Accommodation Appeal Policy and Procedures
Kenyon College is strongly committed to providing an accessible and supportive environment for all its students. In accordance with this philosophy, the College offers a variety of accommodations that are available to students who have documented disabilities. Accommodations are an obligation of the College under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
A student is responsible for submitting all necessary documentation of a disability for review prior to receiving any accommodations. The College requires documentation be comprehensive and reflective of the students current functioning. To this end, there are established documentation standards, which must be met in order to evaluate the need for a student to receive accommodations. A student who requests and is denied accommodations, or who does not receive the recommended accommodations, may challenge decisions made by requesting an informal review or filing an formal appeal. Faculty who feel that an accommodation would alter the essential elements of their course may file an appeal using the same procedure. In order to ensure equity and an opportunity for a fair hearing and resolution of the appeal to all parties involved, the following proceedings are outlined below.
A. Accommodations can be defined as any adjustment or modification which will provide a student with a disability equal access to the educational and/or co-curricular process. Accommodations can include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids such as taped texts and interpreters, test accommodations, academic adjustments and physical modifications.
B. Documentation guidelines used at Kenyon are based upon the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) guidelines. They were developed in collaboration with secondary school personnel and disability advocates and are designed to provide consumers with a common understanding of those components of documentation that are necessary to validate specific disabilities for the purposes of requesting accommodations at post-secondary institutions.
Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting the Office of Disability Services if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner. Faculty are also encouraged to contact the ODS directly when the accommodation seems unreasonable according to the course requirements or standards. Grievances will be handled in a three-step process:
1. The Coordinator of Disability Services works directly with students with disabilities and faculty to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations. Resolution is sought through a meeting of the involved parties where concerns and options can be openly discussed.
2. If no resolution is obtained, the student or faculty member may submit an appeal to have their case heard by the LEARN committee. The Coordinator of Disability Services (CDS) acts as chair of the LEARN committee. When the appeal involves the CDS, the Dean for Academic Advising will serve as acting chair of LEARN. LEARN will meet with the faculty member and student involved to discuss the accommodation in question and suggest possible alternatives that may accomplish the same outcome.
3. Students who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of the disability may file a grievance with the Equal Opportunity Officer and College Ombudsperson, Wendy Hess, in the Eaton Center (PBX # 5820). This should be the final step in a process which is driven by an intent to provide the most reasonable accommodation to meet the access needs of the individual.
Procedures for Obtaining Accommodations for Students
Depending on the nature of the disability and the accommodations requested, the advance notice you provide may impact the College's ability to provide accommodations in a timely manner. To ensure that accommodations and auxiliary aids and services are provided in a timely fashion, please contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible in the semester.
The following procedure should be followed for students requesting accommodations:
1. To register with the office and obtain accommodations, the student should call for an appointment with the Coordinator of Disability Services at (740) 427-5453 or stop by the office in the Old Bank Building. Make sure you bring appropriate documentation of your disability in order for the Coordinator to determine an appropriate accommodation plan. Individuals must register by submitting documentation to the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Accommodations cannot be made without appropriate documentation. Documentation should include a diagnosis, a description of the functional limitations that may affect academic performance, a list of recommended accommodations, and the printed and signed name of a qualified professional certified to assess the disability (i.e. physician, psychologist, learning disability specialist or rehabilitation counselor). The ODS reserves the right to request additional documentation or testing.
2. Once the appropriate documentation is submitted, the individual must meet with the CDS to determine an accommodation plan and sign a release of information for each of the professors receiving an accommodation letter. The 'Accommodation Letter' will be sent to the designated professors and a copy will be forwarded to the student.
3. The student is responsible for following up on the 'Accommodation Letter' with the instructor. It is suggested that the student make an appointment with the professor during their office hours so that the time can be spent discussing specific accommodations and classroom considerations with them. The accommodations are initiated by speaking directly to the professor regarding the needs within the classroom. The ODS will not disclose any information to an instructor without written permission.
4. It is the student's responsibility to identify him/herself with a professor and to discuss the recommended accommodations. The implementation of accommodations is accomplished through a flexible, interactive process that involves the individual with a disability, the faculty member, and the ODS. The Coordinator of Disability Services is available for consultation in regards to any problems or concerns faced during the implementation process. Please be advised that it is unfair to expect the professor to make last-minute changes in arranging for classroom modifications or testing arrangements. Please give the professor adequate time for the accommodation process.