Guidelines for Documentation of a Disability
These documentation guidelines are provided to assist students in obtaining appropriate
documentation from qualified professionals. Appropriate documentation of a disability
is only part of determining necessary accommodations. Institutions will request documentation
for the following reasons:
- To verify the existence of a disability.
- To determine if a student’s Functional Limitation substantially limits a Major Life
Activity defined by the ADA and Section 504.
Functional Limitation – A substantial impairment in the individual’s ability to function in the condition,
manner or duration of a required major life activity.
Major Life Activity - i.e. walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, learning, concentrating, thinking.
Students with Formal Diagnosed Conditions
Medical Evaluation – The required documentation for a student is a formal evaluation from a qualified
professional licensed to diagnose the student’s condition. The evaluation should
- A specific diagnosis and description of the disability, along with the diagnostic
- Comprehensive test results used to arrive at the diagnosis based on an adult population.
- The name, title and licensing of the individual making the diagnosis. Documentation
reports need to be on professional letterhead, completed in English, dated and signed
by the licensed professional.
- Statement of the degree of impact the disability has on a “Major Life Activity.”
- Any relevant information regarding current treatment and/or medications.
- Description of how the disability affects the student’s ability to participate academically.
New High School Graduates or High School Guest Students
Disability services at the college level are governed by different federal laws than
those at the K-12 level, and required documentation may be very different.
Psychological Evaluations conducted during high school must have been performed within
the last few years and be based on age 16 years or older. These reports can be acquired
at the student’s high school’s District Office. Evaluations done by licensed professionals
in a private setting could also be provided.
Insufficient Documentation (Not Accepted)
- Doctor statements that only indicate suggested accommodations.
- Hospital discharge papers.
- Disability letters from other colleges/universities.
- Individual Educational Plans (IEPS) without the Psychological Evaluation report.
- 504 Plans must include medical support.
- Prescriptions, list of medications.
- College Board ACT/SAT accommodations.
Oakland Community College reserves the right to request additional documentation if
Policy Type: Learning Resources
Policy Title: Accessibility of Materials
Office Responsible: Disability Services
Related Laws: ADA (Sections 504 and 508)
The College promotes collaboration between departments and disciplines to provide
appropriate and reasonable accessibility to instructional material, information, and
Classroom: The ACCESS Office works with academic departments and instructors to assist with accessibility
compliance for audio, visual, media, and technical class materials.
Out-of-Classroom: The ACCESS Office works with Academic Technologies, Marketing & Community Relations,
and academic departments to promote appropriate accessibility of material posted to
the public college website, the Inside OCC site, and the educational management system.
Testing: The ACCESS Office assists with student-initiated reasonable testing accommodation
ACCESS Tutoring: If the ACCESS Office determines that a qualified student is a good candidate for
academic tutoring that goes beyond general tutoring services at the college, a 1:1
weekly tutor may be assigned as a service, pending availability.
1--17-18 Policy created by ACCESS
02-04-19 Revision to resource section by ACCESS
04-25-19 Recommended by Academic Senate
04-25-19 Approved by Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Policy Type: Student Services
Policy Title: Recording of Class Sessions and Distribution of Course Materials
Offices Responsible: Student Services and Academic Affairs
Related Policy: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g;
34 CFR Part 99);
This Policy provides basic guidance and directives regarding how to protect privacy
and data while utilizing approved remote software tools for face to face or virtual
modalities. This Policy describes the approval processes for and allowable uses of
recorded class sessions, as well as the distribution of course materials. OCC is committed
to protecting the privacy of faculty, students, and employees while working or participating
in educational programs in all modes of instruction.
1. Non-Recorded Course Materials: Course-related educational materials, including but not limited to, lectures, syllabi,
lecture notes, exams, problem sets, and presentations.
2. Recording(s): Audio/visual documentation of class activity or materials. Recordings can include
traditional audio and video recordings and still photography of class lectures, activities,
and course materials, as well as new communication technologies that provide for streaming
and digital transmissions or recording of such instructional content or communications
faculty members and students or students engaged in class activities. Recordings can
be student-initiated, instructor-initiated, and college-directed recordings.
Following the interactive process with ACCESS, if a determination is made that a student
is in need of a reasonable accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA) of 1990 and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, such an accommodation
may be granted. Reasonable accommodations could include the recording or adaptations
of classroom lectures, activities and materials for personal study and research. Recording
authorization, if permitted as a reasonable accommodation, does not allow the reproduction,
exchange or distribution of classroom lectures, activities and materials for any other
Authorization and Disclosure Required For All Recordings
A. Students – Without an ADA accommodation, the College prohibits the recording of class sessions
by students, unless the instructor grants permission, and all students in the class
as well as guest speakers have been informed that recordings will occur. Instructors
may revoke permission at any time. Authorizations given to a student to record a class
session should only
be given when recordings will be used for the purpose of individual or group study
with other students enrolled in the same class during the same term.
