Student Accommodations

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The College of Western Idaho is committed to complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Student Disability Services works to support and to provide accommodations for students with a wide range of physical, learning and psychological disabilities.

After reviewing the information on this web site, students seeking disability accommodations should meet with the Coordinator for Student Disability Services to initiate the accommodation process. The Coordinator for Student Disability Services will acquaint you with the required documentation, which should be submitted promptly. If a disability determination is made, your Student Disability Services office will facilitate the implementation of approved auxiliary aids and services.

If you need to request adjustments to previously made accommodations, contact the Coordinator for Student Disability Services.

Accommodation Protocol

The College of Western Idaho seeks to provide an environment conducive to learning, teaching, and working that values the diversity of its community. The College strives to be supportive of the academic, personal and work related needs of each individual and is committed to facilitating the full participation of students with a disability in the life of the College.

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.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodation*

A student who wishes to request accommodations should contact the Student Disability Services office to initiate the disability determination process. The process of determining eligibility and considering what is a reasonable modification or adjustment is an interactive and collaborative process, which requires the direct involvement of the student. Reasonable efforts are to be made both by the student requesting reasonable accommodation and Student Disability Services to complete the disability determination process and the consideration of any reasonable academic modification or adjustment.

The Disability Determination

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 considers 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 normally are 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, the Director or the Associate Director for Student Disability Services considers:

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.

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; note-takers; ASL interpretation; speech to text interpretation; use of a computer for in–class exams and in-class writing assignments; a distraction–free environment, whenever possible, for in–class exams; extra time for in–class examinations and in–class writing assignments; 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.

*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.