Disability Policy and Accomodation Request | Montreat College

Disclosure and Request for Reasonable Accomodation(s)

I. Policy of Nondiscrimination

A. It is the policy of Montreat College not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities and to provide reasonable accommodation(s), as required by law, to otherwise qualified applicants for admission of students with disabilities in all education programs, activities, services and practices, including application procedures, admissions, student assignment, course assignment, the awarding of degrees, discipline, and dismissal. Educational opportunities will not be denied to an otherwise qualified applicant or student because of the need to make reasonable accommodation(s) or modification(s) for the physical or mental impairments of any such individual.

B. Although this policy and procedure is largely described in terms of accommodation(s) that may allow an applicant or student with a disability to meet the academic standards requisite to admission or participation in education programs, activities and services, the policy is also applicable to accommodation(s) involving the application process and to accommodation(s) that would enable an applicant or student with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of education as are enjoyed by other similarly situated applicants or students without disabilities.

C. The procedures contained herein are not exclusive of other education-related inquiries that the college, in its discretion, may make as permitted or required by local, state or federal law and in conformance with The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

II. Definitions of “Disability,” “Qualified Individual With a Disability” and “Otherwise Qualified”

A. A “disability” with respect to an applicant or student is: (i) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, (ii) a record of such an impairment, or (iii) being regarded as having such an impairment.

  1. Individuals with disabilities may include persons who are mobility impaired, sensory impaired, speech impaired, cosmetically disfigured, mentally ill, mentally retarded, emotionally troubled or learning disabled. Individuals with disabilities may also include persons who are neurologically, psychologically, physiologically or otherwise impaired or who have suffered an anatomical loss.
  2. “Major life activities” include caring for self, performing manual tasks, walking, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

B. A “qualified individual with a disability” means:

  1. With respect to educational opportunities, a disabled person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in an education program or activity.
  2. With respect to other services, a disabled person who meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of such services.

C. An applicant or student with a disability is “otherwise qualified” if he or she is qualified to receive educational opportunities, in that he or she satisfies all of the academic and technical standards, essential eligibility requirements and other applicable educated-related selection criteria, except that because of the disability, he or she needs reasonable accommodation(s) modification(s) be able to meet and perform the requirements for the educational opportunities, public adult educational services, or other services in question.

III. Scope of Potential Reasonable Accommodation(s)

A. When requested by an otherwise qualified applicant or student with a disability to do so, or when the need becomes known to the college, Montreat College is prepared to modify or adjust the admissions process or the educational environment to make “reasonable accommodation(s)” to the known physical or mental limitations of an applicant or student to enable the applicant or student to be considered for admission to the program, course, activity, or service he or she desires, to meet and perform the academic and technical standards requisite to performance of an education program or activity, to meet the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of other services, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of education as are enjoyed by other similarly situated applicants or students without disabilities. Reasonable accommodation(s), however, may not be made or offered as set forth in Paragraph III.D. below.

B. Subject to the determinations referenced in Paragraph III.A. above, reasonable accommodation(s) and modifications may include: making existing academic facilities used by students and the public readily accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities; altering when or how academic or technical requirements are met or performed; adjusting or modifying admission and performance tests, educational materials or policies; modifying nonessential course requirements; modifying or extending degree or course completion periods; substituting specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements; allowing readmission upon review and evaluation; providing or arranging counseling services; providing readers, interpreters or tutors; adapting or modifying the manner and method of instruction and testing; modifying or adjusting scheduling requirements; substituting instructors; allowing applicants or students to provide equipment or devices that the college is not required to provide; and other similar accommodation(s).

C. In determining the college’s ability to offer reasonable accommodation to an otherwise qualified applicant or student with a disability, each request for an accommodation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be examined include, among others, the essential academic and technical standards requisite for admission or participation in an education program or activity; the purpose and nature of the course, program, service or activity; the precise education-related abilities and functional limitations of the applicant or student and how those limitations could be overcome with reasonable accommodation(s); the nature and cost of the accommodation required in relation to the college’s financial resources; the consequences and effect financially, educationally and otherwise of such an accommodation upon the operation and educational mission of the college, course, program, service and/or activity; and other federal, state and local regulatory requirements.

