Why Register with the Center on Disability (COD)?
Community College of Philadelphia is committed to ensuring that qualified individuals with a disability are afforded equitable access to and participation in our programs and services. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, no qualified person will be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by the College because of disability. Nor will individuals with a disability be subjected to discrimination while participating in College programs or activities due to disability.
The Center on Disability is the office designated to provide accommodations and promote equitable academic, social, and support opportunities for students with a disability enrolled at the College. To request accommodations based on disability, a student must follow the steps for registering with the COD.
The COD can assist students with disabilities by:
- Determining appropriate academic accommodations for your classes
- Connecting you to campus and community resources that support your educational goals
- Introducing you to assistive technology that supports your academic goals
- Facilitating your communication with faculty about your learning needs
- Developing activities that support your goals
We encourage any student who had a 504 plan or an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), or who participated in special education services, to consider registering with the COD. Additionally, we encourage anyone with a documented disability who did not participate in special education services to contact us. Even if you don't think you'll need accommodations to participate fully in your academic program, we suggest connecting with us as an additional resource.
When Should I Begin Registering with the COD?
We encourage students to begin their registration with the COD as soon as possible after applying to the College or determining a need for accommodations. After the student has submitted information, it can take up to six weeks to review the information and schedule an appointment, depending on the time of year.
At times, the COD staff may need to request more information from students, medical providers, and faculty as to the appropriateness of a requested accommodation. Delays in beginning the registration process, submitting supporting documentation, or responding to requests for additional information or meetings will delay accommodations and services.
You can register with the COD by following these steps:
2. Apply for Financial Aid if you need assistance to pay for courses.
3. Submit a Student Information Form plus supporting information about your disability to the COD. Please refer to our documentation guidelines below to determine the information we need to establish your eligibility for services. Send your Student Information Form and supporting information by one of the methods below:
Community College of Philadelphia
Center on Disability, Room BG-39
1700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
4. For the Placement Test accommodations: Participate in a thirty-minute phone appointment with a COD staff person to discuss your testing accommodation needs, as well as the procedures for accessing your accommodations upon check-in to the Placement Test. These accommodations will apply to the Placement Test only.
5. For ongoing class accommodations: After registering for coursework at the College, attend an initial face-to-face meeting with a COD staff person, fully prepared to discuss: the services and accommodations you have used in the past, how you have benefitted from past accommodations, the type of services and accommodations you anticipate needing in college, and questions you have about the COD.
6. Attend follow-up appointments, meetings or programs recommended by the COD staff.
Please share these guidelines with the professionals who manage your disability-related condition(s). Documentation should be in the form of a letter or report typed on letterhead paper.
The documentation should include:
- Information that is current and relevant to the college setting
- Information that has been prepared by a professional who is licensed to diagnose or treat the condition for which you are seeking service, and is familiar with the history and functional implications of your condition
- Diagnosis, prognosis, and nature of the disability
- Relevant developmental, medical, social, educational, and/or accommodation history
- Clinical assessment or method of determining presence of a disability
- Functional limitations imposed by the disability, severity of limitations imposed, and impact on major life activities
- Expected manifestation of the disability in a college setting
- Prescribed medications that could affect classroom performance (please describe effects)
- Suggested accommodations, with rationale for each accommodation requested
- Professional’s signature, professional credentials and contact number
Please note: If you are requesting information from your high school, please ask them to provide your most recent Evaluation Report (ER), Reevaluation Report (RR), or Comprehensive Evaluation Report (CER). Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) do not typically provide information that addresses accommodation questions relevant to a college setting.
Rights and Responsibilities
Students with a disability have a right to:
- Full and equitable participation in the programs, services, and activities of Community College of Philadelphia
- Reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids or services
- Information available in accessible formats
- Limit the College’s access to confidential records, while recognizing the impact this may have on facilitating effective accommodations
- Determine whether or not to use recommended accommodations, while accepting the outcome of those choices
As a college student with a disability, you should be prepared to:
- Meet the requirements for admission to the College, which include achieving the requisite scores on your Placement Tests
- Identify yourself to the COD as an individual with a disability by following the steps for registering with our office
- Provide information to the COD that establishes your eligibility for accommodations and supports your need for requested accommodations
- Follow procedures established for obtaining and using your accommodations
- Complete the required work associated with your classes and maintain your eligibility to participate in academic programs, services, and activities
- Fulfill the essential requirements of your academic program
- Use the resources available at the College to support your studies
- Behave in a manner that is consistent with the College’s Code of Conduct
- Immediately contact the COD if you have any concerns about your accommodations or how they are being implemented
The College’s Rights
The College has the right to:
- Establish essential functions, skills, abilities, standards, and knowledge for programs, courses, services, and activities, and to evaluate students accordingly
- Verify disability status, and to request current, relevant documentation that supports accommodation requests and meets standards established and published by the College
- Discuss students and their disabilities with appropriate faculty and staff to facilitate accommodations and to further the educational interests of the student
- Deny accommodation requests that are not supported by appropriate documentation
- Deny unreasonable accommodation requests that would impose a fundamental alteration on a College program or activity, present an undue financial or administrative burden to the College, or pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others
The College’s Responsibilities
The College has the responsibility to:
- Ensure that programs, courses, services, activities and facilities are accessible and useable in integrated settings
- Provide information and communication to students, faculty, staff and guests in alternative format upon request
- Evaluate students on the basis of ability rather than disability
- Respond to accommodation requests in a timely manner
- Provide reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services to students engaging in College programs, services, and activities
- Be specific in requesting additional information to support an accommodation request
- Provide notification when the College deems an accommodation request unreasonable