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Mission

Disability Services at NNU exists to ensure access to the University and its programs by students with disabilities. We coordinate and provide reasonable accommodations, advocate for an accessible and hospitable learning environment, and promote self-determination on the part of the individuals we serve.

Rights & Responsibilities of Students with Disabilities
K-12 versus Higher Education Disability Services

Syllabus Statement for Disability Services Access

Students who qualify for and desire accommodations in this course due to a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, must follow the NNU Disability Services Policies and Procedures as put forth by the office of Disability Services. Any student may review a copy of these policies and procedures at http://casa.nnu.edu/disability-services. Call 208-467-8463 or email disabilityservices@nnu.edu for further information.

Self-Advocacy

In order to receive accommodations, the student must personally request specific services each semester. Services are not provided for a student automatically without a request. To access accommodations, the student must contact the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA) and comply with Disability Services' Policies and Procedures. The Disability Services faculty and staff will work with students to ensure that accommodations are successfully accessed in each course, as applicable. The most frequent accommodations provided by the office may be found on the tab above labeled Most Frequent Accommodations.


Most Frequent Accommodations

Textbooks in an Alternate Format
Students who have documentation that indicates a need for auditory access of textbook material may receive textbooks in an alternate format. After the documentation arrives, students are encouraged to provide a written request to access this service each semester. It is helpful to complete the request at least three weeks before the semester begins in order to assure access in a timely fashion. Priority will be established based upon the earliest receipt of documentation and written requests.  Email disabilityservices@nnu.edu for access to the request form.

Note Takers
Students who have documentation that indicates a need for assistance with hand written notes in class may receive notes that are taken by another student in class. An accommodation letter must be requested, preferably within the first week of classes, in order to access this service. The letter informs the professor of the service that is being provided and specifies the process for the reproduction of the notes. Enlarged notes can be provided.  Email disabilityservices@nnu.edu to request an accommodation letter after your documentation has been submitted.

Alternative Testing Methods
Students who have documentation that indicates a need for alternative testing methods, such as extended time, rest breaks, oral testing, or testing in a low-distraction environment, may have tests administered in an alternate location selected by the professor or in the Disability Services office. An accommodation letter and test scheduling form are required to access this service. These specify the process and policies in detail. Students are encouraged to start the process of completing the forms within the first week of classes in order to coordinate the process in a timely fashion with professors’ schedules.  Email disabilityservices@nnu.edu to request an accommodation letter and test scheduling form after your documentation has been submitted.
 

 

Policies & Procedures

I. Introduction
A. It is the policy of Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) that no qualified persons with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of its programs or activities. Any qualified student who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and/or working, can receive assistance at NNU as provided in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The Director for the Center for Academic Success & Advising (CASA) serves as the campus contact for disability related needs of students (CASA Director, 208-467-8780).

B. A qualified student is defined as one who, with or without reasonable accommodation, meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in educational programs and activities.

C. NNU adheres to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 to provide requested auxiliary aids, services, and support for students with disabilities as specified by those legal mandates where necessary to afford such students an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of its programs and services. The university encourages students with disabilities or their parents to contact the Financial Aid office (208-467-8638) if special arrangements are needed in regard to financial aid advising. If special housing arrangements are needed, students with disabilities or their parents may contact the Director of Residential Life (208-467-8663) to ensure housing arrangements are appropriately made.

D. The CASA Director makes available reasonable accommodations to students who submit appropriate documentation related to disabilities. This documentation is placed on file in Disability Services where professional standards of confidentiality are maintained. Disability Services attempts to ensure, through the implementation of accommodations, that discrimination on the basis of disability does not occur within any campus of NNU.

E. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, administrators, Disability Services personnel, and students with disabilities to follow these stated policies and procedures in order to ensure that services are provided in the most effective manner possible.

