Student/Faculty Handbook Download PDF
Policies and Procedures to Request and Use ADA Accomodations
Students with Disabilities Can Accomplish their Educational Goals when Given the Opportunity
Aug 21, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Welcome from The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
- CASS Vision and Mission
- Documentation Guidelines
- Rights & Responsibilities of Students, Faculty and CASS
- Accommodations that include Support Services
- Accommodations that include Auxiliary Aides and Assistive Technology
- Types of Assistive Technology and Auxiliary Aides
- Support Services Provided by Other Departments
- Documentation Guidelines by Type of Disability
- Grievance Policy and Procedures
- ADA Definitions
- Glossary of Accommodations
- Academic accommodations
- Testing accommodations
- Dates of Student Handbook revisions: 2012, 2015 and Aug. 21, 2017.
I. Welcome from the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
Individuals with disabilities have the right to equal access and equal opportunity as they pursue their educational goals. In support of this effort, and when provided appropriate services and accommodations, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students with disabilities can participate in all aspects of campus life. To help them do so, the CASS staff provide accommodations and services for those who have either a temporary or permanent disability and require assistance in their pursuit of a degree.
Who Benefits from this information?
- All students with disabilities. A disability includes any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.
- All faculty responsible for teaching one or more courses. Course instructors are aided in their responsibility to teach all students in their classes and to provide both equal access and an accessible education.
- The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS). The CASS office provides a system for service coordination in order to better meet and serve student needs.
- The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). By providing educational access for all students, the University meets its federally mandated responsibilities and enhances campus diversity.
II. CASS Vision and Mission Statements
The Center for Accommodations and Support Services aspires to provide students with disabilities with the accommodations and support services necessary to help students pursue their academic, graduation, and career goals. In addition, through these efforts students will have the opportunity to participate freely in all facets of University life.
The Center for Accommodations and Support Services provide students with accommodations, resources, technology, advocacy, and outreach to enhance and support their pathway to academic and occupational success. As an outcome, students are enabled to engage as active members of the campus community and benefit from participation in an inclusive and supportive academic environment.
Questions about these policies and procedures should be addressed to:
The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
106 UTEP Union East, El Paso, TX. 79968-0609
Telephone: (915) 747-5148, Fax: (915) 747-8712, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
This handbook is available onthe Forms Page
III. Documentation Guidelines
CASS staff are responsible for verification that a student qualifies as a person with a disability and is entitled to receive one or more accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student seeking services to provide the disability-related documentation from an appropriate licensed professional. This information is needed to verify the existence of the disability and the need for services. The information is then used to determine the extent of the disability and the type of accommodations needed. Any cost-related expenses for obtaining documentation are the responsibility of the student.
As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), institutions of higher education may request documentation for the following reasons:
- To verify the existence of a disability.
- To determine eligibility for auxiliary aids, services, and additional individual needs.
- To personalize the student’s right to an accessible education.
Academic accommodations, services and support are not retroactive. Students only receive services once they have met with a CASS staff member and it is determined that eligibility criteria are met. Only from that point forward may appropriate accommodations be made.
Pending receipt of documentation, CASS reserves the right to deny a student the requested services and/or accommodations. At CASS’s discretion, limited services may be provided for one semester while the student gathers documentation to be submitted to the department.
Need to Know Basis - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The University considers information about a student's disability to be highly confidential as per The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) legislation. FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all institutions that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. As such, all contact information and documentation received by the CASS is kept in separate confidential files. Therefore, no information about a student’s disability or documentation is released except on a “need to know” basis, or with the student’s written consent.
The "need to know" is established by FERPA legislation and determined by CASS and is specific to certain situations such as:
- Requests for course substitutions.
- For the legitimate safety and health concerns of the student, including when the student
may be considered a danger to themselves or others.
- The need for ADA-related accommodations in campus housing.
- Grade grievance requirements and procedures.
- Special financial aid considerations.
- Documentation verification.
- A formal request by state government.
Letters of accommodation may also be forwarded to all course instructors on a “need to know” basis.
Documentation related to the disability must be current and adequate:
- Disability-related documentation must be current to within three years of first enrollment
at UTEP. However, CASS will accept documentation that is older for some chronic conditions. Disabilities that change over time may require more frequently updated documentation.
- As per the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures, Accommodations for Individuals with
Disabilities Policy, http://admin.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=30553.
Section 126.96.36.199 - Medical statements submitted must be signed by an appropriately licensed professional and contain a diagnosis, prognosis, and a description of the specific impairment(s) and the major life functions and activities affected by the impairment. Individuals may be asked to submit additional medical information if the information originally provided is found to be incomplete, unclear, outdated, or inconsistent. If the individual does not provide the required documentation and information before the specified deadline, the request for accommodation may be cancelled for lack of necessary information.
- Documentation must be provided on the letterhead of the licensed professional. Please
note, handwritten statements from prescription pads are not acceptable.
- The documentation should be thorough enough to demonstrate whether or not a major
life activity is substantially limited and support the accommodations being considered
(including the extent and duration of the condition, and relation to medication).
- Please note; high school Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARDs) documents are not
an acceptable form of documentation to receive ADA accommodations.
IV. Rights and Responsibilities of the Student, the Faculty and CASSA.Student
- RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:
- Expect all disability-related information to be treated as confidential. CASS is the University department designated to review a student’s disability documentation to determine eligibility to receive accommodations.
- Expect to receive appropriate academic and housing accommodations.
- Have recourse to appeal decisions regarding ADA-related accommodations and/or auxiliary aids.
- Expect to see captioning on all film and video shown in the classroom and in other campus venues. If captioning is not provided, please contact the CASS office.
- RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:
- Disclose your disability to CASS and provide adequate documentation to support the need for accommodation(s).
- Request accommodation(s) at least two weeks before the beginning of a new semester by contacting CASS so letters of accommodation may be prepared by the first day of class. Students who need accommodations that require additional advanced planning, such as when the use of Reader/Scribes, ASL interpreters and accessible classrooms are needed, must request such accommodations at least one-month in advance.
- Discuss with their professor(s) the accommodations needed in the classroom and be sure that the professor has received a copy of the letter of accommodation for that course.
- Schedule an appointment with their professor(s) during the first week of classes to clarify any accommodation needs and resolve all questions pertaining to course assignments and the classroom environment.
- If requesting new services later in the semester, discuss accommodation needs with the professor as soon as possible.
- If requested accommodations are not provided, for example a note-taker, notify CASS as soon as possible, so CASS can follow-up with the professor.
- Follow all procedures as defined by faculty and CASS to receive appropriate accommodations.
- Know that, as per the ADA, personal services and other disability-related needs such as acquiring access to a personal care attendant, service animal, or homework assistance is the responsibility of the student and not of CASS.
- Adhere to the UTEP Student Code of Conduct and meet all academic and technical standards required for admission and participation in all educational programs and activities.
- Know that, as per the ADA, all students must satisfy the academic requirements of each course.
- Understand that the University is not obligated to provide an accommodation that will require substantial change to any course, program or activity.
- Attend classes regularly.
- Understand that class attendance is a reasonable expectation for all college students.
- Know that if a student is unable to attend classes due to a disability, they should contact the professor and CASS immediately. If absences are excessive, either dropping the class or receiving an Administrative Withdrawal for Medical Reasons may be necessary.
- Realize that absence consideration may be made on an individual basis only when the accommodation does not substantially alter essential elements of the course, program or activity.
- Understand that CASS students are not entitled to more absences than are defined in the course syllabus.
- Bring concerns regarding accommodations or services to CASS in a timely manner.
- CASS is able to assist in resolving problems as they occur.
- If efforts to resolve a problem are unsuccessful, students have the right to file a grievance.
- If you believe that your accommodations are not being implemented in a specific course, please notify CASS as soon as possible.
- RIGHTS OF FACULTY:
- To request verification of a student’s eligibility for any requested accommodation. Such verification will arrive in the form of a letter of accommodation prepared by CASS and sent electronically to both the student and the professor.
- To contact CASS if an accommodation seems unclear or if it is not considered to be appropriate for the type of class being taught, such as a note-taker for an exercise class.
- Expect the student to initiate accommodation requests.
- Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of the course and evaluate the student on that basis. Please note, as per the ADA, students with disabilities are expected to complete the educational requirements of the course, the same as other students without disabilities.
- Administratively withdraw a student if they do not satisfactorily complete the academic requirements of the course, as stated in the course syllabus.
- Determine the location where the student will be best accommodated during an exam. If a professor needs to use proctoring services and have CASS administer the exam or quiz, then expect CASS to administer exams and quizzes in a secure and monitored environment.
- RESPONSIBILITIES OF FACULTY IN PROVIDING ACCOMMODATIONS:
- Ensure that all accommodations listed in the student’s letter of accommodation are implemented. This includes matters such as the student’s need for assistive furniture, service animals, personal attendants and the use of ASL Interpreters.
- Provide ADA accommodations for course examinations only for students who are registered with CASS. As per the ADA, faculty should not provide an accommodation to a student who is not registered with CASS.
- Use CASS test proctoring services when unable to accommodate a student during an exam, if the professor:
- is unable to provide the extended time needed.
- does not have access to the necessary classroom space for the allotted period of time.
- does not have access to the assistive technology required by the student.
- Discuss with CASS any concerns related to an accommodation or arrangements that have been requested by the student that you believe may jeopardize the academic standards or integrity of the course.
- Only provide accommodations listed on the letter of accommodations. Redirect the student to CASS if other accommodations should be provided.
- Provide only captioned film and video in the classroom, and keep the captioning on at all times.
- To purchase commercial film and video for classroom use, contact the Technical Services-Audio Visual office in the Library. http://libguides.utep.edu/c.php?g=430343&p=2936812.
- To caption film and video produced by faculty, staff or students see the Closed Captioning page on the Technology Support website. http://admin.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=74295.
- For the UTEP policy on captioning, go to http://sa.utep.edu/cass/utep-captioning-policy.
- Treat information about a student’s disability and accommodation confidential as per FERPA requirements. Such information may only be shared with other course instructors on a need-to-know basis.
- Course Syllabus Statement: Include the following or a similar statement encouraging students to register with CASS in order to request one or more accommodations in the course syllabus.
