Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cedarville University's role in providing disability accommodations?
Cedarville University has designated the disabiilty compliance coordinator for Students as the individual responsible for ensuring equal access for qualified students with disabilities to its University programs and facilities. Accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids are provided to ensure student access to the educational opportunities at the University.
How does Disability Services provide equal access?
Disability Services ensures that students with disabilities have physical and academic access to the educational experience here at Cedarville University by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations. This is accomplished through a collaborative process involving faculty, staff, and students. The most successful students are self-advocates who identify their needs, take personal initiative in problem-solving and decision-making, and effectively use available resources to fully participate in the educational experience.
What constitutes a disability?
A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is an example of such a major life activity. If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.
What does "substantially" limited mean?
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, "substantially limiting" is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or most people.
What is a major life activity?
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
How do students qualify and register with Disability Services?
<p>According to <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/504.html">Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973</a>, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.</p>
Why does your office need documentation?
Documentation not only verifies the existence of a disability but also must establish substantial limitation of a major life activity, particularly a disability that is not visually identifiable. It also provides a rationale for reasonable and appropriate accommodations. This information is critical in determining needs for auxiliary aids and services to minimize the impact of the disability in the academic environment for the student.
What documentation requirements does Disability Services have?
Documentation of disability must verify the existence of a disability by an appropriate, licensed professional; establish substantial limitation; be age appropriate (i.e., assesses the student's current level of functioning); list the functional limitations of the student in a college environment; and provide recommendations for appropriate and reasonable accommodations.
What is a Personal Care Attendant? Is this service offered by the University?
A personal care attendant is someone who assists individuals with daily living tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, eating, medication monitoring, and other tasks of a personal or medical nature. Cedarville University does not provide Personal Care Attendants as an accommodation or service. It is the student's responsibility to assess their abilities and make all necessary arrangements for hiring and maintaining services for PCA's. Please contact Student Life regarding policies and procedures for Personal Care Attendants in the Residence Halls. For more information regarding Personal Care Attendants, please contact the Coordinator of Disability Services for Students.
I have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) from high school. Will this be enough documentation to register me with Disability Services?
Colleges do not use Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) or 504 Plans. Instead, colleges rely on documentation provided by students. While a student's IEP or 504 Plan is considered helpful in establishing a history of disability and effective strategies for accommodation, it may not be sufficient to document a disability or to determine appropriate academic accommodations at the post secondary level. Depending upon the date of the documentation and evaluation instruments used to determine level of functioning, it may be necessary for a student to have age-appropriate documentation that assesses the student's current level of functioning and need for accommodations.
How do I get copies of my documentation?
We recommend that you make a copy of your documentation prior to submitting it to Disability Services in case you need it in the future. You should be familiar with what your documentation says so you can effectively communicate your needs. If you have already submitted your documentation or documentation was mailed directly from your professional provider, you will need to contact the source of the documentation for another copy.
After I register with Disability Services and have been approved for accommodations, do I need to come back?
Yes. Students who are registered and eligible for services with Disability Services must request accommodations for each semester they are enrolled at the University. Students' courses and professors change each semester. Given course structures and requirements, appropriate accommodations may change. In some cases, the status of a disability may change and appropriate adjustments may need to be made. Students must fill out a Semester Request for Accommodations and schedule an appointment with the coordinator to discuss their current academic needs for the semester. Students may schedule appointments throughout the semester based upon their current needs.
If I register with Disability Services, will it be on my transcript?
No. Files for Disability Services are kept separate from academic records in the registrar's office.
Does Cedarville University have a specialized program for students with disabilities?
No. Degree requirements are the same for all students, but Cedarville University does offer a wide range of services for students with disabilities other than academic accommodations through Disability Services. Free tutoring, one-on-one consultations, workshops, and seminars on various topics are offered through the Academic Enrichment Center—The Cove. Other services are available through offices such as career services, the Writing Center, and counseling services.
