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Office of Disability Services Policy and Procedure

The information provided herein is designed to assist students, parents, faculty, and staff by detailing accepted procedures for assuring that otherwise qualified students with disabilities have equal access to services, programs, or activities provided by Bethel University.

Policy and Procedure

Students should proceed as follows after they receive their letters of acceptance from Bethel University:

  1. Self-Identify with Office of Disability Services (ODS) by completing the Disability ServicesQuestionnaire and mailing it or faxing it, with current and appropriate medical or professional documentation, to the ODS.
  2. Provide documentation to establish as a person with a disability. Neither the high school nor the University is required to furnish the student with the testing or the documentation to establish a disability. This documentation, typed or printed on official letterhead and signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis, must include the following:
    • Clearly stated diagnosis or DSM-IV diagnosis of the disability or disabilities. The diagnosis must be current, i.e., completed within the last five (5) years for a learning disability and within the last three (3) years for all other disabilities (psychological, ADHD, physical, etc.);
    • Description of the functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities as related to an academic setting;
    • Complete educational, developmental and medical history relevant to the disability for which accommodations are requested;
    • Suggested reasonable accommodations that would, in the evaluator’s professional opinion, be most appropriate;
    • A list of all test instruments—reliable, valid and standardized for use with an adult population—used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability; and
    • Information on the impact of any medications or treatments currently being used.
  3. Make an appointment with the Director of the ODS. The Director, working with the student, will determine what reasonable accommodations and services will be needed and the procedures for receiving services. The student must subsequently meet with the Director each semester he or she is seeking accommodations and provide updated information, as requested.
    • Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
      • Permission to tape-record lectures
      • Preferential classroom seating
      • Notetaker service
      • Extended time on tests
      • Distraction-free testing environment
      • Books on tape
      • Interpreting/transliteration services (not ESL)
      • Special advising and strategic scheduling of classes
      • Scribe
      • Reader
    • Unreasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
      • Personal care assistance
      • Personal study assistance
      • Reader for personal use or study
      • Transportation to and from class
      • Tutoring beyond the tutoring available to any Bethel University student
  4. If reasonable accommodations involve cooperation from professors, sign a release of information form, and fill out an Accommodations Document that lists the professors and classes that the student wishes to inform. The student will be given a choice as to whether he or she wants the disability listed in the documentation. It is not required for Instructors to know the specific disability; however, having this information can often be beneficial for the professor to know how best to help a student.
  5. The Director will email a Letter of Accommodations to each instructor listed on the Accommodation Request Form. Instructors are requested to print the letter for their records. The Director will also email this letter to the student who should then print it and take it to each instructor to request a signature. This time is best for the student to have a discussion about individual needs and how they can be met by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to take the letter to each instructor. At the end of the discussion, the instructor will sign the Letter of Accommodations. The student should return the Letter of Accommodations with the instructor signatures to the ODS to be filed. In the event, the student has difficulty getting a meeting or a signature from class instructors in a timely manner, contact the Director. Instructors are responsible for providing accommodations only from the time they receive notice of the disability through the emailed Letter of Accommodations. Students who register for disability services late in the semester are not eligible for retroactive accommodations.
  6. Grievance procedure: If the student feels that the Instructor is NOT compliant with the reasonable accommodations request, the student should immediately file a complaint with the ODS first before any other grievance procedures are initiated. If the situation is not remediated to the satisfaction of the student, the student has 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file appeals or grievances using the Chain of Command starting with the College of Liberal Arts Judicial Board (a review board consisting of faculty and students), then the College of Liberal Arts Academic Dean, then the Executive Vice President of the College of Liberal Arts, and finally to the Assistant to the President for Strategies.