If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) at 747-5148, or by email to email@example.com, or visit their office located in UTEP Union East, Room 106. For additional information, please visit the CASS website at www.sa.utep.edu/cass
- RIGHTS OF CASS:
- To receive appropriate disability-related documentation from the student prior to services being initiated.
- Determine eligibility and authorize appropriate accommodations that directly correspond to the disability documentation.
- Expect students and faculty to work cooperatively with CASS to facilitate academicaccommodations.
- Deny unreasonable requests for academic accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary services. Accommodations cannot impose an undue hardship to, or fundamentally alter any course, program or activity of the University.
- RESPONSIBILITIES OF CASS FOR DETERMINING ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS:
- Inform students of their rights and responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), and related federal and state legislation.
- Collect, evaluate and securely house disability-related documentation and determine eligibility for services.
- Provide a letter of accommodation for the professor to request that the authorized accommodations be provided for the student. This letter indicates that the student’s documentation has been received, the student is eligible for services, and that the requested accommodations are considered reasonable as per the ADA.
- Protect students with disabilities from discrimination by treating information about their disability as confidential.
- Inform students of the established grievance procedure with regard to CASS services, policies, and procedures.
- Final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations is made by CASS in collaboration with the faculty member or department chair.
- Act as student/faculty liaison and provide advocacy as needed to ensure that online, in-class and campus events are all accessible.
- Please Note:
- A student is not required to disclose details or a diagnoses related to the disability to a professor or staff member or to anyone else outside of CASS.
- Information about the student’s accommodations may be shared only on a “need to know” basis as per FERPA legislation, or with the student’s written consent.
- The “need to know” is established by FERPA legislation and determined by CASS. It may include the professor, teaching assistants and others who assist in teaching the course.
V. ACCOMMODATIONS THAT INCLUDE SUPPORT SERVICES
Requests and applications for all academic and housing accommodations must be made at least two weeks before the beginning of the semester. Students who need more complex assistance such as the assignment of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, reformatted course materials, access to reader/scribes and accessible classrooms should request their accommodations at least one month prior to the beginning of semester.
- As per the ADA, academic accommodations are provided only for students who
have disclosed their disability and are registered with CASS.
- The type of, and combination of accommodations provided is determined by:
- the documentation provided;
- the degree of barriers and functional limitations of the student;
- the course syllabus; and
- the necessity for equal access and equal opportunity for students with disabilities.
As such, each student’s letter of accommodation is tailored to their unique and individual needs.
All requests for changes in the accommodations or for additional services must be referred to CASS in writing for assessment and review in order to determine if the request is both reasonable and appropriate.
A. Support Services that are considered to be ADA Accommodations
1. Note Taking Services
This service may include one or more of the following:
- Auxiliary aides such as use of a digital recorder, tape recorder, laptop, smart pen, voice activated software, etc. to record class lectures. Please note, the student is responsible for providing their own equipment.
- A copy of the professor’s lecture notes and/or PowerPoint slides, etc. When available, the student can obtain copies of lecture notes and other materials from the professor.
- Note-takers who are preauthorized by CASS provide a summary of the class lecture. The note-taker is a student who is enrolled in the same section of the course and provides a copy of their lecture notes to the CASS-registered student. CASS-approved note-takers are compensated by CASS at $100.00 per course, per semester.
- Students in the class who have not been preapproved by CASS as note-takers will not be paid.
- Electronic notes are encouraged, but non-carbonized transfer paper is also available by CASS for the use of note-takers.
- It is the student’s responsibility to attend every class session. The note-taker and professor is not obligated to provide lecture notes if the student does not attend class.
- Three or more absences may result in the suspension of note-taking services until the student meets with a CASS staff member.
- If there is a medical reason why the student cannot attend class, the student must contact CASS immediately.
- The student should request a note-taker via the professor, so that an announcement can be made to the class without the student being identified.
- The student must speak with CASS staff immediately if/when notes are not provided at end of the class session, or if the notes are unclear or difficult to read.
2. ASL Interpreting Services
An American Sign language (ASL) interpreter is a CASS staff member who facilitates
communication for deaf students in the classroom.
- A student must request interpreter services from CASS as a part of their course responsibilities at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in order to ensure the availability of an interpreter.
- The student needs to notify CASS at least 24 hours in advance of a cancellation of interpreter services due to illness or other absence. After a third unexcused absence,CASS may suspend interpreter services until the student meets with a CASS staff member to discuss the reason for their excessive unexcused absences.
- If the ASL Interpreter is a “no show” more than ten minutes after the class starts, the student should contact CASS immediately.
- ASL Interpreters are instructed to wait 30 minutes for each class. If the student does not arrive within the allotted time; the interpreter will return to CASS unless otherwise instructed.
- For meetings, such as those held by student organizations or for other campus events, the student must notify CASS at least one week in advance in order to secure interpreter services.
- For theatrical performances, the student must notify CASS at least one month in advance in order to secure interpreter services.
To request replacement of the assigned ASL Interpreter:
• The student must meet with a CASS staff member to discuss their concerns.
• The ASL Services Manager will observe the interpreter in the classroom.
• The ASL Services Manager will meet with the interpreter and the student to discuss the concerns and make recommendations up to and including replacement of the interpreter.
3. Reader/Scribe Services
- To obtain Reader/Scribe services for textbooks and related course materials, the student must purchase a copy of the textbook(s) for the course in order to receive the textbook(s) in an alternative format and/or gain access to a Reader/Scribe.
- The student must request this accommodation at least one month prior to the start of the semester.
- The student must discuss due dates of reading material(s) with their assigned Reader/Scribe.
- The student must sign their Reader/Scribe’s time sheet to verify the hours worked.
4. Materials in Large Print or Braille
- The student must bring to CASS the course materials that are to be converted into large print (or Braille) at least one week before the assignment is due or they are needed in the classroom.
- The student will be contacted via email by CASS when the materials are ready.
5. Materials in an Alternative Format
These materials can be ordered from vendors such as Learning Ally, Books on CD, or electronic version of textbooks sold in the UTEP bookstore, BryteWave, among others.
- The student must request textbooks or other printed materials in an electronic format at least one month prior to the start of semester in order for the materials to be available the first week of class.
- Reformatted materials that have not been picked up by the student within the first three weeks of the start of the long semesters (fall/spring) or during the first week of the summer sessions will be returned to the vendor. These materials will not be reordered that same semester.
- The student’s record will placed on hold if electronic textbooks and related materials are not returned to CASS by the last day of final semester exams.
- Textbooks may be converted into an audio or text file by CASS only when the electronic version is not available through the publisher or a commercial vendor.
- The student must request CASS textbook conversion at least one month prior to the start of semester.
- CASS will provide an audio or text file of the textbook on a CD for the student.
- The student will sign an agreement indicating that:
- They have purchased a copy of the textbook.
- The audio or text file provided by CASS will be used only for the student’s own personal class and homework purposes and will not be duplicated or distributed to others.
- A financial hold will be placed on the student’s account if the CASS-created CD is not returned to CASS by the last day of final semester exams.
VI. ACCOMMODATIONS THAT INCLUDE AUXILIARY AIDS AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
- Assistive Listening Device (ALD): An ALD is provided to students with a moderate to severe hearing loss in order to amplify and access spoken information during class lectures.
As an accommodation:
- A student can check out an ALD from CASS on the first day of class for the semester.
- The student is responsible for damage to, or loss of, the ALD while it is checked out.
- The student is required to return the ALD to CASS by the last day of final semester exams.
- A financial hold is placed on a student’s account until the ALD is returned to CASS or the student pays for the cost of repair or replacement or if the ALD is damaged or lost.
- Videophone: A videophone is available in the Student Resource Center, Union Building West Room 106.
- Classroom Accessibility and Assistive Furniture: Students who must have access to accessible classrooms, as well as those who require adjustable desks or chairs, should register as early as possible with CASS. Appointments should be scheduled with a CASS staff member no later than the last week of September for Spring Semester scheduling, and by the first week of April for both Summer and Fall Semester scheduling. Students are encouraged to promptly inform CASS if they discover that any of their scheduled class locations are not accessible. CASS staff members work closely with the Registrar’s Office and academic departments to ensure that all students have access to an accessible education. Please be aware that in their course listings both Banner and Goldmine include the ADA status of every classroom on campus.
- Priority Registration: Priority registration allows students who are registered with CASS to register for their classes during the earliest registration period for the upcoming semester. Priority registration is granted to all students with a disability-related need. Priority registration can help to address many of the following student concerns:
- The course is scheduled in an accessible classroom.
- Access is provided for assistive classroom furniture such as adjustable desks and chairs.
- Access is provided for American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters.
- Provision of class textbooks and assigned readings are available in an alternate format.
- Development of a realistic course schedule that ensures there is enough travel time between classes.
Please note: To ensure timely assistance, it is strongly recommended that registered students submit all priority registration requests to CASS no later than the last week of September for Spring Semester registration, and by the first week of April for both Summer and Fall Semester registration. If the recommended time period for submission of a priority registration request cannot be met, the student should contact the CASS office for guidance and assistance.
Procedures for Priority Registration:
- The student meets with their academic advisor and has their proposed class schedule reviewed and approved. Course registration may be performed by the academic advisor except when the advisor becomes aware of classroom accessibility limitations, in which case the actual course registration should be accomplished by a CASS staff member who will then seek to ensure classroom accessibility.
- The student removes any/all academic, disciplinary, or financial “holds.” Such holds may include unpaid parking tickets, unpaid tuition or fees, unsatisfied requirements of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), etc.
- The student makes a priority registration appointment with a CASS staff member.
- The student and the CASS staff member review the course sections to determine what options are available if the student needs an accessible classroom.
- If alternatives to an inaccessible classroom are not available, a request to move the student or the entire class to an accessible location must be made by the CASS staff member, the Registrar’s Office, and the respective academic department.
- The ADA status of every classroom on campus is co-listed with course options in both Banner and Goldmine. The categories are: ADA Accessible, Limited Access and No ADA Access. Students with mobility-related disabilities should not register for courses that are listed in classrooms tagged as having No ADA Access. If there are no other sections of the course available in an accessible location, this should be reported to CASS. The entire class may be moved to an accessible location.
