Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a “disability” under the ADA?
Section 3 (2) of the ADA defines “disability” as: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (public institutions are covered under Title II), students with documented disabilities may request accommodations that will enable them to participate in postsecondary educational programs.
2. Must there be documentation of the disability?
Yes. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 insures that: ”students with documented disabilities may request modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids which will enable them to participate in and benefit from all postsecondary educational programs and activities.”
3. What is a verifying documentation?
Acceptable documentation of disability includes: medical report, psychological evaluation, psycho-educational evaluations, records from Division of Services for the Blind, Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Vocational Rehabilitation, and in some cases a physician’s statement. (While this list in not totally inclusive, it should serve to set the parameters for accepted documentation.)
4. What are the student’s responsibilities?
- disclose the disability to the Disability Services counselor.
- provide up-to-date documentation from a qualified professional of the disability.
- request specific accommodations.
- meet with the counselor for regularly scheduled appointments.
- complete the Disability Services paperwork at the beginning of each term.
- comply with all policies, codes, and regulations of Blue Ridge Community College.
5. What is the responsibility of the Disability Services Office?
During your first visit with the Disability Services counselor, your documentation will be reviewed and you will be asked what will help you the most. Your needs are unique, and a plan will be designed to assist you specifically. This Individualized Accommodation Plan will be printed for you to take to of instructors on or before the first day of class. The Disabilities Services Office will maintain confidentiality of the records, which you provide, and other paperwork that you submit.
If you are in crisis or an emergency and you need to see the Disability Services Counselor, please come to the One Stop in the Sink Building.
6 . What are some examples of reasonable accommodations?
Examples of ”reasonable accommodations” include:
- Removal of architectural barriers
- Assistive technology
- Extended time on assignments and tests (one and a half time, in most cases)
- Recording lectures
7. What accommodations might not be given?
Because of the nature of the ADA, accommodations ensure access but do not ensure success. Academic and technical standards must be met. The law speaks of reasonable accommodations. However, accommodation is not deemed reasonable if it imposes an undue financial or administrative burden or if it requires “fundamental alteration in the nature of a program.” Darian v. The University of Massachusetts, 980 F. Supp 77 (MA 1997)
8. Whom do I contact for further information?
Disability Services Office
Disability Services Counselor