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Disability Services

student handbook.


It is strongly reccommend that all students who are registered or considering becoming registered with Disability Services read this handbook. It includes information on the following topics: how to register as a student with a disability, how to start using your approved accommodations, rights & responsibilities, and important tips to ensure continuation of eligibility and timely implementation of accommodations.

 

Table of Contents:

Contact Information

Academic Services

Academic Support

Admission to UNO

How to Register & Request Accommodations

Implementing Approved Accommodations

Forms & Guidelines

Confidentiality and Release of Information

Rights and Responsibilities

Personal and Health Care

Campus Recreation

Assistive Technology

Advocacy

Ombudsperson Program

Issue Resolution

Discrimination Policy

Emergency Procedures

 

Contact Information

For more information:
Meribeth Jackson
Disability Services Coordinator
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Eppley Administration Building, Room 117
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68182
Phone: (402) 554-2872
Fax: (402) 554-6015
E-mail:  mjackson@unomaha.edu

 

 

Academic Services

Students with disabilities, who qualify, are provided with volunteer notetakers, testing accommodations, interpreters, taped or electronic textbooks, and other accommodations necessary to allow full access to the educational opportunities offered at UNO.
Students are encouraged to meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services in advance to begin the accommodation planning process and make arrangements to secure services.

 

Academic Support

Project Achieve

Project Achieve (PA) was created to provide help for those students who are first generation college students. (The term ‘first generation’ means those students who do not have at least one parent who completed a four year degree.) Project Achieve is available to students with academic needs coming from a low income family, first generation college students, and students with disabilities. Some of the services provided through this office are:

Special course offerings with equivalent credit

Tutors

Computer lab with assistance available

These are only a few services Project Achieve offers. If you would like to take a closer look at the services provided at this office, please explore their website at www.unomaha.edu/achieve or visit the office in EAB 117.

Math and Physics Tutoring

Tutoring is available for all 1000-2000 level courses in math and physics in DSC 255.  Hours of operation change by semester, so please refer to the Mathematics Department website for more information:  http://www.unomaha.edu/wwwmath/undergraduate/tutoring.html.

UNO Writing Center

The UNO Writing Center is available to all UNO students and staff.  This center provides assistance with overcoming writer’s block, generating and focusing ideas, organizing your ideas, improving your writing style, handling technical details of grammar, documentation and format, and becoming a more confident, comfortable writer.  They are located in ASH 150 and their website is http://www.unomaha.edu/writingcenter/.

UNO Speech Center

The UNO Speech Center assists all UNO students, faculty, and staff in preparing oral presentations and/or incorporating them into their courses.  The Speech Center includes two rooms--the Basic Course Room and the Speech Consulting Room.  The Basic Room provides support for students in a basic speech course that fulfills the UNO oral communication general education requirement (e.g., the Public Speaking Fundamentals course).  The Speech Consulting Room provides consulting and coaching across all disciplines, faculty support, and more.  Contact the Speech Center by visiting rooms ASH 183 and 185, calling (402) 554-3201 or e-mailing at speechcenter@unomaha.edu.  The UNO Speech Center website is: http://www.unomaha.edu/speechcenter/.

UNO Honors Tutoring

In an effort to meet the needs of those students who need extra assistance in their coursework, the University Honors Program has initiated a Volunteer Tutoring Program. This service, while provided by UNO Honors Program students, is open to any student who needs it.
UNO students who would like to find a tutor for their coursework should visit the Honors Program website at http://www.unomaha.edu/wwwhonor/currentstudents.html.  This list includes the days and times that each tutor is available, his or her area(s) of expertise, and the tutor's phone number and e-mail address.

Admission to UNO

If a prospective student has been denied admission or thinks they may be denied admission because a disability has interfered with meeting UNO's freshmen or transfer undergraduate admission requirements, he or she should request additional consideration as described in the Consideration for Admission on the Basis of Disability Procedure.

How to Register & Request Accommodations

Admitted students who have a disability are encouraged to register with Disability Services by following the steps listed below. Once eligibility is established and the student completes the registration process, he/she may request reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to University programs and activities. Throughout the registration process, questions are expected and welcome. The five steps for becoming registered are described below.

1. Start Early
To ensure that the necessary accommodations are in place when classes begin, students are strongly encouraged to begin the registration process listed here as early as possible. Three to four months in advance is ideal.

