Accessibility Services

The David Larson McPhillips Center for Student Success is the home for Accessibility Services at Anderson University.  Here we provide accommodations and academic adjustments to enable students with disabilities to access the academic program and the University community, in compliance with federal law, particularly Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and their amendments.  Accommodations are based on current documentation and are made on a case-by-case basis.  Adherence to academic standards that are essential to a course of study is generally considered non-discriminatory.

An accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, activity or facility. It enables a qualified student with a disability an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly situated student without a disability. To determine reasonable accommodations, the Center for Student Success may seek information from appropriate University personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities. Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:

  • Barriers resulting from interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment.
  • Possible accommodations that might remove the barriers.
  • Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, activity or facility without accommodations.
  • Whether or not the essential elements of the course, program, service, activity or facility are compromised by the accommodations.

Requests for accommodations should be made in a timely manner. We recommend that requests be made at least three (3) weeks prior to beginning services, or as soon as the need is known.

Accommodations are determined based on the individual's documentation and individual needs. Accommodations may include but are not limited to:

  • Extended time testing
  • Reduced-distraction testing environment
  • Materials in alternate format
  • Priority registration
  • Tests/exams administered by a reader or scribe

Qualifying for Services

Policy: Students requesting accommodations from Anderson University must first self-identify by contacting the Center for Student Success. For information, contact Genia Berndt at gberndt@andersonuniversity.edu or 864.231.5516. Students requesting accommodations must have a documented disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The University reserves the right to consult with University professionals in assessing documentation when necessary to approve accommodations. If provided documentation is deemed insufficient, the student may be required to provide additional documentation. All documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Documentation must be current (within three years) and meet documentation criteria listed below (Guidelines for Documentation).

Guidelines for Documentation

All students with appropriately documented disabilities are eligible to receive accommodations and services for academic and University-sponsored activities and events. The Center for Student Success requires that documentation be on file in our office no later than three (3) weeks prior to the beginning of services. Documentation should come from a physician and/or psychologist and based on assessment within the last three years. Anderson University reserves the right to seek clarification from the physician that the student is currently disabled and in need of accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations and services are provided on an individualized basis. There is no charge for these services.

Documentation for all disabilities should include:

  • Clearly stated diagnosis which rules out alternative explanations and diagnoses;
  • Defined levels of functioning;
  • Explanation of substantial limitations due to the disability;
  • Current treatment and medication;
  • Essential accommodations needed for postsecondary education, including duration and rationale.
Learning Disorders, Attention Disorders, Psychological Disorders
  • Documentation must be submitted by a professional trained in the differential diagnosis of disorders. The documentation must be typed on letterhead and include the evaluator's name, title, professional credentials and license/certification number.
  • A current psychoeducational evaluation is required. Documentation must be recent to address the current impact on academic functioning. The date(s) for the evaluation should be included.
  • Documentation must be comprehensive and establish clear evidence of significantly impacting a major life activity such as academic functioning.
  • Documentation must address all DSM criteria, present criteria for diagnosis of a particular condition and provide the DSM diagnostic code.
  • Documentation must provide a clear description of a diagnosis. The documentation should not use terms such as "suggest," "seems to be indicative of" or "may have".
  • Documentation should include evaluations of all disabilities that impact a student's learning.
  • The need for requested accommodations must be supported by the test results.
The psychoeducational evaluation must meet the following criteria. Assessment instruments must have age appropriate norms for high school seniors/college freshmen or older students. All standardized measures must be represented by standard scores or percentile ranks based on published norms.
  • Scores from an individually administered intelligence test.
  • Discussion of cognitive processing strengths, weaknesses, and deficits.
  • Assessment and discussion of oral language skills.
  • Assessment and discussion of written expression, reading (decoding and comprehension) and mathematics.
  • Assessment of social-emotional status.
  • Informal assessment can supplement the testing results.

NOTE: A high school IEP, 504 plan, and/or letter from a physician or other professional are not sufficient to document a learning disability. While such documentation can be helpful in establishing the student's learning history, a recent (less than three years old) psychological evaluation is still necessary to confirm current needs.

  • Physical disorders such as blindness, deafness, orthopedic, chronic conditions and syndromes.
  • Documentation must be submitted by a professional trained in the differential diagnosis of disorders.  The documentation must be typed on letterhead with the physician’s name, title, professional credentials and license/certification number.
  • Specific diagnosis(es) and significant findings.
  • Date the Examination/assessment/evaluation was performed.
  • Documentation must identify impact the disability has on major life activities.

Special Housing Accommodation Request Form : The Residence Life office partners with Anderson’s Center for Student Success to provide reasonable accommodations for Residents with medical, physical or psychological conditions. Residents requesting special campus housing accommodations due to a documented disability should contact the Center for Student Success. The Center for Student Success determines qualification for accommodations. Please fill out this release form.

Residents must submit the appropriate documentation prior to the deadlines listed below.

New Students

Requests by new students that are submitted after the priority housing deadline of May 1 will be considered late and may result in a processing delay or lack of availability of the requested special housing accommodations.

Returning Students

Requests by returning students that are submitted after the housing application deadline of March 1will be considered late and may result in a processing delay or lack of availability of the requested housing accommodations. New or urgent conditions will be considered upon receipt of appropriate documentation. Please note that if a Resident with an approved need turns down the opportunity to live in University Housing that accommodates their need, the Residence Life Office may cancel the approval.

Record Maintenance/Confidentiality

The Center for Student Success is the designated office at Anderson University to receive and review disability documentation. This office is also charged with keeping disability-related records in a secure and confidential manner. Records of students with disabilities are maintained with the Center for five (5) years after the last semester of enrollment. Documents that relate to the student's disability are not part of the academic record in the Registrar's Office. Disability documentation and related information and the release of this information are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Information discussed with the director will be kept as confidential as possible and as permitted by law. Exceptions include, but are not limited to: (1) student is believed to be a threat to self or others; (2) abuse of child or elder; (3) court subpoenaed records.

Procedure:

  • The student may submit the Release of Information Form to indicate his/her preference regarding release of information. This may be amended at any time.
  • The Center for Student Success keeps all records under lock.
  • To release confidential records to professionals outside the university, the student must sign the Release of Information form.
  • After five (5) years, documentation and case notes will be shredded.

Grievances

Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting the Center for Student Success if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner. The Center works with students with disabilities and University personnel to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations. If no resolution is obtained, students who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability may file a written grievance with the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion/504 Compliance Officer.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students' Rights
Students with disabilities at Anderson University have the right to:
  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, and facilities offered through the University
  • Equal opportunity to work and learn, and to receive reasonable accommodations
  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disability(ies) and to choose to whom information about their disability(ies) will be disclosed, except disclosures that are required or permitted by law
  • Information available in accessible formats
 
Students' Responsibilities
Students with disabilities at Anderson University have the responsibility to:
  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities
  • Identify themselves as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and to seek information, counseling, and assistance
  • Provide documentation (from an appropriate professional) that states how the disability limits their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities
  • Follow institutional procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations
  • Secure personal independent living aids or provide for other personal disability related needs
  • Assume personal responsibility for meeting with faculty, requesting assistance through supplemental service, and meeting university standards
 
Anderson University's Rights
Anderson University has the right to:
  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge and standards for courses, services, jobs, activities and facilities and to evaluate faculty, staff and students on this basis
  • Request and receive current documentation that supports the need for accommodations
  • Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted, or if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation
 
Anderson University's Responsibilities
Anderson University has the responsibility to:
  • Provide information to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request
  • Ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are available and usable
  • Provide or arrange reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communications
  • Provide accommodations to ensure equal access, not to guarantee success in academics