Procedures for Requesting Accommodations

Student Academic Support Services (SASS) provides services and accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities. It is the responsibility of the student to provide information that verifies the student’s condition meets the definition of a disability as defined by applicable federal and state laws. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Sources of information used for determining if a student qualifies for accommodations based upon the impact of a disability includes documentation from qualified evaluators or medical professionals, a student’s self-report, and/or direct observation and interaction with the student. Requests for services for student with disabilities will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis. Students should adhere to the following procedures when requesting accommodations:

  1. Gather current and appropriate documentation of a disability. Ideally, documentation should be completed within the last three years. Students with learning disabilities, Autism spectrum disorders, and ADHD are expected to submit their most recent psychoeducational evaluation. Students with medical, visual, or hearing related disabilities should have their treating practitioner complete the appropriate Verification of a Disability form. For additional information, please see the General Guidelines for Documentation tab. Please note that while Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans are valuable resources of information, these generally do not include vital diagnostic information and cannot be used as sole documentation of a disability.
  2. Complete the Application for Disability Services for all academic, housing, and dietary accommodation requests. This application allows the student an opportunity to self-report and describe his/her experiences related to the disability, barriers faced, previous accommodations used (both effective and ineffective), and accommodations he/she is hoping to receive.
    • If requested, you will need to login to myfranciscan before completing the application.
    • Make sure to attached appropriate documentation where required. Original or scanned pdf files are preferred.
    • Please note there is a “Save & Finish Later” button at the bottom of the form which you can click if you need to save progress and resume at a later date.
  3. After your application and documentation have been received, please allow up to ten business days for SASS staff to review your file and contact you to schedule an Intake Meeting.
  4. During the Intake Meeting, the student and SASS Director will discuss information gathered from the application and submitted documentation materials, and the student will formally apply for accommodations, services, and/or auxiliary aids.
  5. If approved for accommodations, the student will schedule a follow-up appointment to receive and review copies of his/her Eligibility Letters to provide to each instructor (for academic accommodations) or to share with Residence Life Staff (for housing and dietary accommodations).
    • All new students with academic accommodations are required to attend an initial SASS New Student Meeting. Topics covered during this meeting include the different policies and procedures regarding academic accommodations, testing services, scheduling of appointments, grievance procedures, and additional available programs.
  6. For best service, students are encouraged to schedule biweekly progress meetings with the SASS Director during their first semester. This is to help ensure continuous progress and ongoing evaluation of accommodation needs.
General Guidelines for Documentation

Student Academic Support Services (SASS) provides academic, housing, and dietary accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

SASS will review and consider all pieces of documentation submitted. Documentation will assist SASS in understanding how the disability impacts the student in an academic or residential setting and the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations requested.

Documentation must be from a qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question. All tests used to document eligibility must be technically sound, standardized, and normed on the adult scale. All documentation should be recent enough to reflect the student’s current level of functioning and contain, at a minimum, the following:

  • A specific diagnostic statement identifying the disability including severity and date of current diagnostic evaluation.
  • Specific findings that support this diagnosis including relevant history, tests administered, test results, and interpretation of those test results.
  • Information concerning the impact of the disability on the educational setting including:
    • a description of the functional limitations due to the disability,
    • treatment plan and accommodation services currently prescribed or in use,
    • expected progression or stability of disability over time.
  • If not using one of Franciscan University’s Disability Verification Forms, the documentation should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and include the evaluator’s name, address, telephone number, and professional credentials.

To help ensure appropriate documentation details are provided, the student is encouraged to have his/her attending medical/psychiatric professional complete the appropriate Disability Verification Form provided by SASS. Forms based upon specific disabilities are available under the Disability Forms tab.

Please note that while Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans are valuable resources of information, these generally do not include vital diagnostic information and cannot be used as sole documentation of a disability.

SASS reserves the right to request additional documentation in order to support specific accommodations. If additional information is needed, SASS may determine it is appropriate to provide temporary accommodations. Temporary accommodations will be determined based on the information that has been provided and are effective for only one semester.