2. Introduce Yourself by Phone or E-mail
Make contact with the Disability Services Coordinator by calling or sending an e-mail so that we can work with you during the registration process. Contact information is as follows: 
Meribeth Jackson
E-mail: mjackson@unomaha.edu
Phone: (402) 554-2872, TTY: (402) 554-3799

3. Provide Documentation of a Disability
Talk with the Disability Services Coordinator about what type of documentation is needed for your individual situation. You will be directed to the documentation guidelines available online at http://www.unomaha.edu/disability/howtorequest.php.  There is a set of guidelines for each of the six disability types, which are: learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, blind/low vision, deaf/hard of hearing, mobility/chronic health, and psychological disorders.  Any person who is uncertain as to which guidelines to utilize should contact the Disability Services Coordinator for consultation.  Documentation may be mailed or faxed to:

UNO Disability Services                      
Attn: Meribeth Jackson
6001 Dodge Street, EAB 117
Omaha, NE 68182

Fax: (402) 554-6015

           
4. Meet with the Coordinator
Call Disability Services to confirm that your documentation arrived and that it provides sufficient information. If so, make an appointment to meet with the Coordinator to discuss accommodation requests and learn about departmental policies and procedures.

IMPORTANT:  Students must complete all four of these steps to be registered with Disability Services.  When the registration process is complete, the student will receive written notification of their registered status.

5. Follow instructions for ‘Implementing Approved Accommodations’ below.

 

Implementing Approved Accommodations

1. Notification

A notification e-mail is sent to all instructors through campus e-mail approximately ten business days before each semester begins. Students receive a copy of the notification e-mail at the address they provided to the Disability Services Office (DSO). Those students who do not want to use this system of notification may request an alternate notification method.

Those students who opt out of the automatic notification process must submit a Semester Authorization Form in order to have notifications sent to their instructors. Please do so no later than two weeks before a semester begins. If  the form is submitted with less than two weeks notice, a delay in receiving accommodations may result.  Semester Authorization Forms are available on the Forms & Guidelines page of this website or mailed upon request.

2. Notification Received?

Students must ask each instructor if they received the notification e-mail from the DSO. If the e-mail was not received, notify the Coordinator, Meribeth Jackson, of the course name and correct e-mail address so that the message can be re-sent.

3. Make Arrangements with Each Instructor

Students must speak with each instructor at the beginning of each semester to ensure the approved accommodations are appropriate in their course and make specific plans for their implementation. (If adequate notice is not given or if an accommodation fundamentally alters a course, or creates an undue administrative or financial burden it will not be provided. Talking to instructors early will allow time to explore other options if this is the case.)

Students are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the grading system, exam format, and the types of activities that will be required for each course. This information may reveal an access barrier and prompt the student to request additional accommodations. In this event, it may or may not be necessary to provide updated documentation. Requests for additional accommodations should be made sufficiently in advance and preferably before the class begins. New accommodations will apply toward the future, not retroactively.

4. Communicate Your Concerns

Keep in mind that communication among and between the student, instructor, and the Disability Services Coordinator is critical to making the accommodation process work. If anything in the accommodation process is problematic, students are asked to inform the Disability Services Coordinator right away by phone 554-2872, TTY 554-3799 or e-mail mjackson@unomaha.edu.

5. Test Accommodations

Test accommodations, especially the location, date and time, should be discussed well in advance of the test date. Accommodated exams may be proctored by the instructor, the instructor's designee or by Testing Center staff members.

Students with test accommodations are strongly encouraged to review and be familiar with the Testing Center Guidelines and be sure to make appointments at the Testing Center at least five days in advance.

In the event an instructor does not deliver a test to the Testing Center at the appointed time, the student will wait approximately ten minutes and then contact the instructor for guidance as to when the test will be delivered to the Testing Center.

Online tests and exams may present a particular challenge for students with certain types of disabilities. Please plan for accommodations well in advance and consult with Disability Services if you will be required to take an online exam.

6. Make Requests in Advance

Some accommodations require more time to implement and, therefore, require more advanced notice. This includes sign language interpreters, CART (computer aided real time) captioning services, lab assistants and conversion of textbooks to alternate formats. Students with these accommodations are reminded to utilize their priority registration date and to work with the DSO immediately following course registration.  For best results, please refer to the following approximate dates:

Fall Semester: Contact DS with your requests and class schedule in April
Spring Semester: Contact DS with your requests and class schedule in October
Summer Semester: Contact DS with your requests and class schedule in April

Exact priority registration dates will be e-mailed to students and also will appear in each student’s E-BRUNO account under the ‘Holds and Registration Dates’ menu item. Please clear all holds prior to the early registration date. This may include holds from Campus Security, Student Accounts, Library, and Student Health.

