Yakima Valley Community College
Disability Support Services Procedures
I. COMPLIANCE STATEMENT
No student shall, on the basis of his or her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any college program or activity. YVCC is committed to providing qualified students with a disability, an equal opportunity to access the benefits, rights, and privileges of college services, programs and activities, in the most integrated setting appropriate to the student's needs, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
YVCC is committed to providing reasonable accommodation, including core services, to qualified students with disabilities. The purpose of this document is to outline the rights and responsibilities of students, YVCC, and Disability Support Services (DSS) under the ADA and to establish clear guidelines for seeking and receiving reasonable accommodations. These guidelines establish the scope of and the requirements for requesting those accommodations.
YVCC provides reasonable accommodations for students with a disability who provide documentation of their disability. Neither YVCC nor any of its employees are authorized to diagnose disabilities. Only qualified staff of the Disability Support Services office are authorized to determine and assign reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.
Reasonable accommodations under these guidelines include, but are not limited to; (a) academic adjustments, such as teaching methods and flexibility in test-taking arrangements; (b) adjustments in nonacademic services and other rules; and (c) auxiliary aids and services.
To receive reasonable accommodations in an appropriate and timely manner, students are responsible for requesting accommodations and submitting acceptable documentation as to the nature and extent of their disability (see procedure - section V)
YVCC will make those modifications to its academic requirements that (1) are necessary to ensure that those requirements do not discriminate, or have the effect of discriminating, against a qualified student with a disability based on the disability and (2) do not impose an undue hardship on the college or require alteration of essential program requirements.
Student with a disability - a student who; (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his/her major life activities or; (2) has a record of such an impairment or; (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. (42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)
Qualified student with a disability - a student with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, meets the academic and technical standards required for admission to, participating in, and/or fulfilling the essential requirements of college programs or activities.
Documentation of disability - a report that establishes the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities. Common types of documentation include medical records, psychological assessments, and high school IEP's or 504 reports. The report must include an assessment conducted by a qualified professional that includes a clear diagnosis of the disability. Documentation shall be current (within the last 5 years) and include quantitative scores.
Program accessibility - all programs and services, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible to persons with a disability.
Core Services - those services listed in RCW 28B.10.912, which are necessary to ensure students with disabilities are reasonably accommodated at YVCC.
Course Substitution - the replacement of a specific course required for a degree program with another course that measures the same learning objectives/skills as the required course.
Reasonable accommodations- modifications of those programs, policies, practices, and procedures that enable qualified students with a disability to have an equal opportunity to benefit from and have access to college programs and services by providing appropriate auxiliary aids and services.
Undue Hardship - any excessively costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive modification, or a modification that would substantially alter the nature of operation of the institution or any of its programs or services or threaten the health or safety of the YVCC community.
Service animal - any dog trained to do work or perform tasks that provide benefit directly related to the disability of an individual, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities. An animal´s presence for emotional support, well-being, companionship or crime deterrence does not constitute the work or tasks of a service animal.
Therapy Animal - an animal with good temperament and disposition with reliable, predictable behavior. A therapy animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living. A therapy animal does not accompany a person with a disability all the time, whereas a service animal is always with its partner. The animal may be incorporated as an integral part of a treatment process. A therapy animal is not covered by the laws protecting and giving rights to service animals.
IV. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COLLEGE
- Comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
- Make available to all students' information about the services available to students with disabilities, including the name and location of the Director of DSS, and the process for accessing those services.
- Work with the student, faculty, and staff, on a case-by-case basis, to select and provide those accommodations/core services appropriate for each qualified student with a disability.
- Follow procedures that protect the confidentiality of information regarding the nature and extent of the documented disability.
- Maintain the academic integrity of its programs.
- Prohibit pre-admission inquiry as to whether the applicant has a disability, except as provided by law.
- Arrange accommodations in a timely fashion for students who submit documentation and request accommodations at least three weeks prior to the start of the quarter.
- Have a campus/ building emergency plan that provides for the needs of students with disabilities.
YVCC is not responsible for providing equipment and services that the student needs outside of college for daily living.
V. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS
The college is obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. A student who seeks such accommodation is responsible for providing documentation as to the nature and extent of the disability. The college will work in collaboration with the student to identify potential accommodation, though the college reserves the right to make the final determination which accommodations are reasonable and appropriate.
Procedure for Requesting Accommodation:
- Student must contact the Disability Support Services office to register for services: Yakima- C138, 574-4961; Grandview- L121, 882-7041
- Student registers with Disability Support Services by submitting a completed DSS application, a signed student agreement, and documentation of disability.
- Student meets with a DSS counselor to assist the counselor in determining reasonable accommodations (appointment is scheduled through the DSS office upon receiving completed application).
