Disability Services


Image: Students talking on campus

ABOUT DISABILITY SERVICES

Hiram College follows the best practices set by the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).  In providing support services to students who may require them, our goal is not only to provide the individualized support that is necessary for academic success here at Hiram but also to help develop both the functional skills and the skills of self-advocacy that will help students in their lives after Hiram.

If you are a student at Hiram College, and you have a disability that substantially limits a major life activity, you can register with the Hiram College Disability Services office and you may be eligible to receive accommodations. Please note this information is kept strictly confidential. Self-identification is voluntary. However, if you have a disability, not registering with Hiram College’s Disability Services may delay or compromise the availability of accommodations. As many reasonable accommodations require significant pre-planning, registration with Hiram College Disability Services prior to situations requiring accommodations is essential.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

Hiram College Disability Services adheres to strict standards of confidentiality in the management of student information. Since Hiram College Disability Services is the only holder of student disability documentation, all disability-related documentation should be directed to Disability Services (not other campus departments).

The Hiram College Disability Services staff are designated as mandatory reporters and must promptly report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, stalking, and relationship violence that are observed or learned about in their professional capacity and involve a member of the College community or occurred at a College-sponsored event or on College property.

Services Available

Hiram College provides the following assistance to all students through the Student Academic Services office, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Trained writing assistance
  • Individual and group tutoring options
  • Time management techniques
  • Study & test taking strategies
  • Memory retention techniques
  • Group study sessions
  • Academic advising assistance
  • Technology assistance
  • Testing Center

Student Academic Services can be found on the first floor of the Hiram College Library.

Under both the Americans with Disabilities Act, as recently amended, and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, a reasonable accommodation is considered to be a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, or facility, which ensures that a qualified student with a disability is not excluded, segregated, or otherwise treated differently.

  • Reasonable accommodations are tailored adjustments that level the playing field.
  • Reasonable accommodations must not compromise essential functions of the course or program.
  • Reasonable accommodations are individually determined after a review of medical documentation and an interactive needs assessment between the Hiram College Disability Services office and the student.

An accommodation would not be considered reasonable if it:

  • Fundamentally alters the essential nature of the course, curriculum or program.
  • Constitutes services of a personal nature (such as private tutoring).
  • Results in an undue administrative or financial burden for the institution.
  • Results in posing a direct threat to the health or safety of self or others.

All Hiram College students with a disability may request to receive certain free academic and housing accommodations.  

Initial Student Request

To request accommodations for the first time, please complete the following steps:

  1. Submit a self-disclosure form identifying the specific diagnosis of the disability, barriers, and effective and ineffective accommodations. (Required)
  2. Submit additional documentation from external sources which may include educational or medical records, reports and assessments created by health care providers, school psychologists, teachers, or the educational system directly to disabilityservices@hiram.edu. This information is inclusive of documents that reflect education and accommodation history, such as Individual Education Program (IEP), Summary Of Performance (SOP), and teacher observations. (Required)
  3. Meet with Disability Services Office to discuss appropriate accommodations and identify the student’s next steps. (Required)

The College reserves the right to require more detailed or more current documentation when necessary to consider accommodation requests. Students are encouraged to contact the Disability Services office (disabilityservices@hiram.edu or 330-569-6114) early in their college career or immediately following diagnosis to discuss any anticipated needs. 

Returning Student Request

Verified Individualized Supports and Accommodations (VISA)s have an expiration date that is listed at the top right corner of the document. If a VISA is expired, a new one can be requested by:  

If you need to discuss updates or changes to your VISA, you will need to schedule an appointment with Disability Services through the Microsoft Bookings page. 

Providing Your VISA (or Accommodation Letter)

At the beginning of each semester, you should distribute a copy of your VISA to each instructor from whom you would like to receive accommodations. Be sure to give your instructors reasonable notice for the implementation of accommodations.  Students should give their VISA to each course instructor as early in the semester as possible. Students are encouraged to provide their VISA to instructors even if they feel they may not need accommodations to account for unexpected disability occurrences. 

Email Template

Here is an email template you can use to distribute your VISA. Be sure to fill in the bolded parentheses with your personal information:

Dear Professor (Professor’s Name),

My name is (your name) and I am in your (course and section number) class this semester. I have a VISA through Disability Services and would like to request accommodations for your class. My VISA is attached to this email. When might we meet to discuss our plan for accommodations in your class?

