Handbook for Students with Disabilities

Published by the Office of Academic Advising. Last updated: August 26, 2019.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Letter from the Dean of Academic Advising
  2. Statement on Access and Accommodation
  3. Academic Accommodations
    1. The Process for Academic Accommodations
    2. Accommodation: Requests for Course Substitution
    3. Accommodation: Accessible Course Materials
    4. Accommodation: Assistance with Notetaking
    5. Accommodation: Recording of Class Lectures
  4. Academic Coaching
  5. Housing/Residential Accommodations
    1. The Process for Housing Accommodations
      1. Medically Necessary Air Conditioner
      2. Service and Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals
      3. Gettysburg College Policy on Requesting Access to a Kitchen
    2. Deadlines
    3. Housing/Residential Accommodations Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Documentation Guidelines
    1. Documentation Guidelines for Learning Disabilities
    2. Documentation Guidelines for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    3. Documentation Guidelines for Psychiatric/Neurological Disorders
    4. Documentation Guidelines for Physical and Health-Related Conditions
  7. Your Responsibilities in the Accommodation Process
  8. Grievance Procedures
  9. Forms

1. Introduction: Letter from the Deans of Academic Advising

Dear Student:

Early self-disclosure of a learning or physical disability is a key to success at college. Through its tradition of strong faculty-student relationships, Gettysburg College provides a supportive environment for students with disabilities. Disclosing your diagnoses and needs early allows us to proactively support you with various transitions (i.e. from high school to college, from first year to sophomore year). We especially encourage new students on the Autism Spectrum to contact our office as early as possible, as we have resources specifically designed to address the unique academic and social issues you may face as you start college.

This handbook contains information about the College’s policies on accommodating students with disabilities. If you anticipate requesting accommodation or want to know more about our policies, please take the time to read through this booklet.

At the back of the handbook you will find a copy of our Disability Accommodation Student Request Form. If you have documented evidence of a disability for which you seek accommodation, copy the form, answer the questions, and attach or send the appropriate documentation. FORMS for documentation from health care professionals are available at the back of the Handbook. Please give this completed information to the Office of Academic Advising.

The Office of Academic Advising will not be informed automatically of any condition you disclose to the College’s Health or Counseling Services or to the Admissions Office. You should inform the Office of Academic Advising directly, if you have any condition for which you are seeking academic or housing/residential accommodation. All information and documentation relating to disabilities that is sent to the Office of Academic Advising will be treated with the utmost respect for your privacy.

You are welcome and encouraged to consult with one of the Deans in the Office of Academic Advising if you have any questions about these matters.

Sincerely,

Deans of Academic Advising

2. Statement on Access and Accommodation

Gettysburg College provides equal opportunities to students with disabilities admitted through our regular admissions process. The College promotes self-disclosure and self-advocacy for students with disabilities, recognizing that students with disabilities have the legal right and responsibility to present requests for reasonable accommodation. As a residential college, this applies to reasonable accommodations related to housing as well as academic needs. The determination of what are reasonable educational and housing accommodations is made by the College after reviewing students' documentation, requests, and petitions. The Office of Academic Advising assists students with disabilities with their requests for accommodation and works closely with students' faculty advisors and instructors in order to provide coordinated academic support and with Residential and First-Year Programs to coordinate appropriate housing.

All Students seeking accommodation must submit the Disability Accommodation STUDENT Request Form and appropriate documentation as outlined in this Handbook to the Office of Academic Advising. Please call the office at 717-337-6579 if you are not contacted to confirm receipt of your documentation.

For students with physical and health-related conditions, the College provides accessibility within its facilities and programs and will, within the spirit of reasonable accommodation, adapt or modify those facilities and programs to meet individual needs on a case-by-case basis. Although not all facilities and programs are accessible, students with physical and health-related conditions can expect classes, activities, or housing to be moved to accessible buildings, adaptive environments created, or auxiliary equipment allowed on an individual basis and in a manner reasonable for both the student and the College. Documentation of a physical and/or health-related condition should be prepared by an attending physician.