- Testing Accommodations
The American with Disabilities Act of 19 90 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 indicate that a student with a disability has the right to take exams with appropriate accommodations that allow them to demonstrate their abilities rather than their disability. Depending on the student and the exam, one or more accommodations may be made.
Please note: in most cases the student must take an exam or quiz in the CASS testing center at the same time and on the same date as the other students in the same class, unless the professor grants permission for a different date or time or when there is a time conflict. Alternative scheduling can be the day before, the day after, or at other times during the day the classroom exam is scheduled.
Common conflicts may include:
- CASS does not have the authority to change the date and/or time of the scheduled exam.
- All changes must be approved by the professor.
- When students register for an upcoming semester, they are encouraged to schedule their classes at least one hour apart, in order to allow for extended exam times.
Exams proctored by the professor:
A professor may administer an exam with the necessary accommodation(s) within their classroom, office or department. However, as an alternative CASS is available to proctor exams in the CASS testing center, Room 106, Union East. This is especially important if the professor cannot administer the exam with needed accommodations because they:
- are unable to provide extended time as an accommodation.
- does not have the necessary space and/or access to assistive technology.
Please note, if the professor administers the exam, the professor is responsible for providing all accommodations necessary for the student to complete the exam.
Exams Proctored at CASS:
- The student must notify CASS no later than 72 working hours (i.e. three working days) prior to the scheduled exam in order to ensure that proctoring space is available. An exam scheduled with notice of anything less than 72 working hours WILL NOT be proctored at CASS.
- CASS is responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of all exams. Thus, students are monitored during the exam by video/audio equipment and by the CASS staff.
- Any student suspected of academic dishonesty is reported immediately to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR).
- Students are expected to complete their exam within the maximum allotted time.
- Only items approved by the professor are allowed into the testing area.
- Backpacks, fanny packs, purses, caps/hats, cell phones, pagers, iPads, iPods, and all other miscellaneous items and electronic equipment are not allowed in the testing area.
- CASS is unable to pick up exams from the professor. Therefore, if the exam is not at CASS on the scheduled date and time it becomes the responsibility of the student to make other arrangements with their professor.
- Exams should never be sent to CASS by way of campus mail. Electronic scanned copies
as email attachments are the preferred method of delivery. Hand carried delivery is also acceptable.
- Completed exams in electronic format can be returned to the professor immediately via email. Hard copy exams, in a sealed and signed envelope, can be picked up by the professor, designated courier or returned by the student.
Accommodations related to exams and quizzes may include any of the following:
- Extended time
- Students may receive time-and-a-half or double-time.
- Requests for additional time beyond that assigned must be reviewed and approved by the professor and CASS at least one week prior to a scheduled exam.
Alternative format of exams and quizzes may include:
- Large print or Braille.
- Permission to complete the exam or quiz on an audio file, or digital recording.
- An audio record of the exam or quiz answers, in lieu of use of a ScanTron.
- Exam may be substituted as an oral presentation for the professor.
- Exam or quiz may be taken in a quiet location with minimal distractions.
- Use of scratch paper.
- Use of a dictionary.
Assistive Technology and the use of Auxiliary Aides to complete an exam or quiz may include the use of:
- Screen Reader software (which converts electronic text into an audio format)
- Screen enlarging software
- Kurzweil Reader software
- Closed circuit TV magnifier
- A magnifier
- Tactile images of graphs, etc.
Please note: The Reader/Scribe does not provide an explanation or assistance to questions on the test. All questions about a quiz or exam must be referred to the professor.
The use of assistive technology and auxiliary aides to record answers may include:
- A calculator
- A talking calculator (Basic or Scientific)
- Spell check
- A word processor with or without spell check
- Voice recognition software, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking.
VII. TYPES OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND AUXILIARY AIDS
Assistive technology that can be used for coursework and research is now available in many computer labs around the UTEP campus, including:
- the Assistive Technology Lab (ATL) in the Technology Support Center on the 3rd floor of the UTEP Library;
- the Collaborative Learning Center (CLC) on the main floor of the Library;
- the Cyber Café in 204 Union East;
- the LACIT Lab on the 4th floor of the Liberal Arts Building;
- the College of Health Science computer lab in the Campbell Street Building; and
- the Education computer lab on the 4th floor of the Education Building.
Assistive software and hardware is also available at the CASS testing center, Room 106, Union East.
Examples of Assistive Technology and Auxiliary Aides include:
- Screen magnification software: for example, ZoomText magnifies material on the computer screen. ZoomText Reader/Magnifier also reads text out loud as it appears on the computer screen.
- Closed circuit TV magnifier: magnifies written or printed materials, some have changeable color combinations.
- Screen reading software: software such as JAWS narrates the text out loud as it appears on the screen.
- Kurzweil Readers have two versions: Kurzweil 1000 (designed for students who are blind) and Kurzweil 3000 (designed for individuals with low vision, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, psychological disorders, etc.).
- The software works with a flatbed scanner to scan and narrate the typescript.
- Kurzweil 3000 also works as a talking word processor and can narrate information as it is typed. In addition, this program has a word prediction feature to assist with spelling.Both the Kurzweil 1000 and 3000 have built-in dictionaries.
- Voice recognition software — changes verbal dictation into text. The most well-known is Dragon Naturally Speaking. This software is designed for dictation by a single person. Please note: It cannot be used to transcribe a lecture or multiple voices in a group discussion, nor can it be programmed to respond to other voices.
- Braille Embosser with Duxbury: This device transcribes typescript information into Braille.
- Math Type: This software allows a student to type math equations.
- Talking Calculator: provides narration of basic math calculations as entered into the calculator (basic or scientific).
- Swell Form: provides a tactile image of graphs and drawings by raising the lines.
Academic and program requirements will be modified, as necessary, to ensure that they do not discriminate against students with disabilities. These modifications do not affect the substance of the educational programs, nor compromise educational standards.
- Modifications may include, but are not limited to:
- The length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements; and
- The substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degrees; and
- The adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.
Please note: Academic and performance-related requirements that are essential to course work as per the syllabus, or are directly related to licensing requirements, are not regarded as discriminatory.
Advocacy needed for problem resolution:
Accessibility Campus-wide (Using photos and narratives):
- Physical environment accessibility-For example, if there is gravel on a pathway or a tree branch is blocking access, please take a photo of the problem and forward it to CASS@utep.edu. The photo will indicate where and what the problem is, additional text will be needed as to when the problem was identified.
- ADA Parking Violations - If a commercial vendor or UTEP vehicle is blocking a wheelchair ramp or an ADA parking space please take a photo of the vehicle, its location and either the license plate or vehicle number. The photo(s) should then be forwarded to CASS@utep.edu. Photos of commercial vendor vehicles will then be forwarded to Purchasing and Parking & Transportation for follow-up with the regional office of the vendor. Photos of UTEP vehicles will be forwarded to the designated department and supervisor for corrective action with the employee. Please note: ADA parking violations can carry a fine of $150 or more.
Classroom relocation- There are 12 classrooms on campus that are still in current use, but are inaccessible to students and faculty that have mobility-related disabilities. In addition, some classrooms are not accessible when construction projects prevent ease of access. Students that cannot access their classroom should report this problem to CASS. In turn, CASS will work with the Registrar’s office to get the student moved to a different section of the course, or relocate the entire class to an accessible location. To determine if a classroom is accessible in Banner and Goldmine, all classrooms have an associated ADA status code of the classroom’s physical environment, for each course listed.
Please note: Students with mobility-related disabilities are encouraged to use Priority Registration in advance of each semester, to avoid registering for courses inaccessible classrooms.
A student may be eligible for a course substitution if they have a physical or mental disability that affects their ability to participate in or complete a course successfully.
A student must be a qualified person with a disability. According to Section 504, 34 CFR 104.3 (k) (3) “qualified person with a disability” is a person with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admissions or participation in the institution’s education program or activity.”
To request a course substitution:
- The student must present a request for course substitution to a CASS staff member.
- The student must have a record of a disability on file that demonstrates a substantial limitation in physical ability, visual acuity, or learning that affects participation in a course.
- CASS will review the student’s documentation of disability and academic history.
- CASS will submit a request to the appropriate college or academic Dean who will then determine if the substitution request is reasonable and that it does not compromise essential elements of the degree, program or activity.
Class attendance is a reasonable expectation of all college students. If a student is unable to maintain regular class attendance because of a disability, they should contact the professor and CASS immediately.
A student may be eligible for absence consideration if they have a disability that requires hospitalization or produces severe flare-ups or exacerbations or side effects due to medication which may impact their ability to attend class regularly:
- The student must request absence consideration from CASS and discuss the accommodation with the professor before any absence occurs.
- The professor will need to determine how much class attendance is truly necessary for a student to still receive credit in the course.
- The student is responsible for making arrangements with the professor to make up and complete all missed work.
- If the student cannot complete the academic requirements of the course, including attendance, they should drop the class or work with CASS to seek approval of an Administrative Withdrawal from the course with approval from their professor.
- A student may be eligible for this accommodation if they have a substantial limitation in walking and/or breathing that could affect their travel time between classes.
- The student must request an accommodation from CASS and discuss this accommodation with their professor before tardiness occurs. Ideally, this should be done on or before the first week of class.
- It will only apply when classes are scheduled back to back and are more than 10 minutes apart by foot.
Extended Time for Coursework
- A student may be eligible for this accommodation if they have severe limitations in terms of visual acuity, reading comprehension, physical dexterity, or have a disability that produces frequent or severe flare ups or exacerbations, has severe side effects to medications, or any other conditions that would require this accommodation.
- The student must request this accommodation well in advance of coursework deadlines and speak with their professor in order to make the arrangements.
At the discretion of the instructor, a student may be dropped from a course because of excessive absence or lack of effort. A grade of W (Withdrawn) is assigned if the drop occurs before the designated course-drop deadline, while a grade of F (Fail) is assigned after the course-drop deadline. Students are notified of a course drop via their UTEP e-mail account. Students may also be administratively withdrawn from a course during the semester for other reasons and based on the concurrence of the instructor and department chair or dean. Approved requests are forwarded to the Registration and Records Office for processing. Students are responsible for checking their class schedules as posted in Goldmine as well as for checking their official UTEP e-mail account in order to determine if they have been officially dropped from a class.
