Disability & Accessibility Support Services


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Disability & Accessibility Support Services (DAS) are available to all currently enrolled students who have documented disabilities that substantially limit them in one or more major life activities. Individuals eligible for services may have, but are not limited to, the following types of disabilities: mobility, orthopedic, hearing, visual, learning, psychological and attentional.

Faculty: Download Syllabus Statement (PDF) Download Syllabus Statement (WordDoc)

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    Registering for Services

    Eligibility must be determined in order to make arrangements for services and accommodations through Disability & Accessibility Support Services (DAS). Students should complete the following steps in order to open a disability file and begin receiving services.

    1. After you are admitted to Detroit Mercy, contact the Assistant Director of DAS to indicate your intent to register for disability services. You will need to complete a DAS Request for Accommodations Form. A disability file will be started after the intake process is completed, and will become active upon receipt and verification of appropriate documentation.
    2. Provide a Disability and Verification Form (no more than 6 months old) that establishes and verifies your disability to DAS. If you have an immediate need and do not have documentation, please contact the Assistant Director of DAS to discuss your options.
    3. After appropriate documentation is received and verified, a meeting will be scheduled with the Assistant Director of DAS to discuss your specific accommodations needs based on your disability.
    4. The Assistant Director of DAS will provide your professors with official notifications of your approved accommodations each semester. While you do not have to reapply for accommodations each semester, you must contact the Assistant Director of DAS to confirm enrollment and request your on-going accommodations.

    It is very important for students with disabilities to self-advocate. It is your responsibility to advise the Assistant Director of  Disability & Accessibility Support Services if you ever feel that your needs are not being met or your accommodations are not being provided.

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    Accommodations

    Accommodations are determined on an individual basis based on each student's particular needs as identified in their disability documentation. Therefore, accommodations will vary from one student to the next. Services may include, but are not limited to:

    • Extra time for testing
    • Alternative test site
    • Note taking
    • Alternative format textbooks and materials
    • Sign language interpreters
    • CART (real time captioning) Services
    • Housing-related accommodations

    Emotional Support Animals

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    Tutoring and Other Services

    Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to utilize the many support services offered free of charge through the Student Success Center, the TRiO Student Support Services Program and the KCP Program, including mentoring, academic success planning, study groups, and tutoring services. Tutoring, in particular, should be a part of any student's regular study program. Appointments for tutoring sessions can be made online at udmercy.accudemia.net. Participation in these activities is highly beneficial and has had proven results in supporting academic success.
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    Our Mission

    The mission of Disability & Accessibility Support Services, in keeping with the University's mission to provide excellent student-centered undergraduate and graduate education, is to create an accessible community where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of the educational environment. Because of our belief in the dignity of each person, and through compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, amended in 2008, we strive to promote student's independence and to ensure recognition of their abilities, not disabilities.

    Our vision is a community where disability is neutral; a community where all of its members are empowered to learn, to participate, and to experience University life fully.

Guidelines

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    Guidelines for Documenting a Hearing Impairment (HI or HOH)

    1. A Qualified Evaluator. Professionals conducting assessments rendering the diagnosis of a hearing disability must be qualified to do so. Such professionals can include experienced licensed medical doctors with special training/expertise in assessing hearing loss, or audiologists.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation. Medical documentation should be based on the current level of functioning and present need for accommodations. A full report from a treating healthcare professional completed within the past 12 months is considered current. Older documentation may be accepted if the condition is unchanging in its impact. Documentation from a known organization, such as Michigan Rehabilitative Services, recognizing a student as “hard-of-hearing” or “deaf” and eligible for services may be considered, however, specific accommodation requests might require additional documentation.

    Documentation must include:

    • Description of current impairment and ICD diagnosis.
    • Summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments/reports used to make the diagnosis.
    • Status of the student’s condition – static, improving, or degrading. Expected progression of the condition over time is useful.

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same, or any accommodations, will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.

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    Guidelines for Documenting a Learning Disability (LD)

    1. A Qualified Evaluator. Professionals conducting assessments rendering a diagnosis of a learning disability must be qualified to administer the required comprehensive test battery and be licensed to diagnose learning disorders as defined by DSM guidelines. Appropriate training and direct experience with adolescents and/or adults with learning disabilities are essential. Licensed psychologists, educational psychologists or neuropsychologists are a few examples of such professionals.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation/Evaluation. The impact of a learning disability on an individual can change over time. To determine the most appropriate accommodations, LD documentation should be current – within the past two years.

    Recommended diagnostic instruments to asses for a LD would include:

    • An individually administered Aptitude Test battery with all subtests included. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is preferred. Inclusion of actual test scores (standard scores preferred) is necessary.
    • An Achievement Test battery, also referred to as an academic achievement battery. The Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery is preferred. The Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) is not acceptable as the sole measure of achievement.
    • Achievement tests must show current academic functioning in reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics (applied word problems, calculations, algebra problems), and written language skills (written expression).
    • An Information Processing battery, such as the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude (DTLA) or subtests from the WAIS-IV. Descriptions of strengths, weaknesses and deficits should include visual-spatial abilities, memory (auditory, visual, short and long-term) and executive functions.
    • Evidence of ruling out alternative explanations and co-morbid diagnoses are recommended.

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same or any accommodations will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.

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    Guidelines for Documenting a Psychiatric Disability

    1. A Qualified Evaluator. Professionals conducting assessments, rendering the diagnosis of psychiatric, psychological, behavior and emotional disorder/syndromes must be qualified to do so. These are licensed professionals with comprehensive training and expertise in mental health, skilled in differential diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, such as (neuro)psychologists, (neuro)psychiatrists, relevantly trained medical doctors, clinical social workers, counselors and psychiatric nurse practitioners.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation. Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of a disability; therefore, it is important for psychological documentation to address an individual’s current level of functioning and present need for accommodations. Due to the changing nature of psychiatric disabilities, a full report from a treating mental health professional, completed within the past 12 months, is required.

