Transportation can be a concern for many students, especially those with physical disabilities. Students at OTC are responsible for their own transportation to and from campus as well as in-between classes. OTC is a stop for the City of Springfield Bus System or many student take advantage of the Access Express to come and go from campus.
Our Facilities and Grounds Department does everything possible and more to make the sidewalks and common areas at OTC accessible, especially in inclement weather. However, should students experience difficulty or obstacles navigating campus they are encouraged to contact Disability Support who will then work with Facilities and Grounds to make the appropriate changes.
How Does Disability Support Services Work??
In order to receive Disability Support Services at OTC, students must report their disability to our office. The official process for this requires the student completing a Disability Support Application, located on the MyOTC portal. Upon completion, someone from our office will contact you by phone to schedule an intake appointment with one of our Disability Resource Counselors. The intake appointment lasts approximately 1 hour and is an opportunity for the student to meet with our staff, become more familiar with our office resources and learn what services they may qualify for.
We do require student to provide supporting documentation for their reported disability at the time of their intake. If students do not have a copy of their own, copies can be requested from pervious schools or medical offices. This information is kept private and will not be shared with other OTC staff.
The Resource Counselor will then use the documentation, the student’s application and other information to determine what set of services the student may qualify for, referred to as “accommodations”. The student is then provided with an “Accommodation Memo” via their OTC email to inform their instructor of services. We advise students to present this letter to their instructor in person so the student and instructor both have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the accommodations listed. It is also appropriate to email the instructor your letters if necessary.
Students are asked to meet with their Resource Counselor at least once a semester to check in and make sure accommodations being received are appropriate for the current semester and are sufficient. If a student does not contact Disability Support or does not enroll in OTC courses for one year, services are halted until the student contacts our office to reestablish services.
If students have any questions concerning the intake process or what services and accommodations might be available, please contact our office for more information. Our hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Disability Support does require students to provide supporting documentation for their reported disability at the time of their intake. If the student does not have a copy of their own, copies can be requested through our office. This information is kept private and will not be shared with other OTC staff.
Examples of Supporting Documentation would be
- High School IEP
- Accommodation Memos from Previous College
- High School 504 Plan
- Medical or Psychological Records or Evaluations
Students who have not received diagnostic testing can contact the Missouri State University Learning Diagnostic Clinic where testing can be provided on a sliding fee scale.
Emotional Support & Services Animals
Emotional support and services animals have become more and more common in recent years and we are beginning to see them more regularly in the college environment. Emotional support and service animals are allowed on all OTC campuses and centers. Students are not required to register their animal with Disability Support but they are encouraged to contact our office so we may help advocate for students who benefit from their help in class.
For assistance due to a temporary condition, such as a broken leg, pregnancy, or extended illness, students may request services through the Disability Support office. Students seeking temporary services will be asked to follow the same process outlined in the “How Does Disability Support Services Work?” section of the FAQ. These services will typically last one semester but can be extended based on the injury or illness. If a student thinks they qualify for temporary services, please feel free to contact Disability Support Services or complete the Disability Services Application.
Students who are pregnant should also contact the Assistant Title IX Coordinator, Autumn Porter for additional support.
Many of our incoming students will quality for Missouri A+ Scholarships for their hard work and performance in high school. Our Financial Aid Office has put together a great website designed specifically to answer any questions you may have concerning A+ at OTC. Check out the Missouri A+ Program FAQ to have all of your questions answered by the experts!
What’s the Difference Between High School & College?
Beginning college can feel overwhelming for some students. Often the best way to ease the anxiety can be learning more about the difference between high school and college beforehand. The Missouri Association of Higher Education and Disability has created a resource to help outline the difference between high school and college, often referred to as ” The Guidebook”. Here you can find specifics on how college services differ from services provided in high school. Here is a link to our DSS “High School & College Differences” Brochure.
Who Qualifies for Disability Support Services?
A student with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards required for admissions and participation in the college’s programs or activities
Can Parents Contact Disability Support for Information About Their Student?
A student will complete “Release of Information” paperwork during their intake appointment that will list individuals that are allowed to ask questions concerning the student’s services. Disability Support staff cannot share student information without the student’s written permission. This is different from the release student’s complete during the admission and enrollment process. DSS will only discuss course progress or grades in person with the student present.
Will the Accommodation Memo be Automatically Given to Students Every Semester?
DSS issues accommodations automatically each semester. Students are asked to meet with their Resource Counselor at least once a semester to check in and make sure accommodations being received are appropriate for the current semester and are sufficient. If a student does not contact Disability Support or does not enroll in OTC courses for one year, services are halted until the student contacts our office to reestablish services.
How Do I Let My Instructors Know I use Disability Support Services?
Students are issued new letters each semester and are issued as PDF’s sent to the student’s OTC email. The student should present their instructor with an official copy of their accommodations letter at their beginning of the semester or whenever services begin, which can happen at any point in the semester. We advise students to present this letter to their instructor in person so the student and instructor both have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the accommodations listed. It is also appropriate to email the instructor your letters if necessary.
When Can a Student Register with Disability Support Services?
We recommend students register for services before the semester beings so they may benefit fully from our services, but students may apply for services at any point in the semester. However, accommodations are never retroactive. For example, a student cannot set up accommodations at midterm and expect to be able to retake tests with accommodation that they took prior to midterm.
How Long Will Disability Support Keep Documentation?
Disability Support keeps documentation for five years after the student stops attending OTC. In certain instances Disability Support may choose to keep copies of student files longer than the five year period if the student has recently made contact with Disability Support or if other concerns arise.
Can Faculty or Staff be Told What a Student's Specific Disability is?
Generally, no. However, two circumstances warrant faculty/staff be informed of specific information about a student’s disability. First, the student gives permission to Disability Support to disclose their disability to faculty/staff. Or two, DSS determines that there is a need to know. This circumstance usually occurs when there is a threat to harm a person or property. Disability Support will not share documentation paperwork with faculty or staff.