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Disability Services
Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility for Services | Accommodation Requests | Documentation Guidelines | Services | Student Rights and Responsibilities | Blind/Deaf Waiver Requirements

Who is eligible for services?

If you are a student enrolled at Cedar Valley College, with a diagnosed disability (physical, psychological, learning, etc.), you are eligible for services through the Disability Services Office (DSO). Before receiving services, you must submit documentation of your disability, prepared by an appropriate qualified professional, to the DSO. Documentation submitted to the DSO is confidential and used solely for the purpose of identifying and coordinating appropriate accommodations to allow students full access to educational opportunities at Cedar Valley College. If the documentation is insufficient or outdated, the cost of obtaining any professional verification is your responsibility. See documentation guidelines.
Documentation is evaluated by a review committee in order to recommend appropriate services and accommodations best suited to each individual student. After verification of your disability, the DSO advisor will certify eligibility for services and determine which accommodations are necessary and appropriate for you.
Documentation must be submitted in a timely manner in order to receive services. Students should submit documentation of the need for accommodations at least one month prior to the start of the semester in which they are enrolling.

What do I need to do to receive accommodations?

You must first identify yourself to the Disability Services Office (L108). You must also provide appropriate documentation of your disability. You will receive a scheduled appointment to meet with the DSO advisor to discuss possible services.

What is appropriate documentation?

Documentation Guidelines for Dallas County Community College District
Students who are seeking accommodation support services from the Disability Services Office are required to produce documentation which verifies the eligibility of the student under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes the student's request for accommodations that are appropriate and reasonable. The documentation presented must describe the nature of the disability and its impact on learning.

Documentation should include but is not limited to:

  1. An evaluation by a qualified professional that makes evident the current impact of the disability including a description of the diagnostic tests, methods, and/or criteria used. Documentation should be current, preferably not older than 5 years.
  2. Specific information on the functional limitations of the individual as it relates to the post-secondary academic environment.
  3. The expected progression or stability of the disability over time. Periodic updates of documentation may be requested in situations where the etiology of the disability and the student's level of functioning may change significantly over a shorter period of time.
  4. Treatments, medications, accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services currently prescribed or in use.
  5. The professional's signature, title, credentials, date and license number on professional letterhead.

Further assessment and documentation by a qualified professional may be required.  In cases where documentation is insufficient, students will be asked to provide additional or clarifying information.

Generally, the following documentation is not sufficient for the provision of services and accommodations:

  • High school ARDs and/or 504 plans
  • Documentation in which screening instruments or rating scales are used as the sole diagnostic tool
  • Medical chart notes or prescription pad notations
  • Testing instruments normed (standardized) for children rather than adults

Students should be aware when enrolling in classes on multiple DCCCD campuses that accommodations and procedures may vary from college to college. Students should contact the Disability Services Office at each campus in order to request services.

What services do you provide?

The Disability Services Office offers a wide variety of services and accommodations. The types of accommodations you will receive depend on your disability and needs.

  • Registration assistance
  • Vocational and academic advisement
  • Loan of equipment
  • Note taking assistance
  • Sign language interpreting
  • CART services
  • Special classroom seating arrangements
  • Reading assistance/recorded texts
  • Referrals to community resources
  • Advocacy with campus instructors and staff
  • Approval for testing accommodations (e.g. extra time, quiet room, scribe, etc.)

What are the Rights and Responsibilities of a student with disabilities?

A student with a disability has a right to an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from programs offered at Cedar Valley College. To insure this right, otherwise qualified students with disabilities at CVC have a responsibility or are entitled to:

  • Identify themselves as needing accommodation in a timely fashion. When the disability is not obvious, the student must provide documentation from an appropriate professional.
  • Demonstrate or document how their disability affects a particular delivery system, instructional method, or evaluation criteria when requesting accommodation.
  • Have the same obligations as any student to meet and maintain the institution's academic and technical standards.
  • The right to be evaluated based on their ability, not their disability. If their disability affects the outcome of an evaluation method, they are entitled to an evaluation by alternate means.
  • An equal opportunity to learn. If the location, delivery system, or instructional methodology limits their access, participation, or disability to benefit, they have a right to reasonable alterations in those aspects of the course (or program) to accommodate their ability.
  • An equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the academic community. This includes access to services, extracurricular activities, and transportation at a comparable level as that provided to any student.
  • Appeal the institution's decisions concerning accommodations. First internally, by filing a written petition with the campus ADA Compliance Officer designated by the College President and then, if necessary, by filing a complaint with the regional Office of Civil Rights or the Department of Justice.

What are the Requirements for the use of a Bind/Deaf Waiver?

If you are an individual who is deaf or blind (defined as having a diagnosed substantial visual and/or hearing loss), you may qualify under a Texas statute that allows state-supported colleges and universities to waive your tuition and fees for courses of study. Senate Bill 183 (which amended Section 54.205 of the Education Code, State of Texas) authorizes this waiver--commonly known as the Deaf/Blind Waiver--under certain specified conditions. In order to become eligible to utilize this waiver, an individual must provide the college or university with evidence of the following:

  1. Proof that the individual is a legal resident of Texas, as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;
  2. Proof that the individual has a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED);
  3. Certification from Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) that the individual is blind and/or deaf;
  4. A letter of recommendation from a high school principal, public official or other responsible person who knows the individual and is willing to serve as a character reference;
  5. A statement written by the individual which sets out his/her purpose in pursuing higher education and which indicates the certificate or degree program to be pursued or the professional enhancement anticipated from the course of study for that program.

Cedar Valley College authorizes the Disability Services Office to collect and maintain the above-mentioned records of eligibility, and to notify the Business Office when students have provided sufficient documentation to qualify for this waiver. Such notification must occur every registration period when tuition and fees are due, and will be verified on an Authorization for Use of Deaf/Blind Waiver form that is signed and dated by an authorized Disability Services advisor. It is the student's responsibility to provide the necessary documentation, and to obtain a waiver authorization form each registration period. It is the responsibility of Disability Services advisors to determine whether the courses for which a student is enrolling are in line with his/her documented purpose in pursuing higher education, and whether progress toward this purpose is being made.

For more information concerning the process for obtaining this waiver, contact the Cedar Valley College Disability Services Office, (972) 860-8119, Room L108.

Page Modified: 8/11/2009 3:37 PM