The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides protection from illegal discrimination for qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Virginia Western Community College to provide accommodations to eligible students with documented disabilities. These disabilities include but are not limited to physical, psychological or learning diagnoses. Questions or concerns regarding accommodations and their impact on the essential nature of the classroom, should be directed to the ODS Coordinator.
Accommodations in college can be quite different from accommodations you might have been used to in high school. Take a look at the information here to get a better understanding of what differences you may encounter as an accommodated student in college.
The purpose of the information listed below is to provide general guidelines, explanation, and information for the most common accommodations provided by VWCC. This is not an exhaustive list of accommodations since each case is evaluated on an individual basis.
Extended Testing Time
ODS allows the student to receive extra time to complete tests or quizzes. The amount of time is indicated by the words “double time” (or numerically as 2.0) on a student’s Access Plan. Untimed testing is not an accommodation.
Example: For a test that lasts 50 minutes in-class, the student is allowed double the time, or 2.0. The student would have a total of 100 minutes to complete the test.
Assistive Technology: Read Aloud Software, Audio Recorders, FM System
Reading software such as JAWS or Kurzweil will read aloud test questions and answer choices to the student during testing. These screen readers may also read test directions, as students may be approved to receive oral instructions in addition to written instructions for tests. Audio Recording of lectures is often approved as an accommodation which allows the student to capture their lecture and return to the information/notes as often as needed. FM Systems are allowed in the classroom/campus events allowing the hearing impaired student an enhanced ability to understand the spoken word.
Audio Record/Notetaker During Lectures
Audio recording lectures is a common accommodation utilized by many students. Capturing the spoken word and having the ability to refer to it at a later point is very helpful for some students. The recording allows a student to then go back and formulate/format their notes appropriately or hear the lecture again. An in-class note taker can also be an approved accommodation. This typically requires the use of a student volunteer.
Books in Audio Format
Requests for books in alternative format is an accommodation that must be approved by ODS, prior to making your request. ODS will make every effort to request and retrieve these files in a timely manner. Please consider making these requests as early as possible and prior to date needed. ODS utilizes resources such as Learning Ally, Access Text and others to secure audio and text files for students.
Once approved, please complete the following:
- Provide proof of book purchase/rental/ownership to ODS (ex: receipt)
- Your laptop/iPad/iPod must be configured to VWCCWifi
- Complete and submit the Request for Books in Alternative Format (PDF) form to ODS.
Preferential Classroom Seating
Students who may be easily distracted, struggle with anxiety, or may often need to leave the classroom due to a medical need, may benefit from having a designated seat in the classroom. Oftentimes a seat near the exit door, front/back row, or near an electric outlet can be very accommodating due to the specific limitations caused by a student’s diagnosis.
Sign Language Interpreting
VWCC provides the services of qualified interpreters for access in the classroom and other College activities. Interpreters must be scheduled in advance through the Office of Disability Services. Please refer to the Student Guidelines for Obtaining Sign Language Interpreting Services (PDF) form for more information.
The purpose of the information listed below is to provide general information regarding services and resources some students with disabilities may find helpful. These are not accommodations, nor are they services VWCC provides for their students.
VWCC makes every effort to accommodate eligible students with documented disabilities. The responsibility of securing a Personal Attendant(s)/Personal Assistant(s) belongs with the student and should occur in advance of the starting date each semester. Virginia Western Community College assumes no coordination or financial responsibilities for Personal Attendants/Assistants. All Personal Attendants/Assistants will be subject to a background check, at the charge of the College. Additional information regarding personal and auxiliary aids can be found here.
Accessible parking spaces are available at VWCC. Please contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a permit.
Transportation – RADAR Transit
Students who may be physically, mentally or transportation disadvantaged and are in need of specialized transit, primarily in the Greater Roanoke Valley, to include Virginia Western Community College, should consider contacting RADAR Services at 540-343-1721 or www.radartransit.org.