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Accommodations & Disability Services

KC provides services to students with documented disabilities.

The Office of Disability Services, which serves as a clearinghouse for all students with disabilities, can be reached at (903) 983-8682. These services may include, but are not limited to, accommodations in class, tutoring, interpreting for the deaf, readers, scribes, Kurzweil Reader and Bookshare. Accommodations for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals are also obtained through this office. Students seeking accommodations must contact the Office of Disability Services and provide the necessary documentation in a timely manner.

Although Kilgore College can assist students with support and guidance, students have the final responsibility for their success.  In order to be processed by the first day of classes, new students should request services prior to the first day of classes.

How New Students Apply for Disability Services

In order to be processed by the first day of classes, new students should request services prior to the first day of classes. Click on the list items below to be taken to the necessary page if linked. 

Reasonable accommodations in a college or university setting are defined as: adjustments made in programs or services that give qualified individuals with a disability equal and effective access needed to participate. Educational accommodations may vary and depend on approved diagnostic evaluations and the nature of the courses you plan to take.  Services and the types of accommodations approved differ greatly between college and high school; click here to learn more.

Examples of some reasonable accommodations, by disability:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Accommodations may include:
  • Use of computer with spell check/grammar check during essay exams
  • Duplication of overhead transparencies
  • Note sharing
  • Tape recorder in the classroom
  • Testing in a distraction reduced environment
  • Use of a calculator during testing of students with math calculation or math reasoning disabilities
  • Extended testing time that is proctored in most appropriate setting — classroom, OSD, or Testing Center
  • Extended time for in-class assignments to correct spelling, punctuation, grammar
  • No penalty or spelling on assignments written in-class without dictionary/spell check
  • Reader for tests for students with reading disability

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder:

Accommodations may include:

  • Providing the student with a copy of overhead transparencies
  • Note sharing
  • Use of a tape recorder to facilitate note taking
  • Priority seating in the classroom
  • Proctored testing in a distraction-reduced environment
  • Textbooks on tape
  • Alternative testing format (i.e., extended time for tests in most appropriate setting – classroom, OSD, or Testing Center)
  • Supervised breaks during exams

Visual impairment:

Accommodations may include:

  • Use of low vision aids such as a magnifying glass, monocular, or CCTV
  • Use of computer with programs like JAWS or ZoomText
  • Duplication of overhead transparencies
  • Enlarged print for testing
  • Note sharing
  • Priority seating in the classroom
  • Readers for tests
  • Scribe for exams
  • Tape recorder in the classroom
  • Textbooks on tape
  • Written materials provided in an alternative format
  • Learning assistant
  • Alternative testing format (i.e., tests in Braille, extended testing time in OSD)
  • Types of alternate format of printed material for student with blindness/visual impairments include:
  • Large print: Standard sized materials can be enlarged on a copier using 11″ x 17″ paper
  • Computer disk: Convert the text of materials to ASCII format
  • Braille: Adaptive equipment will be necessary to provide alternate format in Braille. Braille is probably the least requested alternate format for students with blindness.

Hearing impairment:

Accommodations may include:

  • Providing a sign language interpreter
  • Ensuring that an interpreter is located where the student can see both the interpreter and the lecturer
  • Note sharing
  • Priority seating in the classroom
  • Use of captioned videos, when available
  • Extended time on oral tests that require an interpreter in most appropriate setting – classroom or OSD

Mobility Impairment:

Accommodations may include:

  • Special seating in classroom (i.e., chair, larger desk, wheelchair accessible desk)
  • Duplication of overhead transparencies (i.e., for students with fine-motor disabilities)
  • Early registration
  • Note sharing
  • Scribe for exams
  • Tape recorder in classroom
  • Extended testing time in most appropriate setting – classroom, OSD, or Testing Center

The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for accommodations that are appropriate and reasonable.

