Reasonable Accommodations

Central's Office for Office of Accessibility Services is committed to providing equal access to an educational experience through the provision of reasonable accommodations and services to qualified students with disabilities in order to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may occur as a result of an individual's disability. In determining reasonable accommodations, Central is guided by the federal definition of "disability" which describes an individual with a disability as someone who has:

  1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual; for example: caring for oneself, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, eating, sleeping, walking, performing manual tasks, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, and working.
  2. A record of such impairment; or
  3. Is regarded as having such an impairment

Defining Reasonable Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job activity, or facility that ensures an equal opportunity for qualified students with disabilities to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity. Aids, benefits, or services need not produce equal results, but must afford an equal opportunity to achieve equal results. When necessary, OAS staff will consult with faculty regarding whether an accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity or whether an academic requirement is essential to the instruction being pursued or to any directly related licensing requirement. In doing so, OAS will examine the following:

  • Barriers between individuals with disabilities and the campus environment in accessing courses, programs, services, jobs, activities or facilities without accommodations;
  • Requested modifications, accommodations, and auxiliary aids;.
  • Whether the proposed accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility;
  • Whether an academic requirement is essential to the instruction or to any directly related licensing requirement;
  • Whether effective alternatives exist that would allow the individual with a disability to participate without lowering essential requirements or fundamentally altering the nature of the program.

When the University determines that a modification related to facilities or communication would result in a fundamental alteration or undue burden, OAS shall acquire the written opinion of the proper authority, i.e. department chair of impacted discipline, providing the reasoning supporting the decision.

Eligibility for Services

Eligibility for services/accommodations from OAS is a separate process from admissions. The admissions process for students with disabilities is the same as for all other students. Disclosure of a disability is voluntary; however, students may consider disclosing the disability when high school academic performance was adversely affected due to the disability. Disability documentation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and does not override the primary admissions criteria. For confidentiality reasons, it is recommended that disability documentation be provided directly to OAS.

In order to receive accommodations from OAS, students must first obtain appropriate documentation of their disabilities from a qualified professional. Disability documentation is credible evidence from, for example: a licensed or certified professional, PhD, MD, psychologist, audiologist, etc. who can attest to the existence of a disability, the impact of the alleged disability on academic performance and related competencies and make recommendations for equal access and/or academic compensatory measures, known as accommodations.

Students must arrange an interactive Intake meeting with the Office of Accessibility Services representative to discuss requested accommodations and to arrange for services or auxiliary aids. Should a student need an immediate access accommodation while visiting the campus, or taking any placement exams, they should contact the Office of Accessibility Services in a reasonable amount of time for arrangements to be completed.