Rights and Obligations Regarding Appropriate Academic Adjustments
A college student with a disability has the right to appropriate academic adjustments under Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The director of Disability Support Services (DSS) makes decisions regarding the nature of the adjustments. Provisions protecting the student from discrimination on the basis of a disability are guaranteed. The student has the right to file a grievance concerning any allegation of failure to comply with the laws, regulations and procedures set forth for people with disabilities. Grievances will be processed through the existing discrimination grievance policy and procedures for Seminole State.
Students with disabilities must demonstrate that they have acquired the same amount of content knowledge as the other students enrolled in the class from which they are requesting adjustments. Students with disabilities are obligated to use the adjustment responsibly. Adjustments must be requested in advance, allowing sufficient time for instructors to arrange for the modifications requested. It is the student's responsibility to utilize the services and keep in close contact with DSS.
A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is trained to perform assistive tasks for an individual with a disability. These tasks may include guiding a person who is visually impaired or blind, alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure or blood sugar issue, retrieving objects, or performing other assistive tasks related to an individual’s disability. Federal law references service dogs, but Seminole State College recognizes the broader Florida statutory definition of service animals to include miniature horses. The College will determine whether an animal meets the definition of a service animal within this procedure.
Seminole State College protects the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors by prohibiting animals on campus. There are exceptions under limited circumstances furthering the interests of the College. The College may permit the presence of animals for educational purposes, compliance with statutory requirements, and other activities approved by the College. The purpose of this procedure is to define guidelines for the limited presence of animals on campus. For complete information, please view Animals on Campus (Procedure 6.0220).
Complaints of Discrimination: An individual who has a complaint of discrimination based on race, color, religion, pregnancy, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, veterans' or military status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, or any other protected factor may discuss the situation with the Equity Coordinator. For details on the procedure for making a complaint of discrimination, refer to the College’s Resolving Discrimination Concerns Procedure 1.0600 and Student Concerns and Complaints Procedure 3.0800. If you have a student concern or complaint, complete the Written Statement of Student Concern or Complaint form.
The College is committed to resolve concerns and issues in a timely manner. If you have a problem with a disability-related issue, please follow these steps:
- Report your problem to the Disability Support Service Specialist at your campus.
- If the Disability Support Service Specialist at your campus is not able to help you resolve the concern or issue, contact the director of Disability Support Services at 407.708.2505 or the assistant director at 407.708.2109
The College will make every effort to resolve any concerns or issues by informal means. Students should expect to be treated with respect, receive a response in a timely manner and have the issues handled with confidentiality. Seminole State College expects students to bring up any concerns or issues early, give clear and detailed information, follow appropriate procedures and act in a respectable manner with all people who are involved.
If you believe that your complaint has not been addressed satisfactorily after exhausting the College's complaint or grievance procedures, you may also file a complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights at:
Atlanta Office; U.S. Department of Education
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T70
Atlanta, GA 30303-3104
You can also get in touch with the Office for Civil Rights via the following methods.
Faculty Members' Rights and Responsibilities
When a request for an adjustment for a specific course is received, faculty members may require verification of the disability from DSS in the form of a letter. The adjustment requested must not compromise the content of the course or the requirements for satisfactory course completion.
Confidentiality is an extremely important issue when interacting with any student. Students with disabilities may be guarded in the information that they may want to share. It is important to respect a student's right to exercise personal discretion in the disclosure of individual disabilities. Students are under the protection of confidentiality laws and need not disclose the specific nature of the disability.
Waivers or substitutions for established graduation requirements may be requested by students with disabilities in written petitions made through the Course Substitution Committee for Students with Disabilities. The disability documentation provided must show that the person's failure to meet the graduation requirement does not constitute a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program.
According to Florida statute s. 1007.265:
“Any student with a disability, as defined in s. 1007.02(2), in a public postsecondary educational institution, shall be eligible for reasonable substitution for any requirement for graduation, for admission into a program of study, or for entry into the upper division where documentation can be provided that the person’s failure to meet the requirement is related to the disability and where failure to meet the graduation requirement or program admission requirement does not constitute a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program.” (s.1007.265)
To request a course substitution, students who meet eligibility requirements for requesting course substitution must:
- Meet with the Disability Support Services director or designee to discuss their individual situations and to determine required documentation. If appropriate documentation has not already been submitted, it must be provided at this time.
- Provide current, relevant and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. This documentation must show that the disability can be reasonably expected to prevent the student from meeting the degree requirement(s) for which a substitution is being requested.
- Submit the request to the director of Disability Support Services or to the designee in writing. Provide a one-to-two-page explanation of why a substitution based upon a documented disability is necessary. Explain what attempts, if any, have been made to meet the requirement and the challenges encountered. If an attempt to satisfy the requirement has not been made, explain. It is recommended that students carefully proofread their requests. Include an unofficial copy of the transcript along with the request.
- Upon receipt of the student’s written request and all required documentation, a committee consisting of the associate vice president of Arts and Sciences, the appropriate associate dean and the director of Disability Support Services will review the requests. If necessary, the Committee will consult with the appropriate licensed professionals and/or College personnel to make informed decisions.
- Students will be notified in writing within two (2) weeks of the Committee’s decisions. The Registrar will be notified in writing of the Committee’s decisions in order to update student records and transcripts.
- A list of courses has been approved by the appropriate academic departments as substitutions for graduation requirements. For a current list of approved course substitutions, contact Disability Support Services. This list will be updated as necessary or required. If the student believes that another course meets the criteria of the course required in the degree, the student may request a substitution for that specific course.
For more information and to view Procedure 3.0600 that explains Accommodation of Disabled Students, Courses Substitutions, Appeals Procedure and other information please see "Accommodation of Disabled Students (Procedure 3.0600)".
Disability Support Services will keep your disability-related documentation on file for five years after your graduation and/or last enrollment. After five years without enrollment or academic activity, your disability documentation will be destroyed.
- If you would like to release your documentation to an agency or individual, please fill out this form.
Under Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); the Florida Educational Equity Act; and other state statutes; the College has a responsibility to accommodate and provide access to students with disabilities.