It is the mission of Lakes Region CC Disabilities Services to provide equal educational access, opportunities, and experiences to all qualified students with documented disabilities who register with the college's Disability Services office. Reasonable accommodations are provided to students to allow them to achieve at a level limited only by their abilities and not by their disabilities. Assistance is provided in a collaborative way to help students develop strong and effective independent learning and self-advocacy skills, as they assume responsibility for reaching their academic goals.
In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Lakes Region Community College recognizes the physical, learning, sensory, or emotional challenges encountered by our students may require additional supports and accommodations to equalize their opportunities. The College is committed to providing supports that allow otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to succeed. Lakes Region Community College recognizes a student with a disability as anyone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. An impairment constitutes a disability only when it is severe enough to result in a “substantial limitation in one or more major life activities” for the individual.
Such major life activities are defined as “the ability to perform functions such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, and breathing, learning, working, performing manual tasks and taking care of oneself.
There are legal requirements embodied in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ADA, which require that both physical and programmatic access must be provided to all students with disabilities.
In order to comply with mandates of Section 504, colleges and universities must assure that the same educational programs and services offered to other students are offered to students with disabilities. This means that reasonable accommodations must be made in the instructional process to ensure full educational opportunities.
An accommodation is reasonable if it:
- Is based on documented individual needs
- Allows the most integrated experience possible
- Does not compromise the essential requirements of a course or program. The student must display adequate mastery of course material and meet essential requirements of academic departments. Questions to be considered about essential requirements include the following: What is the purpose of the course? What methods of instruction and assessment are absolutely necessary? What are acceptable levels of performance on these measures?
- Does not pose a threat to personal or public safety
- Does not impose undue financial or administrative burden
- Is not of a personal nature. Tutoring, unless available to all students, and personal care attendants are considered to be services of personal nature.
Contact: Jennifer Aiken
To receive accommodations at Lakes Region Community College under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, a student must follow these steps:
1. Be admitted to, or enrolled in, a Lakes Region Community College program or course.
2. Submit official, current, valid documentation of the disability to the Coordinator of Disabilities.
Individuals requesting accommodation must provide current documentation (within 3 years) of their disability from a physician or licensed professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, school psychologist, or certified educator. This includes a current IEP or 504 plans and the most recent testing such as IQ, academic and specialty area (speech/language, visual, auditory, emotional, physical and the like.
If a student brings his/her documentation directly to an instructor or advisor, the instructor/advisor needs to request that the student forward the information to Maureen J.Baldwin, Coordinator of Disabilities Services, in the Teaching, Learning, & Career Center. This is confidential information.
3. Make an appointment and meet with the Coordinator of Disabilities to discuss services available through the Teaching, Learning, & Career Center.
At this initial consultation, the student and the Disabilities Coordinator will discuss the student’s documentation. For students with valid documentation, appropriate accommodations will then be discussed. The Disabilities Coordinator will develop the accommodations as well as recommend support systems. When completed, the student will sign in approval.
4. Give your accommodations to each of your instructors.
5. Meet with the Disabilities Coordinator on an as-needed basis.
6. Meet with the Disabilities Coordinator at the beginning of each new academic semester to formally update your accommodations.
7. You are expected to update and sign your Accommodation Plan within the first two weeks of each new academic semester. Failure to do so could result in your not receiving needed academic supports.
It is the policy of the system colleges, through their respective Disabilities Coordinators, to provide all accommodations deemed reasonable and appropriate in compliance with Federal and state requirements. Facilitated communication is a technique by which a “facilitator” provides physical and other supports in an attempt to assist a person with a significant communication disability to point to pictures, objects, printed letters and words, or to keyboard. Both the American Psychological Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association have developed position papers in which they state they can find no conclusive scientific evidence that facilitated messages reliably express the feelings, ideas, and intentions of the disabled individual. The American Psychological Association states: “facilitated communication is a controversial and unproved communicative procedure with no scientifically demonstrated support for its efficacy.” The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association states: “When information available to facilitators is controlled and objective evaluation methods are used, peer-reviewed studies and clinical assessments find no conclusive evidence that facilitated messages can be reliably attributed to people with disabilities.
The System colleges must be assured that the academic standards and competencies for a course are being met by the student when a course is taken for credit. Since it cannot be definitively demonstrated that by using facilitated communication the student, as opposed to the facilitator, has mastery of the subject matter, facilitated communication is not a reasonable or appropriate accommodation that the College is required to provide. While determination on the appropriateness of reasonable accommodations is made on a case by case basis by the Disabilities Coordinator in consultation with the instructor, the Colleges do not accept a scientifically discredited technique, such as facilitated communication, as meeting the academic standards or demonstrating student competency. In distinguishing between augmented communication and facilitated communication, in particular, the College must be satisfied that all work is being done by the student and not by an intermediary agent.