Students may need assistance in withdrawing from their classes when their health, hospitalization or treatment requirements prevent them from completing the academic requirements of one or more courses and/or they have missed the official add/drop deadline. A Complete Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons letter is used when a withdrawal from all classes taken during the semester is requested by the student. An Administrative Withdrawal for Medical Reasons form is used when withdrawal from only one or more courses is necessary.
- Complete Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons: A student who withdraws completely due to medical reasons must submit a letter from their attending physician, clinical psychologist, or licensed clinical practitioner to the Student Business Services Office detailing the reasons for the request. The letter must be on official letterhead with an original signature, must state the date(s) within the semester that the student was under medical care, and must state that the student must withdraw due to their medical condition. This letter must be submitted within the semester for which the withdrawal is requested, or no later than 90 days after the end of the term for which the withdrawal is requested. In addition, a ‘W’ will be assigned instead of a letter grade. This type of withdrawal does not count against the six “W” withdrawal limit on the student’s degree plan. If a student is unable to act on their own behalf, a designated representative may perform this action for the student. For additional information contact, firstname.lastname@example.org; Juan Gonzalez, Director; Student Business Services; (915) 747-7337
The letter, on medical letterhead requesting the withdrawal, should be addressed to:
Mr. Juan Gonzalez, Director, Student Business Services, Mike Loya Academic Services Bldg., Rm 118, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968
- Administrative Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons: This process is used when a student cannot complete the academic requirements of one or more courses, but does not wish to withdraw from all courses taken during the semester. Administrative Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons may be used because of a student’s own medical issues, or for the medical issues of a family member.
- Medical – is used when a severe illness or other debilitating condition affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
- Family Medical – Is used when the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured or needy family member and the provision of that care affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
- When used after the add/drop date the request form must be completed by the course instructor and signed by the department chair. A ‘W’ will be assigned instead of a letter grade. This type of withdrawal will not count against the six “W” withdrawal limit for the student’s degree plan. As this type of withdrawal requires faculty approval, CASS staff can advocate on behalf of the student with the professor.
- Grade Assignment for Drops and Withdrawals
- Grades are assigned as follows when a student drops a course or completely withdraws from the University:
- If a student drops a course before the official census date of a semester, neither the course nor a grade will appear on the student’s academic record.
- If a student drops from a course after the census date but before the student-initiated course drop deadline listed in the Class Schedule, a grade of “W” will be assigned.
- If the student drops after the student-initiated course drop deadline, the instructor(s) will determine a grade of “W” or “F” for each course. A grade of “W” is considered only under exceptional circumstances and must be approved by both the course instructor and the department chair. A student may petition for a grade of “W” by submitting a written request with the necessary supporting documentation. CASS staff can assist with this process.
Informal Problem Resolution (For discrimination, harassment and related interpersonal problems).
The Informal Problem Resolution process may be used as a prelude to a student filing a formal complaint or as an alternative to a formal complaint. It is not necessary that this option be used. Any student who believes that they have been subject to discrimination or harassment may immediately file a formal complaint. An individual who wishes to utilize the informal resolution process should contact CASS and/or the Equal Opportunity Office (EEO), as appropriate. Informal resolution includes:
The individual is provided assistance in an attempt to resolve possible equal opportunity or discrimination issues when the individual does not wish to file a formal complaint. Methods of informal resolution may include, but are not limited to: coaching the person on how to directly address the situation that is causing a problem; mediating the dispute with all parties concerned; aiding in the modification of a situation in which the offensive conduct occurred; assisting a department or division with the resolution of a real or perceived problem; or arranging a meeting with the alleged offender that involves a discussion of the requirements of the equal opportunity policy. However, if necessary, the University may take more formal action to ensure an environment free of equal opportunity violations and from discrimination.
Informal resolutions will be accomplished within thirty (30) working days from receipt of a request for informal resolution.
- Confidentiality and Documentation
The University shall document informal resolutions. The Office of the Dean of Students or the EO Office, as appropriate, shall retain such documentation. The University will endeavor to maintain confidentiality to the extent permitted by law. Relevant information will be provided only to those persons who need to know in order to achieve a timely resolution of the complaint.
Please note, for more information on this topic please see the UTEP policy; Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Non-Discrimination, (4/24/15)
IX. SUPPORT SERVICES PROVIDED BY OTHER DEPARTMENTS
To prevent duplication of services and in support of individual student needs, CASS-registered students may use, or can be referred to use other services both on and off-campus. Referrals to ancillary services that are not provided at CASS include the following:
Academic advising: This service guides students through their appropriate developmental and/or college-level coursework as per the University Core Curriculum requirements. A special emphasis is made on the importance of beginning and completing one’s developmental sequences in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing in a timely manner. Advisors are able to make course recommendations and track course completion based on the student’s intended major. The Academic Advising Center can work with students who have not declared a major. Once a major is declared, an academic advisor is assigned by the academic department selected by the student.
Accommodations provided during events, programs and activities: As per UTEP policy please contact the host department for the event if you need accommodations. These can include the need to use an Assistive Listening Device (ALD), the services of an American Sign Language Interpreter or designated wheelchair seating. For most events held in the Don Haskins Center, Sun Bowl and Magoffin Auditorium, please go to the Ticketmaster.com website for wheelchair accessible seating. Call the University Ticket Center at (915) 747-5234 for use of Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) and ASL Interpreters. Please call at least one week prior to the event. For events in other locations or hosted by other departments, call the department or student organization that is listed on the event’s promotional materials.
In the policy, Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities (1/22/2016), please see section 2.1.1. “Beneficiaries of programs, services, and activities can initiate a request for accommodation by contacting the department or organization hosting the event, program, or activity. Routine requests may be handled directly by the department or organization hosting the event. The administrator of the event, service, or activity will notify the ADA Coordinator of non-routine or other requests.”
Assistive Software and Hardware: The Assistive Technology Lab (ATL), located inside the Technology Support Center (TSC), in UTEP Library Room 300, provides assistance and training for students with disabilities. Students that reach out to this office can be trained on the use of both assistive hardware and software. Software packages include JAWS, Zoom Text, Kurzweil 1000 and 2000, Dragon Naturally Speaking as well as Braille Translation and embossing.
In addition, ADA workstations have been developed in computer labs across the campus. Assistive workstations include room 300 in the Library, the LACIT lab in Liberal Arts, the Cyber Café in Union East, the CHS Campbell Street Bldg., and the Education Lab in the College of Education Bldg. Additional workstations are also being planned for other computer labs.
ATL Coordinator, Richard Dugan; <email@example.com>, 915.747.7416.
For more information please go to Assistive Tech Lab.Campus housing: ADA accessible rooms are available in Miner Village and Miner Canyon. Please contact Residence Life for more information at, Office of Residence Life; 2401 N. Oregon St., El Paso, Texas, 79902; (915) 747-5352; firstname.lastname@example.org. Service animals and Assistance Animals are allowed to stay in campus housing units with appropriate documentation of the student’s disability.
Careers, job finding and career advising: Employment and internship opportunities (including paid internships), are available through the University Career Center. Please see the Career Center website for opportunities for students with disabilities. The Career Center is also a great resource for internships, including the federal Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). This internship is designed for students with disabilities. It offers a paid summer internship with a federal agency. Plus, if you are a veteran, please visit their Student Veterans Webpage.
Counseling: Call or drop by the University Counseling Center (UCC) at 202 Union West for assistance as you decide on a career, goal-setting, or work through personal concerns. The Counseling Center offers confidential counseling services in English and Spanish. Distance learners are invited to contact the University Counseling center for a one-time consultation. The UCC provides group and individual counseling for currently enrolled UTEP students and consultation services for faculty and staff. By appointment, the UCC provides psychological testing as well as documentation when an Assistance Animal is requested for campus housing.
Dining on campus: For information on meal plans, food outlets on campus and various food choices visit the Sodexo website. If you have a food allergy such as celiac disease, and want to consult with a nutritionist or review the ingredients or calories of foods that are served on campus on a nutrition calculator, please visit their Food Allergies Page.
Documenting volunteer and extra-curricular activities: The UTEP Mine Tracker is a co-curricular initiative that serves as a student’s roadmap to success. Mine Tracker enables registered UTEP students to access and document co-curricular activities that compliment what a student is learning in the classroom. Learn more.
Elevator malfunctions: Please contact Facilities Services when using an elevator if it malfunctions. Should you become stuck in an elevator, do not panic. Remain calm and use the in-car emergency phone to call for help at 747-7187 or 911. A technician will be dispatched as quickly as possible to correct the problem.
Financial Aid: (Also see Tuition Waivers). This office can help students with the Texas Workforce Commission tuition waivers, discuss the impact of any reductions in financial aid due to a need to have a Reduced Course Load with full-time status (usually six to nine credit hours per semester). They can also provide students with an emergency tuition or book loan (which can only be used in the Bookstore) or for a Paydirt Pete loan of up to $500. Please see their website for more information.
Food Insecurity and Hunger: Two food pantries are available for students on campus.
- Military Resource Center: It is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm, room 124 at EPNGCC. It is fully supported by donations. They have food items for a snack or a small meal. It will be expanded to include support for other meals and use by families. They also have some school supplies, and a small amount of personal hygiene items. Donations are welcome.
- Miner Connections; it is open during business hours in room 112 of UTEP Union West. It serves all UTEP students and staff. The food pantry welcomes all nonperishable food donations. Call (915) 747-5291 for information.
Homelessness: The Foster Homeless Adopted Resource (FHAR) program in the Academic Advising office has been developed to help students who are currently homeless or are in danger of becoming homeless in the near future. Please see the FHAR website for additional information.
Honor Society: Delta Alpha Pi, an international honor society, was created in 2008 only for students with disabilities. To join UTEP’s Beta Phi Chapter, an undergraduate must have completed 24 credit hours and have an overall GPA of 3.1 or higher. A graduate student must have completed 18 credit hours and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. If you are eligible to join, CASS staff can advise you of an upcoming induction ceremony and put you in touch with chapter officers.
