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Guidelines for Disability Services


learning support services / disability services policies and procedures

Learning Support Services (LSS) is responsible for coordinating services to address the supportive learning needs for the students of North Central. This includes all accessibility, accommodations and special needs services on campus (digital and physical). LSS services for qualifying individuals include: approved accommodations for on-campus courses and activities, assistive technology, academic advising, and other tools for student success.

Students with disabilities are not automatically eligible for services at North Central. There are specific requirements that must be met to obtain these services, per legal guidelines.

Students entering college from a high school setting are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the differences in services and how the law applies to adults in a post-secondary setting, compared to high school.



Definition of Disability

Disability Law

Process for Requesting Accommodations


Dispute Resolution / Grievance Procedure

Equipment Loan Policy

Assistive Technology Available through Learning Support Services

Six Primary Student Responsibilities

Rights and Responsibilities

Agreement to Rights and Responsibilities


Definition of Disability:

Per the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325). Title 42- The Public Health and Welfare, Chapter 126- Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities, Sec. 12102. Definition of Disability. (Retrieved May 25, 2017). Paragraphs 1 and 4 quoted below.

  1. Disability

The term disability means, with respect to an individual:

(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;

(B) a record of such an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as having such an impairment (as described in paragraph (3)).

  1. Rules of construction regarding the definition of disability.

The definition of ‘disability’ in paragraph (1) shall be construed in accordance with the following:

(A) The definition of disability in this chapter shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals under this chapter, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this chapter.

(B) The term "substantially limits" shall be interpreted consistently with the findings and purposes of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

(C) An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.

(D) An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.


(i) The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as

(I) medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

(II) use of assistive technology;

(III) reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or

(IV) learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

(ii) The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

(iii) As used in this subparagraph

(I) the term "ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses" means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and

(II) the term "low-vision devices" means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.


Disability Law

It is the policy of North Central Michigan College to comply with Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including its amendments. These acts provide for equal opportunity for students with disabilities in educational activities, programs, and facilities. North Central is committed to affording equal opportunity to persons with disabilities. Staff, faculty, and students are expected to adhere to this philosophy.

A reasonable accommodation is defined as any change in an educational environment that effectively and appropriately enables an individual with a disability to have equal educational opportunities. Reasonable accommodations are intended to provide an equal access. They are not intended to provide an unfair advantage and are not a guarantee of success.

An accommodation is not reasonable when it:

  • poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others OR

  • requires a substantial change to an essential element of course curriculum OR

  • requires a substantial alteration in the manner in which services are offered or provided for non-disabled students OR

  • imposes an undue financial or administrative burden OR

  • is a personal need such as a specialized tutor, a personal care attendant, individualized instruction

Commonly Used Accommodations in Higher Education

  • Alternate Testing Location

  • Extended Testing Time

  • Priority Seating

  • Alternative formats

  • Interpreter Service

  • Reader

  • Course Substitution (*restrictions apply, based on program of study)

  • Note-taking

  • Scribe

  • Calculator

  • Individualized accommodations based on specific needs.

At the College level, aides of personal nature are not provided. Personal needs that necessitate an attendant are the responsibility of the student. LSS may assist the student in finding a personal aide but it will be the student’s responsibility to hire and pay for the services of the aide.


Process for Requesting Accommodations

The accommodations process is addressed on an individual, case-by-case basis. Each student’s needs are different depending on the disability and course-load. What works for one student may not work for another, and what works in one class may not work in another, so the circumstances for each individual must be as­sessed when services are required. The Director of LSS and the student will work together as a team to determine appropriate accommodations based on the disability and the needs of the student.


  1. Student discloses disability and registers with Learning Support Services (Disability Services), completing all necessary paperwork and documenting disability

  2. Director and student discuss and determine specific recommended accommodations based on documentation and eligibility.

  3. LSS provides written ADA Compliance Notification for faculty via email.

  4. The student will be sent a copy of the ADA Compliance Notification and is expected to contact each professor to discuss arrangements for accommodations in the classroom, agreeing to a mutual understanding, conferring with LSS as needed.

