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Disability Services

The College is committed to providing access to facilities and reasonable accommodations in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Isothermal Community College does not discriminate against eligible students or applicants on the grounds of race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, or disability. This policy of non-discrimination covers participation in all programs, support services, and activities.

ADA Compliance officers have been assigned authority to make ADA related decisions by the President. The Vice President of Administrative Services is responsible for providing access to facilities as well as making resources available in support of reasonable accommodations. The Accessibility Support Counselor is responsible for facilitating reasonable accommodations in support of the instructional process.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 both require institutions of higher education to provide equal access to educational opportunities to otherwise qualified “persons with disabilities.” It is the responsibility of the student with a disability to provide documentation of the disability. The documentation must certify that the disability creates a substantial limitation of a major life activity in order to establish eligibility for protection under the law.

Isothermal Community College does not make pre-or post-admission inquiries or referrals based on an assumption that a student has a disabling condition. It is the responsibility of the student with a disability to initiate the request for accommodations/services by contacting the Office of Accessibility.


  1. Official notification of a disability requires that the student provide documentation of his/her disability to the Office of Accessibility. In most cases, documentation should be no older than three years. To receive services, the student must complete a Student Data and Disclosure form, provide a copy of their class schedule and acceptable documentation to the Office of Accessibility.
    1. All requests for accommodations/services must be made directly to the Office of Accessibility by the student who is seeking the accommodations/services. A minimum of 30 day notice is needed for making reasonable accommodations whether a student has been previously served or not.  Requests for accommodations/services will be addressed as soon as practicable, once received.
    2. Documentation's of disability must be provided from an appropriately licensed/certified professional and must be complete enough to establish the student’s status as a person with a disability as well as establishing the need for any requested accommodations.  The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s specific request for accommodations. The Accessibility Support Counselor may require that the documentation be no older than three years. Necessary documentation to request accommodations/services, in general, should include the following:
      1. Identification of the nature and extent of the disability including diagnosis
      2. Specific information on the functional limitation as related to the academic environment
      3. Description of the current course of treatment including medical side effects
      4. Prognosis for the disability
      5. Recommended reasonable accommodations.
      Note:  An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is not acceptable documentation.
    3. Upon receipt of the documentation necessary to request accommodations/services, the Office of Accessibility will determine whether the documentation reveals the existence of a disability as defined under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and/or North Carolina law.
  2. When a student has a disability and has requested accommodations, the Office of Accessibility shall make an appropriate determination of what is a reasonable accommodation for that student based on documentation provided to that office.
    1. Students shall notify faculty of the accommodations/services, which the Office of Accessibility has determined they are eligible to receive by presenting an Instructor Notification Form, which is provided to the student by the Office of Accessibility.
    2. Procedures that define rights and responsibilities for providing/receiving specific accommodations are included in the student handbook and the disability support services brochure.
  3. Any member of the Isothermal Community College Community believing they have been discriminated against or desiring more information concerning these provisions and/or grievance procedures should contact:

    Stephen Matheny, Vice President of Administrative Services
    Isothermal Community College
    Post Office Box 804
    Spindale, NC 28160-0804
    (828) 395-1293

  4. Disability-related information is considered to be highly confidential and, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), such information will be kept in secure files with limited access.
    1. The Office of Accessibility will be responsible for collecting and holding disability-related information on behalf of the institution.
    2. Access will be limited to the Office of Accessibility and will be shared ONLY on a need-to-know basis.
  5. The College (Office of Accessibility) reserves the right to review the accommodations provided from time to time to determine whether they continue to be necessary and appropriate to the student.
  6. Isothermal Community College provides equal opportunity in higher education.  The Office of Accessibility works “to assure that all programs and facilities of the College are accessible to all persons in the College community.”

The College has adopted the following policies governing the provision of interpreter services for hearing impaired students.

Hearing impaired students should register as early as possible for each semester to assure that interpreter services can be arranged before the first day of class. Students must give their class schedules to the Office of Accessibility as soon as possible so interpreter arrangements can be made promptly. When students drop and/or add courses, the arrangements for interpreters must be altered. Students, who must drop and/or add courses, must notify, in writing, the Office of Accessibility of the schedule change as soon as possible.

Students who need the services of an interpreter for special events or meetings must submit a written request for those services to the Office of Accessibility preferably one week before the event is to take place. If a student learns of a previously unanticipated academic event less than one week in advance, the student must notify, in writing, the Office of Accessibility as soon as possible and explain why notice was not given earlier.

Each request must include:

  1. The name of the student requesting interpreter services,
  2. The nature of the event for which services are requested,
  3. The date, time, location of the event, and
  4. The approximate length of the event

A student who has requested interpreter services and then finds out that he or she will not be attending the class or event in question must cancel the arrangements by notifying, in writing, the Office of Accessibility at least forty-eight (48) hours before the class or event is to take place. If the cancellation is for a Monday event, notification must be received before 4:00 pm the Friday preceding the event.

A student who fails to cancel a reservation will be considered “absent.”  For purposes of this policy “absent” means that the student failed to use a valuable service that he or she requested.  The cancellation of an interpreter can only be made through the Office of Accessibility.

If an absence described above is beyond the student’s control, the student must explain, in writing, the circumstances of the absence to the Office of Accessibility within three (3) days of the absence. For good cause shown, the Office of Accessibility may excuse absence, but if the student does not offer an explanation within three (3) days after the absence, that absence cannot be excused.

If a student has not arrived twenty minutes after a class session or event is scheduled to begin, the interpreter will leave, and the student will considered “absent.”

A student who has more than two (2) unexcused absences in a given course will be notified, in writing, that interpreting services for that course may be withdrawn for the remainder of the semester. If, during the course of a semester, a student has more than four (4) total unexcused absences from classes or other events for which interpreter services have been requested and provided, the student will be notified, in writing, that all interpreter services may be withdrawn from that student for the remainder of the semester.

Before interpreting services may be reinstated after a withdrawal described above, the student must schedule an appointment to meet in person with the Office of Accessibility.  After this meeting the Office of Accessibility will determine whether or not to reinstate interpreter services.

Any student who has a problem or concern with regard to an interpreter should report that problem or concern, in writing, to the Office of Accessibility. Every reasonable effort will be made to resolve the situation fairly and expeditiously.

Policy Number: 602-03-00BP

Adopted: March 19, 1996

Amended: October 30, 2001; July 20, 2006; June 29, 2010

Download a PDF of this policy