Policies and Procedures

The Office of Academic Accessibility (OAA) works to ensure students with disabilities have equal access to university courses, programs, services and activities. Students are responsible for knowing and following university policies and procedures.  Students who request accommodations and/or academic adjustments due to a disability are also responsible for following the policies and procedures of the OAA.

The content below contains important information about student and University rights and responsibilities, successful transition from high school to postsecondary education and OAA policies and procedures.  Students should review this information because it provides important context for the relationship between the student and University and the student and the OAA.

Student and University Rights and Responsibilities

A significant contributor to the successful transition from high school to postsecondary education for students with disabilities can be an accurate knowledge about their civil rights.  Therefore we recommended that students read the Transition Guide linked below developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education

Academic Accommodations are not the same as modifications. This means that they are not a change in the curriculum of the class or how the student with accommodations is graded. They are more of a change in how each student does the same work so that they all have the same opportunites regardless of condition or disability. 

Accessible Parking

Accessible parking spaces are located in both general visitor parking areas, as well as several other parking lots and decks throughout the campus. For additional information on accessible parking, including a list of accessible parking spaces, please visit the Parking Information page of the UNC Asheville Parking and Transportation website.

 

Accommodations for Temporary Disability

Policy

Accommodations for temporary disability (e.g. injuries or temporary mobility impairments following surgery) are not covered under Section 504 or the ADA. As such, students are not guaranteed any assistance in these situations. There are no legal requirements to provide accommodations in these situations; however, the Office of Academic Accessibility may assist students on a case-by-case basis with a temporary disability by providing temporary accommodations.

Procedure

Students may be seen by the Office of Academic Accessibility for an evaluation of temporary accommodations. Each case is considered individually and signed documentation on letterhead from a qualified clinician is required. This letter must include a diagnosis, functional limitations necessitating temporary accommodations, suggestions for appropriate temporary accommodations, and the estimated length of time accommodations will be needed. Proper clinical documentation needs to be delivered to the Office of Academic Accessibility before services can commence.

Alternate Text Formats

Policy

When determined to be an appropriate accommodation for a student with a disability, the university will assist the student in identifying and obtaining academic materials in an accessible format. Timely completion of the procedure outlined below is key to ensuring timely provision of accommodations publishers can take weeks to respond to OAA requests for alternate formats.

Textbooks

Individuals requesting textbooks in alternate format should first attempt to obtain accessible copies of textbooks, if available, through the following locations:

  • VitalSource - On-line retailer, claims to have over 90% of course texts in use today.
  • Bookshare - Free membership for qualifying members.
  • Learning Ally  - Provides unlimited access to their digital library of accessible audio textbooks.
  • Calibre - Comprehensive e-book viewer, free. 
  • The UNC Asheville Bookstore - UNCA's bookstore already offers many texts in e-text as an option. With 4 weeks or more notice most texts that aren't already available as e-text can be converted and made available.
  • Internet Archive: Books for People with Print Disabilities

Can't find an accessible copy?

  • Students requesting alternate formats should provide the following information: ISBN number title, author, publisher, and edition.
  • Individuals must submit proof of purchase/rental before the alternate format can be provided by OAA.
  • OAA works with publishers to obtain electronic formats of textbooks or produce them in-house. Individuals may then use text to speech assistive technology such as Read & Write Gold.
  • Individuals may also use Read & Write Gold in University computer labs to scan and convert texts at any time throughout the semester.
Alternate format materials are for individual use only and may not be shared. Duplication of materials is prohibited!

Alternate Format for Electronic Material

Individuals requesting electronic material to be converted to alternate format (e.g., accessible PDF) should bring electronic material to the OAA on a USB drive. OAA will convert and save the alternate format back to the student's USB drive.

Additional Alternate Format Resources

 

Absences from Class and Reasonable Attendance Adjustments

Policy

As the designated public liberal arts institution within the UNC system, UNC Asheville believes regular class attendance to be central to the learning process of the vast majority of its courses and programs of study.  UNC Asheville’s Catalog states, “Students are responsible for regular class attendance.”  In addition, the University Mission Statement includes the following: “Our practice of the liberal arts emphasizes the centrality of learning and discovery through exemplary teaching, innovative scholarship, creative expression, co-curricular activities, undergraduate research, engaged service, and practical experience…UNC Asheville offers a liberal arts education characterized by high quality faculty-student interaction.”  [Emphasis added]

Faculty, at their discretion, may include class attendance as a criterion in determining a student’s final grade in the course. On the first day of class, faculty must inform students of their class attendance policy and the effect of that policy on their final grade; both policies must be clearly stated in the class syllabus.
Students failing to attend the first session of any class may be administratively dropped by the instructor; however, this is at the discretion of the instructor. It is each student’s responsibility to notify the Academic Success Center of any change to their schedule.

