Access to buildings for mobility impaired
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
PURPOSE: To establish procedures for identifying students with disabilities and providing reasonable accommodations in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
COORDINATION OF SERVICE:
Office of Disability Services
Student Center, bottom floor
- The Admissions office sends to all new students, upon acceptance, the Special Student Criteria Form, which provides students the opportunity to disclose a disability to the institution. This form, when returned to the Office of Disability Services, constitutes the student’s initial self-identification and request for accommodations. The timely submission of this form is encouraged but not a prerequisite for receiving services, nor does the submission of this form alone guarantee the provision of services. (see 4-9 below.)
- Current students requesting services should contact the Office of Disability Services to register, provide documentation, and request accommodations.
- Faculty and staff (i.e. University offices, Student Support Services, Admissions, Counseling Center, faculty, Student Affairs) should refer any student who discloses a disability and/or requests accommodations to the Office of Disability Services.
- After the student self-discloses (via the Special Student Criteria Form or contacting the Office of Disability Services), the student should make an appointment with the Disability Services Coordinator, who will register the student using the Office of Disability Services Registration Form, accept appropriate documentation for the disability, and begin the process of determining and implementing appropriate accommodations.
- Providing appropriate documentation of the disability is the student’s responsibility, although the Office of Disability Services may assist in this process by securing the student’s signature on the Office of Disability Services Permission for Release of Information Form and forwarding it to the applicable agency, school or professional. Appropriate documentation from a physician, therapist, vocational rehabilitation counselor, or other professional qualified to make the diagnosis must be current (no older than five years), be presented on letterhead stationery, state the specific diagnosis/disability, include the professional’s recommendation (if any) for accommodations needed to assist with the academic program, and list any medications the student is taking for the disability. A recent high school Individual Education Program (IEP) or Transitional Plan may be used as documentation, but it must contain a diagnosis and recommendations for accommodations.
- While awaiting requested supporting documentation, Concord University is under no legal obligation to provide services; however, some reasonable accommodations may be made at the discretion of the Office of Disability Services and other involved faculty, staff and administrators. In the event the student claiming a disability has never been diagnosed professionally and therefore does not have supporting documentation, Concord University is not obliged to provide or fund the required evaluation. However, the Office of Disability Services may assist the student in locating an appropriate professional to complete the evaluation or refer the student to a Division of Rehabilitation Services office for possible assistance with the evaluation and diagnosis process.
- Within a week of the submission of documentation of the disability, the Office of Disability Services will provide to the student a response granting or denying the requested accommodations and begin coordinating the approved accommodations. Accommodations will be implemented in a reasonable time period specific to the request, and although coordinated by the Office of Disability Services may be provided by any number of College offices and personnel, including faculty, staff and administrators as well as the Office of Disability Services, depending on the nature of the accommodations. When necessary, the Office of Disability Services may make a written referral of the student to other campus offices using the Office of Disability Services Referral Form.
- All documents, forms, and other written information regarding the student’s disability are considered confidential and will be stored securely in locked file cabinets in the Office of Disability Services. With the written permission of the student (secured on the Office of Disability Services Registration Form), the Office of Disability Services may share with other College personnel only the information necessary for those personnel to provide the requested accommodations and to serve the best interests of the student.
- If a student believes that the services or accommodations provided or recommended do not meet his/her needs, the student should consult the Concord University Grievance Procedure for Students with Disabilities Covered under Section 504/ADA. Such grievances are processed by the 504/ADA Compliance Officer for students, Dr. Kendra Boggess, Vice President and Academic Dean.
NOTE: The University encourages students to request the desired accommodations as early in the semester as possible. In the event the student chooses to delay registering with the Office of Disability Services, providing documentation and/or making a request for accommodations, the College will not provide retroactive accommodations, but will upon the student’s request begin the procedure for approving and implementing future accommodations.
Concord University Grievance Procedure for Students with Disabilities Covered Under Section 504/ADA
An internal grievance procedure provides for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging an action prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and by the Department of Education regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S. 794). Section 504 states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance...”
- Student-related 504/ADA complaints should be addressed to Dr. Kendra Boggess,Vice President and Academic Dean, P.O. Box 1000, Concord University, Athens, West Virginia, 24712-1000 (304-384-5241), who has been designated administrative responsibility for student-related 504/ADA compliance efforts.
- A complaint should be filed in writing or verbally, contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violation of the regulations.
- A complaint should be filed within 30 working days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. (Processing allegations of discrimination that occurred before this grievance procedure was in place will be considered on a case-by-case basis.) An investigation, as may be appropriate, will follow a filing of complaint. The investigation will be conducted by the Vice President and Academic Dean or his designee(s). These rules contemplate informal but thorough investigations, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.
- A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, will be issued by the investigator and a copy forwarded to the complainant within 30 working days after its filing, unless the investigation is delayed by special circumstances beyond the College’s control.
- The Vice President and Academic Dean will maintain the files and records of Concord University relating to the complaints filed.
- The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made within 20 working days to the Concord University President.
- The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder will not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a Section 504 or ADA complaint with a federal or state department or agency. Using this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies, although complainants are encouraged to make use of internal resolution processes at the campus level.
- These rules will be construed to protect the substantive rights of the interested persons, meet appropriate due process standards and assure that Concord University complies with the ADA, Section 504 and their implementing regulations.
The United States Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the federal agency responsible for addressing complaints related to discrimination on the basis of disability. Complaints must be filed in a timely manner with OCR. The U.S. Office for Civil Rights can be reached by phone at (215) 596-6772 (Voice) or 596-6794 (TTY). OCR’s policies and procedures may change over time, so please contact the regional office directly with questions and for deadlines for filing.
Effective techniques to problem resolution involve clearly stating the problem and expected outcomes and identifying those who can assist with the issue. Be certain that you have focused your concerns around issues that can be addressed. Furthermore analyze alternative solutions to determine those that are acceptable and unacceptable. Articulate reasons for the choices you make. In situations that are heavy with emotion, it is often helpful to write an outline of concerns so that you have clear focus of the issues you are trying to resolve. Keep summary notes on your interactions in order to more accurately recall the sequence of events related to the situation.
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