Academic Integrity, Support

Niagara University:  Disability Services

Office of Academic Support

Information for Faculty:   January 2017

 

Disability Services Staff:

Disability Services Responsibility:

 

Kelly Adams Engert

Coordinator, Disability Services

Office of Academic Support

Seton Hall, First Floor

(716)286-8541 / FAX: (716)286-8063

kadams@niagara.edu

 

 

Process student requests for accommodation, including reviewing documentation and determining appropriate accommodations, supervising testing accommodations and alternate text conversion, and coordinating attendance and notetaking accommodations.

 

Advise first-year students in the Academic Success Program.

 

Mary Daly and Melissa Leone

Graduate Assistants

Office of Academic Support

Seton Hall, First Floor

(716)286-8418 / FAX: (716)286-8063

mgd@niagara.edu / mml@niagara.edu

 

 

Coordinate testing accommodations, assist with notetaking accommodations, and the conversion of alternate text for students with disabilities.

 

A few basics about disability policies and procedures at Niagara:

 

1)  DISABILITY SERVICES AND LEGAL ISSUES

Niagara’s Disability Services is committed to creating equal access for all Niagara students with disabilities. Our mission is to provide accommodations and support to students with documented disabilities who are registered with our office that will enable them to fully participate in programs and services that are available at Niagara University. 

 

Since Congress first passed the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the education of individuals with disabilities has been regarded as a civil rights issue. Both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the more recent federal legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, state that no otherwise qualified person with a disability shall, solely by reason of disability be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination by any institution which is subject to these laws.

 

By federal law, a qualified person with a disability is any person who has a physical or mental impairment, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as self-care, walking, standing, eating, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, sleeping, performing manual tasks, lifting, bending, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working, and some bodily functions. Examples include, but are not limited to: learning disabilities, visual impairments, hearing loss, psychological disorders, mobility impairments, AIDS, seizure disorders, and other chronic illnesses.

 

A qualified student with a disability must voluntarily self-identify his/her needs to Disability Services and provide adequate documentation of disability that supports the individual’s request for accommodation.

 

For more information, please visit the Disability Services website at http://www.niagara.edu/oas-disability-services/ .

 

2)  SYLLABUS STATEMENT

In order to encourage students with disabilities to identify their needs, please include the following diversity statement on your course syllabus.  Your encouragement provides the reticent student an opportunity to approach you and explain his/her needs.  

 

Inclusivity, Diversity & Support for Students at Niagara University

Niagara University supports a learning environment that fosters inclusiveness where diversity is respected and valued.  It is expected that students in this class will respect differences and develop an understanding of how other people’s perspectives, behaviors, and worldviews may be different from their own. 

 

Students are always encouraged to meet with faculty as early as possible in the semester to discuss their needs or concerns.  Students may also seek additional assistance from a variety of resources available on campus: 

 

Office of Academic Support – Seton 1st floor, 716-286-8072, www.niagara.edu/oas

Provides peer tutoring, Writing Center, reading assistance, and study skills training.

 

Office of Disability Services – Seton 1st floor, 716-286-8072, www.niagara.edu/oas-disability-services

Provides academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities, and assists with access, evacuation, and emergency medical notifications (i.e., seizure disorders).

 

Office of the Dean of Students – Gallagher 111, 716-286-8405

Provides a wide range of support services including Counseling Services, Health Services, Multicultural Affairs, Residence Life, and Veterans Services.   For a full explanation of services and direct contact information please go to:  www.niagara.edu/student-affairs; www.niagara.edu/veterans.  The Dean of Students serves as deputy Title IX Coordinator who advocates for students regarding harassment and sexual misconduct issues, and can offer information regarding students’ rights and responsibilities under the student code of conduct. 

 

3)  DOCUMENTATION 

A student with a disability who requests an accommodation such as extended time on a test, notetakers, alternate format of printed material (such as textbooks, handouts, etc.), is required to disclose his/her needs to Disability Services.  He/she must provide Disability Services with documentation from a qualified professional that clearly diagnoses the disability and the individual’s functional limitations.  After reviewing the documentation, in consultation with Health Services and/or Counseling Services if needed, Disability Services will determine what accommodations are appropriate on a case-by-case/course-by-course basis. 