 

Forms & Guidelines

The following forms and sets of guidelines and their enlarged counterparts are available on the DS website: http://www.unomaha.edu/disability/forms.php.

Testing Center Guidelines
For students with testing accommodations such as extra time, reader or scribe

Student Guidelines for Interpreter/CART Services
For students who utilize sign language interpreters or computer aided real time captioning services

Student Guidelines for Alternate Textbook Formats
For students who need their books in an audio, electronic, or other format

Semester Authorization Form 
For students who do not want automatic e-mail notifications sent to their instructors

 

Confidentiality and Release of Information

The DS office is committed to protecting the confidentiality of student communications. We retain student records in compliance with both state and federal law, in particular with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

 

Rights and Responsibilities

Listed below is a general outline of the responsibilities of the Disability Services Office, students, faculty and the institution.* Each has a different set of obligations to make the process work smoothly.

Disability Services Office (DSO) Responsibilities

  • Provide information and services so that students with disabilities may participate in all of the programs, services, and activities of the institution.
  • Provide services in a timely fashion.
  • Review documentation of a disability for eligibility and determine on behalf of the institution what types of accommodations are appropriate.
  • Keep disability-related information confidential, discussing it only with those who have a valid reason to know.
  • Help faculty and staff provide reasonable accommodations.
  • Consult with university administration, faculty, and staff on the provision of services, accommodations, and access as required under current federal and state law.
  • Advocate responsibly for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Student Responsibilities

  • Voluntarily identify disability-related needs to the Disability Services Coordinator, Kate Clark.
  • Provide current and complete documentation of disability to the DSO.
  • Formally request needed accommodations and services in a timely manner.
  • Notify the DSO of any changes or concerns in needed services or accommodations.
  • Abide by the student code of conduct set by the college or university.
  • Attend class and maintain the academic standards set by the university, the college, and the department.
  • Use services responsibly and treat service providers and faculty with respect and courtesy.
  • Abide by the policies of the DSO; specifically this Handbook and the Guidelines on the Disability Services website.

Instructor Responsibilities

  • Include a statement in your syllabus informing students about reasonable accommodations.
  • Refer students to the DSO to have the disability documented and appropriate accommodations determined.
  • Help provide reasonable accommodations including the use of auxiliary aids, note-takers, and tape recorders.
  • Provide advising, counseling, and instruction to students with disabilities in a fully accessible environment.
  • Show confidence in students’ abilities to achieve their intellectual, personal, and professional potential.
  • Keep disability-related information confidential.
  • Discuss all student-related information directly with the student.

Institutional Responsibilities

  • Provide a campus in which educational, cultural, and extracurricular activities are physically and programmatically accessible.
  • Create policies that encourage the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all programs and activities.
  • Provide a process so students with disabilities may address their grievances with the institution and the office(s) that provide services.

Personal and Health Care

Fully accredited health care is available on campus through Health Services. The Health Services office is located at the north end of the first floor of Milo Bail Student Center. Physicians and registered nurses are available throughout the year.
Mental health professionals are available at the UNO Counseling Center in EAB 115 during regular business hours.  Services provided by the UNO Counseling Center include academic counseling, career counseling, and short-term personal counseling.  The Center is staffed by Licensed Mental Health Practitioners and Graduate Assistants.  
Students who require personal attendant care are responsible for arranging these services. Students eligible for Medicaid should contact the Nebraska Health and Human Services System, (402) 595-3250.  Students who are not eligible for Medicaid can receive assistance in securing attendant care from the League of Human Dignity, (402) 595-1256.

 

Campus Recreation

Campus Recreation welcomes students with all abilities to participate in fitness and recreational sport activities.  Students can participate in all recreation programs and activity areas, including credit/non-credit classes, fitness classes, personal training, intramural sports, outdoor recreation, and injury prevention. To begin an individualized program or to inquire about the availability of accommodations for special needs, visit the Campus Recreation office in HPER 100 or call (402) 554-2539.

