Important Updates about COVID-19

Read more about UNCP's response to COVID-19.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

GENERAL INFORMATION

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  All members of the university community are expected to engage in conduct that contributes to its culture of integrity and honor.  The university prohibits its faculty, staff, and students from engaging in any form of discrimination, protected-status harassment, and retaliation.  The University is committed to providing services for all students with disabilities in accordance with Sections 503, 504, and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) 2009, and any other laws affecting services for people with disabilities in a higher education setting.

Students with documented disabilities needing equal access to the university and its programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities may be approved for reasonable accommodations on an individualized and flexible basis. This includes those that are off-site, such as study abroad, field trips, student teaching, internships, and field work.  The Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) works closely with other departments to provide accommodations in all aspects of campus life.

A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables qualified students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity.  An equal opportunity means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to similarly situated students without a disability.  UNCP is obligated to make reasonable accommodations only to the known limitations of otherwise qualified disabled students.  To determine reasonable accommodations, the Accessibility Resource Center staff may seek information from appropriate UNCP personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities.  Final determination of reasonable accommodations is made by the Accessibility Resource Center. 

Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:

a) The barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment;

b) The possible accommodation(s) that might remove the barriers;

c) Whether or not students have access to the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility without accommodations; and

d) Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations.

It is the responsibility of students with disabilities, however, to seek available assistance at the University and to make their needs known.  The only University office sanctioned and qualified to determine eligibility of services and ensure equitable access for students with disabilities is the office of the Accessibility Resource Center located in D. F. Lowry, Room 107.

To be eligible for disability-related services, students must have a documented disability or condition as defined by the ADAAA and by Section 504.  Under the ADAAA and Section 504, a person has a disability if that person has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.

PROCEDURE

Obtaining academic accommodations must be initiated by the student with a disability. UNCP does not identify and contact students with disabilities for services.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of students to identify as a person with a disability seeking services. Students may contact the ARC via telephone at 910-521-6695, by email at arc@uncp.edu, by making an appointment or dropping into the office located in D. F. Lowry, Room 107, by fax at 910-521-6891, or by mailing a letter to: UNC Pembroke, ARC office, P. O. Box 1510, Pembroke, N.C.  28372-1510.

1. Students with documented disabilities and requiring accommodations, auxiliary aids, and/or services, must seek assistance from ARC in a timely manner, usually prior to the start of classes or as soon as a disability becomes known. An intake meeting will be scheduled in person, over the phone, or via WebEx to discuss individual access needs and reasonable accommodations.  The interaction between the disability and the academic environment will be discussed to determine the reasonable accommodations.  Consultation with faculty, staff, and outside professionals regarding essential elements and reasonable accommodations may occur in situations that are new, complex, or sensitive by permission of the students.

2. Disabled students must apply for services via an online application located on the ARC webpage or by clicking this link ARC Application. Assistance or an alternate format can be provided upon request.

3. Students must provide disability-related documents from appropriately licensed professionals to become certified as students having a disability, or disabilities, and to help determine reasonable accommodations by identifying how their disability limits their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and/or facilities of UNCP.  Professionals providing documentation cannot be family members.  The cost of obtaining documentation is the responsibility of the student.  If the initial documentation is incomplete or insufficient to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable accommodations, ARC has the discretion to require additional documentation.  Any cost of obtaining additional documentation is also borne by the student.  This information will help the Accessibility Resource Center provide appropriate academic accommodations and support services. 

ARC will maintain official documentation of the disability, including information about the manifestations of the disability, and will ensure that disability-related documents are kept confidential. Information will only be shared with UNCP personnel on a limited and educational need-to-know basis only.

4. Once the ARC has the application and documentation, the file and request for accommodations will be sent to the UNCP Documentation Review Committee which will determine whether or not the student is a student with a disability, or disabilities, as defined by Section 504 and the ADAAA and, if so, will approve reasonable accommodations as also defined by Section 504 and the ADAAA. Please note students may be approved for all of the accommodations requested, none of the accommodations requested, some of the accommodations requested and/or accommodations that were not requested.

5. Once the UNCP Documentation Review Committee has determined eligibility, students will be contacted to meet with an ARC staff member (in person, via telephone or via WebEx), and/or a letter will be sent to students indicating denial or approval of accommodations.

a) If accommodations are denied, the letter will specify the reason why and will request additional information and/or documentation so that the committee can re-review the request. Additionally, an appeal may be made to the UNCP ADA/504 Coordinator in writing (via letter or email) within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the denial letter if student has reason to believe the decision was made erroneously.

b) If accommodations are approved, an approval letter will be given outlining all approved accommodations and next steps.

6. a. Students taking classes on campus:

ARC staff will then write individualized accommodation letters for students with a disability and will create an “accommodations packet” for each semester (students do not need to reapply for services each semester) for students to deliver to faculty members certifying that students have disabilities and stating the determined reasonable accommodations. ARC staff recommends students identify themselves and their needs to each instructor at the beginning of each semester. 

Students’ accommodations will be the same each semester, unless there are changes in the disability or other accommodations are discussed, requested, and approved.  If any changes need to be made, these need to be discussed at the time of the appointment with ARC staff. It is recommended that students make an appointment to meet with all their instructors as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester after picking up their accommodations packet from an ARC staff member.

The provision of accommodations is often shared between faculty, students, and the ARC. The completion of the packet and the meeting with the instructor will detail the provisions of approved accommodations, including:        

i) The approved accommodations,

ii) How and when the accommodations will be carried out,

iii) Any equivalent alternatives that might be considered, and

iv). The students' responsibilities per the agreement.

During the accommodations meeting with the instructor, the student with a disability will fill out a carbon copy instructor-student contract to determine how accommodations will take place for that situation.  If there are any questions or any clarification needed during this meeting, it is required that ARC be contacted as outlined on the contract.

The student with a disability must return the original copy of the instructor-student contract to ARC for record keeping and assurance of timely and reasonable implementation of accommodations. ARC will follow up on any further steps needed for providing services. If there are any problems in adhering to the accommodations outlined in the letters, students are expected to notify the ARC staff immediately.

The accommodation letters also invite faculty to contact the Accessibility Resource Center if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations.  Instructors will be expected to assist with the provision of accommodations when reasonable and necessary. However, instructors are not required to compromise essential elements of the course or evaluation standards.

Please note UNCP employees are under no obligation to provide accommodations unless students have fulfilled their obligations in the process.

6.b. Students taking all classes online:

ARC staff will contact students via email and attach an accommodations approval letter. An official copy will also be mailed to the residence on file. The approval letter will outline all approved accommodations. These will be available for the remainder of the students’ time at UNCP (students do not need to reapply for accommodations each semester).

At the beginning of each semester (or just prior to the beginning), students will contact ARC staff in writing at arc@uncp.edu to request notification of accommodations to professors. Students will need to indicate each class and professor to be notified and outline which accommodations will be needed. For example:

Please notify Professor X in class MAT 1070-800 of my accommodations for testing.

Please notify Professor Y in class HST 3700-801 of my accommodation of relaxed attendance and testing accommodations.

7. Disabled students are responsible for contacting ARC staff if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner.  ARC staff will work with UNCP personnel and disabled students to resolve any disagreements regarding approved and implemented accommodations.

8. Students with disabilities who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability may file a grievance with the ADA Coordinator in D.F. Lowry, Room 107.

Last Revised 03/23/2020