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What do I need to know about Disability Support Services?

If you desire support, advocacy, and/or accommodations through the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office at OTC, you must complete a Disability Support Application through MyOTC > Getting Started > Disability Support Application. Upon receipt of your application, a DSS staff member will contact you by phone to schedule an intake appointment with a Disability Resource Counselor (DRC) in our office. Your intake appointment will last approximately one hour. During your appointment, you will have an opportunity to meet with DSS staff, familiarize yourself with the office and its resources and processes, and learn about the services for which you may qualify.

Your DRC may request documentation related to your disability and its potential impact in the academic setting. The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) has provided professional guidance related to disability documentation in higher education. OTC utilizes AHEAD’s professional guidance as a framework for the use of documentation in establishing disability, supporting student needs, and fulfilling accommodation requests. Documentation can take a variety of forms including student’s self-report, staff observation and interaction, and/or information received from external or third parties. External or third parties may include educational records from school systems and/or medical records from health care providers. If you do not have a copy of these records, you and/or your DRC may request copies from the appropriate sources. These records will be maintained within the DSS office and kept strictly confidential.

For information about AHEAD’s guidance on documentation, please visit https://edgecastcdn.net/006FDC/AU/PDF/AHEAD_Supporting-Accommodation-Requests%5B2%5D.pdf

You will engage in an interactive process with your DRC to develop a support plan known as an Accommodation Plan. You will discuss the information obtained from your DSS application, your self-report, their observations of and interaction with you, and any information obtained from external or third parties to determine eligibility and the accommodations you may need to ensure accessibility.

You will then be provided with an Accommodation Letter via your OTC email. If you desire to receive accommodations in the classroom, you must present this letter to your instructor(s). We strongly advise you meet with your instructor in person to discuss how they can best support you in the classroom and to determine which accommodations may be applicable in their course. You may also email this letter to your instructors. Again, however, we strongly recommend you meet with them in person to establish an open line of communication. Please contact your DRC if you experience any difficulties during the semester. Your Accommodation Plan is a fluid document and, as such, can be adjusted as needed. Please make contact with your DRC prior to each semester to evaluate and update your Accommodation Plan.

Please see the Disability Support Services Registration, Intake and Accommodation Process flowchart at https://academics.otc.edu/media/uploads/sites/49/2020/05/DSS-Registration-Intake-and-Accommodations-Process.pdf

Note: You will need to reapply with DSS if you have not been in attendance at OTC for one calendar year.

For any questions pertaining to DSS processes or services, please contact our office by phone at 417-447-8189 or disabilityservices@otc.edu. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.

To contact the DSS office on your campus or at your center, please visit https://academics.otc.edu/disabilitysupport/contact-us-2/ to obtain their contact information.

Who qualifies for support through Disability Support Services?

A student with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards required for admission and participation in the college’s programs and/or activities may qualify for support through Disability Support Services (DSS). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as one with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by other as having such an impairment” (https://www.ada.gov/ada_intro.htm). If you feel you may qualify for support as a person with a disability, please contact DSS by phone at 417-447-8189, by email at disabilityservices@otc.edu or complete the Disability Support Services Application through MyOTC > Getting Started > Disability Services Application.

When can a student register with Disability Support Services?

It is recommended students register with Disability Support Services (DSS) prior to the start of the semester. This allows adequate time for establishing services and ensuring provision of accommodations from the onset of class. Students may, however, register with DSS at any point during the semester.

Please note: Accommodations are not retroactive.

Can I get support for a temporary disability?

Students with a temporarily disabling condition, such as a broken leg, pregnancy, 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 outlined in the “What do I Need to Know about Disability Support Services?” question above. Services typically last one semester but can be extended based upon the student’s need. If you feel you may qualify for temporary services, please contact DSS by phone at 417-447-8189 or email at disabilityservices@otc.edu or complete the Disability Support Services Application through MyOTC > Getting Started > Disability Services Application. Students who are pregnant should also contact the Title IX Coordinator and College Director of Equity and Compliance, Kevin Luebbering, at 417-447-8188 or luebberk@otc.edu.

Will I 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 Disability Resource Counselor (DRC) 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 their DRC to request a letter.

How long does Disability Support Services keep documentation?

Disability Support Services (DSS) keeps documentation on file for five years following a student’s absence or exit from OTC. In some instances, DSS may choose to keep documentation longer.

I have a service animal or emotional support animal. Do I have to register them with the Disability Support Services Office?

Service animals and emotional support animals (ESA) are increasingly common on today’s college campuses. Both service animals and emotional support animals are allowed on all OTC campuses and in all OTC education centers. Exceptions to campus access may include sterile environments and/or those requiring personal protective equipment. Determinations for access will be made on an individual basis.

A service animal, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is a dog that has been trained to perform an active task for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Students are not required to register a service animal. Additional information about service animals can be found at:

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

An emotional support animal provides passive support in the form of companionship for the benefit of an individual with a disability. A student wishing to use an emotional support animal on campus must complete the accommodation process through Disability Support Services (DSS). This process includes:

  1. Completing a Disability Support Application through MyOTC > Getting Started > Disability Support Application
  2. Completing an intake interview with a Disability Resource Counselor (DRC). You will be contacted by the DSS office to schedule this interview once your application has been submitted.
  3. Having a qualified provider (psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical social worker, or other mental health professional) complete the ESA Request for Information Form (link below) and returning it to the DSS office or your DRC.

