Disability Support Services
North Foundation Hall, Room 103A
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(map)
(248) 370-3266
Fax: (248) 370-4327

Video Phone: (248) 841-8015
TTY: (248) 370-3268
DSS@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
DSS-9158_PolicyOnAnimals

Policies

Documentation
Guidelines
General guidelines:
 
Pursuant to the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Oakland University will make reasonable modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability, against a qualified disabled applicant or student; provided however, that no modifications will be made to requirements essential to the instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement.  Reasonable modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.  Similarly, pursuant to the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Oakland University will make reasonable modifications in polices, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability; provided however, no modifications will be made that will fundamentally alter the nature of the services, program, or activity.
The following data should be included in documentation:
  • The student’s name, the date of the examination or testing, the examiner’s name and signature. An examiner may be a physician, psychologist, rehabilitation counselor, social worker or other examiner qualified or certified to diagnose the disability. The examiner cannot be related to the student. 
  • Name the disability, a diagnosis, a description of the functional limitations that may affect academic performance, a rating of the severity and what accommodation is requested.
  • A list of tests administered, including the names and the versions used. A detailed list of documentation requirements for reasonable accommodations involving certain disabilities can be found in the policies section (link). DSS reserves the right to change the documentation asked for and from time to time may request additional or different documentation.
Documentation guidelines for:
Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder
Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD) is considered a medical or clinical diagnosis. Individuals qualified to render a diagnosis for this disorder are practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of AD/HD and are experienced in assessing the needs of adult learners. Recommended practitioners include developmental pediatricians, neurologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical or educational psychologists, family physicians, or a combination of such professionals. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual and not a family member.

The following guidelines assist the university in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. A clear statement of ADD or AD/HD with the DSM-V diagnosis and a description of supporting past and present symptoms.
  2. Documentation must be current, preferably within the last three (3) years.
  3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  4. A narrative summary, including scores, which supports the diagnosis.
  5. A statement of the functional impacts or limitations of the disorder or disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
  6. Medical information relating to the student needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Specific Learning Disability
Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities (SLD) must be qualified. A qualified professional needs to hold a degree in a field related to the diagnosis of SLD and have at least one year of diagnostic experience with adults and late adolescents. Recommended practitioners include: certified and/or licensed psychologists, learning disabilities specialists, educational therapists, diagnosticians in public schools or colleges and rehabilitation services and private practitioners with the above characteristics are typically considered qualified. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines assist the university in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. Testing that is comprehensive, including a measure of both aptitude and achievement in the areas of reading, mathematics, and written language.
  2. The current impact the learning disability has on the student’s functioning. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s specific request for accommodations.
  3. A clear statement that a learning disability is present along with the rationale for this diagnosis. (Note: individual “learning deficits”, “learning styles”, and “learning differences” do not, in or of themselves, constitute a learning disability.
  4. A narrative summary, including all scores, which supports the diagnosis.
  5. A statement of strengths and needs that will impact the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  6. A statement of the functional impacts or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Head Injury/Traumatic Brain Injury
Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury is considered a medical or clinical diagnosis. Individuals qualified to render a diagnosis for these disorders are practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury. Recommended practitioners include physicians; neurologists; licensed clinical, rehabilitation and school psychologists; neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

 The following guidelines assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. A clear statement of the head injury or traumatic brain injury and the probable site of lesion.
  2. The current impact the head injury has on the student’s functioning; the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition but generally best if within 3 years from occurrence, the current status of the student and the student’s specific request for accommodations.
  3. A summary of cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results including standardized scores or percentiles used to make the diagnosis.
  4. A summary of present residual symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis.
  5. Medical information relating to student’s need to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  6. A statement of the functional impacts or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Physical Disabilities and Systemic Illnesses
Examples of physical disabilities and systematic illnesses include but are not limited to mobility impairments, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, chemical sensitivities, cancer, and AIDS.
Any physical disability and systemic illness are considered to be in the medical domain and require the expertise of a physician, including a neurologist, psychiatrist or other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which reasonable accommodations are being requested. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

 The following guidelines are provided to assist the university in collaborating with each student to determine reasonable accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or systemic illness.
  2. The current impact the physical disability or systemic illness has on the student’s functioning. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the student’s request for accommodations, and the current status of the student. Therefore, disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent evaluation.
  3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable.
  4. A description of present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis.
  5. Medical information relating to the student’s need include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  6. A statement of the functional impact of limitation of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Psychiatric/Psychological Disabilities
Examples of psychiatric/psychological disabilities includes but are not limited to depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorders, and dissociative disorders.

A diagnosis by a licensed mental health professional including licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), licensed professional counselor (LPC), psychologists, psychiatrists, or neurologists is required and must include the license number. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

 The following guidelines assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. A clear statement of the disability, including the DSM-V diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms;
  2. The current impact the psychiatric/psychological disability has on the student’s functioning. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodation.
  3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results, including standardized or percentile scores;
  4. Medical information relating to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  5. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Physicians, including otorhinolaryngologists and otologists are qualified to provide diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders. Audiologists may also provide current audiograms. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. A clear statement of deafness or hearing loss, with an audiogram that reflects the current impact the deafness or hearing loss has on the student’s functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodations.
  2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results if appropriate.
  3. Medical information relating to the student’s needs, and the status of the individual’s hearing (static or changing), and impact on the demands of the academic program.
  4. A statement regarding the use of hearing aids (if appropriate).
  5. A statement of the functional impacts or limitation of the hearing loss on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Blind/Low Vision
Ophthalmologists are the primary professionals involved in diagnosis and medical treatment of individuals who are blind or experience low vision. Optometrists provide information regarding the measurement of visual acuity as well as tracking and fusion difficulties. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

 The following guidelines assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation includes:
  1. A clear statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description that reflects the current impact the blindness or vision loss has on the student’s functioning. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodations.
  2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores.
  3. Present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis.
  4. Medical information relating to the student’s needs and the status of the individual’s vision (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program.
  5. Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student’s abilities which might be helpful in understanding the student’s profile including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate).
  6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which reasonable accommodations are being requested. 
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Director of Disability Support Services collaboratively determine reasonable accommodations.

