Disability Office Services

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What is a disability?

An individual with a disability is any person who:

  1. Has a physical, mental or emotional impairment, that substantially or materially limits one or more of their major life activities
  2. Has a record of such an impairment
  3. Is regarded as having an impairment.

What are reasonable accommodations?

The Access Center works with students with disabilities and Century College officials to resolve questions of 'reasonable accommodation' and other issues related to the college's compliance with disability laws.

An accommodation is a modification or support that gives a student with a disability an equal opportunity to participate and benefit from Century College. Accommodations are adjustments to how things are usually done. The purpose of effective accommodations is to increase a student's chances for success.

Reasonable accommodations can be provided in various ways. The following are brief descriptions and examples of the most common categories of accommodations that permit a qualified student with a disability to effectively participate in the educational process.

Changes to a classroom environment or task

Examples might include:

  • Extended time for an exam
  • The use of a dictionary or spell checker
  • Materials in alternative formats such as large print, audio tape or computer disk

Removal of architectural barriers

Examples might include:

  • Adapting a classroom to meet the needs of a student who uses a wheelchair

Exceptions to policies, practices or procedures

Examples might include:

  • In some instances may have priority registration

Provision of auxiliary aids and services

Examples might include:

  • Providing a sign language interpreter
  • Providing a note taker or scribe

In accordance with the law, there are some modifications that Century College does not provide as a reasonable accommodation. Examples include:

  • Personal devices such as wheelchairs, or glasses.
  • Personal services, such as private tutoring or personal attendants.
  • Modifications that lower or change course standards or program standards.
  • Modifications that would change the essence of a program, such as allowing a student in an auto mechanics program to take a written test on repairing an engine instead of actually repairing an engine or allowing a student in a public speaking class to substitute a written paper for an oral presentation.
  • Services that are unduly burdensome, administratively or financially.

How do I request a reasonable accommodation?

To receive a reasonable accommodation you, the student, must first request the accommodation and provide documentation of the disability. The Access Center is the designated office to certify eligibility for disability services, determine accommodations, and maintain documentation separate from other college records. In general, Century College will not act on its own to provide an accommodation to a student unless or until one is requested.

The Access Center will generally require documentation of the disability by the appropriate licensed professional in order to evaluate a request for a reasonable accommodation. Documentation should reflect the nature of the disability and how it affects you in an academic setting. The law allows the college to request recent documentation. If the disability has changed or fluctuates in intensity, then an up-to-date evaluation of the condition may be requested to determine reasonable accommodations.

Accommodations are arranged each term and students need to communicate with the Director of the Access Center prior to, or at the beginning, of each term to arrange for academic accommodations.

What if I have a concern about my accommodations or access to programs, services, or activities?

At Century College you are responsible for notifying the Access Center if the accommodations that have been provided do not meet your needs. If you have attempted to resolve issues related to your accommodations but you feel that Century College has failed to meet your needs you may file a complaint. Complaints generally are about issues such as:

  • Accommodations provided
  • Timely implementation of accommodations
  • Access to buildings
  • Access to information

Complaints are treated seriously at Century College and it has processes in place to investigate and help resolve them. Complaints should be filed in a timely manner and are usually, but do not need to be, submitted in written form.

The complaint process is as follows:

  1. Talk to Director of the Access Center about your concern. Usually a complaint can be resolved at this informal level.
  2. File a grievance by following the Student Complaint and Grievance Policy and Procedure.
  3. File a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights by calling 1.800.421.3481 or the Minnesota Department of Human Rights by calling 1.651.296.5663 (Voice) or 1.651.296.1283 (TTY).

If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed because of your disability you may bring a complaint under the MnSCU Board Policy 1.B.1 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education.