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KUMC Students with Disabilities Policies & Procedures Manual

Policy
Procedure
Purpose: 

Mission Statement:

It is the mission of the Office of Academic Accommodation Services (AAS) of the University of Kansas Medical Center to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities unless such accommodations would impose an undue burden or fundamental alteration to the program in question. Pursuant to federal and state laws, all qualified students with disabilities are protected from discrimination on the basis of disability and are eligible for reasonable accommodations or modifications in the academic environment to enable them to enjoy equal access to academic programs, services, or activities. Access to education is one key to opening the doors to mainstream society to people with disabilities. KU Medical Center is fully committed to complying with the laws regarding equal opportunity for all qualified students with disabilities; promoting the full participation of all qualified students in all aspects of campus life; and making reasonable accommodations as are necessary and appropriate to eliminate discrimination or disadvantage on the basis of disability from that its programs and activities.

The AAS helps to facilitate and provide equal educational access and opportunity for all members of our community. Staff will work individually with each student to understand his or her strengths and limitations in order to develop the most effective and comprehensive accommodation plan. In addition to working in a direct service capacity with our students, AAS also collaborates with administrators, faculty, and staff to facilitate the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. The policies and mission of AAS are designed carry out the intent of Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, which states:

"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 7(20), shall solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Applies to: 

KUMC Campus Students, Faculty, and Staff

Campus: 
Medical Center, Kansas City
Policy Statement: 

Policy for Students with Disabilities at KU Medical Center

This policy broadens the involvement in accommodations decisions to include input from the representatives of the student’s faculty and program administrators. Through this policy KU Medical Center strives to ensure that each student’s needs, the program’s fundamental elements and applicable laws are considered when making decisions about appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. The policy will clarify responsibilities for assessing requests for student accommodations and avenues to resolutions of various issues that arise during the accommodation process.

Policy changes and additions include:

  • Creation of the School ADA Liaison (SAL) for each school: the Student Affairs Dean or his/her designee.
  • Creation of the ADA Panel, which will review accommodation requests, evaluates documentation, and decides whether requested accommodations are reasonable. The ADA Panel will be made up of the Coordinator for Academic Accommodations, the Director of Educational Support Services, and the School ADA Liaison (SAL) for the requesting school or program.
  • Creation of the Technical Standards Committee, which will be made up of the School ADA Liaisons for each school, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and the Coordinator of Academic Accommodations Services. The committee will select a chair.
  • Creation of University-wide Technical Standards will provide a baseline of standards common to all programs. Each program may supplement the University-Wide Technical Standards with its own technical standards, which will be specific to the needs of the program. Admitted students will be asked to identify whether they can accomplish the University-wide Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodations. Admitted students will receive the Technical Standards Acknowledgment form electronically as a part of the Acceptance Letter/packet the student receives.

Definitions

Disability: Pursuant to federal and state laws, an individual has a disability if she/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. Although some disabilities (e.g., spinal cord injury or blindness) are readily observable, other disabilities are not as obvious. In the case of disabilities that are not as obvious, a qualified professional must perform a specialized assessment to identify the disability.

Learning Disability: (as defined by the Rehabilitation Services Administration) “A disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding, and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken) or written language or nonverbal means” (RSA PDF-85-7, 1985, p.2). Learning disabilities are commonly manifested as difficulties with reading, spelling, and expressing ideas in writing, or solving mathematical problems.

Technical Standards: Basic activities (cognitive, psychomotor, and affective) that a student must be able to complete within each professional program of the various schools. A description of more specific essential functions for each of the programs within the schools may be obtained on the program’s website and through the Admissions Director of each program.

Qualified Student: A student who meets the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the program or activity with or without reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodation: An adjustment or modification that allows the qualified individual with a disability equal access to participation as a student in the various programs of the schools at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Any reasonable accommodation should not cause undue hardship, financial or otherwise, to the academic/educational programs, schools, or the institution as a whole or fundamentally alter the curriculum of the program.

Professional Diagnostician: An individual who possesses the knowledge, skills, training and professional credentials to assess and diagnose a specific disability and recommend reasonable accommodations based on a specific disability.

The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Panel: On behalf of the university the panel reviews disability documentation submitted by the student to verify a disability and the appropriateness of any particular accommodation. The panel is made up of the Director of Academic Support Services, the Coordinator for the Academic Accommodations Services Office, and the Student Affairs Liaison from the school or program for that student.

Technical Standards Committee (TSC): The TSC is made up of the School ADA Liaisons, the Coordinator for the AAS Office, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Services. This group works closely with the AAS staff with respect to the institution’s overall compliance with the ADA.

Assistive Technology (AT): AT is any device that helps a student with a disability to perform a task. When considering AT in any situation, the focus should be on what the device or software does for a person, not on the device or technology itself. AT is only a support to “get the job done” more independently. It can reduce a student’s reliance on others while also fostering self-esteem and reducing anxiety.

ADA Appeals Committee: Chaired by the student’s Student Affairs Dean, the committee includes the Coordinator of Academic Accommodations Services (CAAS), all of the School Accommodations Liaisons (SALs), and a representative from Human Resources. This group will meet when questions arise concerning accommodations.

CAAS: The Coordinator for the Academic Accommodations Services (AAS) Office is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the AAS Office.

Undue Hardship: An undue hardship results when an accommodation places significant difficulty or expense on the university. Universities are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless the accommodation creates an undue hardship and is no longer required. These hardships include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the university’s operation.