The Office of the Dean of Students within Student Affairs is designated office to notify faculty of absences due to acute events such as surgeries, hospitalizations, or death of an immediate family member.

Reasonable Attendance Adjustments

All students, regardless of a disability, are responsible for fulfilling the essential requirements of their courses/programs/degrees, including attendance expectations. However, some students have serious health related disabilities which may impact attendance due to their episodic nature. This may include, but is not limited to: inflammatory bowel diseases; seizure disorders; diabetes; mental health conditions experiencing acute exacerbation; various autoimmune disorders, or conditions requiring treatment such as chemotherapy or dialysis. 


The Office of Academic Accessibility may determine Reasonable Attendance Adjustments as a reasonable accommodation. Reasonable Attendance Adjustments do not permit unlimited absences and are not intended to be applied retroactively.  Students remain accountable for all academic activities (assignments, assessments, required readings, etc.) and evaluation standards specified on the syllabus. Seasonal illness (ie. flu, mono), temporary impairments, health conditions not on record with OAA or non-disability related absences are not subject to reasonable attendance adjustments.


The University can often find reasonable, equivalent options for students without compromising course standards. These options should be determined on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the disability’s anticipated impact on attendance, the course requirements and faculty expectations.

In most cases, class attendance is critical to a student’s mastery of the knowledge and skills that are taught in a specific course and students are expected to follow the attendance policy established by the instructor in each class. It is not reasonable for the University to fundamentally alter, waive or lower essential course requirements, academic standards, or educational experiences/outcomes when attempting to accommodate course absences.

Some options that may be considered as a reasonable adjustment for an absence:

  • Assigning comparable alternate work.
  • Altering timelines for coursework and tests.
  • Allowing attendance to repeat lectures given in other course sections.
  • Allowing review of missed materials during office hours.
  • Allowing missed material/notes to be obtained from a classmate.
  • Attendance to class remotely (such as, Zoom).

A Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan should be completed for each course. Students may complete these forms with faculty or OAA can facilitate the completion  to establish course requirements, the impact of absences and potential attendance alternatives. A copy must be submitted to OAA for review if completed with between faculty and student to determine final course specific adjustments related to attendance. OAA will notify the student and faculty of the final approved adjustments for the course. If the Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan is not completed and submitted to OAA then course specific attendance adjustments will not be approved and OAA will not monitor disability related absences.

Excessive absences, even with an approved OAA attendance accommodation, may result in a fundamental alteration of the course, and withdrawal may be recommended. Faculty may also consider granting students an incomplete grade to allow an opportunity to fulfill course requirements.. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate requests of this nature with their individual instructor(s), and the responsibility of the faculty member to consider requests on a case-by-case basis.

Essential Course Requirements

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided the following guidelines when determining if attendance is an essential course requirement:

  • What does the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance?
  • To what extent is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves?
  • Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method of learning?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class constitute a significant loss of the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • What elements of the course are used to calculate the final course grade?

In general, courses that involve significant interaction, in-class participation, or whose content mastery is reliant on attendance may limit what adjustment options are available. Examples of these courses may include:

  • Labs
  • Practicums
  • Internships
  • Foreign language learning
  • Public speaking/communications

The ultimate decision regarding absences and the resulting influence attendance has on grades is at the discretion of the instructor after a comprehensive examination of the essential course requirements. When attendance is not essential to course requirements, instructors are encouraged to make reasonable considerations. However, when absences are believed to affect course integrity, instructors should consult with OAA to determine what course-specific adjustments may be applicable


Student Responsibilities

  • Consider disability-related needs when choosing courses and developing a class schedule; for example, scheduling classes at a certain time of day, scheduling breaks between classes, etc.
  • Carefully review the syllabus for each course to learn the essential course requirements and the attendance requirements.
  • Complete a Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan with faculty for every course and submit to OAA once the Accommodation Plan has been requested for faculty via the online module so that course specific adjustments can be determined.
  • Make an effort to attend every course meeting.
  • Contact faculty and OAA (academicaccess@unca.edu) prior to the disability-related absences. This expectation is vital if the anticipated absence occurs on a test/quiz day or the day of a deadline for submitting an assignment. For emergencies or unexpected disability-related absences, students must inform faculty and OAA as soon as possible.
  • Complete and stay current with all required coursework, obtaining missed materials/notes due to disability-related absence.
  • Understand that even with reasonable attendance adjustments, grades and content mastery could be negatively impacted by not attending class.
  • Contact OAA if there is concern after discussing attendance adjustments with faculty.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Clearly examine essential course requirements
  • Have established attendance requirements for their courses stated via the syllabus.
  • Faculty should closely examine essential course requirements, and consult with OAA to determine reasonable course specific adjustments.
  • Communicate and document how to implement the OAA approved course adjustments with their students
  • Faculty have the responsibility to engage in the interactive process by completing the Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan

Degree Requirement Modification

Policy

Students are expected to complete all degree requirements for graduation in their major. In accordance with university policy, only under unavoidable and exceptional circumstances will the faculty permit substitution or exemption from the prescribed curricula. The ADA requires that universities offer reasonable accommodation(s) to qualified students; however, it does not require the adjustment of standards that would fundamentally alter degree requirements.

