Introduction

Dickinson College is committed to ensuring that all programs, services, and facilities are accessible to all students on a non-discriminatory basis. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) facilitates 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, 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 at www.dickinson.edu/ODS.
 
Once students submit their documentation to Marni Jones, Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services, it is thoroughly reviewed, and eligibility for accommodations is determined. Students granted academic accommodations are given accommodation letters to give to each of their professors, as well as Accommodation Implementation Plan forms to complete with their professors and return to ODS.

At times, students may seek to submit documentation to faculty members, or to request accommodations directly from their instructors without an accommodation letter. All requests for academic accommodations based on a disability must be made directly to the Office of Disability Services so the Director can review and verify the appropriateness of the student's documentation and determine reasonable accommodations.

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. It is also important to note that, under disability compliance law, students may submit documentation and be determined to be eligible for accommodations at any time in the semester, as long as they have provided sufficient notice for implementation.

During the meetings between the students and faculty members, students are to present their accommodation letter and discuss implementation 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 ODS. All of this information is to be entered onto a blue Accommodations Implementation Plan form to be signed by both the student and professor. The student is to return this form to ODS 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). Professors should email proctoring@dickinson.edu with any questions or information regarding 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 a copy of all students' accommodations letters and blue forms for future reference, and that they keep all information regarding a student's disability (and status as a student with a disability) confidential, unless the student indicates an interest in making his/her/their disability known to others.

Note-Takers

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 list of past reliable note-takers, a script to read to elicit a volunteer; and a Note Taker Application. Professors should review the notes of prospective note-takers before selecting one to determine whether that student's notes adequately reflect what was presented in class. The chosen note-taker would simply take class notes and then scan their notes and upload the scan to the Gateway. The recipient of the notes can then access the notes from the Gateway, without the note-taker knowing who the notes are for. Instructions for faculty, an email-ready solicitation message, and the note-take application can be found at www.dickinson.edu/ODS-NT.

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 (with the exception of INBM and INST majors) 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 to fulfill the language requirement can get more information by going to www.dickinson.edu/ASL.

Syllabus Statement

Each faculty member is expected to include a statement on his/her syllabus as a means to inform students with disabilities about College procedures for disclosing a disability and receiving accommodations. The statement currently in use may be found on the ODS Faculty Resources page. 

Guidance

Guidance and resource information for students with disabilities is available at www.dickinson.edu/ODS. Guidance for Faculty is located at www.dickinson.edu/ODS-Faculty, and includes logistical and legal protocols for accommodating students with disabilities at the postsecondary level, information about a variety of disabilities, and 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 jonesmar@dickinson.edu or by calling 717-245-1734.