How to Create Accessible Student Environments
We Ensure Equal Access
Moreno Valley College ensures admission, services, activities, facilities, and academic programs are accessible to and usable by qualified students with disabilities. To accomplish our mission at MVC, DSS has compiled information and resources to aid MVC's faculty in accommodating the diverse needs of students with disabilities.
Moreno Valley College provides a mainstreamed learning environment for students who identify themselves with a disability to the Disability Support Services (DSS) office. Students must be able to function independently, are responsible for informing the College of their individual needs, and must provide the appropriate documentation for services.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) , and Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the College ensures admission, services, activities, facilities, and academic programs are accessible to and usable by qualified students with disabilities.
By federal law, a "person with a disability" is someone who has a "physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities." Faculty and staff are not notified of a student's disability but are informed of their approved academic adjustments through an accommodation letter provided by the student. The purpose of adjustments is to provide equal access to the programs and opportunities available on campus.
Possible academic adjustments may include:
- Use of a Sign Language Interpreter or Real-Time Captioner for in classroom and campus events
- Extended Time / Alternate Location - for test taking
- Testing Accommodations - reading of tests, use of computer for word processing or speech access, or use of calculator
- Computer Assistance - adaptive technology and training
- Alternative Media Formats - instructional materials transcribed from print media to Braille
- Reader Services - textbooks transcribed to a digital format
- Note-taking Services
- Audio Recording of Lectures
- Preferential Seating in the classroom and access to adaptive furniture
Additional specific information pertaining to students with disabilities can be found in DSS's faculty resource guides.
Frequently Asked Questions
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the college ensures admission, services, activities, facilities, and academic programs are accessible to and usable by qualified students with disabilities.
Accommodations vary from student to student because disability, even the same disability, may result in different functional and educational limitations. Compensation skills and strategies vary from one student to another, just as instructional methods vary from one instructor to another.
MVC is committed to providing accommodations to ensure equal access that are within the boundaries of the law. The laws that govern the K-12 levels differ from laws that govern post-secondary education. As a result, accommodations that a student receives in high school may differ from those approved at the community college level. Students are counseled on these differences during their appointments with the DSS counselor.
Students who received accommodation in high school do not have their accommodations carried over. They must enroll in DSS once they are admitted to MVC, and accommodations offered specific to the college environment.
The DSS office may provide testing to assess if an individual meets the qualifications of a student with a Learning Disability. The student will meet with a DSS counselor prior to testing taking place in order to see if this service is necessary. The DSS office does not conduct any mental or physical health evaluations. Documentation from a medical care provider must be provided at the time of intake.
Faculty must contact IT if assistance is needed with extending the allotted test time for students approved for either time and a half or double exam time.
Depending on the needs of the student, the student may be approved to copy notes from a volunteer note taker in the classroom, or a paid note taker may be provided by the DSS office. Only the DSS counselor can approve these services, and DSS staff will coordinate the service once the adjustment is approved and agreed upon between the counselor and student. If the student is approved for and requests to copy notes from another student in their class, DSS staff will make an announcement at the start of the semester requesting a student volunteer. The confidentiality of the student must always be maintained when requesting volunteers. The DSS office provides free carbonless paper for all volunteer note takers.
Students are responsible to self-identify and provide appropriate disability documentation to the DSS office. Documentation must be written by a licensed or credentialed examiner and may include a recent psychological evaluation/diagnostic report, medical letter/report, Individualized Education Plan, 504 plan, audiogram, etc. Cost of the evaluation must be assumed by the student, not by the college. Disability verification is provided at the time of intake. Once their intake with DSS staff is complete, the student will immediately meet with a DSS counselor to discuss academic adjustments. An Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP) is then created and signed by both the counselor and the student. The student is then allowed to request any of their approved adjustments, and are encouraged to make these requests as early as possible.
Once a testing contract is signed by the student and DSS staff, the student can request to take exams in the DSS Testing Center. Students are advised to request this service 5 business days in advance in order to allow time for DSS staff to coordinate with faculty for the exam. The student will report to the DSS office instead of their classroom on the day of exam. All tests should be scheduled at the same time as the in class exam, unless there is a mutual agreement between the student and instructor to test at an alternate time/day. We recommend that all students bring their course syllabus to the DSS Testing Center to schedule exams, tests, or quizzes in advance of the scheduled date. Faculty are responsible for delivering the exam to the DSS office prior to the scheduled exam start time.
