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Educational AccessibilityStudent Handbook

About the Office of Educational Accessibility

The Office of Educational Accessibility provides students with assistance and information in meeting the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Office of Educational Accessibility staff works with faculty, administrators, and students toward the goal of complying with state and federal regulations and integrating the student with a disability into the college community.

The major goal of the Office of Educational Accessibility is to assist all students with disabilities in the pursuit of their educational objectives. Efforts are made to coordinate the students' needs with services and resources available within the institution.

The Office of Educational Accessibility strives to coordinate services that will enable students with disabilities to act as independently as possible in a supportive atmosphere that promotes self-reliance. Students may choose whether to use the available services.

The Office of Educational Accessibility is the administrative unit for assisting students with disabilities so that they may have access to Old Dominion University. This handbook provides information to students that will explain procedures for efficiently using accommodations and other types of valuable support.

The Office of Educational Accessibility is located at 1021 Student Success Center. Information and inquiries can be placed though the following channels:

Staff

Documentation

We use documentation from a qualified examiner to provide verification of an individual's disability. Documentation must be submitted prior to making an appointment and obtaining accommodations.

Documentation must meet the Office of Educational Accessibility guidelines and provide sufficient information to assist the institution in determining what difficulties the student would encounter in an academic setting. Although formats will vary, the following critical data should be included in any documentation in support of a request for accommodations:

  • The student's name, the dates of the examination or testing, the examiner's name and credentials.
  • Identification of the problems or reasons for referral.
  • In cases of learning disability, a list of tests administered, including the names of the tests, and the version used.
  • An analysis or interpretation of the test results.
  • Diagnostic summary with a brief composite of the entire assessment process. The summary should address the concerns raised in the section of "reasons for referral."
  • Recommendations of strategies to assist the student in becoming an efficient learner.

Accommodations

Accommodations are interventions that students may utilize to support their academic performance. Interventions may include reasonable modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids. Accommodations are identified for each student on an individual basis.

Students are responsible for using accommodations appropriately in all circumstances. Responsible use of accommodations includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Requesting accommodations such as note sharing or electronic textbooks.
  • Arranging accommodations such as testing.
  • Using digital voice recordings of class sessions for personal review only.
  • Refraining from flaunting the accommodations received because of the disability.
  • Providing advance information to the instructors to receive accommodations.

Classroom Accommodations

Examples of classroom accommodations include allowing extended time for testing, permitting priority seating, allowing unanticipated class absences, (students must meet the technical standards of the class with or without accommodations), permitting attendance at duplicate lecture sections, permitting digital voice recording of classes, or disregarding spelling errors for in-class work.

Testing Accommodations

Distraction-reduced testing environment within the Office of Educational Accessibility.

Extended time for testing generally means a maximum of double time.

Access to a word processor is available for essay tests to students who qualify.

Taped tests are available for students needing oral testing. This requirement must be noted on the Test Request Form when it is submitted.

A scribe is provided for students who qualify for writing assistance during testing.

Dictated tests are possible when appropriate.

Arranging Test Accommodations

We ask that test requests be made at least five business days in advance to give both us and the professor time to get the exam. Test requests should be made online using the Test Request Form. If your test must be recorded or scribed or if you need a computer, please let us know at the time of your request. Tests are scheduled beginning at 8:15am Monday-Friday. Tests must be completed by 6:00pm. Students who do not follow the test request procedure will be expected to make their own arrangements with professors. The Office of Educational Accessibility will return tests to professors unless other arrangements are made (e.g. the ask for the test be held for pickup). Tests should be scheduled at the same time the class is taking the test. Special permission must be obtained from the professor in order to schedule a different time. Remember that no test accommodations can be provided until adequate documentation has been provided and an intake has been completed with the Office of Educational Accessibility . Thus, any grades earned prior to presentation of documentation will stand. It can be helpful to remind professors of accommodation needs for testing prior to a test.

Obtaining Accommodations

Students who wish to use services and accommodations must follow the established process. Services will commence when the student has completed the prescribed steps and indicated that s/he understands and agrees with the professional evaluator's recommendations and the student's responsibility in the delivery of services.

