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Royer Center for Academic Development

 

Academic Disability Services

Accommodations | Accommodations Procedures | Policy of Non-Discrimination | Documentation Requirements | Forms

Our Services

Welcome to the Royer Center for Academic Development, Office of Disability Services.  Our goal is to provide equal access to all academic programs and services for students with disabilities.  We work with faculty and staff to provide reasonable accommodations in a friendly and responsive learning environment and to nurture self-determination on the part of students we serve. 

In addition to the required accommodations, we provide other help services that may be beneficial to the student (these are available to all students, free of charge):

  • The Royer Center provides tutoring for whomever needs it, in almost all subject areas. Tutoring may involve one or two hours per week, or several hours per week, depending on the student’s needs. 

  • The Royer Center offers one-hour courses in College Reading and College Study Skills, and a two-hour course emphasizing both of these skills.  These courses provide a high percentage of one-on-one instruction, and may be tailored to meet each individual’s needs. 


The Director of the Royer Center remains available for regular meetings with students who have special needs, assisting them in whatever way he can, monitoring their progress through a semester, communicating with parents (upon a student’s request), etc.  The Director can also assist in establishing contact between such students and other faculty/staff members who may be better suited to give assistance.


Accommodations

McPherson College, primarily through the Royer Center for Academic Development, provides a variety of services, including but not limited to those described below, in its effort to accommodate students with disabilities.  Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other relevant Acts, reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to,

  1. early advisement and assistance with registration

  2. substitution of course requirements, where such substitution does not compromise the integrity of an academic plan or diminish academic standards;

  3. extended time for exams, taped or oral exams; use of a reader for an exam, being allowed to eat or rest during an exam, use of a separate exam room, alternative testing schedule, or other special testing procedures;

  4. extended time for papers and projects;

  5. substitution of similar or related work for non-essential course requirements;

  6. advance notice regarding booklists or vocabulary lists for visually impaired and some learning disabled students;

  7. classroom aids, such as note-takers and sign language interpreters; or the taping of lectures;

  8. classroom and study lab or computer lab accessibility for students with impaired mobility, including the relocation of classes;

  9. special equipment or furniture in classrooms or study and computer labs (enlargers, amplifiers, captioners, etc); 

  10. allowing guide dogs to accompany a visually impaired student to class

Professors should be sensitive to seating arrangements and should see that the aisles and doorways are free of obstacles.  They should also recognize that students who have difficulty with handwriting may do fine on computer exams and assignments.  The key principle is “accommodation,” not the altering of academic standards or course content.  The student must make his or her abilities and limitations known and must meet the instructor’s expectations regarding class participation, attendance, and performance.


Policy of Non-Discrimination and Confidentiality

McPherson College does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the recruitment of students, faculty, or staff, or in the operation of any of its educational programs and activities, as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states:  “No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of . . . disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”  McPherson College is committed to full compliance with the federal laws named above.

Students who have or are regarded as having either a temporary or permanent disability are welcome at McPherson College under the regular admissions requirements.  McPherson College seeks to create an environment in which all members of the community are free from harassment, discrimination, and threats of violence.  Efforts are made in every department to inform students and prospective students of the rights of persons with disabilities under the law and the commitment of McPherson College to non-discrimination toward persons with disabilities.

It is the specific responsibility of the college administration and all faculty serving in a teaching capacity to ensure the college’s full compliance with the policies and procedures described above.

McPherson College is committed to protecting the privacy and dignity of all students who attend this school.  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, no applicant, or student, or potential user of the facilities or services of McPherson College shall be required to disclose in writing or orally that he or she has a disability.  It is the right of the student voluntarily to self-disclose; the college may request information about a student’s disability only after the student has voluntarily disclosed his or her disability.

McPherson College will maintain the confidentiality of a student’s medical and academic records, except under the following conditions and for the following purposes:

  1. supervisors, managers, residence hall assistants, faculty, and other appropriate parties, including tutors, may be informed of a student’s disability for the purpose of facilitating essential aid and accommodations.  Every attempt will be made to inform the student when confidential information has been passed on.

  2. first aid and safety personnel may be informed where necessary, if the student requires emergency treatment.

  3. government officials investigating compliance with the Acts shall be provided with relevant information upon request.

Under no circumstances may a representative of the college make public, to individuals or to a group - such as a classroom of students - information regarding the disability of a student, except that the conveyance of such information meets the above-mentioned conditions.


Accommodations Procedures

Although no student may be required by the school to disclose information regarding his or her disability, the student must inform the school of his or her disability in order to secure the needed accommodations.  This “self-disclosure” must follow the procedures outlined below.

  • Inform the Admissions Office--or admissions personnel during recruitment or enrollment, or inform the Royer Center for Academic Development on the main floor of Miller Library.

  • Submit verifiable, professional documentation of the disability to the Admissions Office or the Royer Center for Academic Development. 

  • Schedule a meeting with the Director of the Royer Center and complete the following:  a)  Request for Disability Services Form; b)  an academic services plan, designed and established cooperatively by the student and the director.

  • Sign a “Release of Information Statement,” allowing the college to inform key personnel of relevant information regarding the student.  This statement will appear on the Request for Disability Services Form.

  • Work in cooperation with the Director of the Royer Center and other staff and professors in implementing the required accommodations. 

  • If the student wishes to file a grievance regarding academic disability services, he or she must meet with the Director of the Royer Center and fill out an Academic Disability Services:  Grievance Form and file the form with the center.  This form will be supplied by the Center for Academic Development.  If the problem persists, the Director of the Center for Academic Development should advance the grievance to the Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Resources.  If the problem persists, the aforementioned dean should advance the grievance to the President of the college.  In every case possible, when the grievance addresses the negligence or misconduct of or discrimination by an individual, the student is encouraged to confront the offending party directly, before filing an official grievance.


Documentation Requirements

 

Verification of a Permanent Disability:

Students with disabilities must provide McPherson College with professional documentation, certified by any of the following licensed practitioners:  physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, learning disability specialist, or any other health care provider who is qualified to diagnose a disability.  The documentation should not be more than three years old. 

Verification of a learning disability should include the following:  1)  documentation prepared by a qualified professional, as described above; 2)  testing procedures and instruments used to diagnose the disability, test results, and a written interpretation of those test results; 3)  a written assessment of the student’s present level of functioning in the achievement areas affected by the disability.  The data provided should clearly indicate the need for the accommodations requested.

Note regarding IEP’s and other documentation of educational history:

A history of accommodations you have received in school within the past three years-your IEP, for instance, or an equivalent—MIGHT also be helpful.  This educational history documentation alone will NOT establish eligibility for accommodations. 

The student must bear the cost of evaluation and verification.  Documentation should be provided by the student and given to the Director for the Royer Center for Academic Development or to Admissions personnel.  The college reserves the right to request further documentation if that provided by the student is deemed by the college to be inadequate.  The student shall bear the cost of supplemental evaluations and documentation.  If the college wishes to secure a second opinion regarding the disability of a student, then the college shall bear the cost.

Verification of a Temporary Disability:

The guidelines for verifying a temporary disability are generally the same as those for verifying a permanent disability.  However, documentation for a temporary disability must be no older than 60 days and should indicate the nature and expected duration of the disability.


Forms

Request for Disability Services Form - Questions and concerns about accomodations for disabilities should be directed to Ms. Carole Barr in the Office of Disability Services at barrc@mcpherson.edu or (620) 242-0507.
Grievance Form

 


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Carole Barr
Director of Student Success
(620) 242-0507