Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
I. Position Statement
II. Nature and Scope of Policy
A. Certification and Accommodation
B. Role of the ADA Committee
C. Role of the ADA Coordinator
D. Role of the Student
E. Role of the Faculty
G. Appeals Process
H. Disability-related Harassment or Discrimination Complaints
I. Student Records
A. Classroom Access for Students with Disabilities
B. The Office of Learning Resources
C. Assisted Registration Services
D. Auxiliary Services/Aids
1. Interpreter Services
2. Note Taker/Scribe Services
3. Reader Services
4. Tutoring Services
E. Instructional Adaptations
F. Course Load
G. Course Withdrawal
H. Time Extensions
I. Provisional Services
Food Allergy Accommodations
Residential Life Accommodations
Diagnostic Evaluation Services
Parton Center for Health and Wellness
V. Assistance for Students with Temporary Impairments
Appendix A: Admissions for Students with Disabilities
Appendix B. Special Needs Identification Form
Middlebury College recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, and similar state laws (hereinafter "applicable law" or "law[s]"), which are designed to eliminate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Disabilities may include physical or mental impairments which substantially limit one or more of a person's major life activities, and which necessitate modifications to the facilities, programs, or services of the College. Middlebury College is committed to making reasonable accommodations for qualifying students, faculty, and employees with disabilities as required by applicable laws. Middlebury College is committed to making the campus and its facilities accessible as required by applicable laws. The College cannot make accommodations that are unreasonable, unduly burdensome or that fundamentally alter the nature of the College's programs.
While responsibility for the accommodation of students with qualifying disabilities must be assumed and shared by all members of the College community, the College has established a process that is designed to facilitate the reasonable accommodation of students with disabilities. An ADA Committee of faculty and staff, appointed by the president, certifies eligibility for accommodation under the ADA for students presenting documented evidence of qualifying disabilities, and reviews and acts upon all student requests for reasonable accommodations. Further, the ADA Committee, in consultation with appropriate campus personnel, facilitates the implementation of accommodations that have been deemed reasonable and appropriate in light of the nature of a student's disability and in consideration of the individual's academic requirements. The ADA Committee also serves as a resource to students and faculty on issues of accommodation and helps to coordinate the implementation of other approved accommodations within other sectors of the institution.
Faculty, staff, and other College employees who have ADA related concerns are currently assisted by Human Resources.
As noted in the Position Statement, Middlebury College recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and is committed to making reasonable accommodations for students and employees with qualifying disabilities as required by these laws. Because the College's Position and Policy are intended to be co-existent with the requirements of applicable laws, nothing in this policy is intended to provide less substantive benefits or procedural protections than are required by these laws. Likewise, nothing in this policy is intended to provide greater substantive benefits or procedural protections than are required by these laws. This also means that the College's ADA Policy and Procedures may have limited or no applicability to the College's study abroad or other programs operated outside the United States. However, practical considerations of style and a desire to present information to the College community in a useful, efficient manner dictate that the precise wording of these laws is not restated verbatim in all provisions of this policy.
Therefore, the specific language of such laws and controlling interpretations thereof are incorporated by reference herein, and in the event of any apparent discrepancy between the language of this policy and such legal authority, the College's obligations will be determined exclusively by the latter.
A. Certification and Accommodation
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 a Special Needs Identification 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 Special Needs Identification 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 College 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 this document.
The ADA Committee certifies eligibility and coordinates services and accommodations for students with qualifying physical disabilities, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, psychological disabilities, medical disabilities, other qualifying disabilities, and covered students in drug or alcohol recovery. Sectors of the College that may be called upon by the ADA Committee to assist with the implementation of accommodations include, but are not limited to:
· Language Schools
· Bread Loaf School of English
· Bread Loaf Writer's Conference
· Office of the Dean of the College
· Commons Deans and Administration
· Counseling and Human Relations Center
· Health Center
· Office of Learning Resources
· Scheduling Office
· Facilities Services
· Media Services
· Academic advisers
The ADA Committee also undertakes to educate members of the College community about their rights and responsibilities under the ADA by formulating and publicizing policies and procedures and by facilitating the organization of activities to increase awareness of disability issues.
