Student Life

Disability Services Student Handbook

Download Student Handbook PDF

Administration Building, Room 106
500 College Drive
Mason City, IA 50401
(641) 422-4296
(641) 422-4108 (fax)


Table of Contents

Introduction & Contact Information
Confidentiality and Release of Information
Code of Student Conduct
Initiating Services and Accommodations
Testing Accommodations
Class Scheduling Guidelines
Note Taking Assistance
Alternative Media
Assistive Technology Equipment and Software
Campus and Other Resources
Parking & Accessible Routes on Campus
Policies & Procedures
Emergency Procedures for Students with Disabilities
NIACC Disability Services Grievance Procedure
Captioning Policy


INTRODUCTION: UNDERSTANDING DISABILITY SERVICES IN COLLEGE

North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. These accommodations are provided to assist students with disabilities in accessing education at NIACC. Working in partnership with the student, the Disability Services Counselor will develop an individual plan for services that will include accommodations in testing and instruction. A student with disabilities must submit documentation to verify presence of a disability and request services each semester.

NIACC Disability Services Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Administration Building, Rm 106
500 College Drive Mason City, IA 50401

Phone Numbers:
Office: (641) 422-4296 or (641) 422-4413
Fax: (641) 422-4413

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Confidentiality and Release of Information

NIACC Disability Services is committed to ensuring that all information and communication pertaining to a student’s disability is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law.

The following guidelines about the treatment of such information have been adopted by NIACC Disability Services. These guidelines incorporate relevant state and federal regulations.

  1. No one will have immediate access to student files in NIACC Disability Services except appropriate staff of NIACC Disability Services. Any information regarding a disability is considered confidential and will be shared only with others within the college who have a legitimate educational interest.
  2. This information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  3. Sensitive information in NIACC Disability Services student files will not be released except in accordance with federal and state laws.
  4. A student’s file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.
  5. If a student wishes to have information about his/her disability shared with others outside the college, the student must provide written authorization to the Counselor for NIACC Disability Services to release the information. Before giving such authorization, the student should understand the purpose of the release and to whom the information is being released. The student should also understand that there may be occasions when the Counselor for NIACC Disability Services will share information regarding a student’s disability at his/her discretion if circumstances necessitate the sharing of information and the Counselor has determined that there is an appropriate legitimate education interest involved.
  6. A student has the right to review his/her own NIACC Disability Services file with reasonable notification.

 

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Code of Student Conduct

 

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Students who enroll accept our policies, regulations, and operational procedures. Student behavior, which after due process is found to be disruptive to classes or to destroy the rights of others or property, may result in disciplinary probation or suspension.

I. Statement of General Policy and Definitions: It is expected that each student will obey Federal, State, and local laws; will show respect for properly constituted authority; and will exhibit and maintain integrity and honor in all manners related to the college.

Definitions in this code, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Board” means the NIACC Board of Directors.
  2. Class day” means a day on which classes are regularly scheduled.
  3. “College property” or “College facilities” means property, real or personal, owned, leased, controlled, or managed by the college.
  4. “Complaint” is a written statement which identifies an alleged violation and which sets forth the facts which constitute the violation. A complaint shall be prepared by the Dean of Student Development and shall include a summary of the expected testimony of each witness in support of the allegation.
  5. “Dean” means the Dean of Student Development.
  6. “Faculty” means instructional employees.
  7. “Major violation” means one which can result in suspension or expulsion from the College or denial of degree.

Student Conduct

The following shall be subject to disciplinary procedures:

  1. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illicit drugs and alcohol on college property or as a part of any college-sponsored activity. A student may be required to submit to a drug test prior to returning to class/clinical/internship assignment if current drug use is suspected.
    Note: When college-sponsored events take place in states or countries where more lenient laws exist, the legal age shall be defined as 21.
    College sponsors of off-campus events have the right to develop and enforce more stringent rules (such as no alcohol).
  2. Dishonesty, including but not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to the college; forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents or records.
  3. Disruption of the orderly process of activities of the college, including unauthorized entry into, obstruction of, or occupation of any college property, and including obstruction of entry or exit to any college property.
  4. Threatening, harassing, physically abusing, racial or ethnic slurs, or endangering in any manner the physical or mental health and safety of any person.
  5. Theft, willful destruction, damage or misuse of any property belonging to or in the possession of the College or belonging to or in possession of any person.
  6. Illegal possession or use of any firearm, explosive, dangerous chemical, or other weapon.

