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Disability Services Resources

Disability Services Resources

On this page are resources for students, faculty & staff and other campus visitors, who are in need of assistance from Disability Services. Our mission is to provide these groups support and to ensure that all individuals in need of assistance can obtain the services necessary to experience our campus to the fullest of their abilities. It is our intent to remove the barriers that may be standing between individuals with disabilities and the supports available to them.


Resources for Students

Procedure to Identify

Elizabethtown College’s procedure to identify as a student with a disability is based on guidelines provided by the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) to provide access in higher education. This framework draws from the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA). The Office of Disability Services at Elizabethtown College requires documentation about a student’s condition in order to establish the presence of a disability, gain an understanding of how the disability affects the student’s ability to function in a college setting, and make informed decisions about reasonable accommodations and adjustments to ensure access to all courses, programs, services, and activities. 

In high school, an IEP team, often without input from the student, determines accommodations and academic adjustments for students with disabilities. In college, students play a large role in determining accommodations and adjustments. Please review the section of this website relating to the type(s) of accommodations you are requesting (academic, residential, dining) and submit the student information form and requested documentation substantiating your disability IEP, psycho-educational evaluation, neuropsychological evaluation, or medical information from your treating healthcare provider). This documentation in conjunction with a discussion with you often provides a wealth of information regarding appropriate accommodations and adjustments in the college setting. 

Please be advised Colleges, Universities, and testing entities such as GREs, LSATs, and MCATs all have processes for determining accommodations; students may need additional documentation to meet the requirements of other agencies.

Academic Accommodations

Request Procedure:

Students requesting academic accommodations should submit the Academic Accommodations Request Form along with supporting documentation from their treating health care provider Disability Documentation to Disability Services. 

After this appropriate documentation has been submitted, requesting students should arrange a meeting with the Director of Disability Services. At this meeting, the Director and student will discuss reasonable accommodation based on the submitted documentation and how the student will implement the accommodation(s). 

Students whose requests are denied or who are dissatisfied with the process or its outcome have the option to file a petition using the Grievance Procedure.


More information about academic accommodations can be found here.

Information on screen readers can be found here.

Information for those who use e-text can be found here.

Testing Accommodations

Elizabethtown College is committed to providing equal access and reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services for qualifying students. Students who qualify for testing accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of each semester to specify which faculty they would like to receive a copy of the accommodations letter. Students should arrange to meet with each of their faculty to discuss the accommodations.

Students have the right to take exams in the most appropriate environment, whether that be the classroom with their peers or another suitable place with reduced distractions or assistive technology such as a screen reader. Their preference for testing locations should be strongly considered. Students who prefer to take tests in the classroom need to make arrangements with faculty for the extended time based upon available space, their schedule, and their professor’s schedule.

The Learning Zone offers a space for students who choose to take tests in a separate room or with assistive technology.  In this event, faculty can provide the following information to  disabilityservices@etown.edu

  • an electronic version of the exam
  • the date and time the student plans to take the test
  • how to contact you during the exam in case there are questions
  • specific testing instructions, such as the use of a calculator
  • the length of time permitted for students taking the exam in class
Completed exams will be scanned and returned to faculty as an email attachment – the original will be sent through campus mail.  According to the Faculty Handbook, Final Exam Policy (4.10 H) students with three exams in one day may directly request a professor that one exam is rescheduled during exam week. Three exams taken under standard conditions would necessitate nine hours of testing.  For students qualifying for 50% additional time for testing, two exams scheduled on the same day involve nine hours of testing. While the faculty handbooks state there is no obligation on the part of the faculty member to reschedule the exam under standard testing conditions, this request should be considered an accommodation.  All requests for rescheduling an exam must be made at least five class days before the start of the final exam week.

Housing Accommodations

Elizabethtown College is committed to equal access to and full participation in all of its courses, programs, services, and activities. While the college requires students to live on campus for all four years, we recognize some students may have a disability, such as POTS or Cohn’s disease, certain sleep disorders or psychological disorders, or allergies to fragrances or pollens, which may present challenges for living in residence halls. Elizabethtown College considers Community Living an integral part of a student’s development, and makes reasonable modifications for students with disabilities. Reasonable modifications might include a room on the first floor, a room close to a bathroom, ADA grabs bars in the bathroom or smoke and fire detectors with strobes. Other possible modifications, depending on the specific circumstances; accommodations may be to allow the student to live in a single room without a roommate, a room in a building with a particular type of HVAC system, or other modifications as necessary to provide access to Community Living.