F. Inquiries concerning Disability Services for prospective students may be emailed, mailed, or called in to CASA, in care of Assistant Professor Heidi Tracht, Director of CASA (208-467-8780,htracht@nnu.edu, or disabilityservices@nnu.edu). Students must self-identify for receipt of information or services from Disability Services.  The Center for Academic Success & Advising is located in the Leah Peterson Learning Commons, Suite 110.  Building map & directory→

II. Documentation of Disability
A. NNU makes no pre-admission inquiries as to whether a prospective student is disabled nor makes admission decisions on the basis of disability or lack thereof. Accordingly, no documentation relating to disability should be submitted until after a student has been admitted. Following admission, in order to be eligible for Disability Services, a student must submit to Disability Services qualifying documentation of disability and contact Disability Services to complete the respective NNU forms that apply to a student's particular accommodations.

B. A student's documentation that verifies the existence of a disability must be submitted from a qualified professional and should include the date(s) of the evaluation, the diagnosis, reference to the types of evaluation procedures utilized and the evaluation results/scores (as appropriate), and limitations of student functioning (especially as related to the higher education environment). Recommendations and rationale for accommodations are helpful in assisting institutional personnel to determine appropriate and necessary support.

C. The documentation should be current, giving an accurate picture of how the disability impacts the student at this point in time. Updates should be provided (as appropriate) during a student’s enrollment at NNU.

D. The documentation must be written by a professional who is licensed or credentialed to make the particular diagnosis (such as a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist) and this professional must provide the written information designated above.

E. Confidentiality of documentation files is strictly maintained in Disability Services. Access to files is available only to personnel in Disability Services who directly provide services. When the Admissions office, non-traditional programs, and graduate offices receive any documentation of disability, the documentation is sent directly to the Disability Services office. All information regarding disability that is provided for purposes of triggering support/accommodation is to be held exclusively in the Disability Services office.

III. NNU Assignment of Accommodation Form
A. Once Disability Services has received the documentation, the Accommodations Review Committee completes the assignment of accommodation with consideration given to recommendations for reasonable accommodations made by the professional who evaluated the student.

B. The reasonable accommodations that are provided to the student by NNU will be maintained within Disability Services. The office personnel work together with the student to make arrangements for accommodations to be implemented in each course for each semester in a manner that enables the student to satisfactorily complete the course objectives.

C. Institutional commitment for services provided by NNU will be outlined in the assignment of accommodation. In that Disability Services authorizes the institutional commitment for specific accommodations assigned to each individual student with a disability, any department or office at NNU who interacts with a student with a disability concerning disabilities must consult with the Director of CASA on issues related to institutional commitment for accommodations for each student.

D. Students are notified when the documentation arrives in Disability Services. Current students whose documentation arrives during a semester are encouraged to contact Disability Services to complete applicable forms subsequent to the arrival. Incoming students and returning clients are encouraged to complete the respective forms within a week of classes beginning each semester.

IV. Types of Reasonable Accommodations Provided
A. Textbooks in an Alternate Format - Students who have documented needs for auditory access of textbook material may have textbooks provided in an alternate format. After the documentation arrives, students are encouraged to complete the appropriate forms at least three weeks before the semester begins in order to ensure access of this service in a timely fashion. The Alternate Textbooks forms describe the process and policies for effective access to this accommodation in detail. Priority will be established based upon the earliest receipt of documentation and returned forms.

B. Student Note Taker in Class - Students who have documented needs for assistance with hand written notes in class may receive notes that are taken by another student in class. There are forms that the student with a disability completes, preferably within the first week of classes, in order to access this service. These forms inform the professor of the service that is being provided, and specifies the process for the reproduction of the notes. Enlarged notes can be provided.

C. Alternative Testing - Students who have documented needs for extended time on tests, rest breaks, oral testing, or testing in a low-distraction environment may have tests administered in an alternate location selected by the professor or in the Disability Services office. There are forms that are used to access this service, which specify the process and policies in detail. One of the forms is designed to inform professors of the process as well. Students are encouraged to start the process of completing the forms within the first week of classes in order to coordinate the process in a timely fashion with professors' schedules.

D. Tutoring - Academic tutoring is a service that is available to all students on the main campus in traditional undergraduate programs, as well as students in NNU Online, who desire assistance with study skills, time management, or some general education courses. Tutors are student employees hired by CASA who are trained to assist peers academically. Students make appointments with tutors online, by phone, or in person. Students with disabilities are encouraged to make use of this resource. Students in the nontraditional and graduate programs should follow the procedures for this type of assistance as outlined by those programs.

