Disability Resource Center Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do the IDEA and 504 laws in the k-12 grades apply at TMCC?
No, see the link "K-12 vs. college" for some of the differences.
Does TMCC pay for testing for disabilities?
No. Colleges are not required to pay for assessments. The student is responsible for providing appropriate documentation at their own expense at TMCC. You may download the "Medical/Psychological and Disability Assessment Form" which can be completed by an appropriate professional. The DRC provides Learning Disability evaluations in some situations and can also provide referrals to testing facilities for learning disabilities.
Does TMCC provide specialized tutoring for DRC students?
According to the Office For Civil Rights (Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education, July 2002), "...Postsecondary school does not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or student, or other devices of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing."
As an additional support for students with disabilities, a registered DRC student who qualifies for tutoring assistance based on their documentation may obtain a referral from our office to the Tutoring and Learning Center. The student will be directed to meet with an intake coordinator to receive information about general college tutoring and, in certain cases, may be offered limited additional tutoring in pre-college level academic course work, such as mathematics, English and/or reading.
Does TMCC provide transportation or personal assistants for students with disabilities?
Can a student with a disability receive accommodations for online course work?
Yes, a student with a qualifying disability who has registered at the DRC may be entitled to accommodations for online course work. The student must first register with the DRC to be entitled to free accommodations and services. After a confidential intake interview (which may be conducted by email, over the telephone or written correspondence), the DRC professional staff member will perform a review and evaluation of the student's documentation.
Accommodations will vary based on functional limitations from an educational standpoint substantiated by a documented disability. They may include one or more of the following: extended exam/quiz time, accessible podcasts, captioned videos and other specialized accommodations assigned on a case-by-case basis.
Has the student talked to other students about the general format and interactions of online course work prior to enrolling?
A variety of information such as course content and objectives, individual instructor style and general distance education course expectations can assist a student in determining if an online delivery format is a viable option. Deciding whether this format facilitates the student's need, matches their learning style and allows for successful completion of the course are important factors in determining if online course work will promote student success.
How does the student's particular disability affect their ability to comprehend and process written information?
For students with certain disabilities, understanding directions, discussions and course material in an exclusively written format may prove challenging. Instructors will probably not be immediately available to clarify directions or course content. Some instructors may not have regular office hours, live in different cities or otherwise be unavailable to answer questions in person.
If a student with a disability is uncertain whether online classes are a good venue for them, who can advise them?
The Disability Resource Center (DRC) has professionally trained and friendly staff members available to assist a student in weighing the pros and cons of online formats. If you are a student with a disability, are not registered with the DRC, are requesting accommodations or want more information, please contact us to learn more about our services, be put in contact with a staff member or to register.
Is the DRC student a first time college student?
Students coming directly from high school or those new to the college experience can anticipate a transition period. Students may not be prepared for changes such as the greater demands of college course work or self advocating to receive assistance. Sometimes it may be best for a student to manage the transition by completing their first semester taking traditional "on-campus" course work to become acclimated to the increased outside work load, the additional reading and study hours surrounding college classes. After the student is more familiar with the rigors of college, they will be better informed to make the decision to enroll in online classes in future semesters.
In addition, having a disability may impact a student's ability to process information, read, concentrate and have other barriers to learning. These may require additional studying, on-campus tutoring, taking a reduced course load and other available supports that need to be factored into an educational plan. Continue reading for more information regarding the online course format that may need to be considered in light of a student's disability.
Is the DRC student an "organized/self-directed learner"?
The nature of online courses lends itself to a student possessing organizational and time management skills along with being a self-directed learner. There will be no "in-person" reminders from instructors regarding assignment and test due dates. Regular participation in online discussions may be expected. Preparatory skills, motivation to establish a regular study schedule and deadlines, the ability to navigate the Internet to gather information and independent follow through are important components in this type of course delivery.
Is the DRC student comfortable with computer technology?
Learning via a computer works best with a student who has experience in or is comfortable using software and managing tasks on the computer. Online course work typically involves a different, more complex level of computer skill than personal computer usage.
Are faculty members required to provide these accommodations themselves?
Accommodation provision is an institutional responsibility which includes TMCC faculty and staff working together to provide mandated accommodations. Faculty members may choose to provide some accommodations individually, such as extended exam time, a distraction reduced testing environment or enlarged course handouts. The DRC is available to assist with many accommodations such as recruiting note takers, providing tutoring referrals, offering a proctored testing facility which allows the student to receive extended exam time accommodations in a quiet environment, assistive technologies and alternate text reproduction. Faculty members are a key partner in the advanced planning and communication process.