For reference, I plan to use the following accommodations in your class:

  • (Accommodation A): this applies in your course because (…)
  • (Accommodation B): this applies in your course because (…)
  • (Etc.)

I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

Meeting with Your Instructors

Meet with instructors 1-on-1 to discuss your VISA during office hours or a scheduled appointment time (in person or virtual). You should go through each accommodation you are requesting for the specific course and discuss an implementation plan. 

Following Up with Your Instructors 

It is strongly encouraged for you to follow up with your professor via email after your meeting to outline and summarize your discussed plan for accommodations, including communication expectations. This is beneficial because:

  1. There is a written record of your VISA handover and meeting.  
  2. There will be a written reminder of accommodation plans for both of you to reference.

Continue communication throughout the semester to notify your professor of needed accommodations or if your VISA is updated.

Best Practices

Keep a copy of your VISA with you or readily accessible in your email in case it needs to be referenced.  

Even if you feel you may not require accommodations, Hiram College’s Disability Services highly encourages students to request and share their VISA early in the semester (even ahead of the semester if possible). If you experience unexpected disability impacts it is helpful to have already shared your VISA with your instructors or have a current copy, as this will eliminate further delay in requesting accommodations. It is best to have shared the VISA proactively as accommodations cannot be implemented retroactively. 

The items listed below are a few examples of academic accommodation options available. Disability Services meets with or checks in with students each semester to ensure that their accommodations are met.

Exams
  • Extended time for in-class work such as exams
  • Distraction-free testing environment (through Hiram College’s Testing Center)
  • Alternative exam formats, such as oral rather than written exams
  • Use of calculators for tests and exams
  • Online exam options
  • One week to make up an exam/quiz missed due to a disability
  • Ability to get up and move, especially for longer exams
Assignments and Readings
  • Additional time to complete in-class writing assignments
  • Texts in alternative format
  • Use of devices for notetaking, tests, and exams
  • Access to audiobooks, digital copies, or physical copies of textbooks and other materials
  • Written materials compatible with accessibility tools like screen readers
  • Access to voice recognition software
  • Access to text-to-speech programs
  • Access to lecture videos with subtitles and/or transcripts
  • Early access to lesson plans and other materials
  • Allow up to 48 hours to submit assignments missed due to disability
Lectures
  • Notetakers or copies of notes from a classmate
  • Permission to utilize electronic notetaking apps
  • Permission to record lectures
  • Permission to use quiet fidget toys to reduce anxiety
  • Permission to utilize laptop, tablet, or other device where not otherwise permitted
  • Ability to get up and move, especially for longer lectures
  • Permission to take pictures of the board or presentation
Other Accommodation Options
  • Reduced course load — but financial aid may be reduced as a result!
  • Accessible or preferential seating
  • Double the number of absences allowed in the syllabus, with a minimum of one absence if there is no attendance policy provided.  Students are still expected to make up any missed work and there should be a plan in place for the student to obtain notes or assignments due to their absence – It should be noted, this is not a common accommodation provided, but those with chronic conditions, such as MS or other mobility disorders, may receive this.  However, clear guidelines will be established on when and how often this might be utilized.
  • Alternative ways to attend class on a case-by-case basis – It should be noted, this is not a common accommodation provided, but those with chronic conditions, such as MS or other mobility or muscular degeneration disorders, may receive this.  However, clear guidelines will be established on when and how often this might be utilized.

Special/Medical housing requests will be considered on a case-to-case basis according to need with documentation of disability and strong medical support. Following a thorough review, Disability Services in consultation with the Director of Health Services will forward their recommendation to Residential Education.

In general, the following diagnoses may lend themselves to a medical single-room housing accommodation: 

  • Disorders involving muscular degeneration
  • Immunodeficiency disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Crohn’s Disease (depending on the use of immunomodulating medications)
  • Migraine headaches (depending on documented triggers)
  • Autism spectrum disorder

In general, the following diagnoses do not typically lend themselves to medical single-room housing accommodation:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Learning disabilities
  • Traumatic brain injury
Documentation Supporting Special/Medical Single Room Housing

A qualified medical professional must provide documentation (see Special/Medical Housing Request for a template) that includes a clear statement of the medical diagnosis, the basis for the diagnosis, a description of the treatment plan, patient response, and prognosis, as well as the current impact on the disability as it relates to the housing request. The credentials of the diagnosing professional must be included. The diagnosing professional may not be a family member. 

