Disability Services FAQs

We've assembled answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding disability services at SCTCC. 

How is college different from high school?

Find out how college is different than high school here

Do I have to inform SCTCC that I have a disability?

No. The choice to disclose your disability is always voluntary. However, if you want SCTCC to provide accommodations based on your disability, you must first identify yourself to Disability Services as having a disability and formally request accommodations. An Accommodations Plan must be established prior to receiving accommodations.

When should I begin to make arrangements for accommodations?

Generally, the earlier you begin the process, the easier it will be to arrange accommodations. You can provide documentation and establish an Accommodations Plan as soon as you are an accepted or enrolled student. Preferably, students will contact Disability Services several weeks before starting the semester.

For new/incoming students, we prefer to meet with you after orientation but before classes begin. Arranging for some accommodations may take considerable time to arrange. For example, requests for Alternative Format Textbooks may take weeks to arrange, requests for Braille can take months.

Please also note that Sign Language Interpreters must be requested 4 weeks prior to the start of a semester to allow for sufficient staffing arrangements.

Can I use an IEP or 504 Plan from high school to receive accommodations at SCTCC?

Yes, you may submit this documentation for consideration. See Documentation Guidelines.

What accommodations are offered at SCTCC?

Examples of services provided to SCTCC students include: alternative testing (including extended time, and reduced distraction environments), note taking, assistive technology, sign language interpreting, alternate format textbooks, special advising, and reduced credit load. Other accommodations may be available in response to individual needs.

Adaptive Furniture/Seat Location

A student with a physical disability who cannot use standard classroom chairs, desks or tables may need a modified classroom space. Others may need seating close to the instructor, interpreter or the door. The instructor's role may be simply to assist the student in reserving a chair or table space for his/her specific needs.

Alternative Format Textbooks

Students with print related disabilities may qualify for textbooks and other printed or web-based classroom materials in an alternative format. Alternative format material is provided in digital format that is accessible using screen reading software on a computer or tablet. Digital format material is electronic based text read through text-to-speech software technology such as Natural Reader or Kurzweil. Other format options may be possible depending on individual circumstances.

Alternative Test Site

For some students, taking examinations/quizzes in a room separate from the rest of the class helps with reducing distraction. Disability Services has alternative rooms for testing purposes. Given the limited amount of space on campus, students requesting this accommodation will need to schedule their exams in advance.

Alternative Format Test/Alternative Methods of Recording Answers (Scribe/Speech to Text)

In some cases an alternative testing method will be an approved accommodation for a student. Examples are permitting a student to listen to the test questions or to type or speak answers into a computer. Permitting students to show their mastery of the subject matter using an alternative testing method may be a necessary accommodation, provided that the change in method doesn’t fundamentally alter the educational program.

Audio Recorder/Recording Class Lectures

Digital recording of class lectures and discussions may be a necessary accommodation for some students. If a student’s disability supports the use of a recorder, faculty must allow it. Recorders are specifically mentioned in law as a means of providing full participation in educational programs and activities. Typically, any classroom material on which a student would take notes may be recorded. Occasionally, classroom discussion reveals items of a personal nature about students. In this case, it would be appropriate for faculty to discretely ask a student with a disability to turn off the recorder.

Extended Time on Tests

When the approved accommodation is additional time on tests, arrangements are initiated by the student. The student must request this accommodation 3 school days in advance each time they wish to have an accommodated test. Faculty/instructors are required to provide the exams to Disability Services when applicable.

Note Taking Service

A student with a disability may qualify to ask a faculty/instructor for a volunteer note taker. This is not an excuse for class attendance. Students are responsible for attending class, participating in discussions, picking up any handouts, and recording their own personal notes to the best of their abilities.

Reduced Credit Load

Accommodations may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree or diploma requirements. In some cases, a part time schedule may be all a student needs to accommodate their disability.

Service Animals

St. Cloud Technical and Community College recognizes and supports the assistance a trained service animal can provide a student with a disability. A Service Animal is defined as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

A service animal must be under the control of the handler at all times.

Sign Language Interpreters

Students who are deaf or have hearing impairments may use an American Sign Language interpreter to access instruction. SCTCC continually makes efforts to provide closed captioned and transcription materials for material presented in class or through D2L.

What types of services or accommodations are not provided?

In accordance with The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, accommodations will not be provided tor personal daily living devices or services, even though the individual may be a qualified individual with a disability, or that result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of a service, program, or activity or that result in undue financial or administrative burdens.

Specifically, at SCTCC, some examples of accommodations that will not be provided include: personal devices such as wheelchairs, assistive tools such as specialized glasses or hearing devices and services such as personal attendants.

What is the policy regarding confidentiality?

All documentation is treated as confidential information and is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All information regarding students registered with Disability Services and their documentation is kept in a secure file in Disability Services. Information regarding a student’s disability can be released with the student's written permission (signature required). Information may also be shared with other SCTCC professionals on a need-to-know basis when there is a legitimate educational interest.

What role do my parents play in the process?

Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. We encourage students to maintain open communication with their parents because they can be an incredible support system for you. However, it is the student’s responsibility for their own accommodation requests and for making all of their own disability-related decisions.

What accommodations are available for pregnant students?

Students who are pregnant may be allowed additional services based upon functional limitations imposed by the pregnancy as determined by their primary care giver or doctor. Examples may include requiring a larger desk, being allowed frequent trips to the bathroom, and being permitted temporary access to elevators.

