Information for Prospective Students and Families
Middlebury College has adopted the following two-stage process for making reasonable accommodations to promote the accessibility of its programs for students with qualifying disabilities:
a. Prior to matriculation, each admitted student receives access to an Accommodation Request Form. Each student requesting accommodation must complete this form, which requires, among other things:
i. a description of the disability, including the manner in which the disability limits major life activities relevant to a student's participation in Middlebury's programs;
ii.a description of the specific accommodations requested. (Additional copies of this form are available from Student Accessibility Services.)
b. The form must be accompanied by documentation consisting of report(s) from objective professionals qualified to diagnose the disability at issue, verifying the nature and extent of the disability, and the manner in which the disability limits major life activities relevant to a student's participation in Middlebury's programs (see Documentation, below).
c. The Accommodation Request Form and documentation should be submitted to Student Accessibility Services immediately in order to facilitate the accommodation process being completed in as timely a manner as reasonably possible.
d. The ADA Committee reviews the request for accommodation, and the accompanying documentation, and pursues one of the following courses of action:
i. certifies the student's eligibility for accommodation under the ADA; or
ii. finds that there is insufficient evidence to certify the student's eligibility, and
(a) denies the student's request for accommodation and informs the student of the available channels of appeal; or
(b) requests additional information.
Once a student has been certified as eligible for accommodation, the ADA Committee:
a. reviews the student's request for accommodation(s);
b. works with the student, and other appropriate members of the Middlebury community, to formulate a proposed course of action that would constitute a reasonable accommodation of the student's disability, in view of the nature and extent of the disability, the student's compensatory skills, and course or program requirements;
Note: The ADA Committee reserves the right to recommend accommodations that differ from the specific approaches suggested by the student, or by individuals documenting the student's disability, so long as the accommodations proposed by the ADA Committee achieve the objective of program accessibility as required by law.
If accommodations acceptable to the student cannot be developed through cooperative dialogue, the student may appeal the decision of the ADA Committee through the Appeals Process described in Section G of the ADA Policy and Procedures.
Middlebury requires appropriately current documentation of any or all disabilities for which accommodation is requested, provided at the expense of the student requesting accommodation, prior to determining what services and accommodations may be undertaken for students with qualifying disabilities. Documentation of disability furnished by the student and/or developed by the ADA Committee will be kept confidential and will be shared only with Middlebury personnel involved with the coordination and facilitation of services and accommodations (including faculty to the extent noted in Section III. E.), except as is otherwise required by law or a health or safety issue. Since insufficient information may jeopardize the accommodations process, Middlebury reserves the right to request additional documentation considered necessary to the formulation of a reasonable and appropriate accommodation plan. The cost of obtaining any such additional documentation shall be borne by the student. Middlebury also reserves the right to request an independent evaluation by a professional of its choosing. The cost of obtaining any such independent evaluation shall be borne by Middlebury. Students should note that documentation supplied voluntarily as part of the process of applying to Middlebury is not part of the student's permanent record and is not ordinarily made available to the ADA Committee.
Generally, documentation verifying the disability must:
1. be prepared by an objective professional qualified in the diagnoses of such conditions;
2. include information regarding the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results, and a written interpretation of these results as they pertain to an educational environment and/or participation in the Middlebury's programs;
3. reflect the individual's present level of functioning in the areas related to the particular accommodations being sought;
4. be appropriately recent.
The ADA Committee ultimately determines whether the documentation submitted is adequate to support a requested accommodation and whether the individual preparing the documentation is qualified to make the diagnosis at issue.
Where a student seeks accommodation for a learning disability, the student must provide professional testing and evaluation results which reflect the student's present level of processing information and present achievement level.
The four criteria necessary to establish a student's eligibility for learning disability adjustments or accommodations are: (1) average or above average intelligence as measured by a standardized intelligence test which includes assessment of verbal and nonverbal abilities; (2) the presence of cognitive-achievement discrepancy or an inter-cognitive discrepancy indicated by a score on a standardized test of achievement which is 1.5 standard deviations or more below the level corresponding to a student's sub-scale or full-scale IQ; (3) the presence of disorders in cognitive or sensory processing such as those related to memory, language, or attention; and (4) an absence of other primary factors leading to achievement below expectations such as visual or auditory disabilities, emotional or behavior disorders, a lack of opportunity to learn due to cultural or socio-economic circumstances, or deficiencies in intellectual ability.
Documentation verifying the learning disability must:
1. be prepared by an objective professional qualified to diagnose a learning disability, including but not limited to a licensed physician, learning disability specialist, or psychologist;
2. include the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results, and a written interpretation of the test results by the professional;
3. reflect the individual's present level of functioning in the achievement areas of: reading comprehension, reading rate, written expression, writing mechanics and vocabulary, writing, grammar, and spelling; and
4. reflect the individual's present level of functioning in the areas of intelligence and processing skills; and
5. be appropriately recent.
The ADA Committee ultimately determines whether the documentation submitted is adequate to support a requested accommodation and whether the individual preparing the documentation is qualified to diagnose the learning disability at issue.
The assessment must provide data that supports the requests for any academic adjustment. In the event that a student requests an academic adjustment or accommodation that is not supported by the data in the assessment, or if the initial verification is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability, then it is incumbent on the student to obtain supplemental testing or assessment at the student's expense.
If Middlebury requires an additional assessment for purposes of obtaining a second professional opinion, then Middlebury shall bear any cost not covered by any third party payer.