C. Role of the ADA Coordinator
The ADA Coordinator works in the Office of Institutional Diversity. The ADA Coordinator provides staff support to the ADA Committee by facilitating communication among its members and by maintaining records of its proceedings and decisions. The ADA Coordinator coordinates and administers ADA-related note-taking, reader, scribe, and interpreter services and ADA equipment services. The ADA Coordinator also serves as a liaison between students, faculty, staff, Facilities Management, the Admissions Office, the Office of Learning Resources, Residential Life, Commons Administration and Deans, Counseling and Human Relations, Office of the Dean of the College, College Advancement, Media Services, LIS, the Health Center, and the ADA Committee. The ADA Coordinator is the primary intake person for ADA-related issues and may also be able to provide information on ADA-related issues to members of the campus and local community.
D. Role of the Student
Middlebury College neither imposes accommodations on its students nor pre-empts their responsibilities, as legal and social adults, to identify their special needs and to ensure that these needs are being met.
It is the student's responsibility to initiate the certification process described above by:
1. completing the Special Needs Identification Form in a timely manner;
2. ensuring that Student Accessibility Services has received appropriately current, adequate and comprehensive medical and/or psychological documentation of a disability and the manner in which it limits a major function relevant to the student's participation in Middlebury's programs.
A student who has received disability certification must work cooperatively with designated staff and faculty to determine and sustain reasonable and appropriate academic accommodations. Once a written accommodation plan has been agreed upon by the student and the ADA Committee, the student is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that the plan is meeting his or her special needs. Students are therefore responsible for: (1) communicating with faculty; (2) keeping appointments with faculty and designated staff to avoid delays in implementation; and (3) conferring with faculty and Student Accessibility Services regularly regarding the effectiveness of accommodations.
If a student perceives a need for additional accommodations or for the modification of existing accommodations, the student must request, in writing, a revision of the accommodation plan. Such requests should be addressed to the ADA Committee through Student Accessibility Services.
Providing proper accommodations requires timely student input. Immediate accommodations may be impossible to facilitate. Students who have received disability certification are encouraged to contact their professors at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for the academic accommodations for which they have been approved. Such arrangements should be made at least 5 business days in advance of when the requested accommodation will be needed. It may not be possible to arrange accommodations requested on shorter notice.
· all otherwise qualified students are provided with equal access to the essential course content, and
· the impact of the disability on the student's learning and/or academic performance is mitigated without compromising course or program integrity.
Accommodations may involve modifications of the ways in which material is presented or learning is evaluated; however, accommodations which compromise the essential integrity of a course shall not be required of faculty of Middlebury College.
Faculty are encouraged to communicate with the ADA Coordinator concerning any accommodation request. The ADA Coordinator shall communicate with faculty within the limitations of privacy laws. The fact, nature, and/or extent of a disability which has been certified by the ADA Committee is not subject to challenge by faculty, nor may faculty review the underlying documentation of a disability without written consent of the student. The staff of the ADA Committee may provide faculty with information about the disability where necessary to implement the recommended accommodations.
Faculty also have the right to receive a status report of a student accommodation request and clarification of recommended accommodations. Also, they may suggest alternative accommodations they think more appropriate in light of the nature of the course or program. Alternative accommodations must be as appropriate and as effective in mitigating the effects of a disability as those initially recommended by the ADA Committee. Faculty are, in turn, encouraged in appropriate situations to share with the ADA Committee information about the course and/or program, so that the ADA Committee is better able to make appropriate accommodation recommendations. A cooperative effort should meet the needs of the student to the extent appropriate, maintaining the integrity of the academic course and/or program, and keeping Middlebury College in compliance with the law. Faculty may also request the involvement of the Dean of Faculty (or designee) in discussions with the ADA Committee.
Accommodations normally should be implemented as soon as reasonably possible after the faculty member has received the accommodation recommendation in writing from Student Accessibility Services. If no further consultation occurs between a faculty member and the ADA Coordinator, it is presumed that the accommodations will be provided as delineated. Undue delays in the implementation of accommodations should be avoided, as they may undermine a student’s ability to fairly access the content of a course.
If a student approaches a faculty member directly to request an accommodation related to a physical or mental impairment, the faculty member must explain the certification/accommodation process of the College and direct the student to the ADA Coordinator. A faculty member is not individually authorized to agree to provide a student with a requested accommodation.
The College 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 College 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, the College 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. The College 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 the College. Students should note that documentation supplied voluntarily as part of the process of applying to Middlebury College 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 College'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 the College requires an additional assessment for purposes of obtaining a second professional opinion, then the College shall bear any cost not covered by any third party payer.
G. Appeals Process
A student may appeal any written decision of the ADA Committee. Appeals may be based upon newly discovered evidence; a challenge to an ADA Committee decision not to certify a disability; a challenge to an ADA Committee decision not to provide a particular accommodation; and issues regarding documentation of disabilities.