For students with disabilities that affect learning, the College accommodates on a case-by-case basis. Documentation in support of accommodation requests must meet the College’s standards and include rationales for requests that are consistent with test results and diagnoses. Pyschoeducational documentation of a learning disability must be prepared by a qualified psychologist within three years of the request for accommodation. The College reserves the right to make educational and housing decisions on a case-by-case basis about what are the most reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodation may involve some curricular modifications only if they do not substantially alter course content or requirements essential to the academic program. Some examples of reasonable accommodation are: extended time on exams; use of auxiliary equipment (recording devices, computers, calculators); modified exam formats and/or oral exams. Subject and writing tutoring is available to all Gettysburg students through our Peer Learning Program and the Writing Center.

Students who suspect that a disability may be interfering in their life on campus or who are referred by faculty or faculty advisors should contact the Office of Academic Advising and make an appointment with one of the deans who will counsel those students about options -- assessment, accommodation, learning strategies, etc. -- and will explain Gettysburg College's disability policy.

Please note that Gettysburg College does not provide assessment or documentation for students with suspected disabilities.

3. Academic Accommodations

The Process for Academic Accommodations

  1. Self-disclosure or referral:

    In the late spring, all students expected in our FY class are invited to self-disclose all disabilities and to send documentation so that DRAFT Individual Education Accommodation Plans (IEAPs) can be prepared by the time new students arrive on campus.

    Students are also referred to Academic Advising by faculty if a learning disability is suspected or students themselves may seek help because of difficulties in class. In these cases, in an initial conversation, a dean explains the College's policy and testing requirements and directs the student to the online Handbook for Students with Disabilities. Students are advised about getting extra help in current classes and other options as circumstances indicate.

  2. Documentation required for accommodation includes the following: Completed Disability Accommodation STUDENT Request Form.

    See Documentation Guidelines and FORMS in the Handbook for Students with Disabilities. Documentation is required from a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other medical provider who is currently treating the student for the disability for which the student is requesting accommodation. The student’s clinician should complete our forms or provide a comprehensive report outlining all of the components found in these forms. Reports in lieu of these forms must include discussion of the accommodations requested by the student, a rationale for these accommodations, and a statement of disability.

    The Office of Academic Advising maintains all disability records and treats them with utmost care for the privacy of our students.

  3. All documentation received is reviewed and a DRAFT Individual Educational Accommodation Plan (IEAP) is prepared for each student. After the IEAP has been prepared, the Office of Academic Advising makes an appointment with the student to discuss the accommodations and sign the IEAP when accepted; assist in developing strategies for academic success and talking with faculty; discuss plans for satisfactory progress toward the degree if summer school or reduced load are indicated; and explore other related concerns. The Office of Academic Advising provides the student with several copies of the IEAP to share with instructors. Students are encouraged to discuss their accommodations and strategies with their faculty advisors and their instructors, and to consult with and stay in touch with one of the deans in the Office of Academic Advising. Students should contact the Office of Academic Advising to make new requests for accommodation, and to inquire about other services that may be available, e.g., academic coaching.

  4. The IEAP includes the student’s accommodations and a statement of student responsibilities to be reviewed and signed by the student. This signed IEAP is normally shared with the student's advisor in order to assist the student in making educational choices. It is up to the student to determine whether she/he wishes to seek accommodation in a particular course. The student is responsible for initiating that conversation and providing the instructor with a copy of the signed IEAP.

    Students seeking accommodation who do not have or provide a copy of their signed IEAP should be referred to the Office of Academic Advising.

  5. Implementing Accommodations: Students are responsible for requesting accommodation from their individual instructors. Using the IEAP as a guide, the student and course instructor, with the assistance of the Office of Academic Advising as requested by the student or instructor, establish how accommodations, if any, will be implemented for that course. See Academic Accommodations: Policy and Grievance Procedure for more information.