Responsibilities Regarding Accommodations

  • Submit current documentation of the disability that meets the Office of Educational Accessibility guidelines.
  • Meet with one of the intake counselors to complete the intake interview.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to select classes and plan your academic program.
  • Register for classes.
  • Complete a Request for Faculty Accommodation Letters form prior to the start of classes each semester.
  • Distribute a Faculty Accommodation Letter to instructors, and return the signed Accommodation Agreement form to the Office of Educational Accessibility .
  • Behave in accordance to the Code of Student Conduct throughout campus interactions. The Code of Student Conduct may be found in the University Student Handbook.

Students must inform instructors about needed accommodations within the classroom. These accommodations will be identified in the letters obtained from the Office of Educational Accessibility . Professors are expected to limit accommodations to those specified in the letters.

Requesting Faculty Accommodation Letters

  • Students must request an updated copy of their letter through the Accommodation Letter Request Form on the Office of Educational Accessibility page each semester.
  • Students will need to deliver the letters to their instructors in order to initiate any accommodations.
  • Both students and faculty are requested to sign the Accommodation Agreement form. The Accommodation Agreement should be returned to the Office of Educational Accessibility and will be placed in the student's file.

What other support does the Office of Educational Accessibility provide?

  • Campus Housing:

The Office of Educational Accessibility works with the campus housing office to assist students in acquiring physically accessible housing or quiet study floors to meet the student's needs. Single room status may be requested if warranted by documentation. An additional fee may be required

  • Counseling:

Disability related counseling is provided to students through the Office of Educational Accessibility. Personal counseling issues are referred to the campus Counseling Center.

  • Electronic Textbooks:

The Office of Educational Accessibility can obtain electronic versions of purchased textbooks. We recommend students look into electronic versions for purchase or rental before requesting through our office as many textbook companies now offer digital copies of their materials directly to students.

  • Foreign Language Accommodations:

Spanish 101 for students with disabilities is taught in sequence each fall and spring semester. Special permission, which can be obtained from the Office of Educational Accessibility, is required.

  • Note Sharing:

The Office of Educational Accessibility coordinates a voluntary note-sharing program for those students who may have additional needs.

  • Parking:

Students who need to park in accessible spaces on campus must display a current campus pass and a temporary or permanent indicator of disability, which may be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles. All accessible spaces, including those in faculty and staff lots, are available to be used with these two indicators. Do not park in reserved spaces

  • Placement Exams and Exit Exams:

Accommodations will be provided for the Writing Sample Placement Test (WSPT) for freshmen and transfer students who have completed registration with the Office of Educational Accessibility and for the Exit Exam for those students who are still required to take it. Testing arrangements should be made with the Office of Educational Accessibility in advance.

  • Priority Registration:

Some students may need early registration because of disability-specific concerns. These requests are considered on an individual basis by the Office of Educational Accessibility. Requests for this accommodation must be supported with specific reasons for the request.

  • Sign Language Interpreters:

The Office of Educational Accessibility requires a minimum if forty-five days notice to obtain the services of an interpreter for classes. The student must provide a copy of the course schedule for which interpreters are needed. Requests for interpreters for out-of-class course assignments or other university-required work will be provided with reasonable notice. Once assigned, interpreters may be changed if an appropriate substitution is available.

  • Standardized Test Registration:

The Office of Educational Accessibility assists students in the process of requesting accommodations for standardized tests such as the GRE or PRAXIS.

  • Study Strategy Assistance:

Students who need assistance with study strategies or time management techniques may request help from the Office of Educational Accessibility. The Learning Coordinator works on an appointment basis.

  • Taped Textbooks:

Students who have difficulty with standard print textbooks are encouraged to register with Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. The first step in the registration process is to call (800) 221-4792 to request an application. The Office of Educational Accessibility can assist you with the completion of the application. RFB&D tape recorders can be purchased from the organization. The Office of Educational Accessibility will help obtain audio output of printed materials. Scanner/readers are available in the Office of Educational Accessibility and the Library.

