The power to be successful as a student comes in being responsible for one’s actions, learning, successes and failures. For students with disabilities it also includes knowing their own unique ways of processing information and having a set of personal tools that can be used to adapt, learn, and create strategies effectively. Learning to develop problem-solving skills that can be transferred from course to course while extremely valuable can sometimes be a challenge to students with disabilities.
Florida Gateway College is interested in providing the tools and support students need to reach their academic goals while recognizing that “lifee happens” financial, health, emotional wellbeing, relationships and family, transitioning from military to civilian life). The BayCare Student Assistance Program is a valuable resource available to all students through My FGC and provides information and tools which will assist students in learning to balance the various aspects of their life.
The mission of the Office of Accessibility Services team is to provide an accessible and inclusive educational environment for students with documented disabilities; promote independence and self-advocacy as a means to reaching one’s full potential; and, ensure compliance with all state and federal ADA laws and guidelines.
If you don’t see what you are looking for, we are here to assist you. Contact us at 386-754-4393 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
In order for the Office of Accessibility Services to accommodate students at Florida Gateway College, students MUST register with the Office of Accessibility Services. A Request of Services form must be completed by the student AND appropriate documentation must be submitted by a doctor and/or a licensed professional to verify the presence and impact of their disability.
Appropriate clinical documentation must substantiate the disability and present evidence to establish a rationale supporting the need for accommodations. A school plan such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan is insufficient documentation in and of itself but can be included as part of a more comprehensive evaluative report. If the requested accommodations are not clearly identified in the diagnostic report, the Office of Accessibility Services will seek clarification and, if necessary, more information. The Office of Accessibility Services will make final determination of whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided to the individual.
For conditions that are subject to change over time (including health related disorders or psychological disabilities) the student may be asked to provide updated documentation for his/her file on an on-going basis in order for accommodations to be continued.
U.S. Department of Education: Office of Civil Rights
The Office of Accessibility Services will follow a timeline that allows for one week (from the date we receive the report) to review the report and/or diagnostic evaluation: after which, we will schedule an appointment to meet with the student and discuss the request and appropriate accommodations (if necessary).
In order to provide reasonable, effective and appropriate academic accommodations to students at Florida Gateway College who have disabilities, the Office of Accessibility Services requires students to provide recent (within the last three years), relevant and comprehensive medical documentation of the disability and the disability’s impact on the student’s participation in a course, program, or activity.
“A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, or activity that enables a qualified student with a disability to obtain equal access. Equal access means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly situated student without a disability. Only the peripheral requirements of courses, programs, and activities are subject to modification; essential elements of courses, programs, and activities must remain intact.”
~ Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act & the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The student will also have the opportunity to discuss the impact of the disability on his or her academic performance, as well as discuss what accommodation have or have not been effective in the past.
Information regarding a student’s disability provided to the Office of Accessibility Services is considered confidential and cannot be released to individuals or agencies outside the college without a student’s signed consent. Disability records are covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under FERPA, information regarding a student’s disability can be legally subpoenaed. It can also be released to Florida Gateway College administration if there is a threat to self or others or if there is a legitimate educational need to know.
Disability documentation is maintained by the Office of Accessibility Services in locked files and secure electronic storage, separate from the student’s other academic records.
All documentation/information is confidential and should be submitted by mail or fax to:
Office of Accessibility ServicesFlorida Gateway College149 SE College PlaceLake City, FL 32025FAX: (386) 754-4715
A reasonable accommodation is an accommodation that must first and foremost be based on an individual’s documented need. According to the law, a reasonable accommodation cannot produce “undue hardship” on the college. An undue hardship is defined as “an action requiring significant difficulty or expense” when considered with various other factors, including the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature and structure of the college. Also, the accommodation cannot require a fundamental alteration of any essential aspects of the program. A member of the Disabilities Services Office (DSO) staff would be glad to provide further specification and discuss these issues more fully with you.
Faculty are required to make only the reasonable accommodations stated on an individual’s accommodation letter. After the instructor receives the student’s accommodation letter, the student is responsible for meeting with the instructor to discuss the accommodation arrangements for the particular course.
Professors are encouraged to contact the DSO if they believe the requested accommodations are not reasonable or that they fundamentally alter the course. The DSO staff are available to consult with instructors to determine the primary functions of the class and what, if any, accommodations may meet the goal of providing reasonable access to the student without changing required course learning outcomes.
Contact the DSO immediately. Accommodations are designed to level the playing field for students with disabilities to receive equal access to educational experiences. The intent is not to compromise the essential components of a class. The DSO staff are available to consult with instructors to determine the primary functions of the class and what, if any, accommodations may meet the goal of providing reasonable access to the student without changing required course learning outcomes.
Students may be referred to Building 17, Room 21, the Disability Services Office. It then becomes the student’s responsibility to seek out services.
You should refer the student to the DSO, Building 17, Room 21. Do not accept documentation or try to provide accommodations. The DSO is exclusively charged by the college to review a student’s documentation and determine any reasonable accommodations which are to be made. We all need to follow the policies and procedures outlined or we expose ourselves and the college to potential legal action.
No. All students, regardless of disability, are expected to be evaluated in the same manner. DSO determines and coordinates reasonable accommodations to ensure the exams are accessible to students with disabilities.
Instructors are not required to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities before students register with DSO. Reasonable accommodations are determined by DSO based on the request of the student and need for accommodations based on supporting documentation. You will know a student has completed registration with DSO if you receive a copy of their accommodation letter.
Accommodations are not retroactive. Reasonable accommodations begin after a plan is created with DSO and the Academic Accommodation Letter (Faculty Copy) has been submitted to the instructor based on the student’s request.
The student is expected to sign-up for each exam with the Test Center or the DSO three (3) school days in advance or earlier if they have been informed of the exam. The student must also confirm their intention to take the test with the instructor at the Test Center or the DSO.
No. The student is expected to sign-up for each exam with the Test Center or the DSO three (3) school days in advance or earlier if they have been informed of the exam.
Once a faculty member has received the notification from the Test Center or the DSO that the student has signed up for an exam, you will have an opportunity to fill in the proctor portion of the email and return it with an electronic copy of the exam. If a paper test is to be used, attach a sheet of paper with the proctor instructions.
Faculty members will receive an email that the test is completed and can be picked up, scanned and emailed, or faxed back. Please make sure to check the electronic copies to make sure they are legible and you have received all the pages.
Yes. The DSO coordinator can share relevant academic information with faculty when there is a legitimate need to know.
By law, confidentiality is a right guaranteed to students with disabilities. This means that you as a faculty member may not single them out in class as a student with a disability. You cannot say things like, “Well, Jamie needs to take her test in the Test Center because she has a disability” or “John has a learning disability so he needs notes, can anybody see him after class to give him the notes?”
When you receive an Academic Accommodation Letter, it is the student who has given permission to provide you with his/her list of accommodations. Please do not discuss this student and/or their accommodations with anyone other than the student themselves or if you have any questions or concerns regarding the accommodations, you may contact the DSO.
Faculty may contact the DSO many ways, including:
In Person: Building 17, Room 21 during regular business hours
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