Students with Disabilities
College of the Ozarks is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities to qualified students with physical or mental disabilities as intended by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.
Agencies that provide Federal financial assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive Federal aid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations.
A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities. The type of disability determines the appropriate accommodations. Commonly requested academic accommodations include:
- Seating in a particular section of the classroom,
- Access to enlarged print materials,
- Extended time for completing exams and other in class activities,
- Testing in a location other than the classroom,
- Access to an elevator,
- Audio recordings of reading material,
- Audio recording of class lectures,
- Someone to record class notes,
- Provision of a tutor.
Appropriate accommodations will be determined on a case by case basis through conversation between the student and the College. While the College aims to accommodate students to help them be academically successful, not all accommodation requests will be granted, and the College will not fundamentally alter its programs in order to accommodate a student.
Students are responsible for providing appropriate documentation of disability and of the need for accommodation. Appropriate documentation will vary depending on the situation and claimed disability, and may include an official medical diagnosis, psychological evaluations, high school IEP, etc. Certain disabilities that are more obvious in nature may require less documentation.
Granted accommodations are not effective retroactively, and do not cover academic activities assigned and/or completed before the student asked for and received accommodations.
Students interested in academic accommodation should contact the Dean of the College Office. Upon submission of appropriate documentation, the staff in the dean's office will work with the student to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations. At the beginning of each semester, students should visit the office in order to sign a form granting permission for the office to notify the students' professors of the agreed upon accommodations. If a student is not satisfied with the accommodations being offered, he or she should request a meeting with the Dean of the College to discuss these concerns.
The same process applies to requests for accommodation in the student's work station and for general accessibility issues. For work station accommodation, contact the Dean of Work Education. For physical accessibility only, contact the Dean of Students Office.
Students with disabilities are also advised to take advantage of programs and courses offered to all students, for instance the The Writing Center, math and science review sessions, counseling center, and use of work processing software with spell and grammar checking.