    Documentation must include:

    • A clearly stated diagnosis, subtype if applicable, and diagnostic code (include rating scales, psychological tests, etc.).
    • A list of the DSM or ICD diagnostic criteria as the basis for the diagnosis along with information concerning co-morbidity.
    • Evidence of the ruling out of other potential diagnoses, dual diagnoses and alternative explanations such as educational, linguistic and cross-cultural factors.
    • Duration and severity of the disorder along with expected progression or stability of the impact of the condition over time.

    *Diagnosis of mental health disabilities documented by family members will not be accepted due to professional and ethical considerations, even when the family member is otherwise qualified by virtue of licensure/certification. The issue of dual relationships as defined by various codes of professional ethics should be considered in determining whether a professional is in an appropriate position to prove the necessary documentation.

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same or any accommodations will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.

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    Guidelines for Documenting a Visual Disability (VI)

    1. A Qualified Evaluator. A licensed ophthalmologist would be considered qualified to render a medical diagnosis and make recommendations for appropriate accommodations.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation. Reasonable accommodations, per the ADA, are based on the current impact of a disability, so documentation must describe an individual’s current level of functioning. If the condition that leads to the loss of vision is progressive, the evaluation should be within the last two years. Documentation for non-progressive visual impairments should be no older than four years. Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Documentation from a known organization, such as Michigan Rehabilitative Services, recognizing a student as “legally blind” or eligible for services may be considered, however, specific accommodation requests might require additional documentation.

    Documentation must include:

    • Status of the student’s vision (static, improving or degrading) and expected progression of the condition over time.
    • Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative (i.e. visual acuity exam) information about the student’s abilities which might be helpful in understanding the student’s profile.

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same or any accommodations will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.

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    Guidelines for Documenting Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    1. A Qualified Evaluator. Professionals conducting assessments rendering the diagnosis of ADHD must be qualified to do so, or formally supervised and cosigned by a physician, licensed clinical psychologist, or one who holds a doctorate in neuropsychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, or other appropriate specialty. Such evaluators/supervisors are required to have been trained in psychiatric, psychological, neuropsychological and/or psychological assessment.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation. The impact of ADHD on an individual may change over time. To determine the most appropriate accommodations, ADHD documentation should be current – within the past two years, and must be based on adult normed testing. A clear diagnosis of ADHD should not include wording such as “seems to indicate” or suggests,”. Nor should it solely refer to ADHD as merely “attention problems” or “attention issues.” Additionally, evidence of the ruling out of alternative explanations and co-morbid diagnoses should be described.

    Recommended diagnostic instruments to assess for ADHD would include measures of:

    • Aptitude and achievement
    • Memory and processing speed
    • Continuous performance, and attention or tracking tests
    • Diagnostic checklists and rating scales to assess psychological and/or learning disorders.

    **Self-reported ratings alone may not be used as a sole measure for the diagnostic decision regarding ADHD.

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same or any accommodations will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.

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    Guidelines for Documenting Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

    1. A Qualified Evaluator. Professionals conducting evaluations or assessments, diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and making recommendations for appropriate and reasonable academic accommodations, must be qualified and licensed to do so. These individuals may be part of the diagnostic team, as a multi-disciplinary approach is often crucial for diagnosis and treatment of those with ASD. Appropriate training and direct experience with adolescents and/or adults with ASD is essential.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation/Evaluation. Reasonable accommodations, as defined by the ADA, are based on the current impact of a disability; therefore, it is important for documentation to address the student’s current level of functioning and present need for accommodations.

    Documentation must include:

    • A discussion of presenting symptoms and evidence of impairment in early childhood.
    • Evidence of current functional impairment, particularly in an academic environment.
    • A clear diagnosis of ASD based on DSM or ICD criteria.
    • Evidence of ruling out of other potential diagnoses, dual diagnoses and alternative explanations such as educational, linguistic and cross-cultural factors.
    • Battery of tests/instruments that substantiates the limitation on a major life activity, as defined by the ADA.

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same or any accommodations will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.

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    Guidelines for Documenting Chronic Medical/Health Disabilities

    Chronic Medical/Health Disabilities may include, but are not limited to the following areas:

    • Mobility – such as the use of a wheelchair, crutches or cane, or impaired hand coordination.
    • Systemic – may include chronic illnesses or conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy.
    • Acquired brain injury (and/or TBI) – affecting processing speed, memory, communication, motor, sensory, physical and/or psychological abilities.
    1. A Qualified Evaluator. Professionals conducting assessments, rendering a medical diagnosis, and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so; physicians, including licensed M.D.’s and D.O.’s.
    2. Current, Comprehensive Documentation. Medical conditions encompass a myriad of conditions and may fluctuate in nature. As reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of a disability, per ADA, it is critical that medical documentation give a full picture of the individual, not simply a diagnosis. A full report from a treating healthcare professional, completed within the past 12 months, is considered current, unless the condition is permanent/unchanging.

    Documentation must include:

    • A clear diagnosis of medical disability including the subtype, if applicable, with ICD code. Include duration and severity of the disorder.
    • Description of current impairment.
    • Summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments/reports used.
    • Updated documentation will be required after each semester of receiving services/accommodations for students that are expected to recover from this condition.
    • If relevant, a comprehensive psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation not more than two years old, based on adult normed testing (administered by trained professional).

    Please note: All appropriate documentation must be received prior to formal review process commencing. Also, please be aware that provision of accommodations in high school, other academic institutions or on any standardized test does not guarantee that the same, or any accommodations, will be awarded at Detroit Mercy.

    Guidelines adapted from AJCU standards and procedures.