Information for Students with Disabilities


DisabilitiesThe pursuit of excellence, seeking to teach or learn to the best of one’s ability, stands as a goal of Jesuit education. To promote this goal, the CTLE provides programs, services, and professional expertise that facilitates excellence in teaching and learning. Students with disabilities who desire to achieve excellence in learning will find professional staff at the CTLE eager to assist them. 

You must take the initiative! This site is a valuable resource, however, it is not a substitution for a personal meeting with a CTLE staff member.

  • What the CTLE can do to helpplus or minus

    The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) is the designated office that provides services to students with disabilities who are enrolled at the University of Scranton. The CTLE reviews and maintains disability- related documents. An ADA committee certifies eligibility for services and determines academic accommodations, auxiliary aids, and/or services as mandated under Title II of the Americas with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    The information on this site has been compiled for students with disabilities to provide access to the student services and resources needed for academic success at the University of Scranton. The staff of the CTLE considers this site a valuable resource; however, we do not intend it as a substitution for a personal meeting with a staff member.

  • Requesting Accommodationsplus or minus

    In order to receive disability-related accommodations and/or support services, the student must self-disclose the presence of a specific disability and provide the appropriate documentation to the CTLE. The CTLE will handle all accommodation requests on an individual basis to ensure the student’s needs are being met and the documentation supports the stated disability. If the documentation supports the requested accommodation as reasonable, then the requested accommodations may be granted. Incomplete documentation may delay this important process. Students are encouraged to be proactive. It is important to keep in mind that despite the existence of a qualifying disability, the requested accommodations may be denied if they are determined to be unreasonable or inappropriate.

    The CTLE provides academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities in accordance with the ADA. These accommodations may include extended test taking time, computer use during testing, alternative test formats and readers. Students must schedule a meeting with the Learning Enrichment Specialist or the Reading Specialist at the beginning of the semester to discuss academic accommodations.

  • Required Documentationplus or minus

    The University of Scranton’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) recognizes as its mission the assurance of efficient access to appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. We also recognize that clear criteria for the required documentation of appropriate accommodations makes the process more transparent for students and parents. In order to fulfill this mission, The University of Scranton has adopted the Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) standards for documentation of appropriate accommodations. These standards are national standards from a well-respected national organization, and many of our students will deal with ETS when they take Praxis exams or graduate school exams.

    This adoption of standards means the University of Scranton will require that ETS standards for Students with Special Needs documentation be met by students seeking academic accommodations. In addition, The University of Scranton will exercise the same discretion as ETS when reviewing documentation. We adopt these standards in order to make the process of planning and preparing for college study easier for students who require academic accommodations.

    ETS Documentation Criteria

    For more detailed information, including ETS’s policy statements and guidelines about LD, ADHD, and psychiatric disabilities, please visit the links below.

    Documentation for the applicant must:

    • clearly state the diagnosed disability or disabilities;
    • describe the functional limitations resulting from the disabilities;
    • be current – i.e., completed within the last five years for LD, last six months for psychiatric disabilities, or last three years for ADHD and all other disabilities (please note that this requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature);
    • include complete educational, developmental and medical history relevant to the disability for which testing accommodations are being requested;
    • include a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability (this requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature);
    • describe the specific accommodations requested;
    • adequately support each of the requested testing accommodation(s);
    • be typed or printed on official letterhead and signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about license or certification and area of specialization).

