Northcentral University takes seriously its obligations to provide disability services to qualified individuals as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008.
Goal of ADA Regulations
The intent of the Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) is to mitigate potential classroom barriers related to an eligible disability so that the student has the opportunity to successfully achieve his or her academic goals. Students who are determined to meet eligibility definitions for accommodations are still expected to meet all academic and University performance standards and adhere to policies and Student Code of Conduct protocols as are expected of students without disabilities.
ADA Eligibility Definitions
The U.S. Department of Justice defines an individual with an eligible disability to be a person who:
- Has a physical, learning and/or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions (such as performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing or learning)
- Has a documented record of a physical, mental, or learning impairment
- Is regarded as having a substantially limiting physical, learning and/or mental impairment. The documented impairment may be permanent, recurring or temporary (less than six months in duration)
- Is “otherwise qualified” to perform the required course work with the assistance of academic accommodations which are determined on a case-by-case basis
For more information, please visit www.ADA.gov. Examples of common ADA accommodations include (but are not limited to):
- Speech-to-text software
- Extended time for assignments and/or quizzes/tests
- Alternative format textbooks
- Closed-captioning or transcripts of online videos
The Disability Services Office cannot authorize the following:
- Extended breaks between courses or leaves of absence
- Special funding, discounts or waivers for course fees
- Vocational rehabilitation funding or scholarships
- Additional time to complete a program
- Waivers of University policies, including admissions, academics or financial
Northcentral University will not grant an accommodation if the accommodation alters the academic standards of the program or would result in undue hardship to the University or threaten the health and safety of the student with a disability or other persons.
- Timely notification is a requirement of all requests and must be made by the student directly to Disability Services as soon as possible. The Disability Services Office must receive the completed medical documentation and eligible students will receive reasonable accommodations. Accommodations will not be made retroactively.
- Accommodated students are expected to make academic progress as measured by successful and timely completion of academic work in accordance with NCU policies.
- The student is required to maintain contact with his faculty, Academic and Finance Advisor and Disability Services during the period of the academic accommodation.
- The student must speak with Disability Services Office before each course to ensure the appropriate accommodation is communicated with faculty Academic and Finance Advisors as needed.
- The student must abide by all University policies while accommodated, regardless of impairment. This includes admissions, attendance and financial responsibilities.
- Students must provide updated and/or clarifying disabilities documentation as requested by the ADA Program Coordinator.
Obtaining Assistance Students enrolled in a course at Northcentral University should complete the process to request an ADA accommodation well in advance of the anticipated need for services and accommodations. From the time a student submits their documentation, it can take up to two weeks for an accommodation to be implemented.
- Students are asked to notify the Disability Services Office prior to enrollment in a course to allow time to collect the required documentation to establish an educational plan with a reasonable accommodation.
- Students having a temporary or sudden disability are asked to notify Disability Services Office at the on-set of the disability or as close to the onset as possible.
- Academic accommodations are not retroactive but rather are implemented once the student is determined to be eligible based on stated documentation and communication requirements.
The Disability Services Office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (not case sensitive).
The accommodation process is an interactive process between the student, the Disability Services Office and the School. After an appropriate accommodation is determined through dialogue and the review of the supporting documentation, the student will receive an ADA Accommodations Contract to review and agree to the ADA accommodation. Once the student agrees, the student’s faculty member and academic advisor will be notified regarding the accommodation(s) that is approved for the student and how the accommodation(s) will be implemented.
In accordance with privacy laws including FERPA and HIPPA regulations, only University team members with a legitimate need to know will have access to the details of an ADA file. Once a student is deemed eligible and has agreed to the negotiated accommodation, the ADA Program Coordinator will communicate the accommodation to the faculty and NCU team members as appropriate.
- Student services team members will not engage students about a disability.
- If a student self-discloses a disability, the team member will acknowledge it and refer the student to the ADA coordinator.
- Team members are not positioned to support requests for or determine eligibility of an ADA disclosure.
- Only team members who have a legitimate need to know the details of an ADA file including the disability and associated accommodation(s) will be given such information.
- Students will be referred to Disability Services Office upon disclosing a disability or asking for information regarding ADA accommodations and services.
- Documentation regarding the disability and requested accommodation will be accepted by Disability Services Office only.
- Non-ADA team members will not make any entries about a student’s disability in NCU student systems.
- Referrals of students can be denoted in the journal as “Referred to [Name of ADA Program Coordinator].”
ADA/Section 504 Grievance Procedure
Northcentral University has both informal and formal mechanisms for students and employees to resolve concerns about disability discrimination, denial of access to services, accommodations required by law, or an auxiliary aid they believe they should have received (“disability-related issues”). Any person who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability may file a grievance under this procedure. It is against the law to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance.
If a student or employee has concerns about a disability-related issue, the student or employee should, but is not required to, in general, first discuss the matter with the ADA/504 Coordinator, or with the individual(s) most directly responsible, such as the faculty or Team member, who has made a determination regarding the student or employee’s disability-related issue. If the student or employee chooses to speak first with the individual(s) most directly responsible, but the discussion does not yield an outcome acceptable to the student or employee, or if the circumstances of the complaint are such that it would be inappropriate for the student or employee to contact the individual responsible, the student or employee should, but is not required to, consult with NCU’s ADA/504 Coordinator, who will attempt to facilitate a resolution. If the ADA/504 Coordinator is not successful in achieving a satisfactory resolution, generally within ten working days from the date of the student or employee raised the disability-related issue, the ADA/504 Coordinator will inform the student or employee of her/his efforts, and his or her right to file a formal grievance.
Should a student or employee feel she or he has not been treated in a fair or professional manner with regard to access and accommodations, or feels they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability, they are encouraged to follow the procedures below. If the grievance is not resolved at the informal level and the grievant wishes to pursue the grievance, grievances must be submitted no more than 10 business days after the grievant receives notification that the grievance has not been informally resolved. If the grievant did not pursue informal resolution, the grievance must be submitted no more than 10 business days of the date of the event giving rise to the grievance (e.g. disability accommodation decision or the alleged discriminatory act or incident). NCU will make appropriate arrangements to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided other accommodations, if needed, to participate in this grievance process. The ADA/504 Coordinator will be responsible for such arrangements. The grievance must bein writing and include the following:
- The grievant’s name, address, email address and phone number
- A full description of the situation
- A description of the efforts, if any, which have been made to resolve the issue informally
- A statement of the requested remedy, e.g. requested accommodation or remedy to address the alleged discrimination
The ADA/504 Coordinator (or her/his designee) shall conduct an investigation of the complaint. This investigation may be informal, but it must be thorough, affording all interested persons an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint. The ADA/504 Coordinator (or her/his designee) will maintain the files and records of the University relating to such grievances. These findings will be presented to the ADA Grievance Review Board (AGRB). The ADA Grievance Review Board (AGRB) will consist of a minimum of four committee members, including a Dean, the University Registrar, the Director, Senior Director, or VP of Student and Financial Services, and the Office of the President or designee. If the grievant would like to address the AGRB directly, he/she must disclose this request in their formal grievance submission and provide a contact number. All grievances are heard and decided upon by the ADA Grievance Review Board. The Quality Assurance director will issue a written decision on the grievance no later than 30 days after its initial filing by the grievant.
The availability and use of this grievance procedure does not prevent a person from filing a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.