Requests for housing accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis, and the college will prioritize requests based on documented need and availability. Requests must be submitted and reviewed on a yearly basis and, in some cases, additional or updated documentation may be requested from the treating health care provider. While we try to honor all requests, the College cannot guarantee all accommodations granted for one academic year will be granted for subsequent years. The College expects specific modifications will be the result of an interactive process between the student, the Director of Community Living, and the Director of Disability Services. 

Students requesting accommodations in college housing should submit the Housing Accommodations Request Form along with supporting documentation from their treating health care provider Disability Documentation to Disability Services.  Students requesting a Single Room, Year-Round Air Conditioning, or an Assistance Animal as a disability-related accommodation should refer to the links below. 
 

After this appropriate documentation has been submitted, requesting students should arrange a meeting with the Director of Disability Services. After this meeting takes place, The Director of Disability Services will meet with the Director of Community Living and/ or the Housing Coordinator to discuss the modification and consider options and suitable alternatives based on current and anticipated availability. In some cases, this interactive process may also include the student. In situations where the College is unable to immediately grant the requested accommodation, the student will be notified and placed on a waiting list until a suitable arrangement becomes available. Students should refer to the housing registration information in the housing selection tab in JayWeb. It is the student’s responsibility to notify Disability Services of any changes in the requested housing modification during their enrollment in the college.

Students whose requests are denied or who are dissatisfied with the process or its outcome have the option to file a petition using the Grievance Procedure.

Information for requesting a Single Room
Information for requesting Year Round Air Conditioning 
Information for requesting an Assistance Animal

Housing Accommodations Request Procedure

Housing Accommodations Request Forms should be submitted to Disability Services by February 1 for returning students or July 1 for incoming First-Year and Transfer students. Requests after these dates will be considered based upon availability and documented need. The following factors are taken into consideration when evaluating housing requests:
• Clarity of student requests and supporting documentation
• Availability of residential space at the time of the request
• Alternative accommodations that would achieve similar benefits
• Negative health/academic impact if the request is not granted

Dining Accommodations

Elizabethtown College is a four-year residential college with a required meal plan. We recognize that certain food-related conditions, such as an autoimmune disease like celiac disease or allergies to products like shellfish, wheat, milk, peanuts, or eggs, constitute a disability for some students. While food sensitivities are not recognized as a disability under ADA, dining services staff will be available to educate students about food sensitivities regarding our ingredient list. The College makes reasonable modifications for students who have food-related disabilities limiting their ability to fully participate in our meal plan. The College expects specific modifications will be the result of an interactive process among the student, the Director of Dining Services, and the Director of Disability Services. While Dining Services is committed to the dietary health of each student, it is the student’s responsibility to inquire about the ingredients in the foods served. Students may do this by asking the server, by reviewing the ingredient list in the logbook at the check station, or upon request by reviewing the ingredients in the storage areas.

Dining Modifications May Include :

  • Pre-ordering from the existing menu. Students who qualify for dining modifications can review the online daily dining menus and have the option to pre-order requested meal choices. If Dining Services is unable to fulfill the particular request because the request is not made in a timely manner, we will provide an alternative option consistent with the student’s dietary requirements.
  • Special food preparation of existing menu items or the ability to request menu substitutions prepared without certain ingredients, such as dairy, tree nuts, gluten, etc. Dining services staff will prepare and store specially prepared meals in a separate and allergy-free area. The student will also have access to allergy-free dining space and appliances to store and prepare some foods, as well as access to designated areas in the walk-in coolers in accordance with their specific dietary needs.


In certain cases, if repeated attempts to provide reasonable dietary accommodations have been unsuccessful, modifications to the existing meal plan may be considered. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis after reviewing the history of interactions between the student and appropriate dining services staff. If it is determined that over the course of the semester, after regularly engaging with appropriate dining services and/or disability services staff, reasonable modifications were not able to be provided, alterations to the meal plan will be considered.  Please note, that unused meal swipes at the end of the semester are not evidence the suggested accommodation was not provided to the student.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify Disability Services and Dining Services of any difficulties they have with these modifications in a timely manner. Students should also make Dining Services and Disability Services aware of changes in the requested modification during their enrollment in the college. Students whose requests are denied or who are dissatisfied with the process or its outcome have the option to file a petition using the  Grievance Procedure  on the Disability Services website.

Dining Accommodation Request Procedure :

1. The student will submit the  Dining Services Accommodation Request Form and supporting  documentation from their treating health care provider to Disability Services and request a meeting with the Director of Disability Services.

2. During this meeting, the student and the Director of Disability Services will discuss reasonable modifications to the meal plan based on the submitted documentation and supporting information from the student. The student will be given a meal plan accommodation letter detailing the specific modification plan tailored to the student’s dietary requirements. 