  • Appropriate diagnostic documentation of disability must be submitted to ODS in order to receive services.
  • Official reports documenting your disability must originate with an appropriate professional in the field who is eligible to diagnose and treat the type of disability that applies to your case. The diagnostic report should be recent enough to reflect your current status.
  • The ODS Coordinator will determine if the diagnostic information that you provide is sufficient.
  • Diagnostic reports should include the names of tests administered, test results, diagnosis and prognosis. Statements regarding how the disability may impact your academic performance are helpful. Special education paperwork from high school (ARD papers) without specific diagnostic reports are not sufficient.

Student’s Responsibilities:

  • Self-identify or disclose their disability to the Office for Students with Disabilities (ODS)
  • Obtain documentation of assessment and test results and provide them to ODS
  • Meet with ODS Counselor each semester to complete a request for services and to obtain an accommodation letter for each class.
  • Act as independent adults, use appropriate self-advisory strategies
  • Arrange their own weekly schedules
  • Contact their instructors at start of semester to activate and adopt accommodations for each class
  • Arrange for and obtain their own personal attendants, tutoring and individually fitted or designed assistive technologies
  • Notify the ODS staff if ODS services are no longer needed
  • Observe KC rules for student conduct
  • Be on time for services. ODS sponsored sessions are cancelled if a student has not arrived 15 minutes after their appointment time
  • Participate in their educational planning
  • Communicate to ODS in a timely manner any question or problems arising due to their disability or assigned accommodations.

KC’s Responsibilities:

  • Provide accessible facilities and related equipment
  • Protect a student’s right to privacy and confidentiality
  • Provide access to programs and services
  • Inform students of ODS office locations and procedures for requesting accommodations
  • Make reasonable accommodations for students who meet the qualifying criteria
  • Provide reasonable access to program and service choices equal to those available to the general public
  • Suggest reasonable adjustments in teaching methods which do not alter the essential content of a course or program
  • Assure that off-campus and contracted program facilities also comply with Section 504 (Subpart E) and ADA
  • Inform students of their rights and responsibilities

Office of Disabilities Responsibilities:

  • Assist students regarding educational and disability accommodative issues applicable under federal and state law
  • Collect and evaluate educational, psychological, medical, and vocational diagnostic information provided by the student or others assisting the student, to determine eligibility for accommodations
  • Arrange for appropriate reasonable accommodations
  • Assist students in accessing technology available to address their identified accommodation needs
  • Monitor the effectiveness of student accommodations
  • Educate students about student rights and responsibilities

Legal requirements for disability services and accommodations vary widely between the high school and college level. The chart below will help you understand the differences between high school and college services for students with disabilities.

High schools are required to:

  • Identify students with disabilities
  • Provide assessment of learning disabilities
  • Classify disabilities according to specified diagnostic categories
  • Involve parents or guardians in placement decisions
  • Provide certain nonacademic services
  • Place students in programs where they can benefit (in any way) by placement committee with parent participation and approval
  • Structure a large part of the student’s weekly schedule
  • Modify educational programs
  • Prepare Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs)
  • Provide a free and appropriate education
  • Provide appropriate services by school nurse or health service

Colleges are required to:

  • Student to self-identify disability to Office of Disability Services
  • Protect a student’s right to privacy and confidentiality
  • Provide access to programs and services
  • Inform students of office location and procedures for requesting accommodations
  • Accept and evaluate verifying documentation
  • Determine (via documentation) that an impairment causes a substantial limitation on a major life activity
  • Determine for students who are otherwise qualified for participation in the program or service whether a reasonable accommodation is possible
  • Make reasonable accommodations for students who meet the above criteria
  • Provide reasonable access to program and service choices equal to those available to general public
  • Suggest reasonable adjustments in teaching methods that do not alter the essential content of a course or program
  • Ensure that off-campus and contracted program facilities also comply with Section 504 (Subpart E),ADA and ADAA 2011
  • Inform students of their rights and responsibilities

Kilgore College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and fulfilling obligations under State and Federal law. This policy governs the use of service animals on campus by persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by working service animals on the campus of Kilgore College consistent with the provisions of this Policy.