  5. If adjustments to accommodations are needed, students are responsible for contacting LSS for assistance. Modifications to accommodations can be made through LSS at any time; however, accommodations cannot be made retroactively.

  6. Each new semester, if the student is enrolled in courses and renews accommodations, an ADA Compliance Notification will be sent out via email to each faculty member.


**All requests for accommodations must be made to LSS with at least two weeks lead time.



Students must provide written documentation of their disability from an appropriate licensed professional. Documentation can come in many formats including letters from doctors, psychological evaluations, or diagnostic tests and is necessary to establish the need for services and the appropriateness of those services.

LSS will consider accommodations recommended in the documentation but does not guarantee that they will be provided. For those students lacking appropriate documentation reports, diagnosis documentation request forms are available on the website, which can be filled out by an appropriate practitioner and sent directly to LSS.

Documentation should:

  • Be dated within the last 3 years, or as appropriate per diagnosis type

  • Provide a diagnosis of the disability and include diagnostic evaluations, tests, or methods used in reaching that diagnosis

  • Explain current functional limitations

  • Be written on the professional’s letterhead & signed by the evaluating professional

Individual Education Plans:

High school Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) that include a summary evaluation and a psychologist’s evaluation can serve as a reference and can be helpful, but they should not be the sole form of documentation, as much of what they contain does not apply at the college level, and may not include appropriate evaluations and recommendations for higher education settings.

Important Points:

  • LSS can sometimes provide professional referrals for diagnostic testing, but we do not have resources for obtaining a diagnosis of or do any testing for disabilities.

  • If you do not have formal documentation, LSS has diagnosis documentation paperwork, sorted by disability type, which you can submit to the appropriate treating professional to complete (e.g. physician, psychologist, occupational/physical therapist, audiologist, etc.).

  • All information submitted to LSS will be kept confidential and shared with college personnel on a need-to-know basis.

  • LSS files are maintained separately from student services’ files, per legal requirements.


Dispute Resolution / Grievance Procedure

Should students encounter issues related to their disabilities or accommodations, they should first speak directly with the instructor to try to resolve the issue. If resolution is not achieved, they should contact the LSS Director, and LSS will work with College personnel and the student to resolve any such instances.

If an acceptable resolution is not reached, then any student denied accommodations or academic adjustments may appeal the decision to the ADA Grievance Committee. This appeal must be made in writing within five working days of the denial of services, and the student and faculty/staff cited in the grievance are required to attend a meeting in person to participate in the resolution process. The ADA Grievance Committee is comprised of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the associate dean for the course in question, the ADA/504 compliance officer, and the Learning Support Services Director.

At any time a student has the right to file a complaint or formal grievance. All complaints of discrimination shall be in writing and filed by the Complainant with the office of the President of Finance and Facilities, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI 49770 in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential” or via the Complaint tab located in the students portal.

Complaints shall contain:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint (Complainant)

  • A concise description of the alleged discriminatory act or action

  • The date or dates of the alleged discriminatory action

  • The name of the person or persons alleged to have engaged in the discriminatory act or actions

The Complaint shall be filed within twenty-one (21) days after the Complainant becomes aware of the alleged discrimination. (See Discrimination Grievance Procedures in the North Central Student Handbook for more information.) The student has the right to file a formal grievance at any time by contacting the Office of Civil Rights (


Equipment Loan Policy

Upon borrowing equipment from LSS, a student signs an Equipment Loan Agreement, thereby agreeing to return the equipment at the end of the semester in the same condition (other than normal wear) or else be responsible for refunding LSS the full replacement value. All loan equipment is registered to the student’s account. If the equipment is not returned one week after the semester ends, or if it comes back damaged, a replacement fee will be charged a replacement fee will be charged to the student’s account.

