Disability Services

The doors to Sandhills Community College are open to all. SCC does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admissions or employment processes nor in access to programs, facilities or activities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives individuals with disabilities civil rights protection against discrimination. The Disability Services Coordinator ensures compliance with the non-discrimination requirements of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

 

Steps to Receiving Disability Services

Complete our Steps to Enrollment. By law, we cannot ask about disabling conditions. You must self-identify in order to enable us to make proper accommodations.

If you need disability accommodations, please request them prior to or when you enroll. The sooner you make us aware of your needs, the better we can arrange services you may need.

Accommodation Request Form

Confidential Release Form

Tips for Success

You are your own best advocate!

  • Visit our Disability Services Office as soon as you decide to attend Sandhills Community College. This gives us the ability to serve you best.
  • You can discuss your needs with your instructor and advisor if you desire.
  • Meet with your instructors often. Know their office location and hours. If you don’t understand something covered in class, meet with them as soon as possible to discuss further.

Utilize the many services at the college.

  • We offer personal and career counseling through our Career Services and Counseling Center. Avail yourself of these free services.
  • Sandhills Community College has an outstanding Tutoring Center. Sign up early in the semester if you are taking a class in which you think you will need a bit of additional instruction.
  • Use our computer labs if you have need of a computer and do not have access to one.
  • Meet with your advisor every semester. As a current student, you will be able to register for classes during Priority Registration, which is before new or returning students. Your advisor will help you develop a manageable schedule.

Take charge of your own education.

  • Arrive to class early every day. This demonstrates that you are serious about learning.
  • Keep up with your assignments. College material is covered rapidly. Do not let yourself get behind. They will not wait on you.
  • Talk to someone as soon as you start to experience academic difficulties or feel overwhelmed. Waiting too long will only make matters worse. See your instructor after class or during office hours. Utilize our Tutoring Center.
  • Talk with your instructor prior to or immediately after missing class. It is important to let them know you take the material seriously and do not want to get behind.
  • Develop and use a time management schedule. If you need help with this, visit our Career Services and Counseling Center.
  • Put each course syllabus in the front of the appropriate notebook and review it often.
  • Limit the number of classes you take the first semester. Go easy on yourself until you know you can handle the demands of more classes.
  • Set your schedule wisely. Don’t take an 8 a.m. class if you are not a morning person. Balance your schedule so you don’t have too many classes on one day. Your advisor can help you with this.
  • Set realistic goals. You know yourself best and what you are capable of. If it takes a bit longer to accomplish your educational goals, that is better than overburdening yourself and giving up.

Student Responsibilities

In order for us to help you meet your educational goals and help you move toward success as a student at Sandhills Community College, there are a few steps you must complete in order to receive disability services.

Self-Identify

  • If you have a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, you may decide to initiate contact with our Disability Services Office and submit current disability documentation to request services from the college. We will review your documentation to determine if you are eligible for services.
  • You are the one who must initiate contact with the correct personnel at the college and make your disability known. By law, we cannot ask about disabling conditions.
  • You must request accommodations each semester.
  • Requests should be made as soon as possible in order to give us ample time to arrange for accommodations. Some situations require more time than others.
  • Accommodations are designed to make learning possible and the evaluation process fair, but accommodations do not guarantee success nor alter published course standards.

Documentation of Disability

  • You must provide evidence of how your disability impacts participation in classes and other college programs in order to qualify for reasonable accommodations.
  • While IEPs and 504 Plans offer historical evidence of services and accommodations, they are generally NOT considered sufficient to make a student eligible for services.
  • To qualify for disability services, you must present documentation from a licensed, clinical professional. The disability documentation must address your current level of functioning.
  • A diagnostic report, written by a qualified professional with appropriate licensure or certification who has comprehensive training and relevant expertise in the specialty area is required. This professional cannot be related to you.
  • We do not provide diagnostic services. If you do not have documentation or if it is incomplete or insufficient, you should contact your medical professional for a referral to a qualified, licensed diagnostician.
  • We do not make referrals; however, we recommend you contact your medical professional, who may be able to provide an evaluation to determine if a disability is present and its impact on the learning environment. Cost for services vary and will be determined by the diagnostician.
  • While appropriate documentation is an essential piece of the process, accommodations will be provided only if the accommodation is directly related to the disability.

Accommodations

  • We will determine if an accommodation is reasonable by verifying that the documentation supports the identified disability and that the modification does not fundamentally alter the course or program.
  • Once eligibility is established, you will receive accommodation documentation that you must share with your instructors.

General Documentation Standards

General Documentation Standards

Sandhills Community College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, recognizes that certain disabilities result in impairments for which reasonable accommodations may be required.  To qualify for disability services, students are required to provide diagnostic documentation from a licensed/clinical professional familiar with the history and functional implications of the impairments.

  • All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability.
  • The report should be dated and signed and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator.  Documentation prepared by providers other than those described under the specific disability categories will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  It is not appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their families.
  • Disability documentation must be current and adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques, and it must clearly substantiate the need for any specific accommodation requested.

