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.