NOTE TO TRANSFER AND GRADUATE STUDENTS:

In addition to the documentation you provide, you are also encouraged to send a letter from the Institution you previously attended that includes the timeframe in which you were provided services and the accommodations used.

Once documentation is submitted, it will be reviewed in the order in which it was received. Therefore, it is recommended that documentation be submitted well in advance of any accommodation related needs.

Additional Information

Admissions Details

The admissions process and criteria are the same for all students applying to Franciscan University of Steubenville, including those with disabilities. The provision of reasonable accommodations is provided at no additional cost to the student.

Note: If you received accommodations in high school, you will not necessarily receive them in college. The diagnosis needs to meet the criteria of a “disabling condition” when compared to the average person in the general population. The test data needs to support evidence of a current, significant, and functional limitation that impacts learning. The evaluation must support a link between the disability and the requested accommodation.

Disability Details

A person with a disability is defined as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such impairment. These major life activities include abilities related to walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, or learning. Disabling conditions may include – but are not limited to – chronic health impairments, visual or hearing impairments, psychiatric disorders, traumatic brain injuries, specific learning disorders, attention deficit disorder, and mobility impairments.

Disclosure of your disability is optional and voluntary.

Disability-related Rights
FUS is not bound by your IEP. While Section 504 does protect elementary, secondary, and postsecondary students from discrimination, several of the requirements that apply throughout elementary and high school are quite different from the requirements that apply in college. The focus of accommodations at the post-secondary level is to ensure equal access to programs and services. Students with disabilities are encouraged to learn more about their rights and responsibilities by visiting the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights website.

Documentation

As stated above, eligibility guidelines differ from high school. An Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan alone is not sufficient documentation. SASS will require documentation from an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor or psychologist. Depending upon the nature of the disability, the guidelines may be different. Please refer to the Documentation Guidelines section for more information.

Once documentation has been submitted and reviewed by SASS, the student will be contacted by phone or FUS e-mail address. The student is then required to schedule a time with the SASS Director for an appointment to discuss submitted documentation, review the student’s Intake Form, and to formally apply for accommodations, services, and/or auxiliary aids. The SASS Director will consider all relevant information when determining eligibility for accommodations. Please refer to the Procedures for Requesting Accommodations section for more information.

Graduation Requirements 

In providing accommodations, Franciscan University of Steubenville is not required to lower or substantially modify essential requirements. For example, although you may be approved for extended testing time, the university is not required to change the substantive content of the test. In addition, Franciscan University of Steubenville will not make adjustments that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program, or activity, or that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden.

Tutoring Services 

Tutoring is considered a personal service and is not considered a required accommodation for a student with a disability. However, Student Academic Support Services does offer open tutoring labs and individual peer tutoring for the benefit of all students, regardless of disability status. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to take full advantage of all available services. If a student with a disability is approved for tutoring assistance, SASS will provide access services to allow the student to fully participate (such as providing an interpreter for a student who is deaf or material in Braille for a visually impaired student).

Housing Accommodations

Students needing to request housing accommodations based upon a disability are encouraged to submit appropriate documentation as soon as possible after acceptance to Franciscan University. The Housing Accommodation Request Procedures, Application, and Verification of Disability forms based upon specific disabilities can be found under Disability Forms.

Temporary Accommodations and Services

Student Academic Support Service (SASS) offers a wide variety of legally mandated services to students with temporary documented disabilities. Services are extended to students with temporary disabilities only for the duration of their functional limitations associated with their disability. The eligibility process is the same as for permanent disability cases. After reviewing your documentation, the Director of SASS will determine appropriate academic services and accommodations depending upon how you are limited in the academic setting. SASS will work with you in accessing the accommodations for which you are eligible. You will be given eligibility letters for your instructors outlining the requested accommodations that have been approved.

Examples of temporary disabilities:

  • Broken hand or arm with which you write
  • Broken leg or foot which impedes mobility
  • Complications of medical treatment
  • Short-term medical conditions
  • Surgical procedure

SASS and Franciscan University of Steubenville DO NOT provide personal assistance or devices to students with temporary disabilities such as building-to building transportation, carrying of books/personal items, or providing of mobility devices (wheelchairs or scooters).

