The John F. Kennedy University Office of Disability Services (ODS) determines effective and reasonable academic accommodations for students with disabilities. In addition, the office serves as a liaison with faculty and staff, and provides students with disability-related information and referrals. The ODS works closely with university departments and schools in reviewing students' requests for services and prescribing appropriate academic accommodations. The Director of Disability Services also offers confidential and individual consulting sessions with students to address concerns or issues relating to accommodations.
What are Academic Accommodations?
Academic accommodations compensate for the functional and educational limitations resulting from a disability. Accommodations are not designed to give students an advantage, but rather to allow them equal access and opportunity in the classroom. Although equality of opportunity will not guarantee equality of results, it will give students with disabilities the opportunity to live up to their potential for success.
The types of academic accommodations available are:
- Assistive Listening Device: A sound amplifying device is available for loan, which may be attached to a hearing aid or used separately.
- Adaptive Technology Equipment: Items available for use are: a Closed-Circuit TV; a Kurzweil Reader's Edge; Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-activated software; JAWS; Screen Readers; and Zoom text.
- Books in Accessible Formats: Books can be attained in electronic or tape formats.
- Interpreters for the Deaf: Sign language interpreter services can be arranged for classroom lectures or university events. A minimum of 10 days notice is required for this accommodation.
- Note-taking Assistance: Arrangements can be made for classmates to assist students who are unable to take notes.
- Tape Recorders: Audiotape cassette recorders are available for loan, which may be used to help students record class lecture material or listen to notes or books on tape.
- Testing Accommodations: The following arrangements can be made: additional time to complete exams, reduced-distraction testing sites and alternative testing formats.
- Information for Faculty on Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
- Resources for Students Disability-related accommodations for the BAR
Who is eligible?
Students are eligible for services and accommodations if they are enrolled in, or attending, a university course or event, including continuing education courses or workshops, open houses and evening lectures. Students must submit verifying documentation from a licensed or certified professional, such as a physician, learning specialist, or mental health clinician (therapist, social worker).
The documentation must be:
- Current (within the last 3 years; 5 years for learning disabilities);
- Diagnosis specific;
- Include the severity and longevity of the condition;
- Include recommendations for accommodations to meet the disability-related need;
- All documentation submitted in support of a request for service becomes the property of the university and will not be returned.
How do JFKU students apply for an accommodation?
Students with disabilities must contact and be found eligible to receive services by the Director of Disability Services prior to receiving any accommodations. Documentation of the disability must be submitted to the Director of Disability Services for review. When it has been determined that a student is eligible for services, the student will meet with the Director to assess their functional limitations and determine reasonable accommodations. Each academic term (or as needed), the student will request from the Director the accommodations letter that will be needed in that term. If the accommodations for the term are approved, the director will supply an official accommodations letter to the student, which can then be copied by the student to give to their current instructors.
If instructors have questions or concerns regarding a student's accommodations, they should contact the Director of Disability Services at (925) 969-3447 or by email at email@example.com.
Students with disabilities have the same rights to privacy as provided by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as do all other John F. Kennedy University students. Specific information as to the confidentiality of files maintained by the Office of Disability Services are presented in John F. Kennedy University Student Handbook for Students with Disabilities.
For more information:
Director of Disability Services
John F. Kennedy University
100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817