Information for Faculty
Faculty and the Accessibility Office (TAO) staff make a winning team in providing equal access to students with disabilities. Assuring equal access in education is everyone's responsibility. Information tools and strategies are provided here in order to assist faculty as needed and to provide direction in addressing specific disability accommodation needs.
The attached document is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section for faculty members. Please feel free to download a copy of the PDF. Please contact TAO if you have any additional questions or if we can be of further assistance.
For appointments at the Lower Bucks and Upper Bucks Campuses, a TAO staff member will be more than happy to schedule an appointment to meet with a student or faculty member. Students or faculty members will want to schedule an appointment to have a TAO representative meet them at a preferred time, in advance, by calling (215) 968-8182 or emailing email@example.com.
What is The Accessibility Office Mission Statement?
Our mission is to assist in securing access to an equal education at Bucks for students with disabilities that impact on their learning; to encourage an environment of acceptance by removing barriers and addressing attitudes.
Legal Definitions Regarding "Person with a Disability"
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508)
Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).
Bucks County Community College recognizes that anyone with a documented physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities qualifies for services as supported by the Accessibility Office. Major life activities include examples as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. Some of the most common areas of documented disabilities are vision impairments, hearing impairments, ADD/ADHD, specific learning disabilities, physical disabilities, psychological disabilities, mobility impairments, and neurological impairments. A person is considered to be a person with a disability if they have a disability, has a record of a disability, or is regarded as having a disability.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2009, July). A Guide to Disability Rights Laws. In Civil Rights Division: Disability Rights Section. Retrieved September 29, 2016
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Submission of Exams that Require Accessible Software
1. Instructors must create the exam in a Word document.
2. The Word document containing the exam must be saved on a flash drive.
3. The Course Make-Up/Special Accommodations Test Request Form must be completed and submitted for all Accessible exams.
4. Instructors must deliver the flash drive containing the test to the Testing Center with a hard copy of the test and the Course Make-Up/Special Accommodations Test Request Form. If the test and flash drive must be sent to another campus, instructors must give at least three days for delivery.
5. Instructors who do not have a flash drive should contact the administrative office of their department. A flash drive will be provided for them. Instructors will need to return the flash drive to the department after the Testing Center has returned the exam to them.
Differences Between High School and College Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
|Class schedules are arranged by school personnel||Students arrange their own schedules|
|General education classes dictated by the state and/or district requirements||Classes are based on a field or program of study; requirements may vary|
|Class attendance is usually mandatory and monitored carefully||Attendance policies are set by individual instructor and vary|
|Textbooks are typically provided at little or no expense||Textbooks can be expensive (an anticipated range for a full-time student is $200.00-$400.00 per semester)|
|Instructors and school personnel closely watch out for the students; guiding and correcting them if necessary||Students are expected to take responsibility for what they do and don’t do, as well as for the consequences of their decisions|
|I.D.E.A. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)||A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)|
|Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973||Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973|
|I.D.E.A. is about SUCCESS||A.D.A. is about ACCESS|
|I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan and/or 504 Plan||
High School I.E.P. and 504 are not sufficient. Documentation guidelines specify information needed for each category of disability.
There are no IEPs or 504 Plans at the college level.
|School provides evaluation at no cost to student||Student must get evaluation at own expense|
|Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on specific disability categories in I.D.E.A.||Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations|
|Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers||Student must self-identify to the Office of Disability Services|
|Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school||Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student|
|Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance||Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance|
|Parent has access to student records and can participate in the accommodation process||Parent does not have access to student records without student’s written consent|
|Parent advocates for student||Student advocates for self|
|Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments||Professors are not required to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines|
|You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class||You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class|
|You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough||You need to review class notes and text material regularly|
|Grade and check completed homework||Assume homework is completed and students are able to perform on a test|
|May remind students of incomplete assignments||May not remind student of incomplete assignments as it the responsibility of the student to check with instructor to see if requirements are being met|
|May know students’ needs and approach students when they need assistance||Are usually open and helpful, but expect students to initiate contact when assistance is needed|
|May be available before, during or after class||May require students to attend scheduled office hours|
|Often provide student with information missed during absence||Expect students to get information from classmates when they miss a class|
|Present material to help students understand what is in the textbook||Instructors may not follow the textbook and lectures enhance the topic area|
|Often write information on the board or overhead to be copied for notes||The Instructor may lecture nonstop; when the instructor writes on the board that is to enhance the lecture, not summarize it|
|Teach knowledge and facts, leading student through the thinking process||Expect students to think independently and connect seemingly unrelated information|
|Often take time to remind students of assignment and test dates|
|I.E.P. or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading||Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay) are generally not available. Accommodations to HOW tests are given (extended time, test proctors) are available when supported by disability documentation.|
|Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material||Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material|
|Makeup tests are often available||Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them|
|Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates||Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded|
|Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an I.E.P. or 504 plan||Tutoring DOES NOT fall under Disability Services. Students with disabilities must seek out tutoring resources as they are available to all students.|
|Your time and assignments are structured by others||You manage your own time and complete assignments independently|
|You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation||You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class|
West Chester University. (2016). Differences Between High School and College Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (PDF). In Vice Provost Home. Retrieved October 3, 2016