POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

Accommodation Procedures for Students with Disabilities

Many students have disabilities that are not easily noticed. In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Academy Di Capelli (ADC) must provide academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, that are necessary to ensure students are not denied the benefits of, or excluded from participation in, ADC’s program. ADC must make modifications to its academic requirements that are necessary to ensure that the requirements do not discriminate against students with disabilities. ADC must ensure that it provides physical access to students with disabilities. It is also the responsibility of ADC to permit students with disabilities to use service dogs on each campus.

The person responsible for implementing these responsibilities at Academy Di Capelli is:
Cindy DiPalma; ADA Compliance Coordinator; (203) 294-9494; cindy@academydicapelli.com .

When a student informs an ADC staff member that the student is disabled, or needs accommodations or assistance due to disability, the staff member will refer the Student to ADC’s ADA Compliance Coordinator. The Disability Intake Form must be filled out.

 

Definition of an Individual with a Disability

An “individual with a disability” is a person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual. Individuals with a record of such an impairment and individuals who are regarded as having such an impairment are also protected by these Federal laws.

“Physical impairment” means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.

“Mental impairment” means any mental or psychological disorder, including but not limited to, mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, specific learning disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and bi-polar disorder. The phrase substantially limits must be interpreted without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures, other than ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses. Mitigating measures are things like medications, prosthetic devices, assistive devices, or learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications that an individual may use to eliminate or reduce the effects of an impairment. These measures cannot be considered when determining whether a person has a substantially limiting impairment. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if, when in an active phase, it would substantially limit a major life activity.

“Major life activities” means functions such as caring for one´s self, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. Major life activities also includes major bodily functions such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

 

Procedures for Students and ADC

Students with disabilities who wish to request reasonable accommodations (including academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, or modifications) must contact the ADA Compliance Coordinator named above. It is the student’s responsibility to self-disclose and provide appropriate documentation. Students who plan to request accommodations should contact the ADA Compliance Coordinator promptly, so there is time for the ADA Compliance Coordinator to review the student’s documentation and discuss accommodations with the student before the student begins the class or program for which the accommodation is being requested. When a student contacts the ADA Compliance Coordinator, Coordinator will keep a record of the dates and contacts with the student, including a record of the accommodations requested by the student. Students who have questions about the type of documentation they need to provide should contact the ADA Compliance Coordinator to discuss this.

Students must provide documentation of disability from an appropriate professional, which depends on the nature of the disability. This documentation may be the student’s existing medical records, or reports created by the student’s medical provider or an appropriate professional who conducts an assessment of the student. It may be documentation from the student’s past educational records such as reports from teachers or school psychologists, or records that show the student’s educational history, disability assessment, and the accommodations the student previously received. It may be records from the state department of rehabilitation or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Documentation should be current and relevant, but that does not mean that a recent report or record is needed in all cases. Some disabilities are stable lifelong conditions and historic documentation will be sufficient.

The documentation of disability is kept at all times in a locked, private file at ADC. To protect privacy, direct access to this documentation is by written consent only. The ADA Compliance Coordinator will determine what information needs to be shared with ADC staff, on an "as needed basis," in order to facilitate academic accommodations or other services.  

It is up to the ADA Compliance Coordinator to determine what types of accommodation will be reasonable and what will be appropriate. Not all accommodations are reasonable and not all accommodations are appropriate.

An accommodation is not appropriate if it would:

·          make a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum;

·          alter course objectives;

·          impose an undue financial or administrative burden to the institution; or

·          pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

A student may request accommodations for the classroom, assignments, and exams. Some commonly-requested classroom accommodations include:

·          seating near the door to allow taking breaks;

·          alternative note taking: tape recorder, note taker, or a copy of instructor's notes; and

·          early availability of syllabus and textbooks.

Assignment accommodations include:

·          advance notice;

·          additional time for completion; and

·          choice of written or oral presentation.


The ADA Compliance Coordinator will consider any past accommodations that have been effective for the student, and will give primary consideration to the type of accommodation requested by the student. Alternate accommodations may be provided if there is an alternative accommodation that would be equally effective for the student. ADC is not obligated to provide accommodations that would result in a fundamental alteration of ADC’s program. ADC is not obligated to provide accommodations that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden on ADC. If the ADA Compliance Coordinator decides that a requested accommodation might impose such a burden, the ADA Compliance Coordinator will discuss the issue with ADC’s Administration, who will take into account the overall financial resources of ADC. ADC’s Administration will make the final decision, in accord with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the Administration determines that the requested accommodation would be an undue burden, the ADA Compliance Coordinator will promptly search for an equally effective alternate accommodation for the student and offer the alternate accommodation to the student.

