Disability Support Services

ABOUT OFFICE OF DISABILITY SUPPORT SERVICES

The Office of Disability Support Services works with professors and staff to provide accommodations that give students with disabilities equal access. To accomplish this, we provide services such as the following:

  • Adjusting a student’s meal plan because of a medical condition
  • Arranging for interpreters or captioning services
  • Granting a student extra time to take tests because of a learning disability

Whatever the need may be, we’re your voice if you need accommodations to have equal access to the university’s programs and activities.

HOW TO REQUEST ACCOMMODATIONS 

We provide disability services to help ensure our students have access to the full college experience.

If you’re a new student, please note: Your documentation supporting your request to receive disability services must follow specific guidelines depending on the disability.

General Guidelines

The first step in receiving accommodations is for you to declare a disability and provide documentation to support it. And don’t worry: All documentation is kept confidential in the Office of Disability Support Services.

Just keep these eight guidelines in mind regarding disability documentation:

  1. The documentation you provide should be current.
  2. Documentation must be comprehensive. Make sure your documentation includes a clear and specific diagnosis as well as an explanation of current, functional limitations or barriers to access.
  3. Assessment of learning must be done using adult norms.
  4. Documentation for any disability must have been conducted by a professional qualified to do so for the particular disability.
  5. Accommodations and services are based on assessment of the current impact on academic performance or access to the university’s programs, facilities and services. An IEP, 504 plan or summary letter alone is insufficient to establish eligibility for disability support services.
  6. In the case of physical, health-related, psychiatric, head/brain injury and other disabilities, the documentation provided must include at minimum: a diagnostic statement with the date of the diagnosis, the current level of functioning and a description of limitations as they relate to the university’s physical and educational environment.
  7. The director of Disability Support Services will review your documentation to determine if/which accommodations will be made.
  8. Documentation guidelines for AD/HD, learning disabilities, psychiatric disorders and other specific disabilities are more detailed.

Meal Plan

Your meal plan entitles you to eat at any of our on-campus facilities. And we want you to enjoy them all. But if you have a disability or medical condition that is dietary-related, complete the disability support request form in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

New Student

Are you requesting accommodations for the first time as a Wingate University student? If so, you’ll need to complete the disability support request form to apply for academic and non-academic accommodations.

Academic accommodations are related to learning and evaluation in an academic program or class. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Extended time for tests
  • Note-taking support
  • Use of a computer to type an essay test
  • Use of an interpreter

Non-academic accommodations for on-campus jobs, facilities and services might include:

  • Removal of physical barriers
  • Housing placement
  • Use of an interpreter
  • Other modifications for participation in university activities and services such as university committee meetings and judicial proceedings

Residential Life

We want all students, those with and without disabilities, to participate in the residential living and learning experience at Wingate University. It’s a huge part of being a Bulldog.

If you have a need for specific housing accommodations, you need to submit documentation showing a clear relationship to the requested accommodation and your disability. This is the documentation required with your request:

  • Comprehensive diagnostic information about your condition
  • A clear description of the desired housing accommodation or configuration
  • An explanation of how the request directly relates to the impact and functional limitations of your disability
  • An indication of the level of need for the requested accommodation and the potential consequences of not receiving this accommodation
  • Possible alternative solutions if the desired configuration and/or accommodation is not possible

Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This means it is in your best interest to apply for a residential accommodation in a timely manner because a request may require consultation with relevant professionals and campus officials. You will be notified by letter of the approval or denial of your request.

If your accommodation request is approved, it is your responsibility to present the letter to the Residence Life staff and to make specific arrangements regarding your housing assignment.

If your request is denied or you disagree with the determination of the accommodation, you may appeal through either option in the Disability Grievance Procedure.

