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Standards and Practices Overview

The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), through the provision of academic accommodations and related services, acts as a resource for faculty and staff, and provides campus accessibility for students and the community as regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, its amendments, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The College of Lake County is committed to provide equal opportunity in accessing the benefits, rights and privileges of college services, programs and activities for every qualified student with a disability.

The College of Lake County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or unfavorable discharge from military service.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that:

“No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States…shall solely by reason of…disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Reasonable accommodations and services are available for students, staff and visitors with disabilities in accord with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its subsequent amendments.

Eligibility:  Who is a Person with a Disability?

To be eligible for academic accommodations through OSD, students must register with our office and disclose their disability. Once an application and consent form are filed with our office, the student may provide OSD with documented evidence of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under those regulations, a person is considered an individual with a disability if:

  1. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activities (such as walking, standing, seeing, speaking, hearing, sitting, breathing, reading, learning, thinking, performing manual tasks, taking care of oneself);
  2. has a record of such an impairment;  or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.

Establishing Eligibility, Documentation and the Process for Obtaining Accommodations

Accommodations at post-secondary institutions are not made based on diagnosis (or having a disability) but more on how the disability substantially affects the individual.

OSD follows the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) guidelines for obtaining accommodations. The process begins with the formal disclosure of a disability via application with the OSD.  A student applies for accommodations and fills out the appropriate consent forms. It is at this time that a student may supply OSD with documented evidence of the disability if available. Such documentation would be reviewed and a meeting established between the student and a specialist from OSD to discuss accommodations and obtain the student’s personal narrative on how the disability may affect him/her. The specialist uses their professional judgment in assessing their interaction and interview with the student, which may lend weight to the determination of the accommodation(s). 

Additionally, documented evidence of the disability in certain circumstances may be necessary to provide specific accommodations. It is the sole discretion of the OSD to request documentation from the student.  The burden to supply evidence of disability, via documentation, is borne by the student as well as associated costs. Documentation is examined by a member of the OSD team, and evaluated for evidence of disability and the disability’s limitations on the individual. This information is used in order to determine what appropriate accommodations, academic modifications, and/or assistive technology are necessary to ensure full participation.

Process for Obtaining Academic Accommodations

  1. A student with a disability who requires an accommodation must seek assistance from OSD in a timely manner. It is recommended that requests be made prior to the beginning of classes or as soon as a need becomes known. Some accommodations require significant prior notice (e.g., the conversion of books to audio, interpreting services or captioning) OSD makes no guarantee that last minute requests for accommodations can be provided.
  2. The student may be required to provide documentation of his/her disability and how it limits his/her participation in a service, program, course, activity, or facility at the College.
  3. OSD and the student will discuss and determine the reasonable accommodation(s).
  4. OSD will outline the process for receiving the reasonable accommodation and will present this to the student via the Instructor Notification Form (INF). This form will outline the accommodations of which the student is eligible. 
  5. The student will present this INF to each instructor on or about the beginning of the class, or at their first opportunity.
  6. A student will be responsible for contacting OSD if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely way. OSD will work with College personnel and the student to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations.
  7. A student is required to reapply with OSD each semester to ensure timely accommodations.

Timeframe for Deciding Academic Adjustments and Accommodation Requests and Appeal Rights

Upon receiving a request from a student for academic adjustments or accommodation and upon receiving all required documents regarding the student’s requests, i.e., completed application, necessary consent forms, relevant documentation, etc. the OSD will determine the student’s eligibility for services and appropriate academic adjustments and accommodations. Students will receive written notification of OSD’s decision and next steps in the process within 10 school days of OSD’s receipt of all documentation. If a student’s academic adjustment or accommodation request is denied, the student will be provided written notice of the reason(s) and informed how to appeal the denial.

Purpose of Academic Accommodations

  • The purpose of an academic accommodation is to provide student access to information.
  • Accommodations must not substantially alter the integrity of the class, lower entrance requirements or academic standards, nor be ‘unreasonable’ in scope.
  • Accommodations do not ensure success, they provide access.
  • Accommodations are provided to students that are substantially limited by a disability as defined by law.
  • Accommodations are designed to offset the limitation and therefore provide a ‘level playing field’ at which to participate in post-secondary education. They do not provide the student with an advantage over other students.

Privacy Practice

  • OSD keeps all information private as required by law.
  • OSD staff members do not approach students outside of the office to initiate conversation or otherwise recognize OSD students.
  • OSD may speak with instructors regarding accommodations, but will not divulge the disability to instructors without the expressed consent of the student.
  • OSD will not forward disability related information to other institutions without the expressed consent of the student.
  • Any disability related documentation that is received by OSD remains private and cannot be shared with other departments or individuals, except in cases required by law.
  • OSD reserves the right to disclose disability related information with the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) in cases involving the student, including but not limited to cases of threat assessment, or in circumstances required by law.
  • Maintenance of Academic Adjustment and Accommodation Requests and Documentation
    All documents submitted to the OSD at the College of Lake County become educational records and the property of the College of Lake County. These documents are maintained in a confidential and private manner and are kept digitally or in paper format within the OSD Office. They are accessible only to OSD staff. Additionally, OSD will maintain all Accommodation Applications submitted by a student. Information acquired from these documents is used in the determination of a student’s request for academic adjustments and accommodations, and are not shared with others unless expressly permitted by the student and/or consistent with College policy and/or applicable by law. Data utilized by the OSD, acquired from this documentation and for the purpose of enhancement of services and/or quality improvement, are released in aggregate, and is not personally identifiable. Incomplete documentation (such as an application without supporting disability information, fragmented documentation, etc.) will be maintained for a period of two (2) years. A complete application documentation acquired by OSD, which is relevant to the provision of accommodations, will be kept by OSD, consistent with the College’s record retention of records policy.

Grievance Procedure

Should a student wish to file a grievance related to receiving an accommodation, they may contact the Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities (Thomas Crowe: (847) 543-2473 or

Should a student wish to discuss improper treatment or feel they are victim to discrimination, they may file an anonymous report.

The College of Lake County seeks to prevent harassment an d discrimination from occurring. College policies and procedures afford the investigation and resolution of complaints. The College of Lake County remains committed to resolving grievances and/or disagreements regarding academic accommodations. The College’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment policy outlines the College’s policy on Discrimination and Harassment and the procedures offer the reporter the way to proceed.

For the purpose of mailing written complaints, the mailing address is: Allena Barbato, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington Street, Grayslake, IL  60030.