 

Assistive Technology

Assistive hardware and software is available on campus.  Software programs include JAWS, ZoomText, OpenBook and Dragon Naturally Speaking.  Please contact the Disability Services Coordinator to learn more or to request different assistive technology programs. Assistive Technology at UNO

 

Advocacy

The DS Coordinator and staff assist students in negotiating disability-related barriers and strive to improve access to University programs, activities, and facilities. Students who wish to voice concerns or discuss University access, policies and procedures are encouraged to contact the DS Coordinator, Meribeth Jaackson at mjackson@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-2872 or the ADA/504 Compliance Officer,EEO Specialist, Charlotte Russell at crussell@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-3490. In addition, an agency of student government is devoted to issues concerning students with disabilities:  Network for disAbled Students.  This agency can be reached at (402) 554-2368 or in their offices on the first floor of the Milo Bail Student Center.  Also see the “Ombudsperson Program” below for advocacy services.

 

Ombudsperson Program

The Ombudsperson Program was established at UNO in the fall of 1970. The purpose of the office is to receive and investigate complaints. Anyone — students, faculty, administrators, or staff members — may request the service.  For more information, please see http://www.unomaha.edu/ombuds.php or the printed information in the Course Catalog.

 

Issue Resolution

If a student disagrees with the eligibility and/or accommodation decisions made by Disability Services, it is recommended that the student meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services to discuss his/her questions and concerns. Any student who disagrees with the eligibility and/or accommodation decisions made by Disability Services, has the right to file a grievance/complaint. Information regarding the filing of a grievance and/or complaint is available online at http://www.unomaha.edu/discrimination.php  or by contacting the Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 402-554-2872 or TTY 402-554-3799.

 

Discrimination Policy

Procedures are in place for those who believe they have been discriminated against within the university’s prohibited discrimination policy.  Please review the prohibited discrimination procedures at http://www.unomaha.edu/discrimination.php or as printed in the Course Catalog.

 

Emergency Procedures & Text Messages in an Emergency

Emergency Procedures

A full explanation of emergency procedures for people with disabilities is available on the Campus Security website at  http://www.unomaha.edu/security/emergenc.htm.  Students with mobility impairments may wish to review the procedures for fires, tornados and maintenance emergencies each semester as they are different for the various buildings on campus.  Students with disabilities are advised to become aware of the medical emergency procedures listed on the site.

All students, including those with a disability, must accept personal responsibility for getting out of a building during an emergency. Even though emergency personnel are usually available to assist with a building evacuation, this may not always be the case. Students are strongly encouraged to make alternative plans and arrangements in advance of an emergency to increase the liklihood of a safe exit during an emergency.

Since elevators may be dangerous during an emergency, planning ahead is even more critical to those with mobility impairments. Because of constantly changing populations and building occupancy patterns, it is not possible for the University to make reliable arrangements for the evacuation of specific persons from the many buildings they may occupy in the course of a week.

Responsibilities of persons with a disability:

a. Identify in advance and be familiar with at least two exit routes from every area and building in which you live, work or attend class.

b. Identify in advance possible volunteers such as classmates, faculty or co-workers who are willing and able to assist you to evacuate. Make specific arrangements for their assistance.

c. Know the safest method people could use to assist you. Know how many people you need to provide you that assistance.

d. If you use a wheelchair, be prepared to explain how and where persons should support you. Practice instructions beforehand. If you have difficulty being understood, develop a card containing all appropriate instructions and carry it with you.

e. Carry a loud whistle or similar device you can operate, for use in the event you become trapped.

f. If you are unable to exit a building, arrange for others to inform Public Safety or other emergency response personnel of your location.

Campus Security officers' responsibilities:

a. Immediately search the building, when possible.

b. Evacuate any persons found, using appropriate means.

 

Sign up for Emergency and Weather Text Messages from UNO

Students, faculty and staff can sign up for a notification system that will allow UNO to send urgent news to cell phones.  The notification system is used to communicate any potential emergency, such as a snow delay or closing, other weather warnings, homeland security advisories, gas leak notifications and fire or crime watches.  The system, provided by e2Campus, sends instant alerts directly to registered subscribers' e-mail accounts and mobile phones via SMS text messages. Wireless personal digital assistant and BlackBerry devices can also be used.  

Depending on a person's cell phone plan, there may be a nominal fee from a cell phone carrier, but there is no charge from UNO for the service.  

Sign up now at http://www.e2campus.com/my/unomaha  or by calling the UNO Information Center at 554.2854 or the ITS Help Desk at 554.4357.

 

 

*Adapted from the Utah State University ASD Project Grant

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