E. Supplemental Instruction (SI) - SI is provided for all students enrolled in the courses with SI attached in the traditional undergraduate programs. An SI Leader is a student employee hired by CASA who has excelled in the designated course previously. The SI Leader holds group study sessions for specific courses. Students with disabilities are encouraged to attend any SI sessions available.

F. Other Accommodations - The list above represents the typical types of academic accommodations that are available to students at NNU. The reasonable accommodations that are not listed above are addressed on an individualized basis. NNU cannot provide attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or servers of a personal nature.

V. Self-Advocacy and Accessing Services
A. Self-Advocacy is an important aspect of Disability Services in higher education. In grade school and high school, services are typically provided with minimal student self-advocacy. In higher education, students must request the reasonable accommodations provided in the assignment of accommodation.

B. It is the student's responsibility to provide the Disability Services office with appropriate documentation, to identify the services that he/she desires that are provided in the assignment of accommodation, and to request these services personally each semester. A student makes an official request when the designated forms are filled out for standard accommodations or a written request is approved for individualized accommodations that are not standardized.

C. When new documentation is submitted to Disability Services, the student is informed of its arrival. The student is encouraged to contact Disability Services to discuss the contents of the documentation, the arrangements to be made for each course, and the processes for accessing the reasonable accommodations that are recommended.

D. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with each of his/her professors concerning disability related issues in the respective courses, preferably prior to the beginning of each semester. Forms are provided by Disability Services that verify a disability and that assist in this communication process with professors for the designated accommodations. Disability Services employees are available to assist professors and students with disabilities when unusual situations arise.

E. Students who suspect that they have an undiagnosed disability may consult with the Director of CASA for recommendations of qualified professional evaluators.

F. Professors are not obligated to provide accommodations for a student if the student does not follow the appropriate steps for receiving accommodations.

VI. Course Substitution Requests
A. A qualified student for admission to an NNU major, minor, or program of study is defined as one who, with or without reasonable accommodation, meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in a post-secondary institution program and activities.

B. If a student with a disability (1) encounters a course that has objectives that he/she is unable to meet due to disability, even with reasonable accommodations, and (2) has substantial evidence that the same objectives of a major, minor, or program of study can be satisfied by an alternate course, then the student may make a course substitution request to Disability Services.

C. A student may make a course substitution request by submitting the following information in writing: (1) the documentation relevant to the request demonstrating the disability-related need for the substitution, (2) justification for regarding the request as reasonable, and (3) supporting evidence that the same objective of a major, minor, or program of study can be satisfied by an alternate course.

D. The Director of CASA coordinates a collaborative process with the student, the chair of the department of the student, and the chair of the department that offers the course (if different from the student's departmental chair) to determine if the course substitution substantially alters the program of study. After a deliberation process, the departmental chair(s) will make the final decision concerning course substitution requests.

E. Course substitutions are made only after every other option has been explored thoroughly and the course substitution appears to be the most effective means for achieving the objectives of a major, minor, or program of study for that particular individual.

VIII. Service Animals
A. NNU policy in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA, and the ADAAA allows for service animals in all buildings on campus and to accompany an individual to any class, meeting or event on or off campus, if the activity pertains to the curriculum.

  1. A service animal is defined as "any dog [or miniature horse] that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability."
  2. Service animals are not required to wear any distinctive symbols, harnesses or collars. In addition, the law does not dictate the breed or size of dog that may be utilized.
  3. Students are not required to register with Disability Services or otherwise obtain permission to be accompanied by a service animal on campus or in the classroom.
  4. If it is apparent that an animal is a service animal, university staff and faculty should not ask the individual any questions about the animal's status. If it is unclear if the animal is a service animal, university staff or faculty can ask the individual only two questions:
    1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
    2. What task or service has the service animal been trained to perform?

If the individual answers that the animal is required because of a disability and has been trained to perform at least one task, then the animal is a service animal. No other questions may be asked. Individuals should never be asked about their disabilities, nor should they be asked to provide any license, certification or identification card for the service animal.

D. Students are expected to provide appropriate care of the service animal; appropriate action will be taken if the student does not provide appropriate care. Students are expected to ensure that service animal behavior is under control and does not disrupt the classroom environment, the living environment, or other students on campus.

