Students with Disabilities

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and amended in 2009, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities. By law, Hesston College is required to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The term disability is defined, in general, as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This document will serve to guide the process for students with disabilities once a request for academic accommodation is received.

Students who wish to request accommodations should contact the Access Lab and Disability Services Coordinator, Kristin Kaufman at 620-327-8213, or kristin.kaufman@hesston.edu.
The following policy applies to all students who request accommodations under the ADA or Section 504.

Explanation of Policy

  1. A student must self-disclose as a person with a disability and must formally make a request, in person or in writing, for an accommodation with the disability services coordinator. The disability services coordinator, in consultation with the student, will decide what, if any, reasonable accommodations are available.
  2. A student requesting an accommodation based on a disability must have a disability covered by law and be qualified to attend Hesston College with or without reasonable accommodation(s). While the college is required to provide reasonable accommodations, it is not required to alter its programs to accommodate the student. Therefore, not all accommodation requests will be granted.
  3. All accommodation requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation from a medical or otherwise qualified professional and are reviewed on an individualized case-by-case basis. Please note that providing documentation does not mean that the accommodation can be made.
  4. During the process of determining if a reasonable accommodation can be made, the academic dean, certain faculty members, and other officials of the college may be consulted to determine if the college can reasonably fulfill the accommodation request and, if so, how best to implement the accommodation.
  5. While the process of determining if a reasonable accommodation can be made, a temporary accommodation may be implemented. However, a temporary accommodation is not intended to be permanent nor does it constitute a reasonable accommodation which the college is obligated to continue to provide.

How to Request Accommodations

  1. Students requesting accommodations should set up a meeting with the disability services coordinator, located in the Access Lab on the first floor of Smith Center, to discuss the accommodation and complete the appropriate request form. Students should not make requests directly to faculty members or other employees of the college; neither should faculty or other employees of the college provide accommodations to any student which have not been approved by the disability services coordinator and/or the academic dean. Once an accommodation is approved, all employees of the college are expected to implement the accommodation.

    Hesston College requires timely requests for accommodations, before the start of the academic term, due to the time it may take to acquire appropriate documentation. Requests received within the first quarter of the term will be considered. However, accommodations made after the academic term has already begun will not be applied retroactively, i.e., students may not retake exams or resubmit assignments which were taken and/or submitted before the accommodation was implemented.

    Some of the accommodations that Hesston College provides are: testing services (such as extended time on exams and areas with reduced distractions), access to electronic textbooks, magnified text, reader, and note taker. Students should contact the disability services coordinator if they require other accommodations they wish the college to consider.

  2. Students requesting accommodations will be required to provide appropriate documentation. While documentation may vary according to the circumstances, it should include a) a description of the medical or otherwise qualified professional’s credentials and contact information; b) a detailed description of any impairments caused by the disability as they relate to the student’s ability to learn and participate in the academic program indicated; c) a description of any tests, assessments, records, evaluations and/or other materials the professional used in arriving at the specific diagnosis; d) a list of specific accommodations the professional believes would allow the student to equally and fully participate in the chosen academic program and how said accommodations would help the student.

    Specific accommodations recommended by a medical or otherwise qualified professional do not guarantee that the accommodations will be provided. The college reserves the right to provide alternative reasonable accommodations when necessary. While documentation of past accommodations is helpful, it will not be the sole determining factor as to if or what accommodations will be granted by Hesston College. The college reserves the right to request additional documentation if the initial documentation does not provide sufficient information.

How Approved Accommodations Are Implemented

Once a student has been approved for an accommodation, the disability services coordinator will prepare a document describing the accommodation. This document will be emailed to the faculty member(s). The student will receive a copy of the Accommodations Request Form. However, it is the student’s responsibility to discuss the approved accommodation with the faculty member in each course for which the student has requested the accommodation be applied.

If a student believes that an approved accommodation is not being applied appropriately, or has difficulty with a faculty member regarding the accommodation, the student should report the incident to the disability services coordinator, or by following the procedure under Procedure for Grievances and Complaints contained within this document.

Periodic Check-Ins and/or Modification of Approved Accommodations

If problems or concerns arise regarding the approved accommodation(s), it is the student’s responsibility to contact the disability services coordinator to discuss the issue. This may include any changes to the student’s class schedule, any changes or modifications to the current accommodation(s), etc. The disability services coordinator will assume that the accommodation(s) implemented is effective unless the office is otherwise informed.

While it is required to request accommodations before or at the beginning of the academic term, students who have been granted accommodations may request modifications to accommodations which have already been granted. The request for modification of the accommodation will be taken under consideration by the disability services coordinator to determine if it can be implemented. Any assignments or exams taken or submitted prior to modifications may not be re-done retroactively to the modifications being implemented.

Procedure for Grievances and Complaints

A student who believes that accommodations have been denied or otherwise disagrees with a Disability Services accommodation should discuss the concern with the disability services coordinator. A conversation may be all that is needed to resolve a problem or concern.

Should a discussion not prove sufficient to resolve the complaint, a student who disagrees with a Disability Services decision regarding a request for accommodation may seek a review of the decision by following the procedure outlined below. Requests for review of a decision should be made promptly, and in any event within 60 calendar days of the decision being made.

The complaint should be in writing and contain information such as the student’s name, address, phone number, email address and specific details regarding the complaint. Alternative means of filing complaints that are available to Hesston College, such as a personal interview, large print or a recording, will be made available if necessary.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the disability services coordinator will meet with the student to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the disability services coordinator will respond in writing, and when necessary, in another format available to the college and accessible to the student (large print or recording). The response will explain the position of Hesston College and offer options for a resolution of the complaint. If the response of the disability services coordinator does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the student may appeal the decision within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the academic dean. Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the academic dean will meet with the student (and the disability services coordinator where appropriate) to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, the academic dean will respond in writing, or in another format available to the college and accessible to the student, with a final resolution of the complaint.

Handbook 2021-22