As a college student you are responsible for your education.  As a student with a disability or medical condition entering postsecondary education, you are responsible for knowing your rights and how they are addressed.  Please read the following frequently asked questions to better understand the Disability Services policy at Davidson County Community College (DCCC).   

Do I have to inform DCCC that I have a disability or medical condition? 
No.  However, if you want DCCC to provide you with Learning Accommodations, you should identify yourself as having a diagnosed disability or medical condition to the Office of Disability Services.  In any event, your disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.  Davidson County Community College is required to provide appropriate Learning Accommodations as necessary to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability.  

Do I have to prove that I have a disability or medical condition to obtain Learning Accommodations? 
Yes.  DCCC requires you to provide documentation that shows you currently have a disability or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, which necessitates accommodations in order to access educational services.

What Learning Accommodations can DCCC provide? 
The appropriate Learning Accommodations must be determined based on your disability or medical condition and your individual needs.  Learning Accommodations may include auxiliary aids and other modifications as necessary to ensure equal access to educational opportunities.  Examples of such accommodations include: extended time for testing, testing in a separate room, note takers, recording devices, sign language interpreters, and equipping school computers with screen-reading, voice recognition or other adaptive software or hardware. 

Although extended testing time may be a necessary accommodation for providing access to equal educational opportunity, changing the content and/or format of a test is not.  In addition, DCCC is not obligated to offer modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity or would result in undue financial or administrative burdens.  Finally, postsecondary schools are not obligated to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing.

If I want Learning Accommodations, what must I do? 
Although you may request Learning Accommodations from DCCC at any time, you should make your request as early as possible.  Some Learning Accommodations may take more time to provide than others.   Curriculum students will need to update their Accommodation Plan each semester with the Office of Disability Services.

If you have a disability or medical condition and would like to receive accommodations, you must inform DCCC.  Unlike your high school district, your postsecondary school is not required to automatically identify you as having a disability or assess your needs.

Davidson County Community College requires you to provide current documentation prepared by an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist/psychiatrist, or another qualified diagnostician.  DCCC defines “current documentation” as being dated within the past three to five years.  The required documentation must include the following: a diagnosis of your current disability; the date of the diagnosis; how the diagnosis was reached; the credentials of the professional; how your disability affects a major life activity; and how the disability affects your academic performance.  The documentation should provide enough information for you and the College to decide upon appropriate Learning Accommodations.  For a description of appropriate documentation, please refer to the Disability Services Documentation Guidelines

DCCC requires you to follow reasonable procedures to request Learning Accommodations.  You are responsible for knowing and following these procedures.  Please refer to the Steps to Receiving Learning Accommodations for more information

When should I request Learning Accommodations? 
If you have a disability or medical condition and are in need of Learning Accommodations, you should follow the Steps to Receiving Learning Accommodations.  This process can begin as soon as you have decided to attend classes at DCCC, prior to the beginning of the semester, or as early in the semester as possible in order to ensure that DCCC has enough time to review your request and provide the appropriate Learning Accommodations.  Curriculum students will need to update their Accommodation Plan each semester with the Office of Disability Services.

Can I receive Learning Accommodations for the admissions placement tests?
Yes.  If alternate testing is determined to be part of a student’s Accommodation Plan, accommodations will be provided for placement tests.  The student should fill out the Request for Placement Testing Accommodations form and schedule an appointment to bring his/her documentation to the Office of Disability Services.  Some accommodations may take longer than others to arrange, please make your appointment well in advance of your testing date.  Occasionally a student may have completed the placement test prior to requesting accommodations.  Students in this situation may be allowed to retake the placement tests with appropriate accommodations.  

What documentation should I provide? 
An individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan may help identify services that have been effective for you in the past; however, it generally is not sufficient documentation.  This is because postsecondary education presents different demands than high school education, and what you need to meet these new demands may be different.  Also in some cases, the nature of a disability or medical condition may change.  If the documentation that you have does not meet the requirements of DCCC you may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation.  For a description of appropriate documentation, please refer to the Disability Services Documentation Guidelines. 

Who has to pay for a new evaluation? 
DCCC is not required to conduct or pay for a new evaluation to document your disability or medical condition and need for Learning Accommodations.  This may mean that you have to pay or find funding to pay an appropriate professional for an evaluation.  If you are eligible for services through the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency, you may qualify for an evaluation at no cost to you.

Once the Office of Disability Services has received the necessary documentation from me, what should I expect? 
The Office of Disability Services will review your request with regard to the requirements of your program to help determine appropriate Learning Accommodations.  It is important to remember that DCCC is not required to alter academic requirements as a Learning Accommodation for a disability or medical condition.  If you have requested a specific accommodation, DCCC may offer that Learning Accommodation or work with you to identify an appropriate alternative.  Unlike the experience you may have had in high school, DCCC will not invite your parents or other family members to participate in the accommodation planning process.

What if the learning accommodation we identified is not working? 
Notify the Office of Disability Services as soon as you become aware that the results are not what you expected.  It may be too late to correct the problem if you wait until the course or activity is completed.  You should work with the Office of Disability Services to resolve the problem.

May DCCC charge me for providing a Learning Accommodation? 
No.  Furthermore, DCCC may not charge students with disabilities or medical conditions more for participating in its programs or activities than it charges students without a disability or medical condition.

What can I do if I believe the College is discriminating against me? 
Contact the Disability Services Counselor for information about how to address your concerns.  DCCC has a General Complaint Policy which can be found in the DCCC catalog.  This procedure includes steps to ensure that you may raise your concerns fully and fairly and provides for a prompt and equitable resolution.  

Why is this information important for me to know?
Students with disabilities or medical conditions who know their rights and responsibilities are much better equipped to succeed at DCCC.  We encourage you to work with the DCCC staff because we want you to succeed.  Seek the support of family, friends and fellow students, including those with disabilities or medical conditions.  Know your talents and capitalize on them, and believe in yourself as you embrace new challenges in your education. 

To receive more information about the civil rights of students with disabilities in educational institutions, you may contact
Customer Service Team
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Phone: 1-800-421-3481
Web site: www.ed.gov/ocr