View Policy PDF

Resources for kc faculty

Thank you for your interest and support of students with disabilities at Kilgore College. Our goal is to assist you when working with this population of students by providing you with information that will help you be more effective in your classroom, as well as helping the college maintain compliance with federal disability guidelines.

Two of the primary laws that effect higher education and disability are Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Title II of ADA, as it is commonly referred to, states that: “No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Section 504 defines a person with a disability as “any person who…

  • Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Has a record of such an impairment;
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment.”

 

At Kilgore College, a “qualified person with a disability” is defined as one who “meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the educational program or activity.”

Section 504, along with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, protects the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities. Section 504 contains more specific information regarding compliance issues in post-secondary institutions. However, the ADA legislation extends the law to private institutions of higher education as well as those receiving federal funding.

Disabling Conditions May Include:

  • Acquired Brain Injuries
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Blindness/Visual Impairments
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Deafness/Hearing Impairments
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Orthopedic/Mobility Impairments
  • Psychological Disorders
  • Speech and Language Disorders
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Tourette’s Disorder

 

Chronic Illnesses May Include:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Epstein Barr Virus
  • HIV+/AIDS
  • Lyme’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Renal Disease/Failure

 

Kilgore College is required to provide reasonable accommodations that allow students with disabilities equal access to an education. It is important to note that Section 504 does not require institutions to alter their academic standards.

As Specified by Section 504, Kilgore College May Not:

  • Limit the number of students with disabilities admitted.
  • Make pre-admission inquiries regarding whether or not a student has a disability.
  • Use admissions tests or criteria that inadequately measure the academic qualifications of students with disabilities because special provisions were not made.
  • Exclude an otherwise qualified student with a disability from any course of study.
  • Establish rules or policies that may adversely affect students with disabilities.

 

Modifications and Accommodations that Kilgore College Provides for Qualified Students with Disabilities May Include:

  • Architecturally accessible buildings and facilities.
  • Reasonable services such as qualified sign language interpreters and captioned videos.
  • Consideration of course substitutions as reviewed on an individual basis (such accommodations need not be made if the institution can demonstrate that the changes requested would substantially alter essential elements of the course or program).
  • Provision of reasonable accommodations such as extended time on in-class assignments or exams, priority seating assignments, use of assistive devices or technology such as tape recorders for class notes, and other accommodations that are reasonable as determined on an individual basis.
  • Other reasonable services and accommodations as determined on an individual basis.

 

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

  • A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment that will allow a student with a disability to perform in a program or have the same rights and privileges as students without disabilities as well as benefit from all educational programs and activities.
  • Reasonable accommodations make it possible for a student with a disability to participate fully in the educational program and for the faculty member to fairly evaluate the student’s understanding of the material without interference from the disability.

Resources:

Appropriate Language:

  • People with disabilities are people first. The correct wording is to state the person first and then the disability; thus, you would say “the person who is visually impaired” rather than “the blind man or woman.” This places the emphasis upon the person, not the disability.
  • Do not use the word handicapped.
  • Avoid labeling individuals as victims.
  • Avoid terms such as wheelchair bound. Wheelchairs provide access and enable a person to get around independently. People are not bound to wheelchairs; they use a wheelchair to assist them.
  • When it is appropriate to refer to an individual’s disability, choose the correct terminology for the specific disability.
  • Avoid stereotyping persons with disabilities into the same category. Disabilities vary greatly from one to another and even two people with the same disability may have greatly different experiences and capabilities.

