Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Converse will make reasonable accommodations within its academic programs for otherwise qualified students with documented disabilities. However, students and parents should understand that accommodations provided in elementary and secondary schools under P.L. 94.142 (IDEA) are not necessarily required by law under the ADA or Section 504 or provided by Converse. Many of the practices and procedures of special education (goal setting, progress reports, team meetings, program and exam modifications, related services, and annual reviews) have no parallels in higher education. Behavior standards are the same for all students. Converse does not provide transportation for students. Personal care attendants, orientation/ mobility training and tutors are considered personal services in higher education and are the student’s responsibility.

Although Converse offers no specialized services for students with disabilities, we will provide them equal access to the services offered to all students. All students are eligible to use group tutoring sessions

in selected disciplines, offered several hours per week during the academic year by peer tutors, as well as services through the Division of Student Development and Success. Requests for course substitutions are evaluated individually, on the basis of documentation provided, but the college is not required to fundamentally alter essential course/program requirements.

Testing to determine the need for accommodations is the student’s responsibility and is not provided by Converse. IEP’s or 504 plans do not automatically meet the documentation requirements for receiving accommodations in higher education. Documentation from an appropriate, licensed professional or agency is required in order to determine reasonable accommodations necessary to serve a student with a disability. Diagnostic evaluations or reports should be current, in most cases within three years, and should be sent directly from the qualified professional to the Assistant Dean of Academic Support and Accommodations. The documentation should indicate diagnosis, describe the manifestations of and the extent of the disability, and make recommendations for reasonable accommodations the professional deems necessary to assist the student with a disability in the college setting. A current comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation is required for learning disabilities and is strongly recommended for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Students should complete a Request for Accommodations Form on my.converse and submit supporting documentation to the Assistant Dean of Academic Support and Accommodations at least thirty working days prior to the first day of class in order to allow time for review and consultation, as needed, with the student, professors, counselors, psychological consultants, and Director of Health Services, to prepare an appropriate accommodation plan and to secure available support services and/or equipment. This deadline is for administrative purposes only and does not preclude admission to programs or services. Requests for accommodations after the deadline will be reviewed in as expedient a manner as possible, but an accommodation plan may not be in place prior to the first day of class. All information and records regarding students with disabilities, including accommodations for them, are strictly confidential, and the Division of Student Development and Success complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Records are stored in a secure location and reviewed only by authorized personnel.

It is the student’s responsibility to discuss accommodations with each professor at the beginning of each term. If a student has concerns about or encounters problems with accommodations during the term, the student should contact the Assistant Dean of Academic Support and Accommodations so accommodations may be appropriately adjusted. A student who is not satisfied with accommodations may contact either the ADA or Section 504 Compliance Officer indicated above and initiate the student grievance procedure as outlined in the Student Handbook.