Medical single room housing requests are not automatically transferable from one academic year to the next and updated documentation stating student progress may be required at the time of renewal requests. 

Typical Medical/Housing Accommodations
  • Accessible housing (first-floor room, wheelchair accessible, etc.)
  • A visual fire alarm
  • A single room
  • Accessible parking (if available)
  • Emotional support animals (see Service & Support Animals)
  • Air conditioners (in non-air-conditioned dorms – see Air Conditioning in College Housing Request)
  • Waiver of on-campus housing requirement
Special/Medical Housing Request Forms

SERVICE ANIMAL POLICY (Effective January 4, 2019)

Hiram College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in allowing the use of “service animals,” and with Ohio law in allowing the use of “animal assistants,” on Hiram College property to assist people (students, employees and visitors) with disabilities in the activities of daily living.  Hiram College also allows “Support Animals” (as defined below).

This Hiram College Service and Support Animal Policy (“Policy”) is effective January 4, 2019 and defines a “Service Animal” to mean a “service animal” within the meaning of the ADA as well as an “animal assistant” within the meaning of Ohio law. Unlike “service animals” within the meaning of the ADA or “animal assistants” within the meaning of Ohio law, “support animals” are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks, and they include species other than Service Animals.

Policy Requirements

For an individual to qualify for having a Service Animal on Hiram College property, the following requirements must be met:

  • He or she must have a disability as defined by the ADA;
  • The Service Animal must be trained to do specific tasks for such disabled individual; and
  • The individual must comply with all applicable laws (including, without limitation, all applicable laws relating to the care of the Service Animal) and this Policy.
Service Animals, Support Animals and the Law

Pets and non-research animals are restricted on Hiram College property.  However, Service Animals are not excluded from Hiram College property or activities so long as they meet the guidelines set forth in this Policy.

Partner/Handler/Team

For purposes of this Policy, a person with a disability using a Service Animal or a is called a “Partner;” and a person without a disability (approved by Hiram College’s Disability Services office) who assists the Partner with a Service Animal is called a “Handler.”  Sometimes a Partner and a Handler work together with a Service Animal, while other times a Partner works solely with a Service Animal (essentially as both a Partner and a Handler).  A Partner and/or a Handler and his/her Service Animal are called a “Team.” 

Basic Requirements of Service Animals and Support Animals
  • Identification:  If a Service Animal is not wearing a harness, identification tag or other gear that readily identifies its status as a Service Animal, Hiram College officials may ask if the animal is a service animal required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.
  • Control:  The Partner or Handler must be in full control of the Service Animal at all times.  The care and supervision of a Service Animal or a Support Animal is solely the responsibility of its Partner or Handler
  • Leash or Other Tether:  Except as otherwise provided herein, the Service Animal must be on a leash or other tether at all times unless the Partner is unable because of the Partner’s disability to use a leash or other tether or the leash or other tether would prevent the Service Animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the Service Animal must otherwise be under the Partner’s or Handler’s control (for example, through voice control, signals, or other means).
  • Muzzle: The Service Animal must be under the Partner’s or Handler’s control to prevent the Service Animal from biting people.  Any animal that poses a direct threat, such as through unprovoked aggression, may be asked to be removed.
  • License and Tags:  Service Animals must be licensed as required by local governing authorities. 
  • Health:  Service Animals residing in Hiram College’s campus housing must be current with their mandatory vaccinations, as required to comply with local governing authorities’ licensing requirements. 
Basic Conditions for Having a Service Animal or a Support Animal on Hiram College Property
  • Clean-up Rule:  The Partner or Handler must (1) always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the Service Animal’s feces and vomit whenever the Service Animal and Partner/Handler are on Hiram College property; and (2) clean and be responsible for the proper disposal of the Service Animal’s feces and vomit and for any damage caused by the waste or its removal.
  • Disruption:  The Partner/Handler of a Service Animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, running around, bringing attention to itself) may be asked to temporarily remove the Service Animal from the Hiram College facility in which such occurs if the disruption is significant enough to interfere with the services or programs being offered at that facility at that time. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the Partner/Handler may be required to take significant steps to mitigate the animal’s disruptive behavior before bringing the Service Animal into any Hiram College building.  Mitigation may include obtaining refresher training for both the Service Animal and the Partner or Handler or other appropriate measures that are not inconsistent with the ADA or Ohio law or other applicable law.
Conflicting/Competing Disability Accommodations

Persons with medical condition(s) affected by Service Animals on Hiram College property should contact Hiram College’s Disability Services if they have a health or safety-related concern about exposure to a Service Animal.  The person registering the concern will be asked to provide medical documentation that identifies the condition(s) allowing a determination to be made by Hiram College Disability Services as to whether the condition is disabling and whether there is a need for an accommodation.

