Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) provides support services for qualified students with disabilities. Students with disabilities may obtain assistance during any phase of the education process including admissions, registration, advising, instruction, and placement.
The faculty and staff at DCTC are committed to providing students with disabilities the appropriate accommodations to ensure access to programs, services, and activities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) section 504. However, the student with a disability has the same obligation as any other student to meet and maintain the college’s academic standards. While we offer special assistance to students with disabilities, we do not make academic requirements easier or change the essential nature of a course or program.
The ADA defines an "individual with a disability" as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. www.eeoc.gov, 2018
What are Academic Accommodations?
In accordance with ADA section 504, the following are available to qualified students with disabilities at DCTC:
An academic accommodation is a modification that is made to a course, program, task, activity or facility that eliminates or minimizes disability-related barriers to allow for equal access. In order for an accommodation to be considered reasonable, it must meet four criteria:
Accommodations must not compromise essential requirements of a course or program.
Accommodations must not cause an undue administrative or financial hardship.
Accommodations must not compromise safety to you or others.
Accommodations must not fundamentally alter a course or program.
Who is eligible to request accommodations through Accessibility Services?
Any enrolled DCTC student who can provide documentation of a permanent documented disability is eligible for accommodated services. Requests without documentation will be review on a case-by-case services.
How do I request accommodations?
Submit an accommodation(s) request online or on paper. Students have the responsibility to report their specific needs to the faculty and/or to the Accessibility Services Office. All requests are confidential.
Provide current (within three years) documentation of the disability.
Set up an appointment to meet with the Accessibility Services Coordinator
What documentation is needed?
It is the student's responsibility to provide recent, professional documentation of his or her disability. The documentation must include the following:
Statement of disability on the letterhead of a qualified professional
Statement of how the disability functionally limits him/her in the academic environment
Recommendations for specific accommodations and rationale for those recommendations
Any prior or current IEP or 504 plan
Send Documentation to:
Dakota County Technical College
1300 145th Street East
Rosemount, MN 55068
What are my rights and responsibilities?
Rights of the Student
Equal opportunity to learn, work and receive reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids and services
Access to services that may be needed for equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities offered by the College
Be treated in the same manner as other students
Privacy of information regarding the disability in accordance with applicable laws
Report any grievances in a timely manner
Appeal denial or suspension of services.
Responsibilities of the Student
It is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations or auxiliary aids at least two (2) weeks before classes or activities begin.
Request for reader services or books on tape must be made at least six (6) weeks prior to when the materials are needed.
Students requiring sign language interpretation should request services in advance of class. The Office of Accessibility Services requests 2 weeks’ notice for interpretation of a class and five (5) business days to arrange interpretation for a meeting. The Office of Accessibility Services will attempt to schedule an interpreter when less notice is provided, but reserves the right to reschedule meetings or delay services if this is not possible.
Notice of Absence. Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Accessibility Services as soon as possible when they will be absent from a class or meeting. If a student is absent for three class periods and/or meetings in a semester without notification, interpreting services may be discontinued. The student must meet with the Office of Accessibility Services to appeal suspension of services.
Students are advised to set up a testing appointment at least three (3) academic days in advance of the desired test date to ensure staff availability for the desired testing time period.
Students are to arrange for testing by visiting the Testing Center. Note: Students who need a test reader will be provided a taped test or someone to read their test to them at the arranged testing time.
Testing appointments will be accepted up to two (2) weeks in advance of the desired test date.
Students are required to call and inform one of the Testing Center staff as soon as possible before the scheduled test date/time if unable to keep the testing appointment.
Note: If a testing appointment is missed, with instructor permission, a make-up test appointment may be arranged by contacting the Accessibility Services Office. Students are responsible for arriving to their testing appointment on time. Arrival more than thirty (30) minutes late automatically causes cancellation of the appointment. However, if a student arrives later than 30 minutes and staff is still available to proctor, then the student’s appointment time block will be honored even if the student arrives late, but the test will still be collected at the end of the student’s assigned time. (Example: Student has an appointment from 1-3p.m. and arrives at 2p.m. Student then has one hour to complete their test before it is collected.)
Students are to come prepared to complete the test without a break. All books, book bags, notes, jackets, etc. will be secured by the Testing Center staff.
Students will only be allowed to use materials during testing which have been noted by the faculty member on the form given to the Testing Center which accompanies the testing materials.
Students will be given the test at the appointed time and the test will be collected at the end of the allotted time by the proctor.
Where will I receive my testing accommodations?
Your instructors may choose to provide accommodations for your tests in a quiet area near the classroom or may prefer that you check in at the Testing Center located in room 2-141 to take your tests.
All students must follow the Student Code of Conduct. Violations (cheating, disturbing others, etc.) will be handled through the Student Code of Conduct discipline process.
Self-advocacy is critical to success in higher Education.
Colleges and universities are restricted from seeking out students with disabilities due to privacy laws. You are responsible for requesting the services you believe you need; the college or university generally does not provide accommodations unless or until you ask. The ability to advocate will benefit you in your life and career. Here are a few suggestions for self-advocacy:
Know yourself and your disability. Before you can advocate for yourself, you need to know how to talk about your disability in a way that other people will understand.
