A college student, living with a disability, who is in need of an auxiliary aid, must provide Accessibility Support with appropriate documentation. This documentation should be provided by the student, to Accessibility Support, in the interest of assuring that documentation is appropriate to and/or verify eligibility and to support requests for auxiliary aids on the basis of a learning disability that currently substantially limits one or more major life activities. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. In the K-12 school setting, teachers and/or counselors may have arranged support services for students with disabilities. In the college setting, the students themselves must identify the need for an auxiliary aid and give adequate notice of the need to Accessibility Support. Appropriate aids are selected after discussion with the student and Accessibility Support. Colleges are not required to provide the most up to date sophisticated auxiliary aids available; however, the aids provided should meet the needs of a student with a disability. Colleges have flexibility in choosing the specific aid or service it provides to the student, as long as the aid or service selected is effective.
Examples of Auxiliary Aids
Some of the various types of auxiliary aids and services may include:
- Alternative texts
- note takers
- sign language interpreters
- talking calculators
- Braille calculators, printers, or typewriters
- open and closed captioning
- specialized gym equipment
- calculators or keyboards with large buttons
- raised-line drawing kits
- assistive listening devices
- assistive listening systems
- telecommunications devices for deaf persons
Auxiliary aids include:
Sign Language Interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to students who are deaf or hard of hearing; readers for students with visual impairments; classroom equipment adapted for use by students with manual impairments; and other similar services or equipment.
While funding for accommodations to ensure equal access is available from Canisius College, funding for auxiliary aids is often the responsibility of state vocational rehabilitation agencies and the student. The college does not provide prescription devices, or devices and services of a personal nature.
The need for auxiliary aids and services is deemed appropriate by the Director of DSS based on the documentation provided by the student. The student must follow these procedures in order to request auxiliary aids and services:
- The student must initially contact Accessibility Support to request auxiliary aids and services as early as possible each semester.
- The student must provide the office with documentation of the disability, which supports the need for auxiliary aids and services. Accessibility Support will then determine which auxiliary aids and services are appropriate accommodations.
Loan of Adaptive Equipment
The college may loan some types of adaptive equipment and devices to qualified students free-of-charge. Equipment is loaned out on a daily, weekly, or semester basis depending on need and demand for equipment by other students.
The need for adaptive equipment is deemed appropriate by the Accessibility Support based on the documentation provided by the student. The student must follow these procedures in order to request adaptive equipment:
- The student must initially contact Accessibility Support to request to borrow adaptive equipment.
- The student must sign an equipment release agreement. The student will be instructed in the use and care of equipment by a qualified staff member. The student is held responsible for the equipment. The student must return item(s) in the same condition it was loaned. The student will be responsible for replacing item(s), which are stolen, damaged (outside of normal wear), lost, etc. If a student fails to return any equipment by the end of the semester, a hold is placed on the student's registration until the student has returned or otherwise satisfactorily accounts for the equipment.
- Students must meet with professors to inform them of in-class needs, preferably at the beginning of the semester.
Students may be encouraged to apply for funding from outside sources for auxiliary aids and adaptive equipment (e.g. Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, and/or NYS Readers Aid Program).