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 as well as the academic department the student is registered with on campus. (ie; Nursing students receive time plus ½ again)
    • Distraction-reduced or Alternate Testing Area – We test in the Frank E. O’Brien Student Support Center- Mercy Hall
    • Preferential Seating
    • Recorded lecturers – students will discuss with the Professor ahead of time how this will be accomplished.
    • Copy of Professor’s notes
    • Calculator for math problems
    • Tex-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.

  • COVID-19 Temporary Accommodations

    Temporary accommodations are available to members of the College campus community who are experiencing significant impacts to their educational and/or employment experience at Maria College as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The nature and period of time for which accommodations are issued will vary depending on the circumstances at hand and will take into consideration mandates and/or recommendations issued by an appropriate medical practitioner or governing health authority, as relevant.  As with standard accommodations, students will need to register with Accessibility Services and present suitable documentation prior to the issue of any accommodations. Individuals eligible for temporary accommodations include, but are not limited to:

    • Individuals recovering from surgery, serious injury, or major illness
    • Individuals mandated or recommended to quarantine and/or self-isolate in accordance with orders or guidelines set forth by State or local public health officials
    • Individuals who are identified by their medical provider as being at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 and/or at increased risk for severe illness or complications from COVID-19 as defined by the CDC[1]
    • Individuals who live with a household member who is at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 as defined by the CDC

    Individuals qualifying for temporary accommodations will be provided reasonable accommodations that allow for the online delivery of their classes and/or other College programming whenever possible.[2] Student accommodations will be communicated to the faculty via the student’s Accommodation Agreement.[3] Faculty may, at any time, contact the Accessibility Services Office via email at accessibilityservices@mariacollege.edu for assistance in addressing the student’s needs.  Reasonable accommodations issued under this policy may include, but are not limited to:

    • Modified class schedules, work schedules, and/or assignments
    • Live webcasting of lectures/labs via BB Collaborate
    • Downloadable video recordings
    • PowerPoints with Voiceovers
    • Electronic delivery of tests and other assessments
    • Asynchronous peer-review of assignments via email exchange
    • Other modifications to the Maria College educational and/or employment experience or to other aspects of College programming and activities, as deemed appropriate by College officials

    In cases where accommodations were provided due to a mandated or recommended quarantine period or self-isolation period, once an individual is safely able to return to campus, all temporary accommodations provided under this policy will expire.  The Accessibility Services Coordinator will notify the individual (and, as applicable, the relevant faculty member) of the expiration of any accommodations in writing.  Individuals 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 healthcare provider and/or governing health authority.  New accommodation agreements will be issued if an extension is deemed warranted.

    Documentation to Support Requested Temporary Accommodations

    In all cases where accommodations are sought under this policy, individuals must provide the College with documentation that clearly justifies the need for the accommodations requested.  In most cases under this policy, appropriate documentation will include a medical note from the individual’s own medical provider stating that the individual is (as applicable) ill with and/or recovering from COVID-19, or at increased risk of contracting or suffering more severe illness or complications from COVID-19. 

    Where individuals are seeking accommodation on the basis of living with household member at increased risk, appropriate documentation may include a medical note from the household member’s medical provider, as well as reasonable proof that the individuals share a household (such as official mail addressed to the same home address). 

    Where individuals have been mandated and/or recommended to quarantine or self-isolate, appropriate documentation may include (as applicable) a copy of any applicable guidelines, directive, or court order imposed by State or local health officials (either against an individual or the public at large) and/or other proof that supports such basis for accommodations as deemed appropriate in the judgment of Maria College (such as proof of travel to a State or geographic area currently subject to isolation orders upon return).  

    [1] See CDC guidelines regarding individuals at increased risk from COVID-19 here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-increased-risk.html

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

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

  • 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, the student will be contacted by the Director of Accessibility Services to schedule an In-Take Interview.  This interview will take approximately 30 minutes, during which:

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

    Once students have completed the registration process, the Director of Accessibility Services will generate Accommodation Agreements to be reviewed and signed by the Director and the student.[2]  Once signatures have been obtained, the Director will provide the student with an electronic (.pdf) version of the final document.  It is the student’s responsibility to submit his/her Accommodation Agreement to all 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 Accommodation 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, the Director of Accessibility Services will contact the student via email to arrange a time to meet, 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 the Director of 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, the student will be contacted by the Director of Accessibility Services to schedule an Intake Interview.  This interview will take approximately 30 minutes, during which:

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

    Once students have completed the registration process, the Director of Accessibility Services will generate Accommodation Agreements to be reviewed and signed by the Director and the student.[5]  Once signatures have been obtained, the Director will provide the student with an electronic (.pdf) version of the final document.  It is the student’s responsibility to submit his/her Accommodation Agreement to all 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 .

    [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] Accommodations Agreements will generally be available 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). All students are responsible to let their professor know they will be taking their test in the Student Support Center each time they reserve the room.