Confidentiality and Release of Information

Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS) recognizes that student disability records contain confidential information and are to be treated as such. All disability related information submitted for the purpose of receiving accommodations is maintained in locked cabinets within the Office of Student Academic Support Services (SASS) and on secure University servers. While disability-related information is not considered part of your permanent educational record, all documentation is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and will be released from your file in the following circumstances only:

  1. Your written permission.
  2. For a legitimate educational reason to specific faculty or staff.
  3. A court order.

If approved for services, the accommodation process requires disclosure of a student’s disability status to faculty and staff in order to adapt courses, equipment, or facilities to ensure equal access. Information is shared with faculty (for academic accommodations) and Residence Life staff (for housing and dietary accommodations) through formal accommodation letters. These letters disclose the presence of a disability but do not provide any specific information regarding your condition(s).

The SASS staff is very sensitive to and respectful of your right to privacy and confidentiality. As such, disability information may be released to persons outside the University only when a student has signed a Release of Information form. In addition, a student may request to review the contents of his/her own file when the SASS Director is present. However, all information in the file is the property of FUS.

Release Forms

  • Release of Information to SASS
    This form is used to request documentation of a disability from a medical or counseling facility where the disability was diagnosed.
  • Release of Information from SASS
    This form is used when a student is requesting information from their file be sent to a testing agency, medical, educational professional, or to the student directly.
Grievance Procedures

Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS) and Student Academic Support Services (SASS) support a student’s right to file a grievance when he/she believes they have been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, or effective communication or suffered discrimination as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Fair Housing Act, Ohio Administrative Code 4112-5-09, or other applicable federal and state regulations.

In order to expedite the resolution, the following procedure should be followed:

  • Level One: Discuss concerns with the Director of Student Academic Support Services.
    SASS will attempt to resolve the issues by assisting the student in discussing issues with the faculty member, department, or program. The SASS Director will gather information and coordinate the discussion meetings with the student, faculty member, and/or department chair. In some instances, the Director of Advising and Academic Operations will be consulted in order to develop a resolution. Most situations are positively resolved through SASS support and mediation.
  • Level Two: Request a review by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
    This formal complaint must be submitted in writing, containing the name, address, and student ID of the complainant and a description of the allegations of discrimination. The complainant is encouraged to include specific facts in support of the allegations. The Vice President of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the University’s general counsel, will make a final determination and inform the complainant within two weeks (10 workdays) of receipt of the appeal.
  • Level Three: File formal complaint with appropriate government agency.
    If the complaint is not resolved at the University level, the student may choose to file a complaint with the Federal Office for Civil Rights, The Ohio Civil Rights Commission, or Disability Rights Ohio. These entities will take complaints and will investigate when appropriate.
    A complainant is not required by law to use the institutional grievance procedure before filing a complaint with The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. However, both the OCR and Franciscan University encourage using internal grievance procedures before filing a complaint with OCR.

Retaliation against any person who files a complaint of alleged discrimination, participates in an investigation, or opposes a discriminatory education practice or policy is prohibited under University policy and by state and federal law.

Contact Information

Tina Greathouse
Director, Student Academic Support Services
Egan Hall, Room 105 C
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Steubenville, OH 43952
(740) 284-5358
Fax: (740) 284-7095
E-mail: [email protected]

Ann Dulany
Director, Advising and Academic Operations
Egan Hall, Room 104
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Steubenville, OH 43952
(740) 284-5254
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Daniel Kempton
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Egan Hall, Room 207
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Steubenville, OH 43952
(740) 284-5343

US Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Dept. of Ed Bldg.
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
800-421-3481
Fax: 202-453-6012
Email: [email protected]
Visit the US Department of Education online

Ohio Civil Rights Commission
30 East Broad Street, Fifth Floor
Columbus OH, 43215
614-466-2785
888-278-7101
Fax: 614-644-8776
Visit the Ohio Civil Rights Commission Online

Disability Rights Ohio
200 Civic Center Drive, Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215
614-466-7264
800-282-9181 (Toll free in Ohio only)
Fax: 614-644-1888
Visit the Ohio Legal Rights Service online

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