The President of Middlebury College shall appoint an ADA Appellate Officer to consider all appeals from ADA Committee decisions. No member of the ADA Committee shall be eligible for such appointment. The Appellate Officer shall be recused where a conflict of interest exists or when the Appellate Officer otherwise has reason not to review a particular case. The president shall appoint a substitute Appellate Officer in such cases.
All appeals shall be submitted in writing to the ADA Coordinator within five days after the student (hereafter appellant) receives written notification of the challenged ADA Committee decision. The ADA Coordinator will forward the written appeal and relevant appellant records to the Appellate Officer, usually within three working days after receipt of any appeal. The ADA Coordinator shall provide any available additional documents or information that is requested by the Appellate Officer in writing, after notification to the appellant. Appellants are encouraged to submit a complete statement outlining the reasons supporting reconsideration of the challenged decision.
In reaching a decision, the Appellate Officer may, at his/her discretion, rely solely on the written record and any statement by the appellant. As noted above, after written notification to the appellant and the ADA Coordinator, the Appellate Officer may request additional information. Hearings and oral presentations shall be conducted only at the discretion of the Appellate Officer, and the nature of any such proceedings shall be determined at the discretion of the Appellate Officer. The Appellate Officer completes hearings and presentations, usually within five working days of receiving all appeal materials from the ADA Coordinator; however, this period may be longer due to circumstances such as unavailability of the Appellate Officer, unavailability of the student, or unavailability of witnesses deemed necessary by the Appellate Officer.
All appeals shall be decided as soon as possible, but generally in a time period not to exceed three days from the Appellant Officer's receipt of all information from the ADA Coordinator and the appellant, and the completion of any hearing testimony or oral presentations. The ADA Committee may, at its discretion, provide temporary relief upon request, pending an appeal. Temporary relief pending an appeal shall not be available from the Appellate Officer. The Appellate Officer shall notify the appellant, the ADA Coordinator, and the ADA Committee in writing of all decisions.
The Appellate Officer may: (1) remand the decision to the ADA Committee for reevaluation with or without recommendations (the ADA Committee will usually, absent extenuating circumstances, complete its reevaluation within five days), (2) grant the requested relief of the appellant, including ADA certification and/or accommodations or (3) uphold the ADA Committee's original decision.
The time periods stated herein for action on the part of the ADA Committee, coordinator, and Appellate Officer are advisory rather than mandatory, and any extensions thereof will be construed to invalidate an appellate or committee decision only where substantial prejudice is demonstrated by the student.
The ADA Committee shall be responsible for implementing all appeals decisions. Decisions of the Appellate Officer are final.
H. Complaints regarding Disability-related Harassment or Discrimination
In addition to the above-stated appeals process regarding accommodations decision, students who feel that they have been harassed or discriminated against on the basis of their disability, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the ADA, or other applicable law, may file a formal or informal complaint under the College's Harassment Policy and Procedure, as set forth in the Middlebury College Handbook.
Records pertaining to a student are disposed of five years after the student's graduation or five years from the student's last contact with Student Accessibility Services after leaving the College. Students may stipulate that information may not be discussed with their parents without the student's written release.
The following are examples of accommodations which, in appropriate cases, would preserve essential academic program requirements while minimizing the effect of a certified disability upon a student's performance. These examples are not intended to be exhaustive, or appropriate in all cases; each student's needs are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Middlebury College is responsible for ensuring that programs and activities are accessible to qualifying students with disabilities. Accommodations may include, for example, relocation of classes.
The College may be responsible for relocation of classes when the inaccessibility of the classroom prohibits class attendance for the disabled student. Examples of problems with access can include:
· classes located in buildings without ramps or elevators;
· classes held in locations temporarily inaccessible due to construction;
· classes held in locations too distant for the student to reach in the time available;
· classes located in places where there are safety concerns, such as those resulting from isolation, darkness, etc.;
· classes held in locations with inadequate acoustics or lighting, or where other aspects of the physical environment would deny substantial access to students with qualifying disability.
When class locations are found to be problematic, Student Accessibility Services will work with the class scheduling officer and the faculty involved in facilitating reasonable accommodations which may include rescheduling the class in another location. However, relocation or rescheduling would not be a required reasonable accommodation if such changes would fundamentally alter the nature of a class or program.
· promotes mutual understanding between students and their instructors concerning a disability's possible impact on performance,
· serves as a resource to the student and the faculty member in developing teaching and learning strategies that facilitate the student's access to the course material.
