The Disability Services (DS) Office at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) is dedicated to facilitating equal and integrated access to educational opportunities for students with disabilities in order to meet their academic and personal goals. The office coordinates appropriate academic accommodations and encourages the development of student self-advocacy skills. We further promote an inclusive environment by collaborating with students, faculty, and staff to eliminate physical, programmatic and attitudinal barriers within the campus community.
This document is intended to outline the DS office procedures for ensuring the identification, coordination, and implementation of disability-related academic accommodations in accordance with federal law and professional standards recommended by the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).
To be eligible for disability-related services through the DS office, students must (1) be otherwise qualified and admitted to TAMU-CC, (2) be a person with a disability, as defined by federal law, and (3) self-identify as a student with a disability through the completion of the DS application process.
a. Complete and submit the online application, available through the DS office website
i. This is a brief questionnaire intended to allow students to describe the history and impact of their disability/condition and explain specific accommodations and services being requested.
b. Upload documentation that supports the request for academic accommodations (see Section II. Documentation Guidelines).
c. Schedule and complete the initial Access Planning Meeting (APM) with Disability Services staff.
i. After receipt and review of the student’s application and documentation, DS staff will contact the student to schedule the APM. At this time, approved accommodations will be established, and students will sign appropriate agreement forms necessary to request accommodations for the current/upcoming semester.
It is the responsibility of the student to provide information that verifies that the student's condition meets the definition of a disability as defined by applicable laws (i.e., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008). Federal Law requires that requests for services for students with disabilities be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Sources of information used for determining a disability and/or accommodations may include a student’s self-report, direct observation and interaction with the student, and/or documentation from qualified evaluators or professionals.
Students should complete the Application for Services, which provides students an opportunity to describe their disability and accommodations they are hoping to receive. Students may supplement the Application with an additional narrative by providing a letter that further describes their disability and/or accommodations they are requesting. Students may consider including information about their experiences related to their disability, barriers faced, and previous accommodations (effective or ineffective).
Disability-related documentation should provide information on the functional impact of the disability so that effective accommodations can be identified. Criteria for the source, scope and content of documentation differs by disability type. Documentation may include assessments, reports, and/or letters from qualified evaluators, professionals, or institutions. Common sources of documentation are health care providers, psychologists, diagnosticians, and/or information from a previous school (e.g., accommodation agreements/letters, 504, IEP, or ARD documents).
Suggested Documentation Elements:
Note: DS provides a Medical Disability Verification Form and Psychological Disability Verification Form, available on the DS Office website, that can be completed by the student’s provider, if other forms of documentation are not available or sufficient.
In addition to services provided to students with documented disabilities, as previously defined, the Disability Services (DS) office may provide services on a provisional or temporary basis.
Note: Students who need temporary accessible parking, typically less than 6 weeks, can present a note from their physician to the University Police Department to obtain a temporary accessible parking placard for campus parking. Students who may need accessible parking on and off-campus or for a longer period are encouraged to submit the Application for Persons with Disabilities Parking Placard and/or License Plate from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to their county tax office.
Once a student’s application and supporting documentation are received, the student’s file will be submitted to the DS staff for a panel review and assigned to an Accommodations Counselor. After review, the Accommodations Counselor will contact the student to schedule the Access Planning Meeting. This process may take up to seven business days for students who are currently enrolled in classes. Newly admitted students will be contacted once the application and documentation are received; however, the review will not take place until after the student has attended New Student Orientation. At the postsecondary education level, students are solely responsible for decisions regarding their accommodation needs. Parents may attend meetings with their student and DS staff at the student’s discretion.
The DS office currently uses Accessible Information Management (AIM) system in order to manage student records and requests. At the Access Planning Meeting, students will be provided with information regarding access to the program, including login credentials, and relevant applications for this system.
