Salem Academy and College is committed to providing students with disabilities with an equal opportunity to access the College’s academic, social, and recreational activities and programs. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, any student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities is eligible for reasonable accommodations. Although college students are not required to disclose a disability, those who wish to do so, and to request reasonable academic or other program-related accommodations, may do so at any time during their college career.
At Salem, Student Accessibility Services exists to provide support and services to students with disabilities. The Office’s work is focused on providing students with reasonable accommodations and facilitating their access to, and inclusion in, Salem’s program, services, and activities. Student Accessibility Services is available to students with documented disabilities as well as those who have questions about eligibility for services.
To begin the request process for reasonable accommodations, students should register with Student Accessibility Services. In cases where accommodations are requested for a disability that is not obvious, students should be prepared to submit documentation that supports the need for requested accommodations. Documentation must come from a licensed professional in the field of the student’s particular disability.
The documentation requirement for disabilities that are not obvious also applies to accommodations requests for service animals. Service animals are those that meet the definition established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA information related to service animals can be found at ADA Requirements: Service Animals.
Accommodations requests related to comfort or emotional support animals, or campus housing should be directed to the Office of Residence Life. A copy of the Student Handbook can be found at Salem College Student Handbook.
Salem College is committed to working with students to ensure that their disability-related needs are met. In this work, and as it relates to supporting documentation, Student Accessibility Services can review Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan documents students had in place before entering college. However, because neither document follows a student from high school to college, students who wish to request accommodations during college will need to provide other supporting documentation. Supporting documentation should:
- Be current (generally, no more than three years old, but may vary depending on the nature of the disability for which accommodations are sought).
- Be on the letterhead of a qualified, licensed treating professional (e.g., medical doctor, psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, etc.).
- Include a diagnosis of the current disability.
- Indicate how the diagnosed disability affects a major life activity.
- Describe how the disability affects academic performance (as applicable).
- Include diagnostic assessment/testing results related to the disability (as applicable).
- Identify any specific accommodation(s) recommended by the qualified, licensed treating professional.
While Salem reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of all submitted documentation, there may be some instances in which students can satisfy requirements with documentation from another institution of higher education.
Costs of Evaluations/Documentation
All costs associated with attaining documentation for evaluation are the responsibility of the student seeking accommodations.
All requests for accommodations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and, in most cases, completed within 24-48 hours. In cases where a student’s documentation supports the accommodations request, the student will be notified and scheduled for a time to begin a discussion of Salem’s accommodations process and identification of the reasonable accommodations to which the student is entitled*.
*In situations where a documentation review indicates that additional information is required, students will be notified of that finding. Such notification will specify the additional information needed to verify the disability or determine the accommodations that will allow the student equal access to the College’s programs and services.
What Students Can Expect
Students with disabilities can expect to be treated equal to students without disabilities. Students can further expect that their disability-related information will be treated with strict confidentiality and shared only on a need to know basis. In most cases, disability-related information is disclosed only to faculty members designated by the student. Information is restricted to the fact that a student has a documented disability and is entitled to accommodations. Shared information does not include the nature of a student’s disability.
To ensure that eligible students receive all reasonable accommodations to which they are entitled, Student Accessibility Services engages in an interactive process. While the process always includes discussion with the student, there may be occasions when determination of an effective, reasonable accommodation also requires consultation with relevant administrators, faculty, and/or staff.
All accommodations are specific to the documented need of an individual student. However, some of the more typical accommodations in higher education include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Extended time on tests
- Testing in an area with limited distractions
- Preferential seating in classrooms
- Access to instructor notes (when available)
Facilities Access Accommodations
As a historic institution with several original buildings, any student with mobility-related issues is encouraged to reach out to Student Accessibility Services. For mobility-related issues that are not obvious, students should be prepared to provide documentation to support their requests. While students may seek assistance to access campus locations at any time, students who need classroom-related assistance are encouraged to make their requests ahead of the semester in which assistance will be needed.
Student Accessibility Services is located in the Grace Siewers Room on the 2nd Floor of Gramley Library. Elevator access is available from the library’s ground floor entrance.
Ida Turner Davis
Director of Academic Support and Student Accessibility Services