Accessibility Services

Mission Statement

The Accessibility Services Program promotes the development of an inclusive and welcoming environment. The staff ensure that all qualified students with disabilities are given equal access to educational resources. Recognizing that each individual has unique needs, the staff of the Accessibilities Services Program work to provide a student-centered approach to reasonable accommodations. Our goal in providing accommodations is to assist the student with not only academic success but also to personal empowerment and professional advancement.

Maria College recognizes that each student needs an individualized program of accommodations due to the effects of the person’s disabilities on a major life function. When reviewing a student’s need for services, the staff will take into consideration the history of the disability, reported limitations, and/or respective documentation from a qualified professional. There must always be a correlation between the impact of the disability and the requested accommodation. Accommodations are adjustments, changes or alterations to a program, service, activity or policy, in order to permit equal access.

For more information please contact accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu.

  • Disability Law and Academic Accommodations for Accessibility

    Higher education institutions adhere to different disability laws than high schools. At the college level, accommodations are only provided when the student has self-identified as having a functional impairment that substantially limits major life functioning. Students attending high school are protected by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which allows schools to make curricular changes for students with disabilities. At the college level, all students with disabilities must be “otherwise qualified”; therefore, they are required to meet the academic and technical skills for their respective program. It is important that all students understand that Maria College will not modify exams or curriculum, and standards for grading are determined by the instructor. The Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments govern the decisions pertaining to accommodations for disabilities at Maria College.

  • Information Regarding Transition from High School

    Transition from High School to College

    Maria College welcomes students of all ages and follows the federal guidelines for higher education in relationship to accessibilities. This section addresses the differences between accommodations offered at college versus the high school setting.Maria College follows the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Once enrolled in college, students move from the protection of Public Law 94-142 (I.D.E.A.) to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The following chart highlights the differences.

    Click here to view chart.

  • Standard Academic Accommodations

    Disabilities vary on how they affect a person’s major life functions. Due to the varying differences in disabilities, the program can only provide academic accommodations based on the history of the disability, reported limitations, and/or respective documentation from a qualified professional. There must always be a correlation between the impact of the disability and the requested accommodation. Accommodations are adjustments, changes or alterations to a program, service, activity or policy, in order to permit equal access.

    Common accommodations seen at a college level are as follows:

    • Extended time on tests – This reflects the documentation of the disability.
    • Distraction-reduced or Alternate Testing Area – We test in the Frank E. O’Brien Student Support Center- Mercy Hall
    • Preferential Seating
    • Recorded lectures – students will discuss with the Professor ahead of time how this will be accomplished.
    • Copy of Professor’s notes
    • Calculator for math problems
    • Text-to-speech software for exams
    • On-campus tutoring – this is free on a first-come first-served basis unless the student has funding for private tutoring.

    Please note: personal services such as content specific tutoring, personal aides, or assistance in bathing, grooming, food preparation, housekeeping, and assistance ambulating are not deemed reasonable accommodations. Additionally, individually prescribed devices (such as hearing aids, glasses, braces, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices) are to be purchased by the student.

  • Temporary Accommodations

    Temporary accommodations are available to students who are experiencing temporary disabilities that impact their educational experience at Maria College. For example, students with temporary injuries—or students who are recovering from surgery—are experiencing short-term medical conditions and may need temporary accommodations. Temporary disabilities include, but are not limited to the following.

    • Broken limbs
    • Hand injuries
    • Concussion
    • Short-term impairment while recovering from surgery or medical treatments

    Missing a few classes or deadlines due to an acute, short-term illness, such as the flu, normally does not require formal accommodation. Students should be able to work directly with their instructors to get back on track.

    Students qualifying for temporary accommodations will be provided reasonable accommodations that allow for them to continue with their classes and/or other academic programming whenever possible.[1] Student accommodations will be communicated to faculty via the student’s Agreement for Temporary Accommodations.[2] Faculty may, at any time, contact Accessibility Services via email at accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu  for assistance in addressing the student’s needs.

    The nature and period of time for which accommodations are granted will vary depending on the individual student’s circumstances and will take into consideration recommendations issued by an appropriate medical provider. As with standard accommodations, students will need to register with Accessibility Services and present suitable documentation prior to the issue of any temporary accommodations.

    Depending on the nature of the temporary disability and supporting medical documentation, reasonable accommodations granted under Temporary Accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following.

    • Extended time to complete assignments
    • Extended time to complete exams and/or other assessments
    • Electronic delivery of tests and other assessments
    • Accommodations to capture information in the classroom
    • Virtual attendance in courses
    • Other modifications to the Maria College educational experience or to other aspects of College programming and activities, as deemed appropriate by College officials

    All temporary accommodations provided to students under Temporary Accommodations will expire when the temporary disability has resolved. Accessibility Services will notify the individual (and, as applicable, the relevant faculty member) of the expiration of any accommodations in writing. Students may request that accommodations be extended past their expiration and/or be renewed for a given period of time. In all cases, extension or renewal of any temporary accommodation must be supported by documentation originating from an appropriate medical provider. New accommodation agreements will be issued if an extension is deemed warranted.

     

    Registering for Temporary Accommodations 

    Students who wish to receive temporary accommodations at Maria College must register with the Office of Accessibility Services. A student may access the Temporary Accommodations Registration Form through the Accessibility Services Webpage.

    Following submission of the Registration Form, the student will be contacted to schedule an Intake Interview. This interview will last approximately 30 minutes, during which:

    1. Accessibility Services will review all medical documentation provided by the student to ensure it meets Maria College standards and will provide the student with an overview of the role of Accessibility Services and the supports available.
    2. The student will be given the opportunity to discuss their specific needs in detail and to ask any questions related to registration.