Recruitment/Bulletin Materials

Recruitment materials including handbooks and informational materials should state the commitment of KU Medical Center to equal opportunity for students with disabilities. All application forms, invitations, or other correspondence with applicants are required to include this statement of equal opportunity for students with disabilities as follows:

KU Medical Center is committed to equal opportunity for students with disabilities. Each academic program has Technical Standards that describe specific skills and outcomes that a student must be capable of performing with or without accommodations to be successful in the program. The Technical Standards document of each program is available upon request. If you have a documented disability or would like to obtain information regarding services for students with disabilities at KU Medical Center, please contact the Academic Accommodations Office, 913-945-7035. This information will be confidential; only those individuals responsible for administering the reasonable accommodations process will have access to this information, anyone else will require the consent of the student.

Adherence to the following guidelines will help all programs be successful in including students with disabilities in recruiting efforts:

  • School and programs websites should be provided in a format that is accessible to students with low vision, dyslexia or other disabilities that affect reading and visual processing. The Academic Accommodations Coordinator is available to provide support/resources for website accessibility.
  • In promotional materials, include information about how students can request accommodations, such as incorporating the proposed statement noted above into your materials. Establish procedures to efficiently and effectively respond to accommodations requests and refer students to the Academic Accommodations Office.
  • At open houses and recruiting events, prepare written materials in alternate formats.
  • Hold open houses and recruiting events in a wheelchair-accessible location and consider and prepare for mobility needs on campus tours and other such activities.
  • Make sure to include in program presentations and all written materials the program and school’s commitment to equal opportunity for students with disabilities and specific interest in recruiting qualified students with disabilities. Include information about program and school willingness to appropriately accommodate disability needs and available resources.
  • Make the application process accessible. Think ahead about potential accommodations applicants may require during the application process, such as Interpreters.

The school handbooks and bulletins of each KU Medical Center School and program should contain the following:

The University of Kansas Medical Center prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following office has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Natalie Holick, Director of Equal Employment Officer at 913-588-8011 or nholick@kumc.edu, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 1054 Wescoe, Kansas City, KS. 66160.

In addition, school/department handbooks should contain;

  • A precise description of the admission requirements and the ethical and academic performance standards of the school.
  • A precise description of the academic standards, which define good standing in the academic program;
  • Policies that govern academic progress and graduation, and the conditions for remediation and counseling, as well as due process for student grievances.
  • A description of the maximum amount of time that can be taken for completion of the academic program, and the awarding of the appropriate degree, and
  • Professional licensure requirements as applicable.

Technical Standards/Procedures

The faculty of the Schools of Health Professions, Medicine, and Nursing has developed Technical Standards documents (TSDs) that are unique to each school and at times, to specific programs within the schools. The Technical Standards documents include the minimum physical, cognitive, and behavioral standards expected of all students accepted in that academic program at KU Medical Center. The TSDs are described as expected outcomes rather than in terms of the processes used to achieve the standard. The TSDs of each school will be annually reviewed and updated with the Academic Accommodations Office. Each program may supplement the University-Wide Technical Standards with its own technical standards, which will be specific to the needs of the program.

Technical standards are nonacademic criteria for admission and continued program participation. They may include such things as abilities in context (ability to discriminate breath sounds), behaviors in the present (compliance with an established code of conduct), or safety (a direct threat to health and safety). Focus is on the specific curriculum to be mastered.

Standards should be anchored to the curriculum, supported in policy and practice, and utilize objective performance criteria that can be reliably applied to all program applicants or participants.

Standards should be defined as essential functions a student must demonstrate in order to fulfill program requirements and should be connected with professional licensure requirements.

In addition students at KU Medical Center must be able to perform the following universal Technical Standards with or without accommodations. Each program may further elaborate on these general descriptions so that they are congruent with the professional roles the student will eventually enter. An individualized interactive process must be used to determine if reasonable accommodations would allow a student to meet the technical standards.

Observation (to include the various sensory modalities): Students must be able to accurately observe close at hand and at a distance to learn skills and to gather data (e.g., observe an instructor’s movements, a patient’s gait or verbal response, a chemical reaction, a microscopic image, etc.). Students must possess functional use of the senses that permit such observation.

Communication: Students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently. Students must be able to process and comprehend written material. The student must be capable of responsive, empathetic listening to establish rapport in a way that promotes openness on issues of concern and sensitivity to potential cultural differences. In patient care settings the student must be able to process and communicate information on the patient’s status with accuracy in a timely manner to physician colleagues and other members of the health care team.

Psychomotor Skills: Students must have sufficient motor capacities and mobility to execute the various tasks and physical maneuvers that are required within each program. Students must be able to display motor functioning sufficient to fulfill the professional roles toward which each program educates.

Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities: Students must be able to measure, calculate reason, analyze, synthesize, integrate, and remember to apply information. Creative problem solving and clinical reasoning require all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, programs may include requirements specific to their programs.

Professional and Social Attributes: Students must exercise good judgment and promptly complete all responsibilities required of each program. They must develop mature, sensitive, and effective professional relationships with others. They must be able to tolerate taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities. Concern for others, interpersonal competence, and motivation are requisites for all programs.

Ethical Standards: A student must demonstrate professional attitudes and behaviors and must perform in an ethical manner in dealings with others. All programs require personal integrity and the adherence to standards that reflect the values and functions of the profession. Many programs also require adherence to a code of ethics.

Rights and Responsibilities

Every qualified student with a disability has the right to:

  • Equal access to educational and co-curricular programs, services, activities, and facilities available through KU Medical Center.
  • Reasonable and effective accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Confidentiality regarding disability information including the right to choose to whom the disclosure of disability is made except as required by law.
  • Receive information in reasonably accessible formats (e.g., meets request deadlines to ensure availability.)

Every student with a disability has the responsibility to:

  • Meet KU Medical Center’s qualifications including essential technical, academic, and institutional standards.
  • Self-identify as an individual with a disability and request accommodations through the Academic Accommodations Office in a timely manner.
  • Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source verifying the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the rationale for specific accommodations being recommended.
  • Follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids as outlined.

