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Disability Support Services DSS) is a helpful resource for many students at Spokane Community College (SCC). If your question is not answered below, feel free to email us at DSS@scc.spokane.edu or call us at 509-533-7169.
DSS is where students and potential students go to request reasonable accommodations. The college provides equal access to programs and services following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If a student feels they need accommodations in order to have equal access, they have the right to request accommodations. DSS is the office that receives accommodation requests, authorizes accommodations, and works with students and instructors to put accommodations into place.
The general process involves meeting with the DSS manager (or designee) to determine 1.) if there is a disability, 2.) what accommodations are appropriate, and 3.) what needs to happen to initiate those accommodations.
In short, no. An accommodation should not “fundamentally alter the nature or scope of the service or program.” DSS may need to consult with instructors to help determine if an accommodation is appropriate for a class.
Accommodations may be different than what was provided in secondary education. SCC has the right to evaluate and determine whether or not an accommodation is “reasonable” for each program, class or service. Accommodations are not authorized until there is a meeting with the DSS manager (or designee) and approved on a quarterly basis for each class or service. However, having the documentation required for the IEP may assist in the documentation needed at SCC.
The student/applicant is responsible for providing appropriate documentation that describes the disability and functional limitations. If there are a large number of records, a good approach is to bring them to the first intake appointment with the DSS manager to review them. If a student does not have documentation, it is recommended to come in to meet to discuss what documentation is needed and where a person might be able to have an evaluation completed.
Documentation of disability can be copies of medical records, chart notes or reports from an appropriate health care or mental health professional that provide information about the nature and extent of the disability. An IEP from a school may not be sufficient documentation, but students are welcome to bring the IEP for review. Most often, SCC needs a copy of a recent evaluation report, which may not be included in an IEP. If needed, SCC has a Disability Verification form the doctor or health provider can complete. SCC is not a diagnostic or treatment center and does not test for learning disabilities, anxiety or other conditions.
The purpose of the documentation is 1.) to qualify the applicant as having a disability, 2.) to help SCC understand the nature of the disability and 3.) to support the need for requested accommodations.
DSS can often put accommodations into place at the time of the initial meeting - if all the pieces are in place, i.e., documentation is in order and further investigation or considerations are not needed. However, DSS cannot promise it will be that immediate. In order to allow time to process accommodation approvals and notify instructors, the student should meet with DSS to review accommodation needs as early as possible. For instance, certain types of accommodations, such as alternative format textbooks, require more time (up to several weeks) to put into place. The rule to follow is: The earlier the better. Once a student enrolls at SCC and needs accommodations, they should come to DSS as soon as possible. Once initial accommodations are established, it is the student’s responsibility to maintain communication with DSS as needed.
No. Accommodations are set up on a quarter-by-quarter basis for each specific class or service. The student needs to come in each quarter to set up accommodations for the forthcoming quarter. This should be done shortly after registering for classes.
Yes. A student may come into DSS after the quarter starts and request accommodations. DSS needs the appropriate documentation to authorize appropriate accommodations and notify instructors. As noted above, it may take time to implement accommodations, i.e., ensuring proper documentation is in place, availability of staff, obtaining proper equipment if necessary and coordinating with the student and instructor. While implementing an “immediate” accommodation mid-quarter may be difficult, DSS works with students and instructors throughout the quarter to provide accommodations to meet student needs to the best of our ability.
DSS communicates approved accommodations to instructors by sending a Letter of Accommodation via email. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss accommodations with instructors. Instructors usually wait until a student approaches him/her to discuss accommodations before they implement the accommodation(s). If the student does not discuss accommodations with the instructor, the instructor may assume the student does not want the accommodation(s) for that class. The first thing a student needs to do at the beginning of the quarter is to discuss accommodations with the instructor. This is often best done by meeting with the instructor in his/her office. This offers an opportunity for the student and instructor to be clear about the accommodation(s) and how they are implemented. For example, do not wait until the day of the first test to discuss testing accommodations.
Yes. DSS looks at accommodations as an interactive process. This means it is an ongoing process to assist students needing accommodations. We (DSS and the student) can review, alter, add or modify accommodations as needed.
If the student has an approved accommodation and is not given the accommodation, they need to let DSS know as soon as possible. DSS reviews the matter and discusses it with the instructor or individual providing a service.
No. SCC has free tutoring services accessible to all students. DSS does not provide specialized instruction for students with disabilities. Accommodations do not include anything considered a personal service. Examples of personal services are help with transportation, personal care, personal attendant or personal instruction.
Yes. Examples of other services include the following: tutoring, counseling, student success workshops, career guidance, student organizations, multicultural and veteran’s services, health/wellness center, library and media services, special events, job fairs, and outside speakers. SCC’s staff and faculty want students to succeed with their personal and educational goals.
Parking at SCC is enforced by Campus Security. DSS does not issue permits or have the authority to waive parking rules. For information about campus parking, visit the Campus Parking page.
In college, students are adults and considered to be capable of self-advocating. Students may find they can meet many of their needs by working closely with instructors. They also find instructors teach their own way and students have to adapt to each instructor’s style and methods to some extent. It is very important to get started on the right foot by attending all classes and understanding program and class expectations. It is important to pay attention to the course syllabus and the instructor's instructions. If students begin to feel lost or like they are falling behind, they need to talk with the instructor in his/her office to receive advice.
In 2008, the Washington State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 6313: Recognizing Disability History in the Public Education System.
In accordance with RCW 28B.10.918 each October, public schools, colleges, and universities must conduct and promote educational activities that provide instruction, awareness, and understanding of disability history and people with disabilities. The activities may include school assemblies or guest speakers.
In the past, SCC has hosted a Disability Resource Fair and hosted various speakers and educational programming.