Stetson University

Campus Life and Student Success

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Disability Resources

The Academic Success Center recommends reasonable accommodations in accordance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Stetson University's academic standards to ensure that there will be no discrimination on the basis of disability. These recommendations are developed through the review of disability documentation and with the consideration of each student's individual needs, strengths and academic program.

An academic accommodation is any change in the policies or procedures of a course and/or academic program for the purpose of allowing a student with a disability equal access to learning and an equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge.

If you can't find the information you need within this section of our website, please contact us at 386-822-7127 or asc@stetson.edu.

Also, please watch our captioned online tutorials on scheduling an exam and requesting accommodations.

ADA Grievance Procedure

Stetson University values an environment free of discrimination and harassment and therefore prohibits conduct which prevents open academic interaction and opportunity, or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive study, residential or work environment. In conjunction with this philosophy, Stetson University complies with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the university's own academic standards to ensure that there will be no discrimination on the basis of disability. Due to these laws and university values, no qualified individual with a disability shall be denied access to or participation in services, programs and activities offered at Stetson University.

The university will make a good faith effort to seek resolution of a problem informally brought to its attention through discussion and communication with the department or unit(s) involved and with appropriate university officials. The university encourages all faculty, staff and students to attempt an informal resolution prior to initiating the formal grievance procedure.

Students with disabilities who believe that they have been denied "reasonable accommodations" for their documented disability, been excluded from participation in or been denied the benefits of any aspect of the Stetson University student experience, or otherwise have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of their disability should follow the subsequent steps:

  1. The student should schedule a meeting with the ADA/504 compliance coordinator for students/assistant director of the Academic Success Center, Aaron Distler. He may be contacted at (386) 822-7127 or adistler@stetson.edu.
  2. The assistant director of the Academic Success Center will investigate the complaint, which includes but is not limited to personal interviews with all affected parties, and attempt a resolution with the participants involved.
  3. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the process, he or she may file a formal grievance within fifteen days after the conclusion of the attempt to informally resolve the differences.

Loaning Assistive Technology

The Academic Success Center maintains some assistive technology, including Echo Smart Pens and Sony digital recorders. Students can borrow a recorder for up to one semester at a time and an Echo Smart Pen for up to one month at a time. This equipment can be checked out at our office. Equipment can only be checked out if a staff member approves it as a component of the student's established accommodation(s).

Please return the borrowed equipment at the end of each rental period. When students borrow this equipment, the return date is almost always the week following finals week, or, if using an Echo Smart Pen, one month from the checkout date. We have a limited supply of this equipment; if you are not using it, please return it to the office so that it is available for other students. Please respect the terms and time limits of the check out so that other students may benefit from its use as well.

Rules for Borrowing Equipment

Students borrowing equipment from the Academic Success Center are required to sign an agreement upon borrowing equipment. This agreement spells out the rules of the equipment's use as well as repercussions for damaged/lost items, and failure to return equipment.

Community Resources

There are several community agencies that provide disability support services. Some services are at no cost to the student; others are at the student's expense. Please contact the following agencies for additional information.

Center for Independent Living of Volusia

The Center for Independent Living of Volusia provides a wide range of services for people with physical, visual or hearing impairments. Some of the programs and services may include: peer support groups, sign language interpreters, advocacy, and information referral.

Center for the Visually Impaired

The Center for the Visually Impaired holds training classes for techniques for daily living, orientation and mobility, and communication skills. Other services are available for low-vision individuals and people adjusting to limited sight.

Division of Blind Services

The Division of Blind Services helps people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve independence and self-sufficiency, and to lead lives of dignity through vocational rehabilitation, medical and social service and talking book library.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is dedicated to helping Floridians with disabilities to secure and maintain gainful employment.

Easter Seals of Volusia and Flagler Counties

Easter Seals of Volusia and Flagler Counties provides advocacy, awareness, communication, referral and access, as well as social and cultural opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Volusia and Flagler Counties.

Learning Ally

Learning Ally provides books on tape for visually impaired/blind students, as well as other services.

VOTRAN

VOTRAN offers transportation service for people with disabilities.

Course Substitution Policy

Stetson University's conception of bachelor degrees includes the requirement that students have a broad experience with foundational skills through courses that introduce them to the breadth of human knowledge. All students must be qualified to participate in a program of academic study with or without reasonable accommodations. Therefore, students with disabilities are not excused from course prerequisites, GPA requirements or degree requirements.