D. The college is not required to offer or provide an accommodation, to admit or to continue to admit an individual with a disability to any particular course, program or activity, or to provide educational opportunities and other services when: (i) an accommodation would substantially modify the educational standards or mission of Montreat College, (ii) an accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, activity or service, (iii) taking into account the disabled applicant or student’s qualifications along with the requested accommodation, he or she is not otherwise qualified to meet the academic and technical standards requisite for admission or participation in a education program or activity, (iv) taking into account the disabled applicant or student’s qualifications along with the requested accommodation, he or she is not otherwise qualified to meet the essential eligibility requirements for receipt of other services, (v) reasonable accommodation would not overcome the effects of the individual’s disability, (vi) reasonable accommodation would not enable the individual to complete a course, degree program or activity, (vii) an accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the college, or (viii) with respect to accommodation(s) mandated by the Americans With Disabilities Act, even with reasonable accommodation, the individual would still pose a direct threat of substantial harm to the health or safety to self or others.

IV. Request for Reasonable Accommodation

A. To request reasonable accommodation under this policy, an applicant or student must submit the Disabilities Disclosure and Accommodation Request Form to the dean of students or his/her designee requesting reasonable accommodation. The form asks the applicant or student should also indicate the nature of the claimed physical or mental disability and identify his or her abilities and functional limitations with respect to the claimed disability.

B. Through completion of the Disabilities Disclosure Form and Accommodation(s) Request Form, the applicant or student with a disability shall also assist the college in determining if and what reasonable accommodation(s) might be provided by identifying in writing or otherwise: (i) any special methods, skills or procedures that would enable him or her to perform the tasks, functions or requirements that he or she otherwise might not be able to perform because of his or her disability, (ii) the potential accommodation(s) the college might make that would enable him or her to perform and meet the academic and technical standards requisite for admission to or participation in an educational program or activity, and (iii) any equipment, aids or services that the applicant or student is willing to provide and utilize that the college is not required to provide.

C. If the applicant or student requires secretarial or other assistance in preparing such written statement or request due to his or her disability, this will be provided upon request.

D. When a student with an obvious or known disability is having difficulty meeting or performing the academic, technical and other standards requisite to participation in an education program, activity or other service, the dean of students or her/his designee, after consultation with the student’s instructors and other personnel, may ask the student whether he or she is in need of a reasonable accommodation. If the student then requests reasonable accommodation, the conditions and procedures stated in this policy shall be applied. If, however, the student does not request a reasonable accommodation, an accommodation may or may not be offered or provided, as the college deems appropriate.

V. Response to Applicants and Students Who Request Reasonable Accommodation

A. The college recognizes that it may not make pre-admission inquiries as to whether an applicant for admission is disabled, except as allowed by law. After admission, however, the college may and will make inquiries on a confidential basis as to disabilities that may require accommodation.

B. An otherwise qualified student who identifies himself or herself as having a disability and requests reasonable accommodation may be required to provide documentation, including medical records, sufficient to establish the existence of a claimed physical or mental impairment and the need for accommodation. The dean of students or her/his designee may make such a request in writing or in some other form appropriate for the student’s disability when the need for an accommodation is not obvious or when otherwise appropriate.

C. A deadline of three (3) weeks (21 calendar days) from the date of receipt of the request for such documentation will be allowed in which the documentation, including medical records, must be provided to the dean of students. Through completion of the Disabilities Disclosure and Accommodation Request Form the student shall provide a medical release to each health care provider from whom medical records are requested permitting the college to receive and the college’s representatives to review such medical records. All documentation received by the college will become the property of the college and will be treated as confidential. This deadline may be extended upon request for good cause or as otherwise deemed appropriate by the college.

D. The college may require a student to undergo further testing and/or evaluation by medical or other personnel retained by the college to verify or establish the claimed disability and the need for accommodation and to provide a basis upon which a reasonable accommodation can be developed or implemented. The cost of such evaluation and testing will be paid by the college. All documentation relating to such testing and/or evaluations shall be the property of the college and will be treated as confidential.

E. The dean of students or her/his designee, individually or in consultation with medical or other personnel retained by the college, will determine whether the college considers the student to be disabled. The college will attempt to complete its review and make its determination regarding the claimed physical or mental disability of a student within three (3) weeks (21 calendar days) upon receipt of all documentation and evaluations requested. Once the college determines whether a student is disabled, the college will communicate that decision to the student in writing or in some other form appropriate for the student’s disability.

