Students with Disabilities
Dickinson College is committed to ensuring equal access and reasonable accommodations to all qualified students with documented disabilities. Students with disabilities are considered for admission to Dickinson College on the same basis as all other applicants. Once admitted, students may request services in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title III of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
Disability Disclosure and Documentation
Disclosure of a disability and requests for accommodations are made voluntarily by each student. Students are not required to disclose a disability unless they request accommodations. When students request accommodations, they must follow college policy for documenting their disability, which can be found on the Disability Services website.
Once students submit their documentation to Marni Jones, Director of Disability Services, it is thoroughly reviewed, and eligibility for accommodations is determined. Students with disabilities then meet with the Director to discuss the accommodation(s) for which the student is eligible and the process for procuring those accommodations. Eligible students will receive an accommodation letter to give to each of his or her professors, informing them of any accommodation(s).
At times, students may seek to submit documentation to faculty members, or to request accommodations directly from their instructors. All requests for academic accommodations based on a disability must be made directly to the Director of Disability Services for review and verification of the appropriateness of the student’s documentation.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Students must set up an appointment with the professor of each course for which they are seeking accommodations. These meetings should occur as early in the semester as possible to fully facilitate the prompt implementation of accommodations (recognizing that, due to the large number of students with accommodations, some students will not be able to get an appointment with Marni Jones to get their accommodation letter until the fourth week of classes). If a student informs a professor that he or she has been approved to receive accommodations, and needs to use them prior to the scheduled meeting with Marni Jones (i.e. to have extended time on a test), that professor should contact Disability Services for guidance on how to proceed. It is also important to note that although lining up accommodations early in the semester is ideal, students may submit documentation and be determined to be eligible for accommodations at any time in the semester, provided sufficient notice for implementation.
Students must schedule a meeting with each professor to present their accommodation letter and discuss enactment of the accommodations, including which one(s) they will be in need of for each specific class and, for testing accommodations, who will facilitate the accommodation—the professor or Disability Services. All of this information will be entered into an online form to be completed by both the student and professor. Each will then sign a Confirmation of Accommodations Discussion form that is to be returned to Disability Services within 3 days of the meeting (and, for students requesting proctoring, at least five working days before any exams that they would like to have proctored). (Please note that it is still ideal for professors and students to contact Disability Services at email@example.com to confirm any out-of-class test-taking arrangements.) Students are informed that accommodations are not granted retroactively, and sign an understanding of the accommodations process as outlined here.
It is important that professors keep all information regarding a student’s disability and his/her identity confidential, unless the student indicates an interest in making his/her disability known to others.
Some students have the accommodation of a note-taker. Students using this accommodation should bring to their professors a Memo to Faculty Regarding Note-Takers that explains the process and provides professors with a script to read to elicit a volunteer; as well as a Note Taker Application. Professors should review the notes of prospective note-takers before selecting one. The chosen note-taker would simply take class notes, and then go to Disability Services in Biddle House to scan the notes. A copy of the notes will then be sent to the recipient without the note-taker knowing who the notes are for.
Meeting the Language Requirement
Dickinson College does not waive the language requirement for students with disabilities. All students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language through the intermediate level. Two alternatives to spoken languages have been approved by the faculty: Latin and American Sign Language (not currently taught at Dickinson). Students may meet the language requirement for a Dickinson degree by successfully completing four semesters of Latin (or demonstration of proficiency at the intermediate level), or by obtaining proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) at the intermediate level. Students wishing to pursue coursework in ASL can get more information by contacting Marni Jones.
Sample Syllabus Statement
Faculty members are expected to include the following sample syllabus statement as a basis for informing students with disabilities about College procedures for disclosing a disability and receiving accommodations:
In compliance with Dickinson College policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss requests for academic accommodations made by students with disabilities. Students requesting accommodations are required to register with Disability Services (www.dickinson.edu/disabilityservices) to verify their eligibility for reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Once documentation has been reviewed, Marni Jones, the Director of Disability Services, will provide eligible students with a signed copy of an accommodation letter. This letter must be obtained each semester and presented in a meeting that you schedule with me prior to any accommodations being implemented. Requests for academic accommodations should be made during the first three weeks of the semester (except for unusual circumstances), and one week before any needed testing accommodations so that timely and appropriate arrangements can be made. Disability Services is located in the Office of Academic Advising, first floor of Biddle House. Appointments should be made with Marni Jones by calling 717-245-1734.
Guidance and resource information for students with disabilities is available on the Disability Services website, under “Student Resources.” Guidance for Faculty is located through the “Faculty Resources” tab, and includes legal protocols for accommodating students with disabilities at the postsecondary level, as well as answers to frequently asked questions on how to implement accommodations at Dickinson.
The laws that govern higher education regarding disabilities are complex. Our efforts to honor reasonable accommodations and to provide a consistent and fair approach in working with students with disabilities throughout the institution are most easily achieved by working directly with Marni Jones, Director of Disability Services. Any faculty or staff member seeking clarification about accommodations for students with disabilities is encouraged to contact Marni at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 717-245-1734.