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About Services and Accommodations

Accommodations Available for Students with Disabilities (Cognitive or Physical)
Use of:
  • alternative testing arrangements
  • extended time on tests
  • interpreters
  • permission to tape record lectures
  • recorded text books
  • screen readers
  • accessible housing
  • use of TTY
  • low vision magnifying equipment
  • voice recognition software
  • Kurzweil reading system
  • amplification systems
  • note takers
  • peer tutoring
  • lumbar chairs
Absences Policy and Procedures

Students may experience disability-related absences. The Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990, specifies that case-by-case exceptions be made to established policy in order to avoid discrimination on the basis of a disability. The DSC will determine whether a request for an accommodation due to disability-related absence is reasonable and necessary. The DSC's decision will be based on documentation provided by a qualified professional. When students qualify for this accommodation, a statement will be included on the Confidential Information Sheet that the student presents to the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Students with a variety of documented disabilities may experience disability-related absences that may require accommodations. Some examples of accommodations that may be provided are:

  • No grade penalty for disability-related absences from class
  • Arrangements for taping of lectures during absence
  • Note taker arrangements during absence
  • Allowances for make-up of missed exam

In cases where an extended absence from class may occur, factors such as the length of the expected absence from class, the length of time remaining in the semester, and the nature of the course requirements, may affect the type of accommodation provided by Hood College or the ability of Hood College to provide such accommodations.

In cases where absence will affect the ability of the student to demonstrate skills required to pass the course successfully, the student will consult with the instructor regarding the advisability of a medical withdrawal from the course(s). The student, in the event of a medical withdrawal, must provide documentation from a qualified professional. This would be presented to the DSC, the instructor, and the Dean of Students.

Extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Spelling Accommodations

A spelling accommodations statement, like the one below, might be approved and listed as an accommodation on the student's Confidential Information Sheet.

"Spelling difficulties require accommodations such as use of spell checking devices, dictionary, no penalty for spelling errors, use of a computer."

Does this mean the student can turn in work with spelling errors?

It depends.....

  • for homework assignments and out-of-class projects, the student is responsible for turning in papers free of spelling errors just like any other student.
  • for in-class assignments and tests, the student should receive spelling accommodations. 
Note Taking Services
  • The Disability Services Office (DSO) uses paid note takers. They are students enrolled in the same class as the student with a disability and are hired and paid by that office.
  • The note taker has background information from attending the class and listening to the lectures. This student will be familiar with the material covered in the textbook. The note taker has a stake in understanding the material and will hopefully take good notes.

How does a student obtain a note taker?

The student must present documentation of a disability to the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) with supporting evidence that a note taker is needed. The DSC will generate a Confidential Information Sheet, indicating that the student is permitted the use of a note taker, and that will be presented to the instructor. The student may then choose a note taker from the class or ask for assistance in choosing someone, either from the instructor or the DSC.

Some students are not comfortable with making an announcement in class and prefer that the person chosen to take notes be approached privately. Some students do not wish to be identified to the note taker and the notes will need to be given to the student through communes or the DSC.

A note taker should have been found at the latest by the end of the first week of classes. If one is not found, the DSC should be contacted.

Note takers will either copy their notes in the office at Apple Room#9 or use note taking paper supplied by the DSC. They will then provide the notes to the student via communes or in-person, this to be worked out between the two.

What should the note taker be told?  

The note taker is being asked to take notes because the student has difficulty taking notes for her/himself. The note taker is taking notes for him/herself and just giving a copy to the student with a disability.

If the note taker knows s/he will be absent, s/he will notify the student so another note taker can be arranged. The exchange of notes should occur sometime after the class in order to prevent disruption of the class. The student should discuss ways the note taker can accommodate his/her disability, i.e., large print, black pen, lots of space between concepts, etc.

When a note taker is found, the note taker should see the DSC and sign a contract in order to be paid a stipend at the end of the semester.

For the most effective use of a note taker:

In most cases, the note taker should be seated near the student. A student with a hearing impairment should be seated near the instructor so s/he is able to see the instructor's face and use residual hearing/hearing aids to enhance understanding of the material presented in class.