Factors of Consideration

The following are examples of the factors taken into consideration when this office evaluates housing accommodation requests:

  1. Is the impact of the condition life-threatening if the request is not granted?
  2. Is there a negative health impact that may be permanent if the request is not granted?
  3. Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan for the student’s condition?
  4. What is the likely impact on the student’s academic performance if the request is not granted?
  5. What is the likely impact on the student’s social development if the request is not granted?
  6. What is the likely impact on the student’s comfort level if the request is not granted?
  7. Was the request made with the student’s initial housing request?
  8. Was the request made before the housing request deadline for the year in question?
  9. Was the request made as soon as possible after the need was identified? This includes date of diagnosis, receipt of housing assignment and any change in status.
  10. Is space available that meets the student’s needs, and what is the impact on housing commitments to other students?
  11. Can space be adapted to provide the requested configuration without creating a safety hazard? This includes consideration of emergency egress, electrical load and other factors.
  12. Are there other effective methods that could achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodation?

All accommodations related to residential living are approved for one academic year, unless specifically noted.

Requests to break a housing contract, change rooms or change a meal plan due to a disability need to follow the established procedures of the Residence Life Office and must be clearly supported by the documentation submitted by your medical professional.

Definition of a Person with a Disability

People with certain disabilities can receive accommodations so that they can participate in campus events, like classes and sports, the same as everyone else.
To be eligible for accommodations at Wingate University, you must first meet the Americans with Disabilities Act definition of a person with a disability:

“Any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

As a Wingate University student, you are eligible for protection under these laws if you:

  • Have a disability
  • Have declared that disability
  • Provided appropriate documentation
  • Are otherwise qualified to participate in the university’s programs and activities

Students who have provided the university with documentation of a disability may request reasonable modification, accommodations or auxiliary aids which will enable them to participate in and benefit from the university’s programs and activities.

Please remember: People with disabilities receive accommodations to have access equal to what others have. As a result, the modification, accommodations or auxiliary aids cannot alter the essential nature or requirements of the programs and activities.

Disability Services Confidentiality

The Office of Disability Support Services takes confidentiality seriously. If you’re a student with a disability, the information you submit is protected by confidentiality regulations. This means:

  1. You need only to disclose the information which would be appropriate for a particular situation.
  2. All disability-related documents, including testing information and requests for accommodations, are housed securely in the Office of the Director of Disability Support Services and Learning Assistance Programs.
  3. Your information is shared only with your written permission.

Disability Services FAQs

If you have questions about disability services at Wingate University, you’re not alone. Students and their parents usually do. Here are the top 10 questions we’re asked.

What services does Wingate University offer for students with disabilities?

The Office of Disability Student Services works with students, faculty and staff members to provide accommodations that give students equal access to the university’s programs and activities.

What is an accommodation?

An accommodation is a modification in the way things are usually done, with the goal of allowing students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in the university’s programs.

There are two types of accommodations at Wingate University: academic and non-academic.

Academic accommodations are related to learning and evaluation in an academic program or particular class.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Extended time for tests
  • Note-taking support
  • Use of a computer for an essay test
  • Use of an interpreter in class

Non-academic accommodations are those related to university activities, jobs, facilities and services not considered academic. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Housing placement
  • Removal of physical barriers
  • Use of an interpreter or other modifications for participation in university activities and services such as university committee meetings and judicial proceedings

Who qualifies for disability services?

Students qualify for disability services if they meet two requirements:

  1. They meet the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the university’s educational programs and activities.
  2. They meet any of these requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act definition of a person with a disability:
    1. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities
    2. Has a record of such impairment
    3. Is regarded as having such impairment

You need to provide supporting documentation to determine eligibility for services and evaluate requests for academic and non-academic accommodations or auxiliary aids and services.

What is supporting documentation?

Documentation is usually a qualified professional’s comprehensive assessment of a student’s disability, along with scores and interpretation. We base our Disability Services General Guidelines on the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities description of quality disability documentation. The documentation should be current and include the following: An evaluation by an appropriate professional that clearly states what the impairment or barrier to access is, the current impact of the impairment on the student’s ability to participate in the university’s educational programs and services and the relationship between the functional limitations and the accommodation(s) requested.

How are accommodations coordinated?

Accommodations and disability-related services are coordinated by the director of Disability Support Services. All requests for academic and non-academic accommodations and related services from both undergraduate and graduate students should be submitted to the director of Disability Support Services.

Is there a deadline to submit an accommodation?