  6. We strongly encourage faculty advisors and instructors to consult with the deans in the Office of Academic Advising about any students they believe are in need of assistance. Through our online Progress Reports and Midterm Deficiency Reports system, faculty advisors and the deans in the office of Academic Advising are able to monitor the academic progress of all students, including students with disabilities.

Accommodation: Requests for Course Substitution

Gettysburg College does not waive distribution or graduation requirements. A student who has a documented disability that affects learning can petition the Academic Standing Committee for course substitution. The Academic Standing Committee is the faculty committee that acts on student petitions for exceptions to the academic regulations. The petition is developed through consultation with one of the deans in Academic Advising and the student’s faculty advisor.

Students with a documented learning disability that interferes with their ability to learn a foreign language may petition to fulfill this requirement by selecting a cluster of courses that has been approved as a substitution. A list of current courses that substitute for this requirement is available on our website. For substitution of the foreign language requirement, petitions must be filed before the end of the sophomore year.

A student’s petition for substitution of the foreign language requirement should include:

  1. Verification of a disability that substantially interferes with language acquisition. To petition on the basis of a specific learning disability, the student must present the report of an acceptable psychoeducational test battery documenting the learning disability, explaining how the disability substantially interferes with language acquisition. For details, see the section in this booklet on Testing Required for Accommodation. Normally, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder does not interfere with foreign language acquisition so as to warrant substitution.
  2. Documentation from college and, if appropriate, high school foreign language instructors supporting the need for accommodation through substitution. (Students are responsible for obtaining written statements from high school language instructors in support of their petitions.) The Academic Standing Committee has a strong preference that a student attempt a foreign language at Gettysburg so that any significant difficulty in language acquisition can be assessed on the basis of the student’s experience at Gettysburg.
  3. The student’s personal written statement in a petition which has been reviewed by the student’s academic advisor. This petition should include a request to allow any course(s) already completed to be considered to count for substitution.

The decisions of the Academic Standing Committee are final. However, a student may ask the Committee to reconsider its decision on the basis of additional evidence, for example, new test results or additional classroom experiences in studying foreign languages at Gettysburg.

Accommodation: Accessible Course Materials

If your disability necessitates modifications to the written or media materials in a course (i.e. enlarged print, captioning for videos, compatibility with screen readers or text-to-speech technology), it is best to reach out to our office as early as possible, as these arrangements require additional time and coordination to set up.

Students approved for this accommodation must complete our Accessible Textbook Request Form prior to the start of each semester. Our office will set you up with a Bookshare membership and facilitate requesting accessible electronic copies of your textbooks from publishers once you have purchased/rented print copies. We will also provide you with text-to-speech technology. It is important to provide your instructors with copies of your IEAP as early as possible so that they can make course materials accessible.

Accommodation: Assistance with Notetaking

Some students with disabilities who would benefit from sharing a classmate’s notes, in addition to relying on their own class notes, need assistance identifying a classmate willing to assist them. Most frequently, students make these arrangements on their own. Students who do not already have friends or acquaintances in a class or students who are concerned about maintaining confidentiality about their disabilities should ask their instructors for assistance.

If you are not concerned about confidentiality and need help identifying someone to share notes, you can ask your instructors to recommend student volunteers they think would be willing to help, and then you can approach the recommended volunteers on your own. If you are concerned about confidentiality, discuss the matter with your instructors who can assist you by asking appropriate students if they would be willing to copy and share their class notes.

In order to minimize the inconvenience for the student volunteers, we recommend making copies of notes in the department’s office and leave them there for you to pick up. If this is not convenient for the department or the student volunteer, please contact the office of Academic Advising to make other arrangements.

Accommodation: Recording of Class Lectures

Gettysburg College prohibits all unauthorized recording in any context in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy; normally, this reasonable expectation exists in classrooms and lab spaces. Recording classes as part of an approved accommodation plan is an exception to this policy. Students must present their accommodation plans to faculty members and discuss recording as an accommodation. Students are expected to destroy any recordings they make at the end of each semester. See the Unauthorized Recording Policy in the Student Code of Conduct for further information.