Campus Access for Service Animals
  • A Service Animal is permitted to accompany the Partner/Handler anywhere the Partner/Handler goes on Hiram College’s property with the following exceptions, which describe areas that generally are off-limits to Service Animals:
    • Food preparation areas.  Applicable laws restrict animals from food preparation areas.
    • Laboratories.  Chemicals found in many labs can be harmful to Service Animals.  Organisms naturally found on Service Animals could negatively impact the outcome of research.
    • Mechanical Rooms/Custodial Closets.  Such locations can have chemicals or machinery that could potentially harm a Service Animal, and Service Animals may cause disruption to services provided in the location.
    • Certain Sections of the Health Center.  Certain sections of the health center may be off-limits to Service or Support Animals to ensure that sterile environments are maintained and to minimize the risk of compromising patient safety and treatment
    • Other Potentially Dangerous Areas.   Any rooms or classrooms with sharp metal cuttings or glass shards on the floor; hot materials; excessive dust; or moving machinery may pose a danger to Service Animals.  When Partners/Handlers with Service Animals must be in one of these restricted areas for a course requirement, alternative arrangements will be considered to provide access.  When it is determined unsafe for the Team to be in one of these areas, reasonable accommodations will be provided to assure the Team equal access to the academic program or activity.
Using a Service Animal in Hiram College Housing

Service Animals must be accompanied by the Partner or Handler and remain in close proximity to the Partner or Handler and be under the control of the Partner or Handler (as described above in Basic Requirements of Service Animals) in the common areas of Hiram College residential housing.

It is the responsibility of the Partner to arrange any residential housing cleaning necessary due to the presence of the Service Animal or Support Animal.  Feces and vomit of the Service Animal or Support Animal in such residential housing buildings must be cleaned immediately and disposed of properly.

Removal of Service Animal from Hiram College

If a Service Animal or a Support Animal becomes aggressive and poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the Partner/Handler will be required immediately to remove the Service Animal or a Support Animal from Hiram College property.  The Partner of a Service Animal or a Support Animal is then expected to report such incidents to Hiram College Disability Services within 24 hours of the occurrence.

A Service Animal or a Support Animal that makes excessive noise in a Hiram College residence building can be very disruptive to other residents.  A disruptive animal in a classroom can also hinder the learning of other students.  If the Service Animal exhibits this behavior, the Partner will be required to remove the Service Animal or Support Animal from Hiram College’s campus until the inappropriate behavior of the Service Animal or Support Animal can be brought under control by the Partner/Handler.

Damage

The Partner is solely responsible for any damage or injury to Hiram College property or persons caused by the Partner’s Service Animal.

Loss, Injury or Death of Service Animal or Support Animal

Hiram College is not responsible for the loss, injury to, or death of any Service Animal or Support Animal.  The risk of loss, injury to, or death of a Service Animal or Support Animal shall be borne solely by the Partner and/or Handler.

Forms

Temporary Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA) are created for students with temporary conditions and/or conditions requiring additional documentation. The Temporary VISA lists temporary academic adjustments, which instructors should treat the same as permanent VISAs during the time the adjustments are valid.

Sometimes, Temporary VISA conditions will later become permanent, and a VISA will be created for the student. Other times, when the Temporary VISA expires the student no longer needs academic adjustments, and services cease. There is an expiration date at the top right corner of the form; if an instructor receives an expired Temporary VISA, they should reach out to Hiram College’s Disability Services office (disabilityservices@hiram.edu or 330-569-6114).

General Disability Forms
Disability Documentation Forms

To aid the documentation process, Hiram College offers guidelines and fillable forms below to facilitate the provision of needed clarity and detail from treating professionals. Submission of these fillable forms or equivalent will speed the registration process. Documentation can be submitted to Disability Services via email (disabilityservices@hiram.edu), mail (Disability Services, Hiram College Library, P.O. Box 67, Hiram, OH 44234), or drop off to the Disability Services Office (Hiram College Library, Suite 222, Office 223J).