· provides student skills education for all students without discrimination on the basis of disability.
The Office of the Dean of the College and the Office of Learning Resources will also collaborate with students and their faculty advisers to tailor the academic program, including courses and load selected, appropriately in light of a student's disability, and in light of the essential requirements of the academic program.
Student Accessibility Services will work with the Registrar’s Office to assist with registration when a student's disability necessitates such services (e.g., to ensure physical access, appropriate course load, interpreter services, etc.). To receive assisted registration, students must first arrange to meet with staff from the Office of Learning Resources in a timely manner to review the courses the student wishes to enroll in. Assisted registration will not allow students to enroll in courses in which they might not otherwise be eligible to enroll.
1. Interpreter Services
Interpreter services, such as American Sign Language, Signed English, or Oral Interpreting services of professional, certified sign language interpreters will be provided on the basis described below for all course related activities (e.g., class sessions, meetings with faculty, or required attendance at out-of-class activities), when the provision of such services is determined by the ADA Committee to be a reasonable accommodation. Documentation of the need for such services must be provided to the ADA Committee, and requests for interpreters must be made at least one month before classes begin, due to the limited availability of interpreters. Unavailability of professional interpreters could prevent or complicate the provision of interpreter services.
Interpreter services may also be provided for campus-wide/College-sponsored events when feasible, and if such services are requested in a timely fashion. A written justification for the request must be submitted to the ADA Coordinator.
Students who are eligible for funding for interpreter services from the vocational rehabilitation agency in their home state are encouraged to seek such funding for class interpretation. If such funding is unavailable, if the student does not wish to seek it, or if the full costs of funding are not available through the state, Middlebury College will assume the differential expense or expense of interpreter services for the course-related activities of matriculated students. Interpreter costs for campus events are the responsibility of the sponsoring department or group and should be budgeted in event planning.
Qualifying students will ordinarily be provided with one interpreter for classes less than two hours in duration. For classes two hours or more in duration, two interpreters will ordinarily be provided. Interpreters working alone in classes over one hour in duration must be provided by faculty with at least a ten minute mid-session break. Faculty may need to take such break time into consideration in course planning. When possible students and instructors should plan meeting times and discussion group sessions immediately before or after classes when interpreters are available. The ADA Coordinator will provide faculty with information about the interpreting process before each semester.
2. Note Taker/Scribe Services
Note-takers from among the other students enrolled in a course will be sought to assist students with motor, hearing, emotional, processing, or other disabilities, when the provision of such service is determined by the ADA Committee to be a reasonable accommodation. The arrangements will be made by the course instructor, and the ADA Coordinator, and note-takers will be introduced confidentially to the student for whom the service is provided. The College will provide the note-taker with compensation in consideration of the services rendered. Student Accessibility Services will also arrange for the provision of scribes for course examinations, when such services are requested in a timely manner, and when such services have been determined by the ADA Committee to be a reasonable accommodation.
Where a particular accommodation results in a verbatim transcription of a classroom lecture or presentation, students should recognize that such lectures or presentations are the intellectual property of the individual professor, Middlebury College, and/or both, and that the copying, publication or distribution of transcripts to anyone, without prior written approval of the College and the professor, is prohibited.
3. Reader Services
Reader services will be provided for students with reading, visual, visual processing, or other disabilities, when deemed a reasonable accommodation. Textbooks on tape, when available, will be supplied from national tape lending libraries or will be recorded by paid student recorders. When appropriate, students will be provided with readers for exams, when requested in a timely manner. These arrangements will be made by the course instructor and Student Accessibility Services and will be paid for by Student Accessibility Services .
4. Tutoring Service
Middlebury College does not provide individual tutorial assistance tailored to the special needs of students with learning disabilities or other disabilities. The College does provide peer tutors through the Office of Learning Resources for the benefit of all students, without discrimination on the basis of disability. Auxiliary services such as interpreters, etc., will be provided in connection with a student’s use of peer tutoring if deemed by the ADA Committee to be a reasonable accommodation.
The College will provide reasonable modifications of equipment utilized by students for class and study activities. Auxiliary equipment needed by students for classroom use will be made available upon request to the ADA Committee when such aids are determined to be a reasonable accommodation. Personal equipment such as tape recorders, hearing aids, etc., are the responsibility of the student.
E. Instructional Adaptations
In establishing appropriate and effective accommodations, the ADA Committee will work with faculty to ensure that modifications do not compromise academic standards or affect essential program requirements. Faculty may be asked to make modifications in their course materials, lecture or lab presentation, and examination format or location if such modification would not compromise academic standards or affect essential program requirements.