Human Resources: Please contact this department for all employment and benefits related questions including student employment. Telephone: 915-747-5202 Email: email@example.com. Phone for those that are Deaf: 915-747-7649; Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 AM - 5 PM.
Military Student Success Center (MSSC): This department works with all veterans, family members of veterans and active duty personnel. It coordinates admissions-related documents and all primary forms of financial aid for military-related students including the Hazelwood Act for Texas residents. See the department’s website for additional information.
Miner Diamonds: The name stands for Dynamic in Action Making Outstanding Noteworthy Distinction Shine. It is a student organization that was founded on campus in 2008. It was originally formed as a social group then evolved into a student organization. All CASS-registered or affiliated students can be part of this organization.
Eligibility can include:
- Incoming freshmen
- Transfer students from another campus
- Any student with a disability
- Students that plan to have a career in the health care and mental health fields.
- Membership Requirements:
- Student at UTEP with a 2.0 GPA or higher
- Club dues ($20.00) are required at the time the application is processed
Parking and Transportation: This office works closely with students with disabilities that need ADA parking privileges on campus. If the student has a temporary disability they will need to have the documentation reviewed first by the Student Health Center for a $5 fee. For additional information see ADA Parking Options.
Police (University): All patrol personnel are committed to helping people. They provide general information and assistance for anyone on campus through an array of services. These services include giving directions, jump-starting vehicles with dead batteries, or assisting drivers who have run out of gasoline. Officers can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (915) 747-5611. For emergencies call 911. An escort service is available at night for staff, faculty, students or visitors who might feel uncomfortable walking to their vehicle after dark. Additional services include: Emergency response safety tips, Lost and found, Public safety escort program and Bicycle registration. Please note, they can also be contacted for problems with wheelchair batteries, or for other vehicle or pedestrian related emergencies.
Printing on campus: Students, particularly those that are blind or have limited vision, may be eligible for additional print credits, particularly if documents are printed using a 14-point font or larger. For additional information, please call the Technology Support Help Desk at Technology Support Help Desk at 915.747.4357 (HELP), by email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Scholarships: To access a complete list of scholarship opportunities, including those that are designated for students with disabilities, a student must sign a release of information form which will be forwarded to the Office of Scholarships. This release grants access to all scholarships to which a student may be eligible. CASS does not keep a separate listing of scholarship opportunities.
Student Health Center: This medical clinic offers low cost office visits, medication, supplies and lab tests. Routine medical exams, immunizations required for health-related majors and TB testing are also available. They are located in room 100 of UTEP Union East. You can also contact them at Student Health and Wellness Center, or by phone at 747-5624.
Student organizational activities: The Student Engagement and Leadership Center (SELC) offers several services that are important for CASS-registered students.
- MineTracker, is an online data base that records all of a student’s extracurricular activities, including events and those associated with student organizations. This information is very important as the student interviews for jobs.
- 21st Century Scholars. This prestigious event, usually held every February requires students to be nominated by CASS to participate.
- Student organization financial accounts and budgeting. All student organizations must keep their budgets centrally located and housed in the SELC offices. This includes the Miner Diamonds and the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society.
Tuition Waivers and Exemptions: (Also see Financial Aid). Many CASS registered students are eligible for tuition waivers through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Check with your TWC advisor or counselor for eligibility. Tuition waivers and exemptions are a type of financial assistance that allow some Texas residents to attend a Texas public college or university without payment of tuition or, in some cases, without payment of either tuition or fees. Students are required to verify their eligibility for these exemptions. All exemptions processed by the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) will be applied to tuition on the payment deadline. Senate Bill 1210 (83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session) adds a Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the exemption program. The requirement at UTEP is a 2.0 GPA for undergraduate students, and a 3.0 GPA for graduate students. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of cumulative hours that a student may take and continue to receive awards through the program. The limit is 130 credit hours for undergraduate students, and not more than 150% of degree requirements for graduate students. Please follow the link below for the list of exemptions processed by OSFA. Please note, all exemptions must be verified semester by semester unless otherwise noted: <https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/financialaid/types-of-aid/exemptions.html>.
Tutoring Services: CASS does not provide its own tutoring services, but a number of other departments do, including:
- ACES: For College of Engineering majors, http://www.utep.edu/engineering/student-resources/student-resources-aces-tutoring.html.
- ESOL Lab: English for Speakers of Other Languages.
- MAAC, Miner Athlete Academic Center, 747-5668; 2nd Academic Advising Bldg.
- MARCS: The Math Resource Center for Students
- Student Support Services Program (SSSP), online tutoring for SSSP registered students
- PASS/CLASS: Miner Learning Center, Peers Assisting Student Success (PASS).
- UWC: The University Writing Center.
CASS authorized accommodations that may be needed during a tutoring session include:
- The assignment of an ASL interpreter to when needed to facilitate communication.
- The use of a digital recorder to record explanations provided by the tutor.
- The provision of an accessible table or chair in order to facilitate access to tutoring services.
- The use of an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) to amplify explanations provided by the tutor.
- Common requests for accommodations when using a student include:
- Larger printing.
- Providing frequent examples and explanations.
- Use of different techniques to convey information such as that found on graphs, charts and diagrams.
- Facing the student when speaking in order to facilitate direct communication.
- Other accommodations CASS determines to be reasonable and appropriate.
X. DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES BY TYPE OF DISABILITY
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHA):
- Questionnaires, interviews and observations used to identify the ADD or ADHD behaviors. A written summary should include the onset, longevity and severity of the symptoms.
- A complete psycho-educational evaluation, including a cognitive assessment with a report based on the results of any tests and interpretation of data.
- Information concerning the impact of the ADD or ADHD in the educational setting, including functional limitations.
- Medication history and current recommendations regarding use of medication.
- The exact DSM diagnosis.
- Relevant information if a second condition is also present (co-morbidity).
- Blindness or Low Vision:
A copy of a letter is needed from the student’s optometrist or ophthalmologist indicating any vision-related limitations. In addition, a copy of the tuition waiver from the Texas Workforce Commission - Division for Vocational Rehabilitation http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/vocational-rehabilitation-adults, is also needed. The tuition waiver verification only indicates that an individual qualifies for a tuition waiver. It does not specify which accommodations the student needs. One copy of the tuition waiver verification should be given to CASS for the student’s records.
- Deafness and Hearing Loss:
The student should bring a copy of an audiogram that indicates any limitations in hearing. Besides the audiogram, a copy of the tuition waiver from the Texas Workforce Commission - Division for Vocational Rehabilitation is also needed; <http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/vocational-rehabilitation-adults>.
The tuition waiver only indicates that an individual qualifies for a state-funded tuition waiver and does not specify which accommodations the student needs. One copy of the tuition waiver verification should be given to CASS for the student’s records.
- Learning Disabilities:
- Testing for a learning disability must be comprehensive. It should include:
- Information processing
- The testing must be current to within the last 5 years. (Older evaluations will be considered if assessment was performed after the age of 16).
- There must be a clear and specific evidence of a learning disability.
- Test scores and related data must be included.
- Include diagnostic reports with the names and titles of the evaluators as well as the date(s) on which the testing was administered and completed.
- Mental Health-Related Psychological/Psychiatric Disorders:
Mental health-related disabilities can include anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depression, bipolar disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), among others. The documentation provided must be from a licensed mental health professional, which can include clinical social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and/or neurologists.
The documentation must include:
- A clear statement of disability, including a citation from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
- An assessment of the current impact that the mental health disability has on the student’s functionality, and all present symptoms.
- A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores, if applicable.
- A statement of the functional limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities, and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context in which the accommodations are requested.
- Medical information relating to the student’s needs, including the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of a postsecondary educational environment.
Unless they already have a mental health treatment provider, students are encouraged to contact the University Counseling Center for documentation and treatment.
- Service Animals, Service Animals in Training, Service Animal Registry and Assistance Animals:
Service Animal: A service animal is an animal, usually a dog 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. Under certain circumstances, miniature horses may also be trained as a service animal and permitted within University buildings. Otherwise, species of animals other than canines, whether trained or untrained, are not considered service animals. In addition, the providing of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of qualifying as a service animal. While a student is not required to submit an accommodation request to bring a service animal into a University building, he or she may seek further advice on services the University can provide for students with disabilities. Information may be found at the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) website: <http://sa.utep.edu/cass/service-assistance-animal-policy>.
- Students with Service Animals Residing in University Housing. A student must register with CASS, as indicated above, for a service animal to reside in University housing.
- Department of Residence Life webpage: http://sa.utep.edu/housing/future-residents.
- Appeals: Should a request for a service animal in campus housing be denied, an individual may appeal the decision to the University ADA Coordinator.
Service Animal Registry: With regard to the use of service animals by members of the campus community, participation in a service animal registry is recommended, but not required. An example of the public purpose and benefit of a registry includes ensuring that emergency responders have heightened awareness of the presence of a service animal during an emergency or evacuation event. After verification, participants in the voluntary registry will be issued a UTEP service animal tag and ID card by CASS. The tag may then be affixed to the collar of the service animal for purposes of identifying the service animal and its owner. Please see http://sa.utep.edu/cass/service-assistance-animal-policy, for additional information.
Service Animal in Training: A service animal in training is a dog undergoing training by an approved trainer. Training a service animal is a necessary first step prior to being assigned to a student, employee, or other individual affiliated with the University. An individual with a service animal in training may enter University buildings with the animal, provided that:
- the handler or owner is an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization recognized as reputable and competent to provide such training;
- the individual submits proof to CASS, that they are an approved trainer as required in Texas Human Resources Code Sec. 121.003; and
- the animal is adequately under the control of the trainer.
Please see http://sa.utep.edu/cass/service-assistance-animal-policy, for additional information.
