Students gather in a huddle

Disability Services

The office of Disability Services provides and coordinates support services that enable students with disabilities to receive equal access to all aspects of university life.  The Disability Services director provides accommodations to qualifying students, educates faculty/staff/students on policies, laws, and regulations associated with disability services, serves as an advocate for students in their interactions with faculty and staff, and works to create a culture of inclusiveness for all types of learners at SNU.  Disability Services provides services for traditional undergraduate students, professional studies students, and graduate students at SNU.

Make an intake interview appointment to meet with the Director of Disability Services in the Center for Student Success by calling 405-491-6694 or emailing tpope@mail.snu.edu to identify your disability and to request accommodations. 

You will need to provide appropriate documentation of your disability at that time. Make certain that it is a recent or adult evaluation, which includes information related to the current functional impact of the disability. This is especially necessary for disabilities that are not clearly visible or that can change over time. 

1. Accommodation Request

2. Meet with DS Intake Interview. The student will need to gather disability documents. DS will explain the DS process to the student.

3. Disability Documentation Received in DS. DS will determine eligibility via person and email.

4. Appointment with student. Discuss decisions, recommendations and accommodations.

5. Student access plans to professors. Adult study students must inform DS EACH module.

6. Services as needed.

– The DS process is most beneficial prior to the start of your program or onset of the negative impact of the disability.

– Student Access Plans must be requested by the student for each course and/ or module.

– The implementation of accommodations is not retroactive.

Our Office of Veterans Services and VETS Center serves all student veterans, service members, and military dependents in helping them with navigating their educational benefits, adjusting to civilian life, connecting with community resources, and receiving academic and career transition assistance.  The VETS Center is located off Peniel Avenue directly east of the Beaver Science Building.  You can’t miss the Vets House – look for the Colors!  Stop in and visit with our Veterans Team, share a cup of coffee with them, and find support, community, connection, and encouragement.

Determination of accommodations is an interactive process. Students who need accommodations are responsible for requesting these services from the Director of Disability Services. It is not practical or desirable to create specific protocols for documenting every possible condition that might be considered a disability. Appropriate documentation of a disability is only one part of determining necessary accommodations. 

All documentation should be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis. There is no list of covered disabilities or accepted diagnostic criteria. Our institutional documentation policy is flexible, allowing for the consideration of alternative methods and sources of documentation, as long as the essential goal of adequately describing the current impact of the disability is met. (AHEAD www.ahead.org 10/06)

Most Appropriate Documentation

Option 1: Medical physician letter stating the diagnosis and the negative impact of the diagnosis on learning.  

Option 2: Student Disability Limitation Form and Physicians Disability Limitation Form 

Option 3: IEP or 504 plan.

Option 4: Medical evaluations applicable to the disability.

Disability Services determines eligibility for services and the identification of reasonable accommodations at Southern Nazarene University. Services are based upon the student having a disability, as defined by ADA, the nature of the disability and its impact on learning and/or major life activities (e.g. housing, learning, etc.). 

Services are designed and intended to remove barriers which hinder learning and which allow maximum independence.  Accommodations are not intended to give the student an unfair advantage over other students.

Each student is encouraged to learn advocacy skills and initiate requests for services, as well as seeking assistance when needed.  Early and regular communication with Disability Services will help ensure the timely identification and provision of services and accommodations.

Accommodations cannot be retroactive and begin only after documentation is received and a reasonable time for accommodation development has been allowed.

Services offered, based on individual need due to disability, may include but are not limited to:

  • Note Taking Assistance
  • Testing Accommodations: separate testing location, proctor read exam, oral exams, extra time on exams and quizzes
  • Alternate Text Format (large print, books on tape, Braille, etc.)
  • Sign Language/CART interpreters for students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Adaptive Furniture: Special tables and chairs
  • Extended time on assignments 
  • Reasonable Flexibility 
  • Assistive Technology such as screen reader, screen magnification, voice-type, calculator, spell checker, Echo Pen
  • Recording Lectures
  • Appropriate Dietary accommodations in a school-owned foodservice
  • Use of Service Animals
  • Housing Accommodations (if housing is also provided for other non-disabled students).

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require colleges to provide personal assistants, individual personal tutors, or personal assistive technology.  Whenever possible, Disability Services will refer students to agencies which may provide personal assistance of that nature.  Accommodations are not made which reduce academic expectations, standards, or which would eliminate essential components of any course.

Note Taking Assistance:

SNU utilizes a volunteer note taking service. Disability Services, the student, and faculty may be required to work as a team to identify a note taker for each course. The process of finding a note taker can take 1-3 weeks. Students with a disability that request note takers are instructed of the non- immediacy of this accommodation and instructed to communicate questions and concerns as well as continuous follow-up during the identification process. Previous notes written before the note taker is identified will be provided upon set up.  

Students with a disability and their note takers are introduced and encouraged to communicate weekly with one another during the semester. Any concerns may be presented to the Disability Director.

It is the students’ responsibility to contact Disability Services to request assistance with note taking and/or request note takers for new courses.