 

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Initiating Services and Accommodations

Below are steps in acquiring accommodations at NIACC:

  • Submit documentation to verify presence of a disability to Disability Services
  • Complete a Disability Services Intake Questionnaire and submit to Disability Services.
  • Meet with the Disability Services Counselor to discuss individual needs and complete an Accommodations Request Letter. Please note: An Accommodation Request Letter must be completed each semester with our office.
  • The Disability Services Counselor will prepare and provide the student with a copy of the Accommodations Request Letter for the instructor of each course that accommodations are requested for.
  • To initiate a request, the student must deliver a copy of the Accommodations Request Letter to the instructor of each course for which an accommodation is requested.
  • Student meets with instructor(s) to discuss how accommodations will be implemented. (If there are any questions from the student or instructor regarding accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Counselor.)
  • Make revisions to the Accommodation Request Letter, as needed.

NIACC will offer reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Reasonable accommodations are meant to provide equal access to educational opportunities.

Please note: Although you may request an accommodation from NIACC at any time, you should request it as early as possible. Some accommodations may take more time to provide than others. Requesting accommodations early will help to ensure that NIACC has enough time to review your request and provide appropriate accommodations. See our Policies & Procedures for more information about specific accommodations

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Testing Accommodations

Students set up testing accommodations with the Counselor for Disability Services.

You have three (3) exam options available to you. Any options require discussion with your instructor and depend on each individual situation:

  1. Take your exams with the class.
  2. Take your exams with appropriate accommodations arranged by the instructor.
  3. Take your exams in the Student Learning Center.

The Student Learning Center testing hours are:
Monday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Please note: Testing hours may vary during holidays, semester breaks, and summer terms.
If you have an online test, you’ll need to let the Counselor for Disability Services know the type and version of software needed for exams and the dates the software will be used. It is important to provide advanced notice to your counselor to ensure the test accommodations will be available for you.

Lateness, Illness, No Show, Cancellation, Rescheduling of Exams:

  1. You are expected to take your test at the time designated and approved by your instructor.
  2. If you arrive late for your exam, you must take the remaining time to complete your exam.
  3. There is no guarantee that the instructor will permit a make-up exam.
  4. This policy also applies if you are late due to illness. If you’re unable to take an exam due to illness or emergency, contact your instructor immediately.
  5. 5. You are responsible for coordinating the makeup of any missed exam or quiz with your instructor.

 

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Class Scheduling Guidelines

  1. Research available course offerings online using WebAdvisor in advance.
    1. Write down your choices (and backup choices) in advance to help your registration session go smoothly and quickly.
  2. Meet with your counselor before the first day of registration so you are ready to schedule classes on the first day of registration for the following semester.
  3. Consider your disability-related needs and issues when scheduling. Some factors to consider might be:
    1. What time of day do the classes meet?
    2. How often do classes meet?
    3. Can you handle back-to-back classes or do you need breaks?
    4. Is your course work balanced, so that you avoid an overload?
    5. Is there a type of work that is affected by your disability? (e.g. if you have a learning disability in reading, can you handle three classes that involve a considerable amount of reading)?
    6. If you have energy or mobility limitations, are you able to get to your next class on time?

 

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Note Taking Assistance

Students may require note taking assistance due to a disability. Students authorized for Note Taking Assistance accommodation will be using the following form below.

