Policies and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

University Policy

Dominican University of California is committed to providing effective, reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state laws. Reasonable accommodations are provided to remove barriers that unfairly deny students with disabilities the opportunity to access the University's programs and services.

It is the University’s policy that no student be excluded from participating in any University program or be subjected to discrimination with regard to any University program. Once a student with a disability is admitted to the University, the student is responsible for notifying the Accessibility and Disability Services Office (ADSO) of his/her disability, requesting academic accommodations, and providing any necessary documentation of a disability-related need for the requested accommodations.

Some students with disabilities, despite the provision of reasonable accommodations, may be unable to satisfactorily complete certain courses of study. On a case-by-case basis, the University will review the circumstances affecting a student's condition and course of study. In limited instances, the University may permit a course substitution. However, in no event will the University waive required courses, attendance policies, or test formats that are essential to the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Definition

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 define a person with a disability as one who:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, or working;
  • has a record of such a disability; or
  • is regarded as having such a disability.

Students with temporary illness, injuries, or conditions are not considered disabled under these laws. However, the ADSO will work with such students on a case-by-case basis to make appropriate adjustments to assist them within available resources of the Academic Advising and Achievement Center.

In order to establish whether or not a student meets the definition of "a person with a disability," the University relies upon a set of procedures. Students requesting accommodations on the basis of disability are expected to actively participate in the process of determining their eligibility for Accessibility and Disability Services.

University Procedures

  1. To be eligible for accommodation, students must provide the ADSO with documentation of their disability from a licensed professional, e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or learning disability specialist, with the competencies to determine whether the student has a disability which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Documentation should be on the professional letterhead of the licensed evaluator or on the Dominican ADSO forms. Under no circumstances should the evaluating professional be related to the student seeking academic accommodations.
  2. If a student does not notify the ADSO of his/her disability or fails to provide the ADSO with adequate documentation in a timely fashion, the University cannot be responsible for providing reasonable accommodation. The University does not grant accommodations retroactively. Therefore, if a student is unsuccessful because of a failure to seek accommodations in a timely manner, it is unlikely that the student’s record will be altered.
  3. Students cannot rely on the University to identify their disabilities nor to identify a particular accommodation when a student presents a disability. If a student believes he/she has a learning disability and has not been tested, the student is encouraged to contact the ADSO. Dominican provides neither testing nor assessment. However, the ADSO can refer students to an appropriate outside agency and provide assessment guidelines. Students must arrange and take financial responsibility for any professional testing and assessment.
  4. In general, documentation of a student’s disability must be current. Learning disabilities traditionally require reevaluation every four years and a new assessment is recommended before starting college, using both age-appropriate norms and a standardized battery of appropriate tests. In other instances, such as chronic health or psychiatric conditions, more recent and/or recurring evaluative information may be necessary. For conditions that do not change over time, older assessments may be acceptable. The documentation must include the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results, and interpretation of the results. Students with certain disabilities may be required to provide additional testing or appropriate documentation. In all questions of appropriate documentation of disability, contact the ADSO. The ADSO will make final determination of the appropriateness of documentation submitted.
  5. Documentation must define the nature of the disability, provide a detailed description of how the student is limited by the disability, and clearly state the specific accommodations recommended to help the student achieve academic success. Accommodations need not be based on a student’s preference. Final determination of accommodations rests with the ADSO.
  6. All information and records about the student’s disability and accommodations, if any, are treated as confidential information under applicable federal and state laws, as well as under University policies. Student disability records are maintained in the ADSO and are separate from academic records.
  7. Students requesting accommodation should schedule an appointment with the ADSO no later than two weeks after the semester begins, each semester for which they request accommodation. If a student fails to seek accommodations in a timely manner, it may result in a delay in the receipt of accommodations. Students requesting print material in alternate format, CART services or sign language interpreters, should contact the ADSO at least one month prior to the start of the semester.
  8. Working closely with students, the ADSO will help arrange the appropriate accommodation for each course. The ADSO also will consult with faculty to discuss the logistics of each student’s accommodation and how it will be managed. Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis. Please note that each student’s situation is unique and accommodations for a particular student may vary from course to course and semester to semester, depending on the content and requirements of his/her courses.
  9. In concert with the ADSO, the student will provide a Student Academic Accommodation Request (SAAR) to each relevant faculty member each semester regarding recommendations for accommodations. The letter is signed by both the student and the ADSO. The student delivers the SAAR form to each of the semester instructors for signature. The ADSO recommends that the student and faculty member take this opportunity to discuss relevant details surrounding the student’s accommodation(s).
  10. With guidance from the ADSO, students are responsible for requesting recommendations from their academic departments for note takers. Students also are responsible for selecting the appropriate person(s), pending approval from the ADSO.
  11. Students requesting proctored exams must notify the ADSO at least one week prior to the exam. The ADSO will supervise arrangements with the faculty to deliver the exam to the ADSO. Faculty members are asked to provide specific instructions in terms of test administration (e.g., open book, use of scantron, non-standard test materials, etc.).
  12. Entering students who would like to be accommodated for the English, math, or chemistry placement tests must provide the ADSO with the appropriate disability documentation (see items 1, 4, and 5 above) which must specify academic accommodations. The documentation must be provided at least 10 days before a scheduled exam.

Disability Grievance Policy

Students who believe they have been discriminated against based upon a disability may choose to file a grievance by following procedures outlined in the current Student Handbook.