Testing Accommodations:

Students must contact the Student Success Coordinator via this email link to set up their testing appointment in the Testing Center located in the Library on the 3rd floor in Suite 325 at least one week prior to their desired test date.

It is the student’s responsibility to inform their instructor of their desire to test in the Testing Center and to schedule their test in the Testing Center.  It is recommended that the student discuss their accommodations with the instructor ahead of each test to ensure the correct accommodations are in place.  Tests are expected to be completed on the same day scheduled for class unless other arrangements have been made with the instructor. Arrangements must be finalized prior to the test date.

If you have an approved accommodation for an alternative format (e.g., Oral, No Scantron use, use of a calculator, use of electronic dictionary, use of a laptop computer or other accommodation), please notify your instructor and the Student Success Coordinator via this email link in your initial request.

EXTENDED TIME: Students receiving extended time must plan accordingly in order to ensure the additional time does not conflict with his/her current class schedule or chapel and is scheduled between 10am and ends no later than 2pm (as of 7/1/18).

TEST READER: Students requiring a test reader must schedule this accommodation at least one week in advance in order to ensure a reader and room are available. Failing to do this may result in foregoing this accommodation. A human reader or a screen reader may be utilized depending on the format of the test as well as availability of options.

TEST SCRIBE: Students requiring a test scribe must schedule this accommodation at least one week in advance in order to ensure a scribe and room are available. Failing to do this may result in foregoing this accommodation. Either a human scribe or a software program may be utilized depending on the format of the test as well as availability of options.

TEST BREAKS: For students who have supervised breaks as an accommodation:

  • Breaks will be monitored by the Test Proctor.
  • Breaks shall neither be excessive in length nor occur several times in one sitting.
  • If a bathroom is needed, students must use the bathroom down the hall from the Testing Center and students will not be allowed to access their personal belongs before or after returning from the bathroom.
  • Breaks will not be honored for things such as smoking, eating snacks (unless medically necessary), checking text messages, etc.
  • The Test Proctor will make a note of the time used and will add it to the end of the allotted testing time if needed.

Alternative Text Format

Audio Books

Disability Services (DS) will provide assistance or resources for students with disabilities to acquire textbooks in an alternative format. All students are encouraged to shop for or search for their college textbooks in an audible version or appropriate format before they buy. When they meet with Disability Services they will be required to share with DS what books they still need in an alternate format and sign a form that they understand violation of copyright law. 

Learning Ally website which is a national lending library of recorded textbooks for blind, learning disabled, dyslexic and orthopedically impaired students is a very important resource for students. A computerized listing of available books can be obtained by using the website http://www.learningally.org/ . DS can get these books for free while students are in college.

After graduation students may go to their Home page choose BOOK CATALOG to search for recorded textbooks.  To order books from the site a student must become a member.  There is an annual membership fee.  This fee is the student’s responsibility.  If a book is already recorded, students who are registered with Learning Ally may receive audio textbooks.  If the book is not previously recorded, the student may suggest the title to be recorded.  Depending on the type of text, recording time can be four months to a year.  More technical books, such as foreign languages, science, math, computer science, etc., may take even longer.

Electronic Text

Disability Services (DS) provides assistance for students with disabilities to acquire textbooks in electronic formats. It’s quick and easy. Students will be sent instructions about Natural Reader, which is a free screen reader that the student can download to read text. The student is required to purchase their textbooks and show proof of purchase to DS. Disability Services will order alternative texts for students in an accessible pdf. The process can take 1 day or up to 8 weeks depending on the type of format needed. Students are notified of their responsibility to check in with Disability Services on the progress of their order and accommodation. If there is an immediate need for a book in the appropriate format, students are instructed to contact Disability Services to explain the need and DS will do their best to accommodate. 

Scanned Text

If the materials cannot be located in the format that a student needs, such as an audio book, Braille, or electronic text, Disability Services can scan the textbook. This process requires the binding of the book be cut off for scanning. Book stores will not allow this on rented books and they will not buy back books that have been scanned. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Disability Director. There may be an additional cost to the student.

Braille

Braille textbooks are available for technical classes. Students will need to communicate and coordinate with Disability Services in a timely manner to request and receive these books. Braille books may be obtained through National Braille Press and American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. 

Reasonable Flexibility 

When a student has a chronic condition with unpredictable or cyclical acute episodes, an accommodation to flex the attendance policy may be appropriate. Examples include but are not limited to Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, chronic migraines, depression, PTSD and more. Faculty are encouraged to work with the student and the Disability Services (DS) to find a flexible way for the student to meet course requirements without altering the essential nature of the course. Note- a student can miss too many classes. Contact DS immediately with concerns so a meeting can be set up before too many classes are missed. A written contract is available for faculty/ student use and provided to both student and faculty. 

Extended Time on Assignments 

Disability services has determined 2 days allowed on assignments (only when requested) as a reasonable accommodation. The professor and student may negotiate extra time beyond the 2 days, but setting a “reasonable” date of completion is strongly encouraged. Questions and concerns? Contact DS.

Recording Lectures 

There are a variety of recording devices available for students to records lectures. Please contact Disability Services about signing a Recording Agreement. 

