Disabilities Support Services
We are committed to providing equal opportunity and meaningful access for all our students with physical, psychological, attentional or learning-based disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Our services include but are not limited to:
- Academic support
- Liaison with faculty and college services
- Note-takers, scribes, readers and library assistants
- Exam accommodations
- Limited academic advising
- Library research assistance
- Accessible classrooms, location, and furniture
- Assistance with accessing textbooks on tape
- Referral to the Writing Center
- Referral to private diagnostic evaluation services
- Referral to the Department of Rehabilitation Services
- Information on disability events
General Guidelines for Registration and Request for Accommodations
Students diagnosed with physical and/or mental impairments qualify as persons with disabilities when their conditions substantially limit them in one or more major life activities. North Central College provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to policies, practices, or procedures that facilitate equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities to the College’s programs, activities and services. In order to ensure that students’ needs are directly linked to these accommodations, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, allow higher education institutions to require a process to verify disability status and the need for reasonable accommodations. Disability Support Services has established the following disability documentation guidelines:
- Students will receive a structured interview with a member of the Academic Support Center. Our first priority is to get to know each student individually to determine appropriate accommodations and suggest helpful strategies and resources. Students should be prepared to discuss diagnosis, functional limitations, past use of accommodations and desired accommodations. This interview must be scheduled before the student receives accommodations at North Central College.
- Students need to provide documentation from a qualified provider. Third party documentation material can be helpful for this discussion. When possible, the student is encouraged to provide documentation before the structured interview. Documentation may include a diagnosis, how the condition or impairment impacts the student’s functioning and/or learning and recommendations for specific accommodations to reduce the impact. Any additional documentation needs will be determined after the initial exchange.
The following list is primarily for professionals providing third party documentation (including 504 plans and IEPs). This type of information will augment the student’s self-report to confirm the presence of a disability as defined by the ADA, as amended, and/or the need for the requested accommodations. Professionals are encouraged to select the salient points from the list below so that informed decisions can be made regarding the disability and accommodations.
- be recent enough in order to assess the current impact on learning. Please see disability-specific guidelines for more information.
- be sufficiently comprehensive to establish clear evidence of a substantial impact on one or more major life activities.
- be sufficient to establish a direct link between the underlying impairment and the requested accommodations.
- include a description of what mitigating measures the student has used and whether with such use the student may still require accommodations in order to access College programs, activities and services.
- be issued by a medical or other qualified, licensed professional, unrelated by birth or marriage to the student, printed on letterhead, dated, signed and including the professional’s licensing information. No information may be redacted. The College reserves the right to require that a certified copy of the report may be transmitted directly from the evaluator to the College.
- include the student’s history of receiving reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments, if such history exists.
- include specific recommendations for accommodations as well as an explanation as to why each is recommended as necessary.
After this process has occurred, the Academic Support Center staff will determine reasonable accommodations. This process is interactive and collaborative. The goal is to determine what accommodations can be granted to a student with a disability to minimize the impact of the disability.
- Documentation forms are available for students to use when seeking information from third parties.
- Referrals for all types of disability evaluations are available from the Academic Support Center. The student must bear any cost incurred in obtaining additional information. Please refer to specific documentation guidelines for each type of disability. If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodations, it is up to the discretion of the Academic Support Center staff to require additional documentation.
- Students must complete the application process before they may receive accommodations and services. The Academic Support Center reserves the right to deny services or reasonable accommodations while the receipt of documentation is pending.
- Even if the student is questioning whether or not to use accommodations, it is beneficial to have a discussion with the Academic Support Center staff as students often change their minds about their needs, change their functioning or find that the academic demands are different than expected. Students choose (each term, each class and each accommodation) whether or not they will utilize warranted accommodations.
- Accommodations are not retroactive.
Visit us in the Larrance Academic Center, Upper Level Suite 13, 309 E. School Street (630-637-5266).
Disabilities Support Center Staff
Jenny Pippen, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services
Anna Wirtz, Secretary