VI. Providing Reasonable Accommodation

A. As discussed in paragraph V.E., a determination of whether the college considers a student to be disabled will be made by the college. If a student is determined to be non-disabled, no offer of reasonable accommodation will be made to the student. If, however, a student is determined to be disabled or an applicant has requested a reasonable accommodation, a determination of whether and/or what reasonable accommodation will be made to an applicant or student will then be made by the college. Specifically, an assessment of: (i) the academic and technical standards requisite for admission or participation in an education program or activity by the applicant or student, and (ii) the essential eligibility requirements necessary for receipt of other services will be made based on the individual’s precise academic and technical abilities and functional limitations and whether and/or how a reasonable accommodation would enable the applicant or student to overcome those limitations to perform and meet all of the requisite academic, technical and other standards.

B. The determination of whether and/or what reasonable accommodation will be made to an applicant or student shall be made by the dean of students or her/his designee, individually or in consultation with appropriate department heads, instructors, and medical or other personnel retained by the college. In making this assessment, the dean of students or her/his designee will consult with the applicant or student regarding the precise education-related physical or mental limitations imposed by the disability, potential reasonable accommodation(s) to overcome those limitations, and the effectiveness of various accommodation(s) in enabling the applicant or student to perform the academic, technical or other requirements of the course, program, activity or service in question.

C. Academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the college’s education programs, activities or services are those bona fide standards reasonably necessary to the proper use of the degree confirmed at the end of a course of study, to the completion of the educational mission encompassed by a course, program, activity or service, or other criteria that are essential to admission or participation in the course, program, activity or service in question. Determination of which academic and technical requirements are essential shall be made by evaluation of objective criteria, including but not limited to, the knowledge and skills necessary for the proper use of a degree confirmed at the end of a course of study, the academic knowledge or skills required for the completion of a particular course or program, the amount of time spent on each area of concentration in a course or program, and the relevance of such concentrations to the mission and purpose of the course, program, activity, service, department and/or college. Such determinations will be made be the dean of students or her/his designee in consultation with appropriate instructors and department heads.

D. Accommodation(s) will not be offered that would substantially modify the educational standards, operation and/or mission of the college. An accommodation that would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, program, service or activity offered by the college would constitute such a substantial modification. If the college determines that an accommodation would cause substantial modifications, the applicant or student requesting the accommodation may be given the option of providing the needed accommodation or paying the portion of the cost which constitutes the undue hardship or substantial modification.

E. With respect to accommodation mandated by the Americans With Disabilities Act, the college will also deny educational opportunities and other services to an applicant or student when no reasonable accommodation exists that would either eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level any significant, direct threat of substantial harm that an applicant or student with a disability would pose to the health or safety of himself or herself or others.

F. The college will attempt to complete its evaluation and make its decision regarding reasonable accommodation(s) within three (3) weeks of the initial disability determination referred to in paragraph V.E. above. The dean of students or her/his designee will then forward the college’s decision in writing, or in some other form appropriate for the applicant or student’s disability, to the applicant or student upon completion.

VII. Applicants or Students Who Reject Reasonable Accommodation

A. If an otherwise qualified applicant or student with a disability rejects a reasonable accommodation, aid, service, opportunity or benefit that is necessary to enable the applicant or student to perform or meet the academic, technical or other standards requisite for admission or participation in the educational program, activity, or other service in question, the applicant or student will not be considered a qualified individual with a disability, and admission to or current enrollment in the program, course, activity or service in question may be denied, withdrawn or modified as deemed appropriate by the college.

VIII. Miscellaneous Provisions

A. Reasonable accommodation does not negate requirements for successful completion of courses and programs, adherence to generally acceptable standards of behavior and the college’s code of conduct, and adherence to faculty directions and instructions.

B. If the academic, technical or other standards requisite for admission or participation in an education program, activity or service are expanded, revised or modified, the conditions and procedures stated in this policy shall apply to any evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the expanded, revised or modified requirements and the college’s determination whether reasonable accommodation will be provided.

C. Any applicant or student who has a complaint about the application of this policy should contact the dean of students.