Information may be sent at any time. Because review of documents may take up to four weeks, we encourage you to submit information prior to June 1, 2018, to ensure accommodations are in place by the start of the fall semester. Please submit information prior to November 1, 2018, to ensure accommodations are in place by the start of the spring semester.

Once your information has been received, you will be contacted to arrange a telephone intake interview to discuss accommodations.

Is any testing or assessment provided by Wingate University to determine whether a student has a learning disability or to update current information?

No, but we can make referrals to area psychologists or other appropriate professionals. To facilitate receiving accommodations in a timely manner, the student should check with high school counseling offices for needed updates in documentation to prepare for the transition to college.

Will academic requirements be waived or are course substitutions available?

Students with and without disabilities are expected to meet all academic requirements of their majors. Wingate University does not waive or modify fundamental course or program standards but will make accommodations to ensure equal access. The Office of Disability Support Services will determine appropriate accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

Do students with disabilities have faculty advisers?

Yes. All Wingate University students are assigned faculty advisers. Plus, the director of Disability Support Services can offer assistance with the following:

  • Selecting classes
  • Discussing accommodations
  • Helping students use the many supportive services available
  • Organizing strategies for the semester

Many colleges and universities look to the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities for guidance in developing policies and procedures. The National Parent Center on Transition and Employment offers excellent advice for parents of college students with disabilities. While there are no IEPs in college, this College of New Jersey page explains the differences between the legal rights of students with disabilities in high school and college. You can learn about scholarships and other helpful resources available to students with disabilities. Learn about assistive technology, the many forms of technology available to assist students in enjoying equal access to books and other print sources as well as electronic media.

What are resources for students with disabilities as they and their parents, teachers and counselors plan for the transition from high school to college?

Check out Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education to know your rights and responsibilities. You can also find excellent information on the website for The Association on Higher Education and Disability.

Your Rights and Responsibilities for Disability Accommodations

If you have a disability, you have every right to request an accommodation. It’s all about providing you with the equal access that all Wingate University students should have. Whether you’re an undergrad, graduate student or in the professional or satellite campus programs, you have the same right to equal access.

Make sure you know all of your rights and responsibilities regarding disability accommodations.

Student Rights

  1. Students with disabilities have the right to request accommodations, ensuring equal access to courses, course content, programs, services and facilities. This is done by contacting the Office of Disability Support Services, located in the Academic Resource Center on the second floor of the library.
  2. As a student, you have the right to confidentiality regarding disability-related information and disclosure of information except when required or permitted by law.
  3. As a student, you have the right to file a grievance if you believe there has been unfair or discriminatory treatment because of your disability.

Student Responsibilities

  1. As a student, you are not required to disclose your disability status. However, as stated in the Guidelines to Documentation, if you are a student seeking academic and/or non-academic accommodations relative to your disability, you are responsible for providing the appropriate documentation to the Office of Disability Support Services. This must be provided in a timely manner to allow sufficient time for faculty/staff to arrange for appropriate modifications.
  2. Students seeking accommodations are responsible for providing the Office of Disability Support Services a written request for specific accommodations.
  3. Students have the responsibility to meet minimum qualifications and maintain essential standards for courses, programs, services, campus jobs, activities, conduct and facilities.

Wingate University’s Responsibility

Wingate University recognizes that, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the university has obligations to provide an equal opportunity to students who qualify based on a disability and the impact of that disability on functional limitations allowing equal access.

Wingate University recognizes that it:

  1. May not discriminate against any student on the basis of disability
  2. Must provide accommodations for students who qualify with an appropriately documented disability and accompanying functional limitations
  3. May deny a request for accommodation if the student fails to provide appropriate documentation; the documentation does not demonstrate the need for accommodation; the cost of the requested accommodation would result in an undue burden; and/or if the requested accommodation would fundamentally alter an essential aspect of the program, course or service
  4. Must have specific procedures in place to address grievances

Types of Accommodations

Academic accommodations are related to learning and evaluation in an academic program or particular class. Examples include, but are not limited to, extended time for tests, note-taking support, using a computer to type an essay test or using an interpreter in class.