If the student does not show up for class and has no cause, the note taker does not have to provide notes to the student. Neither does the note taker have to provide notes if the student falls asleep.

Ethical guidelines for note takers:

  • The note taker will take notes on all information presented in class (instructor's lecture, comments, films, slides, etc.).
  • The note taker may ask for clarification of information presented to accurately record class notes for the student using the service.
  • The note taker cannot discuss any confidential information about the student obtained while note taking.
  • S/he is not responsible for the student's progress. Any problems or concerns about the student's performance or attendance should be directed to the student or the DSC.

What other note taking methods or ideas might a student or instructor use?

The student may be allowed to tape record the lecture or the instructor may photocopy overhead presentations.  

Guidelines for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired  
  • Alternate Format

 Ensuring that students who are blind or visually impaired (or otherwise print impaired) have their materials in the appropriate format is the responsibility of the College. Alternate format could include large print, audiotape, computer disk, or a combination depending on the student. The appropriate alternate format should be accessible at the same time printed materials are available.   

  • Disability Services Office Help

 Alternate formats can be produced from a print copy, computer disk, e-mail or other text file. The request to produce alternate format materials must be made 3-5 days prior to the time materials are needed. Lengthy materials may require additional time. It is most helpful if instructors provide the sequence of chapters to be covered and corresponding dates to help in planning the alternate format production.   

  • Class Notes

The student is responsible for class notes. S/he may do this by tape recording, obtaining a peer note taker, with the notes transcribed into the appropriate alternate format by the Disability Services Office, or using a screen reading device such as Kurzweil. Charts or other large amounts of information that an instructor presents on transparencies or on the chalkboard, can be transcribed into the alternate format.   

Interpreter Services

The interpreters are degreed professionals hired by the college. All interpreters are required to abide by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Code of Ethics. Ethical guidelines are listed below as well as Disability Services Office policies. 

  • Getting an Interpreter

Students can request an interpreter for college classes by giving notice to the DSC as soon as they are registered for their classes, at least two weeks before the beginning of class. Interpreting services cannot be guaranteed for late requests, but every effort will be made to make arrangements with 24 hours notice. 

  • Special Requests

 An interpreter will be provided, upon request, for all college related activities such as field trips, workshops, or extracurricular activities. Requests need to be made at least 24 hours in advance of the activity. 

  • Cancellations

If a student needs to cancel the interpreter's service for the class or event already scheduled, s/he must notify the DSC at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled event or the student may be charged for the service.   

  •  Ethical Guidelines and General Information
    • The interpreter will interpret everything he/she hears or sees (instructor's lecture, students' comments, loud noises).
    • The interpreter will not omit nor add anything to the situation, even when asked by the person(s) involved.
    • All interpreting will be done in the manner intended by the speaker, using language that is most readily understood by the person(s) involved.
    • The interpreter cannot discuss any information obtained while interpreting.
    • He/she is not responsible for the student's progress. Any problems or concerns about the student's performance or attendance should be directed to the student or the DSC.
    • For optimum communication, the interpreter should be near the instructor, enabling the student to see both in one line of vision. Sometimes this means the interpreter will shadow the instructor (i.e. math or art); other times s/he will sit in front of the room (i.e. history).
    • To better prepare for the class, the interpreter may request a copy of the textbook. If you do not have an extra copy, the DS Office can obtain one for the interpreter. It is also helpful for the interpreter to receive a copy of all the handouts distributed to your class.
    • All comments, questions, concerns should be directed to the student, not the interpreter.
    • Because the interpreter experiences mental and physical fatigue after interpreting for lengthy periods of time (approximately one hour), s/he will need a break. If the class meets for more than one hour and fifteen minutes, and the interpreter cannot be given a break every hour, we will provide two interpreters to cover the class.   
     
  • Student No Shows

If the student does not attend a scheduled class or activity, the absence will be considered a no show.   

If a student does not show up for class and has not contacted the DSC, the interpreter will wait: 

10 min. for 1 hr. Class

15 min. for 1 1/2 hr. Class,

20 min. for 2 hr. Class, 

30 min. for 3 hr. Class.