 

Confidentiality Strategies:

  • Always speak to a student privately about their disability or accommodation(s). Avoid allowing other students or faculty to hear these conversations. This includes conversations regarding testing accommodations, class absences related to the disability, etc.
  • Arrange for students to pick up copies of notes or class materials that have been put into an accessible format in a time and manner that protects their confidentiality.
  • When in doubt as to what to do to protect the student’s right to confidentially ask the student how they would prefer something to be handled or call the Disability Services.

 

Resources

Online Accessibility is based on United States and Texas Laws, along with evaluation of OCR complaints and rulings from recent lawsuits and WCAG 2.0 AA Standards.

Federal Guidelines

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998:

Requires access to the Federal government’s electronic and information technology. The law covers all types of electronic and information technology in the Federal sector and is not limited to assistive technologies used by people with disabilities. It applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use such technology.
On December 21, 2000, the Access Board, an independent federal agency, issued final accessibility standards for electronic and information technology under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998. The standards require that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. According to the Department of Education, states that receive funds under the Assistive Technology Act State Grant Program are also required to comply with Section 508 and the Board’s standards (Daigle & Kim).

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

No qualified student with a disability shall on the basis of disability, “be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any…postsecondary program or activity….”

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990:

Specific requirements for communication, “A public entity shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, members of the public, and companions with disabilities are as effective as communication with others.”

Recent OCR Resolution Agreements and Lawsuits:

The United States Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and the United States Department of Justice are responsible for the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Below are websites that will provide you with information on specific rulings and complaints that deal with online accessibility.

Thank you for your interest and support of students with disabilities at Kilgore College. Our goal is to assist you when working with this population of students by providing you with information that will help you be more effective in your classroom, as well as helping the university maintain compliance with federal disability guidelines.

How is extra time justified for students with learning disabilities?

Other students could improve test scores if they were allowed additional time as well.
Various factors account for the need for extra time on tests for students with learning disabilities. These include: a) speed of processing; b) visual perceptual deficits; c) difficulty with mechanics of syntax, spelling and punctuation; and d) reading comprehension deficits. Research (at UC Berkeley, 1991 and the University of Toronto, 1993) on the effects of extended time on exams has shown dramatic improvements for students with learning disabilities, but only marginal improvement for students without learning disabilities. Rather than providing an unfair advantage in the class, extended time for exams allows these students to demonstrate their level of mastery of the course objectives, rather than reflecting the deficits innate to their learning disabilities. In other words, it “levels the playing field.”

Should I refer a student to Disability Services?

Faculty members are encouraged to refer students to Disability Services if the student has disclosed that they have a disability.

How do I verify the eligibility of a student who simply tells me he or she is disabled and requires accommodations?

Kilgore College Disability Services is regarded as the authority to verify disabilities and determine whether a student qualifies for academic accommodations. All students eligible for accommodations have presented the necessary documentation and been verified by the ODS staff.

How are accommodation determined for a student with a disability?

Reasonable accommodations are determined on an individual basis after considering the specific disability and documentation of functional limitations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. See the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) for more information regarding documentation guidelines. Accommodations are designed to provide an equal educational opportunity not to give the student a competitive edge.

Do I have the right to know the nature of a student’s disabilities?

The information regarding a student’s disability should be shared only when there is a compelling reason for disclosure. The U. S. Department of Justice has indicated that a faculty member generally does not have a need to know this information, only that it has been appropriately verified by the office assigned this responsibility on behalf of the institution. Students may submit their verification to Disability Services without disclosing to their instructors the specific nature of their disability. Upon a student’s request for accommodations, the university and the instructor are required by law to appropriately accommodate the student in a timely manner. While students are not required to share their specific disability information, students are encouraged to discuss their specific needs with their instructors.

What is a disability?

An individual with a disability is defined as any person who:

  • “Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks),
  • Has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

 

What is meant by “is regarded as having such an impairment” in the definitions of a disability?

For example, a person with a facial disfigurement may not have an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, but others may regard him or her has having one due to how he or she appears.

Are “disability” and “handicap” the same thing?