 

Please note, in an effort to be fair to all students with disabilities who request accommodations, it is recommended that faculty not provide accommodations without first having students work with Disability Services to document their need for accommodation.  

 

4)  COMMUNICATION

When a student’s request for academic accommodations has been approved, he/she will provide you with a copy of the "Niagara University Disability Services:  Course Accommodation Approval form." This is a form that both the student and Kelly sign indicating that that the requested accommodations have been approved based on documentation of disability. It is the student’s responsibility to inform professors about his/her need for accommodation(s).    This form is intended solely to facilitate the student's access to your course and is not intended for placement in the student’s permanent folder.  A copy will be kept on file in the office of Disability Services following current records management policies.  Please shred your copy of this form at the end of the current semester.

 

Please contact Kelly if you have any questions about the requested accommodation(s). 

 

5)  TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS

One of the most utilized accommodations is testing.  If a student in your class requires extended time on tests, a quiet location (a testing room in the Office of Academic Support), a scribe, the use of technology such as a word processor or a screen reader, etc., you will be asked to provide a copy of the quiz/test to Disability Services.   The student should remind you to deliver the quiz/test to Disability Services every time a quiz or test is scheduled. 

 

Delivery can be made in whatever way you choose: 

-  Hand-deliver to the first floor of Seton Hall to the Office of Academic Support (OAS). 

-  Email to Disability Services at disabilityservices@niagara.edu

-  Fax to 716-286-8063.                                        

 

Please indicate special instructions on each test such as: 

-  Permission to use specific course materials.

-  The use of formula sheets, calculator, etc. 

 

Students are expected to take exams at the regularly scheduled class time, unless they have their professor’s approval to take the exam at a different time.  In some circumstances (e.g., courses back to back, evening exams), a student may need to begin an exam early in order to have enough time to complete it. 

 

Know that each test is proctored by a professional staff member and, once completed, is hand-delivered to office coordinators with an exam receipt.   

 

6)  STUDENTS WITH TEMPORARY DISABILITIES

If you have a student with a temporary disability, such as a broken arm or leg, you can refer that student to our office.   On a temporary basis, we may help the student with accommodations such as testing (e.g. scribe, word processor) or notetaking.   Students with temporary mobility impairments can also be provided with assistance and resources navigating the campus.

 

7)  FACULTY INFORMATION

Please check out the “Information for Faculty” located at the OAS web site at:  http://www.niagara.edu/oas-disability-services/.  This site includes:

  • Information on various disabilities and instructional considerations for learning disabilities, ADHD, psychological disabilities, systemic disabilities, and mobility and dexterity impairments.
  • A resource section that includes information on accommodating students with disabilities, rights and responsibilities of faculty, and resources on helping faculty to more fully include students with disabilities in course activities.
  • A section that includes a list of practical questions faculty can ask any student regarding class scheduling, program planning, etc. that may be especially helpful for a student with a disability.
  • Information about the Attendance Accommodation Policy and Procedures, passed by Academic Senate in October 2008.

 

8)  ADA CLASSROOM DESKS/TABLES

Adjustable height desks/tables are located throughout classrooms on campus.   These desks and tables are reserved for people with disabilities.  They should not be moved from the classroom or adjusted.     

 

9) ELEVATOR BREAKDOWNS

Elevator breakdowns may constitute temporary access barriers for students with mobility disabilities. Students may miss critical course information, be unable to take scheduled exams or pop quizzes, or be unable to give required presentations. In such circumstances, the student should contact the instructor as soon as possible. He or she should request some assistance in obtaining course notes or rescheduling an exam or presentation. If needed, the student can also contact Disability Services for assistance.  The student should not be adversely affected in terms of attendance. Most elevator breakdowns last only a few hours.

 

Extended Elevator Repairs

  • In rare instances, breakdowns can be of an indeterminate duration.  If a student’s attendance is affected for more than a few days, it may be necessary to temporarily relocate a class to ensure full participation of all students.  Please contact Disability Services for more information.