– Sample Note Taking Assistance Form –

To:
From:
Re: Request for a note taker

Student:
ID#:

The above named student is registered with the NIACC Disability Services Office and is eligible for note taking assistance

Student has requested a note taker for:

Instructor request: Would you please ask one of your students or announce in class the need for a note taker? Any information about the student requesting a note taker should remain confidential. You can simply say, “There is a student in the class that needs a note taking assistant. Will someone please volunteer to assist in taking notes for this student?”

Student responsibility: If no student elects to be a note taker, please notify me to offer your suggestions about which students you believe would do a good job taking notes. I will contact students who you recommend to try to find someone who is willing to share his/her notes. ___________ (student initials)

  • The student doing the note taking would be paid $ for the semester (plus an additional $ for first-time note takers to complete a brief training).
  • The note taker will need to come to the Student Access Office, AB106 to make arrangements to be a note taker, complete a memo to receive the payment and fill out a W-4 at the business office.
  • Any questions? Please have the potential note taker see me.

 

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Alternative Media

Obtaining Alternative Media is a joint effort between the Counselor for Disability Services and the student.

Steps for requesting materials:

  1. Register with NIACC Disability Services.
  2. Purchase a hard copy of your textbook.
  3. Complete an Alternate Media Request Form. Note: You must show proof of purchase of your textbooks before your request will be completed.

Notification E-mails & Receiving Materials:

  1. The Counselor for Disability Services will notify you as materials are ready for pickup
  2. Before receiving your Alternative Media, please schedule an appointment with the Counselor for Disability Services if training is necessary before using the media.
  3. Check to ensure the materials are working and are in the correct format within 24 hours of receipt. If they are not correct, please report this to Disability Services immediately.

The Alternate Media Request Form can be found online at:

https://niacc.wpengine.com/student-life/disability-services/forms/request-for-alternate-media/

Examples of Alternate Media:

  • MP3 Format
  • Paper Enlargements
  • Braille
  • PDF
  • .rtf / .doc Format

FAQ:

Q. Will I be charged for having my materials converted into an alternate format?
A. No, you will not be charged. This is a free service; however you do need to purchase your own textbooks.

Q. How long will it take before I receive my materials?
A. There are many factors that are part of creating Alternate Media. It’s recommended that you submit your request 6-8 weeks before needing the material.

Q. Do I have to have to have all my materials converted?
A. No. The Counselor for Disability Services will proceed with only the materials you requested, based on the information you provided on your request form.

Q. Do I have to return my converted texts at the end of the semester?
A. No, they are yours to keep, but you are not able to make copies or share with another individual, copy, or distribute the alternate media.

 

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Assistive Technology Equipment and Software

NIACC Disability Services provides various assistive technologies free of charge to students with disabilities. Obtaining some of this technology requires a “check-out” procedure.

Procedure for check-out:

  1. Obtain an accommodations letter listing any assistive technology needed for the semester.
  2. Show the letter to personnel in the office for Disability Services to check out the assistive technology.
  3. A contract is completed. A deposit is required before obtaining the item(s). This deposit is placed on the student bill and is returned to the student after the item(s) are returned.

Examples of Assistive Technology at NIACC:

  1. Assorted pencil/pen grips
  2. Hold-and-Read
  3. Talking calculator w/ headphone jack
  4. Reading helpers – color filters
  5. Ergo-SofPenAgain
  6. RinG Pen
  7. Writing Bird
  8. Writing Guides
  9. Slip-on typing aid
  10. Book Butler
  11. Magnifier
  12. Magnifying rulers
  13. Tape recorders
  14. Digital recorders
  15. Pocketalker Ultra – Personal Amplifier
  16. Personal FM System
  17. Uniphone 1140 – TTY
  18. Dragon NaturallySpeaking and microphone headsets
  19. Window-Eyes
  20. Read & Write 9 Gold – This is available through a site license and must be used on the NIACC main campus.
  21. Kurzweil 3000 – This is available as a network license and must be used on the NIACC main campus.

 

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Campus and Other Resources

Disability Services
Administration Building, Rm 106
641.422.4413
vancelis@niacc.edu

NIACC employs a Disability Services Counselor who coordinates services between students with disabilities and their interactions with the college. Working in partnership with the student, the Disability Services Counselor will develop an individual plan for services that will include accommodations in testing and instruction.


