Accessibility Services

Spalding University students who seek accommodations based on their disability are responsible for completing an online Request for Accommodations Application (found at http://library.spalding.edu/OAS/Application ) and for providing appropriate supporting documentation. A student who seeks accommodations on the basis of a disability is responsible for obtaining the needed evaluation and resulting documentation, and for initiating contact with the Office of Accessibility Services. Spalding University approaches requests for accommodations with the belief that each student's circumstance is unique and that a flexible approach is the right way to determine appropriate accommodations.

A medical diagnosis alone does not establish a need or an entitlement to accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADA-AA). Another way of saying this is that having any disorder or condition does not, by itself, lead to any conclusion under Section 504 or the ADA. Therefore, the documentation required by Spalding University extends beyond the medical diagnosis and encompasses the four key elements of a person's disability status under Section 504 and the ADA.

Those key elements are that:

  1. The student has a physical or mental impairment.
  2. The impairment* limits the student's participation in a major life activity.**
  3. The degree of limitation is substantial and there is something that the college can do that would be reasonable, needed, and predictably effective in responding to the impairment.
  4. Documentation that substantiates each of these four areas serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. If a student seeks accommodations on the basis of more than one disability, then more than one professional may need to be involved in developing the diagnoses and other documentation.

 *An impairment as defined by the American with Disabilities Act is a disability which substantially limits one or more major life activity. Factors to be considered are:

  • Its nature and severity.
  • Its duration- how long it will last or is expected to last.
  • It's permanent/long term or expected impact.

 **A major life activity is an activity that the average person can perform with little to no difficulty. Examples are walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, caring for oneself, sitting. Factors to be considered are:

  • What is the specific barrier to access?
  • How does the barrier impact functioning?
  • Is the accommodation reasonable and appropriate?

Accommodations are determined based solely on the impact of the student’s documented disability. A connection must be established between the requested accommodations and the functional limitations or barrier on the student.

Requesting Accommodations

Please know that services through OAS are voluntary and provided only upon student request. Received documentation is confidential. This information is only released and/or discussed on a need-to-know basis. It is also subject to FERPA guidelines. Outside these guidelines, no information is released and/or discussed without consent from the individual.

During the initial meeting, OAS team member and the student will identify barriers. This will help determine if the student is eligible for services. Please refer to our Documentation Guidelines for more information.

If you are unable to provide documentation from a psychiatrist, psychologist or certified mental health professional. Please reach out to Spalding University’s Counseling and Psychological Services for a full battery of assessments at no charge. This process is time-consuming and may take one or more sessions for the Spalding University Counseling Center to schedule.

  1. The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) invites students to meet with a member of our team as soon as possible to discuss:
    • Any disability-related barriers they have experienced in the past,
    • Any related barriers they are currently facing, or
    • Any related barriers they expect for the future at Spalding University.
  1. Coordinator for Accessibility Services will share the process and required forms needed to request accommodations.
    • Completing an online Request for Accommodations Application
    • Provide documentation verifying diagnoses from a physician, psychologist or certified mental health professional. Along with the diagnoses, the professional must provide recommendation for academic adjustments Please refer to our guidelines for more information Please refer to our Documentation Guidelines
  1.  If/when the student submits all required documentation, student will contact the Office of Accessibility Services to schedule an appointment. During the meeting:
    • The student and the Coordinator for Accessibility Services will review and discuss submitted documentation.
    • The student and the Coordinator for Accessibility Services will discuss appropriate and reasonable accommodations as it relates to the disability.
    • If approved the Coordinator for Accessibility Services will develop a written notice to instructors that state the accommodations the student is eligible to receive for the current academic school year. The student will deliver the notices to respective instructions. The student is responsible for discussing the accommodations with instructor as soon as possible. The instructor and the student should discuss documented accommodations.
  1.  Please note that this process (STEPS 1 AND 2) must be completed for each academic year, in order to access services. If the student has medical documentation on file that is current and relevant, then they just need to schedule an appointment to discuss current documentation and request accommodations.
  1.  For first year students, an IEP or 504 plan from previous high school may be helpful information, but generally is not sufficient documentation. The IEP or 504 would need to be current and relevant to the student’s current needs (generally current within 3 years).
  1.  The student and/or the instructor should communicate any concerns about accommodations to the Coordinator for Accessibility Services.

    Note: The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) stipulates that postsecondary institutions are responsible for providing necessary accommodations when a student discloses a disability unless to do so would “fundamentally alter” the nature of the programs or result in an “undue burden.” Providing accommodations do not compromise the essential elements of a course or curriculum; nor do they weaken the academic standards or integrity of a course. Accommodations simply provide an alternative way to accomplish the course requirements by eliminating or reducing disability related barriers. They provide a level playing field, not an unfair advantage.

    The Office of Accessibility Services establishes the final determination of appropriate accommodations.

    Please note that it is the responsibility of the STUDENT to follow the steps above in order to access services through the Office of Accessibilty Services.

The Office of Accessibilty Services is located in Library Rm 314. Contact Accessibility Services, at 502-873-4161, accessibility@spalding.edu or click schedule an appointment  if additional information is needed