Thank you for choosing Somerset Community College (SCC). The mission of the Accessibility Services Office (ASO) at SCC is to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to all educational opportunities under the guidelines of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
The Accessibility Services Office is committed to an inclusive and welcoming experience for all students and is specifically designated to provide services and resources to facilitate equal access for disabled students. The ASO further strives to proactively identify and remove barriers to access, promote inclusion, and foster a positive environment supporting student advocacy and diversity.
Process for Receiving Services through the Accessibility Services Office:
- Complete Admission to Somerset Community College.
- Register for classes.
- Submit an Accessibility Accommodation Request AND provide appropriate documentation (see documentation guidelines) of your physical, mental, health-related and/or learning disability.
- Set up a meeting (available in-person, virtually or over the phone) with the Accessibility Services Coordinator to discuss individual needs in order develop a plan for appropriate accommodations.
- Once a student disability has been verified and an accommodation plan is created, the Accessibility Services Office will send letters of accommodation(s) via secure KCTCS email to the student and their instructors. The faculty member and student will discuss and agree upon the implementation of the assigned accommodation(s).
- If any changes are made to the student’s schedule after their letter of accommodation has been sent for the current term, the student is responsible for contacting the Accessibility Services Office immediately to ensure any instructor changes also receive accommodation letters.
It is the responsibility of the student requesting reasonable accommodations to provide documentation of their disability to the Accessibility Services Office. This documentation must:
- be current (preferred within the last two years)
- demonstrate existence of a disability
- support the reasonable accommodations requested
- have been written, signed, and dated by a qualified examiner.
Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), 504 Plans, or Transition Plans often are not sufficient to document a disability. However, they may be useful for providing a history of accommodation and effective interventions.
Most students will need a letter from a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other licensed or certified health care professional. This letter should be on professional letterhead stationery and include:
- Current, clearly stated diagnosis
- Description of assessment to meet the diagnostic criteria
- Relevant history
- Clinical summary
The letter should validate the need for services based on the impact of the student's disability and functional limitations in an educational setting. The person writing the letter should have training and expertise with the particular medical condition identified, indicate their professional credentials, and sign and date the letter. Letters from a health care professional who is also a relative or family member of the student will not be accepted.
Students with learning disabilities should provide a psychological evaluation report to receive services. The evaluation must have been conducted by a qualified professional, such as a licensed or certified clinical or educational psychologist, school psychologist, neuropsychologist or similar professional. Documentation from a qualified examiner who is also a relative or family member of the student will not be accepted. The comprehensive assessment battery and resulting diagnostic report should be current to determine present impact, validate the need for services, and include:
- Relevant history
- A description of assessment to meet diagnosis using DSM-IV criteria
- Assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, and information processing (derived from subtests on cognitive and achievement measures) using comprehensive adult assessment tools.
- Complete standardized scores (composite and subtest scores)
- Indication of substantial educational impact using DSM-IV criteria
- Clearly stated diagnosis
- Recommendations for accommodations (what has worked, strategies, etc.)
The Accessibility Services Office at SCC takes your right to privacy seriously and will only disclose disability-related information with faculty and staff on a need-to-know basis. All documentation obtained by Accessibility Services Office is maintained in individual files and kept secure. It should be noted that disability records are not stored with other college records and staff persons working in the Accessibility Services Office receive annual training to ensure the highest standard of confidentiality.
You can find additional information about your privacy and rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act at FERPA. Any written material obtained by Accessibility Services Office is used to verify the disability and plan for appropriate accommodations.
- Accommodation letters prepared by Accessibility Services for instructors do not give specific information regarding a disability. Instead, the letter explains that the student has a disability, and that Accessibility Services has documentation to support the student's need for reasonable accommodations.
- Accessibility Services does not release disability related documentation or records. Students are advised to keep a copy of any documentation provided to Accessibility Services for their own records. Should documentation be required elsewhere, students are encouraged to obtain a copy of the needed documentation from the original source.
Kentucky Career Center Vocational Rehabilitation Services
410 E. Mount Vernon
Somerset, KY 42502
Voter registration information and forms are available for persons with disabilities in the Accessibilities Services Offices. All printed forms and information are available in alternative text formats. Individuals with disabilities may receive assistance completing forms upon request.
Accessibility Services FAQ
SCC uses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a guide to define disability. A condition that substantially limits a major life activity (such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, and learning) and is covered under the ADA makes a student eligible for services from Accessibility Services Office. Services can be provided to students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, students with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, chronic health conditions (such as diabetes, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, psychiatric/mental health disabilities, etc.), mobility, visual, speech and coordination impairments.
Students with temporary conditions (such as a broken arm or leg) may also be eligible for services.
Attendant Care Services are not provided by SCC. If you will need attendant care services, contact your local Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Emotional Support Animals (therapy or comfort animals) do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not permitted on college grounds or in college buildings.
Examples of work or tasks a service animal might perform include, but is not limited to:
assisting people who are blind or have low vision with navigation,
alerting people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
pulling a wheelchair
assisting an individual during a seizure
physical support to ensure balance or stability
preventing or altering disruptive or impulsive behaviors.
In order to accommodate our students’ service animals, the Accessibility Services Office has a volunteer registry for the animals. Students who own service animals will not be on the database for students requiring accommodations unless they also require additional accommodations. This registry is for your animals and you do not have to provide documentation of disability. The animals must fit the definition of a service animal. The purpose of this registry is to inform your instructors that you will have an animal in class with you. All animals must follow the county regulations and be licensed and have their shots. Your dog must be under your control while they are on campus and you are expected to clean up after your animal.
Contact the Accessibility Services Office immediately. It is up to the student to let Accessibility Services know when an accommodation is not working as planned and meet with the Coordinator to discuss additional and/or other support options.
Most colleges have policies and procedures in place to provide services for students with disabilities. They also have an office or person who is in charge of approving services. This protects the rights of the students, faculty, and college.
At SCC, involving Accessibility Services in the process helps assure that the student truly does have a disability and the accommodations are needed for that student to gain access to college courses or activities. Also, these policies and procedures help ensure that the college is providing consistent services. They also create proof that accommodations were requested and approved or denied and the reason for denial. Finally, they help ensure confidentiality of the students disability documentation.
If using assistive technologies, you may need help with some of the applications used within your courses. Keep this Student Accessibility Resource Guide (PDF) handy.
Somerset North Campus
Harold Rogers Student Commons
Laurel North Campus
Health Science Building #3
Accessibility Services Coordinator
(606) 451-6706 or 1-877-629-9722 ext. 16706