Additional Accommodations 

Please contact Disability Services for more information. 

Other Common Accommodations

  • Adjustable Desk/ Table
  • Orthopedic Chair
  • Dictation Software
  • Audio Recorder
  • Alternate format in preferred version
  • Formulas/ Notes for exams (1 page or 3×5 card)
  • Smart Pen
  • Spell Check/ Grammar check
  • Flexible exam schedule
  • Permission to stand, move, or leave class 
  • Four function calculator
  • Presentations via Video Recording
  • Permission to Listen to Music During Tests
  • Priority Registration

What is the definition of a Disability?

A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is considered a major life activity.  If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition considered to be substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.

Does disability law change from K-12 to college?

In public schools K-12, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governs special education services, and can involve testing, diagnosis, educational planning, remediation, and implementation of special programs. At the college level, IDEA no longer applies and special education services no longer exists. The law is transitioned to the ADA/Section 504, and becomes more of a civil rights concern, protecting the student from discrimination by providing reasonable accommodations as well as ensuring access to all educational programs and services for those with a qualified disability.

I received services in High School. Will services continue in College?

Not necessarily, because as the law changes, so do the services. It’s important to note that each post-secondary institution sets the parameters by which they determine eligibility for disability services in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA.

What kind of documentation do I need?

You will need documentation that verifies the disability and details the functional limitations that impact academic performance and accessibility. Please refer to our Documentation Requirements and Forms (will need to link to webpage and not google form) for more information. 

Will my IEP Plan or 504 Accommodation Plan or IEP Plan be accepted as my documentation?

IEP plans and 504 plans are a great source of documentation, but more documentation may be required. Please provide your most current IEP or 504 plan.

 Will I have to get new documentation?

SNU Disability Services bases eligibility not just on documentation, but on observation, grades, and the student’s report of the negative impact on their learning.

Can SNU do diagnostic testing?

SNU does not provide diagnostic testing, thus it is the responsibility of the student to obtain additional information or testing if it is required to determine eligibility for accommodations. The cost of providing documentation is the responsibility of the student.

How does college differ from high school disability services? In college…

  • it is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations from disability services each semester.
  • modifications are not provided, only reasonable accommodations.  
  • accommodations are not legally covered without going through Disability Services.

Can my parents handle all of my accommodation requests for me?

No, the law is different in higher ed. It is the student’s responsibility to request services. However, it is not uncommon for parents to assist you in getting the process started, and with your written consent, they are allowed limited involvement.

Can I apply for services anytime throughout the year?

Yes! However, please keep in mind that if you are approved for accommodations, they are not retroactive and cannot apply to any coursework prior to the date which the accommodation letter was given to the instructor. Requests for accommodations may take time.

Do I have to request accommodations every semester or module?

Accommodations are provided based upon the requests of the student. Since different classes may require different accommodations, it is important to look at a student’s needs on a semester by semester basis. Services, therefore, must be requested at least once at the beginning of each semester or at the time a need is identified within a semester. 

Professional and graduate studies students must request accommodations for each module.

Another student has the same diagnosis but they get different accommodations, why? 

The use of accommodations in post-secondary institutions is based upon more than just the diagnosis of a disability. It is based upon the severity of the negative impact on a major life activity. This is why documentation for a post-secondary institution has to provide more information that just a diagnosis and must address the severity of impact. Another student with the same disability may be impacted differently by his disability; therefore, all accommodations are viewed on a case by case basis.

I have more questions, who do I contact?

Please contact Disability Services for any questions you may have at 405-717-6272. We look forward to hearing from you!

I am afraid my transcript and or military records will disclose my disability or that I worked with Disability Services…is this true?

No, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws, strict confidentiality is respected and maintained. Those involved in the educational process, including instructors, do not have access to any information pertaining to your disability other than the specific accommodations that are provided. Furthermore, no record or reference to the nature of the disability or involvement with the Disability Services is disclosed on transcripts, college or military records. Your affiliation with Disability Services and the nature of your disability is not disclosed unless you choose to share that information or if you share or sign a letter that Disability Services can share your disability on a need to know basis.

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.” Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. For additional information, follow the link (www.ed.gov/ferpa) or you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327).

Can I receive accommodations without disclosing my disability?

Unfortunately, you cannot. It is necessary to disclose your disability to Disability Services to qualify for accommodations. Professors are not obligated to provide any accommodations for you without having first come through Disability Services for approval.

Why can’t I just do my work at home and come to class when I feel like it?

In some classes attendance is critical, while in others it is not. Examples would be when learning is heavy in hands-on experience, discussion, or group work, and extends beyond just textbook knowledge of a subject. Many times some flexibility in an attendance policy might be negotiated with an instructor, but in some cases that may not be possible.  Furthermore, missing too many classes on a campus fundamentally changes the course and its program. If a disability keeps you from attending classes on-site, online courses may be a viable option.

Do you have Disability Services at all campuses? 

Yes- We have one full-time Director of Disability Services on the Bethany campus to advise all three locations – Tulsa Campus, Del City Campus, and Bethany Campus. 


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