ADA Services provides assistance to students who have physical, visual, hearing, speech, learning, and psychological disabilities.
ADA Services Include:
- Assistance in gaining admission to the college.
- Assistance with course selections.
- Classroom accommodations such as note-takers, sign language interpreters, and special seating.
- Learning aids such as taped materials, Braille, or enlarged materials, and adaptive equipment.
- Individual instruction services.
- Testing accommodations such as isolated testing, extended time for testing, etc.
A disability under the law is any “physical or mental impairment that substantially impairs or restricts one or more major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, learning and working.” The disability may be permanent or temporary.
Examples of Impairments are:
- Speech, hearing, visual and orthopedic impairments
- Cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes
- Emotional and mental health illness, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, bipolar
- Specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, auditory processing disorder
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Students must first apply and be accepted to Pensacola State College. They must meet the program requirements for admission.
Students must self-identify that they are needing accommodations and should schedule an appointment with the Student Resource Center for ADA Services: 850-484-1637 or ADA-Services@pensacolastate.edu
High school IEPs and 504s do not automatically follow students to college.
Students will meet and discuss their disability, its impact, and the needed accommodations. Students need to provide clear, convincing documentation that states the diagnosis and supports the need for academic accommodations.
Unlike high school, accommodations at the college level do not and cannot change the content of the course, including the reading level and amount of work required. All students must learn the same material and are graded according to the same standards.
Having a medical condition or disability does not mandate that a student receive accommodations under ADA/504. If mitigating circumstances such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and/or medications offset the limiting effects of a disability, then a student may not require accommodations in order to have equal access.
Once a student is registered to receive accommodations, the student is responsible for:
- Following guidelines and procedures for specific accommodations and services
- Scheduling exams and quizzes with the ADA Testing administrator at least three days in advance, if testing in the ADA office
- Requesting adapted course materials, ASL Interpreters, readers, and any other services provided by the ADA office in advance of the date needed
- Maintaining contact with the ADA office
- Providing the accommodations notice to instructors each semester
Issues with Accommodations
Sometimes a student continues to have difficulty even with accommodations in place. If this happens, please contact the ADA Services office. We can discuss additional accommodations as well as identify other resources to assist you. We can also discuss changing majors.
If a student believes an instructor is not providing their accommodations, they should first address it with the instructor. If they do not believe the issue is resolved, they should contact our office.
All students must adhere to the PSC student code of conduct and the honor code regardless of whether or not the student has a documented disability.
Support and Assistance
The ADA Services office is here to assist you with implementing student accommodations.
We provide testing services to accommodate extended time, reduced distractions, readers, and scribes. Students will let us know when tests are scheduled, and we will contact you for the test and instructions. We will proctor the test and return the completed test to you.
If a student discloses a disability to you or requests accommodations from you, refer them to the ADA Services office.
All students must adhere to the PSC student code of conduct regardless of whether or not the student has a documented disability.
Issues with Accommodations
An instructor has the right to challenge accommodation requests that would result in a fundamental alteration of the program and/or threaten the academic standards or integrity of the course.
Please contact ADA Services to address any concerns about accommodations.
Example of Syllabus Statement
Students with a disability that qualifies under the American with Disabilities Act (ADAAA) are encouraged to contact the Student Resource Center for ADA Services. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ADA Services if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. ADA Services is located in building 6, room 603, and can be contacted at ADAemail@example.com, 850-484-1637.
FERPA & Privacy
Students with disabilities are protected under Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and civil rights laws. Faculty/instructors should not make any statement that could be perceived by others (or the student) that the student is any different from anyone else. Examples are listed below:
- Students should not be referred to with “Oh, you’re one of those students.”
- Students should not be placed in the hall or any other obvious place to take an exam that may make the student look conspicuous and/or feel singled out as a person with a disability. They may test in the Testing Center or ADA Office.
- Students should only provide you with the letter from the ADA Services. They should not provide documentation.
- If needed, discuss the student’s disability or need for accommodations in the privacy of one’s office and not in an open environment such as a public hallway.
- Students with disabilities and their individual needs should not be compared.
- Grading standards should not be different from the rest of the class.
- Students with disabilities should not have advantages over other students in the class. The intent of ADA/504 is to provide equal access to students and to not penalize the student due to his/her disability.
- It is not appropriate to say, “Laptops are not allowed except with ADA accommodations.”
Service animals are allowed on campus, in classrooms, and at events. Service animals are not an accommodation and do not have to register with the ADA Services office. We ask that our office and/or Campus Public Safety be notified of the animal’s presence, especially if attending classes, so that our officers are aware.
A service animal is a dog or miniature horse (per the State of Florida) that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work done or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Tasks may include, but are not limited to
- guiding an individual who is visually impaired or blind,
- alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing,
- pulling a wheelchair,
- assisting with mobility or balance,
- alerting and protecting an individual who is having a seizure,
- retrieving objects,
- alerting an individual to the presence of allergens,
- helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors,
- reminding an individual with mental illness to take prescribed medications,
- calming an individual with posttraumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack,
- or doing other specific work or performing other special tasks.
A service animal is not a pet.
The crime-deterrent effect of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for purposes of Florida law.
Note: Therapy Animal
A therapy animal is not a service animal. It is an animal used within a therapeutic relationship whose function is to provide comfort, companionship, and/or a feeling of well-being. Animals whose sole function is to provide a therapeutic effect by being present are not service animals and are not generally allowed on campus, though they may be requested as an accommodation in housing.
Comfort Animal or Emotional Support Animal
An emotional support or comfort animal is not a service animal. It may provide a benefit to the individual, but in a general manner that is not protected by law. Note that a service animal is different because it has been specifically trained to recognize a condition, behavior or situation and is also trained to respond or perform specific tasks that aid the disabled person.
Speech to Text
- Transcription or notetaking apps
- Office 365 Word has dictation
- Zoom provides transcription
- TRIO – Student Support Services
- TRIO – Veterans Support Services
- Class-specific virtual tutoring is offered through Canvas
- Writing Lab Resources https://pensacolastate.instructure.com/courses/1325752
- Virtual Library https://www.pensacolastate.edu/library/
Strategies for Success in College
- Choose a program of study in which you have both interest, skills, and abilities.
- Develop study habits that work for you: a set time and place, recopy notes after class, etc.
- Schedule classes that work for you. When are you most alert? When is transportation available? When are working at a job? Is child care available?
- Attend every class, on time, prepared: pencil, paper, textbook, completed assignments.
- Complete all the assignments and read all the words.
- Be aware of your frustrations and make a plan to handle them.
- Ask questions if you do not understand. Use tutoring resources.
Communicating with Instructors
- Read each instructor’s syllabus completely. Instructors have different policies for exams, due dates, and attendance.
- If you have questions or concerns about the class or your performance, talk to your instructor during office hours, make an appointment, or send an email.
- Email your professors in advance if you need to be absent from class.
- If conflicts or problems arise, be ready to discuss them with your instructor and create solutions.
- Contact the ADA office if you need support or practice in talking with a professor.