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Support for Students with Disabilities

Harford Community College is dedicated to collaborating with students with documented disabilities to ensure equal access to all College educational opportunities and services.

To accomplish this, students must be their own advocates. Unlike high school, accommodations are not automatically put into place. Students must follow Office of Accessibility (OA) procedures to secure any accommodations they wish to obtain.

Obtain Accommodations 

1.) After a student applies to the College they must go to Harford Accommodate and fill out the requested information. This includes documentation of your disability. 

2.) Once that information is received, OA will contact you to schedule an orientation where you will learn about resources, students' rights and responsibilities, discuss specific barriers and accommodations. 

3.) When that is completed, the student will receive a letter through their OwlMail account detailing next steps to secure accommodations for the semester through the Harford Accommodate portal. 


OA is responsible for promoting accessible campus environments for students with disabilities, working with students and others to identify reasonable accommodations that remove barriers to access, and ensuring that accommodations determined to be reasonable are provided and effective. 

OA is a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). AHEAD provides knowledge and guidance on issues related to higher education disability services and best practices. 


Are you dual-enrolled or a student transitioning from high school?  Do you use or have you used accommodation in high school.  Learn more below about what may be similar and different at Harford Community College.

K-12 Accommodations
Students seeking accommodations at HCC may have received accommodations in their K-12 education through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan. The laws that govern K - 12, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Subpart D, include not only accommodations, but services and modifications that are typically created to ensure successful graduation. While these documents can be helpful in providing OA staff with historical disability and accommodation information, the listed accommodations will not automatically apply at HCC or another higher education setting.

Higher Education Accommodations
Higher education is governed by different laws than K-12 education. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Subpart E outline the college’s equal access responsibilities. Generally, institutions of higher education provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that students have equal access to their education compared to their nondisabled peers, rather than ensuring academic success. The responsibility for learning and successfully meeting academic requirements falls on the student with or without accommodations.

The U.S. Department of Education provides helpful information on their website: Preparing for Postsecondary Education.


Accommodations are changes to the learning environment or tasks necessary to ensure equal access for students with a disability. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis to best meet students’ needs.  OA engages in a structured exchange with the student to explore previous educational experiences, past use of accommodations, and what has been effective and ineffective in providing access. Ensuring that “accommodations” provide effective access requires a deliberative and collaborative process that is responsive to the unique experience of each individual, as advised by the ADA. Examples of accommodations for equal access include but are not limited to: 

  • Classroom Accommodations  
  • Access to PowerPoint Slides  
  • Preferential Seating  
  • Ability to Step Out of Class  
  • Notetaking Assistance  
  • Testing Accommodations  
  • Extended Time  
  • Distraction Reduced Setting  
  • Assistive Technology  
  • Audio Record Lecture  
  • Books in Alternate Format 

OA requires that all students requesting services provide thorough documentation of their disability from a qualified professional. Disability documentation should be current and relevant but not necessarily recent. A copy of the student’s IEP or 504 plan from high school is not sufficient documentation, but can be used as supplemental information about the student’s educational and accommodation history.  

If you do not have documentation already, the certification forms below were developed to provide OA with the information needed to determine which accommodations and services are appropriate. Please have your provider fill out the appropriate form as completely as possible. Complete documentation must be provided before accommodations can be put in place. 

Certification of  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 
Certification of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Certification of Hearing Impairment
Certification of Mobility, Physical, Health Neurological 
Certification of Psychological Disability  

If a student does not currently have documentation, the guidelines below were developed by OA to assist your provider with what the documentation should contain. 

Guidelines for Cognitive Disabilities
Guidelines for Learning Disabilities 

It is highly suggested that you keep a personal copy of all documentation submitted to OA. OA does not release copies of documentation back to students or send documentation to other institutions. 


Assistive Technology is commonly used as an academic accommodation. Below are some of the technologies that OA provides on campus. 

  • KURZWEIL 3000 
    Reading comprehension software that scans printed text, then reads the contents of the printed document aloud. It also reads aloud words typed on the screen. 
    Enlarges a specified area of the computer’s display and can be customized to the user’s preferences 
  • JAWS 
    Screen reading software that uses speech synthesis to read the contents of the display window 
  • GLEAN 
    Used to record audio from lectures to enable students to relisten to a lecture, type notes, upload PowerPoint slides and images, organize audio and complete their notes. 
    Speech recognition software that allows users to control the PC using voice commands. It also allows users to dictate documents into their favorite processor using discrete speech. 
    Eliminates background noise and ensures that a speaker is heard clearly. 
    A keyboard labeled with large print for a low-vision user. 
    Hand held and mounted assistive devices used to magnify and display printed material. 
    Workstation that can be raised or lowered to accommodate a student’s needs 
Support Programs

Steps to Success is a college prep program for incoming HCC students with disabilities who may have concerns about the transition from high school to college.  Students learn about this transition and the new expectations, the academic differences between high school and college, their personal and academic responsibilities, professors’ expectations, resources on campus, how to access the Office of Accessibility, the Student Code of Conduct, time management, wellness/stress management, specific strategies for success in college, and more. This program runs every July for three half days.

For more information, contact the Office of Accessibility at 443.412.2402 or

Navigating College is a program with a proactive approach to connecting students with disabilities to tools that can assist them in being successful, meeting their goals, and utilizing campus resources.

Mastering College is a retention and support program that provides a continued proactive approach from Navigating College, to connecting students with disabilities to additional tools that can assist them in the continuation of being successful in college.

Tuition Waivers

Waivers are available for those with disabilities and for parents of deaf or hard of hearing individuals. Take a look if you think that you may be eligible. 

DID YOU KNOW . . . Delta Alpha Pi is an international honor society for those with disabilities. Check us out and get involved!

 The ADA, Section 504, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protect you and every student with a disability who participates in higher learning. 

 ADA states “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by such entity.”  Section 504 states, “No otherwise qualified person with a disability . . . shall, solely on the basis of disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”  FERPA is a federal law that provides all students with certain rights concerning their student education records and protects the privacy of such records.