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Essex County College is committed to providing a comprehensive educational experience for students with disabilities.
Essex County College adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act; including the recent Amendments and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination based on disability.
The purpose of Disability Services (DS) is to help students with disabilities to carry out the requirements of their educational objectives with various combinations of assistance. Disability Services in the Office of Student Development and Counseling allows students to overcome barriers.
Support is available to help provide essential services to meet students’ needs. Services are requested voluntarily. Documentation of the nature of the disability is necessary to receive accommodations.
Students who have documented disabilities may receive assistance with:
“Essex County College does not deny admission to any educational program or activity or deny employment on the basis of any legally protected status or discriminate on the basis of race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status or marital status, or any other category protected by law. Essex County College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.”
When should you apply for Disability Services and Accommodations?
Students in need should apply as soon as the semester starts or as soon, they enroll at the college because DS accommodations cannot be retroactive.
Disability Services Application Steps:
Maria Mercado, Disability Services Coordinator,The Office of Student Development and Counseling4th Floor, Room 4122-I
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]Phone: 973-877-3071
Click to viewEssex Disability Services Flyer
Click to download Essex Disability Services Application for Accommodation
As defined by law, if a student has self-identified a disability and wishes to seek accommodations, appropriate documentation (less than 2 years old) must be submitted for evaluation. All documents must include the qualifications of the evaluator, substantiation of the disability, and recommendations for accommodations. All reports/letters should be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed and otherwise legible. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, as well as the area of specialization should be stated clearly. The report/letter should describe the nature of the disability, description of test results, and the specific recommendations for accommodations and an explanation as to why each accommodation is recommended.
Hearing Disabilities: A licensed audiologist, certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association, or a licensed medical doctor with certification in otology, or otolaryngology, will be viewed as qualified to substantiate disabilities in hearing. An Audiology Assessment with and without correction MUST accompany request.
Vision Disabilities: A licensed Doctor of Optometry or a licensed medical doctor with a certification in Ophthalmology will be viewed as qualified to substantiate disabilities in vision. A Vision Screening Assessment MUST accompany request.
Physical Disabilities: A licensed physical therapist, licensed social work professional, or licensed medical doctor will be viewed as qualified to substantiate physical disabilities.
Learning Disabilities: The evaluator should have experience or training in the assessment of learning problems in adolescents and adults. Clinical or educational psychologist, school psychologist, learning disabilities specialists and some medical doctors will be viewed as qualified to substantiate learning disabilities. The required documentation will be a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation report. An IEP or 504 plan is NOT sufficient as documentation but may be attached to the comprehensive diagnostic report. The diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, and information processing, a specific diagnosis, test scores, and clinical summary with recommendations for accommodations. The specific test scores, and clinical observations should support the recommendations.
Psychiatric Disabilities: A licensed psychologist or a licensed social work professional, licensed professional counselor, or a licensed psychiatrist will be viewed as qualified to substantiate psychiatric disabilities.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnosis of ADHD must have training in deferential diagnosis and the full range of psychiatric disorders. Clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, or neurologists will be viewed as qualified to substantiate ADHD. An IEP or 504 plan is NOT sufficient as documentation.
Health Disabilities: A medical practitioner will be viewed as qualified to substantiate a health disability.
You must provide the Disability Coordinator with a copy of your documents. We do NOT make copies of documentation.
Grievances by students with Disabilities must be filed in written form within 30 days of the specific event or action precipitating the student’s complaint(s). As an initial matter, all grievances shall be reviewed by Disabilities Services to determine whether they are submitted within a timely manner and/or whether they contain all required information. Disability Services will not review a grievance that is untimely or fails to contain all required information, including a clear statement of all grounds for the grievance and any attempts at prior remedies. To facilitate a clear and prompt resolution, a grievance, once initiated, shall not be expanded beyond the issues presented in the student’s initial complaint. Disability Services reserves the right to redirect a grievance to the proper grievance procedure or any other appropriate review procedure.
2) DESIGNATION OF RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEE
Consistent with federal law, Essex County College has designated employees to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities, including an investigation of any complaint communicated alleging its noncompliance. The names, office address and telephone number of these employees is indicated below:
Ms. Maria Mercado, Coordinator, Disability ServicesThe Office of Student Development and Counseling
4th Floor, Room 4122-IPhone: 973-877-3071Email: [email protected]
3) INFORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCESS
As a prerequisite to initiating the formal grievance procedure, an Essex County College student shall first attempt to resolve the issue directly with the faculty member or staff member(s) involved. Second, it is also expected that the student has addressed his or her complaint informally by meeting with a representative of Disability Services and/or a department chairperson. When a student files a formal grievance, he or she will be asked to summarize the effort that has been made to resolve this issue informally both with the faculty or staff member involved as well as with a designee of Disability Services. If the grievance is not resolved informally, then the student shall have the right to invoke the appropriate formal grievance procedure.
4) FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A documented student with a disability, as defined by the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, shall have the right to request the Director of the Office of Student Development and Counseling and/or Disability Services to review alleged denial of any requested accommodation or service by fully complying with procedures detailed below. This provision shall also apply to a student requesting an academic accommodation who believes he or she has been wrongly denied.
Essex County College welcomes students with disabilities into all of the college’s educational programs. It is the policy and practice of Essex County College to promote inclusive learning environments. If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in compliance with college policy, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and/or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Please note, students are not permitted to negotiate accommodations directly with Professors, Academic Chairpersons, and Deans. To request accommodations or assistance, please self-identify with the Coordinator of the Disability Services.
Disability Services is located in the Office of Student Development and Counseling on the Main Campus in Room 4122-I. Contact us by telephone at 973-877-3071 or by email at [email protected].