A school plan such as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan is insufficient documentation to support a student’s eligibility but may be included as part of a more comprehensive report.  Prior history of accommodations, without documentation of current need, does not, in and of itself, warrant the provision of a like accommodation.  The department reserves the right to consult with allied health professionals in reviewing and evaluating documentation.

In most cases, documentation consisting only of a diagnosis, chart notes, and/or prescription pad notations is insufficient to determine the impact of a medical condition or disability, to address the issue of substantial limitations, and to develop reasonable accommodations

If a student leaves the college for any reason, upon readmission he or she may be asked to submit updated documentation prior to receiving accommodations and/or services.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

A comprehensive report on letterhead is required and should include:

  • A SPECIFIC diagnostic statement using DSM-IV classification, avoiding the use of terms such as “suggests,” “is indicative of,” or “attentional problems.”
  • Discussion of the student’s developmental, academic, mental, and social history.
  • Methods of assessment with supporting data such as checklists and rating scales. Psychoeducational batteries completed within the last five years that include intelligence and achievement testing will allow the possibility of providing more services.  Without a psychoeducational assessment, accommodations will be minimal.
  • Discussion of substantial limitations in an educational setting to support the need for services.
  • The attached AD/HD checklist.

The following professionals are considered qualified to evaluate ADD/ADHD: An appropriately licensed /certified psychologist, psychiatrist, neuropsychiatrist, neurologist, or relevantly trained medical doctor. This professional must have expertise in evaluating the impact on the student’s educational performance.  All reports should be dated, signed and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator.

If specific recommendations of accommodations are made, the rationale must relate each accommodation to the functional limitations imposed by the disability.  The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Disability Support Services.

Required ADD/ADHD Report

Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing

An audiogram indicating the severity of the hearing impairment must be provided by a licensed audiologist.

If specific recommendations of accommodations are made, the rationale must relate each accommodation to the functional limitations imposed by the disability. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Disability Support Services.

Local and national shortages of sign language interpreters make providing their services a critical concern for Disability Services at Sandhills Community College.

Learning Disabilities

Appropriately licensed/certified clinical psychologists, school psychologists, and neuropsychologists are considered qualified to assess and diagnose learning disabilities. This professional must have expertise in evaluating the impact on the student’s educational performance. All reports should be on letterhead, dated, and signed and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator.

A psychoeducational report should be current within five years. Documentation should substantiate the need for service based on the student’s current functioning in an educational setting.

A psychoeducational evaluation should include a clinical interview. Your developmental, academic, mental, and social history should be investigated and reported.  This evaluation must include a comprehensive assessment battery including aptitude, achievement, and processing instruments.

The following aptitude tests are considered appropriate in the substantiation of a learning disability:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III
  • (WAIS-III)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Test Psychoeducational Battery-III:  Test of Cognitive Ability
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children III or IV (WISC-III, WISC-IV)

The Slosson Intelligence Test and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test are primarily screening devices which are not comprehensive enough to provide the information necessary to make accommodation decisions.

The following achievement tests are considered appropriate in the substantiation of a learning disability:

  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-III: Tests of Achievement
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)

The Wide Range Achievement Test is not a comprehensive measure of achievement  and, therefore, is not useful as the sole measure of achievement.

Individual “learning styles,” “learning differences,” “academic problems,” “test difficulty or anxiety,” and “weaknesses,” in and of themselves, do not constitute a learning disability. The diagnostician is encouraged to use direct language in the diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability, avoiding the use of terms such as, “suggests” or “is indicative of.”

If specific recommendations of accommodations are made, the rationale must relate the accommodation to the functional limitations imposed by the disability. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Sandhills Community College Disability Services.

Medical/Physical

Your attending physician should originate current documentation for a medical disability. A specific diagnosis with treatment history and treatment plan should be included.

The report should include how the disability impacts you in the educational setting.

If specific recommendations of accommodations are made, the rationale must relate the accommodation to the functional limitations imposed by the disability. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Disability Services.

In cases of head trauma or medical conditions which affect the brain, a neuropsychological evaluation may allow you to be accommodated more thoroughly.

Psychological/Psychiatric

Documentation should be prepared by a licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

The evaluation should include a current DSM-IV diagnosis and the treatment history and treatment plan.

The impact of the disorder on you should be discussed with particular detail regarding academic requirements.

If specific recommendations of accommodations are made, the rationale must relate the accommodation to the functional limitations imposed by the disability. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Disability Services.

A neuropsychological or psychological evaluation may allow you to be accommodated more thoroughly.

Documentation Guidelines for Visual Impairment

A diagnosis with best corrected visual acuity and degrees of visual field, nasally and temporally, in each eye independently must be provided by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or other qualified, licensed eye care professional.

You must provide a written description that explains the impact the impairment has on your visual ability and the functional limitations it may impose.

If specific recommendations of accommodations are made, the rationale must relate each accommodation to the functional limitations imposed by the disability. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with Disability Support Services.

