Berea College Disability Services coordinates services for students with disabilities in compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008.
Services for students with disabilities at Berea College are delivered through a comprehensive and collaborative team approach by various relevant departments and programs. Disability Services facilitates the communication and delivery of services, and provides processes and guidelines that ensure objective and creative consideration of avenues to enhance the possibilities for individual student success.
The primary goal of Disability Services is to ensure access for students with documented disabilities, to encourage these students to take control of their own learning, and to recommend academic accommodations and other means of arranging types of appropriate support. Disability Services strives to contribute to the development of student self- advocacy and confidence, and to coordinate accommodations for students. The Disability Service Coordinator is a point of contact, and maintains confidential files relating to disability services, medical verification of disability, and accommodations provided for students.
A student with a disability is required to self-identify as having a disability if services are desired, inform the institution of the need for academic adjustment or accommodation, and provide current/recent documentation of the disability.
A person with a disability is any person who has record of or is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning. For educational purposes, a qualified person with a disability is defined as one who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission and participation in the education program or activities.
Documentation of disabilities is required. Documentation includes a physician’s or other licensed professional’s summary of tests given, interpretation of those tests, history of the disability, suggested recommendations for accommodation, and prescribed remedies. The extent of documentation needed varies depending on the type of disability.
The Disability Services Coordinator reviews the documentation for each student who discloses a disability and determines the appropriate academic adjustments and/or other possible accommodations based on specific recommendations included in a student’s written documentation.
Recommendations that require or imply the lowering of academic standards or altering of course content, or that require the college to make accommodations that are unduly burdensome or done at the expense of essential educational standards will not be endorsed. Instructors may consult with Disability Services Coordinator to explore the feasibility of requested accommodations.
Disability Services is also often the first point of contact for a variety of other unique medically related student needs, including Motor Vehicle and Housing policy exceptions, accommodation arrangements of a temporary nature, referrals to other programs and services both on and off-campus, consultation with instructors and labor supervisors, and assistive technology considerations.