Disability Support Services
Seminole State's Disability Support Services (DSS) Office serves as an advocate for students with disabilities and provides academic support services such as interpreters, note-takers, tutors and testing accommodations. DSS coordinates services with area agencies and collaborates with College departments to help faculty and students create a positive learning environment. DSS also suggests strategies that can be used to make the classroom user-friendly and help students understand their rights and responsibilities.
By law, students who have disabilities are not required to identify themselves as having a disability. Although encouraged to register with DSS immediately upon entrance to Seminole State, it is not uncommon for students to forgo seeking assistance until they experience difficulties with coursework.
To be eligible for disability-related services, individuals must have a documented disability as defined by applicable federal and state laws. Services are available to students whose disabilities include, but are not limited to, hearing impairments, physical impairments, specific learning disabilities, speech impairments, visual impairments or other disabilities that require administrative or academic accommodations. Individuals seeking services are required to provide recent documentation from an appropriate licensed professional qualified to make a diagnosis.
Students who have a disability that may require special assistance must contact DSS, make an appointment for an intake interview and bring appropriate disability documentation verifying the disability. Reasonable accommodation requests must be supported by current documentation. All information is confidential and will be used only to assist the student.
Steps necessary to register for services and receive academic accommodations:
1. Contact and meet with a DSS specialist at any of the Seminole State College campuses. Students should contact the DSS office at their preferred campus to schedule an intake appointment.
2. Complete the self-assessment and DSS accommodation questionnaire and release of information form.
3. Provide up-to-date, current documentation from a licensed professional (see documentation guidelines on the Disability Support Services website). The appropriate clinical documentation should substantiate the disability and present evidence to establish a rationale supporting the need for accommodations. A school plan such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan is insufficient documentation in and of itself but can be included as part of a more evaluative report.
4. After documentation is evaluated, contact and meet with the DSS specialist to discuss any accommodations that may be necessary. DSS will make the final determination of whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided to the individual based on the information received.
Until all steps of the registration process have been completed, the student will be considered pending with DSS and will not be eligible for services or accommodations. The student may, however, begin the process again at any time.
Substitutions to the Degree Requirements
Course substitutions will be considered for those students who have documented disabilities. Per Revised Board Rule 6A-10.041 (effective 10/25/10), documentation must "substantiate that the disability can be reasonably expected to prevent the individual from meeting requirements for...graduation."
Course substitutions will only be granted in cases where the modification does not constitute a fundamental alteration in the nature of the college program or when the academic requirement(s) are not essential to the program of study being pursued by the student or to meet licensing or certification requirements.
Students requesting a course substitution must provide the current, relevant and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. This documentation must substantiate that the disability can be reasonably expected to prevent the student from meeting the degree requirement(s) for which a substitution is being requested.
Additional information is available in College Procedure 3.0600, Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.