    Once students have completed the registration process, an Agreement for Temporary Accommodations will be generated to be reviewed and signed by the student and by Accessibility Services.[3]

    Once signatures have been obtained, Accessibility Services will provide the student with an electronic (.pdf) version of the final document. It is the student’s responsibility to submit their Agreement for Temporary Accommodations to instructors either in hardcopy or by email. No accommodations can be provided until this process has been completed it its entirety.

    If you have questions regarding this process, you may request an appointment by emailing accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu.

     

    Documentation to Support Temporary Accommodations

    In all cases where temporary accommodations are sought, students must provide Accessibility Services with documentation from a treating medical provider that clearly justifies the need for the accommodations requested. In most cases, appropriate documentation will include a medical note from the individual’s own medical provider stating the following.

    • A description of the temporary disability
    • Expected temporary limitations
    • Anticipated recovery time
    • Recommended accommodations

     

    Other Considerations

    • Since temporary accommodations needs can be of an urgent nature, students should be in touch with Accessibility Services with any questions and to discuss accommodations options.

     

    Cait York
    Director of Accessibility Services and Assistant Dean of Students
    Email: mailto:syork@mariacollege.edu
    Phone: 518-861-2539

     

    Peter Bocala
    Accessibility Services Coordinator
    Email: mailto:pbocala@mariacollege.edu
    Phone: 518-861-2583

     

    • Since, in most cases, temporary accommodations will be provided by a student’s instructors, students should meet directly with their instructors to discuss what material, assignments, and exams/assessments have been or may be missed.
    • If a student has missed or must miss a substantial amount of their courses in a given semester and needs to take a Medical Leave of Absence, the student should review the Leave of Absence details in the Maria College Student Handbook available at https://mariacollege.edu/student-support.
      .

    [1] Except when to do so would result in a fundamental alteration of the program/assessment or a dilution of standards.

    [2] Accommodations Agreements will be provided to the student electronically.  It will be the student’s responsibility to send the Agreement to their instructors via email.

    [3] Accommodations Agreements will generally be available within three (3) business days of the completion of the Intake Interview.

     

  • Register with Accessibility Services

    New Students

    Students who wish to receive accommodations at Maria College must register with the Accessibility Services Office. A student may access the Registration Form through the Accessibility Services Webpage[1]. Following submission of the Registration Form and supporting documentation, the student will be contacted to schedule an intake interview.  This interview will take approximately 30 minutes, during which:

    1. An overview of Accessibility Services will be provided.
    2. All medical documentation provided by the student will be reviewed to ensure that it meets ADA standards.
    3. The student will be given the opportunity to discuss their specific needs in detail and ask any questions related to registration.

    Once students complete the registration process, Accommodations Agreements will be generated. Once the agreements have been signed by the student and the Office of Accessibility Services, electronic (.pdf) versions of the final documents will be provided to the student.[2]   It is the student’s responsibility to submit their Accommodations Agreement to instructors either in hard copy or email.  No accommodations can be provided until this process has been completed it its entirety.

    If you have questions regarding this process, you may request an appointment by emailing accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu .

    Returning Students and Accommodations Adjustments

    Students must obtain an updated Accommodation Agreement each semester by completing a Standard Accommodations Registration Request online. A request should be made at least one week prior to the start of the academic semester.  Once received, Accessibility Services will contact the student via email to review and sign off on revised agreements.[3]  Maria College faculty are not required to provide a student with accommodations unless the student has provided an appropriately-dated accommodation letter.

    If you would like to make changes to your letter, please schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services by emailing accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu .

    Registering for Temporary Accommodations

    Students who wish to receive temporary accommodations at Maria College must register with the Accessibility Services Office. A student may access the Temporary Accommodations Registration Form through the Accessibility Services Webpage[4]. Following submission of the Registration Form and supporting documentation, the student will be contacted to schedule an Intake Interview.  This interview will take approximately 30 minutes, during which:

    1. An overview of Accessibility Services will be provided.
    2. All medical documentation provided by the student will be reviewed to ensure that it meets ADA standards. 
    3. The student will be given the opportunity to discuss their specific needs in detail and ask any questions related to registration.

    To complete the registration process, Accommodations Agreements will be generated. [5] Once the agreements have been signed by the student and the Office of Accessibility Services, electronic (.pdf) versions of the final documents will be provided to the student. It is the student’s responsibility to submit their Accommodations Agreement to instructors either in hard copy or email.  No accommodations can be provided until this process has been completed in its entirety.

    If you have questions regarding this process, you may request an appointment by emailing accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu .

    [1] Please see the Accessibility Services webpage as well for access to helpful links, forms and other documentation.

    [2] Accommodations Agreements will generally be available within three (3) business days of the completion of the Intake Interview.

    [3] Accessibility Services will make contact with the student generally within three (3) business days of the submission of the Registration Request.

    [4] Please see the Accessibility Services webpage as well for access to helpful links, forms and other documentation.

    [5] Accommodations Agreements will generally be available within three (3) business days of the completion of the Intake Interview.

  • How to Schedule Testing

    All students will now register online for all testing services. Click here to fill out the form to reserve the testing room and have your tests taken in the Student Support Center. (We will no longer be making these appointments in person as we have done in the past). It is the student’s responsibility to let their professor know they will be taking their test in the Student Support Center each time they reserve the room.