  • Transportation:

Students with permanent or temporary disabilities who need assistance with mobility while on campus may ask the Office of Educational Accessibility for assistance. Rides are provided in an accessible golf cart. Requests must be made 48 hours prior to the needed assistance. Service is available only on campus between 8:15am and 5:00pm. Old Dominion University assists those students who are mobility impaired by providing access to classes within the west side of campus bordered by Hampton Blvd, 43rd Street, 49th Street, and Powhatan Ave. See the "Temporary Mobility Impairment" link for more information.

  • Tutoring:

Student Support Services (SSS) works with undergraduate students with disabilities to facilitate course tutoring and note-taking. SSS is an office distinct from the Office of Educational Accessibility . Registration with SSS is necessary in order to receive services. SSS can be contacted at 683-3582.

  • Voter Registration:

The Office of Educational Accessibility provides applications for voter registration and assistance with completion and mailing.

Approaching Faculty Members

How Do I Approach Faculty Members?

The best way is by making an appointment during their listed office hours. These hours are usually provided in the syllabus.

  • Ask the instructor when would be the best time to talk to him/her. Many instructors are preoccupied with other concerns immediately prior to or after class and will be less available to you.
  • Be on time for the appointment.
  • Introduce yourself and remind the instructor which class you are in.
  • A good approach is to say, "I have a form from the Office of Educational Accessibility which verifies that I have a disability. I would appreciate discussing this with you."
  • If you are unclear about anything that is said during your discussion, ask for clarification.
  • Double-check your understanding of the procedures upon which you have agreed.
  • Leave the Faculty Accommodation Letter with the instructor.
  • Ask the professor to sign the Accommodation Agreement form.
  • Return the signed accommodation form to the Office of Educational Accessibility promptly after all signatures have been obtained.
  • If the instructor has questions that you cannot answer, please refer him/her to the Office of Educational Accessibility at 1525 Webb Center or 683-4655.

What are my Responsibilities Regarding Accommodations?

  • Submit current documentation of the disability that meets the Office of Educational Accessibility guidelines.
  • Meet with a counselor to complete the intake procedure.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to select classes and plan your academic program.
  • Register for classes.
  • Complete a Request for Faculty Accommodation Letters form and submit to the Office of Educational Accessibility prior to the start of classes each semester.
  • Distribute your Faculty Accommodation Letters to instructors then return the signed Accommodation Agreement form to the Office of Educational Accessibility .
  • Behave in accordance to the Code of Student Conduct throughout campus interactions. The Code of Student Conduct may be found in the University Student Handbook.

Students must inform instructors about needed accommodations within the classroom. These accommodations will be identified in the letters obtained from the Office of Educational Accessibility . Professors are expected to limit accommodations to those specified in the letters.

Confidential Information Policy

All student records in the Office of Educational Accessibility are maintained in a confidential file. Records are retained throughout the student's tenure with the University, and for three years following graduation or exit from the University.

Students must sign a release of information form in order for confidential information to be shared with other offices or people within the University or community. Transcripts do not contain information regarding students' interactions with the Office of Educational Accessibility.

The Office of Educational Accessibility can:

  • offer pre-admission information concerning services and accommodations which are available to enrolled students.
  • facilitate program accommodations in accordance with recent documentation results
    offer a Peer Mentoring Program where students with disabilities may consult with their peers to address issues of concern, develop self-advocacy skills, and share their skills with others.
  • refer students to appropriate services such as Student Support Services for tutors and/or note-takers.
  • coordinate a note-sharing program.
  • offer opportunities for faculty/staff awareness.
  • act as a liaison between faculty and students.
  • proctor exams.

The Office Cannot:

  • facilitate the admissions process, our services begin after the student is admitted to the university and registered with our office.
  • provide formal diagnostic evaluations, although we do provide a comprehensive list of qualified diagnosticians in the area.
  • offer self-contained classes for students with disabilities.
  • ask faculty to compromise the quality of instruction or evaluation in any class, but rather to provide the accommodations necessary for a student to meet the standards of the class.

Appeals

The Office of Educational Accessibility implements provisions of Section 504 on behalf of students. However, students may appeal decision about accommodations to the Chair of Academic Skills Development. In addition, the Affirmative Action Office will work with any student to eliminate discrimination and establish equal opportunity. The Section 504 Director of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity is ReNee' Dunman, located in Room 121-A Spong Hall.