Assistance Animal: An assistance animal is an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability, as a reasonable accommodation, an equal opportunity for the animal to reside in a campus housing unit. Such approval is only granted when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. Such an animal cannot pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. An assistance animal can be any species, trained or untrained, but has the emotional bond documented by an appropriate treatment provider. When approved by CASS as an accommodation for student housing, pre-registration through CASS is required for the presence of an assistance animal. To qualify for this accommodation, the student must provide documentation which demonstrates evidence that the animal assists in alleviating symptoms or effects impacting the student's mental health. A student as the owner, must formally register assistance animals with CASS at least thirty (30) days prior to its arrival on campus, or as early as possible in order to allow for processing and clearance time. For approval and registration of assistance animals, owners must: (a) Submit treatment documentation which establishes the assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation for campus housing in terms of the student’s disability. (b) Provide evidence of updated vaccinations and licensure, where common and applicable to the type of animal registered. Evidence of such compliance must be provided to CASS and the Office of Residence Life annually. Appeals: Should a request for an assistance animal in campus housing be denied, an individual may appeal the decision to CASS or to the University ADA Coordinator. Please see http://sa.utep.edu/cass/service-assistance-animal-policy, for additional information.
- Temporary Disabilities:
Many students experience a temporary disability at some point in their progress toward degree attainment. Such temporary disabilities may result from athletic injury, a car accident, a traumatic experience, surgery, head injury, and high risk pregnancy, among others. All UTEP students with temporary disabilities are eligible for classroom accommodations and should make an appointment to register with CASS as soon as possible to receive accommodations.
Depending on the student’s current class schedule, the severity of the disability, and the accessibility of their classrooms, adjustments in the classroom or to the student’s schedule may be necessary. In all cases, the student must be able to complete the academic requirements of the course. If they are unable to meet the academic requirements of the course, they should drop the course, or request an Administrative Withdrawal for Medical Reasons from their professor.
The following options are available in regard to any UTEP student with a temporary disability.
- If the temporary disability occurs before, or during, the first two weeks of the semester,
the student may choose to:
- Make arrangements with the professor to complete assignments outside of the classroom.
- Request reassignment to a different section of the same course if the course is not taught in an accessible classroom. Please note, CASS works with the registrar to relocate a class when an alternate accessible location is required.
- Withdraw from the course and register to take the course as an independent study class with the professor’s permission.
- Withdraw from the course(s) if the academic requirements of the course cannot be completed by the end of the semester.
- If the temporary disability takes place after the first two weeks in the semester,
the student may choose to:
- Request that an Incomplete (I) be given as a grade if all of the missed assignments can be completed within one year.
- Be administratively withdrawn for medical reasons from the class with the Professor’s consent, if the student cannot complete the academic requirements of the course, including attendance, or if the add/drop deadline has already passed.
- If the student is unable to return to class or complete the required coursework for the duration of the semester, they should request a Complete Medical Withdrawal from all classes on their course schedule for that semester.
In all cases of temporary disability, the student should remain in close contact with their professor(s). In considering the various options, it is recommended that the student consult with their academic advisor and/or a CASS staff member, when appropriate.
XI. GRIEVANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURES IF ACCOMMODATIONS ARE DENIED
(From the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures, January 22, 2016) <.
- Complaint Procedures for Students, Applicants for Admission, or Other Beneficiaries of University Programs, Services, or Activities
- Students and applicants for admission who are dissatisfied with the decision of the Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) should first submit their concerns in writing to the CASS The Director shall give a written response within ten (10) working days. If the student or applicant for admission is not satisfied with the Director’s determination, he/she should then follow the complaint and appeal options below.
- Students and applicants for admission, or beneficiaries of University programs, services, or activities who believe that they have been denied a reasonable accommodation in violation of this policy or disability laws may file a complaint in writing with the University’s ADA
- The complaint must be filed within ten (10) working days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation and shall contain the name and address of the person filing the complaint, a brief description of the alleged violation, and any documents supporting the In the case of a student or applicant for admission who has appealed an accommodation decision with the Director of CASS in accordance with 188.8.131.52 above, the complaint filed with the ADA Coordinator must be filed within ten (10) working days of the decision made by the Director of the CASS.
- The ADA Coordinator shall investigate the A written statement containing the determination and/or proposed solution shall be sent to the complainant within fifteen (15) working days of the receipt of the complaint.
- The ADA Coordinator shall maintain all records related to the
- Students and Applicants for Admission
If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the ADA Coordinator, a written appeal stating why the decision is incorrect may be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the written determination by the ADA Coordinator. The appeal must contain the name and address of the person filing it and a brief description of the reason for the appeal.
Beneficiaries of University Programs or Activities
If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the ADA Coordinator, a written appeal stating why the decision is incorrect may be made to the Vice President for Business Affairs within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the written determination by the ADA Coordinator. The appeal must contain the name and address of the person filing it and a brief description of the reason for the appeal.
Review by Vice President
The Vice President shall review the determination of the ADA Coordinator and may consult with others as may be deemed necessary. A written decision will be sent to the complainant within thirty (30) working days from the date of receipt of the appeal. The Vice President may extend the response time by an additional ten (10) working days upon notifying the complainant in writing.
The decision of the Vice President shall be final.
Failure to Proceed with an Appeal or Process a Grievance
Failure of a complainant to appeal a determination by the ADA Coordinator to the appropriate Vice President within the specified time limit shall constitute abandonment of the complaint, unless an extension has been approved in writing. Failure by the ADA Coordinator to make a determination within the prescribed time limit authorizes the complainant to forward his or her complaint to the appropriate Vice President.
XII. ADA DEFINITIONS
A person with a disability: According to Section 504, 34 CFR 104.3 (k) (3) is a “qualified person with a disability” is: “with respect to postsecondary and vocational education services, a person with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admissions or participation in the institution’s education program or activity.”
and, a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity;
- has a record or history of such impairment; or
- is regarded as having such impairment
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the primary civil rights legislation to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The primary reference guide of all mental health-related diagnoses and disabilities, American Psychiatric Association (2017).
Otherwise qualified: A “qualified individual with a disability” is one who “with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices; the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by (the postsecondary institution)”. Source: ADA (1990).
Reasonable accommodations: An institution must provide reasonable accommodations for the student’s known disability in order to afford the student an equal opportunity to participate in the institution’s programs, activities and services (including extracurricular activities). A college or university may not discriminate against an individual solely on the basis of the disability.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to participate. An equal opportunity is defined as the chance to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges that are available to a similarly situated student.
UTEP is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation for qualified students that self-disclose their disabilities to CASS, and therefore to the University:
- To determine appropriate accommodations.
- By receiving documentation from appropriate licensed treatment providers to verify the existence of a disability and need for an accommodation. Source: ADA (1990).
Universal Design: Is a conceptual approach to designing buildings, landscapes, course instruction materials, and content that benefit people of all skills, abilities and learning styles without adaptation or retrofitting. Universal design provides equal access to learning, not simply equal access to information. Universal design (UD) in the physical environment, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), allow the student to control the method of accessing information while the professor monitors the learning process and initiates any beneficial methods. Examples include captioning all film and video course content and creating email messages with graphics that include a plain text version of the message. In the physical environment, Universal Design ensures there will be accessible building entrances, parking spaces and restrooms. Elevators and ramps are used instead of stairs. The CASS office promotes the use of Universal Design for all accommodations. Source (2017), International Organization for Standardization, ISO/IEC Guide 71:2001.
XIII. Glossary of Accommodations
For questions about UTEP’s compliance requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, please see the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures online policy, “Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities”.
ADA Academic Accommodations:
- Academic accommodations (pp. 1 – 7)
- Testing accommodations. (pp. 7-11)
- Academic Accommodations
Absence consideration: A student may be eligible for absence consideration if they have a disability that is distinguished by severe flare-ups or exacerbations or by side effects to medication, which may affect regular class attendance. The student must request accommodation from CASS and discuss this accommodation with the professor before the absence(s) occur(s). The professor must determine how much class attendance is essential for a student to receive credit for the course, as indicated in the course syllabus. The student is responsible for making arrangements with the professor for completion of all course requirements. Please note, CASS registered students are not automatically entitled to additional absences. In addition, military veterans and/or those with a chronic illness often have health care appointments/treatments that are arranged well in advance and can impact attendance. These appointments/treatments can seldom be rescheduled in a timely manner.
Accessible furniture: Some students require specialized furniture such as tables, chairs and adjustable height desks that respond to their ergonomic needs and provide equal access. Furniture requests are made when the student’s course registration has been completed. CASS orders the furniture from the Facilities Services warehouse and the furniture is placed in the classroom. These items are available only for use by the designated student and should never be removed from the classroom.
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter: Please see “Interpreting.”
Assistance Animal: An animal that is necessary to respond to a person with a disability, as a reasonable accommodation in campus housing. This accommodation is provided when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides, and on the condition the animal does not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. An assistance animal can be any species (cat, dog, bird, etc.), trained or untrained, but has a documented bond as determined by an appropriate treatment provider. For additional information, see UTEP’s Service and Assistance Animals Policy.
Assistive Listening Device (ALD): An ALD is provided to students with a moderate to severe hearing loss and is used to amplify and access spoken information in lectures and other academic forums. CASS provides this device to the student for the duration of the semester. A financial hold is placed on a student’s records if the ALD is not returned to CASS at the end of the semester. If the ALD is not returned, or is damaged, the student must pay the cost of replacement or repair.
Assistive Notetaking Device (AND): When students have limited use of their hands, vision, or have other mobility limitations, special items can be used to facilitate note taking during seminars and lectures. Such devices can include recording devices, laptop computers and “smart pens” that can upload lectures to a computer.
Beverages in class: Permission may be granted to have beverages in class and computer labs even if this is not usually permitted. This is particularly important for students who take medications at set times.
Books-on-CD: Students with many types of disabilities are eligible for this service. Students must request audio books at least one month before the start of the semester. (Also, see Materials in Alternative Format).
Braille Embosser: This device transcribes digital text documents into Braille for students who are blind or have limited vision.
Calculator: This accommodation is provided for students with a math disability. Students are allowed to use a non-scientific basic calculator on all math exams. Students must provide their own calculator. (Also, see Talking Calculator).