Student Academic Services offers a free Testing Center that includes distraction-free testing spaces to accommodate any students’ needs.  The Testing Center is available by appointment. Learn more about the Testing Center on our website or feel free to complete the Testing Center Referral Form for yourself or a faculty may refer a student for testing using this form.

Holding an event on Hiram’s campus? If you want to ensure that your event is as accessible as possible, please refer to the event accessibility checklist and the event accessibility guide below.

Though Hiram College Disability Services office attempts to act in the student’s best interests based in fairness, compassion, and integrity, the possibility always exists for disagreements about disability determination, appropriateness of accommodations, or service quality. In the event a disagreement should arise, you are encouraged to make use of the following internal process for dispute resolution and appeal.

The appeal procedures contained herein apply to current students of Hiram College in cases where a student believes that the student’s request for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids and services has been improperly denied.

Appeals

A Hiram College student who believes that a request for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids and services has been improperly denied may file an appeal by completing a Request for Appeal and Authorization to Release Information form (hereinafter referred to as the “Appeal Form”). The Appeal Form is available at the Student Disability Services office listed in I. above and should be filed with the Disability Services office. The student must complete the Appeal Form and attach a description of the circumstances leading the student to believe that a request was improperly denied. The description should, with all possible accuracy, include dates of requests for accommodations and subsequent denial, as applicable. Appeals should be filed within thirty (30) business days after the student receives the determination on their request for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids.

Informal Resolution

After the Appeal Form has been filed, a mutually agreed-upon time and place will be arranged for the student to meet with the Hiram College Disability Services staff in consultation with any appropriate College representative to resolve the appeal. Appeals not resolved to the satisfaction of the student within fourteen (14) business days after the filing of the Appeal Form shall be referred to a committee convened by Hiram College (of which designated staff of the Hiram College Disability Services office shall be a member) (the “Committee”) for formal resolution as provided for below. The Hiram College Disability Services office may, with the agreement of the student, extend the fourteen (14) business daytime period for appeal resolution. The extension will be acknowledged in writing or by email.

Formal Resolution

A formal hearing shall be held concerning all appeals referred to the Committee within thirty (30) business days after the referral of the appeal. The thirty (30) day business time frame may be extended by the Committee for good cause. BeforeBefore the hearing date, the Committee shall require the student and the appropriate College representative to summarize in writing their respective positions. Their summaries may include statements from appropriate professionals. Their summaries should address, among other things, documentation of the student’s disability, the nature of the accommodation requested, and, if applicable, information regarding the effect of any request for the accommodation on the educational program in which the student is enrolled. Copies of the summaries will be provided to the Committee for distribution to the Hearing Committee (defined below) that will hear the case, and a copy of the summary shall be exchanged between the student and the appropriate College representative no less than ten (10) business days before the hearing.

At the hearing, both the student and the appropriate College representative shall be entitled to comment on their respective positions. Appeals discussed at the hearing will be limited to those presented in the original summary. Both may utilize the assistance of one person from the Hiram College community, specifically a Hiram College student, employee, or faculty member. The matter will be heard by a committee consisting of no less than three (3) persons designated by the Committee to serve as its members (the “Hearing Committee”). One of the members of the Hearing Committee will be selected by its members to chair the Hearing Committee.

The Hearing Committee shall, unless such time is extended by the Hearing Committee for good cause, render its decision in writing within ten (10) business days after the hearing, and a copy of the decision will be provided to the student, the appropriate College representative, and the Disability Services office.

Student’s Right to Withdraw/Reimbursement

If the Hearing Committee’s decision is adverse to the student, then depending on the timeliness of the accommodation request, the student may be able to withdraw from the course or program without academic penalty. Reimbursement for any associated costs is determined by the College’s refund policies. A student may always proceed in the course or program without the requested academic adjustments.

Confidentiality

Appeals will be handled as confidentially as is reasonably possible. Consultation by the Hiram College Disability Services office, or any investigator appointed by the Committee with students, faculty, staff, or others will be strictly limited to those who may have information about the appeal, who need to know that an appeal has been made, or whose job responsibilities include arranging accommodations for students with disabilities.