What kind of accommodations do you offer
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis considering a student's specific disability and individual needs. Accommodations provided will be directly related to the documented disability. Academic accommodations include, but are not limited to: testing accommodations, note takers, alternate text format, priority scheduling, and housing. Disability Services assists students with issues and situations related to advocacy, accessibility, tutoring, accountability, parking, and other University services.
I have a physical disability and have trouble getting around. What type of accommodations are designed for me?
Students with physical disabilities are encouraged to register with Disability Services so the coordinator can ensure that appropriate physical access needs for courses, housing, and other areas are met in a timely manner.
I have a disability but am thinking about trying to make it without services in college. Is this a good idea?
We hear this a lot. Unfortunately, it is usually communicated by students who have waited to self-disclose to Disability Services and register with us. They have "dug a hole" for themselves in terms of their grades, making it very difficult to obtain their academic goals. If these students were asked to answer this question for you, they would tell you they wished they had registered with DS upon their arrival at the University. It is healthy to want independence and try new things, especially in college. However, there are many ways to accomplish this without sacrificing the help you need. Remember, registering with Disability Services is a process that requires time, and accommodations are not retroactive – two luxuries you cannot afford once you have "dug the hole."
Do I forfeit my right to services if I do not register with Disability Services at the beginning of the semester?
No. You do not forfeit your right to services. However, if you choose to register at a later date, you need to understand that the process takes time, and depending upon the accommodations requested, the ability to provide them in a reasonable time may not be possible. The other important fact to remember is that accommodations are not retroactive.
What do I do if I need special housing?
You will need to indicate a special housing request on your Application for Services with Disability Services as well as on your Residence Life Housing application. It is important that you submit documentation to Disability Services that clearly establishes your need for special housing. For more information, see accommodations or contact both Disability Services and residence life.
What do I do if I have a temporary disability such as a broken leg?
If a temporary disability significantly impacts your ability to succeed academically, you may choose to register with Disability Services. You will need to provide documentation to Disability Services to support your request for accommodations and follow the same basic process all students with disabilities must follow. Accommodations provided will be time specific and directly linked to the impact of your disability.
Can I go to Disability Services for advising?
Disability Services does not provide academic advising to students. However, Disability Services will discuss concerns you have about your schedule and make recommendations regarding your course load as it relates to your specific disability, needs, and academic objectives. Ultimately, the decision will be with you and your designated advisor.
Does Disability Services provide tutoring?
Tutoring is available to students with disabilities through the Academic Enrichment Center—The Cove. Tutors can be arranged by personally visiting The Cove and filling out an application.
Does Disability Services offer any accommodations for students with psychological disorders?
Disability Services does serve students with psychological disorders. Disability Services does not provide counseling but does provide assistance in areas in which your disability impacts your academics. Documentation will be required by your treating professional to determine if you qualify for services. Even if you don't register for services, students experiencing problems with depression or other psychological problems are strongly encouraged to seek assistance through our campus Counseling Center and/or outside professionals.
When I am registering with Disability Services, should I bring a parent with me?
That is a matter of personal choice and often depends upon the nature of a student's disability. As you transition from high school to college, it is important for you to recognize that you are personally responsible for your education. The most successful students are self-advocates who understand their needs and effectively communicate those needs. Developing these skills and participating in the problem solving and decision making process are important to your success in both college and life.
Do I have to take my tests/exams at the testing facility in the Academic Enrichment Center—The Cove?
That is a decision you would make with your professor. You will need to discuss the preferred testing environment with your professor. A professor may choose to administer the test by providing the appropriate accommodations or use the testing services at The Cove. If testing at The Cove is preferred, it then becomes your responsibility to follow the established guidelines for scheduling testing accommodations. These guidelines will be provided and reviewed with you when you request accommodations for the current semester. Ultimately, even though you may be eligible for testing accommodations, you may choose to take the test with the rest of the class. The Cove is equipped with six individually monitored testing rooms that provide a low distraction testing environment and other auxiliary aids as appropriate.