Captioning: The most effective means of providing equal access to videos, webinars, movie clips, DVDs, and films (whether shown in class or assigned outside of class, at a University event, or used to promote the University) is through the use of products with open or closed-captioning, which is preferred, or subtitles. In accordance with federal law, it is the responsibility of all colleges/departments, administrators, professors and staff to utilize only media products with open or closed-captioning or subtitles, and/or provide an alternate format, such as a transcript of the dialogue. When a video is shown in class, ensure that captions are always turned on. (Also, see UTEP Captioning Policy).
Close Proximity to Classes: Students with mobility issues who require short distances between classes are eligible for this accommodation.
Closed Circuit TV (CCTV): For students with limited vision. A CCTV magnifies written or printed materials.
Course Substitution: A student may be eligible for this accommodation if they have a physical or mental disability that affects their ability to participate in or complete a course successfully, such as for a language requirement. To proceed, the student must request a course substitution from CASS. CASS will review the student’s documentation of disability and their academic history. CASS will submit a request to the appropriate academic Dean who will then determine if the substitution request is reasonable and does not compromise essential elements of the degree, program or activity.
- A Foreign Language substitution is used when a student’s specific disability would prevent them from successfully learning and completing foreign language education requirements. It replaces a foreign language course requirement with an alternative course. Such requests must have approval from the Department of Languages and Linguistics, in the College of Liberal Arts.
- Math substitutions must be approved by the Developmental Math Department in the Provost’s office.
Enlarged Font for Printed Materials: (See Large Print)
Extended Time for Coursework: A student may be eligible for extended time for coursework if they have severe limitations related to visual acuity, reading comprehension, physical dexterity, or if the student has a disability or treatment requirements that entail additional complications. This can help reduce stress, particularly if the student has several assignments due at the same time. A student will typically receive three additional days to complete assignments, but only when requested by the student in advance on an assignment-by-assignment basis. The professor and the student must agree upon the amount of advance notice. The student must work with the professor for completion guidelines and the dates assignments will be due.
Frequent Breaks: Students with high anxiety levels or situations that require the use of snacks, restroom facilities, or changes in seating due to back problems are eligible for this accommodation. Students are encouraged to discuss the anticipated duration of the breaks with the professor in advance.
Grammar/Spelling: Students who receive this accommodation have a disability that may affect their ability to produce in-class writing assignments that are correct in terms of grammar and/or spelling. Professors are asked not to subtract points for this restricted ability unless it is a fundamental component of the class to produce error-free writing samples on demand.
Interpreting: For students who are deaf or have limited hearing, American Sign Language (ASL), may be provided to facilitate communication in the classroom. ASL enables the professor’s message to be conveyed to the student to improve comprehension. ASL is provided as a separate language from English or Spanish. Interpretations of everything that is said in the classroom are delivered for the benefit of both the deaf student and for those who can hear. The interpreters are a neutral party and do not interject personal opinions regarding the class lectures. Allow the interpreter time to convey the message to the student as well as receive messages from the student that need interpreted to the professor. Professors should allow time for the interpretation process before expecting a student to answer a question. As a reminder, always speak directly to the student, not to the interpreter.
Kurzweil Reader: Kurzweil 1000 is a scanner-reader for typescript documents (e.g., handouts, books, newspapers) that is designed for students who are blind or have limited vision. Kurzweil 3000 is a scanner-reader for typescript documents that is designed for people with a learning disability.
Laptop Computer, iPads, or other similar devices: Students may use a laptop computer, iPad, or other similar device to record class lectures; take notes and research class assignments. The students are responsible for supplying their own device.
Large print: Some students have limited vision and need an enlarged font size on all handouts and articles. Course materials should always be printed with 12-point or larger font whenever possible. Students who require large print typically need the document saved in 18- or 24-point font. Documents can be enlarged on a printer by using legal rather than letter size paper. If the department cannot make the enlargements, CASS should be consulted. To ensure maximum contrast, black or dark blue ink on a white background is ideal. Use of sans serif type fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri are easier for reading by both screen reading software and by the person reading the printed hard copy. To minimize the time spent enlarging the print size of course materials, the professor is asked to create all handouts using Microsoft Word. Please see Materials in an Alternative Format for additional information.
Lifting restrictions: Students with a variety of back and physical disabilities will not be able to lift the weight expected of other students in the program. This includes Nursing or Kinesiology majors, as well as students in other majors that include practicums, internships and clinical rotations. The maximum weight a student can lift will be indicated on their letter of accommodation, based on health care professional input and guidelines, if available. In all cases, the student should be able to ask for assistance as a reasonable accommodation.
Lighting (non-fluorescent or natural): This accommodation is provided by using incandescent bulbs in the classroom. Changing the amount of lighting in the classroom setting by the brightening or dimming of lights will help the student who needs the accommodation. Some lighting should be kept on at all times. This accommodation can be discussed with the student on an individual basis.
Magnifier: Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. A magnifier enlarges text for ease of reading. The student must provide his or her own device. Magnifiers can be lighted or unlighted depending on the needs of the student.
Materials in an Alternative Format: CASS can convert Textbooks, handouts, or exams to an audio or text file when alternative text is not available through other sources. The student must request this accommodation at least one month prior to the start of the semester. The student will be asked to sign an agreement indicating that they have purchased a copy of the textbook, and that the audio or text file provided will be used for homework purposes only and will not be duplicated or distributed to others. A financial hold will be placed on the student’s record if the CD is not returned to CASS by the last day of final exams. Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Students who use screen readers to convert printed text into an audio format cannot review articles that have been saved in unenhanced PDF format. However, they can access articles that are saved as PDFs if OCR has been enabled. Most department printers have this capability. The professor and staff can also OCR enable PDFs by using Adobe Acrobat Pro. The CASS office should be contacted for additional guidance.
Note Taker: A note taker for lecture-type courses is a classmate who volunteers to provide a copy of lecture notes and is compensated at the rate of $100.00 per class, per semester. This allowance is prorated for each class session missed. It is the student’s responsibility to attend class regularly. The note taker and professor are not obligated to provide notes from a lecture in which the student did not attend class. Absences exceeding three may result in note taking services being suspended until the student meets with CASS staff. In order to preserve anonymity, the student must request a note taker from the professor so the professor can make an announcement in class. The student must notify CASS and the note taker immediately if notes are not provided at end of the class period, or if the notes are unclear or difficult to read.
Personal Recording Device: The student may use a tape recorder or digital audio recording device to record class lectures. The students are responsible for supplying their own tape/digital recorder. It is expected that sensitive materials covered in class such as confidential information will not be recorded.
Preferential Seating: Students with a variety of disabilities are eligible for this accommodation. The student is entitled to sit in the front, the back, or near an exit or door of the classroom. This helps to reduce audio and visual distractions.
Priority Registration: Students whose course schedules require advanced planning for the use of ASL interpreters or Reader/Scribes, ensure classroom accessibility or proximity, etc. are eligible for this accommodation. The student must be advised by their academic advisor, cleared of financial or academic holds, and have their list of classes with Banner course numbers ready to bring to their pre-arranged CASS course registration appointment. The student must be physically present during the registration process. Please note, students with limited mobility cannot be enrolled in inaccessible classrooms.
Professor Lecture Notes: This accommodation may include the provision of a copy of professor’s notes and/or PowerPoint presentations. Requests can include giving the documents to the student in advance.
Reader/Scribe (CASS staff member): The student must request a Reader/Scribe at least one month before the start of the semester. The student must discuss due dates of all materials with the assigned Reader/Scribe and must sign the time sheet of the Reader/Scribe to verify the hours worked. The Reader/Scribe does not provide an explanation of the content or clarify questions. Both the student and the Reader/Scribe must sign an ethics disclosure form. Reader/scribes may also be utilized by a student for taking exams or quizzes and must be requested 72 hours in advance to help ensure one is available to either read or write for the student needing the service.
Reduced Course Load: An accommodation used in rare circumstances for students with certain functional limitations who may meet the qualification requirements. This accommodation allows students to enroll in less than the usual required minimum number of credit hours per semester although they are considered to be a full-time student for purposes of employment, student accounts and possibly financial aid (depending on the kind of financial aid being used). It should be noted that the use of this accommodation may result in reduced or prorated financial aid, and that the receipt of future financial aid and/or Veterans Administration educational benefits may be impacted. Students should contact the requisite offices and/or advisors in advance in order to determine if a reduced course load will affect their institutional privileges, rights or benefits.
Students authorized for a reduced course load must be registered for a minimum of six (6) credit hours. Approval of a Reduced Course Load with Full-Time Status (RL/FT) is not a permanent status, but must be requested and re-evaluated every semester to determine the impact of the student’s disability in relation to the demands of their course schedule. If the student drops below the approved number of hours for RL/FT, the full-time status will no longer remain in effect.
If a request for this accommodation is made after the semester begins, students must also follow University procedures to receive approval to drop the extra course(s). University deadlines cannot be altered. If approved, the student’s accommodation letter will be forwarded to the departments that monitor the student’s full-time status. These may include the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA), the Military Student Success Center (MSSC), the Office of International Programs (OIP), and/or the Office of Student Business Services (SBS).
Documentation submitted by the student to CASS should clearly explain how the disability prevents the student from participating in the standard number of hours required to maintain full-time status. When the academic impact of the disability is not clear, the student may be required to attempt a full-time course load with appropriate ADA accommodations. Students should consult with their academic advisor as to how to schedule their classes to lessen the impact of their disability. Scheduling classes in this way may be preferable to a Reduced Course Load.
Service Animal: A service animal is a dog of any size or breed that is highly trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Under certain circumstances, miniature horses may also be trained as a service animal and permitted within University buildings. Otherwise, other species of animals, whether trained or untrained, are not recognized as service animals under federal and state law and University policy. Students with service animals should feel that their trained dog is welcome throughout the campus. For additional information, see UTEP’s Service and Assistance Animals Policy http://sa.utep.edu/cass/service-assistance-animal-policy.
Service Animal in Training: This is a dog of any size or breed (or a miniature horse) that is undergoing training by an approved trainer and that is involved in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Training a service animal is a necessary first step prior to the service animal being assigned to a student, employee, or other individual affiliated with the University. For additional information, see UTEP’s Service and Assistance Animals Policy http://sa.utep.edu/cass/service-assistance-animal-policy.
Screen Enlarger: Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. Screen enlarging software, for example ZoomText, magnifies text and graphics on computer screens. These programs may also audibly narrate textual information displayed on the computer screen.