 

Courses
Reduced course load
Some students with disabilities may be eligible to take a reduced course load that may impact their financial aid. Contact the DSS office and your  financial aid adviser for information.
Enrollment exception
Submit a  request for enrollment exception form to request an exception to published university policy regarding registration deadlines or procedures and/or tuition cancellation.
Grievance
Procedure
Pursuant to the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Oakland University will make reasonable modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability, against a qualified disabled applicant or student; provided however, that no modifications will be made to requirements essential to the instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement.  Reasonable modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.  Similarly, pursuant to the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Oakland University will make reasonable modifications in polices, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability; provided however, no modifications will be made that will fundamentally alter the nature of the services, program, or activity.
 

Students  who believe they have been the victims of unlawful discrimination, involving for example, the denial of reasonable accommodations auxiliary aids or the denial of classroom materials in accessible format, should follow the process outlined below.

Resolving Conflict with the University, Faculty and/or Staff, Department, Program or Organization:

  1. Discuss the issue with the director of DSS. The director may call the faculty/program head in an effort to resolve the issue. Sometimes a meeting is held to discuss the issue with all parties involved. In most instances, a resolution can be established at this stage.

  2. The Dean of Students may be contacted to explore possible resolution of the complaint where the complaint involves another student (student-student complaint).

  3. The student may at any time file a complaint with the director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. The office investigates complaints against faculty/staff members and the director serves as the University’s ADA Coordinator.

Privacy

Confidentiality and Release of Information

Medical information is treated as confidential and not disclosed unless required or permitted by law. Information from a student’s file, including information regarding disability may be released to a third party in the event of a serious health or safety threat to self or others or as otherwise provided by law.  

Confidentiality and Privacy of Records

Your right to privacy and confidentiality is a high priority at Oakland University’s Disability Support Services office. All records are kept in locked file cabinets. Except as noted below, no information regarding a student’s disability or use of services will be released to parties outside of DSS without prior written consent:

  • General information concerning the student such as name and address will be released in the same manner as other student records. See the OU Catalog for description of OU’s policy regarding the release of student records.
  • Confidential information, such as the student’s disability or use of services, may be shared in the course of consultation with or referral to other appropriate professionals within OU, when the person has a legitimate educational interest. This would be on a need to know basis.
  • For legally mandated audits and investigations.
  • When required by court order or subpoena, the specific information requested will be released. 
  • In extreme situations where immediate harm to self or others may result, the law may require that essential information to be reported to necessary agencies or parties.
  • The DSS office does not send out faculty notification letters to instructors; this is to protect your right to privacy. It is your responsibility to pick up the letters and deliver them to your instructor s and discuss the accommodations. 
  • If a student wishes to allow a parent or guardian to access the information in their DSS file, the student will need to fill out a FERPA release form. Otherwise, no information will be shared with the parent or guardian.
  • DSS student files are maintained for seven years from the date of last attendance. At the end of the seven year period, all records in the file will be destroyed. For this reason, students are advised to retain personal copies of all disability documentation submitted to the DSS office. 
FERPA

The  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), affords an OU student certain privacy rights with respect to their educational records. This right is afforded to students. With limited exception, DSS will share student information with parents and other third parties only with a written release from the student. 
Mobility
Devices
In recent years, some people with mobility disabilities have begun using less traditional mobility devices such as golf cars or Segways. These devices are called “other power-driven mobility device” (OPDMD). OPDMDs are mobility devices powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines that are used for the purpose of locomotion, including golf carts, electronic personal assistance mobility devices. OPDMDs can include Segway PT, or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes. OPDMDs are not wheelchairs.

Oakland University does not supply OPDMDs for individual use but permits their use. The University makes reasonable accommodations for usage of OPDMDs unless the device cannot be accommodated because of legitimate safety requirements. In determining whether a particular type of OPDMD can be accommodated in a specific facility or campus venue, the following factors may be considered:
  • The type, size, weight, dimensions and speed of the device;
  • The facility’s volume of pedestrian traffic (which may vary at different times of the day, week, month or year);
  • The facility’s design and operational characteristics (e.g., indoors, outdoors, square footage, density and placement of furniture and other stationary devices, and the availability of storage for the OPDMD if needed and requested by the user);
  • Whether legitimate safety requirements (e.g., limiting speed to the pace of pedestrian traffic or prohibiting use on escalators) can be established to permit the safe operation of the OPDMD in the specific facility, and
  • Whether the use of the OPDMD creates a substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment or natural or cultural resources, or poses a conflict with Federal land management laws and regulation.
Guidelines for safe usage of OPDMDs:
  • Operate the device at the speed of pedestrian traffic.
  • Pedestrians always have the right of way on campus pathways.
  • No passing or weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic.
  • OPDMDs should not be operated in a manner that may endanger its passenger, other individuals, or damage Oakland University property.
  • Operator must obey all campus traffic regulations and signs.