3. It is the student’s responsibility to notify Disability Services of any changes in the requested modification during their enrollment in the college.

The following factors are taken into consideration when evaluating Dining Services Accommodation requests:

  1. Clarity of the student request and supporting documentation
  2. Alternative accommodations that would achieve similar benefits.
  3. Negative health/academic impact if the request is not granted.

Please Note:  Elizabethtown College makes reasonable modifications to meals prepared in the Marketplace for students with food-related disabilities with no additional charge, however, we do not offer a discount price for gluten-free foods sold in the Jays Nest, the Blue Bean Café, or the Jay Truck.

Grievance Procedure

For Students in Cases of Alleged Discrimination on the Basis of a Disability
Elizabethtown College policy and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require that a grievance procedure be available to a student who wishes to contest an administrative or faculty decision regarding disability-related accommodations and/or issues. Any Elizabethtown College student who believes that she/he has been discriminated against on the basis of a disability or has been denied access or accommodations has the right to utilize this grievance procedure. This procedure is not intended to address issues for which other policies exist, such as appeals pertaining to grades.

Informal Resolution
When a student wishes to contest an administrative or faculty decision regarding disability-related accommodations and/or issues, he or she should make every attempt to resolve the problem through informal discussions with the person claimed to be responsible for the contested decision or act. If the student is unable to resolve the issue directly with that person, the student should involve the Director of Disability Services for advice or help in negotiating a solution. The student may also contact that person's supervisor to assist in the informal resolution process.

Attempts to informally resolve the contested decision or act should occur within thirty (30) calendar days of the contested decision or act. If the issue cannot be resolved by communication, education, and/or negotiation to the student’s satisfaction through the informal process, the student may follow the formal process set forth below.

Formal Resolution

  1. The student may file in writing a formal grievance with Dr. Kristi Kneas, the Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development for academic issues. The grievance statement should be as specific as possible regarding the decision or action(s) that precipitated the grievance (date, place, and people involved), efforts made to settle the matter informally, and the remedy sought.
  2. The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life shall forward a copy of the grievance statement to all parties involved within one week of the receipt of the statement. The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life will also provide a copy of the grievance statement to the Director of Disability Services who will be involved in the resolution of the grievance as appropriate.
  3. The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life shall investigate the matter set forth in the grievance statement. In conducting the investigation, The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life may forward a copy of the grievance statement to the persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance and may request a written response to the grievance from appropriate individuals in the College. The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life may also choose to interview witnesses, meet with concerned parties, receive oral or written presentations, and make other appropriate independent inquiries. Within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing of the statement, The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life will make a decision on the merits of the student’s grievance and the appropriate resolution of the situation. If the resolution is not possible within thirty (30) calendar days, The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life shall inform the student of the reasons for the delay.
  4. Copies of the decision by The Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life will be sent to the student and the Director of Disability Services. A copy may also be sent to the department and/or persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance, as appropriate. In the event that the student is not satisfied with the Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Life's resolution of the grievance, a written appeal may be made to the President within 5 calendar days of the student's receipt of the resolution. The President's resolution shall be final and binding*.
  5. A record of all formal grievances filed under this procedure will be maintained in the office of Disability Services, The Center for Student Success.

* If you are dissatisfied with the formal resolution of the grievance procedures or want to use an alternative to the grievance procedures, you have the right to file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Information assisting you with this process can be found here, or by contacting the Philadelphia office of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Suite 515. The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323.  OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov  or 215-656-8541


Resources for Faculty & Staff

ADA Compliance

Under ADAAA, colleges must be able to demonstrate an effective process and clear policies demonstrating the college’s procedures for compliance. Providing access is a cooperative effort by the entire campus community; all academic offices and departments must be in compliance in order for the institution to be in compliance.

Role of Faculty & Academic Departments

  • Establish departmental policies for compliance with ADA
  • Consistent faculty compliance with requested academic accommodations
  • Inclusive instruction & accessible instructional material, accessible media policies
  • Identify and document essential academic and interpersonal elements of each course and program of study
  • Notify Disability Services if requested accommodation represents a fundamental alteration of essential elements
  • Maintain confidentiality

Academic Accommodations and Adjustments

The purpose of accommodations is to provide equal access for otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The office of Disability Services makes determinations regarding appropriate accommodations and adjustments on a case-by-case basis. We require documentation from the treating health care professional and encourage a great deal of input from the student in order to understand the functional impact of the disability on the student’s ability to access courses, programs, services, and activities. 

