For students and faculty
Student rights and responsibilities
- To not be denied access due to a disability, according to the law.
- To receive reasonable accommodations that provide equal opportunity.
- To have access to auxiliary aids/assistive technology as available to other students.
- To not be counseled toward "more restrictive career objectives."
- To receive assistance from the DSS office in removing physical, academic and attitudinal barriers.
- To not be discriminated against due to a disability or receive any retaliatory discrimination, as protected by law.
- To identify themselves to the DSS office.
- To provide documentation of disability.
- To participate in an intake interview with the coordinator for DSS to initiate services.
- To initiate specific accommodations by following the procedures of Saint Martin’s DSS office.
- To arrange accommodations within the given timelines.
- To provide for his/her personal independent living needs or other personal disability-related needs.
- To assume personal responsibility for meeting with faculty and requesting additional assistance.
Grievances and contacting the OCR
Internal complaints: Students who feel they have been discriminated against because of a disability or perceived disability should refer to the Saint Martin’s grievance policy (use below link). When possible, it is always best to handle concerns directly and internally. Students are always welcome to use the DSS coordinator as an advocate and a sounding board for any concerns. View the complete student supplemental grievance policy.
External (OCR) complaints: Students are encouraged to follow the internal grievance procedure in an attempt to resolve complaints. However, students can file a grievance with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at any time. Ordinarily, the time limit for filing a complaint with OCR is 180 days from the time the incident occurred. File a grievance with the OCR.
Faculty rights and responsibilities
- Classroom behavior: All University students must adhere to the University code of conduct regardless of whether they have a disability.
- Challenge accommodations: Reasonable accommodations are based on documentation provided by the student and are on file in DSS. In some situations, the requested accommodations may not be appropriate for the course. A faculty member has the right to challenge an accommodation request under the following three circumstances:
- believes the student is not qualified for the requested accommodation;
- the accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration of the course or the program, or
- the accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or is otherwise not required by law or applicable regulations.
- Shared responsibility: As employees of the University who have compliance obligations under federal laws, it is the responsibility of faculty members to assume a shared responsibility in providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. The University is responsible for implementation of accommodations and, as employees of the University, faculty members are required to adhere to the policies and procedures.
- Referral: If a faculty member is notified by a student that he/she has a disability or if the student brings a medical statement to the instructor, it is the faculty member's responsibility to refer that student to DSS. If an instructor notices that a student is not performing up to standards and suspects there might be a disability impacting their learning or performance in the class, he/she may also refer the student for a consultation. However, the instructor should not make assumptions about whether a disability exists and should not discriminate against the student on the basis of any perceived disability.
- Accommodation letter: Faculty should receive accommodation letters by the second week of the term. Faculty are not to provide academic adjustments unless there is a letter from DSS certifying the student is qualified to receive services and explaining the nature of the accommodations. Faculty may make additional recommendations for adjustments if they believe the student will benefit.
- Syllabus statement: Each course syllabus should contain a Reasonable Accommodation statement.
- Confidentiality caution: Students with disabilities are protected under FERPA as well as civil rights laws. There is no tolerance for a professor who makes a statement or implication that singles out a student with a disability and/or treats the SWD different from the general student population.
- Examples of behaviors to be avoided:
- Do not ask the student to pick up or deliver his/her own exams.
- Do not place the student in the hall or any other public place to take an exam because you want to be close to them in case they have a question.
- Do not ask the student for documentation other than the accommodation letter from DSS.
- Do not discuss the student's needs or accommodations other than in a private place.
Campus resources for students with disabilities
The Center for Student Learning, Writing and Advising provides peer tutoring, peer reading, advising and academic support to all students.
Office of Public Safety Assists with navigating campus and helps with transportation for students with mobility limitations
Counseling and Wellness Center Provides counseling services for students
Office of Residence Life Assists with any housing questions and needs; can offer information on ADA accessible rooms and works with the DSS Office regarding housing accommodations
Student Health Center Can be a resource for medical care and may be able to fill some prescriptions
Food services Can provide information about food on campus for persons with food allergy and other dietary restrictions
Registrar Can help students who may need to leave the University for Medical Reasons
Emergency Medical Conditions: If a student has a medical condition that may need immediate medical response, such as a seizure disorder, you may want to work with the DSS Office even if you are not seeking accommodations. The DSS Office can work with Public Safety, the Health Center and Residence Life to develop a plan to respond effectively to the medical condition
Service animal policy has information on what is a service animal and the expectations of the animal while present on campus.
Below are some websites that are helpful for students with disabilities, parents and faculty.
- Office of Civil Rights OCR Information on disability rights, case law and resources for any disability grievances
- Association on Higher Education and Disability AHEAD News, articles and standards of practice for students, parents, faculty and DSS professionals
- Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology DO-IT University of Washington program designed to help students with disability with college readiness
- Washington State Department of Veteran's Affairs Provides many different services for veterans such as counseling, employment support and assistance with higher education
- Washington State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Can help persons with disabilities find employment and assistance with higher education
- Universal Design Can help faculty set up virtual and physical spaces in a way that is accessible to all