Procedure

If a student desires to pursue a degree requirement modification, she/he must do the following:
  1.  Have current documentation of a specific diagnosis of a disability and how her/his disability substantially limits the student's ability to complete the course in question.
  2. The Office of Academic Accessibility will work with the student to determine what specific documentation is necessary. Note: Providing documentation does not guarantee a substitution.
  3. Students will work with a staff member from the Office of Academic Accessibility to determine the appropriateness of the substitution request. It is highly recommended that requests for course substitutions be submitted during the student's first semester at UNC Asheville. Factors considered in this determination may include (but are not limited to):
  • A student's previous history with the course in question. A substitution or exemption in high school does not guarantee a substitution at UNC Asheville.
  • Psychological/learning test results.
  • A student's good-faith effort in attempting the course at UNC Asheville. A student's good faith is determined by progress in the course, attendance, communication with the professor and the Office of Academic Accessibility, and use of additional resources such as tutoring, office hours and classroom accommodations. If, despite a student's consistent attendance, work and study, s/he is failing the course near the withdraw deadline, the student will withdraw from the course and work with the Office of Academic Accessibility to determine the next step. If a student is passing the course with a "C" or better, the student is expected to finish the course. It is the student's responsibility to keep the Office of Academic Accessibility informed of her/his progress in the course.
  • Other mitigating factors as determined by a staff member of the Office of Academic Accessibility.

4.    If a staff member from the Office of Accessibility deems the request appropriate, the student must submit a written request for a course substitution to the Enrollment Services. While the Office of Academic Accessibility will present the student's case to Enrollment Services, there is no guarantee that the committee will approve a substitution request.

5.    If the request is deemed inappropriate or there is not enough supporting evidence, the student must continue to meet the UNC Asheville requirement. With the help of the Office of Academic Accessibility, a student may attempt to gather new or additional information to support the substitution.

The decision of Enrollment Services is final. Students who wish to submit another request for a substitution must work with the Office of Academic Accessibility and provide new evidence before a second request will be considered.

Second Language Substitutions

Policy

As a liberal arts institution, UNC Asheville believes that the study of a second language is a significant element in liberal arts education, providing access to the literature and culture of another language. Furthermore, second language study introduces students to an increasingly connected global environment where bilingual proficiency provides access to intellectual inquiry otherwise inaccessible in a monolingual setting.

UNC Asheville requires each student to demonstrate competence in a second language through the first-year level or above. This can be done either through a placement exam, through completion of the appropriate level course work, or students may fulfill the foreign/second language requirement by following the university’s transfer credit policy. The university accepts most languages including American Sign Language (ASL) to fulfill this requirement.  See the UNC Asheville Catalog for additional details on these options.

UNC Asheville believes that second language study is an essential element of a student’s degree plan. If a substitution is granted, students are required to complete the second language requirement by taking cultural courses approved by Enrollment Services.

Procedure

If a student desires to pursue a foreign/second language substitution, she/he must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Have current documentation of a specific diagnosis of a disability and how her/his disability substantially limits the student’s ability to learn a language on file with Office of Academic Accessibility. The Office of Academic Accessibility will work with the student to determine what specific documentation is necessary.  Note: Providing documentation does not guarantee a substitution.
  2. Students will work with a staff member from the Office of Academic Accessibility to determine the appropriateness of the substitution request. It is highly recommended that requests for course substitutions be submitted during the student’s first semester at UNC Asheville.

Factors considered in this determination may include (but are not limited to):

  • The student’s previous history of second language study. A substitution or exemption in high school does not guarantee a substitution at UNC Asheville.
  • Psychological/learning test results
  • The student’s good-faith effort in college-level language study. A student’s good faith is determined by progress in the course, attendance, communication with the professor and the Office of Academic Accessibility, and use of additional resources such as tutoring, office hours and classroom accommodations. If after a student’s consistent effort she or he is failing the course near the withdraw deadline, the student will withdraw from the course and work with the Office of Academic Accessibility to determine the next step. If a student is passing the course with a “C” or better, the student is expected to finish the course. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the Office of Academic Accessibility informed of her/his progress in the course.
  • Other mitigating factors as determined by a staff member from the Office of Academic Accessibility.