Online Courses: For an online course, students are responsible for contacting their instructor to request their allotted test time (either 1.5x or 2.0x). Faculty are responsible for modifying the allotted test time for a student who requests to utilize their extended test time (either 1.5x or 2.0x).
Students with disabilities share the right to meet with you privately regarding disability matters and their confidentiality must be maintained at all times. It is only if you feel that a student may be a danger to themselves or others should this confidential information be shared. Treat all disability related information as confidential medical information. It is important to refrain from making direct reference to the Adjustment Letter or to your knowledge of the student's disability in front of others. If there are any concerns, please contact the DSS office.
The purpose of an Academic Adjustment Authorization Letter is to notify faculty that a student is registered with the DSS office and to assist with communication of approved adjustments. A student may request a Faculty Adjustment Letter anytime from the DSS office. Students are encouraged to speak with each instructor to discuss their individual accommodations.
The DSS Testing Center is open during the following times:
Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 4:30 pm
A student may have an approved adjustment allowing them to take short breaks during their classes or exams. A student should provide the faculty member with an academic adjustment letter showing that this adjustment has been approved for them. These breaks are generally taken to allow the student to attend to their medical/emotional needs. The student is aware that they will still be responsible for any material discussed during the class during the time they have stepped out.
Digital Recorders are used to support comprehension, processing, weak fine motor skills etc. Students have the right to record class lectures for personal use only. It is appropriate for faculty to issue a general announcement during open discussions to turn any recording device off, as long as the open discussion material is not assessed. Students are advised by DSS staff that they are not to share their recordings with other students from their class. DSS does loan out digital recording equipment, however quantities are limited, therefore it is encouraged that they make their request for this adjustment at the beginning of each semester.
Preferential Seating is an area of the classroom that may be more beneficial to a student's learning and/or medical needs. Arranging preferential seating should be a collaborative process between faculty and student. If need be, DSS staff can also assist with this process.
It is the responsibility of the student to initiate any request(s) for special furniture/equipment needs through the DSS office. For instance, the student attends the first class and assesses the situation/environment. If there is a need for special furniture/equipment, the student will contact the DSS office, provide the class information (time/location), and their specific furniture/equipment request. Once the request has been placed with the DSS office, the Facilities Department is contacted to make the appropriate changes.
Students whose disability interferes with their ability to effectively utilize standard print materials may be eligible to receive textbooks in alternative formats. Alternate formats may include electronic, audio, Braille, or large print versions of standard print educational materials. Students with approved alternate format are encouraged to submit their requests with the DSS office, as early as possible, as processing time may vary. We encourage faculty to choose materials that are available as ebooks. An ebook format allows a student with a disability to obtain a digital copy of the textbook, with the option to download the book onto an electronic device.
Students with a disability and/or medical condition that impedes their ability to write may require the use of a scribe. A scribe is coordinated for the student through the DSS office at the time they sign up for an exam. The student is also responsible for directing the scribe throughout the exam specifically with terminology, spelling, grammar, punctuation, organization, and corrections. The scribe is responsible for recording all information the student dictates.
Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. Under the ADA, state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.
Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices.
If a student shows up to class and it is not obvious that it is a service dog, then you are permitted to ask two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? If the answers are Yes and task specific, then end of the story, unless the handler does not retain control of the animal. If the answer is No or not task specific, they can be asked to remove the dog from the premises. If it is obvious that it is a service dog, you cannot ask either question.
The DSS office offers different types of text to speech programs that read printed text aloud. The Kurzweil 3000 and Jaws combines accessibility, communication and productivity tools for reading, writing and learning. Each of these reading software programs are user friendly and easy to use. A tutorial is required for each student approved for a "reader for tests."
Speech Recognition Software is a speech-to-text program allowing the student to speak into a microphone while the program transcribes the information into spoken words. The DSS office offers Dragon Naturally Speaking software, which quickly and easily capture thoughts and ideas. Voice training is required for any student approved this accommodation.
The DSS office is the designated office on campus to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students. If you receive documentation directly from the student, please refer them to the Disability Support Services office to go through the formal process of requesting accommodations that has been established by the College.
All students are subject to the same Code of Conduct at Moreno Valley College. If there is an inappropriate incident that prevents you from effectively teaching your course, document the situation and contact the Dean of Student Service's office. For more information on student conduct, as well as student complaint forms, please view the Standards of Conduct page.