In some cases, Disability Services will request input from faculty in order to consider unique characteristics of a particular course or program of studies, such as performance-based standards associated with internship or fieldwork experiences. All students must be able to meet essential academic, behavioral, and performance standards associated with a course or field of study. Generally, accommodations are related to accessing course print and audiovisual material, lecture content, and tests.

Course Accessibility

Access to Course Print Material:
Students with print (vision, reading) disorders may request accessible course material as an accommodation. The office of Disability Services will modify material submitted through the College Bookstore Faculty Adoptions Procedure (textbooks and coursepacks) prior to the beginning of the semester.

Faculty who use supplemental course print material not submitted through the Faculty Adoptions Procedure can convert documents into an accessible format for requesting students with  Acrobat Pro. Acrobat Pro software is installed on the computer used by the administrative assistant in every academic department. Faculty can also request this software from ITS. 

Recording Class Lectures:
It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they plan to record lectures as an accommodation. A recording may be an audio replication recorded on devices including, but not limited to, audio recorders, cellular phones, MP3 players, computers, and other handheld devices that record sound. Qualifying students must sign a  Recorded Lectures Agreement; this document will be kept on file in Disability Services. 

Assistive Listening Devices:
Some students who are hard of hearing may use FM systems.FM systems utilize wireless technologies to amplify the speaker’s voice via a lapel or independent microphone and may be effective for students who have residual hearing. Learn more here

Inclusive Instruction:
Requesting faculty speak only when facing the class, and not while writing on a whiteboard is considered a reasonable request; please provide this accommodation when asked. Students who are hard of hearing (HOH) often rely on speech reading or “reading lips”.  As approximately 30% of the English language is formed within the oral cavity and not visible in the mouth, this method of accessing spoken information results in a great deal of missed or misinterpreted information.   The ability to speech read is greatly affected by accents, facial hair, room acoustics, room size, lighting, classroom set-up, familiarity with the topic, and the student’s own speech reading ability.

If you are unsure how to respond to a request for access to a course, program, or activity, please contact the Director of Disability Services at 717-361-1227 or by email at
daviesl@etown.edu

Access to Audiovisual Media:
Only captioned media should be shown in class and assigned as course requirements if a student who is deaf or hard of hearing is enrolled in the course .  The term media includes films, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, streaming digital media, e.g. YouTube, live webinars, or any other material containing audio. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the faculty they need this accommodation if the syllabus indicates audiovisual media is required for the course. Faculty can either contact Disability Services or can make arrangements directly for this service.  A few weeks of notice is usually required. Please consider requesting films/videos that are available in captioned form as you update your video libraries or borrow films.

Testing Accommodations:
Elizabethtown College is committed to providing equal access and reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services for qualifying students. Students who qualify for testing accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of each semester to specify which faculty they would like to receive a copy of the accommodations letter. Students should arrange to meet with each of their faculty to discuss the accommodations.

Students have the right to take exams in the most appropriate environment, whether that be the classroom with their peers or another suitable place with reduced distractions or assistive technology such as a screen reader. Their preference for testing locations should be strongly considered. Students who prefer to take tests in the classroom need to make arrangements with faculty for the extended time based on available space, their schedule, and their professor’s schedule.

The Learning Zone offers a space for students who choose to take tests in a separate room or with assistive technology.  In this event, faculty can provide the following information to  disabilityservices@etown.edu:

  • an electronic version of the exam
  • the date and time the student plans to take the test
  • how to contact you during the exam in case there are questions
  • specific testing instructions, such as the use of a calculator
  • the length of time permitted for students taking the exam in class

Completed exams will be scanned and returned to faculty as an email attachment – the original will be sent through campus mail.  According to the Faculty Handbook, Final Exam Policy (4.10 H) students with three exams in one day may directly request a professor that one exam is rescheduled during exam week. Three exams taken under standard conditions would necessitate nine hours of testing.  For students qualifying for 50% additional time for testing, two exams scheduled on the same day involve nine hours of testing. While the faculty handbook states that there is no obligation on the part of the faculty member to reschedule the exam under standard testing conditions, this request should be considered an accommodation.  All requests for rescheduling an exam must be made at least five class days before the start of the final exam week.

Accommodations Letter:
The office of Disability Services will give each student an  accommodations letter  at the beginning of each semester specifying the accommodations for which they qualify. Students should make an appointment with each of their faculty, give them a copy of the letter, and discuss the implementation of each of the accommodations listed. Faculty should contact Disability Services immediately if they think a particular accommodation is unreasonable or represents a fundamental alteration of a course or program of study. Students should contact Disability Services immediately if a particular accommodation request is denied. In either case, the office of Disability Services will arrange a meeting with all three parties to discuss alternative options to provide access.

