What should I know about Disability Support Services?

The Disability Support Services (DSS) Office at OTC is responsible for serving students with disabilities who choose to register with the office while enrolled at OTC. DSS personnel are tasked with providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities to ensure their equal access to and participation in the college’s programs, services and/or activities.

If a student desires support, advocacy, and/or accommodations through the DSS Office at OTC, they must complete a Disability Support Application. Please visit our Apply page to get information about the application and intake process.

Note: Students will need to reapply if they have not been in attendance at OTC for one calendar year.
For any questions pertaining to DSS processes or services, please contact us.

Who qualifies for support through Disability Support Services?

A disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “a condition that limits one or more essential life functions.”

  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Depression, Anxiety, or other psychological disabilities
  • Autism-Spectrum Disorders
  • Health disabilities
  • Physical/mobility disabilities
  • Visual impairments-blind/partial sign
  • Deaf/hard of hearing
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Temporary disabilities

When can a student register with Disability Support Services?

It is recommended students apply with Disability Support Services (DSS) prior to the start of the semester after registering for classes. Students may, however, register with DSS at any point during the semester.

Please note: Accommodations are not retroactive. Once established, accommodations are for that date forward.

Can students get support for a temporary disability?

Students with a temporarily disabling condition, such as a broken leg, or an extended illness, may request support through the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office.

Students seeking temporary services will be asked to follow the same process as outlined on the Apply page.  Services typically last one semester but can be extended based upon the student’s need. If you have questions about whether you may qualify for temporary services, please contact us.

Students who are pregnant should contact the Assistant Title IX Coordinator Cody Garcia-Pusateri at 417-447-2686 or garciapc@otc.edu

Are students required to register an emotional support animal with the Disability Support Services Office?

Students who wish to bring an ESA onto college property must go through the reasonable accommodation process with Disability Support Services. While accommodation requests will be accepted and considered at any time, requests should be filed at least 30 days before the student intends to bring the animal to the college in order to ensure timely consideration. An ESA will not be allowed until formal approval has been received.

Please read OTC policy 4.11 regarding animals on college property

More information emotional support animals along with the form can be found on our apply page.
or by contacting us.

Will students get a new Accommodation Letter each semester?

Yes, Disability Support Services will issue Accommodation Letters to students via their OTC email each semester. Students are advised to make contact with their DSS Accessibility Coordinator prior to the start of each semester to ensure their accommodations are appropriate and sufficient for access. If a student does not receive their Accommodation Letter, they are advised to contact DSS to request a letter. Please visit our student center for more info.

How do I schedule an appointment with my DSS Accessibility Coordinator?

DSS Students are welcome to drop by the DSS office at ICE 116 anytime. However, if you want to be sure your AC (Accessibility Coordinator) has time to meet with you, it is best to schedule a timeslot.

Please call the front desk at 417-447-8189 to make an appointment or email your AC (formerly DSS Counselor) directly.

How do I get my Accommodation Letter?

To get your accommodation letter:

  • You must be a current DSS student and have enrolled in the current semester.
  • In order to utilize accommodations, you must present your Accommodation Letter to instructors.
  • If you need to update your accommodations, please make an appointment to see your Accessibility Coordinator.

Accommodation letters are sent automatically to each DSS student’s OTC email every semester.

FALL 2023 letters went out on or about August 7, 2023. Please check your email first to be sure you did not already receive your letter before you place a request with DSS.

Will my instructors know I receive support from DSS?

It is the student’s choice to disclose their disability or enrollment with Disability Support Services to their instructors. Presenting your Accommodation Letter is necessary to utilize accommodations in the classroom and for out-of-class testing. It is recommended students confidentially discuss their Accommodation Letter with their instructors so an open line of communication can be established.

Will my instructors be informed of my specific disability?

We will not discuss the disability with staff or faculty.

Can Parents/family contact DSS for information about a student?

During your Disability Support Services intake appointment, you will complete a form indicating to whom DSS may speak about you, your courses and your services. DSS staff does not share your information without your written permission.

Are there differences between High School & college for a student with a disability?