Institutional Rights and Responsibilities:

The University of Kansas Medical Center through the Academic Accommodations for Services Office has the right and responsibility to:

  • Maintain the university’s academic standards.
  • Require qualifying disability documentation in order to verify eligibility for disability accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
  • Discuss students’ eligibility with diagnosing professionals with signed consent of the individual student.
  • Select from among equally effective/appropriate accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids in consultation with the student.
  • Deny requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids when disability documentation does not identify a specific disability, fails to verify the need for the requested services, or is not provided in a timely manner.
  • Deny requests for accommodations, adjustment, and/or auxiliary aids that are inappropriate or unreasonable based on disability documentation including any that:
    • Pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
    • Constitute a substantial change or alteration of an essential course element/program standard, or
    • Pose undue financial or administrative burden on the University.

Attendance as an Essential Element of the Course

Generally students are expected to follow established classroom attendance policies. However, some disabilities are episodic, and students may have to miss class as a result of medical issues. Because attendance may be integral to the learning process, the faculty of the respective School, at the departmental or individual level, sets these policies. In most cases attendance is fundamental to course objectives. For example, students may be required to think and argue critically or to participate in group projects. In other instances faculty may determine that students can master course content despite some or many absences. If the student is not meeting these requirements, then the student may not be "otherwise qualified" to attend school at this point in time.

The following questions can assist faculty and the Academic Accommodations Office in determining if attendance is an essential element of a course:

  • Is there classroom interaction and dialogue between the instructor and students?
  • Is there important classroom discussion between students facilitated by the instructor?
  • Does student participation constitute a significant component of the learning process for the class?
  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
  • To what degree does a student's failure to attend class constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • Are attendance requirements listed in the course syllabus? What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?
  • What method (e.g. test points, homework, and attendance) is used to calculate a final grade for the course? How is attendance weighted?

Faculty is ultimately responsible for determining the weight and importance of class attendance and participation however, if the faculty answers ‘yes” to the majority of these questions, then an absence would alter an essential function of a course.

Fundamental Alteration of a Course

There may be times that a student requests an accommodation that a faculty believes may compromise the academic integrity or create a fundamental alteration of the course and/or program. To determine whether an accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of a course faculty should:

  • Identify the essential academic standards of the course;
  • Articulate specific requirements that individual instructors believe are fundamental to teaching the course, taking academic freedom into consideration;
  • Identify the unique qualities of the course/program in relation to its overall objectives and any program in which the course is required;
  • Engage in "reasoned deliberation" as to whether modification of the course/program would change the fundamental academic standards; and
  • Determine whether there are any reasonable alternatives to the fundamental requirements of the course.

University AAS Staff

The Vice Chancellor of Student Services will appoint an individual to serve as Coordinator of Academic Accommodations. This individual will report to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services. This individual will:

  • Monitor all known student accommodation activity;
  • Respond in a timely manner to student accommodation requests following the receipt of appropriate documentation supporting the request for accommodation(s);
  • Communicate applicable changes in law or institutional policy regarding students with disabilities to the School ADA Liaisons, the Director of Academic Support Services, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Services;
  • Review this policy manual annually to ensure that it complies with the law and institutional policies;
  • Issue an annual report on accommodations, and ensure that the accommodations can be made without undue hardship or financial strain upon the academic/educational programs, the Schools, or the institution as a whole;
  • Work with the School ADA Liaisons to coordinate requests for accommodations;
  • In conjunction with the Director of Educational Support Services, annually review the technical standards of each school at KU Medical Center and bring all issues related to students with disabilities to the attention of the Vice Chancellor for Student Services, and the dean of the respective school;
  • Consult with the General Counsel’s Office on issues of policy and law;
  • Work with the Director of Educational Support Services to provide education and information regarding the requirements of academic accommodations to faculty, staff, students, and administration;
  • Notify the Schools on an annual basis regarding ADA training issues;

School ADA Liaison (SAL)

The administrative official responsible for Student Affairs or his/her designee in each school will also be the School ADA Liaison. Responsibilities of these individuals as the SAL include:

  • Serve on the Technical Standard Committee.
  • Serve as the contact person for students with disabilities in their specific school.
  • Coordinate special accommodations when necessary and approved.
  • Serve as faculty liaison between students requesting accommodations and faculty.
  • Advise the Academic Accommodations Services staff when problems (real and perceived) exist regarding students with disabilities in the respective school or the accommodation process.
  • Annually provide admissions committee members with information about the ADA as it relates to the admissions process, including what is permitted and what is prohibited during applicant interviews and generally during the applicant selection process.
  • Provide all students who have been invited to matriculate into their respective school a copy of the Technical Standards.
  • Follow-up to confirm that all students return the form indicating they can perform the Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodation(s).
  • Send any Technical Standards forms in which a student identifies that they have a disability to the Academic Accommodations Office; and acknowledge and sign confidentiality agreement.

ADA Panel

The ADA Panel consists of the SALs, Vice Chancellor of Student Services and Coordinator of Academic Accommodations will review disability documentation provided to the University by the student in support of a request for accommodation. The ADA panel verifies that a disability exists and the appropriateness of any particular documentation in support of a request for accommodation(s). The Panel will:

  • Review the documents submitted. If the panel determines that the documentation presented by the student is inadequate regarding either the claimed disability or the requested accommodation(s), the AAS staff will send the student a letter detailing the additional information needed before a decision regarding the accommodation request can be reached. A request for additional information does not constitute a denial of the accommodation request. Failure to provide the requested information will result in denial of the accommodation request.
  • Review the professional’s curriculum vitae to determine whether the professional who has assessed the student has appropriate credentials to assess the described disability.
  • Verify that the documentation from the professional who assessed the student specifies the disability and the limitations of the essential functions, and suggests accommodations which meet the needs of the student.
  • Respond to questions regarding assessment of disabilities and appropriateness of recommendations from the student with disabilities.
  • Provide a written decision either approving or denying the request for accommodation
    • If the Panel has questions regarding whether or not the student has a qualifying disability under the law, a second opinion can be required by the Panel, and will be paid for by KU Medical Center. The Vice Chancellor for Student Services has the sole authority to invoke this option.
  • If the Panel cannot reach agreement and determines a second opinion is necessary, the panel will inform the student in writing of the process to follow to obtain a second opinion.
    • Failure of the student to submit to a second opinion will result in an automatic denial of the accommodation request.
    • If the second opinion is in conflict with the medical documentation presented by the student, and the Panel cannot reach agreement about the accommodation, the Vice Chancellor of Student Services will make the final determination in consultation with the General Counsel’s office.

