Disability Services

John and Houston
John Pastorius '13 at graduation, accompanied by his service dog Houston

Lynchburg College guarantees all students with documented disabilities equal access to an education - limited only by personal ability and not by disability, and supports students in obtaining reasonable accommodations. This is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 Higher Education institutions receiving federal funding must ensure that individuals with disabilities who are “otherwise qualified” have access to an education and that these individuals are not discriminated against on the basis of their disability. At the postsecondary level, colleges and universities are required to provide students with appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in a school’s program.  Post-secondary institutions are not required to make adjustments or provide aids or services that would result in a fundamental alteration of a recipient’s program or impose an undue burden on the institution.

The Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) works to assist students with disabilities in the pursuit of their educational goals and works with faculty, staff, administrators and students toward the objective of promoting equal access and equal opportunity.  The DSC provides or arranges for reasonable accommodations, services, training, consultation and technical assistance. The DSC strives to ensure Lynchburg College courses, programs, services, activities and facilities are equally accessible to all students. The College endeavors to assist students to become effective self-advocates and to facilitate an inclusive, supportive campus atmosphere which fosters respect and promotes independence.

Disclosure of Disability

Lynchburg College makes no preadmission inquiry about disability.  Disclosure of a disability is a personal choice which individual students may or may not choose to exercise. Students are encouraged to self-disclose disability information and provide the DSC with necessary documentation. Through self-disclosure both the student and the College can make informed decisions about individual needs as they relate to the student’s pursuit of a collegiate education. If a student chooses not to disclose a disability, he/she cannot utilize accommodations. The DSC offers services for eligible students with disabilities, including temporary disabilities (such as injury, short-term conditions, surgery).

Students are encouraged to contact the DSC upon deciding to attend Lynchburg College so that accommodations can be implemented in a timely fashion. It is strongly suggested that students disclose their disability at least thirty days prior to the first day of classes. Disclosure can be made at any time during the academic year, however requests received less than 30 days prior to the beginning of a semester may be negatively impacted the College’s ability to provide accommodations in a timely manner.

Intake Process

Once a student has self-disclosed a disability to the DSC, they proceed through an intake process. Students who are determined eligible to receive services work collaboratively with the DSC to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations which will ensure equal access. Accommodations are established on a case-by-case basis by the DSC, using student self-report, observation/ interaction with the DSC and documentation from external resources. Specific accommodations in the areas of foreign language and math may be available for eligible students with qualifying documented learning disabilities.  Eligible students receive accommodations letters each semester. It is the students’ choice to decide when and where they wish to use their accommodations. It is their responsibility, in cases where they elect to use accommodations, to present copies of their letters to individual professors. It is the students’ responsibility to provide the accommodations letter to professors in a timely manner and to schedule any testing accommodations three business days in advance of quizzes, tests, or exams.

Documentation

Disability-related documentation of students is treated with the same strict confidentiality guidelines as medical information under HIPPA, therefore the DSC is not able to discuss this information unless there is a need-to-know consideration or the student has granted permission for the DSC to speak with others in order to assist in the accommodation process. Students may voluntarily disclose additional information about the nature of their disability; however faculty may not inquire or query a student about their disability. Professors who have questions about implementing accommodations, instructional strategies for working with students with disabilities or concerns regarding a student with disabilities in relation to academic progress should contact the DSC. 

The purpose of disability accommodations at the collegiate level is to provide equal access. Reasonable accommodations do not negate requirements for successful completion of a program, course, service and/or activity; adherence to generally acceptable standards of behavior; the College’s general and academic student rights and responsibilities; or adherence to faculty/staff directions and instructions.  Attendance and other classroom policies, course schedule, assignment due dates, etc., should be provided to students in a written or electronic format. No student will be excluded from any course or curriculum of study on the basis of disability if the student can perform the essential functions of the course or curriculum with reasonable accommodations. Some specific courses of study have rigorous technical standards which must be met by all students. Consideration of attendance and assignment extensions are made individually between the DSC and individual professors on a case by case basis using guidelines provided by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

Accommodations

Lynchburg College does not offer programs and courses specifically designed for students with disabilities, but approximately 12% of our students qualify for disability services. Examples of accommodations offered to eligible students may include but are not limited to:  test proctoring, alternative setting with reduced distraction, extended time for assessment (quiz, test, exam, practical), reader for assessment, recording lectures, copies of classroom notes and presentations, notetaking, use of various types of assistive technology, alternative format texts, housing facility modifications, in class physical accommodations (furniture, accessible classrooms, etc) and dietary modifications. Additionally Lynchburg College offers all students a wide range of academic support services such as tutoring services, academic counseling, career services and therapeutic counseling services. These services, accompanied by small classroom size and an intimate connection to our faculty and staff, are areas where Lynchburg College offers and exceptional experience for all students. 

Students are advised to meet privately with each professor to create an understanding of how their disability impacts learning and to work out the details of providing approved accommodations.  A discussion about how best to put those accommodations in place is the main point of the meeting. A student who has an accommodations letter should be able to present the letter and discuss its contents with the professor in a private manner. Disclosure of any specific disability-related information is the left to the discretion of the each student.  Accommodations letters may be issued at any point during the academic year, however accommodations are not retroactive.  If a student obtains accommodations half way through their course, those accommodations do not take into consideration previous work when they were not registered with the DSC.

Julia R. Timmons
Disability Services Coordinator
434-544-8687 or 434-544-8419
TTD Relay Service 800-828-1140
timmons.j@lynchburg.edu
Lynchburg College
1501 Lakeside Drive
Lynchburg, VA 24501