Clarke University Accommodation Services supports students with disabilities in accessing educational programs, activities and services. In addition, Accommodation Services offers support to Clarke faculty and staff on strategies to build on the strengths of students with disabilities.
Students with Disabilities
Students with learning, mobility, mental and physical health, and other disabilities may request reasonable accommodations intended to allow for greater access to academic classes or housing situation.
What accommodations may be available to me if I am a student with a disability?
A variety of accommodations are available depending on your unique characteristics and needs. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Note takers
- Digital copies of textbooks for use with text-to-speech programs
- Extended-time tests
- Separate rooms for tests
- Recorded lectures
- Housing accommodations
NOTE: All Clarke students have access to Read and Write Gold, a text-to-speech program
Procedure for Obtaining Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Students planning to enroll in Clarke University should contact the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) as soon as possible. For some students this could be while in the process of deciding which school to attend. For others, it will be upon acceptance or just after registering for classes. Please note that accommodations may take time to set up, and late requests may mean that accommodations cannot start on the first day of classes.
Students requesting accommodations based on disabilities can complete this information sheet. The DSC will review the documentation provided by the student and will set up a meeting to discuss appropriate accommodations.
If the student does not have the documentation to present when meeting with the DSC, the DSC will instruct the student how to obtain the appropriate documentation or have the student sign a Release of Information in order for the DSC to gather the necessary documentation from a school, agency, or diagnostician.
If there is confirmation that documentation will be provided to the DSC, a temporary accommodation form may be given to the student.
NOTE: Documentations for accommodations should only be requested by the DSC and sent directly to the DSC, who will keep it apart from the student’s permanent file and store it in a locked area.
Documentation of Disability
Providing the documentation listed below can assist students in making a smooth transition to Clarke. If documentation is not currently available but the student believes accommodations are necessary, the student can meet with the DSC to discuss options.
General Documentation Guidelines
(adapted from the University of Iowa)
- Establish that you are a person with a disability in need of accommodations.
- Adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques.
- Clearly substantiate the need for all of the student’s requests for accommodations.
- Be provided by a licensed clinical professional familiar with the history and functional implications of the impairments. This person should be someone other than a member of the student’s family.
- Be dated and signed, and include the name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification and be printed on the letterhead of the evaluating professional.
- Be current. This is generally defined as within the last three years unless the impact of the disability is stable over time.
If a requested academic accommodation is not supported by the documentation you provide, you may be asked to provide additional documentation in support of the request.
Does my Documentation of Disability remain confidential?
Yes. Information regarding the student’s disability is not released to anyone without the student’s permission. The only exception to this would be in the case when such disclosure is necessary to protect a student or someone else from imminent danger. Disability records do not become part of academic or administrative records.
Course Substitution Based on Disability
Course substitutions will not be permitted if making a substitution would substantially change an essential element of the program curriculum. An essential element is a course that is a prerequisite for other courses in the student’s major. An essential element may also include a course that is necessary to obtain employment in the program major.
- The student meets with the Coordinator of Disability Services (DSC), who will assist the student in gathering and compiling the necessary data to support the course substitution request. Data should include documentation that fits the guidelines above. The student is responsible for any updated testing costs. Additional data may include faculty input, former academic transcripts, and a description of previously utilized accommodations and the results of using those accommodations.
- After the data is gathered and compiled, the student meets with the DSC to complete and sign the Clarke University Petition to Waive/Substitute Academic Requirement form. The DSC then delivers this form to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, who is responsible for granting or refusing the course substitution request.
If the course substitution request is granted, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies notifies the DSC, the student’s advisor, and the registrar of this decision and withdraws the student from the course to be substituted. The DSC will then notify the student of the approval of the request. The student’s advisor and the DSC will work with the student to make an appropriate course substitution.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
A qualified student with a disability has the right to:
- Reasonable accommodations based on appropriate documentation of disability.
- Equal opportunity to access university courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities.
- Confidentiality of disability documentation.
- Equitable and fair treatment.
A qualified student with a disability has the responsibility to:
- Meet Clarke University qualifications and technical, academic, and institutional standards of the student’s chosen program.
- Self-identify to the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) in a timely manner providing appropriate documentation and demonstrating the need for accommodations.
- Present the Request for Accommodations form to faculty at a reasonable time before accommodations are required.
- Attend class regularly and accurately report academic progress to the DSC.
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Faculty members have the right to:
- Maintain the academic standards of courses and programs.
- Ask students to present their Request for Accommodations form to them in a timely manner.
- Deny a request for accommodations if the above form has not been presented to them.
- Consult with the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) about progress of students to determine the best ways to address problems.
- Refer students to the DSC, if the faculty member suspects the presence of a disability.
Faculty members have the following responsibilities to:
- Provide accommodations, which recommended by the DSC, to ensure that courses, programs, and activities are provided in the most integrated settings. However, there may be some accommodations which cannot be provided if they alter the fundamental nature of the course or program.
- Respect the confidentiality of students’ disabilities.
- Require students with disabilities to meet the same academic standards as their peers.
- Refer students to appropriate campus resources.
Americans with Disabilities Act
According to The Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (as amended), “a qualified student with a disability” is defined as a student who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,
- has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment, and
- has met the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission to a post-secondary institution.
“Reasonable accommodations” refer to devices or procedures used to level the playing field by reducing the effects of the disability on a student’s performance in a traditional academic setting without causing undue financial hardship on the post-secondary institution.