Career & Internship Center
Administration Building, Rm 106
641.422.4292
kunzmtin@niacc.edu

The NIACC Career & Internship Center provides a wide variety of services to students, alumni, and businesses. As a student, whether you want to explore career options, seek employment or an internship opportunity the Career & Internship Center is here to help. If you are a business and have interest in reaching NIACC students and/or alumni for employment opportunities or interest in learning about hosting student intern the Career & Internship Center is the place for you.

The Career & Internship Center also provides one-on-one support for developing and improving job search skills including assistance with completing applications, developing cover letters and resumes, interview preparation, and much more.


Counseling Services
Administration Building, Rm 104
641.422.4207
guzmadaw@niacc.edu

Personal Counseling can assist you to gain a better understanding of the significance of your feelings, attitudes, aptitudes, and other personal data in order for you to have a more realistic basis upon which to make your own decisions. The ultimate goal is to help you grow in self-understanding so that you can cope better with your immediate situation and any problems that may arise.

Academic advising is a mandatory step in ensuring your college degree completion. Each student must meet with a counselor before course registration is possible.


Student Support Services
Administration Building, Rm 104
641.422.4105
pattejen@niacc.edu

Student Support Services is a federally funded grant project which helps eligible students stay in college and graduate. The goal of SSS at NIACC is to promote academic and personal success of all participants. The Project offers counseling, tutoring, college survival skills, orientation classes, career exploration, transfer assistance, and cultural awareness.


Student Learning Center
Beem Center, Rm 103
641.422.4266
putnajes@niacc.edu

The Student Learning Center provides a place for individual students or groups to study with resources close at hand. Students may meet with an instructor or peer tutor for assistance in most subject areas. We can help you learn how to learn with study strategies, test taking tips, and note taking systems.

The Student Learning Center also houses the Testing Center. The Testing Center may be included as part of a student’s accommodations.


NIACC Library
Beem Center, Rm 102
641.422.4232
dolekare@niacc.edu

The Library is open to the students, faculty and staff of NIACC, its partner institutions, and residents of the North Iowa Area. A NIACC ID or Borrower Card is necessary to check out materials.

The Library Collection – The collection contains over 46,000 volumes of print and electronic books, and a variety of non-book media items.

Media Room and Copy Services – A media viewing area located on the south wall of the library houses various types of audiovisual equipment for student use. Copying services are provided at a minimal cost.

Interlibrary Loan Services – The library is connected by computer to over 40,000 libraries across the country via the OCLC system. This brings the libraries of the United States to NIACC students.

Computer Workstations – Five terminals are available in the library for searching the online public access catalog (OPAC). Nine workstations provide Internet access for students, faculty and staff.


On Track
Administration Building, Rm 106
641.422.4296
vancelis@niacc.edu

Our On Track Program is meant for students who have realized they need a little extra help keeping track of assignments, due dates, and a busy schedule of activities. Balancing all these demands can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone.


Retention Alert Program
Beem Center, Rm 102-G
641.422.4209
gillesen@niacc.edu

The Retention Alert Program was developed as a tool to assist in the retention of students by increasing their persistence. With the help of proactive and supportive faculty, early detection and intervention for students who are experiencing some type of problem affecting academic performance may be possible. The goal is to connect students to campus resources, as well as, provide a support for faculty when they have students who are “at risk” in the classroom.


Math Lab
McAllister Hall, Rm 012

The Math Lab is located at the center of the math faculty offices. Each instructor has office hours that ensure an instructor is available during the day for questions from students. All math students have the option of going to the math lab for 1:1 help with a math faculty member or peer tutors.


ADA Coordinator
Administration Building, Rm 106
641.422.4296
vancelis@niacc.edu

ADA Compliance Officer
Administration Building, Rm 104
641.422.4106
ewerster@niacc.edu

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Parking & Accessible Routes on Campus

Any student or visitor with a permanent or temporary mobility impairment who has a disability parking placard is eligible to use our accessible parking spaces.