Once the criteria has been met and if a staff member from the Office of Academic Accessibility deems the request appropriate, the student must submit a written request for a course substitution to Enrollment Services. While the Office of Academic Accessibility will present the student’s case to Enrollment Services, there is no guarantee that the committee will approve a substitution request.

The decision of Enrollment Services is final. Before a second request will be considered by the committee, students must provide new evidence and work with the Office of Academic Accessibility. 

 If the request is deemed inappropriate or the criteria for a substitution are not met, the student must continue to meet the UNC Asheville foreign/second language requirement. With the help of the Office of Academic Accessibility, a student may attempt to gather new or additional information to support the substitution. The student may also employ learning strategies on their own. For additional help, you may want to visit the following webpage as it offers strategies for learning a foreign/second language.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals are animals selected or prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional to play a significant part in a person's treatment process, e.g., in alleviating the symptoms of that individual's disability. An emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, and does not accompany a person with a disability at all times. An emotional support animal is not a "Service Animal." 

An Emotional Support Animal is not a Service Animal or a Therapy Animal, and an Emotional Support Animal need not have specialized training. An Emotional Support Animal may not reside in University housing without the approval of both the Office of Academic Accessibility and the Office of Residential Education. No request for an Emotional Support Animal will be considered by a student who is found to be currently in violation of UNC Asheville's "No Pets" policy at the time of the request. 

A student person requesting permission to have an emotional support animal in his or her on-campus housing must provide the Office of Academic Accessibility with appropriate documentation on or before June 1 (Fall Semester) or December 1 (Spring Semester). Requests for accommodation is made after these dates cannot be cannot guaranteed, due to the need for reasonable time to process the student's request.

If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University housing, the student should contact the Office of Academic Accessibility and complete the Online Student Application as soon as practicably possible. OAA cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received.

The Office of Academic Accessibility requires such advance notice in order to gather, review, and verify the necessary documentation, which includes, but is not limited to: verification of a disability, the determination of any conflicting disabilities in the immediate vicinity where the animal will be housed, and verification of all vaccinations and the health of the animal including all the necessary licensing. If documentation is immediately available, the time for the approval process may be shortened.

Documentation of the need for an emotional support animal should include a signed letter, on professional letterhead, from the person's physical or mental healthcare provider or licensed therapist. The provider or therapist should be familiar with the professional literature concerning the assistive and/or therapeutic benefits of Emotional Support Animals for people with disabilities. At a minimum, the letter should include the following items:

  • The provider's diagnosis of the person's condition.
  • A clear description of the current impact and functional limitations resulting from the disability.
  • The provider's confirmation that the Emotional Support Animal has been prescribed for treatment purposes and is necessary to help alleviate symptoms associated with the person's condition and/or to help the person use and enjoy university housing services.
  • The provider's description of the service(s) that the animal will provide.
  • Any additional rationale or statement the University may reasonably need to understand the basis for the professional opinion.

The Office of Academic Accessibility will review documentation and, if it is determined that a qualifying disability exists, OAA staff will arrange a meeting with the person requesting that an Emotional Support Animal be housed in university housing. Once approved in writing by OAA, the student will schedule a meeting with a Residential Education staff to complete the process. The Assistance Animal Policy will be reviewed with the student at this time. This policy must be reviewed and signed annually. 

The effect on others in the residential housing unit must be considered, including the potential effect on persons with allergies to animal hair or dander, as well as the willingness of roommates to share their housing with an animal. Depending on such considerations, an alternative housing assignment may be considered.

Grievance/Hearing Procedure

Policy

Any student having a grievance related to the determination of and/or provision of disability-related services and accommodations through the Office of Academic Accessibility at UNC Asheville is entitled to a prompt and equitable resolution of their complaint.

Procedure

Students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or treated unfairly must follow the established procedure listed below.

A student may report their complaint to the Senior Director of Advising & Academic Success, 006 Ramsey Library, (828) 255-7225.The complaint must be in writing and include the nature of the complaint date(s), of alleged incident(s), information about attempts to resolve the complaint, and the results of such attempts. The complaint must be filed within 10 class days of the incident. The student will sign a release form to permit appropriate persons to review and investigate confidential information or documentation in the complaint.

The Senior Director for Student Success shall determine the appropriate administrative review for the complaint, including, but not limited to: Faculty Conciliator, Dean Committee, or Enrollment Services Committee. If the Senior Director for Student Success decides that a review is not warranted, they will contact all involved parties in writing, informing them of a decision and the reasons thereof.

If deemed necessary, the appropriate committee will convene in a timely manner (within 15 class days) and review the student's complaint. Complaints will generally, but not always be resolved in this timeframe. If the complaint is not resolved in this time frame, the complainant will be kept informed of when they might be resolved and the reasons for the delay. A summary of the panel's finding will be forwarded to all panel members and the student, informing them of the decision. 

