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Accessibility Services

For specific questions regarding accommodations, please contact Carissa Trotta at carissa.trotta@ncssm.edu.

Accommodations, Resources and Services


Because it is a residential school, NCSSM students must be able to care for themselves and live and work independently, with reasonable accommodation, within a rigorous academic residential environment.

Academic accommodations and associated resources and services are designed to provide equal access to courses and programs, but they do not guarantee an outcome or a level of achievement. Academic accommodations may be granted if they are reasonable, proportionate to the difficulties experienced by the student, and do not fundamentally alter the academic program or impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the institution. Furthermore, accommodations are not required to address a purely personal need, such as a personal care assistant, an individually prescribed device (i.e. wheelchair, eyeglasses, hearing aids), or other devices or services of a personal nature (i.e. assistance for eating, dressing, or readers).

Each requested accommodation will be evaluated and considered based on the the information submitted by the requesting student. Students with disabilities are expected to meet the same standards of academic performance as other students, but may be allowed an accommodation in the manner in which performance is measured. For example, a student may be allowed extended time for testing, or may be allowed to use certain assistive technology. Such accommodations are allowed so that the student’s academic competency is being measured, unimpeded by the student's disability.

Accommodations must be requested by a student and/or their parent/guardian in a timely manner which will allow NCSSM to review supporting documentation, determine eligibility, and establish the accommodations. All accommodations are determined through an interactive, collaborative process. During this process, the NCSSM Accessibility Coordinator will work with a student and/or their parent/guardian to determine how to reasonably accommodate the student’s specific, individual needs through possible academic adjustments and/or educational auxiliary aids.

Documentation required for certification of accommodations is reviewed based on guidelines that were set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These guidelines are followed to provide consistency among institutions with regard to acceptable documentation for disability certification.

Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:

  • The barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the NCSSM environment
  • The possible accommodations that might remove the barriers
  • Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, activity, or facility without an accommodation
  • Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations
Requesting Accommodations

After a student is accepted to NCSSM, the parent/guardian must complete a Counseling Services Form through their Student Information System account. The parent/guardian will be provided an opportunity to inform the NCSSM Accessibility Coordinator of their student’s current status as a student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan, if applicable, and to indicate that they would like their child to be considered for accommodations at NCSSM. If the student has not been receiving accommodations at his or her home school, a parent/guardian can indicate that they are requesting accommodations as these plans do not automatically transfer. The parent/guardian will be contacted by the Accessibilities Coordinator to begin the accommodation request process.

It is important to note that a parent/guardian may contact the Accessibilities Coordinator to begin the accommodation request process at any time during the student’s enrollment at NCSSM. Some accommodations and services must be requested well in advance of each trimester. For example, interpreter services and services for the blind all require students to communicate their service needs to the Accessibility Coordinator well before the beginning of each trimester. In such cases, students should provide a minimum of two months advance notice if possible.

The following documentation is required to assist in determining a student’s eligibility for reasonable accommodations through an Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP):
  • A current IEP, Section 504 Plan, or formal accommodation plan implemented by the student’s home school, if any.
  • Current documentation of the disability provided by the licensed professional who made the diagnosis.
  • Specific accommodations recommended by the diagnosing professional.
  • A written parent/guardian request that specific accommodations be implemented.
Upon receipt of the aforementioned documentation, the Accessibilities Coordinator will review the documentation to determine eligibility. If the student is deemed eligible, the Accessibilities Coordinator will collaborate with the parent/guardian and student to discuss reasonable accommodations and draft an IAP. This IAP draft is sent to the Disability Review Committee (DRC) for final approval. The DRC may approve the IAP as presented, recommend an alternative, or deny an accommodation request.

The Accessibilities Coordinator will inform the parent/guardian and student once the DRC has reached a decision.

If approved, the parent/guardian and student will sign the final IAP. Once signed, the Accessibilities Coordinator will distribute the IAP to all relevant faculty and/or staff.

If an alternate accommodation is recommended, the Accessibilities Coordinator will contact the parent/guardian and student to discuss the alternate accommodation.

If the parent/guardian and student do not agree with the alternate accommodation, the Accessibilities Coordinator will work to obtain a satisfactory resolution. If a resolution is unable to be obtained, the parent/guardian may appeal the decision to the Chancellor.

If an accommodation is denied, the parent/guardian may appeal the decision to the Chancellor.

Determination of Reasonable Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, activity or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or equal benefits and privileges as are available to similarly situated students without disabilities. NCSSM is obligated to provide accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified disabled student. To determine reasonable accommodation, the Accessibility Coordinator may seek information from appropriate staff regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities.

IAP Monitoring

The Accessibilities Coordinator will monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the IAP and will remain in communication with the student, the student’s NCSSM Support Team, faculty/staff, and the parent/guardian, throughout the duration of the IAP .

IAP Review/Amendments

A parent/guardian and/or student may request, through the Accessibilities Coordinator, that the IAP be reviewed or amended at any time during their enrollment at NCSSM. Additional documentation may be required to assist in determining the reasonableness of the requested change to the IAP. The procedures described in the initial request for accommodations will be applied when considering amendments to the IAP.

All students who received accommodations at any point in their junior year will have their IAP reviewed by the Accessibilities Coordinator at the beginning of their senior year.

Discontinuation of IAP

A parent/guardian and/or student can request the discontinuation of an IAP at any time during the student’s enrollment at NCSSM. The request must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Addressed to the Accessibilities Coordinator; and
  • Indicate the desire for the IAP to be discontinued along with any reasons for making the request.

Once received, the Accessibilities Coordinator will acknowledge receipt of the request and inform all relevant faculty/staff to discontinue implementation of IAP.

Confidentiality and Release of Information

NCSSM is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student is confidential as required or permitted by the law. Any information collected is used for the benefit of the student. This information may include test data, grades, biographical history, disability information, performance reviews and case notes.

No one has immediate access to student files except the Accessibility Coordinator. Students who request services based on their documented requests acknowledge that some level of disclosure to select faculty may be necessary to provide the requested accommodations. This disclosure will occur with the understanding that only necessary information for the purposes of accommodation will be communicated by the Accessibility Coordinator. Certain staff members that have a legitimate need to know may also have access to such records to provide evidence supporting disability-related accommodations. Students are under no obligation to disclose a disability unless an accommodation is being requested; likewise, faculty and staff have no authority to see disability documentation without a legitimate, educational need to know.
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