Advocacy and Disability Counseling
Disability Services serves both as an advocate for students with disabilities and as a liaison with faculty and staff in negotiating disability-related barriers to the pursuit of their education while striving to improve access and promote awareness of disability-related issues in the campus community.
Alternatives to Print
Many students with disabilities encounter barriers with traditional print materials. Textbooks and other classroom materials in alternate formats may be provided as an academic accommodation. Students seeking alternate format texts must present documentation that clearly supports the need for the request.
The same format is not right for everyone. Some of the options that exist today include:
- E-Text from an online source
- E-Text from the publisher (usually Word or PDF)
- Image files created from scanned text for viewing on screen (usually PDF)
- E-Text from scanned/converted text for reading out loud (usually Word)
- MP3 created from e-text with computer voice
- MP3 created from human voice recording
- Tape created from human voice recording
- Digital Talking Books in DAISY format
- Braille and/or tactile
- Large print
Several of these formats require the use of specialized hardware or software in order to access the materials.
The acquisition of alternate formatted texts and materials as well as the conversion of text into alternate formats is a time-sensitive process that requires students to request materials from Disability Services in a timely manner to ensure availability when needed for class work.
Students approved for this accommodation need to follow the Procedures for Requesting Alternate Text Format Materials.
Additional Resources for Alternate Formatted Books
- Commercial Sources
Many books can be purchased in alternate format instead of the paper version. Students can order an audio version directly from the publisher, if available, or other companies such as Amazon. Most of the time, these may be textbooks that are typically required in history or English courses.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) is a nonprofit organization that has many textbooks available in audio format. Individuals can enroll for a one-time application fee and a yearly charge. Applications are available from RFB&D by calling 1-800-21-4792/3 or by visiting their website.
Disability Services works with the registrar's office to ensure accessible and appropriate classroom locations for students with disabilities. After class registration, classroom locations are reviewed and re-assigned, when appropriate, to provide access for students. Please contact Disability Services if your classroom has not been relocated or you have further questions.
Deaf and Hearing Impaired Accommodations
Disability Services provides equal access for individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired. To ensure that students have appropriate services, it is essential that students contact Disability Services once they are accepted and have committed to attending Cedarville University. Given the nature of this accommodation, timely notice is essential for arranging appropriate accommodations. Current students should request accommodations after completing their course schedule and registration for the next term.
Students with disabilities who have state-issued disability license plates or placards must register their cars with campus safety. Students with temporary disabilities must apply with campus safety for a Temporary Handicap Pass.
Housing and Meal Plan Accommodations
Lab/class assistants are provided for qualified students with disabilities. Decisions regarding the need for an in-class assistant for work to be completed during class will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending upon the unique needs of the student and the class format. The coordinator of Disability Services, faculty, and student will collaborate to determine the most effective way to accommodate the student while accomplishing the objectives of the lab/course.
Note-taking services are available for students with disabilities whose documentation supports the accommodation. Cedarville University uses peer note-takers to provide this accommodation.
Students are encouraged to attend classes, at least once, to determine which classes are appropriate for the service. Students may know other students in the class and feel comfortable approaching them to obtain copies of their notes. It is important that the note-taker take good notes and attend class reliably. In any case, the student should meet with the professor to plan accordingly.
Faculty facilitate the process in finding peer note-takers in a student's courses by making an announcement during class asking for student volunteers to provide this service. The identity of the student requiring this service is not announced unless the student wishes to be identified to the class. Once a peer note-taker is identified, the faculty will give the note-taker and student with disability each other's names so they can determine the best method for conveying the notes. Notes may be photocopied without charge at the Academic Enrichment Center—The Cove.
If the student and the professor are unable to obtain a note-taker after the first week of classes, it is the student's responsibility to alert Disability Services.
Important Student Responsibilities
- Arrange for note-taking at the beginning of the semester.
- Review course notes after each class and ask the note-taker for clarification if there is any question about the content of the notes.
- Attend class regularly. Note-taking assistance is not a substitute for class attendance! When a student misses class for a non-disability-related reason, the student must make alternative arrangements for obtaining notes just as any other student would.
- Obtain notes from a classmate or ask the professor for assistance if the note-taker is absent from class.