4. Academic Coaching

We do not offer individual coaching as an accommodation. However, at the recommendation of one of our deans of Academic Advising, we may provide individual coaching services for students to help them establish better skills in time management, organization, reading, writing, test preparation, and other academic areas. Students are responsible for attending coaching appointments consistently, coming prepared to their coaching appointments, and communicating about any scheduling changes in a timely manner. Students who do not comply with these responsibilities may lose the privilege of these coaching services.

5. Housing/Residential Accommodations

Gettysburg College provides reasonable housing accommodations for students with disabilities. The Office of Residential & First Year Programs will collaborate with other relevant staff at the College (including the Office of Academic Advising, Health Services, and Counseling Services) to determine the most appropriate housing accommodations. Housing accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis according to documented need and prevailing standards for reasonable accommodations.

Students requesting housing accommodations are required to submit the Disability Accommodation STUDENT Request form along with verification of the disability and need for accommodations from the appropriate diagnosing professional. This information must be submitted to the Office of Academic Advising by the deadlines listed below.

The Process for Housing Accommodations

The following is a summary of our process for accommodating students with disabilities that affect their housing.

  1. Self-disclosure or referral:

    Current/Upper-class students: Current students who have not self-disclosed a disability and requested housing accommodations, will be reminded through the housing selection process in the early spring semester that they must do so prior to the March 1st request deadline in order to have the fullest range of options considered.

    Incoming First-Year students:  In the late spring, all students expected in our FY class are invited to self-disclose all disabilities and to send documentation to Academic Advising so that housing needs can be accommodated through the housing placement process. Any accommodation requests must be received prior to July 1st to ensure that housing needs can be accommodated prior to the student’s arrival on campus in August.

    Any students who do not meet the deadlines listed above can make requests through the Disability Accommodation STUDENT Request Form at any time, and approved accommodations will be made as soon as possible, if appropriate housing is available.

  2. Documentation required for accommodation includes the following: Completed Disability Accommodation STUDENT Request Form

    See Documentation Guidelines and FORMS in the Handbook for Students with Disabilities. Documentation is required from a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other medical provider who is currently treating the student for the disability for which the student is requesting accommodation. The student’s clinician should complete our forms or provide a comprehensive report outlining all of the components found in these forms. Reports in lieu of these forms must include discussion of the accommodations requested by the student, a rationale for these accommodations, and a statement of disability.

The Office of Academic Advising maintains all disability records and treats them with utmost care for the privacy of our students.

All documentation received is reviewed by our staff, in consultation with Counseling and/or Health Services as needed. If the request is approved, housing accommodation requirements will be sent to the Office of Residential & First Year Programs who will work with you to meet your approved housing needs. Students should note that the Office of Residential & First Year Programs will work to accommodate all approved accommodations. However, depending on the housing available, all student preferences may not be able to be met when finding appropriate accommodations.

Medically Necessary Air Conditioner

While some medical circumstances do not rise to the level of a disability, Gettysburg College recognizes that reasonable accommodations may be necessary to assist students in the management of their healthcare needs. A student requiring an air conditioner must submit a Request for a Medically Necessary Air Conditioner form that has been completed and signed by their licensed healthcare provider (MD, DO, CRNP, PAc, Medical Specialist)

Service and Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals

Students with disabilities who use trained Service Animals should contact the Office of Academic Advising to discuss housing and other related accommodations.

Students seeking to bring Assistance/Emotional Support Animals to campus as an accommodation should fill out and return to the Office of Academic Advising the Disability Accommodation STUDENT Request Form and the Documentation to Support the Request for an Emotional Support Animal Form. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Gettysburg College Policy on Requesting Access to a Kitchen

A medical disability request by a student for access to a kitchen in a campus housing facility will only be considered for extraordinary circumstances that cannot otherwise be accommodated by our Dining Services. Students who have particular dietary needs may contact Dinning Services at 717-337-6373 or go to the Dining Services website.

Deadlines

Accommodations for various disabilities take time to arrange. We receive many such requests, all of which affect the allocation of limited housing resources, so it is very important that you follow the deadlines included below.

