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Students with Disabilities

Student’s with Disabilities

Services for Students with Disabilities 

In keeping with the central tenet of its mission—commitment to service—Life Chiropractic College West (Life West) is dedicated to the full access and inclusion of all students in its program. The Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) is the primary provider for support programs and services facilitating equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA, as amended 2008).

At the postsecondary level, it is the student’s responsibility to make his or her disabling condition known and to assist in identifying reasonable academic adjustments (aka accommodations). Life West seeks to accommodate students with disabilities on an individual basis. The goal of providing accommodations, auxiliary aids and services is to minimize the effects of the disability on the educational process. The student with a disability has the opportunity to acquire information and to be evaluated in a way that allows the student to demonstrate fully his/her knowledge of the subject.

Students with disabilities are not required to participate in the disability services program. However, students requesting accommodations must register with the DSC by providing appropriate disability documentation. The DSC will review the documentation and determine eligibility for accommodations based on the Association for Higher Education for Disability (AHEAD) Professional Association’s Guidelines: Supporting Accommodation Requests: Guidance on Documentation.

An appropriate licensed professional who is qualified in the diagnosis of the disability should prepare supporting disability documentation. The documentation should reflect the student’s present level of functioning; the major life activity (ies) affected by the disability including the impact on learning, the prognosis and shall be as current as possible. Costs for obtaining a disability evaluation and report are borne by the student.

Upon acceptance of the disability documentation, the DSC will confirm eligibility with the student and arrange to meet regarding reasonable accommodations. The DSC will then recommend accommodations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). Once approved, the VPAA will issue an “Accommodation Letter” specifying the accommodation(s) to which the student is entitled. An electronic copy of the letter is provided to the student, who is then responsible for delivering the letter via e-mail to instructors of his/her choosing thereby activating accommodations.

For test-taking purposes, accommodated students must submit a “Request for Alternative Testing” form to the Office of Academic Affairs at least five (5) working days prior to written quizzes/midterm exams and ten (10) working days prior to lab practicals or final exams.

Accommodations available to students with documented disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • A separate, distraction-reduced environment for test taking
  • Additional time on exams
  • Screen reading software (JAWS)
  • Scribe for exams
  • Altered test format (e.g., enlarged print)
  • Scantron assistance
  • Preferred classroom seating
  • Note taking assistance

 

 

Suspected Disabilities 

Students experiencing academic difficulties are encouraged to consult with the DSC to discuss the possibility of a previously undiagnosed or adult onset disability. Various approaches to learning barriers are explored in this process. The DSC works with the student to provide general counseling and assistance in evaluating the student’s study habits, educational history, and to screen for possible disabilities.

When screening for possible disabilities, the DSC will discuss with the student his or her perceived area(s) of difficulty, and may also administer preliminary assessments to determine if the student might benefit from a psycho-educational evaluation by a qualified professional. Referrals for appropriate local psycho-educational, medical or non-medical diagnosticians are available.

 

Disagreements

Where there is a dispute or disagreement regarding the provision of an accommodation that cannot be promptly resolved informally by the DSC, the student may file a complaint through Life West’s Student Complaint Procedures found in the Office of Academic Affairs or online at www.lifewest.edu. Pending resolution of any dispute regarding an accommodation, the accommodation will be provided.

If a student is deemed ineligible for services upon registration, the DSC will provide the student with written notice of the denial stating both the reasons for the denial and that the student has a right to appeal the denial through the Student Complaint Procedures.

Note: The disability nondiscrimination provisions contained in the Student Complaint Procedures also apply to non-student participants in College programs, such as visiting/prospective students, who may also file complaints of discrimination through Life West’s Student Complaint Procedures.

Instructors cannot unilaterally deny approved accommodations and students may not be required to negotiate with instructors or staff about the provision of accommodations or aids that have been approved by the disability services program. If an instructor does not understand or disagrees with the accommodation, it is the instructor’s professional responsibility to contact the DSC to discuss the issue.

If a student is not provided an accommodation by an instructor, the student may not be required to set up a meeting with the instructor or be made responsible for inviting other Life West employees to a meeting to resolve the dispute. Responsibility for resolving the dispute lies with the DSC. Early notification by the student to the DSC regarding accommodation concerns is strongly recommended.

 

Retaliation

Life West policy prohibits retaliation against any individual who asserts the right to accommodations or who files a discrimination complaint or who participates in a discrimination inquiry. Examples of retaliation could include an instructor’s disclosure of a student’s disability status to other students, disclosure that a student has filed a discrimination complaint, or public attempts to enlist the support of classmates against a student who has filed a discrimination complaint.

The disability status of students may not be shared with other individuals except with other Life West staff who have a legitimate educational need for the information. Instructors may not disclose the disability status of a student except with consent from the student.

 

Privacy

All information maintained by the DSS professional is confidential, part of the student’s educational record and as such protected by the Federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, (20 U.S.C. 1231g). According to that Act, information contained in educational records may be shared with other campus officials and employees who have a legitimate educational interest in such access.

