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Bethel College is committed to providing equal educational access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAA) of 2008.

Bethel College will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, and procedures unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity, or pose an undue administrative or financial burden.

Bethel’s Center for Academic Development (CAD) provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with physical or learning disabilities (upon request) such as: designing appropriate accommodations, liaison with faculty, liaison with the registrar to reassign a classroom, help in getting proper identification for national services, and proctors or scribes for tests.

Guidelines for Documentations of Learning Disabilities

IEA, ADA, IEP’S, and Section 504 Plans

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Step 1: The student must contact the Center for Academic Development and ask to speak with Dan Quinlin (316-284-5333 or dquinlin@bethelks.edu) to discuss accommodations.

Step 2: The student must provide Dr. Quinlin with the appropriate documentation in support of his/her accommodation requests.

Step 3: Once the review of the materials is complete, Dr. Quinlin will contact the student to inform him/her of any accommodations for which s/he was approved. Such accommodations will not be initiated automatically, however (see Step 4). If accommodations are denied, Dr. Quinlin will explain why and what can be done to support those interests.

Step 4: Within two weeks from the beginning of each semester, the student will inform Dr. Quinlin of the classes s/he is taking so that he can notify the instructors (as requested by the student) to identify specific accommodations, or raise awareness in regards to a condition which may require special consideration. Dr. Quinlin will also ask the student to sign a statement in which the student affirms the specific accommodations requested for the semester.

Note: Steps 1-4 may take up to one week to implement after all documentation is received. Therefore, students are encouraged to initiate this process as soon as possible (before the semester begins or within the first two weeks of the semester). The college is not responsible to provide accommodations for any student who has not requested accommodations in a semester. It is the student’s responsibility to provide prompt notice to Dr. Quinlin so that instructors can be notified in a timely manner. Instructors are not obligated to provide any accommodations which are not presented in the notice to faculty.

For example, a student should not assume that he/she can wait to request accommodations until the day of an exam! The college is not responsible to allow a student to take an exam with accommodations, if accommodations were not requested at least one week prior to the exam. A student will not receive any retroactive accommodations on work completed before the approval for accommodations was made.

Does Bethel offer academic services for students with disabilities? For any student who has been deemed eligible for special services, Bethel provides reasonable accommodations and/or modifications in order to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to participate in Bethel programs, services, and activities. The purpose of accommodations is not to ensure success, but rather to provide access and equal educational opportunity.

Do I have to disclose my disability to anyone at Bethel? A student is not required to disclose his or her disability to the college. If a student chooses not to disclose his or her disability to the college, the student is not eligible for accommodations, nor is the college liable for failure to provide accommodations. If, however, a student applies to the Center for Academic Development for accommodations, the student must provide documentation of his or her disability. The student’s disability status will only be shared with relevant Bethel faculty, staff or administration on a need-to-know basis. After the student has been approved for accommodations at Bethel, the student will not receive retroactive accommodations on work completed before the approval for accommodations was made.

What are some of the services Bethel offers? Academic services for students may include:

  1. Accessible classrooms
  2. Course aids (such as extra time for exams, recorders, and note takers)

Students are encouraged to talk with Dr. Daniel Quinlin to determine what accommodations may be most appropriate and effective. Please note that services and accommodations are only offered to students who are approved for them through the documentation process.

When should I submit my documentation? The sooner, the better, as the documentation review process may take up to one week. Thus, students are encouraged to initiate the process as early as possible.

At my last school, I received different or more accommodations than Bethel is willing to grant me. Why is there such a difference in services between Bethel and my last school? High schools often offer services and accommodations meant to help ensure a student's success. At college, the governing laws dictate that a college or university simply not discriminate against students with disabilities and provide access to curriculum. As a result, the services that a college provides may be vastly different from those to which students were accustomed in high school. Similarly, students may find that services at Bethel are different than those that they might have received at another post-secondary institution. This is not unusual; colleges may have differing philosophies on accommodations or some schools may be able to offer access to more extensive services. If a student has been denied an accommodation that he or she received at a previous school, some of the reasons for this may include the following:  The documentation does not meet the college’s guidelines for such accommodations.

  • Providing the accommodations would fundamentally alter the program, course, or activity.
  • The accommodation being requested is not supported by the documentation.
  • Providing the accommodation would pose a direct threat to the student or to others.
  • Providing the accommodation would constitute an undue administrative or financial burden pursuant to the criteria established under the ADA and/or Section 504.
  • The accommodation is in opposition to the educational philosophy of the college.

Is it ever too late to request accommodations? There is no deadline for when a student can begin the documentation process to apply for accommodations; some students don't even get identified with a learning disability or other disabling conditions until their senior year. However, accommodations will not be provided retroactively, and grades will not be changed after a student is approved for accommodations. Students who have used accommodations at their previous institution and who choose not to apply for accommodations when they arrive at Bethel should know that there is no opportunity to retake exams or courses if they are unsatisfied with their grades. Even if a student can establish that he or she had a disability at the time of the course in question, or used accommodations at a previous school, Bethel will not expunge or re-examine coursework completed before the student was reviewed and approved for accommodations at Bethel College. If a student has been approved for accommodations, he or she will have to abide by certain timelines depending upon the kind of accommodation needed.

Do I have to use all of my accommodations in every class? Some accommodations may not be appropriate for all classes. For example, if a student has been approved to use a blank sheet of paper as a placeholder on multiple choice exams, and the instructor gives only essay exams, then the accommodation is irrelevant. If a student chooses, however, not to use an accommodation in a given class, then the student will not be given the chance for a re-test or a make-up an assignment with accommodations at a later date.

Can I request an accommodation directly from my professor, before I have been approved for accommodations? No. Once you have submitted all necessary documentation to Dr. Daniel Quinlin and have signed a form requesting accommodations, Dr. Quinlin will contact the appropriate instructors with the requested accommodations.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.