Disability Services - Getting Started

Getting started with disability services

To be enrolled in our disability services, you’ll need to fill out certain documents. See the links below to learn more about the guidelines and what you need to complete.

Contact Us

Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor for Students with Disabilities
320-308-5096 or 1-800-222-1009 - TTY users dial MN Relay at 711
jjacobsonberg@sctcc.edu

 

Kerby Plante, Accessibility Specialist
320-308-5920 |  kplante@sctcc.edu

Request Academic Accommodations

Colleges have a legal responsibility (under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments) to make programs and service accessible to persons with disabilities. These responsibilities include removing barriers and guaranteeing reasonable accommodations so students with disabilities have an opportunity to participate at the level enjoyed by those without disabilities.
Students who wish to disclose a disability and discuss the appropriate academic accommodations should follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Complete an Application for Disability Services requesting the necessary accommodations. Forms are available by clicking through this link or contacting the Counselor for Students with Disabilities. (jjacobsonberg@sctcc.edu)
     
  2. Obtain documentation of your disability. The documentation must be current, appropriate information that provides a diagnosis of the disability including assessment procedures and relevant test scores. The documentation must clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests and be signed by an appropriately licensed professional. See Disability Documentation Guidelines for more information. These documents are held in a confidential file in order to help us better meet your accommodations needs.   
     
  3. Submit documentation and Application for Disability Services form to: Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor, SCTCC, 1540 Northway Drive, St. Cloud, MN 56303 or jjacobsonberg@sctcc.edu. Submission of documentation should not be considered approval of the requested accommodations.  Appropriate accommodations are recommended on a case-by-case basis by the Counselor for Students with Disabilities. (Note:  Though the application and documentation may be sent through email, this method is not guaranteed as a secure method of communication.)
     
  4. Schedule an appointment to meet with the Judy Jacobson Berg to review your Accommodations Plan and discuss the process for utilizing appropriate accommodations. Call 320.308.5089 voice, TTY users may use MN Relay at 711 to reach the campus to schedule.

Appropriate and reasonable academic accommodations are determined on an individual basis. Accommodations must be specific to the disability need. Sufficient advance notice is required by qualified students when requesting accommodations. Some accommodations may require a six-week notice to arrange. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act (ADAAA), accommodations will not be provided:

  1. For personal daily living devices or services, even though the individual may be a qualified individual with a disability, or
  2. That result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial or administrative burdens. Denial of requested accommodations or services can be appealed by contacting the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

Request Accuplacer Accommodations

The ACCUPLACER is designed to measure your reading and mathematical skills and compare your readiness in those academic areas to the skills required in college courses. If your skills aren’t at the college level, you must start with a preparatory course designed to build your skills and help assure your success in college-level curriculum.

Some students with documented disabilities qualify for accommodations on the ACCUPLACER. If you would like to use accommodations, please request them by completing the following steps:

  1. Complete a Disability Services Application requesting needed accommodations. If you have questions regarding the application, contact the Counselor for Students with Disabilities (jjacobsonberg@sctcc.edu).
  2. Provide documentation of disability to the college. The documentation must be current, appropriate information that provides a diagnosis of the disability including assessment procedures and relevant test scores. The documentation must clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests and be signed by an appropriately licensed professional. See Disability Documentation Guidelines for more information. These documents are held in a confidential file in order to help us better meet your accommodations needs. 
  3. Return documentation and Disability Services Application form to: Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor, SCTCC, 1540 Northway Drive, St. Cloud, MN 56303 or jjacobsonberg@sctcc.edu. (Note:  Though the application and documentation may be sent through email, this method is not guaranteed as a secure method of communication.)
  4. Schedule an appointment to meet with Judy Jacobson Berg to review your plan for utilizing appropriate accommodations in your classes and on the ACCUPLACER. Call 320.308.5089 voice, TTY users may use MN Relay at 711 to reach the campus to schedule an appointment. 
  5. Complete the ACCUPLACER accommodation request form.

Note, the ACCUPLACER is not a timed test, so there is no accommodation for extra time.

Disability Documentation Guidelines

The documentation establishing a disability needs to include the following elements for a student to be served in a postsecondary setting. 

See these documentation guidelines for specific disabilities.