A student’s absence because of pregnancy or childbirth must be excused as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns, she must be allowed to return to the same academic and co-curricular status as prior to her leave.

If absences are due to pregnancy, faculty must allow a student to submit work after the deadline and earn class attendance and participation points. The faculty member will work with the student to determine how to make up missed work and points.

A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, which the student should be allowed to choose. Possible alternatives include the following:

  • retaking a semester,

  • taking part in an online course credit recovery program, or
  • continuing at the same pace and finish at a later date by allowing the student additional time in a program.

There is a designated space on campus for students who may be breastfeeding. A lactation room is provided in a private office space in the main building (Room 1-323T). A student does not need to be approved for an accommodation to use this space.

Can accommodations be made for temporary conditions?

Students who experience a temporary illness or situation (less than two weeks in duration) are responsible for working directly with their instructors for accommodations. Disability Services at SCTCC extends services to students requiring temporary accommodations for over two weeks in duration that may arise from injury, surgery, or other short-term situations. Student’s needs accommodations for two or more weeks should follow the Application for Disability Services process.

What is the best process for working with Sign Language Interpreters?

SCTCC Students with disabilities who qualify for sign language interpreter services will be provided with a qualified interpreter during course/college related services, programs, and activities. It is the responsibility of the student to follow all established procedures for interpreters.

It is important for students to know that scheduling an interpreter may take between a few days and a few weeks to coordinate depending on the type of request. Staff members coordinating interpreter needs will do their best to secure interpreters whenever a request is made, however, late or last-minute requests for services may not always be possible.

Additional Interpreting Needs:

Out of Class Testing: You may qualify for Test Accommodations and you may request to have your tests interpreted outside of the classroom. Interpreter services must be prearranged with the Interpreter Coordinator and your testing time must be scheduled with Disability Services at least 3 school days prior to your test.

Additional Class/Lab and Tutoring Hours: Some classes require additional lab hours or you may wish to meet with a tutor in the CAS. You must request an interpreter one week in advance for these additional hours by completing the online See Student Sign Language Request form

Special Requests: An interpreter will be provided for college-related activities. To schedule an interpreter for such events you must complete the online Student Sign Language Request form at least one week in advance of the specified activity. Some examples of college-related activities are special presentations, meeting with teachers, workshops, field trips, and graduation.

Sign Language Interpreters FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What should I do if I am going to be late for a class or am out sick?

If you are late or you do not plan to attend a class, please contact your interpreter as soon as possible. If you do not notify your interpreter of your tardiness, the interpreter will wait for 10 minutes only and then will leave.

What should I do if my Interpreter does not show up?

If the interpreter does not show up for a scheduled appointment:

1. Wait ten minutes

2. Leave the classroom and contact the Interpreter Coordinator or Disability Services

3. Return to class. Every effort will be made to make arrangements for a substitute interpreter; however, this is usually not possible on short notice. Attending class could benefit you through written notes and demonstrations.

What is the role of the Interpreter?

1. The interpreter will sign everything the speaker says and speak everything that is signed in the manner which the speaker or person intended.

2. Interpreters will not answer questions for the student. The student should direct all questions to the instructor.

3. Interpreters will keep all information obtained while interpreting confidential. (Exception: If a student is planning to harm self, others or SCTCC property, the interpreter will report this to the appropriate staff)

What Grievance-Appeal Procedures are available?

It is the policy of SCTCC to comply with the provisions of the following (this is not an exhaustive list): The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Minnesota State Board Policy 1B.4. Discrimination of qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability is strictly prohibited. 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 encourages students follow the processes outlined below prior to involving resources outside of the college. However, students to have a right to file a complaint directly with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

The procedures outlined here do not apply to academic grade disputes. Grade appeals are handled under a different policy/procedure.

Student complaints regarding allegations of harassment or discrimination are subject to SCTCC and Minnesota State Board Policy 1.B1, Minnesota State Board Procedure 1.B1.1, and should be directed to SCTCC’s affirmative action officer or other designated officials.

Retaliation against a student or toward witnesses providing testimony is prohibited and separate charges may be brought in this type of situation.

Situations Covered

Grievance procedures listed below apply to situations in which a student followed established processes/procedures to request reasonable accommodations for a documented disability and the request was denied or not provided.

Grievance procedures listed below may also be applicable to situations in which the implementation of approved accommodations did not meet his/her specific needs.

Important Note: Grievance procedures must be filed/started within twenty (20) days of the incident. After twenty (20) days, it is the student’s responsibility to provide information/documentation that supports reasoning/consideration for the delay.

Grievance Procedures

Step 1 Students with a grievance/complaint are encouraged to first discuss the concern with involved parties directly, if possible, and to mutually agree upon a resolution.

Step 2 If resolving the concern informally with the involved person is not possible, or a resolution cannot be made, a complaint may be brought forward to Disability Services. (If the concern involves a member of the Disability Services staff, skip to Step 3.)

Student Support Manager

Disability Services Office: 1-401 320-308-5096 or 1-800-222-1009 TTY – users dial MN Relay at 711 Fax: 320-308-5981, Attn: Disability Services

Disability Services will render a response to the complainant personally and/or in writing within ten (10) working days.

Step 3 If a student still feels he/she has been unduly denied a requested accommodation, the student may file a written appeal to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. To file a written appeal, a student should complete the Student Grievance form and submit the form to:

Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs 1540 Northway Dr. St. Cloud, MN 56303 Office 1-401