Services for Students with Disabilities

SPC Policy FP - 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 Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

It is in the spirit of these federal mandates that South Plains College implement campus-wide policy of nondiscrimination and equal access and of the college’s commitment to uphold federal regulation.   South Plains College welcomes students with disabilities into our campus community. The college is dedicated to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. While it is essential to continue to incorporate technology into the teaching process, our courses must be accessible and usable to everyone. A commitment to accessibility allows SPC, at minimum, to fulfill federal compliance requirements and, ideally, to incorporate approaches to course design that benefit all students.

The college is committed to operating websites that are available to everyone. Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites by people with disabilities (ADA, & WCAG 2.0 – The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)

South Plains College does not require persons with disabilities to take advantage of all adjustments, and/or accommodations that might be available to persons with disabilities.

Any qualified individual with a disability may request reasonable accommodations if her/his disability limits one or more life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. A qualified individual can perform the essential functions of the program with or without reasonable accommodations.

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.

  ADA, ADAAA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

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 universities 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 when an approved accommodation or prohibiting service animals 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.

Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law on Sept. 25, 2008, clarify and reiterate who is covered by the law’s civil rights protections. The “ADA Amendments Act of 2008” revises the definition of “disability” to more broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit a major life activity. The amended language also states that mitigating measures, including assistive devices, auxiliary aids, accommodations, medical therapies and supplies (other than eyeglasses and contact lenses) have no bearing in determining whether a disability qualifies under the law. Changes also clarify coverage of impairments that are episodic or in remission that substantially limit a major life activity when active, such as epilepsy or post-traumatic stress disorder. The amendments took effect Jan. 1, 2009.

 

SPC has adopted ADA & WCAG 2.0 as the standard to make our electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities.

Classroom/Course Accessibility for all Students (identified with a disability or not)

Design Materials and Class Interactions to be Accessible

Students have the right to accessible class content. Content and activities should be in a format all students can utilize to complete all required work and to enable participation with their peers is required.

 

Design Materials and Class Interactions to be Inclusive

Design Materials and class interactions that are useable by all. One example is to provide videos with captioning/subtitling as they can be utilized by anyone at any time, and there is no delay in providing the content. For audio clips, provide transcripts.

 

Technical Standards

 

Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of the course. Students with disabilities should meet the same course expectations as their peers.

 

 

 

ADA Compliance for audio/visual media

Regardless of whether or not a student has requested accommodations, all Academic/Technical departments, administrators, faculty, and staff should:

  • Create captions/subtitles/transcription for any college-created video and/or lecture.
  • Substitute new media with captioning in the place of any older version without captioning.
  • Purchase captioned videos and/or transcribed audio for any new media made available to students outside of class.

 

Animals on Campus

Animals on Campus are not allowed in any college building except when needed for instruction or where needed by an employee or student with a disability.

Service Animals are dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service Animals are permitted in every area on campus unless posted due to health or safety concerns. Students with Service Animals are not required to register with the Disability Services office, but notification is recommended.

Service Animals in Training are dogs undergoing training by an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons who are disabled as reputable and competent to providing training for service animals, and/or their handlers. SPC recognizes an approved trainer as “an individual who has been certified by an organization whose primary mission is to train service animals for people with disabilities”. Students will be required to provide Disability Services Office with contact information for the organization who certified them, as well as a copy of their individual certification.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are used in the treatment of a diagnosed condition. ESA's are not allowed in any campus buildings with the exception of student housing. ESA's must be registered and approved through the Disability Services Office before being brought onto campus.

Approved animals on campus must be under the direct control of the handler at all times. This can occur using a harness, leash, or other tether. The handler is responsible for the care and supervision of the animal. If an animal behaves in an unacceptable manner and the handler does not control the animal, South Plains College may ask for the removal of the animal. The Service Animal or ESA itself is an extension of the student and therefore under the same code of conduct as the student. South Plains College has the right to deny access to Service and/or ESAs that are disruptive. The Service Animal and/or ESA's handler is responsible for repairing or replacing any property that may be damaged by the Service or ESA. The handler is responsible for removal of animal waste. All Service Animals and ESA's must be vaccinated and licensed according to local or county ordinances.

 

 

Faculty

It is the instructor's responsibility to ensure that the learning environment is accessible to all students. Academic accommodations are intended to provide equal access to educational opportunity, but they do not guarantee success in the classroom. Faculty members are not expected to make fundamental alterations to their programs of instruction to accommodate students with disabilities. Faculty members should hold the student to the same academic standards as every other student in their class.

Faculty should:

Adhere to Applicable Laws by Providing Classroom Accommodations.

Faculty should be aware that students can present their Letters of Accommodation (LOA) at any point during the semester. Faculty have one week to implement the requested accommodation.  

 

Faculty should act immediately upon getting a student’s request for accommodations (LOA) by meeting individually with the student and providing accommodations.

 

Faculty should discuss with the students which approved accommodation the student has requested and how that accommodation will be fulfilled in their classroom.

 

Accommodations are provided on a case by case basis. No accommodation will be provided if it compromises or alters essential elements or evaluation standards of a course or program of study. Disability Services Office is to assist with logistical difficulties which faculty or their departments may encounter in providing student accommodations. Questions should be addressed to the Office of Disability Services.  

  • Possible List of Approved Accommodations (Could include but not limited to):
  • Peer Note-Taking /Instructor Notes/Blackboard notes
  • Extended Exam time (enter % for accommodation) (not applicable on take home exams)
  • Extended time for in-class assignments (enter % for accommodation) (not applicable on homework exams)
  • Separate location/Distraction REDUCED testing location
  • Priority seating
  • Exam Reader (not applicable where Reading is an essential element of the course)
  • Exam Scribe (not applicable where Writing is an essential element of the course)
  • Sign Language Interpreter
  • Breaks during class (limited to 5 to 7 minutes per class period)     
  • Voice Recorder for classroom lectures (for information pertaining to potential exam material)
  • Spell Checker or Dictionary (N/A where spelling & grammar are an essential element of the
                     course)
  • Student Provided Laptop Computer for notetaking
  • 4-function calculator (only for MATH-0315 and above)
  • Other: ie; Texts in electronic format, as available through Disability Services. (may take 4-6 weeks processing time)

Please note that a student may reinstate an accommodation by notifying the instructor in writing with at least four (4) business days’ notice before the next scheduled class time.

 

Syllabus Statement

While it is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure that the learning environment is accessible, students must request accommodations. Instructors will include a statement on their syllabus, which directs students with disabilities to the Disability Services Office. Both the Disability Statement and the Non-Discrimination Statements should be included on all SPC course Syllabi.

 

 

SPC Standard Disability Statement

Students with disabilities, including but not limited to physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities, who wish to request accommodations in this class should notify the Disability Services Office early in the semester so that the appropriate arrangements may be made. Processing time could take up to 30 days once paperwork has been submitted. In accordance with federal law, a student requesting accommodations must provide acceptable documentation of his/her disability to the Disability Services Office. For more information, call or visit the Disability Services Office at Levelland (Student Health & Wellness Office) 806-716-2577, Reese Center (Building 8) & Lubbock Center 806-716-4675, or Plainview Center (Main Office) 806-716-4302 or 806-296-9611.

Non-Discrimination Statement

South Plains College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities. All SPC courses meet federal regulations under Title II of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Vice President for Student Affairs, South Plains College -1401 College Avenue, Box 5, Levelland, TX 79336, 806-716-2360.

 

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 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 to have their concerns addressed. For housing accommodations at the Residence Halls, contact the Dean of Students Office at the Levelland Campus.