Academic Accommodations

The Academic Accommodation Services Office (AAS) coordinates academic accommodations that are necessary to allow a student with a qualifying disability the opportunity for equal participation in the academic programs at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Students who believe they have a qualifying disability should contact the AAS office as soon as possible after admission so that appropriate accommodations can be identified and coordinated in a timely manner. Accommodations requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.

To provide academic accommodations for students who qualify and are registered with the Academic Accommodations Services Office, the appropriate academic adjustment will be determined based on disability and individual needs in each case. Academic adjustments may include auxiliary aids and services, as well as modifications to academic requirements as necessary to provide equal educational opportunity. Examples of adjustments include, but are not limited to: providing note takers, use of recording devices, sign language interpreters, extended time for testing, and equipping school computers with screen-reading, voice recognition, or other adaptive software or hardware.

In providing an academic adjustment, KU Medical Center is not required to lower or substantially modify essential requirements of a course or program, nor does it have to make adjustments that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program, or activity, or that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden. KU Medical Center does not 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.

Students must:

  • Complete and sign the Student Request for Accommodation Form.
  • Meet with the AAS staff member to discuss requested and potential accommodations.
  • Meet the university’s qualifications and essential technical, academic and institutional standards.
  • Provide adequate documentation of disability from a qualified provider.
  • Provide the AAS office with their course names and numbers, the names of their professors, and test dates and times at the beginning of each semester.
  • Address any questions or concerns about accommodations promptly.

The AAS staff will:

  • Meet individually with every student who requests accommodations.
  • Review and approve qualified accommodation requests.
  • Provide or arrange for reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities on an individualized basis upon request, with verified documentation and upon appropriate approval of the accommodation.
  • Send letters to the student’s professor or course leader(s) each semester.
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication.
  • Treat all students with respect and courtesy.
  • Provide ongoing accommodations to existing students without referral to the ADA Panel.

Faculty/Instructor responsibilities:

  • Consult with the AAS staff concerning the student’s accommodations, including any concerns about the arrangements.
  • Discuss the accommodations with the student.
  • Provide accessible classroom and course materials.
  • Provide courses in the most integrated and appropriate setting.

Provisional accommodations may be provided to students for up to one semester, pending receipt of official and complete documentation of a student’s disability. KU Medical Center may provide provisional accommodations when a student has a prior record of a disability but needs additional time to provide AAS with updated disability documentation. Any such accommodations are courtesy arrangements, provided at the discretion of AAS, and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. KU Medical Center is under no obligation to continue these accommodations if documentation standards are not met. Furthermore, KU Medical Center is not obligated to continue any informal accommodations arranged/permitted by faculty without the approval of AAS.

Documentation

KU Medical Center is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students who matriculate. Students seeking academic accommodation should present documentation of a qualified disability to the Office of Academic Accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to self-disclose a disability and the need for academic accommodations and submit all necessary documentation to establish the presence of a disability and identify the appropriate accommodation.

A disability is a physical or mental condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Information that establishes a history of a disability throughout the student’s academic path is helpful in establishing the presence of a disability.

Qualifying professionals must have expertise in the area for which they are rendering a diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of the documented medical, physical, or psychological condition, and follow established practices in the field. Documentation should be submitted on an official letterhead.

Documentation should include the following:

  • Credentials of the evaluator(s)
  • Diagnostic statement identifying the disability, as appropriate to the disability
  • Description of the diagnostic methodology used
  • Description of the current functional limitations
  • Description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
  • Description of current and past accommodations, services, and/or medications
  • Documentation must effectively validate the need for accommodations
  • Report must be dated and signed by the evaluator
  • Report should include all documentation for multiple disabilities disclosed

Disability documentation should be current and relevant. Disabilities are often lifelong conditions; therefore historic information and documentation may be sufficient when accompanied by an interview with student.

Documentation should include recommendations for academic accommodations. Final determinations on academic accommodations will be made by the ADA panel. Reasonable accommodations will be determined based upon documentation and through discussions with the student regarding functional limitations in the services and programs to be accessed.

If a student submits incomplete or inadequate documentation to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodations, AAS has the right to seek clarification from the evaluator or request further documentation with the student bearing the cost of the evaluation.

Testing Accommodation Policy

The Academic Accommodation Services Office provides appropriate testing accommodations to students who are eligible and have registered with AAS. AAS wants the testing experience to be smooth and efficient with minimal disruptions. All tests will be administered through the Testing Center at Dykes Library. All students must adhere to the Dykes Testing Center policy as well as acknowledge the Test Etiquette for Students form (contained in the Appendix.) The AAS Office will collaborate with the Testing Center to provide testing accommodations to qualified students. The goal of testing accommodations is to provide a testing environment that measures the student’s knowledge and acquisition of course material, while minimizing the impact of the student's disability in the testing process. To accomplish this AAS staff will make recommendations for exam accommodations based on the documented impact of the disability. In order to maintain the integrity of testing services AAS has implemented the following guidelines:

All testing will be administered at the regularly scheduled time of the class test, unless the scheduled test time conflicts with class schedules. In those cases, the test must be scheduled for an alternate time/day, either earlier that same day or a day agreed upon by faculty.