Parent Resources

College life poses different challenges for students with disabilities. When students enroll in college, they are considered responsible adults by faculty and staff. The expectations are that they will assume the responsibility for meeting class requirements. This added responsibility is coupled with a change in environment. Whereas the high school was a very structured environment with a set schedule, college schedules can vary dramatically. For the first time students may have considerable time between classes. Students must enforce their own attendance policies and prepare to realize personal consequences if they choose not to attend class. Also important is the fact that Sandhills Community College Student Code of Conduct applies to ALL students regardless of ability or disability.

Differences Between High School and College

There are many differences between how disability services are provided at the K-12 level and at the post-secondary level. While it is not practical to list them all, there are some key points to know.

High School College
Parents are responsible for making sure they school is accommodating their student appropriately. The parent is no longer responsible for making sure their student is accommodated. This is now the student’s responsibility both to initiate and to make the appropriate office aware if they are not being accommodated.
Schools will make academic adjustments based on IEP or 504 Plans. Documentation of the disability is your student’s responsibility. The student is required to provide and pay for documentation of their disability. IEP and 504 Plans will not be accepted as the sole means of documentation.
High School can change academic requirements for your student. Colleges are not required to reduce or waive essential course requirements.
High School Academic Adjustments College Accommodations
High school allows shortened assignments. In college, shortened assignments are not a reasonable accommodation.
High school allows the use of notes, formulas or word banks on exams. The use of these items on exams is not considered a reasonable accommodation in college.
High school explains questions using different words. Explaining questions using different words is not reasonable in college.
High school can request a copy of the teacher’s notes. Requesting a copy of a professor’s notes is not a reasonable accommodation. The notes are many times considered intellectual property of the professor.

Additional Helpful Information

At the college level, students must request services. Students must self-identify to Disability Services as having a disability and present appropriate documentation. Students must contact the office at the beginning of every semester that they wish to receive accommodations. Even if the Disability Services Coordinator and an instructor know that a student has a disability and is eligible for an accommodation, if the student does not request and provide letters to their faculty, then they will not receive any accommodations.

College students must notify their faculty directly as to their accommodation needs. Disability Services will not, as a rule, contact instructors for students. Disability Services can provide accommodations, but it is the student’s responsibility to share the accommodation letter with instructors and to discuss the stated accommodations.

Colleges are not obligated to provide the exact same accommodations as were given at any point from K-12. Even if an accommodation is listed on a 504 Plan or other documents, the ODS office may determine that is not reasonable at the college level.

How Parents Can Help

The following are some important ways parents can help:

  • Encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of available services. While services cannot be forced upon a student, it is in the student’s best interest to know what services he or she is eligible for.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to meet with the Disability Services Coordinator at the start of each semester. Even if a student does not want services or accommodations, it is helpful for the student to discuss this with the Coordinator. Students are welcome anytime to make an appointment with the office.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to speak up for him or herself and to be on his or her own best advocate.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to meet regularly with his or her instructors to get feedback as to their progress in class, and to check in with their academic advisor as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is my role as a parent of a college student with a disability?
    Students need the support of parents and other family members. Appropriate parental involvement must take place within the boundaries set by law, good sense, and by keeping the long-term best interest of the emerging young adult in mind. Such involvement most often involves advising and encouraging the college student from the sidelines. Only the most extreme circumstances, such as those that seriously threaten the health of the student, allow for direct parental involvement.
  2. How do the responsibilities of working with students with disabilities in college differ from those of high schools?
    The responsibilities towards students with disabilities in college are very different from those of high schools. High schools are required under IDEA to identify the educational needs of students with a disability and provide a free and appropriate education. This responsibility is not required of Higher Education institutions. Higher Education institutions are required to provide appropriate academic accommodations to ensure that a student with a disability is not discriminated against. The student is responsible for disclosing his or her disability to the institution.
  3. I have heard that my son or daughter can sign a waiver that will allow me to speak with staff at the disability services office. Is this true?
    The student can sign a release giving staff permission to share information with parents. However, you should know that even if a student signs a release, the Disability Services staff prefers to communicate with parents, or other parties, in the presence of the student. Also, the Disability Services staff requires that the student handle any matters related to our office, including registration and accommodations. We do not work with the parent in place of the student.
  4. Can I request accommodations for my child?
    All requests for accommodations must come directly from the student.
  5. In high school, teachers kept me informed of how my son or daughter was doing. Will a professor contact me if my student is having difficulties in class?
    In college, students should know how to seek assistance if they are having problems. The university is not permitted to release information about a student’s academic progress. If you contact Disability Services and would like to discuss concerns about your child, you are welcome to do so, but arrangements must be made with the Disability Services Coordinator for the student to be present in order to discuss any specific information regarding the student. The Disability Services staff will be happy to speak with parents and answer any basic questions but will not share specific information about their student unless the student is present or has specifically requested the information be shared.
  6. What is my son or daughter’s role as a college student with a disability?
    College is a different environment in which each student needs to grow and develop their self-advocacy skills. We know that students with disabilities face the same challenges as every college bound young adult plus the challenges related to their disability. However, their role remains to successfully transition into a successful adult.

Contact

Shalishah Russell
Coordinator of Disability Services
120 Stone Hall
(910) 246-4138
(910) 695-3981, Fax
russells@sandhills.edu