“disability” is a condition caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease that may limit a person’s mobility, hearing, vision, speech, or mental function. A person may have more than one disability. 

“handicap” is a physical or attitudinal constraint imposed upon a person; for example, stairs, narrow doorways, and curbs are handicaps imposed upon people with disabilities who use wheelchairs.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an individual without a disability. Some common academic accommodations include extended time on tests, use of peer note takers, use of computer with spell check, and provision of sign language interpreters.

Hoe does a person become eligible to receive accommodations?

To become eligible, a person must have a documented disability and inform the College that he or she is requesting accommodations based on that disability. 

A student must:

  1. Contact Disability Services;
  2. Provide specific documentation of the disability from a qualified professional;
  3. Consult with a counselor in Disability Services to determine appropriate accommodations.

 

Who determines the accommodation?

Disability Services staff determine the accommodations using:

  • Documentation of the disability from qualified professionals provided by the student,
  • Information gathered from an intake process, and information from history of the disability.

 

The determination of reasonable accommodations considers the following:

  • Classroom or physical barriers,
  • The array of accommodations that might remove the barriers,
  • Whether or not the person has access to the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility without accommodations, and
  • Whether essential elements of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility are not compromised by the accommodations.

 

Won’t providing accommodation on an examination give an unfair advantage to a student with a disability?

“Accommodations don’t make things easier, just possible; in the same way eyeglasses do not improve the strength of the eyes, they just make it possible for the individual to see better. Accommodations are interventions that allow the learner to indicate what they know. Without the accommodations, the learner may not be able to overcome certain barriers.”(Samuels, M. 1992 – Asking the Right Questions. The Learning Center, Calgary)

Accommodations are designed to lessen the effects of the disability and are required to provide fair and accurate testing to measure knowledge or expertise in the subject. Careful consideration must be given to requests for accommodations when the test is measuring a skill, particularly if that skill is an essential function or requirement of passing the course, such as typing at a certain speed or turning a patient for an x-ray. In such cases, please contact a Disability Services staff member for guidance.

The purpose of academic accommodations is to adjust for the effect of the student’s disability, not to dilute academic requirements.  The evaluation and assigning of grades should have the same standards for all students, including students with disabilities. For many test takers, the most common accommodation is extended time. In specific circumstances, students may also require the use of readers and/or scribes, a modification of test format, the administration of examinations orally, or an alternative time for testing. For out-of-class assignments, the extension of deadlines may be justified, especially if the student is relying heavily on support services (readers for term papers, etc.).

What do I do when a student discloses a disability to me?

Ask the student if they have met with Disability Services? If you have received a letter from our office, this letter describes the accommodations that faculty are legally mandated to provide. During an office hour or at another convenient time, discuss the letter and the accommodations with the student. If you don’t receive a letter from the Disability Services, you can refer the student to the appropriate staff member at Disability Services to request services. Disability Services staff will determine the appropriate accommodations after reviewing documentation of the disability provided by the student.

What if a student does not tell me about their disability till later in the semester?

Students have a responsibility to request their letters be sent to their instructors and Disability Services adequate time to arrange accommodations. All Disability Services staff encourages students to identify early in the semester. Instructors can help by extending an invitation in class and on the syllabus for students to identify themselves early in the semester: “Any student who may need an accommodation due to a disability, please make an appointment to see me during my office hours. A letter from Disability Services authorizing your accommodations will be needed.”

Once a student has identified to the instructor and requests disability-related accommodations authorized by Disability Services, the College has a legal responsibility to make reasonable attempts to accommodate the need, even late in the semester. There is no responsibility to provide accommodations prior to identification; for example, allowing the student to re-take exams with extended time.

Can I review the student’s documentation of their disability?

Disability Services is the office designated to receive and interpret documentation of the disability. Disability Services staff certifies eligibility for services and determines accommodations. Disability information is confidential and students are not required to disclose this information to instructors.

For information about Disability Services