Students will meet with each faculty member to discuss necessary accommodations for testing in their class.

If a student misses a test or anticipates missing a test, he/she should call the faculty first. If permission to reschedule the test is granted, he/she should call the AAS office who will work closely with the Testing Center at Dyke’s Library to schedule a make-up test.

The student is responsible for resolving any scheduling conflicts – such as overlapping tests, running into class time or tests scheduled at times which conflict with accommodations.

In the event a student becomes ill during an examination and requires medical attention, the test administrator or designee may, to the extent needed, assist the student in accessing medical care.

As participants in the testing process, the AAS staff respect faculty concerns for test security and make every effort to maintain academic integrity at all times. Some test rooms are equipped with video observation equipment to ensure academic honesty and safety of students. Students will be under constant supervision by either staff or video observation.

The nature of the reasonable accommodations provided in each case depends upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. While the University will give priority consideration to the specific accommodations requested by the student, a particular accommodation may not be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and other suitable accommodations are available.

Captioning and Audio Materials

The University of Kansas Medical Center prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the University’s programs and activities.

Students who have hearing impairments and qualify for the accommodation of captioning on audio material must have access to captioned material at the same time that hearing students first have access to the material.

Procedures for managing captioning of audio material:

  • Faculty members are responsible for ensuring that audio material is captioned.
  • If a video, podcast, film, or other material with audio components is not captioned, it may not be shown, posted, or made a part of the students’ curriculum or assignments until the material is captioned.
  • Faculty members are free to caption material themselves or arrange for the captioning of class material.
  • Faculty members who wish to use an outside captioner associated with the Academic Accommodations Office must send that material to the captioner no later than three weeks before the date the material is needed.
  • Material to be sent to the captioner associated with the Academic Accommodations Office must be sent in the MP4 format. If the material needs to be formatted, it must be sent three weeks before the captioned version is needed.
  • If your distance education classes use video material, it must be captioned. Please keep in mind, that although interpreters/transcribers are provided for our students with hearing impairments, they are no substitute for captioned videos.

Note-Taking

Students must provide documentation to the Academic Accommodation Services Office that clearly supports the need for note-taking accommodations. Note-takers are solicited in class on a volunteer basis. If a student is dissatisfied with notes for any reason, a new note-taker will be found. If the student receiving notes withdraws from class, he/she must inform the note-taker and the AAS in writing within 24 hours. If the student terminates the note-taker, he/she must submit a reason for termination in writing to the AAS. Note: Students must attend class to obtain notes.

Note-taking Procedures for requesting students, staff and faculty

Students

  • Meet with AAS staff to request accommodations.
  • Students must sign the note taking contract
  • Meet with instructor to discuss accommodations in a timely manner.
  • Ask the instructor for assistance in selection of the most qualified note-taker from the students who volunteer. Select a primary note-taker.
  • If no one volunteers, contact AAS immediately.
  • Inquire whether instructor has adequate notes that can be shared.
  • Attend class.

Faculty/Instructor Responsibilities

  • Discuss note-taking accommodation request with student.
  • If necessary, clarify procedures with AAS.
  • Read the in-class announcement requesting a volunteer note-taker.
  • When asked, review the quality and content of notes and recommend the most qualified

Note-taker Responsibilities

  • Provide clear and concise notes for the student.
  • Supply copies of notes when requested by the student or instructor.
  • Notify the accommodated student and AAS immediately if dropping the course so that another note-taker can be identified.

Interpreters/Cart Services

The Academic Accommodation Service Office recognizes the importance of quality real-time auditory access to academic and co-curricular materials. Consequently, sign language interpreting and real-time speech-to-text services are integral pieces of the accommodation process for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Although the University of Kansas Medical Center currently does not utilize Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services, should it become necessary to implement VRI, the university will follow Title II requirements.

The following procedures outline the students’ responsibility for this policy:

  • First day of class: On the first day of class, arrive a few minutes early and introduce yourself to the interpreter and gather contact information for reporting absences. Be sure your seat in each classroom is right for you. It is important that you have a direct line of vision to the instructor, the board or screen, and the interpreter.
  • Course syllabus: It is your responsibility to secure a syllabus (an outline of the main topics covered throughout the semester) for each class and use it to plan for your assigned readings, exams, presentations, and final exam dates.
  • Questions about class information: If you have questions about class information, ask the instructor. It can be very beneficial to meet with the instructor outside of class time, either during the instructor’s office hours or by making an appointment with the instructor. You may request interpreting services for meetings with your instructors. If you want to talk briefly with the instructor or teaching assistant immediately preceding or following class, it is your responsibility to ask the interpreter if he/she can arrive before or stay after class for this purpose.
  • Schedule changes: AAS needs a copy of your class schedule and accommodation requests to arrange interpreters. Students eligible for early enrollment are encouraged to take advantage of this privilege and submit class schedules to the AAS staff.
  • Attendance: If a student will be absent for any reason, it is important that he/she notify his/her Interpreter and the AAS staff at least 24 hours in advance. When possible, a cancellation notice should be made a minimum of two business days in advance of the event/class. Failure to notify the Interpreter or AAS staff in advance will result in that absence being counted as a no-show/no-call. The student is responsible for notifying the Interpreter of his/her absence.
  • To notify KU Medical Center of an absence: please contact your Interpreter with his/her contact information and the AAS office at cukoko@kumc.edu.
  • Interpreter wait time: If you are late, the interpreter will wait for 15 minutes. If you do not arrive to your class within these timelines, the interpreter will leave and notify the AAS staff of a no-show/no-call.
  • Student no-show/no-call: After the third no-show/no call per class per semester, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a meeting with the AAS staff to discuss the situation.
  • Communication with your interpreter: Communication with your interpreter is absolutely necessary. If you have problems understanding signs used or any other concerns, discuss the concerns with the interpreter. On the first day of class or early in the semester, let the interpreter know if you will be voicing for yourself or prefer him/her to voice for you. Let the interpreter know your sign preference (ASL, PSE, SEE), seating preference, and/or concerns you are having that affect your ability to understand the interpreter. If your concerns are not resolved after talking with the interpreter, address your concerns with the AAS staff.
  • Confidentiality: KU Medical Center interpreters are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the professional standards set by the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct as well as abide by all University Policies and Procedures and the regulations set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Interpreters at the KU Medical Center may share classroom accommodation-related issues with other AAS staff on a “need to know” basis. As a result, there will be times when interpreters share typically confidential information about students and work experiences/challenges for the purpose of improving the quality of the service.
  • Internships: Students may be involved with internships or field work placements as part of their academic program. AAS considers internships and field work placements in the same light as regularly scheduled courses at KU Medical Center. All of the responsibilities and policies regarding use of services (i.e., interpreting and speech-to-text services) remain in effect for all students who earn course credit in field placement(s) and internship programs.
  • Transportation: Some courses or course assignments may be held off campus (i.e., not on KU Medical Center’s main campus). Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the off-campus site. AAS staff and contracted service providers do not provide transportation for students to or from campus or other sites. This applies to internships, field placements, group meetings, courses, and other placements that take place off campus.
  • Additional academic interpreting requests: If you need an interpreter for any other meeting (such as meeting during a professor’s office hours), lecture, or class related activity it is imperative that you contact the AAS staff within five days of the scheduled event.
  • Non-academic interpreting requests: All extra-curricular (non-academic) or employment-related interpreting requests should be made to the department or organization hosting the activity or event. Host departments/organizations may consult or collaborate with AAS in procuring interpreting services.
  • Academic advisor: It is your academic responsibility to establish an on-going relationship with an academic advisor. This should be done during your first semester at the university so that you will have access to information for appropriate course selection during your academic career at KU Medical Center. If you need an interpreter to meet with your advisor, plan ahead, and contact AAS staff at least five business days in advance.

Universal Design

Universal design is an approach to designing course instruction, materials, and content to benefit people of all learning styles without adaptation or retrofitting. Universal design provides equal access to learning, not simply equal access to information. Universal Design allows the student to control the method of accessing information while the faculty monitors the learning process and initiates any beneficial methods. Faculty are responsible for imparting knowledge and facilitating the learning process. Universal Design enables students to be self-sufficient learners.

Universal Design does not remove academic challenges; it removes barriers to access. Simply stated, Universal Design is just good teaching. KU Medical Center encourages all faculty to employ Universal Design strategies in their teaching.

The following are examples of Universal Design strategies:

  • Put course content on-line allowing students to "pick up" material that might have been missed in lecture.
  • Use peer mentoring, group discussions, and cooperative learning situations rather than strictly lecture.
  • Use guided notes to enable students to listen for essential concepts without copying notes off the overhead.
  • Update course materials based on current events and student demands.
  • Provide comprehensive syllabus with clearly identified course requirements, accommodation statement, and due dates.
  • Change-up traditional instructional methods; provide illustrations, handouts, auditory and visual aids.
  • Clarify any feedback or instructions, ask for questions, and use multiple examples.
  • Relate a new topic to one already learned or a real-life example.
  • Secure a note taker, allow the students to tape record lectures or provide him/her with a copy of your notes.
  • Allow the student to demonstrate knowledge of the subject through alternate means than standard testing.
  • Permit and encourage the use of adaptive technology.

Confidentiality

The Academic Accommodation Services Office is committed to ensuring that confidentiality is protected. Therefore, the AAS will not disclose your relationship with our office or information contained in your student-client file that is considered part of your educational record and is protected from disclosure under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Our office will adhere to the following guidelines regarding confidentiality:

Identifying information

  • The AAS will not release any identifying information about you to any person unless it is necessary to provide access at the University of Kansas Medical Center or with your written consent, which allows us to only release information from your educational records.
  • Unless you have given written consent, we will not answer questions about you nor discuss related general information, policies, and procedures.

Disability-related information

  • Disability-related information includes documentation, correspondence, file notes, and accommodation records.
  • Access to disability-related information is shared only on a need-to-know basis and to ensure appropriate access to education and facilities.
  • At your request or in response to an inquiry, disability-related information will be shared with University of Kansas Medical Center faculty and staff to ensure appropriate access and accommodation.

E-mail communication

  • No e-mail is secure and confidential. Your screen name, ID, computer designation or other personal information is transmitted with e-mail and could be intercepted by others.
  • To facilitate confidentiality, the AAS is willing to conduct all business with you by U.S. mail, phone, and in person. If the student agrees, AAS may also use e-mail communication, text message, or other means of effective communication to conduct business.
  • KU Medical Center and AAS have in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access to e-mail; however, we cannot guarantee that e-mail communications are secure and confidential.

Grievance Procedures

The ADA and Section 504 obligate schools to accommodate, protect from harassment, and refrain from discriminating against students with disabilities.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Natalie Holick, Director of Equal Employment Officer at 913-588-8011 or nholick@kumc.edu, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, MS 7004, Kansas City, KS. 66160.

If a student is not satisfied with any decision by the university involving academic adjustments or effective communication, or otherwise believes she or he has been denied a reasonable accommodation or discriminated against on the basis of disability, the student may contact the designated coordinator and/or file a complaint of discrimination in accordance with the university’s anti-discrimination grievance procedure entitled KU Medical Center Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process. The student may contact the Vice Chancellor of Student Services,  prior to or after a complaint of discrimination is filed to attempt to resolve the complaint informally, however, informal or voluntary resolution attempts after a complaint is filed will not delay the investigation of the complaint pursuant to the grievance procedure set forth in the KU Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process.

