Students with Disabilities, Policy and Procedures

Policy and Procedures

Texas Christian University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Re­habilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

TCU does not discriminate on the basis of disabil­ity, including in the admission process or with access to, or treatment of, or participation in, its programs and activities. No otherwise qualified individual shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in the services, programs and activities of TCU solely on the basis of a disability. TCU shall make reasonable accommodations in policies, practices, and pro­cedures, when the accommodations are necessary to afford the opportunity for equal access to educational programs, activities and services to qualified individuals with dis­abilities, unless the accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the programs, activities or services.

Procedures

Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, a student seeking an academic accommodation should contact the Center for Academic Services-Student Disabilities Services Office (DS) as soon as possible in the academic term for which the student is seeking the accommoda­tion. The DS Office is located in the Center for Academic Services, Sadler Hall Room 1010, phone number 817-257- 6567.

A student seeking a housing accommodation should contact the DS Office as soon as possible after the student has paid the enrollment deposit and completed a Housing and Resi­dence Life application.

Each student’s situation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The student must present relevant, verifiable, professional documentation about his or her disability and the as­sociated limitations; complete an intake packet; and meet with designated staff in the DS Office. The determination of accommodations is the result of an interactive process between staff in the DS Office and the student. Students may obtain information on TCU’s documentation guidelines in the DS Office in Sadler Hall 1010 or online at: http://www.acs.tcu.edu/disability_ documentation.asp.

Information concerning a student’s disability is treated in a confidential manner in accordance with University policies as well as applicable federal and state laws. Documentation presented shall be reviewed by the appropriate staff within the DS Office, who may consult with other appropriate professional(s) to evaluate whether there is a disability, to consider accommodations, and assess whether granting ac­commodations may fundamentally alter a TCU program or cause an undue burden. Additional documentation may be required from the student to substantiate the need for accommodations based on a disability or to assist the University in determining appropriate accommodations.

TCU strongly encourages students with disabilities to know their rights and responsibilities. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the request for accommodation, to personally engage in the interactive process and to communicate directly with the staff in the DS Office. This approach is designed to empower students to advocate for themselves.

Once all steps are complete, the student’s request for accommodation is reviewed by the Disabilities Services Documentation Review Committee, which determines whether or not the student qualifies for accommodation and, if so, what accommodations are reasonable and appropriate. When a decision is made, the DS Office will notify the student via his/her official TCU e-mail account to schedule an appointment to review the decision.

If the student qualifies for a classroom accommodation, a Letter of Accommodations (LOA) is prepared by the DS Office. The student is responsible for promptly delivering the LOA, conferring with faculty members, and returning signed Verification forms of the receipt of the letters to the DS Office. Accommodations take effect only after delivery of LOA and conference with faculty. Please allow faculty a minimum of one week to arrange for accommodations.

If a student qualifies for a housing accommodation, the DS Office notifies Housing and Residence Life of the required accommodations. Housing accommodations do not guarantee assignment to specific residence halls, rooms or specific roommates.

The DS Office consults with the student and with University faculty and staff to promote delivery of appropriate accommodations, and serves as liaison between the student and faculty members as needed. The student must promptly notify the DS Office if an accommodation granted by TCU is not being properly performed or is not effective.

Classroom accommodations are limited to a single semester, therefore, Letters of Accommodations must be requested each semester. Request for housing accommodations must be renewed yearly.

How to file an appeal for disability accommodations

A student who wishes to appeal a decision regarding ap­propriate accommodations may do so in writing to the Affirmative Action officer, who shall promptly and equi­tably decide the appeal, at TCU Box 297090, Fort Worth, TX 76129. The Affirmative Action officer’s decision may be appealed within seven calendar days in writing to the Provost, whose decision may be appealed in writing to the Chancellor within seven calendar days. At any step during such an appeal, the person requesting the appeal may con­fidentially consult with appropriate professionals/advisers within or outside the University.

How to file a grievance

A student who wishes to file a grievance, which is not an appeal regarding accommodations, over disability-related discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should proceed under TCU policy 1.005, whose subject is discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and retaliation.

Compliance Officer (Student Concerns)

The Director for the Center for Academic Services is desig­nated by the University to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out the responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) as it relates to students. Questions regarding student ADA/504 concerns may be directed to:

Ms. Marsha Ramsey

Director, Center for Academic Services

TCU Box 297710

Sadler Hall 1010

Fort Worth, TX 76129

817/257-6567

m.ramsey@tcu.edu