  • Upper class students with disabilities who request accommodations that may include but are not limited to air conditioning must submit the request form and supporting documentation to the Office of Academic Advising by March 1st. The deadline for incoming first-year and transfer students is July 1st. All forms received after this date will be reviewed, but accommodations cannot be guaranteed for upper class students if information is received in the Office of Residential & First Year Programs after housing selection begins in the middle of March, and for first-year and transfer students after housing assignments are released at the end of July.
  • Upper class students with disabilities who ONLY require air conditioning will participate in the regular housing selection process and will be required to submit the above-mentioned information by July 1st. Incoming first-year and transfer students must also submit the above-mentioned information by July 1st. All forms received after this date will be reviewed, but we cannot guarantee installation of the air conditioner prior to your arrival for the fall semester if the request is received later than July 1st.

Housing/Residential Accommodations Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will I be able to select my roommates even though I have an approved housing accommodation?  The Office of Residential & First Year Programs will attempt to honor roommate requests but the ability to do so and the placement of the students will be based on the need to meet the documented student accommodation.
  2. Can I still live where I want to live even though I have an approved accommodation?  Students with approved accommodations can request building locations and floors. However, the Office of Residential & First Year Programs may not be able to accommodate all preferences. Meeting the required accommodation is the priority.
  3. What if the only accommodation that is needed for my disability is air conditioning?  Upper class students with disabilities that ONLY require air conditioning will participate in the regular housing selection process and will be required to submit the request form and supporting documentation by July 1st. Incoming first-year and transfer students’ deadline is also July 1st. If a student is approved for air conditioning and he/she is not living in an air-conditioned building, Facilities Services will install a college-owned window unit.
  4. Does a documented diagnosis of ADD or ADHD automatically qualify me to live in a single?  No. Each request for accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis and is considered based on the individual student’s disability and supporting documentation. Not all students with ADD or ADHD are best supported by living alone.
  5. Does a documented diagnosis that affects my eating automatically qualify me to live in an apartment with a full kitchen?  No. A medical disability request by a student for access to a kitchen in a campus housing facility will only be considered for extraordinary circumstances that cannot otherwise be accommodated by our Dining Services. There are numerous dining options available on campus to meet students’ dietary needs. Students who have particular dietary needs may contact Dinning Services at 717-337-6373 or go to the Dining Services website.

6. Documentation Guidelines

The Office of Academic Advising maintains all documentation related to students with disabilities. All documents should be submitted to:

Gettysburg College
Office of Academic Advising
300 N. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Office: 717-337-6579
Fax: 717-337-6245

Documentation Guidelines for Learning Disabilities

This section outlines the psychoeducational testing required of students who seek accommodation for a specific learning disability as defined under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended in 2008. Under the amended ADA:

  1. “The term ‘disability’ means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.”
  2. “Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. “ In addition, “a major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.”

The College recommends students present the following information to the professionals preparing their testing reports.

The student seeking accommodation for a specific learning disability must present a full, recent psychoeducational testing report to the Office of Academic Advising. The report must contain appropriate scores, interpretations, evaluations, and recommendations derived from an approved battery of tests administered by a qualified psychologist. Professionals who can diagnose learning disabilities are Clinical Psychologists, School Psychologists, Educational Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, and Psychometrists. Reports from Educational Specialists, School Counselors, Vocational Counselors, Social Workers, Speech and Language Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Psychiatrists, and Physicians do not meet our criteria for testing. For clarification about which professionals are qualified to diagnose learning disabilities, visit the guidance from LD online on Who Can Diagnose LD and/or ADHD. Normally, the tests must have been administered within three years of the request for accommodation; adult-normed testing instruments are preferred; and results must include evidence of a specific learning disability.

