New Student Accommodations
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Welcome to Student Disability Services (SDS)
To request academic accommodations at CWI, use the apply for accommodations button on the right of the screen. Fill out an application if any of the following are true for you:
- You have never requested accommodations at CWI before; or
- It has been over a year since you requested accommodations at CWI; or
- You are a current student who has a temporary need for accommodations; or
- You need accommodations for placement exams.
Documentation of your disability will be requested. If you do not have supporting documentation of your disability, you may choose to give the Verification of Disability form to your medical provider for them to fill out and return to SDS. All documentation can be provided by Fax 208-562-3478, or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start your request by filling out the application above.
Disability Verification Forms
Students can choose to provide the Verification of Disability form to their medical provider. The medical provider will fill out the form and fax it to SDS at 208.562.3478. Students will only fill out their name and contact information at the top of this form.
The Release of Protected Health Information form is optional. This form is filled out by the student and provided to their SDS Coordinator by email. This releases only the information specified by the student in the form to be shared between their medical provider and coordinator when clarification is needed.
The Accommodation Process
Determining eligibility and considering what is a reasonable accommodation for a student is an interactive and collaborative process between the student and their Student Disability Services (SDS) coordinator.
If you have been diagnosed with a disability and wish to request academic accommodations based on the disability, you need to:
- Fill out the application using the Apply for Accommodations button located at the top right hand side of this webpage.
- Provide documentation if you have it available so your coordinator can review it before your meeting.
- Have an intake meeting with your assigned coordinator (usually determined by which campus you frequent the most). The intake is scheduled for an hour. The student is required to be in attendance and be an active participant in the determination of their needs.
- History of your academic experience, noting problems you have experienced and academic modification or adjustments (if any) that you have previously received.
- Documentation will be reviewed or additional documentation may be requested if a more current evaluation is needed. Your health care provider should include recommendations that are as specific as possible that correlate with the diagnosis.
Once documentation is received, the coordinator evaluates it and provides recommendations based on the documentation and input from the student.
Assuming that all documentation is current and complete, this process may require up to 6 weeks depending on the requests of accommodations. Please begin the application process for Student Disability Services immediately upon registration of classes to request accommodations.
- ASL Interpreting in the classroom will need to be requested immediately upon registration of your classes. At least six (6) weeks prior to the beginning of the new semester.
- Testing accommodations which involve a reader, scribe, or separate testing environment must be coordinated no later than 3 business days prior to your exam day.
- Alternative format for textbooks must be requested at least six (6) weeks prior to the beginning of a new semester.
Student Disability Services and the Director of Student Support Services are responsible for implementing accommodations in the College.
After the intake process has been completed, students will need to renew their accommodations for every new semester they enroll in courses at CWI. Students will log in to the SDS Student Portal on the Current Students page to request accommodations. New additions or changes to accommodations will be considered as student's needs may adjust over time. The student will work directly with their coordinator to discuss these changes as needed.
The Accommodation Protocol
At the College of Western Idaho, staff and faculty collaborate to provide support to individuals with disabilities. CWI Advocates equal academic opportunities to students with disabilities based on the principles of independent living, accessible universal design, and diversity. Student Disability Services (SDS) is integral in fulfilling this commitment by coordinating effective academic access support services and collaborating with students, faculty, staff and the community to create diverse and inclusive learning environments which are accessible to all.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit colleges and universities that receive federal funding from discriminating against qualified students with disabilities in educational programs and activities. A "qualified student with a disability" is a disabled student who, with or without reasonable accommodation (e.g., architectural access, communication aids/services, or modifications to policies and practices) meets the College's academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the College's educational programs or activities. The College is committed to complying with Section 504, the ADA and amendments.
The Disability Determination
At the college level, students must take the initiative to contact SDS to request academic accommodations. They will follow the accommodation process outlined in the next tab.
The first step of the process is a determination of whether the student is disabled within the meaning of the ADA and Section 504. To be disabled under those laws, a person must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. To be "substantially limited" by an impairment means that the student cannot perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform or that the student is significantly restricted in performing that major life activity compared to the average person in the general population. In making the disability determination, Student Disability Services consider the following:
- Is there a physical or mental impairment;
- Does the impairment limit a major life activity that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty, e.g. learning, reading, walking, hearing; and
- Does the impairment substantially limit the major life activity compared to the average person?
Disability determinations are generally based on information that the student provides to the College, including detailed and current medical documentation from an appropriate professional regarding the nature and severity of the impairment and a description of the student’s functional limitations. Once complete documentation is received, the College may consult with external medical professionals to review the assessment and any recommended accommodations.