Do faculty members have to provide accommodations to students with disabilities?
According to federal and state disability laws, as a public entity that accepts federal funds (i.e. Pell Grant funding), TMCC must provide free accommodations and services to persons with disabilities. These ensure equal access to all individuals attending curricular and co-curricular activities sponsored by the college.
How do faculty know if a student in their class is registered with the DRC and needs accommodations or services?
The course instructor will be notified by a DRC-generated hard copy service letter which will be delivered by the student to the faculty member. Alternately, the services letter may be sent by the DRC staff through an email correspondence. This letter will outline assigned accommodations. Faculty members are encouraged to correspond with the DRC staff when questions regarding accommodations arise.
How do faculty members submit an exam to the DRC?
The course instructor may hand deliver a hard copy to the DRC office located in RDMT 315, or attach the exam to an email addressed to email@example.com, or fax to 775-673-7207, at least one day prior to the scheduled exam date.
An online Request for Test Proctoring form is to follow the exam, to provide the DRC specific proctoring instructions such as time allotted. The DRC will calculate the student's extended time.
Should faculty provide accommodations to any student who discloses that they have a disability, but have not registered at the disability resource center?
No. Faculty should not provide accommodations directly to students who are not registered at the DRC. This protects both the college and students requesting services. The professionally trained DRC staff is responsible for evaluating presenting documentation in order to determine if a student qualifies for services, and which services are appropriate in light of their disability. After the DRC staff assigns accommodations, they assist to ensure services are offered in a timely manner.
What should a faculty member do if they believe a student not registered at the DRC may have a disability, and would benefit from accommodations or services?
The faculty member can privately and tactfully refer a potential student to the DRC staff who will determine if they qualify for services. The DRC website offers a wealth of information to educate faculty and prospective students, downloadable forms and a link to contact the DRC directly to schedule a confidential intake interview. Some students with disabilities may elect not to register at the DRC, which is a personal choice. Non-registered DRC students are not entitled to receive free accommodations or services at TMCC.
What should a faculty member do if they disagree with, or have questions regarding, an accommodation?
Contact the DRC immediately! Accommodations are designed to level the playing field for students with disabilities to receive equal access to educational experiences. The intent is not to compromise the essential components of a class. The DRC professional staff is available to consult with instructors to determine the primary functions of the class and what, if any, accommodations may meet the goal of providing access to the student without changing required course learning outcomes. At the conclusion of this deliberative process, the final decision rests with the faculty member regarding the appropriateness of accommodations. The DRC staff's role is to provide guidance, conduct research and brainstorm possible alternatives that meet the instructor goals while providing equal access to the materials. The DRC is committed to assisting the college community to remain within legal compliance.
What types of accommodations could faculty members anticipate being asked to assist with?
Resulting accommodations are determined based on the functional limitations of the disability(s) on a case-by-case basis, and may vary greatly from student to student. Common accommodations include extended exam/quiz time, a distraction reduced testing environment, helping to recruit for a classroom note taker and assisting with print/auditory material requests to provide them in alternate, accessible formats. For example, providing the DRC with a course syllabus or ordering closed captioned videos in advance can save greatly in production costs and man hours.
Where can faculty members get more information and answer questions regarding students with disabilities and how to make their classrooms accessible?
What do TMCC instructors do if they have a student with a disability?
The faculty member can privately and tactfully refer a potential student to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) who will determine if they qualify for services. The DRC website offers a wealth of information to educate faculty and prospective students, downloadable forms and a link to contact the DRC directly to schedule a confidential intake interview. Some students with disabilities may elect not to register at the DRC, which is a personal choice. Non-registered DRC students are not entitled to receive free accommodations or services at TMCC.
Faculty should not provide accommodations directly to students who are not registered at the DRC. This protects both the college and students requesting services. The professionally trained DRC staff is responsible for evaluating presented documentation in order to determine if a student qualifies for services, and which services are appropriate in light of their disability. After the DRC staff assigns accommodations, they assist to ensure services are offered in a timely manner.
The course instructor will be notified by a DRC generated hard copy service letter which will be delivered by the student to the faculty member. Alternately, the services letter may be sent by the DRC staff through an email correspondence. This letter will outline assigned accommodations. Faculty members are encouraged to correspond with the DRC staff when questions regarding accommodations arise.
Faculty will include in their class syllabus each semester the following statement:
Qualified, self-identified students with documented disabilities have the right to free accommodations to ensure equal access to educational opportunities at Truckee Meadows Community College. For assistance, contact TMCC's Disability Resource Center.
More FAQs are available! Search through all TMCC's frequently asked questions.