Disability Documentation Guidelines
Students seeking assistance or accommodation must Request Disability Services.
Davidson County Community College Office of Disability Services (ODS) staff encourages students to meet with us with or without external documentation in hand at the time of the first conversation. No student should delay meeting with the ODS out of concern for not having the appropriate paperwork. Determinations on individual documentation needs will be made during the initial meeting with the student, which may or may not involve the need to provide additional documentation. Our first priority is to get to know each student individually in order for appropriate assessments to be made.
Any documentation information students can readily share during the first meeting, such as IEP/504 Plans, recent evaluations, letters from appropriate professionals (doctors, psychologists, audiologist, etc.) is helpful. Students may print a Disability Verification Form for the appropriate professional overseeing health treatment to complete. We will use all information we can obtain from conversation and documentation to establish entitlement and, if appropriate, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for the student. Providing as much information as possible during the first meeting can save the need for repeat trips to the ODS.
The purpose of the third-party documentation, as described previously, is to add to the ODS staff's pool of information so that a reasonable outcome, including acceptance or denial of a request, can be identified. Third party documentation supports or builds on the conversation with the student and the ODS staff's assessment and related variables rather than directing the conversation and the outcome. Ultimately, documentation is seen as a bridge between what the student reports and the ODS staff's professional assessment. When there is a gap in understanding, third party documentation is very often needed to determine reasonable accommodations.
Please note that reasonable accommodations do not and should not:
- Substantially alter the educational standards or mission of DCCC
- Fundamentally alter the nature of the program, course, service, activity, and/or practice/policy as written and applied
- Allow access to a program when a student is not otherwise qualified (with or without accommodations) to meet the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in an education program, course, service and/or activity
- Cause undue financial or administrative hardship (college-wide)
- Be of a personal service in nature (personal aid, study coach, individually paid tutor, etc.)
- Pose a direct threat to the health or safety to others as a result of accommodation implementation.
Accommodation requests that appear reasonable and logical based on a diagnosis/condition but fall under one of the categories listed above will often be denied. The decision of whether or not an accommodation request falls under one of the above categories will be made by the ODS staff, often with input from relevant university staff and faculty. Subsequent meetings with the student may require a need for additional documentation above what was determined necessary during the initial meeting as dictated by evolving personal and environmental variables. The ODS staff's role is always to work with the student to determine what accommodations, if any, would be reasonable given each situation presented.
Documentation for Other Institutions and Testing Boards
It should be noted that documentation policies differ from one institution to another. The Disability Services Office documentation policy is designed to fit the DCCC campus climate and does not consider documentation requirements external to DCCC. If a student will attend another institution after attending DCCC or take a standardized test, the student is responsible for researching those documentation policies and should investigate requirements prior to an anticipated start date or test date. Due to these documentation differences and depending on the student's documentation on file with the Office of Disability Services, it may not be appropriate for ODS staff to complete the required supporting paperwork to certify eligibility for standardized testing. In such cases, the ODS staff member will explain the reasons why completing the supporting paperwork is not appropriate.
All documentation is confidential and can be submitted through one of the following methods:
1) By mail:
P.O. Box 1287
Lexington, NC 27293
2) By Fax:
3) Attached within the Request Disability Services Form
4) Submitted by the student in person.
These guidelines were adapted from the following website: http://www.emich.edu/drc/policy_guidelines/documentation.php