Section 504 Disability Discrimination Grievance Procedures

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Hiram College has adopted the following Grievance Procedure for addressing complaints of disability discrimination and harassment under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A person is not required to use this procedure and may instead file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, 1350 Euclid Ave., Suite 325, Cleveland, OH 44115:

  • Step 1: A person who believes that he/she has been discriminated against or harassed by Hiram College, Hiram employees, Hiram students, or third parties is encouraged, but is not required, to discuss the matter informally with the Disability Services Coordinator, Brittany L. Jackson, Ed.D., Hiram College Library, P.O. Box 67, Hiram, Ohio 44234 (330) 569-6114, in the case of a student; or his/her immediate supervisor, in the case of an employee. The Hiram College Section 504 Coordinator may also be made aware of informal complaints of disability discrimination/harassment. NOTE: If the Disability Services Office is the subject of the complaint, or the grievant is not a student or employee, the grievant may, instead, contact the Hiram College Section 504 Coordinator. The person receiving the complaint shall verbally convey his/her findings to both the person who alleged the violation and the person who is the subject of the complaint within ten (10) business days. The grievant may, at any time, end the informal Step 1 process and initiate the formal process outlined in Step 2.
  • Step 2: If the informal Step 1 process does not resolve the matter, or if the grievant does not wish to use the informal procedures outlined in Step 1, a written complaint may be submitted to Hiram College Section 504 Coordinator who will investigate the complaint. NOTE: If the Hiram Section 504 Coordinator is the subject of the complaint, the complaint should be submitted to the President of Hiram College who will appoint another administrator to conduct the investigation. The complaint shall be signed by the grievant and include 1) the grievant’s name and contact information; 2) the facts of the incident or action complained about; 3) the date of the incident or action giving rise to the complaint; 4) the type of discrimination/harassment alleged to have occurred; and 5) the specific relief sought. Names of witnesses and other evidence as deemed appropriate by both the grievant and responding party may also be submitted. An investigation of the complaint will be conducted within ten (10) business days following the submission of the written complaint. The investigation shall include an interview of the parties and witnesses, a review of relevant evidence, and any other steps necessary to ensure a prompt and thorough investigation of the complaint. A written disposition of the complaint shall be issued within ten (10) business days of completion of the investigation unless a specific written extension of time is provided to the parties. Copies of the disposition will be given to both the grievant and the person who is the subject of the complaint. If discrimination/harassment was found to have occurred, the disposition will include the steps that Hiram College will take to prevent recurrence of any discrimination/harassment and to correct its discriminatory/harassing effects on the grievant and others, if appropriate.
  • Step 3: If the grievant or responding party wishes to appeal the decision in Step 2 above, he/she may submit a signed, written appeal to the President of Hiram College within ten (10) business days after receipt of the written disposition. The President of Hiram College or his/her designee shall respond to the complaint, in writing, within ten (10) business days of the date of the appeal. Copies of the response shall be provided to both the grievant and the person who is the subject of the complaint.

Hiram College hereby assures that it strictly prohibits any form of retaliation against persons who utilize this Grievance Procedure.

If you have questions regarding these procedures or desire to file a complaint, please contact Hiram College Section 504 Coordinator:

Judy West
Executive Director of Human Resources
Hiram College
Bates Building
11715 Garfield Rd.
Hiram, OH 44234
330-569-5109
WestJ1@hiram.edu

Faculty are responsible for maintaining confidentiality and for facilitating accommodations or adjustments outlined in the Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA). The VISA is a confidential document and should only be shared with need-to-know individuals who are part of the VISA implementation process. If discussing student accommodations/adjustments with others is necessary, keep students’ identities confidential as often as possible. Students’ disability statuses must also be kept confidential from other students in the class. Hiram College’s Disability Services office is a great resource for understanding how VISAs are implemented. 

  1. Assist students in finding a time to meet with you 1-on-1, especially if your scheduled office hours conflict with students’ other courses. Be open to meeting with students even if you don’t feel it is necessary. Many students value this time to learn about your course and expectations. 
  2. Listen closely to students’ requests and assist students in planning for your course. Carefully review each student’s VISA as accommodations are individualized. 
  3. Outline your course with each student to ensure mutual understanding of policies, communication expectations, and what is needed to ensure accommodations can be smoothly and effectively implemented.  
  4. Contact Hiram College’s Disability Services (disabilityservices@hiram.edu or 330-569-6114) with questions or at the first sign of concern regarding the use of accommodations. 