ESA Request for Information Form

DSS can help advocate for students with emotional support animals once they have completed steps one through three above.

If you have questions concerning service animals or emotional support animals, please contact DSS by phone at 417-447-8189 or by email at DisabilityServices@otc.edu.

Will my instructors know I receive support from Disability Support Services?ity Support Services?

It is the student’s choice to disclose their disability, accommodation(s), and/or enrollment with Disability Support Services, in part or in full, to their instructor(s). Disclosure of one’s Accommodation Letter, however, is necessary to ensure provision of accommodations both in the classroom and/or for out-of-class testing. It is recommended students present their Accommodation Letter to their instructor(s) in person so an open line of communication can be established.

Will campus faculty or staff be informed of my specific disability?

Generally, faculty and staff are not privy to that information. Two circumstances, however, allow faculty and staff to be informed 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. Documentation related to a student’s disability will never be shared with faculty or staff.

Can parents contact Disability Support Services for information about their student?

During the student’s Disability Support Services (DSS) intake appointment, they will complete a “Release of Information” form indicating who DSS may speak with about them, their courses and their services on campus. DSS staff cannot share student information without the student’s written permission.

Please note: If the student gives written permission for DSS to speak with their parent(s), DSS will not discuss course progress and/or grades without the student present.

What are the differences between high school and college?

Beginning college can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. One of the best ways to ease anxiety about the transition from high school to college is to learn more about the differences between the two, particularly as it relates to your rights and responsibilities as a student with a disability and the services and supports available to you. The Missouri Association of Higher Education and Disability (MO AHEAD) has created a resource, the “Missouri AHEAD College Guidebook,” for individuals pursuing postsecondary education. This resource discusses some of the differences between high school and college with sections on documentation, laws and the transition to and preparation for postsecondary education. This resource can be found at https://moaheaddotorg.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/2010-missouri-ahead-college-guidebook.pdf.

Please note: OTC’s Disability Support Services (DSS) processes may differ from those in the “Missouri AHEAD College Guidebook.”

The DSS Office has also created a brochure titled “Understanding the Differences between High School and College: A Guide for Students with Disabilities.” This resource can be found at https://academics.otc.edu/media/uploads/sites/49/2020/05/DSS-Differences-Brochure.pdf

 

What are my transportation options to, from and on campus?

OTC students are responsible for their own transportation to, from and on campus. OTC’s main campus is a stop for CU Transit Services “The Bus.” Information about bus schedules, fares, etc. can be found at https://www.cutransit.net/. Eligible students may also arrange transportation to and from campus through Access Express. Information about eligibility, fares, operating hours, etc. can be found at https://www.cutransit.net/access/.

If you experience difficulty navigating the campus and feel you may need an accommodation(s), please contact Disability Support Services by phone at 417-447-8189 or email at disabilityservices@otc.edu or complete the Disability Support Services Application through MyOTC > Getting Started > Disability Services Application.

I experienced a barrier while navigating the campus. How do I report it?

OTC’s Facilities and Grounds Department works diligently to ensure sidewalks and common areas are accessible, particularly during inclement weather. However, should you 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 disabilityservices@otc.edu.

What student supports and services are available to me?

Bookstore at https://otcbookstore.com/

Career Services at https://students.otc.edu/careerservices/

Community Resources at https://students.otc.edu/counselingservices/referral-guides/

Counseling Services at https://students.otc.edu/counselingservices/

Disability Support Services at https://academics.otc.edu/disabilitysupport/

Financial Aid at https://students.otc.edu/financialaid/

Honors Program at https://academics.otc.edu/honors/

Information Technology (accounts and access, IT support-Help Desk, student IT resources): https://services.otc.edu/technology/

Library at https://academics.otc.edu/library/

Online Student Resources (online programs, Canvas support, proctoring, FAQ): https://online.otc.edu/resources/

Project HEAL (community approach to reducing sexual assault, dating or domestic violence and stalking) at https://students.otc.edu/projectheal/

PC Repair Clinic at https://academics.otc.edu/net/otc-pc-repair-clinic/

Registrar (course registration and withdrawal, transcripts, graduation) at https://students.otc.edu/registrar/

Safety and Security at https://services.otc.edu/security/

Testing Services at https://academics.otc.edu/testing/

Title IX/Equity and Compliance (discrimination, harassment, misconduct) at https://students.otc.edu/title-ix/

Tutoring and Learning Center at https://academics.otc.edu/tlc/

Veterans and Military Services at https://students.otc.edu/veteran/

Veterans Upward Bound at https://students.otc.edu/veterans-upward-bound/

Writing Center at https://academics.otc.edu/writingcenter/

Where can I find information about Missouri A+ Scholarships?

Information about Missouri A+ Scholarships can be found through OTC’s Financial Aid office at https://students.otc.edu/financialaid/aplus/ or the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development at https://dhewd.mo.gov/ppc/grants/aplusscholarship.php.

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