As a student with a disability should know that Luther College not only strives to comply with ADA and Section 504 requirements, but also prides itself on creating a learning environment responsive to all students. If you are a student with a disability, you need to know that you have the right to equal access of all programs provided on this campus. However, it is important for you to realize that college is different from high school in many ways.
First, you have more choices, both in how you schedule your daily activities and how you access services. You will find that establishing reasonable accommodations for your disability will be a different process than the IEP or 504 plan you had in high school. Knowing and preparing for these differences before you start your first semester on campus will save you time and trouble.
The major differences are:
1. The student, not the school, initiates the process.
2. You are responsible for providing documentation of your disability (from appropriate professionals). This includes documentation of what accommodations worked in the past.
3. Decisions on accommodations are made on an individual basis. Accommodations may vary from class to class and be different for individuals with the same disability.
How the Luther process works
The focus of the process is on the functional impact of the disability on the educational process rather than the disability label. To qualify for an accommodation, the disability must significantly interfere with the student’s participation, communication or ability to participate in course assessment, e.g. tests, projects. Accommodations are determined on a case by case basis. For example, a student with hand mobility problems may need assistance with note taking and written tests, but not with oral presentations.
If students with a disability feels he/she may need special accommodations, they should register with the Disability Services Office (DSO). To register with our office to receive accommodations the student must:
- Complete the self-referral form, either in hard copy or online, and send it to the DSO.
- Secure appropriate documentation of the disability and its impact from appropriate professionals.
- Schedule an appointment with the DSO before arriving on campus. It is always better to have a plan in place before classes begin rather than after problems occur.
And finally, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the DSO at (563) 387-1270.
*More information can be accessed online at www.sasc.luther.edu under Disability Services.