Beginning college can be both exciting and overwhelming. Learning more about the differences between high school and college as it relates to students with a disability is a great way to ease any anxiety or confusion.

You will find more information on our page Differences Between HS & College.

The Missouri Association of Higher Education and Disability (MO AHEAD) has created a resource, the “Missouri AHEAD College Guidebook,” for individuals pursuing postsecondary education.

Please note: OTC’s Disability Support Services processes may differ somewhat from those in this guidebook.

I am a returning student, do I still have accommodations?

Please plan to contact your DSS Accessibility Coordinator (formerly DSS Counselor) in advance of each enrollment semester so that we may ensure we have up-to-date information and accommodation letters ready for you. Contact your AC directly at their email or the front desk at DisabilityServices@otc.edu.

If it has been more than one year since you have attended OTC, please begin again with a new application and follow the intake process.

How do I report a barrier experienced while navigating campus?

OTC’s Facilities and Grounds Department works diligently to ensure sidewalks and common areas are accessible, particularly during inclement weather. However, should a student encounter a barrier or experience any difficulties navigating the campus, please contact Disability Support Services by phone at 417-447-8189 or through email at Disability Services.

Where do I find information about Missouri A+ Scholarships?

Information about Missouri A+ Scholarships can be found through OTC’s Financial Aid office  or the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development at A-plus Scholarship. If you are a student with a disability and unable to meet the 12 credit hour requirement of A+, you may be eligible for a “reduced course load” accommodation through DSS. Please discuss this with your DSS Accessibility Coordinator.

What are my transportation options for getting to and from campus?

OTC students are responsible for their own transportation to, from, and on campus. Information about bus schedules, fares, etc. can be found at cutransit. Eligible students may also arrange transportation to and from campus through Access Express. Information about eligibility, fares, operating hours, etc. can be found at cutransit access. Also please check out out Community Resources Page for more info.

If you experience difficulty navigating the campus, please contact us.

How do I request my exam with accommodations?

You’ll find all of the info you need to request your exams here Testing Requests Info

What if my exam is online?

Online exams require the instructor to extend the time allowed. Please complete the Exam Request and the Sign-up Genius portion in order to test at the DSS Testing Center.

Where do I go to take my exam?

You will report to DSS Testing Center in ICE116 on the day of your exam. Please have your picture ID with you and check in at the front desk early enough to get settled and start testing at the scheduled time.

What happens if I cancel or miss a scheduled exam?

If you have missed or need to reschedule your exam please FIRST contact your instructor as they will need to approve a reschedule date/time. Then fill out an Updated Exam Request form and cancel the original Sign-Up Genius portion and choose a new date/time to secure your seat.

DSS will always try to be flexible with students who cancel or miss an exam appointment for disability related reasons.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility, as far as students with disabilities are concerned, is creating course content and environments that can be easily understood and interacted with by students, regardless of disability.

Why be concerned with accessibility?

Accessibility is the responsibility of all parties at OTC. We ask faculty and staff to partner with Disability Support by helping ensure course material is created in formats that best suit student needs. We ask students to participate by self-advocating and letting faculty and staff know what they need, before or as they need it.

Are instructors required to provide accommodations without a copy of an Accommodation Letter?

No, instructors have the right to deny a request for an accommodations if a) the student has failed to provide an Accommodation Letter or b) the requested accommodations are not specified in the student’s Accommodation Letter.

Are instructors required to provide all accommodations specified in an Accommodation Letter?

Yes, instructors are required to provide the accommodations specified in the student’s Accommodation Letter. If the instructor feels an accommodation may fundamentally alter the content of their course or pose a safety risk, they are advised to contact the DSS staff member listed on the Accommodation Letter to discuss their concerns. However, until a resolution has been reached, the instructor is required to provide the accommodation as stated in the student’s Accommodation Letter.

Will faculty/staff know if students are receiving DSS Services?

It is the student’s choice to disclose their disability, accommodations, and/or enrollment with Disability Support Services, in part or in full, to campus faculty and/or staff.