If you do not currently hold a State of Iowa Disability placard, you must obtain one before parking in NIACC’s accessible parking spaces. These placards are available from the Iowa Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division. Information about obtaining a disability parking permit may be found at the following link: http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ovs/plates/disabilities.htm

Office of Vehicle Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9278
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9278
Telephone: 515.237.3110
E-mail: vehser@dot.iowa.gov

 

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Accessible Campus Routes

Link to NIACC’s Accessible Route Map: http://www.niacc.edu/wp-content/uploads/PDFFiles/DS_pdf/accessible-route-map.pdf

It is advised you contact NIACC Disability Services if you’re concerned about the conditions of any accessible route on our campus. NIACC works to ensure accessible routes are clear of snow and debris. If you find there’s a problem with any accessible route please notify the Counselor for Disability Services immediately.

 

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Policies and Procedures

Communications – Policy & Procedure

Purpose

The policies and procedures are provided to establish guidelines for the provision of communication services such as Telecommunications, Interpreter, CART, TypeWell, or other communication services that may require contracting with an outside agency. Second, the policy establishes procedures and a timeline to ensure availability of services to all those in need of such services.

NIACC will furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of NIACC’s services, programs, or activities. The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the method of communication used by the individual; the nature, length, and complexity of the communication involved; and the context in which the communication is taking place. All requests will be discussed on an individual basis.

General Requirements

  • To access communication services students must present documentation of a qualifying disability to NIACC Disability Services, located in the Administration Building, Room 106.
  • The Department requires a sixty-day (60 day) notice of the need for services in order to provide reasonable assurance that services will be available when needed. The Department will attempt to obtain services requested with less than sixty days notice, however, available services are provided in the order they were requested.
  • If Communication Services are not available when classes start, the student is to meet with the Counselor for Disability Services in AB106, to discuss reasonable alternatives that would enable the student to attend class and complete course requirements.
  • Special requests for services, such as field trips or workshops, are to be handled on an individual basis by speaking with the Counselor for Disability Services.

Video remote interpreting (VRI) services

In the event NIACC chooses to provide qualified interpreters via VRI services NIACC shall ensure that we provide a high quality video image and audio transmission that is large enough to display the interpreter’s and participating individual’s face, arms, hands, and fingers, regardless of his or her body position.

Telecommunications

NIACC will provide text telephones (TTYs) or equally effective telecommunications systems to communicate with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or have speech impairments, upon request.

Attendance Policy

If you are going to be absent from or late for a class, inform NIACC Disability Services (and the Service Provider) at least 24 hours in advance. If the Service Provider is not notified he/she will wait 10 minutes for a one-hour class, 20 minutes for a two-hour class, and a maximum of 30 minutes for a class lasting three hours or more. After the wait time is over, the Service Provider will report the “no-show” to NIACC Disability Services.

If you are absent from class three (3) times during a semester without calling to cancel interpreting or other services, your services may be “put on hold” for the semester. If you want services in your classes again, you MUST schedule a meeting with the Counselor for Disability Services.

First No-Show = FREE. The first time you are absent and do not call 24 hrs in advance to cancel interpreting or other services, the missed class will be noted by Disability Services without consequences.

Second No-Show = REMINDER. The second time you are absent and do not call 24 hrs before class to cancel services, you will get a letter in the mail reminding you that you have two “no-shows” for the semester.

Third No-Show = HOLD. The third time you are absent and do not call 24 hrs in advance to cancel services there will be a “hold” placed on the services provided. Services will not be provided for you until you have a meeting with the Counselor for Disability Services to explain your situation.

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Course Substitution Policy & Procedure

NIACC Disability Services supports petitions for course substitutions in cases of non-major specific course requirements as a reasonable accommodation. A course substitution may be considered if the disability documentation supports the petition and if the course in consideration is not essential to your major.