Documentation must:

  • Be current, appropriate, and relevant information. In most cases, documentation shouldn’t be older than three years. Accommodation needs change and are not always identified at the time of initial diagnosis. However, a prior history of accommodation, without documentation of current need, does not necessarily demonstrate eligibility for an accommodation.
  • Specify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques.
  • Provide a diagnosis of the disability with specific diagnostic information, including assessment procedures and relevant test scores. Terms such as "suggest" or "is indicative of" are not a diagnosis.
  • Provide evidence of a substantial limitation to a major life function.
  • Contain an explanation of the impact of the disability on the student’s current academic performance.
  • Include state recommendations for specific accommodations for the academic environment.
  • Clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests.
  • Include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator.
  • Be submitted on professional letterhead, typed, dated and signed by an appropriately licensed professional in the specialty area.

It’s the responsibility of the individual seeking accommodations to provide current and adequate disability documentation before accommodations are delivered. In some cases, new or further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required to determine eligibility. The cost of obtaining this documentation is the responsibility of the student. A high school IEP (Individual Education Plan) may be submitted and offers helpful information, but is not enough to meet the requirements of professional diagnostic documentation. Documentation guidelines reflect a nationally recognized set of standards as set forth by the professional organization Association of Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD).

SCTCC will provide reasonable accommodations, and/or services that are warranted by the documentation provided. A plan for accommodations is made through an interactive process with the Counselor for Students with Disabilities and the student requesting the accommodations. SCTCC makes the final decision in selecting from equally effective accommodations. An accommodation provision may be refused if it imposes an undue hardship or fundamental alteration of a program or course at SCTCC or the documentation does not support the request.

It’s the policy of SCTCC to comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act (ADAAA). The ADAAA prohibits discrimination of qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability. SCTCC shall make reasonable accommodations to ensure access to programs, services, and activities as required by law. Access means that a qualified individual with a disability will not be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities, nor will the individual be subjected to discrimination.

SCTCC will maintain confidentiality of the documentation submitted and will not release any part of the documentation without the student’s informed and written consent.

Documentation Guidelines for Specific Disabilities

The documentation establishing a disability can vary depending on the disability. See the list of requirements listed below to determine what’s needed for your specific disability. 

ADD/ADHD documentation

Diagnosis involving Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) should be based on the criteria outlined in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and the written report should include specifics regarding current functioning. Get the diagnostic form that may be completed by your medical doctor, psychiatrist or other qualified professional.

Documentation should include:

  • A clear statement of ADD/ADHD with the DSM diagnosis
  • A description of the symptoms, which meet the criteria for the diagnosis
  • A summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments, which were used to make the diagnosis
  • Information about current prescribed medications used to treat the disability and possible side effects
  • The student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations and/or assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

Autism spectrum disorders documentation

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) means a range of pervasive developmental disorders, with onset in childhood, that adversely affect an individual’s functioning and result in the need for accommodations in the college setting. ASD may include Autistic Disorder, Childhood Autism, Atypical Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Asperger's Disorder, or other related pervasive developmental disorders. The documentation should:

  • Demonstrate that a comprehensive assessment was conducted
  • Be completed by a person with appropriate professional credentials to make the diagnosis according to the current DSM guidelines 
  • Include comprehensive cognitive and current academic testing submitted with a narrative summary of evaluation results
  • Indicate the student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations and/or assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

Blind/limited vision documentation

Ophthalmologists are the primary professionals involved in diagnosing individuals who are blind or experience low vision. Recommended documentation includes:

  • A clear statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description that reflects the current visual acuity and the impact the blindness or vision loss has on the student's functioning
  • The student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations including visual aids and assistive technology appropriate to the college setting

Brain injury documentation

Head injury and traumatic brain injury are considered medical or clinical diagnoses. Individuals qualified to render a diagnosis for these disorders are practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of brain injury. Recommended practitioners may include: physicians, neurologists, licensed clinical, rehabilitation and school psychologists, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists. Recommended documentation includes:

  • A clear description of the head injury or traumatic brain injury
  • A summary of present residual symptoms, which meet the criteria for diagnosis
  • A summary of cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results, including standardized scores or percentiles used to make the diagnosis
  • Information about current prescribed medications used to treat the disability and possible side effects
  • The student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations and/or assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

Deaf/hard of hearing documentation

The documentation should include:

  • A diagnosis based on an audiological evaluation conducted by a qualified professional
  • Results of an audiogram showing the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss (conductive or sensorineural), whether the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, and if it is stable or progressive
  • The student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations, interpreter services, and other services including assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

Mental health/psychiatric disability documentation

To document a Mental Health/ Psychiatric Disability, a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation or report from a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist is needed that includes:

  • A clear statement of the condition with the most recent DSM diagnosis
  • A description of the symptoms, which meet the criteria for the diagnosis
  • A summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments, which were used to make the diagnosis
  • Information about current prescribed medications used to treat the disability and possible side effects
  • The student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations and/or assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

High school IEP services in the category of Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD) do not constitute a disability diagnosis alone. An evaluation and diagnosis from an appropriately licensed individual is required to establish appropriate accommodations.

Get the diagnostic form that may be completed by your medical doctor, psychiatrist, or otherwise qualified professional.

Physical, systemic or health-related disabilities

Physical, systemic, or health-related disabilities include, but are not limited to, mobility impairments, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, chemical sensitivities, spinal cord injuries, cancer, AIDS, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spinal Bifida. Physical or health-related disabilities or systemic illnesses requiring academic accommodations require documentation from a physician in an appropriate medical specialization.

Get a diagnostic form that may be completed by your medical doctor or otherwise qualified professional. This documentation should include:

  • A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical, systemic or health-related disability including a DSM or ICD code
  • Whether the condition is temporary or permanent and if it is stable or progressive
  • Information about current prescribed medications used to treat the disability and possible side effects
  • The student's specific current functional impairment(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. (A clinical diagnosis is not necessarily a disability. That is, evidence sufficient to render a clinical diagnosis might not be adequate to determine that an individual is substantially limited in a major life activity.)
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations and/or assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

Specific learning disability documentation

The following guidelines are provided to assure that a documented learning disability is specific and supports the student's request for accommodations. The documentation must provide evidence of a substantial limitation to learning or other major life activities through a comprehensive psycho-educational test battery that must include minimally the following:

  • Diagnostic interview
    • An evaluation report including the summary of a comprehensive diagnostic interview
  • Assessment—the tests used should be reliable, valid, and standardized for use with an adolescent/adult population
    • Aptitude/ cognitive ability—a complete intellectual assessment with all subtests and standard scores reported is essential.
    • Academic achievement—a comprehensive academic achievement battery is essential with all subtests and standard scores reported for those subtests administered. The battery must include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas such as reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and oral and written language.
    • Information processing—specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and long-term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/ processing; processing speed; executive functioning; motor ability) should be assessed.
  • Specific diagnosis
    • A diagnosis made by a qualified professional i.e., licensed school psychologist, licensed psychologist, is needed. The learning disability diagnosis must be clearly stated. References to academic weaknesses and learning differences alone may not substantiate a learning disability diagnosis.
    • The test findings must document both the nature and severity of the learning disability. Evidence of a severe discrepancy between aptitude and expected achievement must be provided.
  • Clinical summary including recommendations for accommodations
    • Indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the learning disability and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested
    • Indication as to why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of the specific disability are accommodated

Speech language impairments

Speech and language impairments are one or more speech/language disorders of voice, articulation, rhythm and/or the receptive and expressive processes of language.

Documentation must include:

  • A current comprehensive Evaluation Report from a qualified professional, usually a speech pathologist
  • A diagnosis of the specific disabling condition
  • Specific scores from norm referenced language testing indicating the student scored 2.0 standard deviations below the mean on at least two technically adequate, norm-referenced language tests, or two documented measurement procedures that indicate a substantial difference from what would be expected, or the pattern of speech interferes with communication as determined by an educational speech language pathologist (as defined by Minnesota Statute 3525.1343 SPEECH OR LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTS for K-12 Special Education Services)
  • The student's specific current functional limitations(s) and how the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations and/or assistive technology specific to the diagnosed disability need and appropriate to the college setting

Student Right of Appeal

If, after the above steps are completed, a student feels he or she has been unduly denied a requested accommodation, the student may appeal the Accommodations Plan. Denial of requested accommodations or services can be appealed by contacting the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, 1540 Northway Dr., St. Cloud, MN 56303; 320.308.5000.