All initial requests for accommodations (i.e., application and supporting documentation) for the current semester should be submitted no later than one week prior to the end of the last day of classes (refer to the Academic Calendar for information regarding current and future semesters); any request for services received after that time will be reviewed and considered on an individual, case-by-case basis to determine the reasonableness of initiating services at that time. In the event services are needed immediately upon submitting the initial request, the review panel will consider an “emergency review” on an individual, case-by case basis.
The following information will be considered in determining reasonable accommodations: student’s disability, history, experience, request, and the unique characteristics of the course, program, or requirement. Reasonableness of an accommodation is established when there is a clear understanding of the impact the disability has on the individual; although the unique attributes and requirements of the course, program, or activity must also be evaluated.
TAMU-CC is not required to make adjustments or provide aids or services that would impose a fundamental alteration of the academic program or require an undue financial or administration burden on the university’s programs; accommodations should promote the student’s professional self-determination and independence. In general, the professional best practice standards of the Association for Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD) will be followed to determine appropriate accommodations.
The student should be aware that there is often a difference in the types of accommodations provided by elementary/secondary schools and post-secondary programs. In general, there are fewer substitutions and modifications at the post-secondary level and more emphasis on student development of learning strategies and skills. Students are encouraged to review resources available through the Department of Education regarding transition to post-secondary services (Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators).
b. Accommodation needs for a particular student may vary semester-to-semester depending upon the course content of the student’s classes and the nature of the student’s disability. Students are able to customize their accommodation requests each semester for each class based on the previously approved and agreed upon accommodations; the student may also modify or cancel a request at any time during the course of the semester. If the student has a request for an accommodation that has not been previously discussed, approved, and/or agreed upon (i.e., it is not available in their list of available accommodations in AIM), they must contact the DS office for review of that request (additional accommodations must be supported by appropriate documentation and will be subject to the same process as the original application for accommodations).
c. Each student is strongly encouraged to follow up with instructors, especially when the FNLs are sent by the DS office on behalf of the student via email, in order to make needed arrangements and discuss specific details and/or possible issues regarding accommodations requested for the class. While the student may choose to disclose specific information regarding the nature of their disability, this is not required.
a. Only designated staff will have access to student files maintained by the DS office.
b. Release of information is permissible with written permission from the student and with few exceptions.
i. The student should contact the DS office in order to discuss rights pertaining to disclosure of information and available forms to provide written consent for release of information.
ii. Disclosure of information is allowable under certain conditions, including but not limited to the following:
a. All records are managed and retained in accordance with Texas A&M University System regulations and applicable state law. For more information regarding the requirements/schedule, please contact the DS office.
b. If a student would like to request a copy of their documentation, the request must be made in writing. The student should contact the DS office to discuss available forms for the written request.
Request their FNLs be sent to their instructors each semester, including Mini-Terms and Summer Sessions. The FNL, and thus accommodations, becomes effective once the instructor receives it. Accommodations are NOT retroactive.
Meet with their instructor(s), during office hours or scheduled appointment, each semester to discuss specific details and implementation of approved academic accommodations.
Alert the DS office immediately if information within the FNLs does not appear to be accurate or if there are any problems in the delivery of requested accommodations or the process of being accommodated.
Cancel or modify the FNLs, as necessary.
Review information regarding consent for release of information (see “Information Release Consents” in AIM) and update/make changes, as necessary.
Monitor their TAMU-CC email (official @islander.tamucc.edu account) for alerts from the DS office.
2. Enroll in Classes: DS students are encouraged to enroll early for classes before desired classes are filled. This will require meeting with advisors early.