 

Most grievances and complaints can be resolved through this process. To register complaints regarding the results of this process, students may contact the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. More information regarding this process can be found on the OCR Website  or through How To File a Discrimination Complaint.

 

Housing Accommodations

Policy

UNC Asheville will provide reasonable housing accommodations for qualifying students registered with the Office of Academic Accessibility when requested.The deadline for requesting modified housing accommodations is the same as the priority deadline for the housing application. Each request will be individually evaluated, at a minimum, annually on a case-by-case basis. Documentation must be presented to the Office of Academic Accessibility and is used in the determination of reasonable accommodations. The staff of the Office of Academic Accessibility is responsible for the reviewing of documentation and all information will remain confidential. The provision of documentation of a disability does not guarantee housing accommodations.

Procedure

A housing application must be completed and on file with the UNC Asheville Office of Residential Education and Housing Operations. Visit their website at housing.unca.edu or call (828)251-6700 for more information. Documentation should be provided to the Office of Academic Accessibility. All documentation will be housed in the Office of Academic Accessibility, will not be part of the Housing Operations file and will remain confidential.

Note: The intent to request housing accommodations included by the student on the "Voluntary Disclosure of a Disability Form" DOES NOT take the place of the housing application required by the UNC Asheville Office of Residential Education and Housing Operations.

*To ensure appropriate housing can be arranged, students who require Service Animals should, as with all accommodated housing requests, notify the Office of Academic Accessibility concurrently with submitting a housing application. Emotional Support, Companion and/or Therapy Animals are not considered Service Animals under the ADA and will be considered under the same process as other housing accommodations. Questions, requests, and/or documentation should be directed to the staff of the Office of Academic Accessibility. Please note that the deadline to request ESA accommodation is June 1 for Fall Semester; December 1 for Spring Semester. While disability (and thus, accommodation) may be disclosed at any time, in order to allow for reasonable planning for the presence of an ESA, requests made prior to the written deadline will be prioritized. 

Note-Taking

Policy

For a number of students with disabilities simultaneously listening to lectures and taking notes is extremely difficult, if not impossible. In these cases an accommodation such as note-taking may be reasonable to provide equal opportunity and access to course information.

Procedure

In order for a student to be eligible to receive this accommodation, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The student must be registered with the Office of Academic Accessibility.
  2. The student's documentation must establish that she/he is eligible for the academic accommodation of alternative note-taking strategies.
  3. Students must attend class to receive notes. The provision of a Note Taker is not a replacement for class attendance.
  4. Students must provide the instructor with a Letter of Accommodation from the Office of Academic Accessibility.

In cases where the criteria to qualify for the provision of a Note Taker are not met, students may employ the following strategies on their own:

  1. Students may use their personal audio recorder to record lecture(s).
  2. Students may utilize a laptop for typing their own notes.
  3. Students may exchange notes with other students in their class so they have a second set for reference.
  4. Students may ask other students in their class for a copy of their notes and to serve as "voluntary" note-takers for them.
  5. Students may ask instructors for a copy of their notes, PowerPoint presentations, overheads, handouts, etc. (if available) prior to class.

 

Note Taker Recruitment

Once the appropriate criteria has been met, the student may self-recruit if they are comfortable doing so. If not, the Office of Academic Accessibility will help facilitate Note Taker recruitment for a particular course by:

  1. Providing the student with written instructions for the instructor. These will grant the instructor permission to announce that a Note Taker is needed in that particular class.
  2. Providing, upon request, guidelines for facilitating the note-taking process for students with disabilities.
  3. Note Takers may be paid for the administrative time required to share their notes.

Personal Care Attendants/Devices

A Personal Care Attendant (PCA) is a person who provides personal care assistance to a person with a disability. The PCA assists with daily living activities such as transportation, turning pages, dressing, mobility, bathing, etc. PCA’s are not to provide instructional support such as tutoring, assisting with time management, or academic planning. In order for a PCA to accompany a student into the classroom, the student must request in writing and receive approval for this accommodation from the Office of Academic Accessibility (OAA).

Policy

The University does not provide PCA’s, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.  While hiring and supervising a PCA is the responsibility of the student, if requested, the OAA can provide referral information for students seeking to hire one. We strongly recommend that personal attendants be trained and certified. Requesting such services from an untrained individual can be a safety threat to both the student and the individual providing the service(s). UNC Asheville does not assume the liability of risk resulting from actions taken by a PCA.

Personal Care Attendants are expected to abide by all applicable campus rules, regulations and policies. Failure to do so or behaviors that fundamentally alter courses, programs, services, or activities may result in the removal of the PCA from the setting and/or campus.

