The mission of Shorter University Disabilities Services to ensuring that students with disabilities have equal, effective, and meaningful access, and can act as full participants in its programs, services, and activities. This is accomplished through a commitment to maintaining compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the use of nondiscriminatory policies and procedures, and the provision of reasonable accommodations.
Students with disabilities are entitled by law to equal access to University programs and facilities. Shorter University adheres to the guidelines of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Under these laws, students cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their disability.
Section 504 and the ADA offer accommodations to students who:
- Have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Have documentation of that impairment
- Can demonstrate that the requested accommodations are necessary for participation in University programs.
To be considered eligible for services, students must make an appointment to meet with the Director of Student Support Services in addition to providing documentation of a disability. The documentation serves as the foundation for legitimizing the request for a reasonable accommodation. Appropriate documentation must include the following:
- A clear diagnosis of the disability by a professional who has firsthand knowledge of the student’s condition and has experience and training in diagnosing and treating people with disabilities
- Documentation of the disability must be current, preferably within the past 3 years. (The age of the required documentation also may be dependent upon the nature of the disability and specific requested accommodation.)
- A statement of functional impact and limitations of the disability on major life activities.
- A list of recommended accommodations with an explanation of the relevance of each to the diagnosed disability.
The following verifications/certifications are required to have a determination of eligibility made for accommodations. All disability documentation is the responsibility and purview of the applicant/student.
- A copy of your most recent eye examination results from your ophthalmologist or optometrist verifying your legal blindness or other visual impairment.
Deafness or Hard of Hearing
- A copy of an audiogram, administered within the last two years by your physician, audiometrist, or audiologist, verifying the extent of your hearing loss.
LD & ADD/ADHD
- For learning disabilities, records of a psycho-educational evaluation performed by a qualified professional. Must meet the following verification policy Practices for the Assessment of Learning Disabilities.
- For Attention Deficit Disorder, please have a psychiatrist or other qualified professional fill out the ADD Certification form and follow the verification requirements Practices for the Assessment and Accommodation of Students with Attention Deficit Disorders.
- Please have your psychiatrist or other mental health professional complete the Certificate of Psychological Disability.
Mobility Impairment, Speech Impairment, Acquired Brain Injury, Chronic Illness or other disabilities not listed above
- Please have physician or other appropriate professional complete the Certification of Disability form.
- Meet with the Director of Student Support Services prior to the start of classes or as soon as a disability becomes known.
- Provide current documentation (within the last 3 years) of the disability.
- The Director and the student will discuss and determine reasonable accommodations.
- The Director will write memos to faculty members, certifying that the student is eligible to receive specific accommodations.
- The student is responsible for delivering the memos to faculty and discussing with them how the accommodations will be coordinated in the classroom.
- Accommodations must be requested for every semester the student is enrolled.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course program, service, job activity, or facility that enables a student with a disability to have an equal opportunity. The University is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified disabled student. To determine reasonable accommodations, the Student Support Services office may seek information from appropriate Univeristy personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities. Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:
- The barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment;
- The possible accommodations that might remove the barriers;
- Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility without accommodations;
- Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, job activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations.
Students enrolled in online courses or classes located at distant teaching sites should follow the regular procedures to register and request accommodations. However, since many of the students enrolled in these courses are located at a distance from the Rome campus, students can easily communicate with Disability Services office by scheduling phone conferences.
When students are taking on online course and are distant from instructors, a student may request a PDF copy of their accommodation memo to be sent to their instructor. I t is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor and arrange the accommodations. The instructor can only provide accommodations after the student makes contact. Similar to taking traditional courses, it is the students’ responsibility to immediately report to the Disability Services office any accommodation problems or logistical challenges encountered in the accommodation process.
The Office of Student Engagement and Success provides students with accommodations a place in which they can take exams. For information regarding the Testing Center, please click here.