The College normally recognizes a diagnosis of a specific learning disability when the following criteria are met:

  1. average or above average intelligence as measured by a standardized intelligence test which includes assessment of verbal and nonverbal abilities;
  2. the presence of a cognitive-achievement discrepancy or an intra-cognitive discrepancy indicated by a score on a standardized test of achievement which is minimally one standard deviation below the level corresponding to a student's sub-scale or full-scale IQ;
  3. the presence of disorders in cognitive or sensory processing such as those related to memory, language, or attention; and
  4. an absence of other primary causal factors leading to achievement below expectation, such as visual or auditory disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, a lack of opportunity to learn due to cultural or socioeconomic circumstances, or deficiencies in intellectual ability.

To enable the Office of Academic Advising to evaluate a request for accommodation properly, the test battery must include full intelligence testing, achievement testing and a social-emotional status assessment. The Office of Academic Advising will not accept reports of testing and diagnosis based on inadequate information (e.g., IQ testing without achievement testing or a report lacking an assessment of social-emotional status).

The College recommends students present the following information to the professionals preparing their reports.

Specifically, Gettysburg College requires that the testing for all learning disabilities include:

  1. Full intelligence testing – using adult-normed testing instruments (Wechsler Adult Intelligent Scale-IV or Woodcock-Johnson IV: Tests of Cognitive Abilities).
  2. Assessment of cognitive strengths, weaknesses, and deficits in:
    1. visual processing
    2. auditory processing
    3. memory (auditory and visual; short-term and long-term)
    4. fine motor coordination and dexterity
    5. verbal and nonverbal reasoning, organizational skills, and cognitive flexibility
    6. attention (auditory and visual)
  3. Assessment of oral language skills.
  4. Full achievement testing in:
    1. written language
    2. reading decoding and comprehension: use of college level tests (i.e., Nelson-Denny) is especially helpful
    3. mathematics
    The Woodcock-Johnson –IV: Tests of Achievement is preferred for assessment of these functions. Scaled, standard, percentile and grade equivalence scores must be included in the report.
  5. A full clinical interview and appropriate testing to assess social-emotional status, addressing the presence of any psychiatric disorders and alcohol and chemical substance use patterns.
  6. Diagnosis including DSM-V codes.
  7. Summary of student's strengths and weaknesses, conclusions and recommendations for student compensations and course accommodations.

All documents should be submitted to:

Gettysburg College, Office of Academic Advising
300 N. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Office: 717-337-6579
Fax: 717-337-6245

Documentation Guidelines for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

The diagnosis of an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) requires a careful evaluation that draws on past and present educational, psychological, and medical testing. Gettysburg College’s Office of Academic Advising will not accept a diagnosis of ADHD that does not meet the diagnostic criteria detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders –5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, or the International Classification of Diseases – 10, published by World Health Organization. The student’s clinician should complete the Documentation for ADD/ADHD/Psychiatric/Neurological Disorder Form.

The evaluation must be performed by a qualified evaluator who has training in and direct experience with adolescents and young adults with ADHD. Evaluation must be performed by a licensed psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, or physician known to specialize in adolescent/adult ADHD. Students wishing accommodation for a type of ADHD must provide the Office of Academic Advising with documentation substantiating the diagnosis.

A student must submit a current report (no more than three years old). Disabilities and accommodation needs change over time. Because provision of accommodations and services is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student’s disability on his/her academic performance, current documentation is necessary. The following guidelines include the necessary components of acceptable documentation for students with ADHD.

The College recommends students present the following information to the professionals preparing their reports.

To document ADHD, please include the following components:

  1. Summary of a diagnostic interview including developmental, medical, and educational history that provides evidence that the condition was exhibited in childhood and in more than one setting. Additionally, provide history of symptoms across multiple settings.
  2. Evidence of current symptoms that meet diagnostic criteria; level of severity; and discussion of symptoms that are currently producing significant impairment in one or more domains of current adaptive functioning. Specifically discuss the functional limitations and the impact of the condition on the student’s current participation in courses, services, or any other activities of the College.
  3. Relevant Testing Results: Please include names of standardized assessment tools, the student’s standardized scores, and percentile ranks.
  4. Discussion that the evaluation specifically reviewed and ruled out other possible causes of the presenting behavior (e.g., other psychiatric or substance abuse problems).
  5. Recommendations for academic or other accommodations, including a rationale for each.
  6. Information about the professional’s credentialing (including licensing, certification, and areas of specialization) must be clearly listed in the report.