Furthermore, in order for the course to be considered for substitution, there needs to be evidence that a student either cannot pass the course with accommodations or would have extreme difficulty doing so.

If a student chooses to initiate a petition, the student should adhere to the following procedure:

  1. The student must provide NIACC Disability Services with comprehensive, current, and relevant documentation of the disability, completed by a qualified provider, such as a licensed psychologist.
  2. Requests are required in writing. The request should include:
    1. Documentation of the condition that is the basis of the request
    2. A clear description of the desired course substitution request
    3. An explanation of how the request relates to the impact of the condition
  3. Meet with the Counselor for Disability Services at NIACC to review documentation and discuss procedures. There must be evidence in the documentation that the disability has a significant impact on the learning of the coursework in question.
  4. If the petition is supported by NIACC Disability Services, the Counselor for Disability Services will write a letter of support and provide this letter to the NIACC Registrar. The NIACC Registrar will notify the Division Chairperson who works with the particular course in question.
  5. NIACC Disability Services will not support a petition for course substitution if the course is essential (fundamental) to the degree program being sought. Each request is entertained on a case-by-case basis.
  6. Substitutions are not automatically supported for persons who may have had substitutions or waivers of a curriculum requirement from other institutions.
  7. Course substitutions provided at NIACC may not be honored at transfer institutions. It is recommended that the student contact prospective transfer institutions for verification.

 

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Emergency Procedures for Students with Disabilities

As a student with a disability, it is important to take responsibility for your own safety. In or to ensure your safety, develop an emergency plan or strategy in advance.

How you respond to an emergency depends on:

  • The type of emergency
  • Your specific disability
  • The location of your classes

Note: For any emergency the first step is to contact 911, making sure to indicate your specific needs.

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Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Students with Disabilities

When an emergency such as smoke, fire, toxic spill, or other event requiring evacuation is confirmed, NIACC personnel will contact the Police and/or Fire Department to manage the evacuation process.

NIACC has taken the following preparatory protocols:

  1. The college has identified all Fire Exits and Storm Shelter Areas throughout the campus.
  2. Fire Exits have lighted, overhead EXIT signs and flashing/auditory FIRE alarms.
  3. Each building contains a building map that identifies Evacuation Routes and Storm Shelters.
  4. An emergency messaging system is available at NIACC. Make sure you’ve registered to receive emergency alerts on your cell phone and through your NIACC email.

It is strongly recommended that persons with disabilities acquire additional alerting devices to draw attention to themselves during an emergency. Cell phones can be an effective tool for contacting emergency personnel.

Depending upon the facility and type of disability, people may have the following evacuation options:

  1. Exit. Leave the building through any exit door. Make sure you’ve identified accessible door locations ahead of time.
  2. Elevators. Elevators are never to be used in the event of a fire without explicit authorization by fire or police personnel.
  3. Evacuation may not be necessary or advisable in all situations. Many stairwells are designed to provide temporary protection from fire or other danger. If immediate evacuation is necessary, be aware of the following considerations:
    1. Wheelchairs have moveable parts; some are not designed to withstand stress or lifting.
    2. Wheelchairs should not be used to descend stairwells, if at all possible.
    3. Always consult with the person in the chair regarding how best to assist him/her.
  4. Stairway evacuations of individuals who use wheelchairs may be hazardous to the wheelchair user, rescuers, and others attempting to evacuate and should not be attempted by untrained personnel unless there’s no other alternative.
    1. A stairway must be large enough for you to sit without obstructing the flow of traffic as people exit the building via the stairway.
    2. Wheelchairs should not be used to descend stairwells, if at all possible.
    3. If using a stairway for an area of rescue is not feasible, locate a room that is in close proximity to the stairway. If you may have difficulty opening the door, ask for assistance.

NOTE: If you’re an instructor who has a student who’s unable to use the stairs during an evacuation, please help the student to the top of the stairwell, call 911 to let them know your location, and wait with the student until help arrives.

The dispatcher will alert the fire department to your location so they can immediately assist the student in evacuation.