IX. Appropriate Use of Disability Services or Institutional Policy
A. Students with disabilities have the responsibility to adhere to the same academic standards, behavioral expectations, and ethical conduct as all other students on campus. Students who use Disability Services must follow the Disability Services Policies and Procedures so that services can be provided in the most effective manner possible. 

B. All course requirements, as stated in course syllabi, are required by students with disabilities, subject to reasonable accommodations which do not substantially alter the course requirements or expectations.

C. Reasonable accommodations cannot substantively change a course. The boundaries of substantive change are at the discretion of the professor. Arrangements for accommodations must be made in a timely manner so that professors have adequate preparation time for reasonable adjustments.

X. Resolution of Grievances
A. If a student has reason to believe that he/she has been denied equal access to any NNU program, service, or activity due to disability, first he/she is encouraged to attempt a resolution of the concerns independently by initiating a meeting with the staff member, faculty member, administrator, or student with whom there is a concern or disagreement. Many times when both parties have the advantage of directly sharing their concerns, the matter can be resolved without further assistance.

B. If independent resolution is not satisfactory, and the student believes that his/her rights as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, or the ADAAA of 2008 have been denied, the student should submit a written account of the situation to the Director of CASA. The report should be submitted immediately after the independent resolution process has been attempted, but in no case more than 30 days.

C. If a faculty member has questions, concerns, or objections to any accommodation of any student with a disability, the faculty member should discuss the issues with the Director of CASA. The Director of CASA will assist the faculty member in resolving the issue in a satisfactory manner so that course requirements or expectations are not substantially altered.

D. If a student disagrees with the denial of an accommodation, or if a student believes that a given accommodation is inappropriate, then the student may file an Academic Appeal through the Registrar's Office according to the policy and process listed below:

  1. Informal Appeal to Faculty Member.A student who believes that a faculty member has taken an adverse action against the student shall discuss the problem through an informal meeting with the appropriate member of the faculty. Such informal meeting need not be reduced to writing, and does not require a written decision from the faculty member. Any student who believes that the outcome of the informal meeting results in a decision of the faculty member which constitutes an adverse action may initiate a First Appeal by filing a timely notice of appeal with the faculty member's Department Chair or Program Director. Any failure by the student to bring such a first appeal within twenty-one days of the adverse action shall be deemed to be (a) a waiver by the student of any further appeal; and (b) a final action by the University.
  2. First Appeal to Department Chair or Program Director. If a student is dissatisfied with the resolution determined by the faculty member under the Informal Appeal described above, the student may pursue a First Appeal, but only if the student files a Notice of Appeal with the Faculty Member's Department Chair or Program Director within twenty-one days of the adverse action. Any such first appeal shall be determined by the Department Chair or the Program Director. The Chair or Director shall provide the student notice of a hearing (if any) regarding such First Appeal, and shall issue a written decision regarding such First Appeal within seven days of the Chair's or Director's receipt of the Notice of Appeal or the hearing, whichever is later. Any failure by the student to timely file such a Notice of Appeal shall be deemed to be (a) a waiver of any further appeal; and (b) a final action by the University.
  3. Second Appeal to Academic Unit Dean. If a student is dissatisfied with the decision rendered by the Department Chair or Program Director of the department of the University within which the appeal is taken, the student may pursue a Second Appeal to the Academic Unit Dean, but only if the student files a Notice of Appeal with the Academic Unit Dean within seven days of entry of the written decision of the first appeal. Any such Second Appeal shall be determined by the Academic Unit Dean. The Academic Unit Dean shall provide the student notice of a hearing (if any) regarding such Second Appeal, and, if a hearing occurs, shall issue a written decision regarding such Second Appeal within seven days of such hearing. Any failure by the student to timely file such a Notice of Appeal shall be deemed to be (a) a waiver of any further appeal; and (b) a final action by the University.
  4. Third and Final Appeal. If a student is dissatisfied with the decision rendered by the Unit Dean, the student may pursue a Third and Final Appeal, but only if the student files a Notice of Appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs within seven days of entry of the written decision of the Second Appeal. Within seven days of notice of the appeal the VPAA shall inform the Academic Unit Dean of the appeal. The Academic Unit Dean shall appoint an Academic Appeals Committee and appoint a chair. The Third and Final Appeal shall be determined by the Academic Appeals Committee. The chair of the Academic Appeals Committee shall provide the student notice of a hearing (if any) regarding such Third and Final Appeal, and the Academic Appeals Committee shall issue a written decision regarding such Third and Final Appeal within fifteen days of such hearing. Any decision by the Academic Appeals Committee shall constitute the final action of the University regarding the Academic Appeal.

