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Disability Support Services

Learning Services provides accommodations and support services to students with documented disabilities in order to assure program accessibility. Reasonable accommodations are provided in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADAAA of 2008.
Please note that these instructions apply to accepted and current Mount students. Prospective students may submit a Disability Services Inquiry Form.

What we need from you

Forms

Complete the following forms. 

Gather Appropriate Documentation

Review the following documentation guidelines and gather the appropriate paperwork:

Submit by Deadline

We would like to have this information by July 6, 2018, so that we have adequate time to review the documentation and collaborate on student needs. Documentation submitted after this date will still be accepted, but assistance with fall course registration may not be possible.

Questions

If you have any questions or concerns about disability accommodations, please contact: Alexis O. Burns
Disability Specialist
Mount St. Mary's University
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Email Alexis Burns
301-447-5134

What We Do With Accommodation Documentation

All of the information that you send to us remains on file in Learning Services. This information is confidential, and we will not share it with anyone on campus without your permission. Please do not send information that we need to Health Services and vice versa. Health Services is not allowed, by law, to share this information with us, and we cannot share our information with them.

ACCOMMODATION ELIGIBILITY LETTER

We review all documentation and forms received and write up an Accommodation Eligibility Letter. This letter includes information about the following:
  • Classroom and testing accommodations
  • Foreign Language substitutions (if applicable)
For legal reasons, the accommodation eligibility letter is sent directly to the student's Mount email address. Please carefully review this letter. If you agree, sign (type) your name in the appropriate sections, and return the letter to Learning Services via email.

UNIVERSITY ACCOMMODATION LETTER

Once we receive the signed accommodation eligibility letter, and we are in agreement about the accommodations, we will write up and send the university accommodation letter to the student's Mount email address. This is the official letter that you will use to notify professors of your accommodations. Save this letter. At the start of every semester, this letter must be sent by you (via email) to your professors. You will use the same letter for your entire time at the Mount.
Learning Services is committed to providing needed accommodations to students with documented disabilities. If you believe you have not received the accommodations for which you are eligible, please see our Grievance Procedures (.pdf) in order to remedy the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions from students with disabilities and we want to be sure to help you find the answers you're looking for. Here are a few of the most common questions we get.

Does the Mount offer academic accommodations and support services for students with documented disabilities?

Yes, Mount St. Mary’s University provides academic accommodations and support services to students with documented disabilities. These students are eligible for academic accommodations, as stipulated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADAAA of 2008. Types of disabilities that we routinely accommodate include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Chronic Health Conditions
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Mental Health Diagnoses
  • Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Blind or Low Vision

What is the procedure for requesting and accessing accommodations?

Students who are seeking accommodations on the basis of a diagnosed disability must complete the Request for Accommodation form and return it to Learning Services along with a copy of the student’s most recent documentation. This should be done after the student has been accepted to the Mount.

Process for requesting and getting accommodations

  1. Send in a completed Request for Accommodation form with appropriate documentation (based on the specific diagnosis).
  2. The request will be evaluated and an Accommodation Eligibility Plan will be written that will include the following:
    • List of academic accommodations for which the student is eligible.
    • Form regarding Academic Substitutions, if eligible.
    • Release of Information/FERPA form
  3. The Accommodation Eligibility Plan will be emailed to the student for review. We recommend that students share this information with parents. Please be sure to communicate with Learning Services regarding any questions about this information.
  4. The student is to review the eligibility plan, get any questions answered, sign the appropriate form (electronic signatures are used) and returns the packet to Learning Services via email.
  5. Once the signed plan is received, Learning Services will write the Accommodation Letter and send it to the student’s Mount email address as a pdf file.
  6. Students are responsible for forwarding this Accommodation Letter to professors. Learning Services cannot legally send the Accommodation Letters to professors for students. Please save the Accommodation Letter as you will need to send it out to professors every semester.

Should I send my documentation in to the Admissions Office with my application?

No. Do not send documentation of your disability in to the Admissions Office with the application materials. Information about disability cannot legally be used as part of the admissions decision.

Are there separate Admissions standards for students with documented disabilities?

No, all applicants to Mount St. Mary’s University must meet the same standards for admission.

What kind of documentation needs to be provided? How recent does it have to be?

Students who are requesting accommodations must provide documentation of disability. The specific type of the documentation needed depends on the nature of the disability (see below). In general, appropriate documentation:
  • Includes the diagnosis and outlines functional limitations
  • Outlines strengths and weaknesses
  • Includes test scores (such as WAIS scores)
  • Reflects current level of functioning
  • Includes a discussion of recommended accommodations
  • Includes the name and credentials of evaluator
Please review the documentation guidelines above for specific details.

Are 504 Plans or IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) acceptable documentation? What about Summary of Performance (SOP) documents?