The above waiting period can be extended if the student informs the DSC that s/he is running late.

  • Unannounced Student No Shows

Because students are mature and responsible adults, they are expected to inform the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) at least 48 hours in advance if they need to cancel interpreting services (as noted above). If unable to provide this 48-hour notice, they should contact the DSC as soon as they are aware of the probable cancellation or as soon as possible after the class/event. If no notice is given to the DSC, this will be considered an unannounced no show.   

Please Note: It is not the intent of the Disability Services Coordinator to monitor the student's class attendance or participation in activities. However, unnecessary absences can be costly, both to the college and to the interpreter's time.   

The following policy will be adhered to:
  • 1st Unannounced No Show: Letter of warning
  • 2nd Unannounced No Show: Student will be expected to reimburse
    the college for the interpreter's fee for that class/activity. 

In all cases, the student should contact the DSC as soon as possible to explain any extenuating circumstances, e.g., illness or emergency. These will be considered on an individual basis.

This policy will be applied per semester and not on a cumulative basis. 

  • Interpreter No Shows

If the interpreter does not show up for class, the student should wait in the classroom for ten minutes. If the interpreter does not show up within this time, the student should leave the classroom, contact the DSC or the academic office, and then return to the classroom. The office will make every attempt to contact the service for a substitute interpreter. 

  • Labs

A student who needs to work in an out-of-class lab (Reading Lab, Writing Center, Math Lab, Computer Lab, Science Lab) can arrange for an interpreter for three (3) hours per week. If the instructor and student think more time is needed the DSC will need to be consulted.

Academic Integrity

Although reasonable academic adjustments and accommodations often involve differences in specific requirements and methods of evaluation, integrity of the educational program should not be sacrificed. The academic demands experienced by students with disabilities should be as challenging and rigorous as those experienced by other students. Lowering academic standards and waiving essential program requirements result in a different form of discrimination. Inferior education and a false sense of personal achievement present additional barriers in competing with peers in future educational pursuits and in employment.

Waivers

Waivers are not automatically granted. When a documented disability is severe, a student may request consideration for a waiver by submitting a written petition to the Registrar. The Academic Standards and Policies Committee will assess the student's disability, determine whether the student is eligible for a waiver, and determine the appropriate alternative requirements for students.

Additional questions may be directed to the Disability Services Coordinator at 301-696-3421 or reis@hood.edu

Service Animals

Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living. They are not considered pets. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as “…any …animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”

Some, not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. If you are not sure if an animal is a service animal, you may ask the handler if it is an animal in service to assist with a disability. Documentation may not be required as a condition for providing service. All states do not require certificates for service animals; thus, you may not insist on proof.   

The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the campus where others are normally allowed to go.   

The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of the owner. You are not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal.   

Service animals are trained to behave properly in public settings. For example, a properly trained service animal will remain at its owner's feet. It doesn't run around freely, bark or growl at other people or animals, bite or jump on people, or urinate inside buildings. An animal that engages in such behavior shows it has not been successfully trained. Therefore, you are not required to treat it as a service animal. You can ask that the unruly animal be removed. Do not make future assumptions on one unruly animal.

Additional questions may be directed to the Disability Services Coordinator at 301-696-3421 or reis@hood.edu

Study Abroad for Students with DIsabilities

Hood College offers a variety of opportunities for students to study other languages and cultures. All students wishing to participate in one of these programs do so with the approval of the Director of Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs, the student's advisor, department chairs, and the Committee on Academic Standards and Policies.

No student is denied participation solely on the basis of a disability. However, it should be noted that conditions relating to students with disabilities in other countries are not like those in the U.S. For example, laws requiring the removal of physical barriers rarely exist; there are no accommodations for note taking nor is extended time on tests a possibility; the interpreters for the deaf rarely use American Sign Language, and that would be little help in another language. If you feel you would like to study abroad and would otherwise qualify, you should contact the Director of Study Abroad and discuss the options and possibilities available. Each situation would be handled individually.

Additional questions may be directed to the Disability Services Coordinator at 301-696-3421 or reis@hood.edu.