Assistive Technology Available through Learning Support Services

  • Digital Voice Recorder

  • Audiobooks

  • Ergonomic keyboard

  • Carbonless notebooks

  • Magni-Viewer

  • Smart Pens and Super Pens

  • Reader Software

  • Colored overlays

  • Personal amplification systems

  • Individually arranged technologies may be available, dependent on need and appropriateness


Six Primary Student Responsibilities

**Adapted from University of Washington’s Disability Services Office: Student Rights and Responsibilities.

To Be Qualified

  • Meet academic and technical standards.

  • The duty to be qualified is not limited to academic programs.

  • The question of reasonable accommodation must always be answered.

To Provide Notice and Make a Specific Request

  • Notice doesn’t have to be in writing or in a required format/method.

  • Notice or request must be made in a reasonable and timely manner.

  • A subsequent declaration of disability and request for accommodation cannot convert a lawful decision into a violation.

To Adhere to Institutional Policies and Procedures Regarding Accommodation Requests

  • Accommodation requests must be submitted to the proper office or individual.

  • Provide appropriate documentation that establishes the existence of a disability and supports the need for the accommodations requested.

  • Respond to requests for additional information in a timely manner.

  • The student cannot interfere with the institution’s right to have the documentation reviewed by appropriate experts.

To Fully Participate in the Accommodation Process

  • It is an interactive process.

  • Although the personal preferences of the student should be considered, the standard is to provide effective accommodations.

  • The student must exercise due diligence to make sure that the process works.

  • Parent involvement is not a substitute for active student participation and self-advocacy.

To Use Accommodations Appropriately

  • The student’s participation must be timely and reasonable.

  • Objections to accommodations offered must be supported by objective evidence.

  • Maintain a proper relationship with individuals who are providing accommodations, including LSS staff.

To Adhere to Institutional Standards of Conduct

  • The disability does not insulate the student from the disciplinary rules and procedures enforced with respect to the general student population.

  • The accommodation, if any, should be directed towards assisting the student in meeting the standards.


Rights and Responsibilities

Each student with a documented disability has the right to receive from North Central Michigan College:

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities offered through the College.

  • Equal opportunity to work, learn, and receive reasonable, effective, and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.

  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disability and to choose whom information about their disability will be disclosed, except as required by law.

  • Information readily available in accessible formats.

North Central Michigan College has the right to:

  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge, standards, and criteria for courses, programs, jobs, and activities and evaluate students based on their performance.

  • Request and receive current documentation from an appropriate licensed professional source that supports requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.

  • Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids or services if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted, the documentation presented fails to identify a specific disability, or the student fails to provide appropriate documentation in a timely manner.

  • Select among equally effective and appropriate accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services in consultation with students with documented disabilities and in collaboration with faculty and staff who have contact with them.

  • Refuse to make available an accommodation, adjustment, and/or auxiliary aid or service that is inappropriate, ineffective, or unreasonable.

Each student with a disability has the responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, and activities, e.g. complete assigned work in courses taken.

  • Identify themselves in a timely manner as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed, preferably prior to the start of classes.

  • Seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary from the Learning Support Services staff.

  • Provide documentation from an appropriate licensed professional source describing the nature of the disability and how the disability is a functional limitation.

  • Follow established procedures for obtaining effective and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.

  • Be fully active in the accommodation process of their education.

North Central Michigan College has the responsibility to:

  • Provide information regarding policies and procedures to students with disabilities and assure that this information be provided in accessible formats upon request.

  • Ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities are available and accessible in the most integrated and appropriate settings.

  • Evaluate students and applicants on their abilities and potential, not their disabilities.

  • Provide or arrange for effective, appropriate, and reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services in courses, programs, services, jobs, and activities for students with identified disabilities.

  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication concerning students with disabilities except where disclosure is required by the law or authorized by the student.


Agreement to Rights and Responsibilities

By signing below, I agree that I have read the Guidelines for Disabilities Services and understand my rights and responsibilities as a student registered with disability services at North Central Michigan College.


___________________________________________________                  ________________________

Printed Student Name                                                                                   Student ID#


_____________________________________________________              ________________________

Student Signature                                                                                           Date


Revised 5/2017