Learn more about Carthage College’s Learning Accessibility Services (LAS) Policies below:
Information provided to LAS in support of a student’s request for accommodations as a person with a disability is considered private and sensitive and will be handled accordingly. The student’s disability-related information in LAS is part of the student’s FERPA record; as such, this information will be shared with other college personnel only when there is a legitimate educational interest or “need to know.”
The Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) promises the protection of all sensitive information contained in a student’s educational record. It speaks to what the student has the right to see in the file, and under what circumstances, and it promises that no one else will get to see the information in the file without the written consent of the student.
LAS is responsible for receiving and holding disability-related information from students in order to guard against the unintentional disclosure of sensitive information. It is generally inappropriate for copies of a student’s documentation of a disability to be requested or held elsewhere on campus.
If a student who is registered with LAS believes that their instructor is not complying with accommodations specified on the Instructor Accommodations form or if the student believes they are otherwise being treated unfairly related to their disability, they are encouraged to follow the grievance procedures listed below. Every attempt will be made to resolve the specific concern informally, if possible, and formally if necessary.
LEVEL I — INFORMAL PROCESS
The student is encouraged to present their complaint to the Director of LAS. The Director of LAS and the student will discuss the complaint with the faculty member and/or department chair/division dean/associate provost in an attempt to resolve the issue, within 10 working days.
LEVEL II — FORMAL PROCESS
If a resolution/agreement cannot be reached via the Level I — Informal Process, a student or faculty member may submit a written complaint to the Director of LAS.
The complaint should address the following:
- Date of complaint
- Nature and scope of the complaint
- Steps taken to resolve the complaint
- Discussion of the outcome, including unresolved aspect(s)
The Director of LAS, along with a committee consisting of the department chair/division chair and associate provost and other faculty and administrative staff, as needed, to conduct a thorough investigation that allows all relevant persons an opportunity to contribute information relevant to the complaint.
This committee will review the information it obtains, meet with all persons in the dispute and decide on a fair plan of action. A written response detailing the resolution will be issued by the Director of LAS to the complainant and other relevant persons within 20 working days following the submission of the complaint.
If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the Director of LAS, the student should notify the Office of the Provost within 30 working days of the resolution. Accommodations in question will continue to be provided until the appeal process is completed.
At Carthage College, it is understood that class attendance is critical to mastery of knowledge and skills taught in a specific course. Carthage students are expected to follow the attendance policy established by the instructor in each class. However, when a student has a chronic condition with unpredictable or cyclical acute episodes, modification to an attendance policy may be appropriate as an accommodation. If a student believes they may need a class attendance accommodation because of issues related directly to a disability, the student must contact LAS at the beginning of the semester, or as soon as possible after the need for an accommodation arises, to discuss the matter of possible accommodation.
Determination of eligibility for a disability-related class attendance accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis, through consultation with the course instructor and LAS. If necessary, the department or division chair or other appropriate administrators may be included in the discussion. In every case, proper relevant written documentation from an appropriate professional must be submitted to LAS before an accommodation request can be considered.
ESSENTIAL COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Carthage College makes every effort to accommodate the disability-related academic needs of students. However, academic requirements are generally not waived if doing so would fundamentally alter the objectives of a course. Faculty members are responsible for identifying and defining essential or fundamental academic requirements for their courses, and instructors may establish an acceptable number of excused absences in light of these essential requirements. General attendance requirements for each course may be stated on the course syllabus.
The following questions, based on those developed by the Office of Civil Rights, should be considered when determining the extent to which attendance is an essential requirement of a course and whether a class attendance accommodation may be appropriate:
- Is there regular classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves?
- Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component of the learning objectives for the course?
- Do the fundamental learning objectives of the course rely on student participation as an essential method of learning?
- To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class constitute a significant loss for the educational experience of other students in the class?
- What do the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance?
- How is the final course grade calculated?
Class attendance accommodation does not mean that unlimited absences are permitted. The number of additional absences a student may accrue as a reasonable accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis for each course in consultation with the instructor and will depend on the student’s disability, the nature of the course and the degree to which class attendance is an essential requirement of the course.
Class attendance accommodation does not apply to any of the other academic requirements of the course. Students who have this accommodation are required to fulfill all course requirements and will be held to the same evaluation standards as specified in the course syllabus. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the course material and notes from missed classes. Absences for non-disability related reasons will not be covered by this accommodation.
Any student who is approved for a class attendance accommodation is expected to contact instructors in advance of an anticipated absence, if possible. This is particularly important if the anticipated absence will result in missing a quiz, test or deadline for submitting an assignment. In an emergency or unexpected situations, the student should inform instructors as soon as possible to explain their absence and to discuss make-up work, if applicable.
Students should be aware that although class attendance accommodation has been approved, absences may have a negative impact on their academic performance due to having missed content and experiential learning by not attending class. For this reason, students should make every effort to attend class and to observe assignment due dates.
Students should be aware that a class attendance accommodation may not be possible in every course because class attendance is an essential and integral part of some courses. In the event that an accommodation is not approved, students should consult with their academic advisor to discuss alternate course options.
If a student is unable to take a course because a disability interferes with their ability to participate in the essential elements of a course, a substitution may be requested. The student should make this request to the Director of LAS and provide appropriate documentation.
In the case of a request for a substitution for the Modern Language Requirement, LAS will meet with the student making the request, review the documentation and approve or disapprove the request. If approved, LAS will notify the Registrar so the substitution can be noted in the student’s file. If the substitution is approved, the student may select substitution courses from the list provided by the Modern Language Department.
In the case of requests for other course substitutions, the department chair will approve or disapprove such requests in consultation with LAS.
If a requested course substitution is not approved, the student may appeal to the Office of the Provost.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, require institutions of higher education to provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Some students with disabilities are unable to take adequate notes during class. Audio/video recording can be a reasonable accommodation for these students if it has been approved by Learning Accessibility Services.
Faculty have the option and right to require a student who audio/video records classes to sign an agreement stating the terms under which the recordings may be used and how long the recording may be kept prior to disposal. However, faculty must grant permission to record if audio/video recording of classes is an assigned accommodation unless they arrange an alternate accommodation (e.g. detailed instructor or peer notes) that meets the student’s need. Learning Accessibility Services is the ultimate arbiter of whether the alternate accommodation is sufficient.
Students are required to notify their instructors before audio/video recording classes. The audio/video recordings may be used only as a replacement for class notes. This agreement does not cover audio/video recording individual meetings or conversations outside of class.
Please consult the Recording Agreement.