Below are answers to Disability Resource Center's most commonly asked questions.
No. Colleges are not required to pay for assessments. The student is responsible for providing appropriate documentation at their own expense at TMCC.
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.
No. The polite term is "person (or student) with a disability".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 needs, 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.
Accommodation provision is an institutional responsibility which includes TMCC faculty and staff working together to provide mandated accommodations. Faculty members are a key partner in the advanced planning and communication process.
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, 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.
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.
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.
At least three days prior to the scheduled exam date, the course instructor may submit the exam to the DRC any of the following ways:
- Hand deliver a hard copy to the DRC
- Attach the exam in an email (email@example.com)
- Send via fax (775-673-7207)
To provide the DRC with specific proctoring instructions (such as time allotted), an online Request for Test Proctoring form is to follow the exam. The DRC calculates the student's extended time.
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.
The faculty member should call 911, keep calm, provide reassurance, and remove bystanders. Please keep the student safe, remove objects and do not restrain. Stay with the person until recovered from seizure.
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.
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 are available to consult with instructors to determine the primary functions of the class and what, if any, accommodations may meet the goal of providing reasonable 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.
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.
- Distance Education
- For Faculty