The ADA Compliance Coordinator will list the approved accommodations in writing and provide this to the student. The ADA Compliance Coordinator will inform the appropriate staff of the accommodations they are responsible for providing to the student, how to provide the accommodations, and when to provide the accommodations. The ADA Compliance Coordinator will keep a written record of these contacts about the student’s accommodations. The ADA Compliance Coordinator will verify that the accommodations are being implemented for the student through direct observation, report by the student, and/or documentation from ADC staff. If the student informs the ADA Compliance Coordinator that an accommodation is not being fully implemented, the ADA Compliance Coordinator will immediately intervene with relevant staff members to ensure the accommodation is provided to the student.

 

Appeals by Students

A student may appeal any accommodation decision made by the ADA Compliance Coordinator if the student disagrees with the decision. When a student wishes to file an appeal, the student must notify Michelle Kelley; Director; (203) 294-9496; michelle@academydicapelli.com. The student must explain his/her reasons for disagreeing with the ADA Compliance Coordinator’s decision, or explain how the student’s accommodation is not being implemented, and submit any relevant documentation.

The Director will meet with the student and the ADA Compliance Coordinator to discuss the issues presented by the student’s appeal. If appropriate, the ADA Compliance Director will also discuss the issues with other ADC staff members.

When a student appeals a decision made by the ADA Compliance Coordinator, the Director will determine whether the ADA Compliance Coordinator’s decision should be revised or remain the same. If the decision is revised, the Director will ensure that the revised decision is implemented.

When a student files an appeal on the basis that an approved accommodation is not being implemented, the Director will determine whether the accommodation is being fully implemented, and if it is not, ensure that the accommodation is implemented.

The Director will inform the student of the decision in writing after receiving the student’s appeal.

 

Grievance Procedures for Students who have Complaints on the Basis of Disability Policy

ADC is responsible for providing a grievance procedure to students who feel they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability. The grievance procedure provides students the opportunity to file a complaint. ADC has the responsibility to objectively investigate the allegations in the complaint and determine whether the student has been discriminated against. If ADC determines that discrimination occurred, ADC will take appropriate steps to correct the discrimination and prevent it from reoccurring. A student may file a grievance if the student feels he or she has been discriminated against because the student is disabled, or because the student is regarded as being disabled, or because the student has a record of being disabled. A student may also file a grievance if the student feels that he or she has been retaliated against for advocacy based on disability. A student must file a grievance complaint within 90 days of the date the discriminatory act occurred, or within 90 days of the end of an informal attempt to resolve the complaint, whichever is later. The complaint must be written. In the complaint, the student must describe what happened and the dates the acts took place, and state who was involved. The student should explain why the student believes the acts were taken based on disability. The student should describe or provide copies of any relevant documents or emails, if available.

A student may ask the ADA Compliance Coordinator to try and informally resolve the student’s complaint before the student files a written complaint. However, the student is not required to try informal resolution before filing a written complaint.

The complaint must be sent to:

 Michelle Kelley, Director: (203) 294-9496, michelle@academydicapelli.com

When the Director receives a written complaint, the Director will immediately begin an objective investigation. The Director will discuss the allegations in the complaint with the student, and obtain any needed additional information from the student. The Director will obtain from the student the names of any persons the student believes will have relevant information. The Director will gather all information necessary to determine what took place. To do so, the Director will interview any ADC staff members or students who engaged in the actions or may have witnessed the actions that the student is complaining about. The Director will interview persons that the student stated may have relevant information. The Director will gather any relevant documents such as emails, student work or instructor’s records. During the investigation, the Director will disclose the complaint, and confidential information about the student, only to the extent necessary to investigate the allegations of the complaint.

After reviewing all the evidence gathered, the Director will determine whether the student was treated differently from other students based on disability; or whether the student was harassed based on disability; or whether the student was retaliated against because the student advocated on the basis of disability; or whether the student was denied an accommodation that ADC should have provided to the student.

The Director will provide the student with a written decision. The decision will state the determination reached by the Director at the conclusion of the investigation, and the reasons the Director reached that determination. If the Director concludes that the student was discriminated against on the basis of disability, the decision will state the types of remedial action that ADC has taken or will take to correct the discrimination. The decision will also state how ADC will prevent the discriminatory acts from occurring again.