- The assistant dean reviews the accommodations for approval.
- The DSS office assistant prepares and sends letters of accommodation to the student and the student's instructors electronically.
- Instructors coordinate with the DSS office to provide accommodations as indicated in the letter of accommodation.
To ensure that needed accommodations are provided in a timely manner, students shall:
- Provide notice and documentation of the nature and extent of their disability and the accommodations requested to the Disability Support Services office. Some accommodations require significant time to arrange. Requests for accommodations must be received by the college three weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter for which the request is made. Lack of advance notice may delay the availability of an accommodation.
- Provide additional documentation on the nature and extent of their disability as the college may require to determine reasonable accommodations.
- Work with DSS to develop an appropriate service plan for the certificate or degree sought.
- Discuss the letter of accommodation with each instructor to ensure both the student and instructor are clear on the accommodations and how they will be administered.
- Promptly notify DSS of any difficulty in receiving the agreed upon accommodations.
VI. DISABILITY SUPPORT SERVICES OFFICE
- The Disability Support Services Office is responsible for the coordination of services to qualified students with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations.
- DSS contacts all students with disabilities who self-identify during the college registration or orientation process.
- Information regarding a disability is kept confidential unless the student signs a Release of Information form.
- DSS assists each qualified student with a disability who requests accommodations under these guidelines in developing a service plan, identifying reasonable accommodations appropriate for the student, and ensuring that the agreed-upon accommodations are provided.
VII. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
The process of selecting reasonable accommodations for each qualified student with a disability shall be made on a case-by-case basis, based on the nature and extent of the student's disability.
A. Academic Modifications.
Academic modifications may include, but are not limited to:
- Flexibility in timelines for completion of courses, certifications, and degree requirements;
- Substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degrees;
- Adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted;
- Flexibility in teaching methods and test-taking arrangements;
- Flexibility in credits required to satisfy institutional eligibility for financial aid.
B. Auxiliary Aids and Services.
Auxiliary Aids and Services may include, but are not limited to:
- Flexible procedures in the admissions process.
- Qualified sign language, oral and tactile interpreters, or other technological alternatives;
- Access to adaptive equipment including, but not limited to, Video Phone, FM communicators, closed-caption devices, closed circuit televisions, low-vision reading aids, e-text, 11"x17" copying capability, text-to-speech software, and computer enhancements;
- Textbooks and other educational materials in alternative media, including, but not limited to large print, Braille, and electronic format;
- Provision of readers, note takers, and/or proofreaders
- Release of syllabi, study guides, and other appropriate instructor-produced materials in advance of general distribution and access beyond their regular classroom session to PowerPoint presentations, DVDs, and other media, and recording of lectures.
- Ongoing review and coordination of efforts to ensure campus accessibility, including barrier-free design, signage, identification of hazards of mobility barriers, maintenance of access during construction, snow and ice clearance, and adequate disability parking for all facilities;
- Facilitating physical access to programs and services including relocation of classes, activities, and service to accessible facilities;
- Referral to appropriate on-campus and off-campus resources, services and agencies;
- Allowing individuals with disabilities to bring their trained service animals on campus for the purpose of providing a specific service. (YVCC does not allow the use of therapy animals on the campus.)
VIII. PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTING A COURSE SUBSTITUTION
Every student enrolled in a degree program at the college must meet the essential requirements of that program to receive the appropriate degree or certificate. The law does not require the college to waive essential requirements of a student's program of instruction. However, a course substitution may be considered if it does not impact the essential elements of the program or degree (as determined by the dean and department chair), and only after the qualified student with a disability has attempted the required course with appropriate accommodations and has followed the proper procedures for requesting a substitution.
Requests for course substitution must be submitted in writing and include:
- a description of the accommodations previously provided to the student for the course;
- an explanation of the relationship between the student's disability and its impact on his/her inability to complete the course;
- the proposed substitute course, if known; and
- a statement by the student that he/she has made a good faith effort to complete the required course with appropriate accommodations.
- Substitution Accommodation Committee
All requests for course substitutions shall be submitted to the Substitution Accommodation Committee composed of: the chair of the department in which the course is offered; one faculty member from the department, the dean of the division or his/her designee, the DSS Director, and the student's academic advisor.
- A request for a course substitution may be approved if the proposed substitution meets the learning objectives of the degree or certificate requirements.
- The Committee shall respond in writing to all requests for course substitution within three weeks of receiving the request. The response shall include a brief summary of the basis for the decision.
IX. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION - APPEALS
- If a student believes that the institution has not identified or provided reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids, the student has the right to appeal.
- Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Student Services. The dean, in consultation with the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services, will review the appeal and respond within fifteen (15) days.
- The decision of the Dean of Student Services is the final decision of the Institution.