In most cases, reasonable accommodations have proved sufficient in providing equal access to a student's required courses. Our broad range of degree programs also allows students to select degrees that draw on their academic strengths.

Course Substitutions

Course substitutions in general education or major fields of study are not permitted when a course is deemed essential for a degree requirement. Furthermore, any student who receives a substitution must fulfill the university's requirements by completing an alternative course or courses as determined by the department chair and dean.

The following procedures must be followed if a student with a documented learning disability seeks a course substitution as part of an approved accommodation plan:

  1. The petition process should begin as soon as there is strong objective evidence (e.g., previous documented difficulties) that the student will be unable to fulfill the requirement.
  2. The student must provide the Academic Success Center with current, relevant and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. This documentation must substantiate a severe disability and its specific impact upon the student's ability in the specific area of required learning. Please refer to our documentation guidelines for more details.
  3. A complete case history is required to document the student's history of challenges in the specific area of learning from high school until the date of the petition. This case history should include:
    1. A personal statement by the student indicating the reasons for the request, including prior experiences with the subject matter; and
    2. The names of courses and grades attesting to the student's efforts and diligence in attempting to master the subject matter in high school, at a community college and/or at a four-year institution.

Upon completion of these steps, a staff member of the Academic Success Center will review the documentation and consult with the student's academic dean, the chair of the department responsible for the requirement and other professionals, as needed. A recommendation for approval or denial of a request for substitution will be forwarded by a staff member of the Academic Success Center to the student's dean, who will make the final decision.

Deadlines for Requests

A student requesting a course substitution must submit all necessary documentation no later than the end of their sophomore year in order to allow sufficient time to review the material and update documentation, if necessary. Thus, if a student plans to request a course substitution, it is in their best interest to do so upon enrollment at the university to ensure adequate time to complete the petition process. A transfer student must submit all documentation by the completion of their first semester of enrollment.

Accommodations and adjustments are not retroactive. That is, the student is eligible for disability support services based upon the date that they return the completed accommodations forms to the Academic Success Center, or the date that an academic adjustment is approved.

Appeals

If a student's request for a substitution is denied, they may appeal the decision in writing within seven business days to the Council of Deans, Academic Affairs, unit 8358. The student will be notified in a timely manner when the Council completes its review of the appeal.

Documentation Guidelines

Stetson University is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for all students. In order for the Academic Success Center to provide the most appropriate accommodations, we require detailed documentation for each student registering with our office.

Please be aware that evaluative reports alone do not automatically qualify a student for disability support services. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Stetson University. Furthermore, accommodations may vary depending on academic programs and/or course content.

Please review the relevant guidelines for submitting documentation:

In addition to these specific guidelines, please consider the following:

  • A school plan, such as an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan, may be sufficient documentation based upon the accommodations being requested.
  • Notes on a doctor's prescription pad are not acceptable.
  • Documentation should be on official letterhead; the professional provider of care cannot be an immediate family member.  Depending on the disability, it is helpful if documentation is recent.
  • Send copies of psycho-educational reports and medical records, as documentation may not be returned.
  • Securing appropriate documentation can be a costly and lengthy process. Consider consulting with your medical insurance provider, as they may cover a portion or all of the testing costs. In addition, some teaching hospitals or psychology training sites offer low-fee testing services.

Emergency Response Procedures

All students are encouraged to be familiar with the university's evacuation plans in case of emergencies; additionally, we encourage students to create a proactive plan specific to them and their needs for safe egress from university facilities, as every student must play a major part in ensuring their own safety. Below are some helpful ideas and questions to ask when building their individualized plan for safe egress in emergency situations.

