What is Disability Support Services?
Disability Support Services (DSS) is dedicated to ensuring equal access and inclusion for all students with either provisional or permanent physical, health, learning, sensory or psychological disabilities. Accommodations may include adaptive equipment, technology, testing, classroom tools and information.
Are you experiencing learning challenges? Do you study, but don't get the grades you want? Do you have trouble understanding what you read? Is there a subject that seems harder than it should? Is it difficult to pay attention in class?
DSS might be able to help you get the answers you need! Come in or call us for an appointment today. We may be able to refer you for a formal evaluation at no cost to you!
Privacy is our priority, however, faculty and staff may be informed of your need for reasonable accommodations once you qualify for services. Information regarding a student's disability is considered confidential and will not be released without written permission.
DSS Office Location
New to DSS?
Getting started with the DSS office is a simple two-step process, which will be complete when you have activated your accommodation and receive an Accommodation Letter to share with your instructors. So, let's get started.
- Gather your documentation, for help, see our Documentation Guidelines.
- Call the office at 509-542-4412 to schedule an Intake Appointment with an Accessibility
Specialist, and email your documentation at this point to dssFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN.
Individualized Interactive Accommodation Process (Step-by-Step)
The student contacts Disability Support Services (DSS) and our office schedules a meeting for the student with an Accessibility Specialist to discuss their current academic accessibility needs. Students are encouraged to bring supporting medical documentation to the meeting. A student may meet with a Specialist multiple times before their accommodation request is submitted.
*Please Note: The accommodation request takes about 7-10 business days to process after the intake meeting.
The DSS Office staff reviews and evaluates the information and documentation provided by the student to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable.
When an accommodation request is approved, the student will receive an approval/activation email from their Accessibility Specialist. The email will include a link to the Quarterly Activation Form.
- The student is responsible for clicking the link and completing the short Quarterly Activation Form to activate their accommodations.
- After activating the accommodations, the student will receive an email from the DSS office with an accommodation letter for the current quarter.
*If the student does not complete the activation form, the accommodation letter will not be sent and their accommodations will not be activated for the current quarter.
- After activating and receiving an accommodation letter, students are responsible for giving a copy of their accommodation letters to their instructors. This can be a physical copy or a virtual one.
*If the student does not give their instructor the accommodation letter, then the accommodations cannot be implemented.
Accommodations are denied if they are unnecessary and/or unreasonable. Some of the factors considered include, but are not limited to, lack of medical documentation, or disability related need for the accommodation, or the requested accommodation imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the College, fundamentally alters the standards of a course or program, or would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial damage to the property of others.
If an accommodation request is denied, the student will receive a notification email from their Accessibility Specialist, which will include the reason for the denial. The student may contact their Accessibility Specialist to provide the necessary documentation, adjust the accommodation or learn about alternative available resources.
If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome after working with the Accessibility Specialist to address a denial of accommodation, the student may request a Reconsideration Meeting with the DSS Director by contacting their Accessibility Specialist or the DSS Office at dssFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN.
The Accessibility Specialist and DSS Director will meet with the student to discuss the accommodation request.
- The student will have an opportunity to share any new information and/or documentation pertaining to the request for accommodation.
- Following the meeting, the DSS Director will evaluate any new information and/or documentation provided by the student.
- The DSS Director may consult with other College officials as needed regarding course and/or program requirements, applicable policies or regulations or other information relevant to the accommodation request to make a final determination.
- The DSS Director will notify the student of the final determination or need for follow-up within 5 business days of the meeting.
The DSS Director’s determination following the Reconsideration Meeting is final. A student who believes they have been discriminated against based on a disability may file a complaint under the College’s Non-Discrimination & Harassment Policy and Procedure.
How Disability Services Differ Between High School and College:
- High School: School personnel may suspect there is a problem and notify the parents or guardian.
The school may request permission to either test the student, or recommend the parents
or guardian take the student to see a specialist.
