Disability Programs

Mission Statement
The Disability Services Program at Maria College assists in creating an accessible campus environment where students with disabilities have equal access to educational programs and the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of campus life. Through partnerships with students, faculty and staff members, the program works to promote students’ independence, self-advocacy and development, and ensures that students are recognized for their abilities (and not their disabilities).

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 governs the decisions pertaining to accommodations for disabilities at Maria College.

For more information on the transition process from high school to college, please refer to the document, Transition from High School Information, which you can download from this page (left).

Reasonable Academic Accommodations

Disabilities vary on how they impact 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.

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.

Arranging Accommodations

Once students have completed the registration process, they are responsible for working collaboratively with the Maria Student Services Office (Disability Services Program) in coordinating their accommodations (i.e., delivering the Accommodation Verification Letter to instructors, submitting forms for exam accommodations, etc.).

Registering with Disability Services

Students who wish to receive accommodations at Maria College must register by contacting Kim Noakes, MSEd, MHC at: knoakes@mariacollege.edu.  If you have questions on the Maria Disability Services Program, you may request an appointment by emailing: knoakes@mariacollege.edu

Returning Students

Students must contact the Maria Disability Services Program Coordinator EVERY Semester they wish to receive accommodations.

Students must obtain updated accommodation letters each semester by submitting a request to the program at least one week prior to the start of the academic semester. Updated accommodation letters must be given by a student to their instructors at the beginning of each semester.  Photo copies of previous accommodation letters are insufficient.  Maria College faculty are not required to provide a student with accommodations unless the student has provided an appropriately dated accommodation letter.

Updated accommodation letters may be picked up at the Maria Learning Resource Center one to three (1 – 3) days after the request is submitted.

If you would like to make changes to your letter or wish to speak with Kim Noakes who oversees the Disability Services Program at Maria College, please email: knoakes@mariacollege.edu