B. Instructors - The College prohibits the recording of live class sessions, regardless of instructional
modality, unless all students and guest speakers present have been informed that recording
will occur and may be stored in the course learning management system. It is recommended
that a statement be added to the syllabus indicating the possibility of class recording.
If a student has a privacy concern and does not wish to appear in the recording, that
student should be advised to turn their video or audio off.
Recordings May Only be Used For Certain Purposes
A. Students - When authorized by the instructor, recordings may only be used for the purpose
of individual or group study with other students enrolled in the same class during
the same term. If a student does not wish to appear in an authorized student recording,
the student should notify the Instructor who will arrange for the appropriate accommodation.
i. Students may not copy, reproduce, display or distribute non-recorded course materials
or recorded class materials to other individuals without explicit written consent
of the individual or instructor who created the materials. Students are not allowed
to exchange or distribute non-recorded course materials for commercial purposes, for
compensation, or for any other purpose, other than study by students enrolled in the
class during the same term.
ii. Recordings may not be reproduced or shared without written permission from the
Instructor. Additionally, recordings may not be exchanged or distributed for commercial
purposes, for compensation or for any other purpose. Improper distribution of recordings
from class activity by students disrupts the College learning environment and is therefore
a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, which could subject a student to disciplinary
action. At the end of the course and upon request, all recordings of class activity
must be returned to the instructor.
iii. The improper distribution of non-recorded course materials and/or recordings
of class activities/materials disrupts the College learning environment and is a violation
of the Student Code of Conduct that could subject a student to disciplinary action.
B. Instructors - Any recording(s) that visually or audibly identifies students in the class, or contains
sufficient information that may result in the identification of a student, may only
be copied or stored for instructional purposes with students enrolled in the same
class during the same term and may only be stored on College owned, password protected
sites. Recordings may
not be exchanged or distributed for commercial purposes or compensation. The College
may have the right to use and retain copies of such recordings for accommodations
provided through ACCESS for that class.
12-02-2020 Approved by Vice Chancellor for Student Services
01-04-2021 Effective date
Disability Accommodations Guidelines
How disability services are determined
Oakland Community College (OCC) is committed to removing barriers to education that
may be experienced by students with disabilities by providing appropriate academic
support and accommodations. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulate the provision of services and accommodations
for students with disabilities in higher education. The purpose of accommodations
is to provide equal access to learning.
Students with disabilities must be "otherwise qualified"
Although these federal laws protect qualified students with disabilities from being
denied the opportunity of participating at the college level, no law requires colleges
or universities to accept or accommodate everyone who has a disability. The ADA indicates
that applicants with disabilities must:
● Be able to satisfy the standards required by the university or college for all students.
For example, if all students must have a certain high school GPA to be admitted, then
the student with a disability must also have that GPA.
● Be able to perform the "essential academic and technical standards of the program
with (or without) reasonable accommodations." For example, if the students at OCC
are required to take certain courses in order to meet the graduation requirements,
then the student with a disability should be able to also meet those requirements,
either without support, or with the appropriate educational supports and accommodations.
● When provided with reasonable accommodations, students with disabilities must be
able to maintain college level qualifications as referenced in the OCC College Catalog.
Reasonable accommodations provide access to the college educational programs and services
Under the ADA, students do not have to disclose a disability. However, disclosure
is required at OCC for students to receive accommodations. Signed comprehensive medical
documentation or test evaluations that indicate the nature of the disability and functional
limitations of the individual are required. Guidelines for the documentation can be
obtained from the Accessibility Compliance Center and Educational Support Services
(ACCESS) offices. The ACCESS Coordinators will review the documentation, determine
eligibility for services, and then coordinate the accommodations, auxiliary aids,
academic support, and/or referrals as deemed appropriate, necessary, and within the
current resources of the College.
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines what accommodation requests are "not reasonable"
Accommodations are not required or given if they would cause the college to compromise
the essential elements of the curriculum, or if they weaken the academic standards.
Accommodations are also not reasonable if the accommodations create a safety hazard
for the requesting student and/or other students in the class. Post-secondary education
does not offer Special Education or curriculum modification.
The Americans with Disabilities Act also states that colleges need not provide accommodations
if it would create an "undue burden"
OCC is committed to providing whatever accommodations are necessary and possible,
given the resources of the College. However, sometimes the funds or resources might
not be available if the accommodation is extremely expensive, or if the accommodation
would change the fundamental nature of the program or create a problem that is considered
an "undue burden."