    ETS Policy Statements for Specific Disabilities

  • Testing Accommodation Formplus or minus

    Step #1: Complete the Testing Accommodation Form

    1) Log on to my.scranton.edu

    2) On the Home tab, Click on Self Service

    3) In the “Student Services and Financial Aid” tab click on CTLE Menu

    4) Click on Testing Accommodation Form and click submit

    5) Select the course, day, and time

    6) Submit your request


    Scheduling an Examination

    1. Schedule a meeting with Mary Ellen Pichiarello at the beginning of the semester to discuss your testing accommodation needs. NOTE: Students who share their academic needs with faculty tend to also encounter fewer logistical problems in working through the testing accommodations.
    2. Discuss your scheduled time for the examination with the professor at least five (5) working days prior to each scheduled examination.
    3. The Online Testing Accommodation Form must be filled out five (5) working days before the scheduled date of the examination. Without timely notification, it may not be possible to administer the examination as scheduled.
    4. Students should note, instructions two and three indicate, efficient administration of examinations requires communication and cooperation between student, instructor, and CTLE staff. The student must initiate this process in order to assure implementation of support services.
    5. Register with Mary Ellen Pichiarello or another CTLE staff member prior to taking the examination. Leave all textbooks, materials, backpacks, cell phones and pagers with the CTLE staff. Students may only have the materials the instructor has given written permission to use during the examination.
    6. Students are not allowed to bring a computer disk for computer aided tests. Students will be provided with a disk for the examination.
    7. Students will ordinarily not be permitted to use the restroom during the examination. If a student must use a restroom, a CTLE staff member will escort the student.
    8. Students taking examinations through the CTLE must comply with the University’s Academic Code of Honesty*Note: During the test, each student will be monitored by audiovisual technology to ensure academic integrity. If a student is caught cheating, the test will be taken away, and the professor will be contacted immediately.
    9. If for some reason the student can not take the exam at the scheduled time, he or she must contact Mary Ellen Pichiarello at x4039. The student is responsible for the notifying the professor(s) if an examination needs to be rescheduled.
    10. If a student is late for a scheduled exam, that amount of time will be subtracted from the total allotted test-taking time. For example, if a student is 15 minutes late for a scheduled examination, then those 15 minutes will be subtracted from the total allotted test-taking time.
    11. In the case of inclement weather, the student and professor will contact the CTLE to reschedule the examination.
  • Transition from high school to post-secondary educationplus or minus

    The transition from high school to post-secondary institutions is fraught with navigating a different legal framework that shifts the focus of responsibility to the students to document their diabilities and self-advocate for receiving accomodations.


    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides special education and related services for those students in public schools who meet the criteria for eligibility in a number of distinct categories of disability, each of which has its own criteria. However, when students with disabilities graduate or reach the age of 21, they are no longer eligible for services under the IDEA. Students who were eligible for services at the secondary level may not necessarily be eligible for services or accommodations at the postsecondary level. On the other hand, some students who are not eligible for services under IDEA may receive protection and reasonable accommodation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 while they are attending secondary school. Since IDEA includes transition to postsecondary education in transition planning services and requires reevaluation if the student’s parent requests it, these Guidelines are intended to support that planning.


    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act

    Students who graduate from high school or reach the age of 21, are still protected from discrimination on the basis of disability by Section 504 as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under such legislation, individuals with disabilities are guaranteed certain protections and rights of equal access to programs and services. Eligibility is based on the existence of an identified physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Therefore, documentation should indicate that the impairment is a disability that substantially limits a major life activity.

    It is becoming extremely difficult for postsecondary institutions to declare with certainty the circumstances under which a student will be accepted as having a disability. The question of whether a student has a disability which substantially limits his/her ability to learn is more complicated with non-visible disabilities than more apparent disabilities such as blindness, visible physical disabilities, and deafness.


    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    • When students with disabilities graduate or reach the age of 21, they are no longer eligible for services under the IDEA.
    • Students who were eligible for services at the secondary level may not necessarily by eligible for services or accommodations at the postsecondary level.
    • Since IDEA includes transition to postsecondary education in transition planning services and requires reevaluation if the student’s parent requests it, these Guidelines are intended to support that planning

     

     Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act

    • Students who graduate from high school or reach the age of 21, are still protected from discrimination on the basis of disability by Section 504 as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    • Eligibility is based on the existence of an identified physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
    • Not every impairments qualifies as a disability protected by the ADA because not every impairment is substantially limiting.

     

    For more information please review the Disability Law section.

     

  • Disability Lawplus or minus

    In our efforts to facilitate post-secondary learning and promote quality of life-enhancing experiences for students with disabilities, it is important for qualified students with disabilities to know their rights as outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 “No otherwise qualified individual in the United States, shall solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” (PL 93-112, 1973)

    In order to be granted protections afforded to a person with a disability under Section 504, individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions
    • have a history of such impairment
    • be regarded as having such impairment
    • be deemed to be “otherwise qualified” despite the disability

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

    The ADA expands the provisions in Section 504 to the private sector. It prohibits discrimination against the same population as Section 504 but includes areas that were not previously covered under Section 504, such as private businesses, non-government-funded accommodations, and services provided by state or local governments.

    Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has:

    • physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working);
    • a record of such an impairment; or
    • is regarded as having such an impairment.

