Policies and Procedures to Request and Use ADA Accommodations
Students with Disabilities Can Accomplish their Educational Goals when Given the Opportunity
Aug 21th, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Welcome from The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
- CASS Vision and Mission Statements
- 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
- 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 email@example.com
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 184.108.40.206 - 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 one month 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. LibGuides.
- 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 https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/cass/ada-policies/utep-captioning-policy.html.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their office located in UTEP Union East, Room 106. For additional information, please visit the CASS website at 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 academic accommodations.
- 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 five (5) business days prior to the scheduled exam in order to ensure that proctoring space is available. An exam scheduled with notice of anything less than five (5) business days 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, purses/wallets, caps/hats/bandanas, hoodies, jackets, cell phones, smartwatches, food, drinks, medication bottles or any other electronic equipment not be allowed into 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.
Important Note: Pregnancy absences fall under Title IX and require immediate communication with CASS. Students’ who are pregnant will receive excused absences for all pregnancy related medical appointments. Faculty and students should contact CASS immediate regarding this policy or if they have any questions
- 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 From All Courses for the Semester
Students who withdrawal from all courses for the semester must do so in person through the Registration and Records Office. Students who cannot drop in person can submit a fax with signature to 915.747.8764 or an e-mail using their UTEP e-mail account to email@example.com. Athletes must receive permission from the Miner Athletic Advising Center before dropping all classes. International students with F or J visas must receive permission from the Office of International Programs before dropping all classes. Students receiving financial aid or student loans must clear through the Financial Aid Office.
Student-initiated withdrawals that do not require a refund and that are submitted prior to the Complete Withdrawal deadline noted in the Academic Calendar may be submitted by the student to the Registrar's Office as described above. Complete withdrawal requests that require a refund or which are submitted after the Complete Withdrawal Deadline must be submitted to the University Student Withdrawal Committee. The Committee is comprised of representatives from the following five departments: the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs". The Faculty Senate, the Registrar's Office, the Office of Student Financial Aid, and Student Business Services Office. The department head of each of the preceding offices will appoint a representative to serve on the University Student Withdrawal Committee. For certain complete withdrawal categories noted below, the student or his/her representative will be asked to present supporting documentation to the University Student Withdrawal Committee.
The University Student Withdrawal Committee will review documentation as noted under each category below and will have the authority to: (I) grant a complete withdrawal with refund (if the request is within 90 days of the end of the term, as detailed below); (2) grant a complete withdrawal without refund; or (3) deny the student's request for a complete withdrawal. If the request for a complete withdrawal is denied, the Registrar's Office will request final grades from the student's instructors. As needed, the University Student Withdrawal Committee may solicit information from the student's instructors or other faculty members in order to make a decision. The Registrar's Office is responsible for collecting and storing all documentation associated with the student's request for a withdrawal. The student may appeal the Committee's decision by petitioning the Office of the Provost.
Requests for complete withdrawals, with the required documents, related to medical reasons, medical conditions of a family member, death of a family member, active military service, and death of a student, will only be accepted if received within 90 days of the end of the term for which the withdrawal is being requested. After 90 days, a full refund of tuition and fees will not be approved.
For further information, contact the Registration and Records Office, 107 Mike Loya Academic Services Building , or call 915.747.5544.
- 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 Manager, Melanie T. Thomas; firstname.lastname@example.org , (915) 747-6825
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; email@example.com. 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.
Food Insecurity and Hunger: Three food pantries are available for students on campus.
- The University of Texas at El Paso
Memorial Gym, Room 105
500 W University
El Paso, Texas 79902
P: (915) 747-8053
- The University of Texas at El Paso
Liberal Arts Building, Room 233
500 W University
El Paso, Texas 79902
P: (915) 747-5200
- Military Resource Center
UTEP El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center, Room 124
500 W University
El Paso, Texas 79902
- The University of Texas at El Paso
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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 <email@example.com>.
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: <https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/cass/ada-policies/service-and-assistance-animals.html>.
- 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: https://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 https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/cass/ada-policies/service-and-assistance-animals.html, 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 https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/cass/ada-policies/service-and-assistance-animals.html, 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 https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/cass/ada-policies/service-and-assistance-animals.html, 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
Complaint Procedures for Students, Applicants for Admission, or Other Beneficiaries of University Programs, Services, or Activities
(Reference: UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures)
2.6.1 Filing a Complaint
220.127.116.11 Students and applicants for admission who are dissatisfied with the decision of the Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services should first submit their concerns in writing to the Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services. The Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services 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.
18.104.22.168 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 Coordinator.
22.214.171.124 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 complaint. In the case of a student or applicant for admission who has appealed an accommodation decision with the Director of the Center for Accommodations and Support Services in accordance with 126.96.36.199 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 Center for Accommodations and Support Services.
188.8.131.52 The ADA Coordinator shall investigate the complaint. 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.
184.108.40.206 The ADA Coordinator shall maintain all records related to the complaint.
220.127.116.11 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.
18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 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.
2.7 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.