To request accommodations, please complete the following steps:

  • Submit a self-disclosure form identifying the specific diagnosis of the disability, barriers, and effective and ineffective accommodations. (Required)
  • Submit additional documentation from external sources which may include educational or medical records, reports, and assessments created by health care providers, school psychologists, teachers, or the educational system directly to disabilityservices@hiram.edu. This information is inclusive of documents that reflect education and accommodation history, such as an Individual Education Program (IEP), Summary Of Performance (SOP), and teacher observations (See Documentation Forms for guidance). (Required)
  • Meet with Disability Services Office to discuss appropriate accommodations and identify the student’s next steps. (Required)

To aid the documentation process, Hiram College offers guidelines and fillable forms below to facilitate the provision of needed clarity and detail from treating professionals. Submission of these fillable forms or equivalent will speed up the accommodation process. Documentation can be submitted to Disability Services via email (disabilityservices@hiram.edu), mail (Disability Services, Hiram College Library, P.O. Box 67, Hiram, OH 44234), or drop off to the Disability Services Office (Hiram College Library, Suite 222, Office 223J). (See Forms section above)

It depends! Some IEPs/504s contain enough information for registration and some don’t. Hiram College Disability Services seeks documentation that states the specific disability diagnosis and descriptions of functional impacts for the student. For example: if you have an IEP related to a learning disability, the IEP must state the area of learning and explain the specific impacts you experience.  Hiram College’s Disability Services can review your documentation to ensure it has the necessary information and help you gather additional documents if needed. If the IEP or 504 plan(s) do not include enough information, you will be asked to reach out to your treatment provider to complete the relevant documentation form (see Forms section).

During this meeting, which may happen in person, by Zoom, or by phone, we will have a conversation where we discuss the following questions (if applicable):

  • What brought you here today?
  • What environments create barriers/challenges for you? What barriers/challenges in the classroom or otherwise are you experiencing currently?
  • How does your disability experience impact you?
  • What type of classroom environment do you prefer?
  • What solutions have worked in the past?
  • What solutions might work in this situation based on your assessment?
  • How is X class designed? How are you graded?
  • What kind of exams or assessments work well for you?
  • What is it about Y test (class, paper, etc.) that meant you didn’t need accommodations for it?
  • What types of assignments do you enjoy? What types of assignments challenge you?
  • What is your experience when reading (focus, comprehension, etc.)?
  • How is the housing experience going?
  • What accommodations did you use in high school?

As you are now considered a legal adult, you must provide the VISA you receive to each of your faculty members each semester to receive the accommodations in your class.  You can send it to them by email or you can print off a copy and hand it to them.  We always encourage you to reach out to your faculty prior to the start of class each semester, so you can be sure you are provided your accommodations on day 1 of your class.

It depends! If you are finding that the accommodations provided are not sufficient or are not meeting your needs, you may continue to dialogue with Hiram’s Disability Services to discuss if other options might better suit your needs, based on your disability.  You are always encouraged to advocate for yourself with Disability Services, so we might find the best accommodations for you and your needs each semester. 

Nope!  Hiram’s Disability Service office will reach out to you each semester to see how things are going and whether the current accommodations are meeting your needs.  You can also reach out any time to discuss strategies and options available to you with Disability Services.  We encourage you to do this!  The Disability Services office can also assist you with developing time management skills based on your needs, strategies to overcome personal barriers you may encounter, and more.  We want to see you be successful and will work with you to determine what might work best for you!

Hiram College strives to provide equal access to the College’s physical infrastructure and facilities for students, employees, guests, and visitors, including those with disabilities. As a part of this commitment, Hiram College includes in all future construction projects state and national accessibility/barrier-free standards (established by code requirements) to provide an increasingly accessible learning and work environment. Additionally, and where possible, Hiram College exceeds construction requirements striving towards the principles of an environment that is both accommodating and user-friendly. 

Individuals with questions about access to College physical infrastructure and facilities should contact the Hiram College Disability Services office (disabilityservices@hiram.edu).     

This Space Accessibility Suggestion form may also be used to make accessibility suggestions related to Hiram College’s buildings and physical spaces. 

Please see the Hiram College Student Disability Appeals Procedures above for the steps that are necessary to file a grievance.

Contact Us

The Disability Services staff are located in the Student Academic Services suite on the first floor of the Hiram College Library. Students are encouraged to set up an appointment, but drop-in appointments are welcome. Disability Services can also be reached by emailing disabilityservices@hiram.edu or calling 330.569.6114.

Operating hours during the academic year are Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and summer hours are Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Section 504 Coordinator:

Judy West
Executive Director of Human Resources
Hiram College
Bates Building
11715 Garfield Rd.
Hiram, OH 44234
330-569-5109
WestJ1@hiram.edu