Will faculty/staff be informed of a student's specific disability or be able to view documentation?

It is the student’s choice to disclose their disability to faculty and/or staff. Generally, faculty and staff are not privy to that information. Two circumstances allow DSS personnel to inform faculty and staff of a student’s specific disability. First, the student may give permission to Disability Support Services (DSS) staff to disclose their disability to faculty and/or staff. Second, DSS may disclose the student’s disability if they determine there is a “need to know.” This circumstance usually occurs when there is a threat of harm to oneself or others.

Where can I learn more?

Besides contacting Disability Support or OTC Online, instructors and content creators can learn more about accessibility by exploring the WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference published by the World Wide Web Consortium, who help set international standards for the internet.

Instructors are also welcome to search Canvas commons for courses on accessibility. Many of these courses are self-paced and can provide a better understanding why accessibility and universal design are so important, as well as how-to training for providing content. OTC Online recommends “Accessibility 101: Principles of Accessible Design” by Jess Thompson, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges.

Where Do I Send Exams?

When one of your students schedules an exam with DSS by submitting an Exam Request Form, it will generate the Instructor portion by email. You should fill out the Instructor portion of the Exam Request you received and attach an electronic copy of the exam to your email reply with any specific instructions, or you may choose to bring your exam to the DSS office in ICE116.

If your test is online please see instructions below that address online exams.

What if My Exam is Online?

For online exam requests, please pay close attention to the requested accommodations. Extended time will have to be provided through Canvas by the instructor using the “Moderate this quiz” settings.

For seated exams other accommodations will be provided by Disability Support Services. Should instructors have any questions concerning accommodations and online exams please contact Disability Support for more information.

What Happens When a Student Finishes Their Exam?

Once finished with their exam, the student will turn it in to testing center staff. The exam will then be returned to the appropriate instructor according to the delivery method selected on the instructor portion of the Exam Request Form either by email or pick up exam in DSS.

What Happens if a Student Doesn't Schedule Their Exam?

Disability Support firmly believes it is the student’s responsibility to schedule exams, not the instructor. This expectation is explained when services begin.

Instructors are welcome to complete the Instructor Portion of the Exam Request on behalf of their student and attach the exam without waiting for the student to initiate their exam request. See Exam Request – Instructor portion on the Instructor Center page.

What Testing Accommodations can a Student Receive?

Extended Time – Typically double class time allotment.  Unlimited time is not recommended nor provided by Disability Support.

Use of a Reader – Disability Support staff are available to read exams to students if it is deemed reasonable. Staff are not permitted to assist the student in any way and are only allowed to read the exam word for word, elaborating nothing.

Use of a Scribe – Disability Support staff are available to scribe exams for students if it deemed reasonable. Staff are not permitted to assist the student in any way and are only to act as their hands. Staff are not allowed to assist in spelling, grammar, punctuation or style.

Assistive Technology – Some students may require the use of assistive technology when taking exams. The specific technology may or may not be outlined on the student’s accommodation letter.

Distraction Reduced Testing –The DSS Testing Center is a reduced distraction environment.

Chunking – The exam will be broken up over multiple sessions to be taken on the same day,  with a total time up to double the class allotment. Student may not leave, then return and access previously viewed pages of the exam.

Music – Some students may be allowed to listen to pre-approved music on an appropriate listening device.

Formula Cards – When answers are dependent on a formula, students may be allowed to use a formula card. Cards may contain formulas, charts, or graphs but may not contain examples or sample problems. The student or instructor may create the card; however, the instructor must submit the card with the quiz or exam they provide to DSS Testing. Formula cards used during the quiz or exam will be turned in with the completed quiz/exam.

What Happens if my Student Cancels or Misses a Scheduled Exam?

We require students to contact their instructor in order to get approval for a reschedule date/time. Then the student should fill out a Updated Exam Request form with the new date/time and update the Sign-up Genius portion to confirm the new date/time is available.

Disability Support asks that instructors be flexible with students who cancel or miss an exam appointment for disability related reasons. We ask that instructors contact Disability Support with any questions or concerns.