- College: An employee may refer the student to the DSS office or the student may seek it out. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation of their disability. If they do not have documentation, the DSS office will work with the student to find resources and help them to secure appropriate documentation.
- High School: The parents are the main point of contact for the school, although this may change
- College: The student is the only point of contact for the college unless the student has specifically allowed it by filling out a Release of Information (ROI).
- High School: Usually only done once a year in a meeting that is organized by the student’s case
manager, this may also be their teacher.
- College: Once the initial intake has been completed, accommodations can be changed at any point during the year, and are usually initiated by the student.
- High School: The meeting is usually attended by the student, guardian, case manager and likely
several members of the school staff including teachers and administrators.
- College: The meeting will be attended by the student and their case manager. Guests outside of college personnel must be invited by the student. Instructors receive notice of the accommodations, not the reason for them.
- High School: The student may take special classes that address their disability. They may also
receive extra help studying by school personnel. Graduation may not be dependent on
passing specific standards.
- College: The student takes the same classes that match their degree path as all other students on the same path. The material is not modified, however the accommodations may modify how the material is delivered. Tutoring is available for all students, regardless of disability. Graduation is dependent on meeting specific standards.
Meet Our Team
As the Director of Disability Support Services, my job is focused on reducing and removing barriers to access across campus. By reviewing accommodation requests, creating accessibility initiatives and collaborating on institutional practices, I am able to help improve student success both inside and outside the classroom.
As the Assistant Director, my core responsibilities include advocating for students who are enrolled in the DSS program, instructing staff and faculty on best practices relating to disability and accessibility, and providing clarity regarding disability law and policy to all interested parties. My focus includes identifying and removing barriers to access, as well as collaborating with the campus community to promote campus-wide accessibility.
My job helps students have the right tools for the job, which includes the belief that they are capable of great things.
My role as an accessibility specialist allows me to work alongside my students to gather them a supply of tools and resources that they can then use to build and create their own success. I may help students get started or steady, but in the end, they can attribute their success to being the phenomenal individuals that they prove themselves to be each day.
I influence student success while interacting with students at the front desk, making it a supportive encounter and through the management of Test Proctoring, making sure it is run as smoothly as possible for our students and instructors. Behind the scenes, I work on the budget and organization for the group that help to ensure a positive experience for students who utilize our services.
As part of the Assistive Technology team, I support students by providing alternative formats and training with various assistive technology in order to remove barriers to allow all students the ability to reach their full academic potential.
“Disability Support Services is awesome. They are always helpful and courteous to both faculty and students. The team is there not only to help students achieve, but also to facilitate faculty in equitably assessing student progress.”
“I am so grateful for the dedicated staff of Disability Support Services (formerly Resource Center) for their commitment to helping faculty provide necessary accommodations to qualifying students. In my nearly 30 years at CBC, many of my students have used their services, mostly for students requiring extra time or other testing accommodations. They have been well organized, giving clear directions and protocols to both students and faculty. When I have forgotten to provide some necessary item, they have given reminder emails or calls. When something goes wrong, they are flexible and make sure that the end result is that the student gets their full accommodation. They go out of their way, including working long hours, to make sure that the student (and faculty) gets what they need. In their capacity, they could take a bureaucratic and officious position, but they go the extra mile with a smile, instead.”
What are your rights?
You have a right to services and reasonable accommodations which ensures that you have equal access to all programs and services provided by Columbia Basin College.
Faculty and staff may be informed of your need for reasonable accommodation once you qualify for services. Information regarding a student’s disability is considered confidential. Information will not be released without the expressed written permission of the student.
FEDERAL LAW STATES:
“No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of any public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity.”
Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
“No otherwise qualified, handicapped individual in the United States shall solely by reasons of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Rehabilitation Act of Congress, 1973
Title V; Section 504
Students are encouraged to resolve concerns by first contacting Disability Support Services, 509-542-4412 or 1-800-833-6384 Relay Services for deaf and hard of hearing, to discuss their issues. It is in everyone’s best interest that disputes over reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities be settled as quickly and informally as possible. Columbia Basin College also offers a formal procedure for students to lodge a complaint or grievance with the institution. However, anyone who believes there has been an act of discrimination by the College on the basis of disability against any person or group may file a complaint with the:
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
Washington State Human Rights Commission
If you need this notice in an alternative format, please Contact Disability Support Services.
T Building, Room T403
2600 N. 20th Avenue MS-T7
Pasco, WA 99301
Disability Support Services
Columbia Basin College
2600 N. 20th Ave, MS-T7
Pasco, WA 99301
Disability Support Services
Columbia Basin College
2600 N. 20th Ave,
T Building, Room T403
Pasco, WA 99301
Title IX for Pregnant & Parenting Students
Title IX protects students from discrimination based on their “actual or potential parental, family, or marital status” or based on a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.” 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq. (2006); 34 C.F.R. §106.40).
Once the student identifies they fit the criteria under Title IX, the College must:
- Provide equal access to school for pregnant and parenting (including lactating) students.
- Provide equal access to extracurricular activities for pregnant and parenting students.
- Excuse absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the doctor deems medically necessary. After which time, the student must be reinstated to the status held when the leave began.
- Ensure an individual professor’s attendance policy does not conflict with Title IX requirements.
- Treat disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or recovery in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability or physical condition.
The College cannot terminate a scholarship based on pregnancy, tell pregnant students they should drop out or switch programs, or exclude qualified pregnant students from opportunities to “work in the field,” through internships, career rotations, etc.
- Does a school have to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or child birth?
Yes, Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absence(s) due to pregnancy or related conditions; including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absence medically necessary. When they return, they must be reinstated to the status they held when the leave began, which should include giving them the opportunity to make up any missed work. The professor may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work such as allowing the student to take an incomplete for later course completion.
The college or university can require a pregnant student to provide a doctor’s certification of fitness to continue in an education program or activity only if the same requirement is imposed on all other students with physical or emotional disabilities requiring a doctor’s care. If a professor wishes to request a doctor’s certification of fitness or excuse for the leave taken for a student, any member of Disability Support Services (DSS) can assist by evaluating whether the same is requested of other students given their disabilities. A faculty or staff member may also refer pregnant students to DSS for other assistance, such as resources and information. DSS can be reached by email at dssFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN or phone at 509-542-4412 (ext. 2252).
- If a professor adjusts grades based on class attendance, can they lower a grade because
of the classes a student misses due to pregnancy?
No. Students cannot be penalized for pregnancy or related conditions. If a professor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, the student must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes missed due to pregnancy, so that the student can be reinstated to the status held before the student took leave.
- Does the institution/school have to let students make up the work missed while absent?
Yes, federal law requires professors to allow students to make up the work missed while out due to pregnancy or a related condition, including recovery from childbirth. For example, if a doctor’s note excuses the student from class for several weeks because of “bed rest” before giving birth, professors must provide the student with the appropriate assignments and information to make up the work required to be completed while absent. The makeup assignments and tests must be reasonably equivalent to those missed, but need not be identical. Depending on the nature of the academic instruction or program (e.g., clinical rotations), this may not be feasible and other forms of modifications may need to be made.
- Can a professor have an absence/makeup policy that applies regardless of any medical
No. While a professor may have a strict attendance policy, the college or university is bound by federal civil rights law. Title IX requires the college or university to ensure that all faculty and staff comply with the law and do not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students.
- The student wants to take a quarter off. Can the student keep their status, scholarships,
Not necessarily – it depends on the leave policy at the college. If they want to take off more time than the doctor says is medically necessary, the student will need to consult the college’s non-medical leave policy. Cheryl Holden’s Office will work through any financial aid issues resulting from leaves that may result in withdrawal or leave for a quarter or more.
Below are some links that you may review for further information:
Office of Civil Rights Know Your Rights
Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant & Parenting Students Handbook