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.

Students and prospective students must complete a Disability Support Application. Please visit our Apply page to get information about the application and intake process.

Note: Students must to reapply when not enrolled for two consecutive semesters.

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.” Examples include:

  • 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.

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, titleix@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. 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.

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 should contact their DSS Accessibility Coordinator before each semester to discuss their accommodations. Program changes and changes in conditions may affect whether accommodations are appropriate and sufficient for access. Contact DSS if you do not receive your Accommodation Letter.

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 meeting. Please call 417-447-8189 or email disabilityservices@otc.edu to make an appointment.

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.

SUMMER 2024 letters went out on MAY 20, 2024. 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?

You may choose to discuss your disability with your instructors and other staff. Qualifying conditions, physical or mental, medical diagnosis, symptoms, past accommodations, medical prognosis, and all other medical information not needed for implementation of agreed upon academic accommodations will not be shared or disclosed without prior informed and written consent unless there is potentially danger to the student or other occupants of OTC’s facilities. When possible, the student will be notified of this disclosure and OTC staff who have been granted access to the student’s disability-related information.

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.

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.

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?

In Canvas, click “NEED HELP”, the question mark on the left side menu, and select the DSS Exam Request.

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, FIRST contact your instructor. They will need to approve a reschedule date/time. Then fill out an Updated Exam Request form. Cancel your original Sign-Up Genius appointment. Choose a new date/time to secure your seat.

Accessibility at OTC

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 facilitate access for all students. We ask students to participate by self-advocating and letting faculty and staff know when they anticipate or are experiencing a barrier.

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. Instructors must contact DSS to discuss their concerns when an accommodation may alter the content of their course or pose a safety risk. Depending on the situation the instructor may be required to provide the accommodation as stated in the student’s Accommodation Letter until a resolution has been reached.

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. Qualifying conditions, physical or mental, medical diagnosis, symptoms, past accommodations, medical prognosis, and all other medical information not needed for implementation of agreed upon academic accommodations will not be shared or disclosed without the student’s prior informed and written consent unless there is potentially danger to the student or other occupants of OTC’s facilities. When possible, the student will be notified of this disclosure and OTC staff who have been granted access to the student’s disability-related information.

Learn more about Accessibility in the classroom

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.

Exam Requests, Seated and Online

Springfield and TRC accommodated testing: 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 always fill out the Instructor portion of the Exam Request you received which indicates you approve the time, date, requested accommodations. You may attach an electronic copy of the exam or bring your exam to the DSS office in ICE116. Some accommodations require the instructor to modify the exam format before it is received by DSS. Please carefully review your student’s letter.

Seated Exams: Requested and approved accommodations will be facilitated in the Accommodated Testing Center or other OTC testing locations. Contact Disability Support with any questions or concerns.

Canvas or Third-party Platform Exams: 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. It is necessary that you still return the instructor portion of the exam.

Completed Exams

Once finished with their exam, the student will turn it in to Accommodated 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.

I Didn't Receive Instructor Portion of Exam Request

Your student has not properly completed the Student Exam Request Form.

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.

Typical Testing Accommodations

Extended Time – Typically double class time or 1.5 times class time allotment, see your student’s Accommodation Letter. Unlimited time is not recommended nor provided in the Accommodated Testing Center.

Use of a Reader – Disability Support staff are available to read exams to students when included in the Accommodation Letter. Staff are not permitted to assist the student in any way and are only allowed to read the exam word for word, elaborating or explaining nothing.

Use of a Scribe – Disability Support staff are available to scribe exams for students when included in the Accommodation Letter. Staff are not permitted to assist the student in any way and are only to record answers as given. Staff are not allowed to assist or correct 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 Accommodated Testing Center is a reduced distraction environment. It is not an absolutely silent or distraction-free space.

Chunking – The exam will be broken up over multiple sessions to be taken on the same day,  with a total time up to the appropriate extended time accommodation. 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.

Cancelled or Missed Exams

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.