These persons are those who have responsibilities in connection with the campus’ academic, administrative or service functions and who have reasons for using student records connected with their campus or other related academic responsibilities.

 

Other Important Information

Since Life West curriculum may vary over the years, as can the nature of disabilities, accommodations may change. Therefore, it is recommended that accommodated students keep in touch with the DSC throughout their chiropractic education. A simple check-in at the beginning of each quarter is a good idea.

While Life West strives to accommodate students as fully as possible, accommodations do not include measures which fundamentally alter the academic program for Life West or which place an undue financial or administrative burden on Life West.

Students who improperly procure accommodations under this policy (i.e., willingly defy protocol) will have their services temporarily or permanently revoked, and may be subject to possible disciplinary action under the Code of Student Ethics.

Students with documented disabilities may request test accommodations from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) for all four parts of National Board Exams. Information is available from the DSC in the Office of Academic Affairs or at the NBCE website www.nbce.org.

Guidelines for Acceptable Disability Documentation

Life West is committed to providing reasonable academic adjustments (aka accommodations) appropriate to the nature and extent of an individual’s documented disability in all academic programs, services, and activities.

Life West disability services follows the Association for Higher Education for Disability (AHEAD) Professional Association’s Guidelines: Supporting Accommodation Requests: Guidance on Documentation.

Students should be prepared to provide the following preferred disability documentation to the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) who determines eligibility for individual accommodations.

If the information listed below is not available to you, please submit whatever you have available. During your appointment with the DSC, you will be guided further if additional documentation is needed.

Please note, while the following documentation is not mandatory in order to be eligible for services, it can provide for a more fluid facilitation of services.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Please have your psychiatrist or other mental health professional submit records of a psycho-educational evaluation (*see “Learning Disabilities” for more details), which includes ASD diagnosis.

 

Legal Blindness or Visual Impairment

  • A copy of your most recent eye examination results from your ophthalmologist or optometrist verifying your legal blindness or other visual impairment. In general, applicants utilizing conductive lenses must have a corrected vision of not less than 20/200 to be eligible for disability services.
  • If you do not meet this requirement but have a visual impairment that significantly impacts your academic performance, you may still be eligible for services.

 

Deafness or Hard of Hearing

  • A copy of an audiogram, administered within the last two years by your physician, audiometrist or audiologist, verifying the extent of your hearing loss.

 

Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder

The date of testing, the diagnosis, the diagnosing professional’s name, title, signature and license number (if applicable) on letterhead stationery.

Reasonably current documentation (generally within five years) including developmental, educational, and medical histories including specific statements concerning the effects of the student’s diagnosed disability in the past, current functional limitations imposed by the disability in the academic setting, and evidence that the disability limits a major life activity.

A description of the testing procedures, the instruments used to assess the individual, and interpretation of the test results related to the behavioral observations and intake history.

Comprehensive testing (a.k.a psycho-educational evaluation) addressing aptitude, achievement, and information processing. Current assessment instruments suitable for an adult population may include:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery
  • Tests of Cognitive Abilities
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Test
  • Wide Range Achievement Test
  • Wechsler Memory Scale

Test score data is useful in documenting the basis of the diagnosis. Test data must be reported in standard scores and percentiles based on national norms.

Specific recommended accommodations as well as information regarding past accommodations.

 

Psychological Disabilities

  • Please have your psychiatrist or other mental health professional provide documentation indicating the date of testing, the diagnosis, the diagnosing professional’s name, title, signature and license number (if applicable) on letterhead stationery.
  • Reasonably current documentation (generally within six months) including developmental, educational, and medical histories as well as specific statements concerning the effects of the student’s diagnosed disability in the past, current functional limitations imposed by the disability in the academic setting, and evidence that disability limits a major life activity.
  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of past and current medications prescribed for the disability, any substantial side effects of the medications, and effects on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the academic program
  • A description of the major symptoms of the disability currently manifested by the student, including level of severity.
  • A statement regarding the current prognosis and specific recommended accommodations.

 

Mobility Impairment, Speech Impairment, Acquired Brain Injury, Chronic Illness, or other disabilities not listed above

  • Please have your physician or other appropriate professional provide documentation to include the date of testing, the diagnosis, the diagnosing professional’s name, title, signature and license number (if applicable) on letterhead stationery.
  • Reasonably current documentation (generally within five years) including developmental, educational, and medical histories as well as specific statements concerning the effects of the student’s diagnosed disability in the past, current functional limitations imposed by the disability in the academic setting, and evidence that disability limits a major life activity.
  • A description of the testing procedures, the instruments used to assess the individual, and interpretation of the test results related to the behavioral observations and intake history.
  • A statement regarding the current prognosis.
  • Specific recommended accommodations as well as information regarding past accommodations.

Where can I get more information?

For more information regarding Life West disability services, including relevant policies and practices, please contact the DSC, Lori Pino, at lpino@lifewest.edu or call (800) 788-4476 x-2061, (510) 750-4500 x-2061, or write:

Life Chiropractic College West

Academic Counselor/Disability Services Coordinator

25001 Industrial Blvd.

Hayward, CA 94545