Appendix

The University of Kansas Medical Center

Note-taking Services Policy and Contract

To the student: If you are using note taker services, you must:

  • Attend class regularly.
  • Pick up notes at least on a weekly basis or obtain the notes directly from the note taker

You should be aware that your professors have been alerted that they may notify the Academic Accommodations Office if you are not attending class regularly. Remember that you have signed a contract with the AAS concerning your responsibilities in using note taker services. If your attendance or tardiness in picking up notes becomes an issue, the Academic Accommodations staff will contact you to discuss stopping note-taker services. Note-taking assistance is provided as a necessary academic accommodation and is not considered a substitute for a student’s full participation in class. Assistance is determined on a class-by-class basis and is dependent upon the nature of each course and the method of instruction as it relates to the student’s documented disability. Notes and/or recordings provided are for a student’s personal study use only and are not to be shared with other individuals.

The notes that you receive should be considered supplemental information. You should always pay close attention in each class and take your own notes as well as you are able. It is a good strategy to review the notes from the previous class prior to your next class.

At your discretion, you are encouraged to get to know your note taker and express your appreciation for their assistance.

Use of note-taking services will be monitored closely to ensure that you maintain eligibility.

________________________________________

To receive note-taking services, I understand and agree to the following:

  • I must attend all classes unless I have a medical/emergency excuse
  • I will pick up my own notes as agreed
  • If I do not receive notes after one week, I will notify the Academic Accommodations Office immediately
  • If I withdraw or if notes are no longer required or requested, I will notify the Academic Accommodations Office to stop note taker services immediately
  • No other person is allowed to pick up my notes without prior approval by the Academic Accommodations Specialist.

Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART)

The University of Kansas Medical University is committed to providing communication access to students with hearing impairments in an effort to ensure all students have access to course material. Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) is a service option for students who are hard of hearing or deaf, allowing them visual access to classroom lecture and discussion while the class is being conducted. In order to request and receive CART services, students must provide AAS documentation verifying their need for this service. Upon receipt of the documentation, the ADA Panel will review that documentation, in consultation with the student, to determine whether this is an appropriate accommodation for the student’s needs. (Other service options may be determined to be more effective or appropriate depending upon students documented needs.)

Sign Language Interpreting Policy

KU Medical Center is committed to providing communication access to students with hearing impairments in an effort to ensure all students have access to course material. Sign language interpreting is a service option for students who are hard of hearing or deaf, allowing them visual access to classroom lecture and discussion while the class is being conducted. In order to request and receive sign language interpreting services, students must provide AAS documentation verifying their need for this service. Upon receipt of the documentation the ADA panel will review that documentation, in consultation with the student, to determine whether this is an appropriate accommodation for the student’s needs. (Other service options may be determined to be more effective or appropriate depending upon students documented needs.)

Interpreters and CART transcribers will:

  • Introduce themselves and their role to your professors before or on the first day of class;
  • Sign what is being said verbatim or near-verbatim classroom communication; including lectures, class discussions, and videos in real-time;
  • Prepare themselves to accurately condense and summarize real-time lecture content by reviewing texts and other material related to course content, and;
  • Keep your personal information confidential. Confidential information includes your name, the specifics of your disability, and any personally identifying information.

Once you have registered with AAS and have provided appropriate documentation supporting your need for sign language interpreting/CART services, you are responsible to;

  • Notify AAS of class or classroom changes as soon as possible;
  • Identify and introduce yourself to your interpreters on the first day of class or in any new setting, and for new or substitute interpreters/transcribers;
  • Be on time for all classes, labs, meetings, and any other academic events;
  • Notify AAS if your interpreter/transcriber misses or is late to class;
  • Let your interpreters/transcriber know if; you will be absent or miss a class, your class has been cancelled, or you will be making a presentation in class;
  • Notify AAS of any additional need for sign language interpreters/transcriber that was not specified in the Syllabus as soon as possible (i.e., videos, fieldtrips, presentations, etc.);
  • Communicate directly with your interpreters/transcriber regarding the effectiveness of the service and any desired changes, and;
  • Notify AAS if you believe the sign language interpreting/transcriber is not meeting your needs.

As with all accommodations, you must communicate problems or concerns with your interpreting/transcriber service to AAS as soon as possible in order to alert the staff and permit them the opportunity to work with you to resolve those problems or concerns. If you have questions about any aspect of this policy, please contact AAS.

Students requiring Accessible Print

In collaboration with Access Services on the Lawrence campus, KU Medical Center students who required alternative print will need to adhere to the KU policy and guidelines on accessible print. For more information please visit Accessible Print Policies and Procedures.

Test Etiquette for Students

These guidelines are to be followed by students involved with the academic accommodated testing process. They apply whether or not the testing is by paper and pencil or electronic and whether or not the location is in the Dykes Library Testing Center, rooms associated with the Testing Center or any other campus location.

