Dean of Students

Disability Support Services

Claremont McKenna College is committed to providing equal access to its programs, services and facilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and subsequent amendments. The Dean of Students Office is responsible for coordinating disability support services for students, with other College departments assisting in the provision of accommodations for students. The Department of Human Resources works with faculty and staff who qualify for accommodations.

Eligibility for Accommodations
Individuals with a condition that rises to the level of a disability are entitled to reasonable accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines disability as “with respect to an individual: (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.” 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2). Disabilities may include, but are not limited to, learning differences or disabilities, physical and mobility impairments, sensory impairments, psychological disorders, and/or chronic health impairments.

Note: Having received accommodations in high school through an IEP or a 504 plan does not automatically make you eligible for services in college. You must register for services and provide supporting documentation for review; IEPs are not acceptable forms of documentation. If it is determined that you are eligible to receive accommodations, the recommended accommodations may be different from those you received in high school.

When and How to Request Accommodations
If you wish to access disability support services you must self-identify your need for accommodations in advance with the Dean of Students Office. You may do so by submitting a completed “Request for Disability Support Services” form (available here or from the Dean of Students office) along with current documentation which establishes that you have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (see “Documentation” for further details). It is recommended that you submit your request form and documentation after acceptance of admission to CMC but prior to your first semester so that appropriate accommodations can be in place at the beginning of your college career. Your request form and documentation will be reviewed and you will be notified if the documentation is acceptable and complete, or if further information is required. Once eligibility is established, you will be notified in writing of your approved accommodation(s). If you would like to meet with a staff member to discuss your approved accommodation(s) please contact Julia Easley at jeasley@cmc.edu or 909-607-7377 to schedule an appointment.

While you may register for disability support services and request accommodations after the school year has started, there is a 15 business day waiting period in order for us to process and review your request and documentation, and accommodations will not be immediately available. You may request accommodations at any point in a semester; however accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.

Determination of Accommodations
Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are determined on an individual basis based on the current and anticipated impact of your disability in the CMC educational setting. Your request form and supporting documentation will be reviewed and reasonable accommodations will be identified and discussed with you. Unless there is a change in the impact of your disabling condition, or unless you wish to discuss different accommodations, your accommodations will remain in effect as long as your documentation is current. It is your responsibility to request modifications if the provided accommodations are not effective. If you are not granted an accommodation that you believe is necessary, you may request an additional review by the Dean of Students. Allegations of discrimination should be made through the College’s grievance procedures.

Examples of reasonable accommodations at CMC include:

  • Testing modifications, such as extended time and/or a distraction reduced environment
  • Note-taking assistance
  • Use of a tape recorder or laptop in class
  • Written materials provided in an alternate format
  • Assistive technology
  • Housing accommodations
  • Transportation on campus
  • Dietary accommodations

The College does not provide services of a personal nature (such as attendants, homework assistance or tutors), typing services or prescriptive aids such as eyeglasses or hearing aids, nor does it provide diagnostic evaluations of disabilities.

Unreasonable accommodations would include those that might fundamentally alter the academic program or lower the standards of the College (e.g., waiver of essential course requirements, attendance, etc.).

Documentation
In order to establish eligibility for accommodations you must provide documentation which identifies that you have a condition which substantially limits your performance in one or more major life activities. Claremont McKenna College utilizes the “Seven Essential Elements of Quality Documentation” as developed by AHEAD, the Association of Higher Education and Disability (www.ahead.org). Documentation that responds to these elements provides the Dean of Students Office with the information needed to establish eligibility for appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Click here to review AHEAD’s Seven Essential Elements of Quality Documentation.

Generally, documentation should:

  • Be provided by an appropriately licensed professional, who is qualified to evaluate the specific condition(s) you present with and who is not related to you;
  • Be current (Testing and evaluation should have been conducted within the past three years for learning disabilities and ADHD or ADD and within the last 6 months to a year for physical and mental health related disabilities.);
  • Demonstrate a current and substantial impact on one or more major life activities;
  • Confirm the need for accommodations based on your current level of functioning in an educational setting; and
  • Be signed, dated, and typed on letterhead, indicating the diagnostician’s name, title, professional credentials, license number and contact information.

In some cases, older documentation may be accepted if you have been evaluated as an adult. If your accommodations are in jeopardy due to out of date documentation you will be notified in advance to update your documentation. If you are asked to submit updated documentation, it will be processed when it is received. Failure to provide updated documentation in a timely manner can limit or delay your access to accommodations. Updated documentation should conform to the same elements required for your original documentation; a simple letter confirming ongoing treatment is not sufficient.

Specific Documentation Information for Learning Disabilities including ADD/ADHD:
There are many different types of learning disabilities. Your documentation must provide clear and specific evidence and identification of a learning disability. Terms such as learning difficulties or learning differences are not equivalent to a diagnosis of a disability. It is preferred that a DSM-IV diagnosis and code be included. Generally, documentation for a learning disability and/or ADD/ADHD should include the following:

  • The length of time the diagnostician has treated you and date of last contact.
  • A diagnosis.
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  • The results of the evaluation instruments used. Generally, the following tests are recommended: a full, adult-normed aptitude test, an information processing test, and an achievement test assessing current functioning in reading, math, and written language.
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability.
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications.
  • Recommendations for accommodations in the post-secondary educational environment.

Specific Documentation Information for Psychological or Psychiatric Disabilities:
Documentation for psychological or psychiatric disabilities should include the following:

  • The length of time the diagnostician has treated you and the date of last contact.
  • A clear diagnostic statement describing the disability.
  • A description of the diagnostic methodology used, including a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results.
  • A description of the current functional limitations resulting from the disability.
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability.
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications.
  • Recommendations for accommodations in the post-secondary educational environment.

Notifying Faculty of Approved Accommodations
As long as your documentation is current, you and your professors will be notified of your eligibility for accommodations approximately two weeks into the semester, after the last day to add a class. If you are registered for a course at another Claremont college, the email will also be sent to the Dean of Students Office at that institution. This email is meant to serve as a starting point in your discussions with your professors and will not identify your specific disability. Rather, it will note that you are eligible to receive accommodations as a result of a documented disability and will list the accommodation(s) which you are eligible to receive.

If it is determined that you are eligible to receive accommodations but do not wish to access them at this time, please contact Julia Easley in writing at jeasley@cmc.edu indicating that you do not wish to access all or some of your accommodations and thus do not want your faculty notified. Otherwise your faculty will automatically be notified after the last day to add a class. If you later change your mind, email Ms. Easley requesting that she notify your faculty of your eligibility for accommodations. Please allow 5 business days for such notification. Accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.

Confidentiality
A Disability Support Services file is created for you and maintained by the Dean of Students Office. Your Disability Support Services file, including your documentation, is considered confidential information and does not become part of your permanent record. Information contained in your Disability Support Services file is not normally shared with other campus offices or individuals without your written consent unless such information is needed to implement your accommodation(s).

Off-Campus Study Information:
Many countries do not have comprehensive legislation similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These countries may not recognize the special needs which affect individuals with physical, psychological, or learning disabilities. If you have a disability that might impact your experience abroad, you are well advised to discuss it with a member of the Off-Campus Study staff before departure. Contact Julia Easley if you would like to have information from your Disability Support Services file released to the Office of Off-Campus Study to assist you in this discussion.

Questions
If you have any other questions related to Disability Support Services at Claremont McKenna College, please contact Julia Easley at 909-607-7377 or jeasley@cmc.edu. Her office is located on the first floor of Kravis Center, Room 137.

Link to form - Request for Disability Support Services