Support for Students with Disabilities
Harford Community College is dedicated to collaborating with students with documented disabilities to ensure equal access to all educational opportunities and services offered by the College.
To accomplish this, students must be their own advocates. Unlike high school, accommodations are not automatically put in place. Students must follow Disability and Student Intervention Services (DSIS) procedures to secure any accommodations they wish to obtain.
TO 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, DSIS 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.
DSIS 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.
DSIS 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.
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 student’s needs. DSIS 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:
- Access to PowerPoint Slides
- Preferential Seating
- Ability to Step Out of Class
- Notetaking Assistance
- Extended Time
- Distraction Reduced Setting
- Audio Record Lecture
- Books in Alternate Format
DSIS 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 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 DSIS 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.
If a student does not have documentation already, the guidelines below were developed by DSIS for your provider with guidance on what documentation should contain.
Guidelines for Documentation
Please keep a personal copy of all documentation you submit to DSIS. DSIS 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 DSIS provides on campus.
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
Screen reading software that uses speech synthesis to read the contents of the display window
Sonocent Audio Notetaker and 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.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
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.
Large Print Keyboard
A keyboard labeled with large print for a low-vision user.
Portable Video Magnifier and CCTV
Hand held and mounted assistive devices used to magnify and display printed material.
Adjustable Computer Workstation
Workstation that can be raised or lowered to accommodate a student’s needs
Waivers are available for those with disabilities and for parents of deaf or hard of hearing individuals. Take a look to see if you are eligible.
Did you know . . .
Delta Alpha Pi is an international honor society for those with diabilities. Check us out and get involved!