Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services at Anderson University is located in the Center for Student Success on the second floor of the Thrift Library.  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 the 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.

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.

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. 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.

Students must first meet with Student Accessibility Services staff to discuss their history, review documentation, and establish appropriate accommodations. To ensure consistent, appropriate accommodations students should meet with each of their professors each semester to discuss the approved academic adjustments and axillary aids they received from Accessibility Services.  Students do not have to disclose the nature of the disability; however, discussion on why an accommodation is needed is recommended.

Where third-party documentation is requested to support accommodations, we are looking for the following characteristics relative to disability categories:

ADD/ADHD

  • A clear diagnostic statement on letterhead from a professional who is qualified to diagnose ADHD
  • An indication of how the professional arrived at the diagnosis (clinical interview, medical history, continuous performance assessment, psychological assessment, behavior rating scales, etc.)
  • Treatment plan and prognosis
  • An indication of how the disability affects the student in an academic environment

Other sources that may help support accommodations for an ADHD diagnosis include:

  • A 504 Plan or IEP from high school
  • Documentation of a medical history of ADHD diagnosis
  • Evidence of accommodations received in high school
  • Evidence of accommodations received at another post-secondary institution
  • Evidence of accommodations received on standardized testing

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Diagnosis from a psychologist, psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician, child neurologist qualified to diagnose ASD
  • Evidence of a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation
  • Assessment data, interpretation of data, history, and observations
  • Historical perspective of academic adjustments

Deaf/HOH

  • Diagnosis using medical criteria
  • Test data, interpretation of data, history, and observations

Medical/Health Conditions

  • Diagnosis using medical criteria
  • Test data, interpretation of data, history, and observations
  • Preferably not discharge paperwork from an ER or doctor’s office

Guidelines for documentation related to Psychiatric Disabilities

Documentation from a current treating provider should be on letterhead, be signed and dated, and:

  • Must state the disability including an Axis diagnosis and/or DSM code
  • Provide support for the diagnosis and how it meets the definition of a person with a disability under the ADA
  • Must describe how this impairment significantly limits a major life activity/activities in general and in an academic setting
  • Should include relevant information relating to the impact of medication and/or treatment on the student’s ability to participate in all aspects of the university environment (classroom, housing/dining, extracurricular activities, etc.)

Temporary Medical Issues

  • Diagnosis using medical criteria
  • Test data, interpretation of data, history, and observations
  • May sometimes be discharge paperwork from an ER or doctor’s office

Traumatic/Acquired Brain Injury 

  • General assessment of cognitive abilities
  • Specific information, including processing speed and memory regarding levels of functioning and limitations in all affected areas, i.e. communication, vision, hearing, mobility, psychological and neurological
  • Analysis of educational achievement skills and limitations in reading comprehension, written language, spelling and mathematical skills

NOTE: A concussion is the mildest form of brain injury, but can result in some need for potential academic adjustments.

Visual Impairments

  • Diagnosis using medical criteria
  • Test data, interpretation of data, history, and observations

Provisional Accommodations

Provisional accommodations may be approved on a case-by-case basis, and are generally appropriate when a student has received a definitive diagnosis but is waiting for a third-party such as a physician’s office or counselor to submit completed documentation to the Accessibility Services office.

Provisional accommodations are available only for the semester in which the request was made and approved.  Additional documentation is required to continue accommodations.

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 1 will 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 a child or elder; (3) court subpoenaed records.

Procedure:

  • The student may submit the Release of Information Form to indicate his/her preference regarding a 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 (Accessibility Services) if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner. Accessibility Services 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 Associate Vice President for Student Development/504 Compliance Officer.  A report may also be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1328

1-800-421-3481

Email Address: ocr@ed.gov

Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

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