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Disabilities Office at college


PattiL
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;):(:angry: Ok guys...problems again with same professor. Chrissy was suppossed to take her final today at 1:00. She was studing in one of the buildings with some other kids from her class and she called me saying that she was getting extrememly sick from the heat. I could tell from her breathing and she said she was sweating even though she had on a thin t-shirt and everyone else was studying with their coats on. She went to talk to the prof. explaining that she couldn't be in the building any longer or she's pass out, or who knows what. He says' oh, you're going to have a seizure?" no, I feel too hot and I might pass out, "oh, well I'd call that a seizure or an episode". OMG. anyway, he says she could come down to his office at 3:00 and she could take the test in his office. She was standing in his office during this conversation and was too hot!! what couldn't he understand. Anyway, here's my question. Disabilities is pretty much saying that the professor has the right to dictate where and whom will proctor the test. I don't know if the girl in disabilities is running away from the problem b/c she's afraid of the old hoot or what. The prof. wants Chrissy to take the test in his office, which he says is cooler b/c HE has to wear a sweater. Well, most 75 yr. olds are cold in a sauna! I am so upset right now. My husband told Chris to call the prof at 3:00 and tell him that disabilities wants her to take it in their office (they did suggest that). But, we know he won't leave his building b/c of his disabilities. He can't walk, needs a walker and can't drive, his grandkids drop him off and pick him up from school. Are we getting the run around, or can they not accomodate her in a cooler setting b/c of this idiot?

If he won't budge hubby is going to call his boss immediately and see if something can be done--what are Chrissy's rights?

THANKS SO MUCH!!

pATTI :

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That doesn't sound right to me. When I was in college I took my exams outside of class in a room with a cool temp, no noise, could put legs up, have food/water, extended time, etc. We did have to have a doctors letter stating that 74F is too warm for me, and I needed something in the low 60s. It had to be VERY specific and once I had that, I got what I needed. Maybe mention your lawyer will call them, or the Americans With Dissabilities Act....those things usually scare them a bit and they realize you mean busineess. Has your daughter passed out in class? I came mega close several times in a summer class and it scared the professor and entire class. After that, if I said I felt bad, needed to be home in air conditioning, etc. there wasn't a problem with it. A student pointed out to the professor that if I passed out in class after I had said it was too much for me, the professor and class would have to provide emergency medical support for me. None of them wanted that.

Maybe you all need more specific doctor notes. Let us know what happens!

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You'll have to consult your college's ADA policy statement. I can tell you what my college's statement says but I don't know if all unis are the same. At my college students have to submit documentation to verify their eligibility for accomodations. The documentation must be signed by a certified physician or psychologist and include the following: (1) diagnosis of a specific physical or mental (including learning) disability and the precise accommodations that are necessary, and (2) reference to evaluation reports that are based upon the guidelines for certification.

At my collge your daughter would also have to have a Disability Disclosure Form upon which she bases her need for accomodations and should have an official notice that her claims have been accepted on the basis of this form and that specific accomodations will be made.

The problem is, the college, if it is anything like the ones I have worked out, require and will make a SPECIFIC list of accomodations needed. That means that if you or your daughter request anything beyond that after the initial accomodations have been agreed to, the University seems NOT to be LEGALLY (let's leave aside morally or just being a decent human being) bound to provide those additional (as they would see it, ad hoc) accomodations. Thus, if the initital accomodations agreed to by your daughter and university said nothing about WHERE tests were to be taken or under what temperature conditions, I don't believe legally the university is bound to accomodate you.

Like I say, policies may vary from college to college and IAM NOT A LAWYER! If the accomodations policy at your college is more liberal--less specific as to defining precisely what accomodations must be made--you may have a legal case. You might want to consult a specialist in this area.

Hope this shed some light on the issue. I'm so sorry that your daughter is having such difficulties. I would add that at ALL the colleges I have taught accomodations for students to take tests were ALWAYS at the ADA office NOT in a professor's office. The unviersity should have a special testing facility provided to accomodate such students.

India

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Hi Patti,

Here's a few links that maybe you will be able to locate information that may help the situation and make the college give the accomodations required to help your daughter. Good luck and hope your daughter does well and feel a lot better soon.

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/publications.html

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Thank you so much for your replies.

The situation with the professor actually ended up working out. Chrissy contacted him at the time he wanted her to come in and told him AGAIN that she could not enter the building w/o feeling ill. Somehow his superior contacted him and must have shook some sense into him, b/c the next time the disabilities person called him and said that they would watch over Chris in their building, he said he'd have the test sent over asap! He still needs many lessons on how to handle these situations though. He was speaking to the disabilties personnel on the phone in his office, used Chrissy's name and was discussing the whole situation in front of another student. He must have missed the class on confidentiallity!!

India--we did provide all necessary documentation in the beginning of the year. They have been very accomodating as far as dorm room location, a/c in room, etc. This one particular teacher is the biggest problem right now. I will definitely look into the school's ADA policy though.

Sally--Thank you so much for the links, very helpful. We're going to Dr. Grubb next week and I'm going to see if we can get more documentation than we already have from him.

Patti

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patti -

i'm so glad that things worked out but so sorry that things were & have been such a mess in the process. how incredibly frustrating. you & chrissy have definitely been in my thoughts & i'm sorry i haven't been up to chiming in when you posted either time about problems with this prof. in the midst of a lot of my difficulties with the school this fall i've read & looked into the ADA & Rehabilitation Act a lot in regard to how they interact, what they actually mean/don't mean in terms of disability office assistance, etc, etc. it's all SO complicated and as some have mentioned there are so many loopholes, exceptions, etc... not an excuse at all but things are more than a little messy. i won't write you a book about it now as things seem to be okay in the moment but would be glad to write or talk more later if it would be helpful.

amongst the craziness (which as you know i've had a lot of all semester with the school &one of my profs initially) niceties slip in too so i hope chris has had at least some of that as well. someone in "support" services decided to give me an unsolicited lecture last week on how incompletes never do anything but get people in trouble. nice, eh? and the prof that i had issues with at the beg of the semester took it upon herself to talk about a meeting i had with her in terms of disbaiilty-related stuff in front of the class without asking me...simply said "i know melissa won't mind me sharing this, so..." even worse than a loud phone conversation, eh?? maybe we should organize a cleveland-area "get a clue" seminar for some of these profs??

anyway, i was really worried about how my one prof was going to deal with my having to take an incomplete b/c of a paper that i just couldn't get finished in time; i hadn't had problems with her but hadn't had to use any "accomadations" for her class other than a missed class all semester as i thought she'd be particularly rough to deal with (and thus went to extra efforts to not have to deal with her, i.e. doing things for her class before others, etc.). anyway, once i scrapped my denial and emailed her about the incomplete she sent me a really kind email back that was incredibly encouraging...actually made me cry (though admittedly my emotions are readily available these days :) ). i hope chrissey has had or will have some of these moments of encouragement as well, even though they are often few & far in between.

B) melissa

Edited by Sunfish
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