F. Course Load
Students with certified disabilities may, upon recommendation of the ADA Committee, seek approval from the Administration Committee to enroll in an academic program consisting of fewer than 3 courses per semester. Eligible students will be considered to have full-time status and will be eligible for all benefits available to other full-time students at the College.
G. Course Withdrawal
Upon recommendation from the ADA Committee, students with disabilities may request course withdrawals after the deadline when extenuating circumstances involving a student’s disability necessitate a withdrawal. Poor grades alone are not a reason to request a course withdrawal. Requests for course withdrawals will be considered by the Administration Committee under procedures parallel to those for medical withdrawals.
Extended time on exams at Middlebury College shall not exceed double time. Double time is defined as no more than twice the amount of time allocated for the original exam.
Student Accessibility Services and/or ADA Committee will support requests for extensions for assignments on a case-by-case basis. Student Accessibility Services and/or ADA Committee will only support requests made by students with ADA Committee certified disabilities for whom the ADA Committee determined that extended time for assignments a necessary and appropriate accommodation. All requests for support shall be made well in advance of the due date of the at issue assignment. Students are advised that the ADA is unable to waive penalties given by faculty for late assignments.
3. Completion of Course Requirements
Upon the recommendation of the ADA Committee, the Office of the Dean of the College may authorize time extensions for completing course requirements when progress is adversely affected by a disability. Faculty, Departments, and Academic Affairs/Studies Committees must take the recommendation into consideration.
At the discretion of the ADA Committee and/or Student Accessibility Services, a student may be denied or granted provisional services pending submission of documentation and official certification. Such services will not be provided for more than one semester. The nature of provisional services will be determined at the discretion of the ADA Committee or Student Accessibility Services. Provisional services do not grant a student the status or rights of a student with a qualifying or certified disability, and it must be understood by students that a short-term grant of provisional services does not guarantee the continuation of such services or affect the ADA Committee’s decision as to whether requested or provisional services are reasonable accommodations. The ADA Committee’s ultimate decision is reached only after a review of required documentation and after the other steps described in these procedures.
Food allergies may constitute a disability and reasonable accommodations related to the meal plan may be possible. To initiate the accommodation process, please fill out a Special Needs Identification Form (SNIF) online at http://www.middlebury.edu/studentlife/doc/ada/snifs or contact SAS to obtain an alternative format of the form. The information that you provide regarding any special needs will be shared only with those individuals involved in the coordination and facilitation of services and accommodations that are required to make our programs accessible to you.
The ADA Committee works in collaboration with residential life to arrange for reasonable accommodations for students with special needs living in the residence halls. Residence hall advisers and live-in professional staff are notified in advance of students who are physically disabled and for whom residential accommodations have been approved. Middlebury College encourages regular communication between students with physical disabilities and residential life staff. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with College staff if there is a need to revise or modify the measures taken to accommodate the student's needs. Students with learning disabilities who require quiet floor housing may request such accommodations through Student Accessibility Services. Assignments are made on the basis is of availability of space and the level of need. In order to maximize the College’s ability to grant such requests, notification is requested by February 1st for the following year. Requests made after this date may be more difficult to fulfill.
Students requesting a single room as an accommodation are advised that such requests will be determined on an individual case by case basis. Requests should be submitted in a timely manner prior to room draw and be supported by documentation which recommends a single room and explains why a single room is needed as an accommodation given the specific nature of the student's disability. The ADA Coordinator will work in conjunction with the Residential Systems Coordinator to determine room assignments for eligible students. Assignments are made on the basis of availability of space and the level of need. In order to maximize the College’s ability to grant such requests, notification is requested by February 1st for the following year. Requests made after this date may be more difficult to fulfill. The ADA Committee reserves the right to suggest alternative accommodations where appropriate to satisfy the request.
Students requesting an air conditioner as an accommodation are advised that such requests should be made in accordance with the guidelines established in the Thermal Comfort Policy of Middlebury College. The Thermal Comfort Policy is located on the web at http://www.middlebury.edu/about/handbook/misc/thermal_comfort.
Students are expected to play a substantial role in specifying their needs and following through on arrangements for accommodations. It must be understood that arrangements for equipment, housing assignments, and other accommodations require advance notice.