Suggestions for Students with Disabilities

  • Review the university's Emergency Response Guide, the Code of Community Standards and the Guide to Residential Living, all of which discuss safety policies and give tips for students.
  • Program Public Safety's phone number (386-822-7300) into your cell phone. Carry your cell phone with you at all times.
  • In every building you utilize, whether academic, residential or otherwise, familiarize yourself with posted evacuation plans when available, as well as all fire exits, doors and stairwells.
  • If you will need assistance in an emergency, identify someone in advance in every one of your collegiate settings (in each class, for instance) who can provide some level of assistance. Please know that no one (including resident assistants or student leaders) is expected to unduly endanger themselves in order to assist with the evacuation of others, but there are ways others can aid in your evacuation (e.g., by alerting emergency personnel to your location or, for persons with visual impairments, guiding you to safety with verbal and physical direction).
  • Inform others of your plans in times in which you may be alone in any campus buildings for long periods of time (computer labs, study areas, etc.).
  • Any student, whether registered for accommodations due to a disability or not, can request a meeting with the Academic Success Center to help in building individualized plans for safe egress in instances of emergency. The Academic Success Center will call on other pertinent departments to help students build a proactive plan.
  • During a building evacuation, all individuals should exit unless they are not able to do so.
  • Those who cannot exit a building safely should go to the preferred area of rescue to await emergency personnel. Do not use an elevator when fire alarms have activated.
  • Preferred areas of rescue in most buildings are the stairwells. If this is not available (e.g., due to smoke in the stairwell), go to a room with an exterior window, note the room number, close the door and call Public Safety or 911 to alert them to your location and what assistance you will need. Use the window to signal to those outside of your location.

University Procedures for Assisting Students with Disabilities

  • At the beginning of each semester, the Academic Success Center and the Department of Housing and Residential Life will provide a list to Public Safety of residential students who may need additional assistance during an evacuation of a residential building.
  • In the event of an evacuation of a residential building, the Public Safety dispatcher will alert responding Public Safety officers and emergency personnel of any student from the provided list who will need additional assistance.
  • The Public Safety dispatcher will also field calls, directing any calls pertaining to specific locations of persons in danger to emergency responders. Public Safety officers and emergency response personnel will check any areas of rescue (in any building on campus) when evacuating a building, whether alerted to someone's presence there or not; Public Safety and emergency responders will also check every room in the building needing to be evacuated.
  • Lifting or transporting individuals will only be performed in cases of extreme emergency. Be aware that Public Safety, other staff members and students are not trained by the university for this role.
  • Evacuation drills are held at least once per semester in all residential facilities.

Please direct any questions concerning this information to the Academic Success Center or Public Safety.

Helpful Links

ADD and AD/HD

Learning Disabilities

Resources for the Deaf

Career Resources

Housing Accommodations

The Department of Housing and Residential Life is committed to providing a healthy, inclusive and safe environment that supports the growth and development of all students. We recognize that some residential environments and configurations may not be completely accessible to all students. Therefore, students may request consideration for their housing assignment in order to have equal access to the residential experience. To help make certain each student receives an appropriate housing assignment, the following process has been developed in collaboration with the Academic Success Center to review all requests for special housing accommodations.

All issues related to food allergies or dietary restrictions are addressed under a separate process through Dining Services. Contact Dining Services at 386-822-8780 to initiate that process.

The Housing Accommodation Committee evaluates requests made by students seeking housing accommodations, as well as meets personally with those students.

In an effort to respond to these requests as fairly and knowledgeably as possible, the following departments will serve the Housing Accommodation Committee in a resource capacity:

How to Submit a Request for Housing Accommodations

  1. The student completes the Request for Housing Accommodations form, along with supporting documentation, at Housing Central. Upon receipt of the completed information, the personal interview will be scheduled by the Department of Housing and Residential Life.
  2. The Housing Accommodations Committee will review each request, including the supporting documentation provided, and make a decision about the request. Once all of the information is received, the evaluation team will consider the following criteria when evaluating housing accommodation requests:
    1. Has the student provided adequate documentation?
    2. Does the documentation clearly articulate the need for this housing accommodation with supporting information?
      1. The Committee reserves the right to ask for additional documentation if the initial documentation does not provide a clear enough explanation for the request.
    3. Was the request made prior to the priority deadline?
      1. All forms must be received by the established housing deadline (e.g., prior to room selection for returning students, and prior to May 15 (for the fall semester) or November 1 (for the spring semester) for new students).
      2. Any forms received after that deadline may not be considered. If approved after the deadline, it will be dependent on space availability.
  3. The student will be notified of the Committee's decision by either phone or email. If the decision is to grant the request, communication will include the specific housing assignment. The assignment will be determined based on the student's need; please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that any student will be placed in a specific residence hall or room. If the decision is to deny the request, all attempts will be made to explain why a request was denied in order to keep the student informed.

