Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Documentation and Accommodations

The Documentation of a Disability

Documentation of a disability is the basis for providing accommodations. Understanding what the disability is and determining how to work around it in the postsecondary setting are the main focus of providing support services. Documentation of a hearing impairment is most often an audiological evaluation. This hearing examination will indicate the presence of a hearing loss and its scope. Being able to interpret an audiogram will provide essential information in understanding the particular hearing loss and what it may mean for that particular student.

Documentation Guidelines

Postsecondary institutions differ from high schools regarding the first step of providing academic accommodations. When a person with a disability needs an academic accommodation in high school, a team of people are assigned to discuss that student’s classroom instructional accommodations. This is not the case with colleges and universities. The legislation states that in order to receive services from a postsecondary institution, a person with a disability must first disclose his/her disability to the institution. In most cases, the person would disclose this to the Disability Resources Office on campus with appropriate documentation regarding the disability.

The name, title, and the professional credentials of the evaluator of the disability (including license or certification as well as the area of specialization), place of employment, and state in which the individual practices, should clearly be stated on the documentation for all disabilities. Additionally, appropriate documentation must meet the following criteria:

Deaf & Hard of Hearing ImpairmentsInterpreter

Documentation must be from a licensed audiologist that includes a diagnosis and information as to how the disability impacts the student in academic environment.

Accommodations and Services

ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS indicate specifically what a student requires for academic success. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) clearly specifies the importance and liability that educational institutions have in complying with students with disabilities. An accommodation request simply indicates in writing what support services a specific student requires. This can involve such things as classroom assistance (captionist, ALD, etc.) and testing accommodations (time extensions, interpreted tests, distraction-free room, etc.). Although it is the responsibility of the student to indicate what support services are needed, students sometimes are not quite sure what they need or may need at the onset of the semester, so flexibility is important.

The Disability Resources Office in room 119 on the Donaldson Campus can assist the student with determining the scope of services needed by requesting secondary school records and pertinent medical information, if necessary. Copies of the accommodation request are signed and kept by the Coordinator of Disabliity Services.

ACCOMMODATION CHECKLISTS indicate what specific support services a student requires. This is determined based on the required documentation(s) of disability and student request. A form is signed by the faculty person and the student to ensure that communication about what will take place is clear to each individual. Sometimes it is appropriate to distribute a copy to the testing center or another academic support component of the college if a student will require accommodation provided by that program. Accommodations are based on student needs although those needs can change over a period of time from the initial request. It is important to work closely with each student to ensure that his or her needs are being met.


Responsibilities of the Student

Responsibility Statement

The Office of Disability Resources offers support services to any qualified student with a disability who requests such services. It is each student’s responsibility to make use of these services. Each student is reminded that he is ultimately responsible for his academic success and/or failure. Each student must take the initiative to use time, facilities, and support services in a productive manner. Each student is responsible for his own work and grade in each course.

It is the responsibility of each student to know and abide by all Helena College and Disability Resources Office policies, rules, and regulations. Each student must take the initiative to familiarize himself with these policies, rules, and regulations. Failure to do so will not exclude the student from reprimand or any other consequence of violating any Helena College or Disability-related policy, rule, or regulation.

CLASS ATTENDANCE is crucial for successful academic completion. When a student who uses an interpreter, transliterator or captionist will be absent from class, notifying the Office of Disability Resources is expected. This is crucial when communication facilitators (CF) are being paid for their time in class. The interpreter, transliterator or captionist can be notified ahead of time when any change is expected. When at all possible, prior notification is expected by calling the Office of Disability Services. The CF is there as a supplement to the classroom experience, not as a substitute. If a student misses class, he needs to meet with the instructor for follow-up. CF’s are not responsible for the student’s absence nor their academic responsibilities.

Basic Expectations of Student

Role: The student’s role is simply to be the learner. She is in the classroom for the purpose of learning.

Responsibilities:

  1. Contact the Coordinator of Disability Resources if an interpreter, transliterator, captionist or other accommodation is needed.
  2. On the first day of class or in any new situation, please identify yourself to the interpreter, transliterator, or captionist.
  3. Be on time for all classes, labs, and meetings.
  4. Sit in a place that provides the best distance, lighting, background, and angle for seeing the interpreter, transliterator, or captionist.
  5. If you have any questions relating to class materials, ask the instructor.
  6. Personal conversations with the interpreter, transliterator or captionist should not occur during the class, but before or after the class.
  7. Notify the Coordinator to set up note-taking services.
  8. If you have difficulty understanding the interpreter, transliterator, or captionist, discuss it with the provider of the service. If this does not solve the problem, then go to the Coordinator of Disability Services.
  9. If you have problems with your note taker, contact the Coordinator.
  10. If your interpreter, transliterator or captionist does not come to class, notify the Coordinator that he or she has failed to show up.
  11. Let your interpreter, transliterator or captionist know if:
    1. You plan to be absent or miss a class.
    2. Your class is canceled.
    3. There will be a video shown in class.
    4. You will be making a presentation.

No-Show Policy

If communication facilitation (CFs) services have been requested, and you know that you will be unable to attend class, you should provide the Office of Disability Resources with at least 24 hours advanced notice so that CFs can be informed. Failure to provide any advanced notice is considered a “No-Show." To give advance notice, a student may:

  1. Contact the Disability Resources office at 447-6952/6903 and speak either in person or leave a message by voice or relay. If you prefer, you may leave a message at e.stearnssims@umhelena.edu.

Failure to provide notice will result in the following actions:

First “No-Show”: Interpreter will wait for 10 minutes and then return to his/her office.

Second “No-Show”: A letter will be sent to the student informing the student that they have two “No-Shows”: In addition, the letter will remind the student of the policy and appropriate procedures.

Third “No-Show”: Services will automatically be temporarily suspended and a letter will sent to the student informing the student of the policy and the appropriate procedure. Services will remain suspended until the student makes an appointment and meets with the Disability Resources office to reinstate services.

For each subsequent “No-Show”: Services will automatically be suspended and a letter will be sent to the student informing the student of the policy and the appropriate procedures. The services will remain suspended until the student makes an appointment and meets with the Disability Resources office to reinstate services.

Exception to the “No-Show Policy”: If three (3) or more “No-Shows” occur within the same two week period, services will automatically be temporarily suspended and a letter will be sent to the student informing the student of the policy and the appropriate procedures. The services will remain suspended until the student makes an appointment with the Director of Disability Resources.

Excessive absences: Even with advance notice, excessive absences are a problem for the student. Attendance in class is directly correlated to student success. If the student misses three classes in a given week without notification given to the appropriate instructor(s), then he or she may find services suspended by the Disability Resources Office, and a conference will be required to reinstate them.