Determining Reasonable Accommodation
The second step of the process is to determine any appropriate academic modification or adjustment, for which the student with a disability qualifies. To determine the appropriateness of particular academic modification or adjustment, SDS coordinators and/or the Director of Student Support Services consider:
- The functional limitations caused by the disability;
- The essential requirements/elements of the academic program, course and/or College sponsored student life activity;
- The student's past performance with and without reasonable accommodation;
- The student's history of disability-related difficulties in participating in academic and/or College sponsored student life programs;
- Previous modification(s) or adjustment(s) received by the student in an educational setting.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal educational opportunity but does not lower or modify essential requirements, fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity, or result in undue financial or administrative burdens.
Implementation of Approved Reasonable Accommodation
Once disability and reasonable determination have been made, the Coordinators for Student Disability Services will collaborate with the student’s instructors to implement the appropriate academic modification or adjustment. Both the student and his/her instructor will be notified in writing of the approved accommodations. Auxiliary aids and services extended to a student may be adjusted if the existing accommodations are ineffective or if the student’s condition changes. Student Disability Services staff members and instructors will facilitate the implementation of reasonable accommodation.
In working with students with disabilities, the usual standards of judgment and assessment of students’ overall academic performance apply. Neither the academic community nor the students concerned are served by applying special or lesser standards of admission, program participation or of evaluation.
Auxiliary aids and services are those items and services which, if provided, a student with a disability would have equal access to the student’s educational program or to the student life activities for which the student is eligible. They include such considerations as but not limited to: ASL interpretation; speech to text interpretation; use of a computer for in–class exams and in-class writing assignments; a limited distraction testing environment, whenever possible for exams; extra time for examinations; alternative book and test formats. Auxiliary aids and services do not include personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature such as tutoring or typing.
Service Animal Guidelines
The College of Western Idaho recognizes and supports the assistance a trained service animal can provide a student with a disability. In order for a service animal to be allowed on campus, certain conditions must be met. Please see below.
What is a "Service Animal?"
A Service Animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
Documentation for a Service Animal
Documentation is not required under the ADA for a Service Animal. The college may ask if the animal is a Service Animal and/or what tasks the animal has been trained to perform. Other than these two basic questions, we are not allowed to ask for any specifics pertaining to someone’s Service Animal.
A student with a disability can be asked to remove their animal if it is out of control and/or if the animal’s owner does not take effective action to control it. Also, if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, they may be asked to leave. Each of these will be on a case by case basis.
Animals that are used for the expressed purpose of companionship (pets) or emotional support/therapy dogs DO NOT qualify as service animals. Even though they may provide a benefit to the student, they do not provide a service and will not be allowed on campus. Requests for service animals at the College of Western Idaho will be reviewed on case by case basis. It is the student’s responsibility to supply the required information to CWI to establish this accommodation.
Responsibilities of a Student with a Service Animal
The student will assume full responsibility for the care and management of their service animal. This will include, but is not limited to, food, water and shelter, managing the animal behavior on campus and in the community, animals’ health and wellness, and disposal of animal waste in an appropriate manner. The service animal will be viewed by the campus as an extension of the student and therefore subject to the code of conduct of the college. No animal is permitted to roam free. Animals must be leashed in public on a leash’s no longer than 10 feet unless they’re in a car or under the control of a competent attendant. Animals running free are subject to impoundment. Violations of the code of conduct will follow established procedures of the college. See student handbook.
Student Disability Services provides limited services for students with temporary disabilities (i.e. inability to write due to a broken bone or inability to sit comfortably in class because of a recent surgery or any injury that is not permanent). Pregnancy accommodations are considered temporary. To apply for accommodations due to pregnancy under Title IX, please use the application on the Pregnancy Accommodation Page.
Types of Assistance:
This is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based on professional medical documentation provided by the student. The student should fill out the application for Student Disability Services as soon as possible to make the request and to get their accommodations in place.
Services may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Extended time on testing
- Tape–recording lectures
- Alternative Seating
- Adapted test–taking (reader, scribe, computer tests)
The College DOES NOT provide personal assistance to students with temporary disabilities such as building-to-building transportation or the transport of books or other personal items.
The College has a right to request documentation of the temporary disability, and it is the student’s responsibility to work with their private physician prior to the provision of services. A Coordinator for Student Disability Services will respond to requests in a timely manner. Accommodations are not retroactive; therefore we encourage you to contact our office in a timely manner. After meeting with a disability coordinator we can help determine which accommodations are able to be met.