Oakland Community College students who experience disabilities have rights
Students with disabilities have the right to equal access in all courses, programs,
services, jobs, activities and facilities, and to be treated with due respect in the
Medical and counseling information is kept confidential
The student receiving services or accommodations decides what information is to be
kept confidential and what is to be released to specific individuals. A federal law,
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), regulates release of student information. Consent forms are available for
students who would like to disclose specific information about their disability or
needs to professors, administrators, or parents/spouse. FERPA allows the ACCESS Coordinators
to communicate basic information with other college personnel on an as-needed basis.
Accommodation information is provided to instructors of each class for which an accommodation
Oakland Community College students who experience disabilities also have responsibilities
Students who receive support from the ACCESS Offices have the responsibility to:
● Meet the qualifications to be admitted to the College and follow the Student Code
● Be proactive and self-directed when needing an accommodation.
● Demonstrate and/or document (from an appropriate professional) how the disability
limits participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, or facilities.
● Complete all forms that are required for services.
● Maintain communication with the ACCESS Office, tutors, and other relevant OCC personnel
as indicated in the student's individualized accommodation plan.
● Keep all appointments with faculty, counselors, tutors, and the ACCESS Office.
Any disagreement concerning eligibility for services or specific accommodations should
first be addressed with the ACCESS manager. In the event that a resolution cannot
be attained, the student may request a review of the disagreement by submitting a
formal appeal in writing to the Dean of Learning Resources.
Oakland Community College is committed to equal opportunity for all students and employees.
Oakland Community College does not discriminate, and will not tolerate discrimination,
on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation,
age, or disability as those terms are defined under applicable law, in the administration
of any of its education programs, activities, or with respect to admissions and employment.
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE ACCOMMODATIONS
for Students with Disabilities
|I.D.E.A. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
||A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
|Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
||Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
|I.D.E.A. is about high school completion.
||A.D.A. is about access.
|I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan) and/or 504 Plan
||High school I.E.P. and 504 may not be sufficient.
Documentation guidelines specify information needed
for each category of disability
|School provides evaluation at no cost to student.
||The college does not provide an evaluation. Student is
responsible for obtaining an evaluation from resources
outside of the college.
|Documentation focuses on determining whether student
is eligible for services based on specific disability
categories in I.D.E.A.
|Documentation must provide information on specific
functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for
|Student is identified by the school and is supported by
parents and teachers
|Student must self-identify to an ACCESS Office
|Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations
belongs to the school
|Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging
accommodations belongs to the student
|Teachers approach you if they believe you need
|Instructors are usually open and helpful, but most
expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance
|Parent has access to student records and can participate
in the accommodation process
|Parent does not have access to student records without
student’s written consent
|Parent advocates for student
||Student advocates for self
|Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace
|Instructors do not modify curriculum design or alter
|You are expected to read short assignments that are
then discussed, and often re-taught, in class.
|You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and
writing which may not be directly addressed in class
|You seldom need to read anything more than once, and
sometimes listening in class is enough
|You need to review class notes and text material
Grades and Tests
|I.E.P. or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading.
Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay)
are generally not available. Accommodations to HOW tests are given (extended time,
test proctors) are available when supported by disability documentation.
|Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.
||Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.
|Makeup tests are often available.
||Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them
|Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates.
||Instructors expect you to read, save, and consult the course
syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected
of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded.
|Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an I.E.P. or 504 plan.
Generally, students with disabilities should use tutoring resources available to all
students through the Academic
Support Centers (ASCs).
|Your time and assignments are structured by others
||You manage your own time and complete assignments
|You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly
last-minute test preparation.
||You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class
for each hour in class.
Guidelines for Use of Memory Cards and Calculators as Accommodations
The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, regarding
the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act guidelines for testing accommodations
are as follows:
Testing entities must ensure that the test scores of individuals with disabilities
accurately reflect the individual’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever skill
the exam or test is intended to measure. A testing entity must administer its exam
so that it accurately reflects an individual’s aptitude, achievement level, or the
skill that the exam purports to measure, rather
than the individual’s impairment (except where the impaired skill is one the exam
purports to measure).
While the use of 3 x 5 note-cards can be acceptable, information contained shall not
fundamentally alter the course or what is being measured.
Student's responsibility: Please provide your completed 3 x 5 note-card to your instructor at least two days prior to the exam for review.
Instructor’s responsibility: Please review content of 3 x 5 note-card and remove information that may fundamentally
alter the course or what is being measured.
If the exam is being proctored outside of the classroom (ACCESS, ASC, Testing Center),
send the approved card with the exam to the proctor entity. Instructors must complete
an EDU-54-W form for accommodated exams proctored outside of the classroom. The form
is available on Inside OCC.
If the objective of an exam is to measure the understanding of and ability to perform
math computations (such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) it
is not appropriate to permit a calculator as a testing accommodation.
If the object of the exam is to measure the ability to solve algebra equations, for
example, and the ability to perform basic math computations is secondary to the objective
of the exam, then a basic calculator may be an appropriate testing accommodation.
Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.