It depends. 504 Plans and IEPs generally do not include the information that is necessary to evaluate the need for accommodations at the college level. Most often these documents contain a list of goals and objectives specific for classes in high school. These are helpful in that they give us information about the accommodations that the high school provided, but they are not sufficient as documentation by themselves. In order to assess strengths/weaknesses and accommodations, we need to have raw data – test scores. These are located in the psycho-educational evaluation that is usually conducted before the original IEP/504 Plan could be written – and every few years since that first IEP/504 Plan.

In some cases, these documents do contain information about diagnostic testing and scores (for example, WAIS scores). These are acceptable.

Summary of Performance (SOP) documents generally include test scores and, in these cases, are acceptable as documentation.

Will students who had accommodations in high school automatically receive accommodations in college?

No. Federal law states that universities are required to provide reasonable academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities who request them. Students will not receive any accommodations without requesting them – every semester.

Will the accommodations in college be exactly the same as those I received in high school?

The accommodations put in place at the university must work to alleviate the functional limitations of the disability in the university setting. These accommodations will most likely be a little different from those provided by your high school.

For example, a student with an auditory processing learning disability who is eligible to receive class notes in high school will most likely receive a copy of the teacher’s lecture notes. At the university level, the student would be allowed to audio record lectures. The student is getting what is needed – notes – but in a different (Dare we say better?) way.

What kinds of accommodations are provided at the Mount?

We provide accommodations based on the documented needs of each student. Accommodations are allowed as long as they do not change the essential nature and function of the course and/or assignment and as long as they do not pose an undue hardship on the professor or the university. We cannot predict your needs without seeing your documentation first.

Accommodations that we often provide include:

  • Extended time on tests and quizzes
  • Alternate location (quieter space) for tests and quizzes
  • The use of a computer for note-taking, tests and quizzes.
  • Audio recording of classes
  • Screen reader programs (such as Kurzweil) for reading textbooks and tests.
  • Course substitutions for required foreign language.
It is also important to know that there are some accommodations that are provided by high schools that are inappropriate for the university setting.

High school accommodations generally not provided at the college level:

  • Word banks
  • Teacher notes
  • Formula sheets and note card use on tests/quizzes
  • Calculators (depends on the class)
  • Reduced academic load
  • Reduced assignments
  • Extended time on assignments

Does the Mount offer support for students who need help organizing their academic work - including class notes and everything that ends up in the bottom of backpacks?

Yes, students who need assistance with organization can work on these skills one-on-one with a Learning Services staff member. Most often, students keep a weekly appointment where they work on these skills and any others. Students are responsible for setting up and showing up for their appointments.

Does the Mount offer support for students who struggle with time management? How do students access these services?

Yes, students who need assistance with time management can work on these skills one-on-one with a Learn-ing Services staff member. Most often, students keep a weekly appointment where they work on these skills and any others. Students are responsible for setting up and showing up for their appointments.

Are there any specific accommodations in place for students who, because of a documented learning disability, did not take a foreign language in high school or took a modified foreign language course?

Yes. Students whose disability, supported by clear and strong documented need, severely impacts foreign language learning MAY be eligible for a Foreign Language Accommodation. These include:
  • Taking a language course, but taking the course pass/fail. The student’s transcript would show a “P” as long as the student passes the courses. Grades of “P” are not calculated into the student’s GPA.
  • Those students who have severe weaknesses, based on documentation, in auditory processing and or have a language-based learning disability MAY be eligible to take American Sign Language (ASL) in place of the spoken/auditory foreign language courses. Students taking ASL
    101 and 102 would take the courses, without any modification to the grading system.
  • Students who have severe auditory processing weaknesses or who have language-based learning disabilities that significantly impact the ability to learn a foreign language MAY take two Global Encounters courses in place of the language courses. These students need to take a total of three Global Encounters courses – 1 that is a Core requirement for all students and 2 others to replace the Foreign Language courses. 
All students  interested in applying for a Foreign Language Accommodation must fill out the Academic Substitution Request form and return it to Learning Services. No alteration to the Foreign Language requirement will be made until a student fills out the request form and provides appropriate documentation of need.

How do students with documented disabilities access testing accommodations?

Testing accommodations need to be requested for every test. Students wishing to use their testing accommodations must schedule tests via an online Test Scheduling Form at least two business days before each test. On the day of the test, students come to Learning Services instead of their classroom. Learning Services proctors the tests and makes sure that they are returned to the professors when completed.

Do students with documented disabilities receive priority scheduling?

Yes, students with specific documented need are eligible for priority registration. Eligibility is evaluated on a case by case basis. We do offer registration assistance for all students with disabilities. Freshman Only- Please complete the Registration Assistance Form and return it to Learning Services with your documentation.

How do students with documented disabilities access campus housing accommodations?

All requests for special housing accommodations (single rooms, first floor living, air conditioned room) must be made directly through the Housing Accommodations Form.