    Impact on Support Services/Academic Accommodations

    The ADA, stipulates that an individual’s disability must “substantially limit” a major life activity. Factors that may be considered in determining whether there is a substantial limitation include:

    • the nature and severity of the impairment
    • the duration of the impairment
    • the permanent or long-term impact of the impairment (29 C.F.R. § 1630.2[j])

    Disabilities Covered by Legislation (but not limited to)

    • Blindness or visual impairments
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Chronic illness (e.g., AIDS, cancer, lyme disease, psychiatirc disorders, etc.)
    • Drug or alcohol addiction
    • Epilepsy or seizure disorders
    • Hearing impairments
    • Learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder
    • Mobility impairments
    • Orthopedic disabiltiies
    • Psychiatric disabilities
    • Speech disorders
    • Spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries
    • Systemic disabilities
  • Residential Accommodationsplus or minus

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University will provide residential accommodations for a student residing in University housing who has a qualifying physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment. **Students with medical conditions such as asthma or allergies that do not rise to the level of a disability must follow the procedures for a residential accommodation request.


    To Be Considered for Residential Accomodation

    In order to be considered for a residential accommodation, the student and appropriate physician or mental health care provider must complete the Verification Form for Students Requesting Changes to the Housing Environment.

    The completed form must be returned by the following deadline:

    June 1st —  incoming freshmen
    January 31st —  sophomores, juniors and seniors 

    Documentation should be current and consist of an evaluation by an appropriate physician or mental health care provider that describes the current functional impact of the condition or disability as it relates to the residential accommodation requested. The physician/mental health care provider cannot be a family member. An ADA Committee will evaluate the request. The ADA Committee consists of a medical physician, psychologist, and professionals from the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE), Counseling Center, and Residence Life.

    The completed verification form and pertinent medical information should be sent to:

    Attn: Mary Ellen Pichiarello, C.R.C.
    Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence
    University of Scranton
    800 Linden St.
    Scranton, PA 18510

    The University of Scranton reserves the right to request additional documentation if the information does not address the student’s current level of functioning, or substantiate the need for modifications or accommodations.


    Temporary Impairment Accommodations and Services

    The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews request for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature and functional limitations of a student’s documented condition, he or she may be eligible for accommodations. The CTLE may also assist students who have a temporary injury or condition, which results in a functional limitation. Examples may include broken bones, injuries requiring surgery, acute illnesses, and pregnancy. Assistance is determined on a class-by class basis and is dependent upon the nature of each course and the method if instruction as it relates to the student’s functional limitations. Accommodations are extended to students with temporary conditions for the duration of their function limitations associated with the condition.

     Since temporary conditions can occur at any point during the semester, the timing can significantly impact the accommodation options available to the student. Timely and open communication with the CTLE, faculty and other campus offices, as needed, about the nature and duration of the condition and requested assistance can often result in satisfactory solutions to the short-term issues caused by the injury or condition. Students with temporary injuries or conditions are encouraged to contact the CTLE to determine accommodation options.

     You will then be responsible for requesting academic accommodations in a timely manner and following CTLE policies and procedures for accessing accommodations.

  • Success Through Self Advocacyplus or minus

    In the past, others have advocated for you. Parents, teachers, and counselors did their best to prepare you for college.  But now is the time for you to start advocating for yourself.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that the responsibility for your success lies with YOU, not with parents, the university, or anyone else.  Of course, you’ll get plenty of help.  But your ability to self-advocate will likely determine the path of your success here at the University of Scranton. 


    How can you be a successful self-advocate?


    Understand the strengths and limitations that your disability presents.  Do some reading and research, and talk with your parents, counselors, and others so that you understand your differences and the accommodations to which you are entitled. According to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, students with disabilities “should be able to explain where they have had difficulty in the past, as well as what has helped them overcome such problems and what specific adjustments might work in specific situations.”  The more you know, the better you’ll be able to ask for what you need. 


    Accept responsibility. You are in charge of your own path!    Understand that while federal disability laws guarantee you equal access to participate in college life, these laws do not guarantee that you will achieve a particular outcome, for example, good grades.  That responsibility lies with you! 


    Self evaluate.  Certain skills are necessary for success in college.  Take some time, and be honest with yourself:   which of these skills are strong points for you, and which could you work on improving?

    • Study structure:  how do you study and gather the information that you need to know?
    • Note taking:  how do you take good class notes and organize them?
    • Reading:  do you read smoothly and fluently?  Do you understand and remember what you read?
    • Writing:  are you able to brainstorm and organize ideas, create a central thesis, and write in an expressive, clear way?
    • Time management:  do you use your time effectively and balance your tasks to get everything done?
    • Living independently:  how well do you care for yourself without someone else having to remind you to do self-care tasks (hygiene, eating and drinking, sleeping, laundry, cleaning)?
    • Computer skills and assistive technology:  what tools will you need for success?