Diagnostic Evaluation Services
If a student wishes to be evaluated for a possible learning disability or for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the Parton Center for Health and Wellness at Middlebury College can be of assistance in clarifying questions, determining what type of assessment is indicated and referring to appropriate off-campus services for assessment. The counseling center can also be helpful in making recommendations for on-campus services to enhance the student’s learning potential. These may include referral to Student Accessibility Services, Center for Teaching/Learning/Research, the Writing Program, tutorial services, the student's Commons Dean, or Center for Careers and Internships.
Assessments for psychological conditions are provided by the counseling center, in conjunction with the psychiatry staff at the Counseling Services of Addison County. The counseling center provides short-term counseling for these conditions and makes referrals for long-term therapy to private mental health professionals within the community. The cost of treatment outside the counseling center is the responsibility of the student.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to make their needs known to a member of the Parton Center for Health and Wellness ("Parton") staff. A variety of services can be tailored to individual needs. Services include evaluation and treatment of physical complaints and referral, as necessary, to specialists in the community.
Medical and psychological care is available 24 hours a day during the academic year. We encourage students who are under stress to access our services at any time. The Parton staff, with the student’s consent, is able to consult with caregivers from home for students with ongoing health needs. Crisis counseling services can also be accessed through Parton.
Care at Parton and records that students choose to share with Parton staff are treated confidentially. No information is shared without students’ consent unless there is an imminent danger to life or property. Because of the College’s concern for the privacy of students’ medical information, students should not assume that details regarding their medical conditions have been shared among all sectors of the College community. Therefore, students who feel that their medical conditions should be known to various departments or care providers at the College must take responsibility for assuring that any pertinent information is provided directly to each such department or care provider. It is the responsibility of the student to share information about their health care as they wish with family members and others in the College community.
While not required by the ADA or this policy, Student Accessibility Services may be able to arrange limited assistance for temporarily impaired students at the discretion of Student Accessibility Services and other College offices or programs. It must be understood that Student Accessibility Services voluntarily providing or arranging such help does not mean the temporarily injured or impaired students qualify as individuals with a disability under the ADA or this policy. If you have questions about what assistance the College may be able to provide in the event of a temporary impairment, contact Student Accessibility Services.
Appendix A: Admissions for Students with Disabilities
Middlebury College is committed to providing meaningful access to students with disabilities and welcomes applications from students with disabilities. However, an applicant's self-identification of disabilities is at the option of the applicant and is not required.
Admitted matriculating students with disabilities who wish to request accommodations should fill out the Special Needs Identification Form online, and return the form to Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Students may contact Student Accessibility Services for alternate formats of the Special Needs Identification Form.
Appendix B: Special Needs Identification Form
Middlebury College recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, which are designed to eliminate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Middlebury College is committed to making reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities as required by law. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Middlebury College community and to ask that you inform us of any disabilities for which you seek accommodation.
The College will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations as required by applicable laws. The process and services ordinarily available at the College are described in more detail in the College’s ADA Policy, which is available from Student Accessibility Services or on the web at http://www.middlebury.edu/studentlife/doc/ada. Qualifying disabilities can include, for example, visual impairments, hearing or mobility impairments, psychological and medical conditions, and learning disabilities which substantially limit one or more of a person's major life activities and may necessitate modifications to the facilities, programs, or services of the College.
The information that you provide regarding any special needs will be shared only with those individuals involved in the coordination and facilitation of services and accommodations required to make our programs accessible to you. The College reserves the right to request current documentation of physical and/or mental disabilities prior to the determination and facilitation of appropriate accommodations; documentation requirements are discussed in more detail in the ADA Policy.
Please describe your disability in terms of the limitations it might place on your ability to participate in Middlebury College programs.
Please list the accommodations you wish to request in order to participate in Middlebury College programs. Be as specific as possible.
Note: Your request for accommodation MUST be supported by current and adequate documentation.
The College’s documentation requirements are discussed in more detail in the College’s ADA Policy, which is available from Student Accessibility Services. Generally, such documentation must: (1) be prepared by an objective professional qualified in the diagnosis 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 College’s programs; (3) reflect your present level of functioning in the area related to the particular accommodations being sought; (4) be appropriately recent.
Please note that if you are seeking accommodation for a specific learning disability, there are additional documentation requirements described in the ADA Policy, which is available from Student Accessibility Services.
Attach additional pages as needed. Return this form to Student Accessibility Services, Meeker House, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753. Please call for additional information: 802-443-5936 (voice) or 802-443-7437 (TTY) or e-mail at email@example.com.
Questions regarding this form and generally regarding the College’s ADA Policy should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at this address.