Please note that a one-page memo/letter or a script that merely outlines the diagnosis(es) and recommendations for accommodations is not acceptable. If the student has a learning disability or suspected learning disability, the student should be referred for a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation, if one has not been completed within the past three years.

Documentation Guidelines for Psychiatric/Neurological Disorders

If a student has a psychiatric or neurological disorder that meets the criteria for a disability and thus warrants accommodations, the student’s clinician should complete the Documentation for ADD/ADHD/Psychiatric/Neurological Disorder Form or provide a comprehensive report that outlines all of the components found in the Documentation for ADD/ADHD/Psychiatric/Neurological Disorder Form.

The College recommends students present the following information to the professionals preparing their reports.

Documentation Guidelines for Psychiatric/Neurological Disorders: Assessment must be completed by a licensed psychologist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, or physician known to specialize in psychiatric or neurological disorders. Because psychiatric/neurological disorders can change over time, documentation must be up to date. The evaluation should have been completed or updated within the past year. The initial evaluation in which the psychiatric or neurological disorder was diagnosed should be included. The current psychiatric/neurological update can be the completion of the Documentation for ADD/ADHD/Psychiatric/Neurological Disorder Form or a comprehensive report that outlines all the components of the form.

Please note that a one-page memo/letter or a script that merely outlines the diagnosis(es) and recommendations for accommodations is not acceptable. If the student has a learning disability or suspected learning disability, the student should be referred for a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation, if one has not been completed within the past three years.

All documents should be submitted to:

Gettysburg College, Office of Academic Advising
300 N. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Office: 717-337-6579
Fax: 717-337-6245

Documentation Guidelines for Physical and Health-Related Conditions

A student with a physical or a health-related condition will be required to provide documentation from appropriate licensed healthcare professional(s) to support a request for an academic or non-academic accommodation. A Documentation for Physical and Health Related Condition form must be completed by an appropriate healthcare provider relating the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodation.

The following are guidelines for the documentation of a health-related condition that have been developed to provide necessary information to the Director of Health Services when arranging appropriate accommodations:

  1. The College requires that a student provide verification of his/her condition prior to or at the time services is requested.
  2. A comprehensive written evaluation must have been completed within the past year. Upon request, exceptions may be made dependent upon individual circumstances.
  3. Persons typically considered qualified to present supportive clinical documentation of the diagnosis are licensed healthcare providers (HCP), i.e. physicians, nurse practitioners, medical specialists with a demonstrated area of specialization in the diagnosis and/or treatment of the disease diagnosed. The documentation of condition will not be accepted if completed by a family member who is a medical professional.
  4. The Documentation for Physical and Health Related Condition Form is provided for completion by a HCP and includes important areas that will assist the Director of Health Service in determining how the health related condition limits a major life activity in a postsecondary educational setting.
    1. Clear statement of diagnosis – including dates of diagnosis, ICD 10 code, and last medical evaluation.
    2. Diagnostic methodology - used to support the diagnosis and requested accommodation.
    3. Current and past treatment, and accommodation – as it relates to the condition and the need for accommodations.
    4. Recommendations for academic and other accommodations. Each recommended accommodation should include a detailed explanation of its relevance to the condition that is diagnosed. The evaluator also should indicate the level at which the individual is currently functioning with the benefit of treatment.
    5. The time period academic or non-academic accommodations are recommended.

We recognize that each student’s situation is unique. Decisions regarding eligibility and accommodations are made after reviewing the documentation. A student may, also, be asked to meet with the Director of Health Services to clarify information contained in the documentation of the health-related condition.