Non-academic accommodations relate to university activities, jobs, facilities and services that are not otherwise considered academic. Examples are removal of physical barriers, housing placement, use of a service animal or use of an interpreter. Other examples include modifications for participation in university activities and services such as university committee meetings and judicial proceedings.

Grievance Policy

We have a very clear Student Disability Grievance Procedure, which you can read in detail.

Students with documented disabilities who have a grievance with accommodation requests or believe they have been discriminated against or harassed because of their disability have two options. They may choose the informal grievance procedure, or they may select the formal grievance process. In either case, students will have a fair hearing and be provided with appropriate accommodations to participate fully in the process. This may include the following accommodations:

  • Interpreters for the deaf
  • Recordings of material for the blind
  • A barrier-free location

Wingate University treats all information submitted in connection with a grievance as confidential and subject to FERPA and applicable privacy laws. But individuals, including university officials, with a legitimate need to know may be provided with relevant information about the grievance. The university prohibits retaliation for submitting a grievance.

INFORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE


The Informal Grievance Procedure is designed to facilitate a satisfactory resolution of the grievance in an informal manner. The student has the option to forego the Informal Grievance Procedure and move immediately to the Formal Grievance Procedure.
A student initiates the Informal Grievance Procedure by contacting the Director. If the Director is the subject of the grievance, the student initiates the Informal Grievance Procedure by contacting the Dean of Academic Support Programs. The student may contact the appropriate official (the “Investigator”) by e-mail, phone, or in person. To initiate the Informal Grievance Procedure, a student is not required to submit the grievance in writing, but the Investigator may ask the student to do so or to submit other evidence, if necessary to facilitate a satisfactory resolution. 
The Investigator will attempt to expeditiously facilitate a satisfactory resolution. The Investigator may meet in person with the student, confer with the individual(s) against whom the grievance is filed, attempt to arrange a meeting between the student and the individual(s), or take any other steps the Investigator believes will be useful in promoting resolution. 
Within 21 calendar days after the student initially contacts the Investigator regarding the grievance, the Investigator will inform the student in writing of the outcome of the Informal Grievance Procedure. 


FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE


If the student is not satisfied with the resolution reached using the Informal Grievance Procedure, or if the student chooses not to use the Informal Grievance Procedure, the student may initiate the Formal Grievance Procedure by submitting a written complaint to the appropriate Investigator. A student who chooses to initiate the Formal Grievance Procedure after participating in the Informal Grievance Procedure must do so within 14 calendar days of receipt of the Investigator’s written notification of the outcome of the Informal Grievance Procedure. The written complaint must:
be dated; state the problem or action alleged to be discriminatory and the date of the alleged action; state how the action is discriminatory (or how the decision is unreasonable if it a denial of a requested accommodation); name the individual(s) against whom the grievance is filed; state the requested remedy; and be signed by the student.
Within seven calendar days of receiving the written complaint, the Investigator will provide written notification of receipt of the complaint to the grievant and to the individual(s) against whom the grievance is filed. The Investigator will also conduct a thorough investigation of the complaint, affording all relevant persons an opportunity to submit evidence regarding the allegations. Within 30 days of receipt of the written complaint, the Investigator will provide the grievant and the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed a written decision regarding the grievance. The decision will include findings of fact, a conclusion, and, if applicable, an explanation of remedies, which may include the imposition of disciplinary sanctions and / or referral to an individual’s supervisor or another administrator for the determination and imposition of disciplinary sanctions .

APPEAL


The student or the individual(s) against whom the grievance is filed may appeal within fourteen calendar days of receiving the Investigator’s written decision and / or any associated disciplinary sanctions by writing to the respective Vice-Provost of their program, Dr. Nancy Randall or Dr. Eric Schneider. The written appeal must clearly set forth the grounds for the appeal and must include all supporting evidence. Generally, the Vice-Provost will limit his or her review of the Investigator’s decision to determining whether the Investigator considered the proper facts and whether there were any procedural irregularities. Within 21 days of receipt of the appeal, the Vice-Provost will provide the grievant and the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed a written decision regarding the appeal. The decision of the Vice-Provost is final, and the University will disregard any subsequent appeals (in any form) to any University representative, including the University President. 

Location

Second floor of Ethel K. Smith Library