Know your rights and responsibilities. Colleges and universities cannot close their doors to you solely because you have a disability. The college or university must provide services that will allow you an equal opportunity to access and participate in school activities.
Know where to go for help. A very important part of being successful in college is knowing when you need help and where to find it. Writing down the names and phone numbers of the people on campus who can help you, including staff at the Office of Accessibility Services, is a good idea.
Take action. Develop a plan for communicating your needs. While the Office of Accessibility Services can assist you, developing your own communication skills may be very helpful. Consider practicing before talking with your instructors. You might practice explaining to a counselor or a trusted friend the accommodations you believe you will need.
Students will deliver their letters of accommodation to their instructors (either in person or electronically).
Responsibilities of Accessibility Services Office
Determine if a student is eligible to receive reasonable accommodations and/or modifications and/or other support services.
Maintain student documentation from appropriate professionals verifying disability. This is the required proof of eligibility.
Respect individual confidentiality and maintain professional standards
Provide the least invasive, appropriate accommodations in the classroom and for test taking.
Assist students in obtaining access to specific support services, such as tutoring and counseling.
Discuss with instructors the implementation of accommodations as needed.
Provide support to the faculty member(s) for the directive.
Provide education to faculty and staff regarding campus commitment to implementing law and policy which assures non-discrimination for people with disabilities.
Responsibilities of Faculty
In the event that a student shows up for the first day of class without an interpreter, the student should be referred to the Office of Accessibility Services where they can request interpreting services. Deaf or hard of hearing students often request interpreters from the Office of Accessibility Services when they register for classes. The Lead Interpreter will then schedule an interpreter. Faculty and staff may request an interpreter for office hours, meetings, and other college-related events by contacting the Office of Accessibility Services.
State Policy on Captioning Videos & Film
All films and videos acquired after 12/30/1994 must have either open or closed captioning. Any films and videos purchased on or before 12/30/1994 that are not captioned may be used, but will be captioned on request or as a requested reasonable accommodation.
Faculty members are responsible for including all exam dates in the class syllabus in order for students to schedule their special accommodations in advance.
Faculty members are to place the test(s) in a white envelope with a Accessibility Testing Form instruction sheet, seal the envelope, and sign across the seal to ensure the security of the test. The test is to be delivered to the Testing Center staff member who will log the test and place it in a secure location. The white envelopes and the Accessibility Testing Form are available in the Testing Center. The instruction sheet is also available on the DCTC Intranet.
To ensure the integrity of testing, no test will be given to a student unless it is received in a sealed, signed envelope.
Upon completion of the testing appointment, test materials are collected by the proctor and secured until the faculty member picks them up. Faculty members will be notified upon completion of the test by the Testing Center in the manner specified on the Accessibility Testing Form.
Audio Recording as an Accommodation
Audio-recording class lectures is sometimes an accommodation for students with memory impairments, visual impairments, attention deficits or distractibility, impaired auditory processing, or limited manual dexterity. The audio recording is a supplement to the student's own or a note taker's written notes.
According to the regulations, students with disabilities who are unable to take or read notes have the right to record class lectures only for personal study purposes. Lectures recorded for personal study may not be shared with other people without the consent of the lecturer.
Legally, an instructor may not forbid recording if it has been approved as an accommodation for the student's disability to provide meaningful access to the educational experience. The recording of lectures is one of the accommodations specifically mentioned in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The issue of copyright as a concern is referenced here.
Instructor's Right to Privacy/Copyright Protection
Objections to the use of a recording device in the classroom are typically based on concerns surrounding the right to privacy of information discussed in the classroom. The professor's and the students' right to privacy does not override the student's right to accommodation. It is reasonable for an instructor to ask the student to sign an agreement stating they will not share any recordings.
Classes Involving Student Self-Disclosure
Occasionally, professors object to the use of a recording device in classes that involve a great deal of self-disclosure from students as part of the class, fearing that the use of a recording device will inhibit students from freely sharing. The use of a recording device is to supplement the student's note-taking ability. If these open discussions are not appropriate subject matter for any student to be taking notes, it would be appropriate to issue a general announcement to the class to request that any students who are using a recording device turn it off.
Audio Recording Devices and Apps
Approved students may utilize smart-pens, digital recorders, and smartphone/tablet/computer applications for the purpose of making audio-recordings in a lecture. In addition, there is an increasing number of apps and software designed for this task. Typically, students for whom this accommodation is granted, are those who have difficulties attending to the lecture content and making cogent written notes at the same time; the audio recording allows the student to 'fill in the gaps' after the lecture or clarify meaning in their written notes.
Please contact the Accessibility Services Office at 651-423-8469 with any questions or concerns.
Many of the above statements adapted, with permission, from Kurztown University's Disability Services Office.
Responsibility of the Testing Center
The Testing Center staff will work with eligible students with disabilities to arrange for testing when requested by the student.
Tests will only be proctored by Testing Center staff.
All tests will be kept in a secure location and will only be opened at the time of the test.
Faculty will be notified promptly via DCTC email after student completes a test.