Consideration is given based on the date all documentation is submitted and space availability.

Simply submitting the Request for Housing Accommodations form does not guarantee that the request will be granted. Accommodations are made on a needs-based and space-available basis.

The Housing Accommodation form is online at Housing Central. All supporting documents should be scanned and uploaded at this same website.

The form will ask basic questions such as the following:

  • Please list any disabilities or medical conditions that have an impact on your living arrangements.
  • Please explain how you are affected by the disabilities indicated above and what accommodations or arrangements you may need in your housing assignment.
  • Please discuss academic accommodations or considerations you have had in your previous schooling -- at your high school or at another college or university.

Request for Release of Information to Housing Accommodation Committing

Guidelines for Housing Accommodation Documentation

Documentation must include information prepared by the professional provider of care relevant to the student's disability or diagnosis that supports the following:

  • The student has a current diagnosis, a history that is the basis of the request and a documented prognosis.
  • The student has current, substantial disability-based limitations that relate to the residential hall environment.
  • The student's current treatment, medication and/or other mitigating measures used or recommended by the provider as they relate to the disability and housing needs.
  • Any substantial side effects of medication, if applicable.
  • A complete description of the desired housing configuration and discussion of why this specific configuration is the necessary accommodation for the student's disability (including why the student's needs cannot be met on campus if the request is to waive the housing requirement).
  • An indication of the level of need for the recommended configuration (and the consequences of not receiving it). Consider:
    • Is the impact of the condition life-threatening if not met?
    • Are there negative health implications if the request is not met?
    • Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan for the condition in question?

Documentation must be recent (three years old or newer is preferred) and on official letterhead; the professional provider of care cannot be an immediate family member.

If the student is registered with the Academic Success Center for academic accommodations, further documentation may be required in order to substantiate the request for housing accommodations.

If the student is currently working with someone at the Counseling Center, the documentation provided by the Counseling Center must follow the guidelines listed above. Documentation from Stetson Health Services is acceptable if they are the primary care provider.

How to Request Accommodations

To request accommodations, the student must first submit a recent evaluation conducted by a qualified professional that describes their disability and supports the need for accommodations.

  • New students are encouraged to send their documentation immediately after committing to enroll at Stetson University.
  • Current students are encouraged to send the documentation as soon as it is available.
  • Documentation should be mailed, faxed or hand-delivered to the Academic Success Center at the following address:

    Academic Success Center
    Attention: Stacy Collins
    421 N. Woodland Blvd.
    Unit 8366
    DeLand, FL 32723

  • After the documentation has been mailed or faxed, please contact the Academic Success Center to verify that it has been received and is complete. The director of the Academic Success Center will review the documentation and consult with other professional staff, as appropriate.

Next, the student should complete the Accommodations Profile, and make an appointment with a staff member at the Academic Success Center to conduct an initial interview concerning the student's needs and the specifics of accommodations.

  • Protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 is determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • In addition, recommendations are based upon documentation of the need for accommodation for a disability that is substantially limiting to a current major life activity, as well as student input. Please refer to the documentation guidelines as outlines above for details

Third, after determination of accommodations, the student acknowledges a request of accommodations and the Academic Success Center will notify their professors of the specific accommodations; the student must sign the Accommodations Notification form. We then encourage the student to:

  • Set up a meeting with each professor prior to or after class, or during the professors' office hours (available through the course syllabus or department administrative assistant);
  • Discuss the specifics of the accommodations with each professor to determine ways to meet the accommodations (e.g., for students with testing accommodations, will tests be taken in the classroom, academic department or at the Academic Success Center?).
  • It is the student's responsibility to maintain contact with their professors and to follow through with the arrangements.
  • Accommodations are not retroactive. The student is eligible for accommodations based on the date that they requests accommodations and signs forms with the Academic Success Center.

Finally, once fully registered with the Academic Success Center, students must request their accommodations prior to or at the beginning of each semester (within the first two weeks) in order to have professors notified of accommodations.

  • Some accommodations may take several weeks to arrange. Thus, timely receipt of documentation of a disability and request of accommodations is essential.
  • Students have the right to refuse any or all of the recommended accommodations. In addition, they do not have to self-identify even after initially deciding to do so.
  • Students are responsible for maintaining contact with the Academic Success Center to update pertinent information, seek assistance for learning strategies or discuss accommodation issues.