4. Exam Services: Students are expected to follow the procedures outlined below (also detailed in the “Exam Services Test Rules” agreement in AIM, which must be reviewed and acknowledged each semester). Students will use AIM in order to schedule their exams; they may also modify or cancel any scheduled exams.
a. It is the student’s responsibility to use the AIM system in order to schedule an exam or quiz to be taken in Exam Services.
b. The ideal scheduling of exams/quizzes with Exam Services is TWO (2) BUSINESS DAYS during Summer Sessions and THREE (3) BUSINESS DAYS during Fall/Spring semesters. If exams are not scheduled within the 2 days’/3 days’ notice, reasonable effort will be made to accommodate students on a case-by-case basis with instructor approval.
d. To change an exam/quiz date(s) or time(s), it is the STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY to reschedule the exam/quiz in AIM. The ideal notice of 2 days/3 days prior to the exam/quiz still applies. The instructor will then need to confirm the time/date. To reschedule the exam/quiz with Exam Services, please refer to “AIM Alternative Testing Instructions for Students”.
e. Punctuality is essential. Students are expected to arrive in Exam Services at the scheduled time. Students must be prepared to begin all exams with the necessary materials exactly at the scheduled time. Variation from the schedule may cause undue disturbance and disruption to the student’s and/or other’s exam/quiz accommodations. If the exam/quiz is being picked up at the class or from the instructor, the allowable time starts when the exam/quiz arrives at Exam Services. Do not assume Exam Services is picking up the exam/quiz from the class and that it will be arriving later than the scheduled time. The Exam Services staff will be consistent in enforcing the instructor’s late policy. The instructor is not required to grant a make-up exam/quiz due to tardiness.
f. Students will be allowed to use only the amount of time specified by the instructor and in accordance with the previously agreed upon accommodations, as requested.
g. Students will be allowed to use only the items (e.g., calculator, note card, formula sheet) the instructor has approved in the Alternative Testing Agreement for use on the exam/quiz. Students are to supply ALL necessary exam/quiz materials including: blue book, calculators, pencils, scantrons, etc.
h. No personal items are allowed in the testing rooms. Exceptions may include items such as medication, food and/or drink. These exceptions are subject to proctor’s approval.
i. Students are responsible for following instructions on the exam/quiz and will assume any penalties that may result from misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
j. A proctor may be present or enter the testing area from time to time. Students are allowed to wear noise-muffling headphones to assist in distraction limitation. These headphones are available from Exam Services. Breaks and trips to the restroom may be monitored by the DS staff.
k. Students suspected of cheating during an exam/quiz will need to meet with a DS staff member. The student may be required to surrender their exam/quiz and the instructor will be notified. Please see the Student Code of Conduct (Article III: Violations of the Student Code of Conduct).
b. Instructors will not excuse absences simply because a student has note-taking services.
c. Students who are not able to attend class for an extended period of time (more than three class days) due to extenuating circumstances, will be referred to the Student Assistance Coordinator in the Office of Student Engagement and Success.
In case of an emergency, individuals on campus should call the University Police Department at 361-825-4444 (on campus ext. 4444) or dial 911 if there is an imminent threat to life and health.
All persons shall move towards the nearest marked EXIT. Persons with special needs may use the building elevator—but NEVER in a fire or an earthquake.
Assist with the evacuation of individuals with special needs if it can be done
If assistance is not immediately available, persons with special needs should stay near the wall in the exit corridor, or on the stairwell landing. They should continue to call for help until rescued. People who cannot speak loudly should carry a whistle or have other means of attracting the attention of others.
Persons with physical disabilities should prepare for an emergency ahead of time by instructing faculty and classmates on how to assist them in an emergency. They should know the location of the designated evacuation stairway.
Persons with hearing or visual impairments working alone in isolated areas such as study rooms and labs should notify nearby building staff or University Police of their location.
a. The university operates under a Hurricane/Tropical Storm Defense Plan to safeguard students, faculty and staff and to protect campus facilities in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm; for more information refer to the Hurricane Preparedness resources, including the Hurricane/Tropical Storm Defense Plan.
The University has established rules and procedures for reporting and resolving grade appeals, faculty and non-faculty grievances, student grievances, sexual harassment and research misconduct. While students with disabilities are advised to follow the University’s procedures for filing a complaint, students may also consider consulting with the DS staff in order to receive assistance through an informal resolution process. For details regarding University procedures, refer to the Compendium of Policies, Rules, and Regulations, which includes the following: