Disability Documentation Guidelines
Metropolitan Community College (MCC) complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that prohibits discrimination in admission or access to its programs based on disability. Each MCC campus has a Disability Support Services (DSS) office that works with students with disabilities to arrange accommodations. Students who are requesting accommodations should contact the campus DSS Coordinator. The DSS Coordinator will consider all of the information you provide (including, but not limited to, the following):
- your description of your needs
- records of past accommodations and services from another college, state or national standardized tests (such as ACT), and/or high school (such as an IEP or 504 plan)
- formal psychological or medical evaluation reports
We need enough information to confirm that you have a disability which substantially limits a major life activity and understand how your disability will affect you at MCC. The extent of documentation required is determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary depending on the disability and requested accommodations. It is your responsibility to identify the accommodations you are requesting. You may want to consider and tell the DSS Coordinator how your disability affects the following:
- classroom, laboratory, and online learning
- reading and writing
- the use of technology
- the physical environment
- group projects, formal and informal social interactions, etc.
Information about past accommodations that were useful can be helpful. Also, if the impact of your disability changes over time or has known triggers, please let us know.
While disability documentation does not typically need to be submitted each semester, there may be occasions when the DSS Coordinator will ask for more or updated documentation. For example, more documentation may be needed if you request additional accommodations that are not supported by the current documentation or your condition changes.
These general guidelines were developed to assist you with thinking about your needs and preparing information so that we can evaluate your requests and make recommendations regarding your requested accommodations. If you have questions, please contact us.
- Student chooses to self-identify to the DSS office
- Student schedules an appointment with the campus DSS office
- Student should read & review the documentation guidelines provided on this site
- During the DSS appointment, a discussion and interview will take place to determine eligibility
- During the appointment, documentation and a record of a disability will be discussed
- Student is determined to be eligible or not eligible at that time
- Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis
- Students can identify themselves to DSS as a student with a disability and request accommodations anytime during their education. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.
- Students should make accommodation requests to the DSS office rather than making them directly to faculty members who are teaching their classes. Faculty members will refer such requests to the DSS office.
- Early notification and self-identification to DSS can allow for more time to make arrangements for accommodations. DSS wants to be sure to provide accommodations in a timely manner.
- Accommodations are free. Students may incur expenses for a personal device, such as a LiveScribe pen.
- Free tutoring is available to anyone enrolled at MCC. Please visit your campus Learning Center for more details. The DSS office does not provide tutoring.
- You must meet eligibility criteria as defined under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Refer to our disability documentation guidelines for more information.
- You must self-identify to the Disability Support Services (DSS) coordinator on your campus. If you are taking only online classes, you may contact any DSS office for assistance. Accommodation requests may be communicated to the DSS office at any time. However, some accommodations, such as alternate formats and in-class readers and scribes, can take several weeks to arrange. Early notification is helpful in order for accommodations to be provided in a timely manner. If you are eligible for accommodations, but do not self-identify, you are not entitled to services.
- You must provide documentation of the disability from a qualified professional.
You and the Disability Support Services coordinator will plan accommodations.
All accommodations agreed upon must be supported by the disability information you provide and must address your disability-related needs.Once the accommodations have been determined, the DSS coordinator will provide you with an accommodation letter for each of your instructors that lists the accommodations you will receive. It is your responsibility to deliver your accommodation letters and discuss your needs with your instructors.
You have the responsibility to provide each instructor with the accommodation letter.You and your instructor should meet to discuss how the accommodations are to be addressed. Accommodations begin when the instructor receives the accommodation letter. Accommodations are not retroactive. Example:If you request testing accommodations at midterm, you cannot retake tests that were taken prior to midterm.
You have the responsibility to communicate any concerns about accommodations to the DSS Coordinator.You may request at any time that accommodations be added, adjusted or eliminated based upon your personal experiences in academic course work or changes in documented needs. Should changes occur, a new accommodation letter will be issued, and those accommodations will begin when the instructor receives the new accommodation letter. Please allow some time for new letters to be processed. You can typically expect to pick up the new letters within 5-7 business days. If additional documentation is required due to changes in needs, this process may take longer.
- You have the right to file a grievance if you believe there has been discrimination on the basis of disability.
You may file a grievance internally with the designated site ADA coordinator or externally with the Office of Civil Rights.
Our responsibility is to assure you have provided enough information to confirm that you have a disability which substantially limits a major life activity and understand how your disability will affect you at MCC.If not, you may have to obtain additional documentation to support your accommodation requests. The college is not required to pay for a new evaluation or the cost of obtaining medical records to document your disability and need for an academic adjustment. This may mean that you have to pay an appropriate professional for an evaluation or pay the cost of obtaining records from a medical professional. DSS will keep your documentation in a separate file in adherence to FERPA.
We will work with you and the faculty to implement appropriate accommodations.We will coordinate the provision of those accommodations at no cost to you. While we will always take your accommodation preferences into consideration, not all accommodation requests will be granted. The college is not required to fundamentally alter its programs or provide accommodations that compromise essential course standards. If you request an accommodation and the request is denied, an alternative accommodation may be suggested and implemented.
- We will support you in developing advocacy skills.
It is our goal that you become your own advocate. We recognize this is a skill that may need to be taught. We are available for support, clarification and general consultation.
There are some instances in which provisional accommodations may be provided for students for a maximum of one semester pending the receipt of official and complete documentation of a student’s disability. This type of assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator.
The Disability Support Services (DSS) office can sometimes provide time-limited assistance for students in need of temporary services (such as complications due to pregnancy or a broken bone which affects the ability to write). This type of assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis and may be dependent upon documentation. The student should contact the DSS office as soon as possible to make the request. The DSS Coordinator has the right to request documentation of the need for temporary assistance from the student's physician prior to the provision of services. Updated documentation may also be requested to determine the duration of services.
If you have a disability which may impact your ability to access a campus event, please contact the campus Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator. Early notification is helpful as some accommodations may take some time to put in place.
Students are encouraged to discuss disability-related concerns with DSS staff. The DSS office will attempt to resolve issues by assisting the student in discussing concerns with the faculty member, department, or program; participating in such discussions; or calling the faculty member and/or head of the department in an effort to clarify and resolve issues. Most situations are positively resolved through this process.
- If a satisfactory resolution is still not reached, read more information about MCC’s grievance procedure.
If the complaint is not resolved at the college level, a student may choose to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.