Prospective Students

Stetson University does not have a separate admissions process for students with disabilities. All applicants must meet the admissions criteria as outlined in the University Catalog. Once admitted, students should contact the Academic Success Center to apply for academic accommodations.

It is important that students with disabilities understand their rights and responsibilities as they transition to college. Please refer to the resources from LD Online for information about the differences between high school and college disability support.

Since Stetson University is a private university, we fall under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act; public universities fall under Title II. For more information, please see the Department of Education's Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education page.

Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights

  • Equal access to courses, programs, activities, services, jobs and facilities at the university;
  • Reasonable accommodations based on documentation, strengths, academic program and evaluator's recommendations; and
  • Appropriate confidentiality regarding their disability.

Your Responsibilities

  • Meet the university's qualifications and maintain the essential standards for programs, courses, services and activities;
  • Disclose information related to your disability in a timely manner for the purpose of accommodations, preferably before the start of each semester or within two weeks of the start of each semester;
  • Provide appropriate documentation (see the documentation guidelines above) to the Academic Success Center (The documentation must verify the disability and its current impact on learning.);
  • Follow specific policies and procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids as established by the Academic Success Center (Failure to provide adequate notice of the need for separate testing conditions and/or assistance, for example, may result in accommodations that are not provided to the fullest measure.);
  • Initiate all services and maintain contact with the Academic Success Center and faculty; and
  • Provide feedback to the Academic Success Center regarding its operations.

Stetson University's Rights and Responsibilities

Stetson University's Rights

  • Uphold the university's academic standards;
  • Request and receive current documentation that verifies the disability and the need for reasonable accommodations;
  • Identify and establish appropriate and reasonable accommodations based upon current disability documentation completed by a qualified professional and in consultation with students with disabilities;
  • Deny a request for accommodations, auxiliary aids/services and/or academic adjustments if:
    1. The student fails to provide appropriate documentation,
    2. The documentation does not warrant services,
    3. It substantially alters an essential element of a course, program or activity of the university, or
    4. It poses a threat to the health and safety of others.
  • Receive verification of a documented disability from the Academic Success Center in the form of an Accommodations Notification form that states the recommended accommodations, not necessarily the specific disability;
  • Establish the skills, knowledge and abilities that are fundamental to their courses/academic programs and evaluate students on this basis;
  • Contact the director of the Academic Success Center to discuss the appropriateness of accommodations; and
  • Select among equally effective accommodations.

Stetson University's Responsibilities

  • Recommend reasonable accommodations for students with appropriately documented disabilities in a timely manner upon request;
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication concerning students;
  • Provide information on university policies and procedures to students and ensure its availability in accessible formats upon request;
  • Make appropriate referrals to on-campus services, as well as community agencies;
  • Maintain the same standards for students with disabilities as for students without disabilities; and
  • Arrange for and provide reasonable accommodations upon request.

Temporary Disability and Pregnancy Procedures

Stetson University and the Academic Success Center are committed to supporting the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title IX; we strive for equal and uninterrupted access to all our curriculum, programs and services.

If you are experiencing a temporary disabling condition or pregnancy, you can contact the Academic Success Center at 386-822-7322 or at asc@stetson.edu to schedule an appointment to discuss resources and supports.

The Academic Success Center can help you determine if any official accommodations need to be recommended to ensure equal access to the educational environment; in order to receive accommodations for a temporary disabling condition or pregnancy you must supply appropriate documentation of the condition or pregnancy to the Academic Success Center. Documentation of the condition or pregnancy must be from a licensed, credentialed provider that is monitoring the condition or pregnancy. This documentation can be provided via one of the following methods:

  • Email: asc@stetson.edu
  • Fax: 386-822-7322
  • Mail: 421 N. Woodland Blvd., Unit 8366, DeLand, FL 32723

Reasonable accommodations will be approved based on the documentation and the interview with the accessibility coordinator/director of the Academic Success Center.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Academic Success Center at 386-822-7127 or at asc@stetson.edu.

Testing For Disabilities

Stetson University does not conduct testing for disabilities. However, we can provide you with a list of local testing specialists. We also recommend that you consult your medical insurance provider to determine what evaluations may be covered. Any costs incurred are the responsibility of the student or the policy holder of your medical insurance.

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