The provision of accommodations to students with disabilities is a subject about which there tends to be much confusion. Very often students form their expectations about their rights and responsibilities based on their high school experiences. Although this is understandable, it is unfortunate because students tend to think they have exactly the same rights and responsibilities in college that they had in high school. This is not the case. Although Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended in 2008 carry over from high school, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which applies in high school, does not carry over to post-secondary institutions such as Glen Oaks.

Receiving accommodations at Glen Oaks Community College is a highly individualized and interactive process involving the student’s history and self-report, the Support Services for Students with Disabilities counselor’s clinical observations and professional judgment and objective third-party documentation. The relative importance of each of these factors varies depending on the student’s history, specific circumstances and the disability for which the student is requesting accommodations.

Although many disabilities are relatively stable, ideally documentation of disability should be as recent and specific as possible, should come from an objective and appropriate third-party that is qualified to provide documentation for the specific disability, should include a specific diagnosis and should relate the disabling condition to the recommended accommodations.

Accommodations at the college level are not designed to give students with disabilities advantages over students without disabilities. Rather, accommodations should “level the playing field” so students with disabilities are not discriminated against based on their disability and are able to compete equally with students without disabilities. Any accommodation that gives students with disabilities an academic advantage over students without disabilities, or any accommodation that requires fundamental alteration of the core intent and content of a course, is not allowed.

Revised July 5, 2017