Procedure

Students requesting the accommodation of a personal care attendant or device should make an appointment with the Office of Academic Accessibility. PCA’s should not accompany students to classrooms without having received prior approval through the OAA. PCA requests for campus housing should be made to the OAA prior to the deadline for housing applications and all required documentation should be on file no later than that same date.

Any PCA accompanying a student into the classroom or performing PCA duties for a resident of the Residence Halls must complete paperwork in the Office of Academic Accessibility and provide information sufficient to complete a background check, in accordance with the University's Background Check Policy.

Requesting Accommodations for Required Meal Plans

Policy

It is important to UNC Asheville that students maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. As an integral part of this effort, Dining Services works to nourish students with local and sustainable options to suit most student preferences. In addition to offering consultation with the Universities on-site Registered Dietitian, Dining Services provides the following resources and information to assist students in making good choices:  Where to eat?, Today's Menu, and FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Dining Services as well as other resources.

Neither UNC Asheville nor Dining Services are able to accommodate all student preferences or waive meal plans based on food preference(s).  The University and Dining Services will provide reasonable dining services/required meal plan accommodations for students with medically documented food allergies or dietary disabilities registered with the Office of Academic Accessibility when requested.

Procedure

After reviewing the above information, students will meet with the Universities on-site Registered Dietician to discuss options available to meet their dietary needs. If after doing so the student would like to request accommodations related to the required meal plan, they will visit the Registration webpage of the Office of Academic Accessibility for instructions about requesting accommodations. Documentation must be provided to the Office of Academic Accessibility and will be used in the determination of reasonable accommodations. Each request must be renewed, and will be evaluated, annually on a case-by-case basis.  The staff of the Office of Academic Accessibility will be responsible for the review of documentation but will consult with the Dean of Students and other campus professionals as needed.  All information provided to the office will remain confidential.

Deadline Extensions as Reasonable Accommodation

Regardless of a disability, all students are responsible for fulfilling the essential requirements of courses/programs/degrees, including meeting completion dates for assignments. However, some students have disabilities which can impact their ability to complete assignments by the due date, including, but not limited to, students whose conditions are episodic in nature, conditions that change and result in problematic symptoms, and conditions that require hospitalization.

Most assignments/papers have established due dates which are provided via the syllabus in advance. Students are expected to proactively work on assignments and manage their time with consideration given to potential challenges related to the impact of their disability and other class assignments/coursework requirements. OAA understands some due dates are announced with little advance notice, or unexpected exacerbations from a disability occur.

Faculty members, working together with OAA, may provide approval for Deadline Extensions as a Reasonable Accommodation for individual assignments for qualified students.

Generally, approval for a deadline extension provides the student up to 48 hours, or two additional days, on a given assignment. However, this approval does not automatically apply to all assignments and is not intended to be applied retroactively. Deadline extensions do not permit unlimited extensions and students remain accountable for all academic activities (assignments, assessments, required readings, etc.) and evaluation standards specified on the syllabus.

It is not reasonable for faculty to fundamentally alter, waive or lower essential course requirements, academic standards, or educational experiences/outcomes when attempting to accommodate extension requests. OAA may be consulted regarding course-specific adjustments.

Unexpected illness or injury, recent diagnosis, onset or change in condition may warrant a withdrawal from a course or when indicated, an incomplete grade.

Course Expectations

In consultation with OAA, instructors often can find reasonable, equivalent options for students to successfully complete essential course requirements without compromising course standards. These options are individually tailored to the disability’s impact, the course requirements, and the instructor’s expectations.

Per the faculty handbook, instructors should include the following on the syllabus: course goals or objectives, including student learning outcomes; required and recommended reading or other course materials; course requirements, including description and due dates (if known) of tests, presentations, and assignments; date and time of final exam.

  • Advance notice allows students to proactively work on their assignments.

Some options that may be considered to assist in the completion of assignments include:

  • Provide advance notice of future assignments and expected completion due dates.
  • Give an incomplete grade to allow an opportunity to fulfill course requirements.
  • Allow student to complete the remainder of the course through independent study.

Essential Course Requirements

In general, up to a two day extension on an assignment would not constitute a fundamental alteration to a course, but OAA encourages instructors to consider the following questions for each course when determining if established due dates are essential:

  • What does the course description and syllabus indicate regarding late work or completion deadlines?
  • Are the due dates arbitrary or are they essential to course requirements?
  • Would an extension (or multiple extensions) fundamentally alter the course?
  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon timely completion of assignments as an essential method of learning?
  • Does timely completion of assignments constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to submit timely completion of assignments constitute a significant loss of the educational experience for other students in the class?

The ultimate decision regarding due dates and the resulting influence extensions would have on the course is at the discretion of the instructor after a comprehensive examination of the essential course requirements. However, when due dates are believed to affect course integrity, instructors must consult with OAA to determine what course-specific adjustments may be applicable.


