Disability Services Helpful Tips

Advising Session Best Practices

What to do before meeting with your advisor:

  1. Make sure you have created an account. Creating an account will allow you to become familiar with CCC. Once you create an account you can schedule a campus visit, register for an admission event and apply for admission to the college.
  2. Complete our online application. Applications are available on the CCC website. (MY NOTE: They’re already on the website, and we said it’s an online application. How about a link instead of this sentence?) You should receive a letter of acceptance verifying your acceptance.
  3. Take a pre-enrollment assessment (ACCUPLACER) or have your ACT scores sent or faxed (402-562-1206) to the Assessment Office. If you have taken these assessments elsewhere make sure they have been received before you meet with your advisor. Call the Admissions Office to make sure they have been received.
  4. Have all your high school and college transcripts sent to the Admissions Office. Do this well ahead of your advising session. In some cases, time is needed to evaluate classes you took at other colleges.
  5. Call the Registration Department to find out who your advisor is. Be prepared to tell the registration personnel what major you have decided on.
  6. Meet with the disability services staff prior to meeting with your advisor. They will help you prepare for the advising session.
  7. Call your advisor to set up an appointment to register for classes. Don’t assume that he/she will be available. Advisors are also teachers who have other commitments in the classroom, lab or with other advisees.
  8. Take a copy of your assessment results, transcripts and any other information that will help with the advising process. You should not take disability documentation to your advisor. (Your advisor will not need this information if you have prepared properly for this meeting. Documentation should be given to the disability services staff where it will be placed in a confidential and personal folder.

The following questions have been developed to make sure your advising experience is a positive and productive one. If you choose, the disability services staff will help you prepare for the meeting with your advisor. Together you will review the following questions and she will help you write down your needs.

General questions that your advisor may ask (if they don’t ask you, you should share this information with them)

  1. What is your major?
  2. Is your goal to earn a degree? A diploma? A certificate? Or earn academic transfer credits for a degree elsewhere?
  3. Do you plan to transfer to a four-year college when you leave CCC? Another community college? What college?
  4. How many credit hours do I need to take? Full-time vs. Part-time

Considerations: vocational rehabilitation, insurance, financial aid requirements

  1. Do you plan on working while attending CCC? How many hours? What is your schedule?
  2. Are you a morning person? Afternoon person?
  3. What subjects in high school came easy to you? What were your toughest? What did you like the best?
  4. What kind of study habits do you have?
  5. Do you take tests well? What kind of issues do you encounter during a test?

Questions that explain your special needs due to your disability: Remember you do not need to disclose your specific disability to your advisor. You may disclose if you choose, but it is not necessary.

  1. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How does my disability affect my ability to:
    • Read a textbook?
    • Listen to a lecture?
    • Take notes?
    • Write a paper?
    • Give a speech?
    • Get up in the morning / medications etc.?
    • Miss meals (especially if I must eat in the cafeteria)?
    • Get to class in a short period of time?
    • Budget my time?
    • Take a test?
  3. What kind of accommodations do I use?
  4. What kind of learning environment works best for me?

What to do during the advising session:

  1. Introduce yourself to your advisor.
  2. Share the information that you have brought with you. This includes test scores, transcripts and the answers to the questions you worked on with the disability services staff.
  3. Listen closely to the information your advisor is sharing with you. If you don’t understand, ask him/her to repeat the information or explain it further.
  4. Ask questions. Your advisor will assume that you understand everything and continue on with the session even if you don’t.
  5. Take notes. You are responsible for the information you talked with your advisor about. Remember, they have other advisees and cannot remember everything you talked about. Save them in your college folder.
  6. Ask your advisor when they will be available throughout the semester. If you have to drop or add a class or discuss changes in your major, it helps to know when he/she is available. Many faculty members have their schedules posted outside their offices, but it is always good to have this information in your college folder. Remember to call before coming in to meet with your advisor.
  7. Thank them for their help. Good manners are always a plus!

