Prior to receiving accommodations, documentation from a clinically diagnosing professional must be submitted to DRC. The University's policy for verification of a disability is as follows:
"…a professionally verified disability means a condition certified by a licensed physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, registered nurse, rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, corrective therapist, learning disability specialist, or other appropriate professional. A student with a diagnosed learning disability must provide testing/evaluation results that provide a recent and current assessment of the learning disability."
The purpose of academic accommodations is to provide educational equity for students with disabilities, not advantage. To facilitate the provision of appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities, Point Loma Nazarene University requires the following information be contained within the Documentation Provider form in order to apply for disability services:
1. Documentation must include a Specific Diagnosis of a Disability. (Non-specific diagnoses, such as individual “learning styles,” “learning differences,” “academic problems,” “slow reader,” “test anxiety,” etc. in and of themselves do not constitute a disability.) The diagnostician is encouraged to use direct language and avoid the use of such terms as “suggests” or “is indicative of.”
2. Diagnosis must be provided by a licensed professional qualified to determine the specific diagnosis. Use of diagnostic terminology indicating a disability by someone who does not meet the criteria for “licensed professional” is not acceptable.
3. Documentation must be recent and current (within three years). The purpose of documentation is to provide a clear and relevant explanation of the student’s current needs. Additional documentation may be requested if the documentation supplied does not provide sufficient detail to determine appropriate accommodations.
4. Documentation must clearly identify the impact of the disability on a major life activity and the individual’s functional limitations.
5. Documentation provided must clearly link the functional limitations of the disability to the recommended accommodations. The documentation should describe the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses and for learning disabilities be based on educational assessment procedures. (Recommended accommodations that are not supported by relevant assessment information cannot be guaranteed.)
6. For learning disabilities, documentation must include a listing of all formal and informal tests and/or procedures administered and the specific results of those tests. (Include standard scores, quotients and percentiles, if available, for each test administered, clinical observations/interview, rating scale results, etc.)
Documentation and Transfer Students
Any PLNU student who has transferred and received services from a California Community College, California State or University of California campus as a student with a disability may be eligible for services from the DRC. The DRC reviews the documentation from the referring agency and coordinates accommodations based on recommended accommodations from the qualifying professional. The documentation must be recent and current (within the last three years).
Disclosure of a Disability
Under U.S. laws, students are not required to report a disability, but they must disclose and document their disabilities in order to receive disability-related accommodations. PLNU students seeking accommodations on the basis of a disability must self-identify and request accommodations from the DRC. Failure to give notice or provide detailed information may result in the accommodations being delayed or the request being denied. Students who request accommodations and/or services from other faculty and staff are to be referred to the DRC. Once the student has disclosed information regarding the disability and desires disability-related accommodations, the school has the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations.
All admitted undergraduate students must be self-identified as a person with a disability by submitting medical documentation and "registering" before they will be recognized as “disabled” as defined by the ADA and Section 504 and before any requests for disability accommodations can be granted by the University. This policy is in place to protect the rights of both the student and the University.
Registering with the DRC is required of all students wishing to be recognized by the University as a student with a disability regardless of whether accommodations are being requested. Students with disabilities must submit clinical documentation of disabilities that clearly establishes the need for services and accommodations directly to the DRC. This documentation should meet the established documentation guidelines. A professionally verified disability is a condition certified by a licensed physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, registered nurse, social worker, rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, corrective therapist, learning disability specialist, or other appropriate professional. Students with prior diagnosis of a disability will provide testing and evaluation results dated no more than three (3) years prior to the date of requesting accommodations at PLNU.
All newly admitted students needing accommodations are encouraged to contact the Director of the Disability Resource Center as soon as they know that they will be attending Point Loma Nazarene University. Failure to give notice or provide detailed information may result in your accommodations being delayed or your request being denied.
Accommodation Approval Process and Timeline
Students who desire accommodations on the basis of a disability must make a formal request each semester by emailing the Director of the DRC. All accommodation request forms received will be dated to indicate the date of their request. Failure to give notice or provide detailed information may result in your accommodations being delayed or your request being denied.
All accommodation requests will be evaluated by the Director of the Disability Resource Center. Factors involved in the evaluation of the request include the nature of the person’s disability and the type and extent of the requested accommodation. The DRC reserves the right to contact appropriate University faculty and staff to discuss accommodation requests.
In some instances, a diagnosed and documented medical, psychological, or learning disorder may not be considered a disability and status as a student with a disability or disability accommodations may be denied. An accommodation may be denied even if it has been recommended by an appropriate medical professional or has been granted by another agency or institution in the past.
Decisions regarding the approval or denial of requested accommodations will generally be made within 5 working days of the receipt of the accommodation request form. However, the DRC reserves the right to take up to 10 working days to make a decision regarding an accommodation request. Once a decision has been made, the student will be informed whether the accommodation request was approved, denied, or if additional documentation is needed. Students asked to submit additional information may be approved for temporary accommodations for up to 60 days in cases where the documentation submitted is determined to be out-of-date, incomplete, or otherwise insufficient.
Submission of medical/testing documentation to the DLRC.
At least 14 business days prior to date of requested services.
Determination of student eligibility for accommodations &/or support services.
Within 14 business days of receiving documentation.
Determination of specific accommodations.
Within 14 business days of receiving documentation.
Meet with individual instructors and/or staff members to discuss disability-related accommodations.
Within 7 business days after instruction begins or becoming a client of the DLRC.
In order to receive accommodations during a semester, the student will be required to obtain the Approved Accommodations from the DRC and discuss their approved accommodations with each instructor and/or staff member during office hours. Clinical information about students may appear in these letters. Instructors are encouraged to contact the DRC with any questions or concerns regarding accommodations. A lowering of academic program standards or the elimination of identified essential elements of a curriculum is not required by law. Students are informed that if the DRC does not have a signed copy of the Accommodations Agreement in their folder, then the DRC is unable to mediate issues for them until there is a signed copy of the Accommodations Agreement.
Protections under the ADA and Section 504 are usually not provided for temporary disabilities. Accommodations may be provided on a case-by-case basis depending on severity, impact and duration. Students may be approved for temporary accommodations at the discretion of the Director of the Disability Resource Center. In most cases, students will have submitted some form of clinical documentation prior to receiving temporary documentation. Temporary accommodations may also be implemented to assist students with short-term physical or psychological impairments (e.g. broken limb). Temporary accommodations will generally not exceed one semester.
Instructor Notification Letters
Students who are approved for academic accommodations requiring instructor notification will have their Accommodation Plan emailed to the faculty. This email will clearly state the approved accommodations for each student. The student will be copied in this email to instructors.
Accommodations for State Testing
If you require accommodations on required admissions tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, MAT, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT, you must contact the testing agency directly for their documentation requirements and deadlines for submitting your documentation.
Classroom accessibility problems should be identified at the beginning of every semester or at the time of registration for classes each term. The problem should immediately be brought to the attention of the Director of the Disability Resource Center for remediation or to arrange for the class to be moved to a more accessible location. Any identified problems with physical accessibility or out-of-order elevators on campus should be reported immediately to the Director of the Disability Resource Center. While not all buildings and rooms may be accessible, PLNU continues to strive to insure that all programs and activities are accessible to persons with disabilities.