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Access Services for Students with Disabilities

About Us

Access Services partners with the Olympic College community to foster a college culture that recognizes disability as a valued aspect of diversity and is dedicated to the inclusion and full participation of students with disabilities in all college programs, services, and activities.

Under the law, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity. Medical or psychological documentation is necessary to verify the condition. Examples of disabilities include:

  • Learning
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity
  • Psychological/emotional
  • Chronic/acute health
  • Neurological
  • Mobility
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Speech/language

  • Present formal, written documentation of disability to the Access Services office
  • Complete New Student Application for Access Services and schedule appointment
  • Request services early (4-6 weeks prior to need is recommended)
  • Meet with Access Services staff to discuss academic adjustments, accommodations and auxiliary aids
  • Continuing students must submit a request for accommodations through myAccess each quarter.

Eligibility for accommodations and academic adjustments is individually determined.  The following standards for documenting a disability may be used to assist the student and evaluator in providing appropriate documentation, which serves as the foundation for legitimizing a student's request for academic adjustments and auxiliary aids.  The professional providing this information must have first  hand knowledge of the student's condition and must be an impartial professional who is not related to the student.

Documentation shall:

  1. Include a diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.
  2. Be current, typically within the last three years.  The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, its interaction with development across the life span, the presence or  absence of significant events (since the original diagnosis) that would impact functioning, and the current status of the student at the time of the request for accommodation.
  3. Include a summary of the evaluation procedures as well as the diagnostic tests/evaluation results used to make the diagnosis.
  4. Provide a description of the current functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities.
  5. Address, as appropriate, the relevance of accommodation requests to the diagnosed disability.
  6. When appropriate, include treatments, medication, and assistive devices currently prescribed or in use.
  7. Include the credentials of the diagnosing professional(s).


In addition to the requirements listed above, certain disabilities may have additional guidelines, as outlined below:

  • Psychiatric Disabilities: Documentation must also include the DSM-IV diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms, in a written report from a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, certified social worker (CSW or ACSW) or licensed professional counselor.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Documentation must include a statement of the presenting problem; testing that verifies a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that currently affects learning; identification of DSM-IV criteria for ADHD; report summary and rationales for accommodations  using evidence from the evaluation.  Professionals considered acceptable for evaluating ADHD are licensed physicians, neuropsychologists, and psychologists.
  • Learning Disabilities: Documentation should validate the need for services based on the individual's current functioning in the educational setting.  A comprehensive assessment battery and the resulting diagnostic report should include  a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, information processing, and a diagnosis.  Assessment, and any resulting diagnosis, should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery, which does not rely on any one test or sub-test.  Individual "learning styles", "learning differences", "academic problems", and "test difficulty or anxiety", in and of themselves, do not constitute a learning disability.  The tests used should be reliable, valid and standardized for use with an adolescent/adult population.  The test findings should document both the nature and severity of the learning disability.  The following professionals would generally be considered qualified to evaluate specific learning disabilities provided they have additional training and experience in the assessment of learning problems in adolescents and adults:  clinical or educational psychologists, school psychologists, neuropsychologists, learning disabilities specialists, and medical doctors.


Additional Information Regarding Your Documentation

Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for the review process.  They will be included in the evaluation of requests for accommodation and/or auxiliary aids.  Where such recommendations are congruent with the programs and services offered  by Olympic College, they will be given deference.  When recommendations go beyond the services provided by the college, they may be used to suggest potential referrals to service providers outside the college.

For individuals who are or have recently been receiving services from a state rehabilitation agency, the requested disability information may be contained in your most recent eligibility evaluation and/or your vocational plan.

For individuals transferring from another college, information related to your disability will not be sent with a transcript request.  You must request that information separately.  Additionally, the information requested at Olympic College may or may not have been a part of your previous college's evaluation process.

For individuals who have recently been receiving services from a public school system, the information requested may be found in your most recent psycho-educational battery/evaluation summary and must be requested separately from your high school transcripts.  A school plan, such as a 504 or individualized education plan (IEP), is insufficient documentation, but may be included as part of a more comprehensive diagnostic battery.

The office of Access Services shall make determination of reasonable accommodations for students based on documentation provided.  The authority to make such decisions on behalf of the institution has been assigned by the President of the College.
 

Services and accommodations are provided on an individually determined basis and may include:

  • Assisted registration
  •  Entry advising
  • Transition support
  • Test accommodations
  • Note takers
  • Interpreting services
  • Materials in alternate format
  • Faculty liaison
  • Campus and community referral

Services Not Provided

  • Transportation
  • Personal care attendants
  • Escorts to and from class
  • Learning disability testing or assessment
  • Tutoring services
  • Financial assistance
  • Modified coursework
  • Software for off-campus use

Assistive Technology

  • One-handed keyboards
  • Voice recognition programs
  • Voice output programs
  • Computer magnification programs
  • CCTV - text enlarger
  • Braille embosser

For more information contact:
Assistive Technology
Business Building, Room 100
360-475-7510

Specialized Equipment

  • FM systems/listening devices
  • Electronic magnifiers
  • Adjustable furniture
  • Talking & large screen calculators
  • Digital talking book players
  • Adaptive weight training

All contact information and documentation received is kept in confidential files within the Access Services Office. Information from the file is provided on a "need to know" basis only, at the student's request, or with a signed consent. This typically means that the Access Services Office will share information related to the student's accommodation requests for reasons directly related to the request or for personal safety. Please contact the Access Services Director for additional information on confidentiality.

  1. When a test is announced, it is the students' responsibility to schedule it with the Assessment & Testing Center, Humanities and Student Services Building Room 222, or make appropriate arrangements with their instructor for online or lab exams. If the accommodation involves a private room, computer, assistive technology, or other specialized accommodation, students must inform the Testing Center staff when scheduling the exam. Space is limited, especially for private rooms, and students will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. Every effort should be made to schedule the test at the same time it is being administered to the rest of the class.
  2. Students will be given a "Make-up and Access Testing Support Form" to take to their instructor with the date and time of their test. He or she will initial the form, provide specific instructions for testing, and return it with the exam to the Testing Center. If students do not make timely arrangements for their accommodation and provide the testing support form to their instructor, they will be expected to take their exam with the rest of the class.
  3. Students must bring picture identification to their scheduled testing appointment. Students will be permitted to use only the items listed by their instructor on the form - all other personal belongings will be secured in a locker. The exam will be stopped at the approved time limit.
  4. Tests are secured throughout the testing process and will not leave the designated testing area. Student violation of this procedure may result in an invalid test.
  5. If a student misses his/her scheduled time, or are more than 30 minutes late, the test will be returned to the instructor.

It is the student's responsibility to personally request accommodations through the Access Services Office each quarter. Students are encouraged to initiate the process as early as possible. The college will endeavor to respond to all requests in a timely manner; however, certain accommodations, auxiliary aids and services (e.g. interpreters, alternative format, assistive technology, adjustable furniture) may require substantial advance notice. Requests for these accommodations should be received 4-6 weeks in  advance of the first day of classes.

Students are also expected to meet and maintain academic standards, follow the student code of conduct and are encouraged to  communicate with Access Services staff regarding problems or issues as they arise.

In 2008, the Washington State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 6313 Recognizing disability history in the public education system.


Each October, public schools, colleges, and universities must conduct and promote educational activities that provide instruction, awareness, and understanding of disability history and people with disabilities. The activities may include school assemblies or guest speakers.

Visit Washington Disability History Month for resources and ideas. 

Disability Rights Washington has additional information and resources.

July 26th, 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of our nation’s proudest civil rights achievements. Learn More.

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