Services for Students with Disabilities
South Plains College students with documented disabilities are granted academic accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office as early as possible. Adequate notice to prepare for and provide academic accommodations and services is required. For more information on academic accommodations, contact the Disability Services Office at either the Levelland Campus or Reese Center.
Grievance and Appeals
A student grievance is a college related issue or condition that a student believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory or a hindrance to the educational process. A grievance also may include discrimination on the basis of a disability or other protected area. Individuals wishing to file a grievance regarding disability services at South Plains College should first address the problem with the Coordinator of Disability Services or the Director of Health and Wellness. If concerns are not resolved at this level, the Vice President for Student Affairs at the Levelland Campus is the designated ADA/504 coordinator and can provide direction in further grievance procedures. Additional information on grievance procedures and student appeals is published in the General Catalog and Student Guide.
Any student that comes across barriers to access at any SPC facility should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs at the Levelland Campus to have their concerns addressed. For housing accommodations at the Residence Halls, contact the Dean of Students Office at the Levelland Campus.
Comfort and Service Animals
All service or comfort animals must be approved and registered with the SPC Disability Services Office. Animals on campus must be on a leash or be otherwise under the direct and positive control of the owner.
Service Animal: A dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a documented disability. The work or task a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.
Comfort Animal: An animal that provides emotional support which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a resident’s documented disability. Unlike a service animal, a comfort animal does not assist a student with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times. Comfort animals may be considered for access to college housing, however they are not permitted in other areas of the College. Comfort animals are only housed in SPC residence halls that offer private rooms.
ADA and Section 504
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is comprehensive civil rights legislation created to help integrate persons with disabilities into every segment of society. Public entities such as colleges and schools have been required to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities since 1973 under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The ADA extends to the private sector, adds new requirements and allows a complainant to collect damages.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112), Section 504, provides that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program of activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Section 504 applies to postsecondary education programs and activities. It designates that:
- Students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all postsecondary education programs and activities. That includes any course, course of study, or activity offered.
- Rules which limit the participation of students with disabilities in the program or activity may not be imposed upon the students with disabilities. (For example, prohibiting tape recorders and calculators in classroom or dog guides in campus buildings.)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upholds and extends the standards for compliance set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to employment practices, communications, and all policies, procedures and practices that impact the treatment of students with disabilities. It provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of a disability. The ADA extends civil rights protection for people with disabilities to employment in the public and private sectors, transportation, public accommodations, services provided by state and local government and telecommunication relay services. Public and private institutions and programs of postsecondary and higher education are obligated to comply with the ADA in their programs, services, facilities, employment and other related aspects.
Revision approved by SPC Executive Council