    Know your contact people.  According to the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education, “Students with disabilities need to be prepared to work collaboratively with the institution’s disability coordinator to enable them to have an equal opportunity to participate in an institution’s programs and activities.”  Here at the U, those coordinators are Mary Ellen Pichiarello and Andrée Rose Catalfamo, specialists who work in the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE).  Mary Ellen and Andrée can help you to work with your instructors, with Residential Life, and others, so that you can receive the accommodations that you need. They’ll also point you to assistance with study skills, time management, reading, writing and more. 


    Get involved on campus. For a lot of college students, those first weeks and months of college life can be overwhelming.   Don’t fall into an isolation trap!  The University of Scranton is a welcoming place, and you should be able to find friends and explore college life.  Look for campus activities that interest you, and don’t hesitate to talk to your specialists about ideas for getting more involved.  

  • Grievancesplus or minus

  • Assistive Technologyplus or minus

    The CTLE offers Instructional Technology Services to faculty and students in the teaching and learning environment. We have an instructional lab that contains high-end software and hardware that is available to assist students in using and incorporating technology into the learning process.

    For assistance with the adaptive computer equipment or software programs, please contact Aileen McHale or Brian Snapp to schedule an appointment for one-on-one assistance.

    Software Tools

    Kurzweil 3000™ is the comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners. In addition to typical screen reading programs, the K3000 can highlight specific words, sentences or paragraphs. It also has dictionary and thesaurus tools.

    Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) is a voice recognition software that enables a person to dictate directly to the computer with your words appearing right on the screen.

    Inspiration © 8.0 is a concept mapping software that helps students develop essential learning strategies as they create graphic organizers to visually represent concepts and relationships. Inspiration©'s integrated diagramming and outlining views and complementary learning capabilities work together to make Inspiration the essential tool to help students visualize, think, organize and learn.

    myReader 600 scans and captures the entire page and then presents it to users just the way they want to read.

    • Improved Navigation: myReader has no XY table. All navigation is done using the control panel. Using this users are able to navigate around a document without having to physically move the document. Unlike other products myReader brings the words to the user. This reduces the mental and physical fatigue that people often experience when using a device fitted with an XY table.
    • Automatic scrolling: With myReader you can set the text to scroll automatically at the touch of a dial, while maintaining the control of the speed. If you prefer you can control the scrolling manually or step through the text a screen at a time.
    • Built-in 15" LCD screen: myReader operates at 75Hz so the super sharp LCD screen is flicker free and radiation free. For added comfort, the monitors height and tilt angle can be adjusted to suit the users requirements. By having a built-in LCD monitor and no XY table, myreader only takes up a limited amount of space.
    • Simple controls: myReader is operated via a separate control panel, which is clearly labelled and easy to use. The control panel is designed to allow users to operate myReader for long periods. The control panel allows users to: adjust the speed they are reading at, manually navigate through a document, advance through the text a screen at a time, change display modes, select a new document, change the size and colours on the screen, set margins and access menus.

    ZoomText 8.1 Magnifier is designed to assist students who are visually impaired or blind because it enlarges and enhances everything on the computer screen, making all of the applications easy to see and use.

    OpenBook 7.0, created by Freedom Scientific, is a scanning and reading application, which will scan in documents, convert them to electronic text, and literally read aloud the contents of the page, providing access to individuals with blindness or severe low-vision. The software also provides other access, including the ability to save audio files of electronic documents, allowing individuals to burn CDs or use MP3 players to listen to their texts. The software will also connect with Bookshare.org, the Baen Free library, and other online gratis text resources to download free copies of books.

    Connect Outloud™ is designed for the beginning or experienced blind or low vision computer user to access the Internet through speech and braille output. This software is based on the popular JAWS© for Windows© technology and offers additional access to the Windows XP operating system.


    Hardware Tools

    Adjustable workstations

    Large, flat screen monitors

    High speed scanners

    CCTV, Closed circuit television system

    ALPHASMART are lightweight, portable electronic keyboards. They temporarily store typed text for later upload to PC- or Mac-based documents.

  • FAQsplus or minus

  • Contact Informationplus or minus

    To get started, contact:

    Mary Ellen Pichiarello

    570.941.4039
    maryellen.pichiarello@scranton.edu
    Loyola Science Center 580

    -or-

    Andree Rose Catalfamo

    570.941.4218
    andree.catalfamo@scranton.edu
    Loyola Science Center 582E