a secure and protected manner; and
- Make students aware of Disability Support Services who disclose a disability.
Responsibilities of the Disability Support Office
- Send out student 504 Accommodation Plans to faculty as a courtesy on a semester by semester basis;
- Develop 504 plans in partnership with the student using documentation and interview notes;
- Arbitrate issues with the faculty for the implementation of accommodations if a question or concern arises;
- Ensure all requests for accommodations agreed upon by the student and the Disability Support Coordinator within the classroom or outside the classroom as described in the student responsibility section are implemented.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common frequently asked questions can be found here. If you cannot find an answer here, please contact the Disability Support Office.
Contact the Office of Disability Support Services.
Visit the Office of Disability Support Services to discuss this matter with the Disability Support Coordinator, who may be able to alleviate your concerns.
It may be. The determination will be made in accordance with the professional judgment of the Disability Support Coordinator looking at the entirety of a student’s history.
There are important differences. An IEP applies to students with disabilities from preschool to grade 12 only. An IEP offers a much wider range of program options, modifications and intensive services than accommodation plans do. An IEP is designed to remediate the identified areas of disability with goals to measure progress while accommodation plans are only required to provide reasonable accommodations that will give students with disabilities equal access to learning. In an IEP, the curriculum and standards can be modified; however, this is not the case with an accommodation plan in college. Once an accommodation plan is put in place, students with disabilities are held to the same standard as all students. For some students coming from high school, the difference can be shocking.
The major difference is that students with disabilities are expected to self-advocate for themselves at a much higher level than is sometimes necessary in high school. In college, students must have a good understanding of their disability needs and be able to communicate those needs to others. In addition, students must know where and when to get academic support and tutoring and become familiar with how technology can assist them in becoming successful.
The Disability Support Coordinator considers information gained from one or more of the following sources: a structured interview with each student; observations, reports from faculty, or direct interaction; psychological or learning evaluations, medical reports, and/or previous school records in order to make a determination on eligibility.
Based on the interview with the student and any documentation provided, both the student and the Disability Support Coordinator will discuss what accommodations will be both reasonable and effective.
See Accommodations section of the web site.
While all documentation will be considered along with the entirety of a student’s history, current evaluations and medical reports are the most useful in making the necessary determinations in regard to eligibility and accommodations and may be necessary for certain handicapping conditions. However, relevancy remains the critical dimension in documentation. The DSS coordinator will determine the documentation needs on an individual basis.
Contact the Disabilities Support Coordinator.
Salem Community College prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age in any of its programs or activities. Any complaints or grievances of alleged discrimination should be filed with the Dean of Student Affairs, Tillis Hall, 460 Hollywood Avenue, Carneys Point, NJ 08069 (856.351.2707).
See Eligibility & Appeal Process section of the web site.
The college is committed to making sure that any request for documentation, if such documentation is required, is reasonable and limited to the need for the modification, accommodation, or auxiliary service or aid requested. There are a number of available options. See the Disability Support Coordinator for more information.
Accommodation plans are sent to your instructors as a courtesy so that they are prepared when you approach them. Many of the faculty has experience working with students who have accommodation plans and understand this concern.
Most plans can be developed in 30-60 minutes.
Yes. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Description of Facilities
Students requiring a parking accommodation are provided with designated parking spaces in all College lots.
Elevators are located at the following locations:
- Contini Hall -- in the west stairwell, adjacent to the Nursing Center;
- Donaghay Hall -- adjacent to the Michael S. Cettei Memorial Library;
- Tillis Hall -- adjacent to the restrooms; and
- Salem Center -- adjacent to the lobby.
Community and Informational Services
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
40 E Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Cerebral Palsy Group
400 Putnam Oike Suite J #242
Smithfield, RI 02917
Cerebral Palsy Guidance