Abbreviated DS Handbook
TVCC Disability Services
Travis McFetridge & Anne Marie Kelso
The student with a disability is continually challenged to maximize his or her potential. Treasure Valley Community College understands this challenge and is committed to providing the services and the accommodations necessary to make its programs accessible to all qualified students, regardless of a handicapping condition.
Disability Services (DS)
TVCC's Disability Services Office is located in PAC 103 or 105. Telephone contact and appointments may be made with Travis McFetridge or Anne Marie Kelso at (541) 881-5825. The campus is equipped with TDD located in the Disability Services Office. The goal is to maximize the student's educational potential while helping to develop and maintain the student's independence. The program philosophy is one that encourages self-advocacy.
For readability, we've broken the Disability Services handbook into several parts:
A student's disability may not be considered as part of any nonclinical college admissions decision. Therefore, all students with disabilities at TVCC are admitted through the same admissions process as other students. Students needing assistance during the admissions/registration process should contact the Disabilities Services Office before the day of registration. Appointments can be made by calling 541-881-5825.
Documentation of Disability
Treasure Valley Community College policy requires the student to provide adequate documentation when services or academic adjustments are requested. Documentation for physical disability consists of medical reports. A comprehensive psycho-educational assessment and the recommendations of a certified diagnostician are required in the case of a learning disability. TVCC follows the guidelines of the Oregon Association on Higher Education and Disability (ORAHEAD), and are available at www.orahead.org
Documentation should be brought or sent to the counselor at the Disability Services Office. The documentation will be kept in a secure file. Only the DS counselor and staff who help to determine eligibility will have access to the files. When services or academic adjustments are requested, the service provider or instructor will be informed that there is a documented disability, and the appropriate accommodations will be explained to that staff person.
The Right to an Accessible Education
In 1973, Congress passed the Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 93-112). This act guarantees civil rights for Americans with disabilities. The law is grounded in the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 504 is that section of the law that specifically refers to post secondary and vocational education services.
Public Law 93-112 provides that "...no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United states shall, solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from the participation in, denied the benefits, of, or be subjected to, discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." With respect to post secondary and vocational education services "otherwise qualified" means a person with disabilities who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the program or activity. Essentially, 504 requires that TVCC make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 primarily reinforces 504. The ADA requires TVCC to assess for barriers to program accessibility for all disability categories and to identify steps to be taken as well as time lines for bringing the college into compliance.
The learning environment may directly affect the ability of a student with a disability to participate and keep up with course work. Most necessary accommodations are simple techniques which can promote increased participation. These accommodations are usually compensatory in nature, allowing the student with a disability to bypass usual channels but still obtain results similar to other students. Modifications should apply to course procedures and processes and not to course content.
Students with a disability should expect to maintain the standards that apply to everyone else in the course and request only those alterations in course requirements that directly confront the disability. Being penalized for simply having a disability is unacceptable, as is expecting more than appropriate academic adjustments for the disability. Deciding which accommodations to request is determined by the studentâ€™s documentation and discussion between the student and the DS counselor.
For more information:
Special arrangements require a collaborative effort, and the student should take a lead role. Modifications in facilities and in courses may be necessary, but neither the instructor nor the facilities management bear the sole responsibility for making this happen. The student must make his or her abilities and barriers known. The counselor in the DS office will assist in this task and is available for consultation about possible solutions to the barriers.
Specific adaptations will vary according to the student and the severity of the disability. Letters of academic adjustments are written to each instructor listing all accommodations the student is entitled to receive and an explanation of Section 504 of the National Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In this letter, the student may choose whether to disclose the specific disability or just the verification of an unnamed documented disability.
Students are encouraged to hand-deliver the letter in order to talk to the instructors about the necessary accommodations, however, the DS office will deliver it upon request. It is important that the student meet with the instructor before or early in the term to discuss the specific adjustments that will be required. The counselor in DS should be contacted if assistance is needed during this meeting.
Some students may find that they have difficulties discussing their learning needs with their instructors. The DS counselor is available to discuss the approach to use and to role play the situation so that the student will be more comfortable. If requested, the DS counselor will go to the meeting to facilitate the discussion.
TVCC has a grievance procedure and a Non-Discrimination/Non-harassment policy that applies to all students. This may be found in the student handbook, "Students' Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities", section I and VIII. Section I refers the student to the Affirmative Action Plan found at the Human Resources Office in the Administration building. Section VIII refers to the Committee on Student Appeals procedures.
TVCC Disability Services
A variety of support services are available to TVCC students with a disability. These may include tutors, interpreters, note takers, taped texts, assistance with the registration process, adaptive equipment, testing accommodations, and other accommodations deemed necessary and appropriate. All are elective and should be requested by the student prior to the starting of class. Services are coordinated through DS.
Treasure Valley Community College has a screen reader and magnifier available in the library as well as the learning center. Window Eyes, talking calculators and taped texts and materials can also be made available for student use. DS can assist a qualified student in getting books on tape through Recording for the Blind (RFB) in Princeton, NJ, as well as provide limited print enlarging. Readers, scribes, and alternative exam arrangements will also be made available to the student.
For more information:
Interpreters, note takers, alternative exam arrangements, and tutoring are available to assist the person with a hearing impairment. A personal FM receiver to boost lecture reception is also available. The campus TDD is located in the DS office and can be accessed during business hours.
Mobility and Physical Impairments
The TVCC campus is relatively flat and wheelchair friendly. All two story buildings are equipped with elevators. All buildings have electric doors installed for wheelchair access. Special chairs and tables will be provided as necessary. Speech recognition software is available for use in the library. In the case of an inaccessible location, the class or event will be moved. TVCC has complied with the spirit and letter of the ADA requirements.
Assistive technology devices developed for visually and hearing impaired students are often useful for people with learning disabilities. The library and learning center have a number of software programs designed to aid the student with learning disabilities. In addition to the tutoring opportunities TVCC provides to all students, classroom accommodations may include alternative testing, note takers, scribes, readers, taped notes and texts, spelling devices, and other appropriate accommodations.
For more information:
Other Disabling Conditions
TVCC is committed to assisting the student with disabilities to erase any barriers to accessing the educational opportunities available here. Other creative accommodations will be made as specific conditions and requests warrant.
Contact: Student Service Center Advisors
Location: Ontario TVCC campus
Phone: (541) 881-8822
Contact: Suzanne Bolyard
Location: TVCC Learning Skills Center
Phone: (541) 881-5857
Commission for the Blind
Location: Oregon Commission for the Blind
535 SE 12th Ave, Ontario
Phone: (971) 673-1588
(888) 202-5463 toll free
(971) 673 1577 TYY
Location: Idaho Commission for the Blind
341 W. Washington, Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 1-800-542-8688 Toll Free
Contact: Lifeways Behavioral Health Clinic
Location: 702 Sunset Drive, Ontario, OR 97914
Phone: (541) 889-9167
Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living
Location: 1021 SW 5th Ave, Ontario, OR 97914
Phone: (541) 889-3119
Senior and Disabled Services
Location: 186 E Ln, Ontario, OR 97914
Phone: (541) 889-7553
Location: 186 E Lane, Ste. 1
Ontario, OR 97914
Phone: (541) 889-9148
Idaho Location: Idaho Voc-Rehab,
2 N. Main, Payette, ID 83661
Phone: (208) 642-4762