What to do after the advising session:

  1. Check over your schedule for any errors or deletions or possible things that may be an obstacle to your success.
  2. Make a copy for your file in the Disability Services Office and take it there. Save your schedule for future reference. You will need it to complete forms and set up your daily planner. This is one more thing to put in your folder.
Comparison of Disability in High School and College
High School College
Under the law (IDEA), all children (including children with disabilities) are entitled to a “Free and Appropriate Public Education.”(IDEA is about education) Under the law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act), students have equal access to education – no one is entitled to anything; students have civil rights and they must advocate for themselves in order to utilize those rights. 
(Section 504 is about civil rights)
Section 504 in the public schools includes “Free and Appropriate Public Education” language, and accommodations may include modifications or changes in the curriculum, assignments or tests. Section 504 is the first civil rights legislation that applied to colleges. It upholds the institution’s right to maintain the academic standards, and no accommodations may be permitted to reduce that standard for any student. In other words, the integrity of any program will not be compromised by changes or modifications for any student.
Plans, either the IEP or a 504 Plan, drive all services and accommodations, involve school staff and require a parent’s signature. There is no plan, and instructors are not contacted, except by the student. In fact, parents may not even receive a student’s grades without the student giving written permission.
All students qualify for public education simply by being the appropriate age “Otherwise qualified,” in college, means that the student must meet all entrance and academic requirements, whether they receive accommodations or not.
Staff members involved with the student know about his/her placement, know about a student even before he or she enters the classroom, and have a good idea of that student’s needs.  DSS never contacts an instructor without permission from the student. Thus, the student must initiate all actions regarding accommodations with each instructor for each course every semester. Students also have the right to refuse accommodations and if they do not request accommodations, it’s assumed they do not need or want them. 
Public schools, for the most part, are responsible for appropriate assessment of a student’s disability, primarily to determine if that student qualifies for special education. Higher education is not required to assess the student but may request that the student provide information about their disability and accommodation needs. This may include third-party documentation. 
Some subjects may have been waived for a student before graduation, if they were specifically related to the student’s disability, and was indicated in the IEP. Substitutions for specific graduation requirements may be requested by following a rigorous petition process, but “waivers” for requirements are never granted. Substitutions are also granted typically after the student has both provided adequate verification to DSS of their disability and unsuccessfully attempted the courses in question with the appropriate accommodations as recommended by DSS. 
Labels (or the type of disability/diagnosis) are a way to categorize people and are needed to verify the student for special education services. Student has a right to disclose when and to whom they choose, but must own their disability in order to receive accommodations and enjoy a level playing field.  There is no special education, only accommodations.
Assessment, physical or other therapy, or personal care may be provided by the school while the student is in school. Student is responsible for personal services – personal care, medical and related requirements, just as if they would if they were living independently and not attending school.
Students often receive “Un-timed tests” if they have a disability. “Un-timed tests” are not reasonable, but time extensions may be reasonable, typically time-and-a-half or double time.
Teachers may be expected to learn all they can about the disability of a student in one of their classes. Instructors need know only that which applies to the accommodations the student is eligible for.
“Placement” is determined by the child’s “team” and outlined in the plan and must, by law, occur in the least restrictive environment. Placement integration is assumed, and is the order of the day. We adjust the environment through accommodations, but we don’t deliberate and select the environment for the student in advance. 
  • MDT = Multidisciplinary Team Evaluation
  • DSS = Disability Services for Students
  • IEP = Individual Education Plan

IDEA vs. ADA

Issue IDEA (High School) ADA (College)
Identification School Student
Assessment School Student
Making Requests School/Parent Student
Advocacy School/Parent Student
Decision Making School/Parent Student
Transition Plan School Student
Accommodations School College
Complaint Procedures for Disability Services

Right of Appeal Procedure for Student Accommodations

In order to directly address complaints specific to disability-related accommodations, the Disability Services Office has adopted an internal right of appeal procedure. This procedure allows for equitable resolution within a reasonable time of complaints by students with disabilities who allege violation of their rights under the ADAAA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

If the student believes the accommodations provided are not reasonable, the procedure below should be followed. The goal of the Disability Services Office staff is to accomplish each step as quickly as possible.

  1. The student needs to schedule a meeting with the disability services staff who evaluated the original accommodation request and discuss the matter. If an accommodation is related to a specific course, the student’s faculty member may be asked to attend the meeting. The outcomes of the meeting will be made and presented to the student in written format within five working days of the meeting by the disability services staff.
  2. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the student should make an appointment to meet with the associate dean of students within 10 working days from the date of the meeting with the DSS to initiate the formal grievance procedures as outlined by college policy. See student handbook or college website.

Discrimination

All reports of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation should be made online or directly to the ADA/504 coordinator:

Christopher Waddle, JD
Vice President of Human Resources
3134 W. Hwy 34
Grand Island, NE 68802-4903
308-398-7325
cwaddle@cccneb.edu