Flexible Attendance Policy

North Iowa Area Community College Disability Services (NDS) will work with students and instructors to determine if flexibility in attendance may be a reasonable accommodation due to disability.

Attendance policy is set by faculty for each individual course.  Similarly, faculty determine policies regarding make-up work and missed exams or quizzes.  Faculty are not required to lower or effect substantial modifications of standards for accommodation purposes.  Attendance may be integral to the learning process, depending on the course design and objectives.  In some cases, attendance is essential to course objectives.  In other instances, faculty may determine that students can master course content despite absences.

NIACC strives to provide due diligence in making determination of reasonable accommodations. NDS has established the following procedure for considering/granting requests for exception in attendance policies:

 

  1. Students with disabilities must request consideration of this accommodation from the Disability Services Office.  It is recommended that this be done prior to the beginning of each semester in which the accommodation is requested.  The determination of the curricular impact and the appropriateness of such request will be considered individually for each class.  Documentation must be provided that indicates both why the student may need to miss classes and to what extent.  While it is understood that the student cannot always predict accurately the number or percent of absences anticipated, the student is asked to provide some indication of the scope of the request.
  2. NIACC Disability Services will evaluate the request and the documentation provided to determine whether the student has provided justifiable disability-based reasons for requesting consideration in attendance requirements.  Documentation will be held in the Disability Services Office and will be considered confidential.  If it is determined that the reasons provided do not constitute a need for accommodation in this regard, the student will be notified of this decision.
  3. If it is determined that the request is justified by impact of the student’s disability, then faculty from each class in which the student is enrolled for that semester will be contacted to request information on any established attendance policies for the class and the importance of attendance/participation to the curricular integrity and learning process.  Class attendance for classes offered in the classroom environment are typically considered a significant aspect of participatory learning.  All requests for exception in attendance requirements will be evaluated carefully, with due consideration given to the information provided on the NIACC Exception of Course Attendance Requirements form.
  4. If it is determined, by all parties involved, that it is not possible to consider an exception regarding attendance policies for a given course, the student will be so informed and will be given the opportunity to discuss other accommodation options that may be appropriate.
  5. Students are responsible for contacting the faculty member as soon as possible when a disability-related absence will occur/has occurred and, as necessary, informing the faculty member as to when the student will return to class.  If the student is unable to reach the faculty member directly, the student or someone acting on his/her behalf may contact the Disability Services Office.  Information will then be relayed to the faculty member through the Disability Services Office.
  6. This accommodation potentially provides relief from requirements for physical attendance in classes.  The student is responsible for any material covered or work done during such disability-necessitated absences; neither extension of deadlines for assignments due, nor arrangements for making up tests and exams missed during such absences are to be assumed in this assigned accommodation.  These must be negotiated individually with faculty as need arises.
  7. If, at any time, the faculty member believes that the student’s absences from class threatens the academic integrity of the curriculum or the accomplishment of learning objectives, the faculty member should contact the Disability Services Office as soon as possible.  After consulting with the faculty member, NIACC Disability Services staff will contact the student to review available options.

 

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Personal Emergency Plans for Persons with Disabilities

Although the process of developing a Personal Emergency Plan is optional for students and staff, NIACC encourages proactive planning on the part of the entire college community for emergency conditions. Individuals with disabilities may require additional assistance with alerting, evacuating, and sheltering in the event of an emergency.

NIACC offers the opportunity, through a confidential process, to develop a Personal Emergency Plan that could include strategies to implement in the event of an emergency. The request form is available on the NIACC Disability Services website using the “forms” link. This form should be revised each semester to reflect current classrooms, living arrangements, etc.

The form can be found at the following link: https://niacc.wpengine.com/student-life/disability-services/forms/emergency-evacuation-request/

Return the Personal Emergency Plan form to:

Lisa Vance
NIACC Disability Services
500 College Drive
Mason City, IA 50401
Administration Building 106A
vancelis@niacc.edu
641.422.4296

Once a student submits a Personal Emergency Plan Request, the Counselor for Disability Services will notify the student to discuss how the plan will be implemented. Together, student and counselor will develop a Personal Emergency Plan that will be kept on file in Disability Services. Only those with a “need to know” have access to it.