Student Responsibilities

  • Proactively work on assignments and manage their time with consideration given to potential challenges related to the impact of their disability and other class assignments/coursework requirements.
  • Make a request for an extension to instructor each time one is needed
  • Submit work completed by the due date.

Service Animals

The Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA) states that businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go.

North Carolina Statute states that it is unlawful to disguise a dog as an assistance dog, or deprive a visually impaired person, a hearing impaired person, or a mobility-impaired person of any rights granted the person pursuant to G.S. 168-4.2 through 168-4.4. UNC Asheville, which receives federal and state funds, adheres to these policies regarding service animals.

The ADA defines a service animal as a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform. Examples include dogs used by some individuals who are blind, alert persons with hearing impairments to sounds, pulling wheelchairs, or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.

A service animal or service animal in training may be excluded from campus or classrooms when the animal’s behavior poses a threat to the health or safety of others. A service animal may be excluded if it becomes disruptive and fundamentally alters the nature of the class, performance, lecture, movie or play – for example, if a dog barks repeatedly during one of the above-mentioned situations.

About Service Animals in Training:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) assures people with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals that they will not be excluded from public places or activities, nor charged any additional fees, because they are accompanied by their service dog.  However, the ADA does not provide the same protection to service animals in training (that is, the ADA assures access for the handler/partner only if the dog is fully trained to give some disability-related service).

North Carolina State Law states that an animal in training to become a service animal may be taken into any of the places listed in G.S. 168-3
• for the purpose of training
• when the animal is accompanied by a person who is training the service animal and
• the animal wears a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training.

Because North Carolina state law does not clarify further the use of the phrase “service animal in training,” UNC Asheville has established policy, based on accepted practices suggested by Assistance Dogs International (ADI).  A service-dog-in-training is a dog accompanied by its trainer (“a person training a service animal”) that is undergoing individual training to provide specific disability-related work or service for an individual with a disability.  This does not include obedience training or socialization of puppies who may later become service animals (generally 15-18 months).  Thus, adult dogs are recognized as being “in training” to provide disability-specific assistance only after they have completed an earlier period of socialization (obedience training, being house broken, getting acclimated to public places and every day activities as pets).  A service animal trainer may bring such dog onto campus and interact with the campus community in public areas, campus offices, and so on, if it is properly identified as a service animal in training, and has completed the earlier basic training and socialization necessary prior to engaging in service animal training. As stated above, this necessarily restricts the age of a service-animal in training; dogs younger than one year may generally not be considered service animals in training.

About Emotional Support Animals:

Emotional Support, Companion and/or Therapy Animals are not considered Service Animals under the ADA and will be considered under the same process as other accommodations.

Questions, requests, and/or documentation should be directed to the Office of Academic Accessibility.

Sign Language Interpreting & Speech-to-Text Services

Submit an Interpreter Request Form

Student Responsibilities: Requesting an Interpreter

The Office of Academic Accessibility handles requests for sign language interpreters for academic courses and other required academic activities including but not limited to instructor meetings, labs, field trips, and required group work.All other requests for interpreter services should be made to the organization hosting/sponsoring the event. Students, staff and faculty may request an interpreter for office hours, meetings, and other course related events by submitting an interpreter request form to the Office of Academic Accessibility. In the unlikely event that a student who uses a sign language interpreter or speech-to-text services shows up for the first day of class without a service provider the student should be referred to the Office of Academic Accessibility. The Office of Academic Accessibility will then make the appropriate arrangements.

Student Responsibility: Assuring Timely Delivery of Interpreting Services & Speech-to-Text:

  • All students receiving interpreting and/or speech-to-textnote-taking services are required to register with the Office of Academic Accessibility.
  • Semester course schedules need to be given to the Office of Academic Accessibility as early as possible. Requests for other academic work should be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the day of the event (or earlier if possible) to best assure that interpreters can be available.
  • Room/Time Changes: The student must notify the Office of Academic Accessibility of any changes to their schedule as soon as the student is aware of the changes.
  • Student cancellations must be emailed and called in by the student to both the interpreter and the Office of Academic Accessibility 24 hours in advance.
  • Instructor Cancellations: When the instructor has canceled a class, students are responsible for notifying both the interpreter and the Office of Academic Accessibility immediately.
  • Tardiness: Interpreters are required to wait 20 minutes for a 50-minute class and 30 minutes for all other classes. If you have arrived late to class do not ask the interpreter what you missed. It is your responsibility to gather missed information from other students, or the instructor as is the case with any student.
  • Supplemental Interpreting:If students need additional interpreting time for a conference with the instructor, team assignments, or to attend a co-curricular event as assigned by the instructor, an interpreter request form must be submitted to the Office of Academic Accessibility. Please notify the Office of Academic Accessibility as soon as you become aware of the need for an interpreter.