- Engage in the learning process by taking notes unless it is physically impossible to do so. The notes provided by a note-taker are intended to supplement the student's personal notes.
- Notes provided by a peer note-taker as an accommodation through Disability Services are only for the student's use. Notes should not to be shared with other students as they are the property of the student providing the notes.
- Notify Disability Services as soon as possible if there are problems with note-taking services.
Preferential seating is provided to students depending upon individual need. This should be arranged with your professor.
Priority scheduling allows students to register earlier than their peers. Approval for this accommodation depends upon the nature of the disability and other relevant factors.
Recording Class Lectures
Eligible students with disabilities are permitted to record classes as a reasonable accommodation. As a courtesy to professors, students are expected to discuss this accommodation with professors prior to recording the lecture. Use of the accommodation is subject to the following conditions:
- The recordings of class lectures are only for the student's personal use in study and preparation related to class.
- The student may not share these recordings with any other person.
- The student acknowledges that the recordings are sources, the use of which in any academic work is governed by rules of academic conduct.
- The student agrees to destroy any recordings that were made when they are no longer needed for his/her academic work.
Students granted the accommodation to record lectures must agree to abide by these provisions by signing the Agreement for Tape Recording Class Lectures.
Testing accommodations based upon documented needs are provided through Disability Services. Tests should measure the student's understanding and assimilation of the course material, not the degree or impact of an impairment. A lengthening of the standard examination period is a reasonable adjustment for students with certain disabilities. Tests where speed of completion is an essential component in the aptitude or achievement level the test proposes to measure will not be accommodated.
Testing options include, but are not limited to:
- Taking the exam with the class
- Taking the exam with accommodations provided by the professor
- Scheduling the exam with accommodations through Disability Services
- WebCT exams with accommodations provided by the professor
Timely communication with faculty and staff is critical to this process.
All tests administered by Disability Services are individually proctored or electronically monitored. Students scheduling tests through Disability Services are responsible for following established guidelines for scheduling and taking tests. See Student Testing Accommodation Guidelines.
Testing accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- A reduced distraction space
- Extended time
- A scribe
- Use of computer
- An alternate test format
- Assistive technology
Cedarville University has a van appropriately equipped with a lift and restraints for students using wheelchairs for mobility. Use of the van is limited to University-sponsored activities and programs. Students must be registered with Disability Services for use of the van. More information is available through campus safety regarding van usage and Christian ministries for reservations.
Tutoring is a service available to students with disabilities. More information regarding Cedarville University tutoring programs is avaliable.
Accommodations and Services
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. Providing timely notice to Disability Services is key. Certain accommodations require significant lead time to arrange and provide. Examples include, but are not limited to, alternate text format, special services for vision and hearing impairments, and housing. In such cases, without advanced communication and the provision of appropriate documentation to both verify eligibility and support the request for accommodations, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to provide the requested accommodations in a timely manner.
The University does not provide services that are "personal in nature." Examples include, but are not limited to, personal care attendants, personal equipment, and typing.
The following list contains accommodations/services most commonly used. This does not preclude other accommodations deemed necessary and reasonable. It is the student's responsibility to notify the coordinator of Disability Services if problems are experienced in receiving an approved accommodation or the effectiveness of the accommodation.
Some accommodations require the student to follow specific procedures or guidelines in the provision of those accommodations. Links are provided to these procedures and guidelines. If you have any questions regarding accommodations, services, or guidelines, please contact the coordinator of Disability Services.
Technology and Computer Labs
Disability Services is committed to helping students with disabilities meet the academic demands of college through access to appropriate technology tools. Technology can assist college students with the tasks of note-taking, reading, writing, and accessing information on the Internet. While it is the student's responsibility to provide any equipment needed for personal use or study, Cedarville University does offer a variety of assistive technology to students with disabilities depending upon individual needs.
All dormitory rooms are equipped with computers as well as the provision of computer labs across campus. Computers for students with specific needs are designated by signage in the computer labs on campus. Programs such as Kurzweil 3000 and Zoom Text are available on the University network. Other technology and programs such as JAWS and Dragon Speaking Naturally are available through Disability Services.
ReadPlease offers free, downloadable screen reader software that many students find sufficient for reading text on computers.