Screen Reader: Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. Software such as JAWS or Window Eyes reads text out loud in an audio or narrative format.
Standing during class time: Some students have health issues that prevent them from sitting for long periods during lectures, seminars and other activities. Students with this accommodation should be allowed to stand during class either in the back or to the side of the classroom. Where they stand should not block the view of others. If needed, special tables that are taller than other desks or work surfaces in the room will be provided for the student.
Tactile Images of graphs, etc. (Swell Form): Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. This type of software creates a tactile image of graphs, charts, or diagrams from the original two-dimensional image.
Talking Calculator (Basic and Scientific): Provides auditory feedback to persons with limited vision or blindness of basic math calculations entered into calculator.
Tape recorder: (Moved to Personal Recording Device).
Tardiness Consideration: A student may be eligible for this accommodation if he/she has a substantial limitation in walking and/or breathing that could affect traveling between classes. Tardiness consideration does not apply to the first class of the day on the student’s schedule. The student will need to request the accommodation from CASS and discuss this accommodation with the professor before they arrive late for a class.
Voice Recognition Software: Students with various disabilities are eligible for this accommodation. The software, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, changes dictated information into a digital format. Please note, this software works only after the student sets up their own voice recognition profile. Even once it is programmed, the software cannot be expected to accurately transcribe the voices of others.
- Testing Accommodations
Access to Overhead Slides or PowerPoint Presentations
Students with disabilities may request that a professor make course materials displayed on overhead projectors or Power Point slides available for review. Professors are NOT required to create new materials. Instead, professors might post the materials using Blackboard software, make copies of the materials and distribute these copies to students or allow a student to review the PowerPoint slides during office hours. Students will work with professor(s) to determine an appropriate timeframe for viewing materials.
Evening and Weekend courses: Normal CASS business hours are 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Administration of exams outside of these hours may be available with sufficient notice, but is dependent upon staff availability. CASS appreciates the willingness of the professors that teach evening and weekend courses to allow students to complete their exams during normal business hours, or to provide the accommodation themselves.
Dictionary: CASS provides a Spelling Dictionary for students who have this accommodation. It provides a list of words without definitions, so that students can check their own spelling.
Examinations over multiple sittings: When a student cannot sit or concentrate over a prolonged period of time, examinations are divided into multiple sittings. This is done to ensure the student will not have to sit for more than two hours at a time. Other periods of time can be addressed as needed. Rest breaks do not apply to the extended time accommodation.
Extended Time on Exam/Quiz: Students can receive time-and-a-half (1½ X) or double-time (2x) based on the course’s defined exam time. Double-time is usually the maximum time allowed, but other periods of time may be addressed if needed.
Frequent Breaks: Students with high anxiety levels or situations that require the use of snacks, restroom facilities, or changes in seating due to back problems or other health issues that prevent sitting for extended periods are eligible for this accommodation. Students are encouraged to discuss the expected duration of the breaks with the professor or the exam proctor.
Kurzweil Reader: Kurzweil 1000 is a scanner-reader for typescript documents (e.g., handouts, books, newspapers) that are designed for people that are blind and those with low vision. Kurzweil 3000 is a scanner-reader for typescript documents that is designed for people who have a learning disability.
A memory aid is a tool to stimulate recall of information that the student has studied but may have difficulty recalling due to processing deficits with memory. This accommodation is not meant to provide answers to the exam. The student is responsible for discussing this accommodation and creating the aid. The instructor determines whether the information used is acceptable and if so, approves it prior to the exam. Disabilities that may affect memory include (but are not limited to):
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Psychiatric disability
- Specific learning disability
- Medical Conditions
Memory aids can contain acronyms, short phrases, pictures, schematic diagrams or mind maps, names, definitions, tables, charts or key terms and certain formulae. Styles of memory aids may vary. Generally, they can be written or typed, 10 or 12 fonts, on a large index card, OR up to one side of an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper.
A memory aid is only allowed in the testing environment at CASS if it was approved or sent in by the faculty member.
Memory Aids are not:
- Full course notes
- Answer sheets
- Substitutes for studying
- Open textbooks
Materials in an Alternative Format: CASS can convert Textbooks, handouts, or exams to an audio or text file when the text is not available through other sources. The student must request this accommodation at least one month prior to the start of the semester. The student will be asked to sign an agreement indicating that they have purchased a copy of the textbook, and that the audio or text file will be used for homework purposes only and will not be duplicated or distributed to others. A financial hold will be placed on the student’s record if the CD is not returned to CASS by the last day of final exams. Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Students who use screen readers to convert printed text into an audio format cannot review articles that have been saved in unenhanced PDF format. However, they can access articles that are saved as .pdf files if OCR has been enabled. Most department printers have this capability. The professor and department staff can also OCR enable PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro. The CASS office should be contacted if additional guidance is needed.
Music During Exams
Students eligible for the accommodation of music during exams can listen to music while testing. Students cannot bring in personal devices. The CASS office will provide a variety of non-lyrical music already pre-installed to the computer. The student will have the opportunity to choose from the different type of genre. The computer will NOT be connected to the internet while the student is doing the exam. If the student must take an online exam, they will be monitored by video. The CASS office will provide headphones to the student in order to avoid any type of cheating.
Oral Exams (Administered by the Professor): This accommodation is made when written exams are not possible. If the professor administers the exam, they will be responsible for providing all accommodations needed by the student.
Proctored Exams (at CASS): The student must notify CASS at least three working days in advance of the scheduled exam in order to ensure proctored exam space is available. No exam will be scheduled with fewer than three working days’ notice. Without sufficient notice, such exams will not be proctored in the CASS testing center.
- CASS is responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of exams. Thus, students are monitored during the exam by video/audio equipment and by CASS staff. Any student suspected of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) immediately.
- Students are expected to complete their exam within their allotted time.
- Only items approved by the professor will be allowed into the testing area.
- Backpacks, fanny packs, purses, caps/hats, cell phones, pagers, or any other electronic equipment are not allowed in the testing area.
- CASS is unable to pick up exams. Therefore, if the exam is not sent electronically, or delivered by courier to CASS by the scheduled date and time, it will be the responsibility of the student to make other exam arrangements with the professor.
- Students are expected to take accommodated exams in a time frame that as closely as possible mirrors the classroom exam schedule.
- The student should take an exam/quiz at the same date and time as the other students in the same class unless the professor grants permission for a different time when/if a conflict exists.
- If the student has another class immediately before or after the scheduled class time, and the student is scheduled to take an exam, the student must speak with the professor and ask permission to take the exam at a different day/time. Options include earlier or later that day, the day before or after, or at another date and time as specified by the professor on the Proctoring Form.
- CASS does not have the authority to unilaterally change the date and/or time of the scheduled exam. The professor must approve all date/time changes.
- Students are encouraged, when feasible, to schedule their classes at least one hour apart to allow for extended exam time.
- Please note, electronic delivery of the exam to CASS is preferred. A hard copy will be created and then scanned for an electronic return. Hand delivery is still acceptable. Campus mail should never be used for delivery of an exam.
Proctored Exams in the classroom or office (by the Professor): The professor may administer an exam with needed accommodation(s) within their classroom or department. The professor is responsible for providing all test-related accommodations necessary for the exam.
Professor permitted notes during the exam: Students can bring, to an exam in the CASS testing center, only such notes or other materials as have been pre-authorized by the professor. Such materials should be noted on the completed exam proctoring form and signed by the professor. CASS cannot allow any materials not pre-authorized by the professor into the testing center.
Quiet testing location: This accommodation provides the student with a quieter/ less distracting space to take a quiz or exam. The student may be approved to take the exam in the CASS limited-distraction testing center. Some students utilize sound reducing ear covering in the testing center to further reduce distracting noise.
Reader/Scribe (CASS staff member): The student must request a Reader/Scribe at least one month before the start of the semester. The student must discuss quiz and exam dates of all materials with the assigned Reader/Scribe and must sign the time sheet of the Reader/Scribe to verify the hours worked. Reader/Scribes do assist the student with written tests and assignments as the student dictates the information to the scribe, including those coded on Scantron answer sheets. The Reader/Scribe does not provide explanations or assistance in interpreting questions on the quiz/exam. All questions about the exam/quiz must be referred to the professor. Students who utilize CASS proctoring services should be given the date of the exam well in advance so they can advise CASS in time for CASS to engage a reader/scribe to assist the student when the exam is proctored.
Screen Enlarger: Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. Screen enlarging software, for example ZoomText, magnifies text and graphics on computer screens. These programs may also audibly narrate textual information displayed on the computer screen.
Screen Reader: Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. Software such as JAWS or Window Eyes read text information on the computer screen out loud.
Scratch/blank paper: This accommodation allows students to use additional sheets of paper during tests in order to have a larger working space for problem solving. CASS provides the scratch paper. Plain white copy paper is the standard used for this purpose.
Spell Check: CASS will only approve use of a spell-check device as a reasonable accommodation for an exam if:
- The student’s disability documentation indicates specific cognitive difficulties that would cause them to have problems with spelling.
- The ability to spell words accurately is not considered an important part of what an exam is designed to test, as determined by the professor and/or the academic department.
Standing during exams: Some students have health issues that prevent them from sitting for long periods of time during quizzes and exams. Students with this accommodation should be allowed to stand during class or in the CASS testing center either in the back or to the side of the classroom. Where they stand should not block the view of others. If needed, special tables that are taller than other desks or work surfaces in the room will be provided for the student.
Tactile Images of graphs, etc. (Swell Form): Students with limited vision are eligible for this accommodation. This type of software creates a tactile image of graphs, charts, or diagrams from the original two-dimensional image.
Talking Calculator (Basic and Scientific): Provides auditory feedback of basic math calculations entered into calculator.
Voice Recognition Software: Students with various disabilities are eligible for this accommodation. The software, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, changes dictated information into digital text. The text can then be saved as a Microsoft Word document. Please note, the software works only after the student sets up his or her own voice recognition profile. The software cannot be expected to accurately transcribe the voices of others.
Word Processor: Students eligible for this accommodation may use a computer, tablet, or similar device type their answers for a written exam.