All documents should be submitted to:

Gettysburg College, Office of Academic Advising
300 N. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Office: 717-337-6579
Fax: 717-337-6245

7. Your Responsibilities in the Accommodation Process

With the Office of Academic Advising:

  1. Students are responsible for presenting documentation of their disabilities and their accommodation request forms in a timely fashion and for articulating the accommodations which they are seeking. Students must communicate with the Office of Academic Advising throughout their career at Gettysburg College.
  2. Students must respond to phone calls, letters, and e-mail messages from the Office of Academic Advising. You cannot expect support from this office if you do not communicate with us.
  3. If you seek particular accommodations such as substitution of courses from the alternate track to satisfy the foreign language requirement, you must follow our procedures and processes. See the section on course substitution in this handbook.
  4. If you seek the services of one of our academic coaches for help with particular problems, it is your responsibility to set up—and to keep—appointments.
  5. Students should take the initiative in communicating with the Office of Academic Advising about all matters relating to their learning disability. Remember that we are keenly interested in your success at Gettysburg and are here to help you, but we cannot help you if we do not know what you need. Consider us your allies, and act accordingly.

With your faculty:

  1. Present your Individual Education Accommodation Plan (IEAP) to your faculty advisor and to your faculty in each course at the very beginning of each semester. Do not wait until you need the accommodation (such as extended time on tests). Be sure to explain any specific ways in which you might need to be accommodated in individual courses.
  2. Discuss your understanding of how you learn with each of your faculty. Describe the way you learn best. Indicate teaching methods which have been particularly helpful to you in the past, and discuss types of assignments with which you have particular difficulty.
  3. Discuss the “Course Accommodations” section of your IEAP with each of your faculty. Work out in advance how these accommodations will be implemented. (For example, if you are granted “testing in a non-distracting environment,” where would that be? How much time is “extended time”? Normally, extended time means time and a half. However, there may be particular occasions when time and a half is not needed or is inappropriate.)
  4. Ask your faculty for additional suggestions for strategies for success. (Remember that the IEAP is a tool to begin discussions, not a list of every possible idea to help you learn better.) Students with learning disabilities often benefit greatly from visiting their professors during office hours and seeking support from Peer Learning Associates, Writing Center tutors, and the services of the Language Resource Center.
  5. Convey to your faculty your eagerness to learn and to do well in class. Communicate frequently with your instructors, and discuss your successes (and failures, if necessary) throughout the semester. Remember that a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn are key factors in your success.
  6. If, after full discussions with your professors, you believe you are not receiving the course accommodations specified in your IEAP, contact the Office of Academic Advising immediately (x6579) and ask to meet with one of the Deans.

8. Grievance Procedures

Establishing reasonable accommodations regarding teaching and evaluative methods in a particular course relies on an interactive process including the student, the instructor, and the Office of Academic Advising and may require adaptation on the part of the student and the instructor. Reasonable accommodation may involve some curricular modifications, but only if they do not substantially alter course content or requirements essential to the academic program.

Once a student has completed the process for establishing an IEAP (Individual Educational Accommodation Plan) through the Office of Academic Advising, it is the responsibility of the student to request accommodation from an individual course instructor and to discuss the implementation of accommodations in that course. Using the IEAP as a guide, the student and course instructor, with the assistance of the Office of Academic Advising as requested by the student or instructor, establish how accommodations, if any, will be implemented for that course.

The Dean of Academic Advising is responsible for making final decisions about accommodations in circumstances in which the student and instructor do not reach consensus. The student or course instructor can seek assistance from the Dean of Academic Advising in such circumstances. After reviewing the request, the Dean will provide his/her final decision in writing to both the student and the instructor in a timely way, normally, within a week.

The Provost is responsible for addressing any grievances from students or instructors arising from the final decision of the Dean of Academic Advising. The student or instructor who wishes to grieve a final decision by the Dean of Academic Advising should contact the Provost in writing to explain the nature of the grievance. After reviewing the case, the Provost will respond in writing to the student and the instructor in a timely way, normally, within a week. The Provost's decision is final and not subject to appeal.

The College prohibits retaliation against anyone in any way related to use of this Policy and Procedure.

9. Forms

Please see Accommodation Forms.