Documentation Guidelines

Students who request special accommodations for disabilities must have current documentation of a disability on file in CASA from a qualified professional, such as a licensed counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician. The documentation should contain the following items:

  • Date(s) of evaluation.
  • Diagnosis.
  • Reference to the types of evaluation procedures utilized.
  • Evaluation results and/or test scores (as appropriate).
  • Limitations of student functioning (especially as related to the higher education environment).
  • Recommendations and rationale for accommodations, which are helpful in assisting institutional personnel in determining appropriate and necessary support.
  • An accurate and current picture of how the disability impacts the student at the present time, and thus, in most cases, the documentation should be less than five years old.

When the documentation arrives, the Assignment of Accommodation form is completed by CASA personnel and placed in the student's file. This form specifies the reasonable accommodations that will be provided for the student by NNU while enrolled as a student.

Documentation may be sent by mail, fax, or email:
Heidi Tracht, CASA Director
Northwest Nazarene University
623 S. University Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83686
Fax: 208-467-8603
Email: disabilityservices@nnu.edu

The Center for Academic Success & Advising is located in the Leah Peterson Learning Commons, Suite 110.
Building map & directory→
 

Accommodation Procedures

Testing Accommodation
Students with documentation on file in Disability Services who are eligible to receive testing accommodations may receive accommodations for taking tests by using the following process:
1.       The student picks up their accommodation letter and testing scheduling form from Disability Services, informing professors of testing accommodations.

2.       The student meets with all professors to share the accommodation letter and testing scheduling form, and to discuss testing procedures for the course, as well as any other accommodations that may be required.

3.       Disability Services encourages students and their professors to arrange testing accommodations within the department, with the following suggestions:

a.       Low Distraction Testing Environment: The department may have a room, empty classroom, or office available for testing. A department assistant may help with proctoring duties if a test is taken in another room.

b.       Extended Time: Begin the test at same time as the class, and continue until the extended time expires. The professor may start the test earlier and have the student finish at the same time as the class if there is a time commitment after the regularly scheduled test time.

 If the professor is unable to provide testing accommodations as described above, please follow the procedures for taking tests in the Center for Academic Success & Advising (CASA), as described on the reverse side of the test scheduling form.
 
Note Taker Accommodations
 
Students with documentation on file in Disability Services, who are eligible to receive note taking accommodations, may receive these accommodations by using the following process:
1.       The student picks up their accommodation letter from Disability Services, informing professors of note taking accommodations.
2.       The student meets with all professors to give them the accommodation letter, and discusses note taking requirements for the course, as well as any other accommodations that may be required.
3.       Disability Services encourages professors to make arrangements with another student in the class allowing Disability Services to electronically copy his/her notes on a regular basis. 
4.       Disability Services will distribute the notes to the accommodated student.
 
If the professor is unable to arrange note taking accommodations as described above, Disability Services will secure a note taker.
Textbooks in Alternate Format Accommodations
 
Students with documentation on file in Disability Services, who are eligible to receive textbooks in an alternate format, may receive these accommodations by using the following process:
1.       Submit a written request to Disability Services for all required texts as soon as you are registered each semester.
2.       At that time, you will be given an Electronic/Recorded Text Distribution Agreement to sign. First priority will be given to students who submit their requests at least 15 business days in                       advance of need
3.       Notify Disability Services of any schedule changes as soon as possible. Even a section change could impact the text.
4.       The following information will be needed for each textbook that is requested.
·         Course name you need text for
·         Course/Section#
·         Instructor
·         Book title
·         Author
·         Publisher
·         ISBN
·         Have you purchased a copy of the book?
·         Price paid for your textbook
·         Where purchased
 
Please attach a copy of the receipts to your written request.