ICOM is committed to providing equal educational opportunity for persons with disabilities in accordance with its nondiscrimination policy and in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
The law states that a person(s) with a “disability” is “Someone with a physical or mental impairments which substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; or a person with a record of such impairment; or a person who is regarded as having such an impairment,” (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973).
Equal educational opportunity means that a person with a disability who is qualified for admission must have access to the same programs, services, and activities as all other students. If necessary to provide equal opportunity, ICOM where possible will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices and procedures, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity or pose an undue administrative or financial burden.
Under the provisions of Section 504, Universities may not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, educational process, or treatment of students. Students who have self-identified, provided documentation of disability and requested reasonable accommodations are entitled to receive approved modifications of programs, appropriate academic adjustments, or auxiliary aids that enable them to participate in and benefit from all educational programs and activities. Section 504 specifies that universities may not limit the number of students with disabilities admitted, make pre admissions inquiries as to whether or not an applicant has a disability, use admission tests or criteria that inadequately measure the academic qualifications of students with disabilities because special provisions were not made, exclude a qualified student with disability from any course of study, or establish rules and policies that may adversely affect students with disabilities.
Matriculating or Current ICOM Students with Disabilities
Students with documented disabilities who desire modifications or accommodations must contact Liz Watson [email protected], Director of Student Affairs as soon as possible. No accommodations are made without approval through ICOM’s defined process. A medical, psychological and/or other diagnosis may rise to the level of a disability if it substantially limits one or more major life functions, one of which is learning. A disability may be temporary or ongoing. Accommodations needs to be applied for on an annual basis. Students should not assume the approved accommodation will be carried over from one year to another.
Procedure for Requesting Accommodations
The student must contact the Director of Student Affairs to request services as soon as possible. The student will be required to complete the Student Request for Accommodation form. The form will need to be completed in its entirety for the accommodation to be considered. ICOM is not responsible for identifying students with disabilities and is not required to provide services unless proper procedures have been followed in making a request.
The student must schedule a meeting with the Director of Student Affairs to provide documentation of the disability, complete the appropriate paperwork and discuss the possible accommodations. The student will be asked to complete and sign a Release of Information Form to allow the Director to share relevant information as needed to review requested accommodations. The Office of Student Services requires at least 30 days to process any request for accommodation and that 30 days begins when all necessary documentation has been submitted.
The student’s request and supporting documentation is reviewed by the Director of Student Affairs and appropriate members of ICOM administration. The process of review depends in part on the nature of the student’s disability. Decisions regarding accommodations are made on a case by case basis. There is no standard accommodation for any particular disability. ICOM will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices and procedures, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity or pose an undue administrative or financial burden. ICOM’s Technical Standards are also referenced. If the student is found to be eligible for accommodations, the student is notified of the approved accommodations.
If the request for accommodations is approved, the Director of Student Affairs generates a letter of accommodation documenting the student’s individual, approved accommodations. The Director of Student Affairs coordinates the dissemination of the letter. Any student whose requested accommodations are not approved is encouraged to meet with the Director of Student Affairs to discuss the reasons for the denial. The Director may discuss the grievance procedure with the student at this time. If a problem arises concerning reasonable accommodation, the student should contact the Director of Student Affairs immediately. Any student whose requested accommodations are not approved is encouraged to meet with the Assistant Dean of Student Services to discuss the reasons for the denial. The Assistant Dean of Student Services may discuss the grievance procedure with the student at this time.
Clinical Documentation Requirements
For any student deemed eligible, ICOM provides accommodations and/or modifications to policies and practices in order to ensure that all students have equal access to all ICOM programs, services, and activities. The purpose of accommodations is not to ensure success, but rather to provide access and equal educational opportunity.
Accommodations are not to be provided retroactively. Any student who is approved for accommodations is entitled to services and accommodations only from the date the approval is given. Even if the student can establish that he or she had a disability at the time of the course in question, ICOM will not expunge or reexamine coursework completed before the student was reviewed and approved for accommodations.
It is the students responsibility to provide the documentation which confirms to the ICOM’s guidelines. If the student’s documentation is insufficient for any reason the student is responsible for pursuing whatever additional documentation is required and pay the cost thereof. ICOM reserves the right to not provide services or accommodations until all of the documentation specified in the guidelines is provided.
Documentation of a student’s disability is only to be shared with relevant ICOM faculty, staff or administration on a need-to-know basis with a releasee of information signed by the student.
Documentation of a Disability
To ensure that reasonable and appropriate services and accommodations are provided to students with disabilities, students requesting such accommodations and services must provide current documentation of their disability. Such documentation generally must include the following:
- a clear diagnostic statement of the disability prepared by a licensed professional
- a description of the manner in which the disability limits the student in a specified major life activity and the severity of the limitation
It is the responsibility of the student requesting the accommodations and services to document the disability. As such, the cost of evaluations required pursuant to these guidelines is to be borne by the student. If there is a change in the student’s condition, he/she may request modifications to previously approved accommodations. The student will have to provide current supporting documentation for review at that time. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 plan may help to supplement documentation, but are generally insufficient documentation when presented alone.
ICOM reserves the right to request additional documentation if the disability is not clearly apparent.
Every report should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed and otherwise legible, and be comprised of the following elements:
- Evaluator Information: The name, title, and credentials of the qualified professional who conducted the assessment should begin the report. Please note that members of the student’s family are not considered appropriate evaluators.
- Recent Assessment: The report must provide adequate information about the student’s current level of functioning. If such information is missing, the student may be asked to provide a more recent or complete assessment.
- Testing: There should be a discussion of all tests that were administered, observations of the student’s behavior during testing, and a listing of all of his/her test scores (i.e. domain, cluster, subtest, index, etc.) represented in standard scores and/or percentile ranks.
In addition, a clinical summary and a clearly stated diagnosis are helpful. The summary should integrate the elements of the battery with background information, observations of the client during the testing situation, and the student’s current academic situation. This summary should present evidence of a substantial limitation to learning and explain how the patterns of strength and weakness are sufficiently significant to substantiate a disability diagnosis. It should also demonstrate that the evaluator has ruled out alternative explanations for the learning problem. If social or emotional factors are found to be possible obstacles to learning, they should be discussed. This summary may include recommended accommodations, but these are in no way binding to ICOM.
ICOM reserves the right to evaluate all documentation and determine appropriate accommodations in each case.
Accommodation Appeal Policy
If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the accommodation request process or with any aspect of the implementation of an accommodation plan, they should use the following process to resolve a complaint.
- All requests for accommodations or special services should first be brought to the Director of Student Affairs. Problems with approved accommodations or services should first be reported to the Director in writing.
- If the student is unable to resolve the matter with the Director, the student and the Director should forward the complaint to the Assistant Dean Student Services for an informal resolution. The Assistant Dean arranges a meeting with the student and Director within 10 business days of receiving the complaint.
- In the event that the student is dissatisfied with the informal resolution, he/she may file a complaint with the Dean if the issue involves denial of an academic accommodation.
Students are also encouraged to exercise their rights of complaint through the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights and other legal channels if needed. Students should be aware that the granting of an accommodation during medical school does not guarantee the granting of an accommodation on external or licensure exams.