Faculty member working with students

Access & Accommodation - Questions and Answers

Who should contact Accessibility Services at Coe College?

The following individuals should contact Accessibility Services

  • Students with a documented disability or a history of a documented disability;
  • Students who consistently received extra time to complete exams in high school;
  • Students who are experiencing challenges to their learning that they feel may be improved through an academic accommodation.

How soon in my academic career at Coe College should I contact Accessibility Services?

Ideally, and whenever possible, students should make their initial contact with the Accessibility Services Coordinator (ASC) prior to the first day of classes or as soon as the disability or need for accommodation is identified by the student. Accommodations are not granted retroactively; therefore, it is very important to make contact as soon as possible.

Who do I contact if I have a question about accommodations?

Please contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator, Kim Pierson.
Email: kpierson@coe.edu
Phone: 319.399.8534
Mail: Coe College Accessibility services Office, 1220 1st Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA  52402

How do I schedule an appointment to discuss possible accommodations?

Please email accessibility@coe.edu or contact TRIO/AAP Administrative Assistant, Karen Swenson at 319.399.8547 to schedule an initial appointment. Expect this meeting to take 30-45 minutes.

How are accommodations determined?

The process of determining appropriate accommodation is based on the student’s report of past history, current experience, impressions of future needs, as well as the Coordinator’s professional assessment and knowledge of your academic plan. Third party documentation may be requested to augment reported information, provide additional suggestions for appropriate accommodations, or to expand understanding of student self-report.

What documentation should I bring to my first meeting?

Documentation for your initial meeting with Accessibility Services may include:

  • Copies of IEP/504 plans
  • Reports from medical/ psychological professions
  • Description of current functional limitations
  • Prognosis of disease process (if applicable)
  • Explanation of how diagnosis substantially limits a major life activity

What do I do if I do not have documentation but believe I may have a disability that qualifies for accommodations?

The process of determining appropriate accommodation is based on the student’s report of past history, current experience, impressions of future needs, as well as the Coordinator’s professional assessment and knowledge of your academic plan. You should still make an appointment to meet with the ASC even if you have no documentation.

What will happen to information about my disability?

Student documentation is stored in secured files. Any information shared between the student with a disability, the ASC, and their faculty is considered confidential and may not be shared beyond this group without the student's express permission.

What process should I follow to request accommodations?

  • Schedule an appointment to meet with the ASC to begin the review process. Please email accessibility@coe.edu or call 319.399.8547 to schedule an appointment.
  • Appropriateness of accommodations will be determined through an interactive process giving the student the opportunity to share their unique and specific needs.

What is an “accommodation letter?"

An accommodation letter is a college document that lists the specific accommodations that have been approved for an individual student.

Who is an accommodation letter shared with?

In order to implement the requested accommodations, the student for which the letter was written must hand-deliver the letter to their faculty within seven (7) days of receipt from the ASC and must return the same form, signed by faculty, to ASC within 14 days of original receipt of the letter.

Accommodations do not go into effect until the student has delivered the letter and obtained the faculty’s signature on the accommodation form.

Do I need to discuss the accommodations with my faculty?

Yes, to enable faculty to better understand your specific needs and to determine the best way to implement any accommodations requested you are asked to meet with each of your faculty when you obtain their signature.

Do I have to tell my faculty what my disability is or any specific information about my disability?

Faculty may not ask you specific questions about your disability. You are welcome to share any information you are comfortable discussing. Faculty are encouraged to ask questions about how the requested accommodation helps your learning or how your disability effects your experience in their class.

Why do I need to discuss my accommodations with the faculty teaching my class?

At Coe College, our faculty are among the most important resources available to support your learning. As such, it is important for your faculty to understand, to the extent possible, how your disability affects the way you interact with classroom materials and teaching methods. Understanding your needs facilitates their ability to support your learning and offer meaningful suggestions for study techniques.

What is my faculty’s role in providing accommodations?

Access is a college community-wide responsibility. The faculty play a major role in meeting the instructional needs of all students. Providing access and equal opportunity to the courses at Coe College requires the active participation of each faculty member.

Faculty responsibilities for implementing classroom accommodations include:

  • Inviting communication with students regarding their individual needs and accommodations.
  • Contacting the Accessibility Services Coordinator with any concerns regarding implementation or the reasonableness/appropriateness of accommodation requests.
  • Assessing the role of the course design in the student's need for accommodations. Does the nature of the course pose any challenges for applying these accommodations?

May faculty make adjustments or changes to the accommodation letter?

Faculty members, may, in consultation with the student, individualize the way in which the accommodation is provided to the student as long as the intent of the accommodation is met. The faculty and student should notify the Accessibility Services Coordinator of such changes or modifications.

An example of such a modification would be if a faculty member elected to provide extended time for testing in a location other than the Testing Center. If both the faculty and the student agreed to the alternate location, they should notify the Accessibility Services Coordinator of the change.

What do I do if my teacher refuses to sign the accommodation letter?

Please contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator, Kim Pierson at kpierson@coe.edu or by calling 319.399.8534.

Who do I contact if the accommodations written in the accommodation letter are not being carried out in my class?

If you have taken the Accommodation Letter to your faculty and they have signed the form but are not making the accommodations indicated available to you, please contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator, Kim Pierson at kpierson@coe.edu or by calling 319.399.8534.

Who do I contact if I disagree with the findings of the Accessibility Services Coordinator?

If after meeting with the Accessibility Services Coordinator you do not feel your request for accommodations has been appropriately met you may contact the Coe College ADA Compliance Officer, Dr. Paula O’Loughlin.

Dr. Paula O’Loughlin
Coe College, Provost
ADA Compliance Officer
1220 1st Avenue, NE
Cedar Rapids, IA  52402
Phone: 319.399.8616
Email: poloughlin@coe.edu