Campus Life

Academic Accommodations

Alternate/Audio Textbooks

Qualifying students with disabilities are eligible to request audiotexts other alternate book formats.  For information or assistance regarding obtaining alternate format text books, please refer to the Alternate Format Textbook-Request and Agreement Form (PDF) .  

Disability Related Absences Policy

Disability Related Absences Policy (rev. 6/16)

MHU recognizes that a number of conditions qualifying as documented disabilities may at times cause a student to be absent from class beyond the course’s stated absence policy. However, disability-related absences do not alter the student’s obligation to fulfill class requirements.

Attendance is often fundamental to course objectives; for example, students may be required to participate in class discussion, in group projects or labs, or otherwise participate as part of a class participation grade component. Faculty is not required to effect substantial modifications of class requirements for accommodation purposes. However, for students adversely affected by documented conditions such as those above, faculty may determine that students could master course content and complete course requirements with the accommodation of extra disability-related absences.

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has provided the following guidelines to assess if attendance is an essential part of a class:

1. Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among students?
2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
3. Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
4. To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
5. What do the course description and syllabus say?
6. Which method is used to calculate the final grade?
7. What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

The Disability Services Coordinator, who may consult with the Disability Services Faculty/Administrative Committee, determines whether the student’s documented disability meets the criteria for consideration of reasonable modification of attendance policies for disability-related absences. Should Disability Services determine that a student qualifies for consideration of a modified attendance agreement, the student should present each professor with an Academic Accommodation Plan stating approved accommodations at or prior to the start of the course. The student and professor should have a dialogue to determine the following expectations, and the professor should document the agreement as discussed and provided to the student:

1. Maximum number of disability-related absences allowed for this student for this course.
2. How and when the student will notify the instructor of a disability-related absence.
3. Procedure for turning in homework/assignments/projects due the day of a disability-related absence including maximum number of days     assignments may be late and how they are to be submitted.
4. Procedure for making up a missed quiz, examination, or in-class graded assignment given on the day of a disability-related absence.

If it is thought that attendance can be justified as an integral part of how the course is taught, and/or how learning is to be demonstrated and measured, there can be a point at which disability-related absences cannot be reasonably accommodated.

Students who have disability-related absences are responsible for monitoring their class performance and determining any negative impact such absences may have had upon their understanding of the course material and their final course grade.

Faculty is encouraged to notify the student, the Director of Student Persistence, and consult with the Disability Services Coordinator if the student is in danger of failing or falling too far behind. If the maximum number of allowed absences is exceeded during the semester, it is recommended that the student and instructor meet to discuss an appropriate course of actions (such as: student will be granted an incomplete; student will be advised to withdraw from the course; the number of absences allowed will be reviewed, etc.). If necessary, Disability Services staff, the program department chair, or other appropriate campus administrators may also be included in the discussion.

For questions or concerns, the Disability Services Coordinator should be consulted as soon as possible so that concerns may be addressed and resolved.

Course Substitution Policy for Students with Disabilities

Course requirements for MHU degree programs are designed to provide a comprehensive education in both general liberal arts and in the student's major field of study. However, in some limited circumstances, substitution of a course requirement may be determined to be a reasonable and appropriate accommodation for a student with a documented disability. An accommodation of this nature is considered only when it has been confirmed that the student's disability makes completion of the requirement impossible. Consideration of a course substitution is done on a case-by-case basis, as long as the substitution does not substantially alter the student’s course of study or result in decreased standards for the student or the university. [See Maczaczyj v. University of the State of New York et al. (1997) and Ohio Civil rights Commission v. Case Western Reserve University (1996).]

Course Substitution Procedures for Students with Disabilities:

  1. Student must be registered with the Office of Disability Services and have an activated Academic Accommodation Plan.
  2. Student will be asked to sign a release of information for his/her advisor.
  3. The Disability Services Coordinator and/or DS Committee will evaluate student’s documentation and inform the student and his/her advisor whether or not that documentation fulfills requirements for consideration of course substitution accommodations.

If the student's documentation does meet guidelines, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The student will consult with his/her advisor regarding appropriate course substitution.
  2. The student's advisor will consult the Department or Program Chair or the Chief Academic Officer, who will determine whether or course substitution for the student is appropriate; i.e., that such a substitution will not lower academic standards for either the student or the University. The Department/Program Chair or the CAO will inform the student's advisor of the decision, who will then notify the student. The advisor is requested to notify the Disability Services Coordinator, so this decision can be recorded in the student's file in the Office of Disability Services.
  3. The Department/Program Chair will then file the approved course substitution with the University Registrar.

Note-Taker Policy

Students with a documented disability may, as appropriate, request note-taking assistance as a reasonable accommodation for their disability. The following criteria must be met in order to obtain this accommodation:

  • Student must have a documented disability and have been approved by the Disability Services Coordinator/Disability Services Committee for the accommodation of note-taking assistance.
  • Student must attend class regularly. Having a note-taker is not a substitute for regular class attendance.
  • Note-takers are volunteers which have been selected by either the student or the professor to provide notes for a student.

Students may use the following strategies on their own:

  • Students may use their personal tape recorder to record a lecture(s).
  • Students may utilize a laptop for typing their own notes
  • Students may exchange notes with other students in their class so that they have a second set for reference
  • Students may ask other students in their class for a copy of their notes and to serve as “voluntary” note-takers for the student.
  • Students may ask instructors for a copy of their notes, PowerPoint presentations, overheads, handouts, etc. prior to class. Note: Some professors prefer not to provide these materials to students.

The Disability Services Coordinator may also help to facilitate a note-taker for a particular class by:

  • Providing the student with written instructions to give to the instructor, granting the instructor permission to announce that a note-taker is needed for a student in that particular class.
  • Providing duplicate note-taking paper upon request.
  • Consulting with both a student with disabilities and with a professor about the most respectful way in which to undertake the note-taking 
  • process within the classroom.

Reduced Semester Course Load Policy

Students with documented disabilities may request a reduced semester course load (fewer than 12 hours) if their documentation meets the guidelines set by the university, and if their documentation clearly supports a reduced course load as an appropriate accommodation. Students should discuss the decision to take a reduced load with their MHU Financial Aid Officer to determine the impact on receiving financial aid. Reduced course load requests related to disability accommodation should be submitted in writing to the Disability Services Committee.

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