If a problem arises with the interpreter the student should first discuss it with the interpreter involved. If no resolution can be reached, the Office of Academic Accessibility should be contacted. Please do not share concerns with others such as friends or other interpreters; bring unresolved issues to the Office of Academic Accessibility.

Study Abroad Accommodations

Policy

In order to determine what accommodations might be possible abroad, the interested student, the Office of Academic Accessibility, the study abroad advisor, and the host institution will need to work together to assess the student's needs and the possible accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Study Abroad Office either by phone (828-232-5037) or email studyabroad@unca.edu.

Students need to disclose their disability and need for accommodations as far in advance as possible so that there is sufficient time to contact host institutions. Once a student has disclosed, it is important for the student to meet with the Office of Academic Accessibility early in the planning process in order to determine what types of accommodations are reasonable and appropriate. It is important to note that federally mandated disability protections in the United States do not supersede the laws of the host country.

Procedures

  • Students should consult with the Study Abroad Office with regard to their interest in studying abroad.
  • Students should request accommodations through the Office of Academic Accessibility.
  • Office of Academic Accessibility and the Study Abroad Office will gather information and contact the host institution. Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be provided after all parties have discussed the options available.
  • If additional accommodation needs arise while the student is at the host institution, the student will need to contact their study abroad advisor, the host institution and UNCA's  Office of Academic Accessibility. A decision will be made to determine if the additional accommodation is reasonable and appropriate.
  • When students return from studying abroad, the Office of Academic Accessibility requests that they provide feedback regarding their experience and make suggestions to be used for future study abroad experiences.

Please note: UNC Asheville is committed to equal access for persons with disabilities and will make a good faith effort to provide students with an equitable experience while abroad. Civil rights protection(s) mandated by state or federal laws do not extend beyond U.S. Borders and do not supersede the laws of the host countries.

Testing Accommodations

Policy

Neither UNC Asheville nor the Office of Academic Accessibility have a testing center. Due to this fact, the timing for accommodated testing must be coordinated directly with the faculty member who is requiring the exam. Under certain exceptional circumstances, the Office of Academic Accessibility will proctor exams after conferring with the respective faculty member and the student.

Procedure

If testing accommodations are indicated on the Letter of Accommodation, it is the responsibility of the student to consult with the faculty member about the specific accommodation(s). Faculty may request reminders that Testing Accommodations have been granted. This initial discussion should also clarify any arrangements for pop quizzes. 

Specific testing accommodations should be requested prior to each individual test or exam at least FIVE (5) business days in advance of the scheduled test. In circumstances where a student does not have the ability to provide 5 business days' notice the university will make good faith efforts to provide the appropriate accommodations. In the event the instructor is not able to provide appropriate accommodations within the department the student is to contact the Office of Academic Accessibility via email and CC the instructor.

If the student is requesting testing accommodations to be proctored with the Office of Academic Accessibility in One Stop, the student should complete this Test Request Form or email the office and copy the instructor a minimum of 5 business days prior to the test and include the following information:

  • the instructor's name
  • the date, day, and time of the test
  • the course title and course number
  • any potential scheduling conflicts

This information will allow the Office of Academic Accessibility the time and information necessary to be able to make arrangements to proctor the test.

If at any time the student believes the accommodations being provided during an accommodated test are inappropriate based on their Letter of Accommodation, they have the right and responsibility to request that the test be stopped or delayed until the situation can be resolved. This is the case whether the test is being proctored by the instructor or the Office of Academic Accessibility. The student should contact the staff of the Office of Academic Accessibility immediately to seek any needed clarification or resolution.

Tutoring

Tutoring is not an accommodation at the post-secondary level. The law, IDEA, which governs disability services and access at the secondary level, can entitle students to such supports. The ADA/ADA Amendments Act, which governs disability services and access at the university level considers tutoring a personal service and is therefore not an accommodation or academic adjustment.  The ADA is intended to ensure equal access but is not a guarantee of success for students. As such, the university strives to ensure that students have equal access to courses, programs, services and activities, including tutoring services available to students.

Policy

Free tutoring is available to all students at UNC Asheville. Students may receive tutoring through our drop-in tutorial centers or on an individual basis. We offer drop-in tutoring in several subjects including Accounting, Chemistry, Classics (Hebrew, Greek & Latin), Computer Science, Foreign/Second Languages, New Media, Physics, Psychology as well as other subjects. If the subject you need tutoring for is not covered by a tutorial center, the university can provide a tutor to work with you on an individual basis for 100 and 200 level classes. A student with a demonstrated need may be able to receive more than the allotted amount of tutoring hours, if warranted.

Procedure

For more about tutoring stop by the OneStop Desk in Ramsey Library, email onestop@unca.edu, call 828.350.4500 or visit the Advising and Learning Support website.