Inform Involved Parties:

It is important to let other know of your plan. In most instances, this should be the instructors of your classes, your resident advisor and housing directory (if living on campus), and other NIACC faculty and staff who you may work with during a given semester. Let them know the location you have selected to await rescue personnel in the case of an emergency.

Contact Information and Emergency Numbers:

Emergency – Dial 911 (Fire-Police-Ambulance)

Mason City Police Department
78 South Georgia Avenue
Mason City, IA 50401-3990
641.421.3636

Mason City Fire Department
350 5th St. SW
Mason City, IA 50401-3822
641.421.3640

Shelly Schmit
Vice President – Institutional Effectiveness & Org. Dev.
Administration Building, 109B
641.422.4211
schmishe@niacc.edu

Travis Hergertt
Director, Student Housing
641.422.4990
hergertra@niacc.edu

Lisa Vance
Counselor, Disability Services
Administration Building, 106A
641.422.4296
vancelis@niacc.edu

 

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NIACC Disability Services Grievance Procedure

North Iowa Area Community College complies with all applicable federal and state regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. These regulations affirm that any qualified person receive reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to educational opportunities, services, programs and activities at the college.

Any student who believes he/she has been denied any service or benefit or otherwise discriminated against due to a disability may follow the steps in the Grievance Procedure outlined below. Informal Grievance Procedure:

Students should first attempt to resolve complaints informally with the parties involved, and make every effort to address problems early, so that issues are less likely to escalate into grievances. Students may contact the Disability Services Counselor as part of this informal grievance process. If the grievance is not resolved informally, then each student shall have the right to invoke the formal grievance procedure described in the following.

Formal Grievance Procedure:

  • The 1st step in a grievance procedure is to make an effort to resolve the complaint informally.
  • If the Student and the Disability Services Counselor, or other involved parties, cannot produce a resolution to the conflict, the student may complete a formal appeal filed by the student to the Dean of Student Development, within 30 days of the alleged incident.
    • Student should use the Grievance form located on our web site or obtain the Grievance form from the Student Access Center located at AB106 on the NIACC campus
  • The Dean of Student Development has a right to schedule a meeting, within 2 weeks of receiving the grievance form, among the Disability Services Counselor, the student, and the faculty member (if applicable), or other involved parties if it’s deemed necessary in resolving concerns
  • The Dean of Student Development will notify the student of the findings regarding the student’s grievance within 30 days after receiving the completed grievance form. **If a meeting among involved parties is deemed necessary, the Dean of Student Development has 30 days from the date of the meeting to notify the student, in writing, of findings regarding the student’s grievance.
  • The Dean of Student Development has the final authority to uphold, reduce, or reverse the decision that was made among the involved parties.
  • Any questions regarding this Grievance procedure should be directed to the Disability Services Counselor.
  • All written grievances received by the Dean of Student Development and any written responses from respective NIACC offices will be retained by the Disability Services Office for at least three (3) years.

The student is encouraged, when possible, to resolve the complaint by utilizing the Grievance procedure described above. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of this procedure, he/she has the right to file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). More information is available from OCR.

The OCR for Iowa is located at:
Chicago Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Citigroup Center
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
Chicago, IL 60661
Telephone: 312.730.1560
Fax: 312.730.1576; TDD: 877.521.2172
Email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html


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Captioning Policy

North Iowa Area Community College is committed to the fundamental academic principle of accessibility by providing equal access to all of NIACC’s programs & services.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) & the ADA Amendments Act (2008), protects persons with disabilities from discrimination through barriers to communication.  Communications with individuals with disabilities must be as effective as communication with others.  The use of captioned media is one method in breaking down these barriers to equal communication access.

For more information: http://www.niacc.edu/student-life/disability-services/policies-procedures/captioning-policy/