Syllabus Statement:
Elizabethtown College welcomes otherwise qualified students with disabilities to participate in all of its courses, programs, services, and activities. If you have a documented disability and would like to request accommodations in order to access course material, activities, or requirements, please contact the Director of Disabilities, Lynne Davies, by phone at (717) 361-1227 or e-mail at  daviesl@etown.edu. If your documentation meets the college’s documentation guidelines, you will be given a letter from Disability Services for each of your professors.  Students experiencing certain documented temporary conditions, such as post-concussive symptoms, may also qualify for temporary academic accommodations and adjustments. As early as possible in the semester, set up an appointment to meet with me, the instructor, to discuss the academic adjustments specified in your accommodations letter as they pertain to my class.

NOTE:
To ensure that all students with disabilities have been informed of the procedure, faculty should read the above statement from the syllabus to each class at the beginning of each semester. Faculty and staff should maintain strict confidentiality about a student’s disability and should implement accommodations in such a way as not to compromise confidentiality.


Resources for Prospective Students, Parents and Other Campus Visitors

The High School to College Transition

Helping your daughter or son find the right college is an important and sometimes overwhelming task. For parents of a child with a disability, the undertaking can seem even more daunting. Hopefully, this information will provide you with some guidelines as you navigate through this process together.

If your child is like most teenagers, he or she isn’t considering the myriad of ways a disability might hinder academic success in college. As a parent, you likely worked closely with the IEP team, playing an active role in managing academic accommodations and adjustments in K through 12. As you move forward with the transition to college, it is important to consider the specific accommodations your child used regularly. Talk with your school’s special education coordinator and your child to learn about particular modifications and instructional supports and how they contributed to academic success. Did your son or daughter take tests with additional time? Did someone help plan and organize homework assignments? Were supplemental materials or study guides given above and beyond those given to other students in preparation for tests? Was she or he permitted to re-write papers or re-take tests if initial scores were below a certain level? To what degree did you, as a parent, coach or facilitate after school to ensure homework assignments were completed accurately and in a timely fashion? You’ll be in a better position to guide your son or daughter once you have a clear understanding of the factors that contributed to academic success in high school.

There is a fundamental distinction between the laws governing students with disabilities in K through 12, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the laws governing students with disabilities in college, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAA). Perhaps the most important difference is that IDEA strives for academic success while ADAA strives for equal access to all courses, programs, services, and activities. Many of the modifications and instructional supports mandated under IDEA are not considered to be reasonable under ADA. It is essential for you and your son or daughter to understand that most colleges do not provide the modifications and supports offered in high school. While the goal of academic adjustments in high school is academic success, the goal of academic adjustments in higher education is equal access to all courses, programs, services, and activities. It is important to carefully weigh the influence of support and modifications on high school success, and the realistic probability of similar success in higher education without these supports.

Parents can help by beginning the transition early. As you visit colleges, schedule an informational meeting with the Office of Disability Services to discuss appropriate accommodations. Make sure your son or daughter understands the active role he or she will assume in the accommodations process. It will be the students’ responsibility to contact Disability Services and provide documentation supporting their request for academic accommodations and adjustments (see documentation link). Additionally, students must take the initiative to consistently use the accommodations for which they are eligible.

Help your daughter or son learn to manage time effectively, develop good study strategies, become independent with regard to managing prescribed medications, and understand the importance of adequate sleep, diet, and exercise. Encourage your child to ask for help when needed and take advantage of all of the services offered. Like many other colleges, Elizabethtown offers peer tutoring in individual courses as well as in writing, and workshops in a number of areas such as study skills and time management. The Office of Disability Services may suggest students with disabilities take advantage of these opportunities, but it is up to the student to schedule appointments and participate in offered programs and services. Compare information from numerous colleges and carefully consider which institutions seem like a good fit. You may find this link helpful from Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Best wishes as you navigate through this process together.

Visitors and Prospective Students

For questions concerning access during your campus visit, requests for sign language interpreters, captioning, or other disability-related accommodations please contact Lynne Davies, the Director of Disability Services at  daviesl@etown.edu  or 717-361-1227.

 

Accessibility Requests for Campus Events

Elizabethtown College is committed to providing full access to all courses, programs, services, and activities. For questions concerning access such as requests for sign language interpreters, captioning, or other disability-related accommodations for any campus event please contact the Director of Disability Services at 717-361-1227 or by email at  daviesl@etown.edu

 

Elizabethtown College