  • Please arrive 5- 10 minutes before the time you are to begin your exam.
  • Please call the AAS Office at 913-945-7035 or 913-588-1471, if you are running late.
  • Unless there is a good reason for a late arrival (i.e. car accident, stopped by police, ill, etc.) you will be required to finish your exam at the scheduled time with no extra time added. The AAS staff must approve any exceptions.
  • You are permitted to arrive early and study until your exam is to begin.
  • Leave all personal items such as backpacks, purses, coats, cell phones, or pagers either outside your testing room or in a locker.
  • We will try to maintain a supply of tissues in the area.
  • Sometimes the temperature in the testing room is not comfortable. There is a thermostat in the room that can be adjusted when needed. Please consult with the test administrator on temperature. It is wise to bring a sweater during the winter months or to dress in cooler clothing during the summer months.
  • The test administrator will give you an honor sheet to sign after you have put all your belongings, such as backpacks, etc., outside your testing room. You are to sign this sheet and give it to the test administrator at the end of your exam. You can make notes on this sheet if you desire. Any notes you make on this sheet are to be information you have in your head, not information copied from notes, a book, etc.
  • If you have a problem signing into your testing computer, tell the test administrator who will contact the Testing Center.
  • No assistance, such as help with answering a test question, will be provided to you. BUT, if you want to talk to faculty about a test question, please contact the test administrator. He/she will then contact either testing staff, which will get the faculty for assistance. NOTE: not all faculty members provide assistance.
  • The computer will time you out after 15 minutes if there is no activity on the computer. As you know, moving the mouse around will prevent this from happening.
  • You are allowed to take restroom breaks.
  • For School of Medicine students, you may be accompanied by the test administrator when you take a restroom break during a shelf/subject exam.
  • You are allowed to have a clear closed contained beverage in the testing room.
  • You are permitted to close the door to your testing room.
  • Video surveillance cameras are in use throughout the library and in the testing rooms.

Tape Recording Agreement

I understand that as a student enrolled at the University of Kansas Medical Center who has a documented disability that affects my ability to take or read notes, one of my approved accommodations is the right to tape record my class lectures for the use of my personal studies only. I realize that lectures taped for this reason may not be shared among other people without the written consent of the lecturer.

I am aware that the information contained in the tape recorded lecture is protected under federal copyright laws and may not be published or quoted without the express consent of the lecturer and without giving proper identity and credit to the lecturer. I agree to abide by these guidelines with regard to any lectures I tape while enrolled as a student at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Camera Policy

KU Medical Center has installed video cameras in the ADA testing area to effectively monitor students during testing and the cameras are recording all activities in the testing areas. Cameras will be used in accordance with all university policies. Only authorized personnel will have access to surveillance cameras.

The purpose of this policy is to protect the integrity of the testing process by providing monitoring of students during testing and to facilitate potential need for a test administrator to monitor more than one testing room at a time.

In the event a dishonesty violation(s) is discovered by the video surveillance, the test administrator will follow the protocol in place to notify the testing center of the situation.

The Academic Accommodations Office will adhere to all requirements for national examinations.

Contact: 

Cyn Ukoko
cukoko@kumc.edu
913-945-7035

Approved by: 
Vice Chancellor of Student Services
Approved on: 
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Effective on: 
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

Disability: Pursuant to federal and state laws, an individual has a disability if she/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. Although some disabilities (e.g., spinal cord injury or blindness) are readily observable, other disabilities are not as obvious. In the case of disabilities that are not as obvious, a qualified professional must perform a specialized assessment to identify the disability.

Learning Disability: (as defined by the Rehabilitation Services Administration) “A disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding, and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken) or written language or nonverbal means” (RSA PDF-85-7, 1985, p.2). Learning disabilities are commonly manifested as difficulties with reading, spelling, and expressing ideas in writing, or solving mathematical problems.

Technical Standards: Basic activities (cognitive, psychomotor, and affective) that a student must be able to complete within each professional program of the various schools. A description of more specific essential functions for each of the programs within the schools may be obtained on the program’s website and through the Admissions Director of each program.

Qualified Student: A student who meets the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the program or activity with or without reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodation: An adjustment or modification that allows the qualified individual with a disability equal access to participation as a student in the various programs of the schools at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Any reasonable accommodation should not cause undue hardship, financial or otherwise, to the academic/educational programs, schools, or the institution as a whole or fundamentally alter the curriculum of the program.

Professional Diagnostician: An individual who possesses the knowledge, skills, training and professional credentials to assess and diagnose a specific disability and recommend reasonable accommodations based on a specific disability.

The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Panel: On behalf of the university the panel reviews disability documentation submitted by the student to verify a disability and the appropriateness of any particular accommodation. The panel is made up of the Director of Academic Support Services, the Coordinator for the Academic Accommodations Services Office, and the Student Affairs Liaison from the school or program for that student.

Technical Standards Committee (TSC): The TSC is made up of the School ADA Liaisons, the Coordinator for the AAS Office, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Services. This group works closely with the AAS staff with respect to the institution’s overall compliance with the ADA.

Assistive Technology (AT): AT is any device that helps a student with a disability to perform a task. When considering AT in any situation, the focus should be on what the device or software does for a person, not on the device or technology itself. AT is only a support to “get the job done” more independently. It can reduce a student’s reliance on others while also fostering self-esteem and reducing anxiety.

ADA Appeals Committee: Chaired by the student’s Student Affairs Dean, the committee includes the Coordinator of Academic Accommodations Services (CAAS), all of the School Accommodations Liaisons (SALs), and a representative from Human Resources. This group will meet when questions arise concerning accommodations.

CAAS: The Coordinator for the Academic Accommodations Services (AAS) Office is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the AAS Office.

Undue Hardship: An undue hardship results when an accommodation places significant difficulty or expense on the university. Universities are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless the accommodation creates an undue hardship and is no longer required. These hardships include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the university’s operation.

Keywords: 
ADA, Academic Accommodations, Disability
Review, Approval & Change History: 

06/14/2016: Made adjustments to Grievance Procedures--entered "denied a reasonable accommodation or" and removed: the Vice Chanellor of Student Services, "who will consult with KU Medical Center's Legal Affairs personnel" (removed part in quotes)

05/06/2016: Removed Date Last Reviewed

04/13/2015: Last updated. 1/8/2016 added KUMC to title.

 

Academic Categories: 
Assistance with Disabilities
Student Life Categories: 
Assistance with Disabilities

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