What does the Office of Disability Services do?
Point University is committed to providing equal academic opportunities for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities across all of our academic programs in the University College, the College for Graduate and Professional Studies, and the Dual-Credit Enrollment/Move On When Ready curriculum. No qualified person may be excluded or denied the benefits of any university program or activity.
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) also provides services for individuals with temporary injuries or conditions in order to maintain the accessibility of all University programs and activities.
While accessibility is our primary goal, we also work closely with each individual to ensure that each student is well-equipped for Christ-centered service and leadership throughout the world, in line with Point University’s mission.
The ODS is guided by:
- The Point University Honor Code and Covenant for a Christian Community
- The Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Code of Ethics and Professional Standards (http://ahead.org)
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who need accommodations should contact the Director of Disability Services, Jessica Mazaheri, via email (Jessica.Mazaheri@Point.edu) or phone (706-385-1480).
What is a disability?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), a disability is defined as a “mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability. If you have a documented physical or mental impairment, you may be entitled to certain accommodations under the ADA.
What are “reasonable accommodations and services”?
Accommodations include both the tools and procedures used to provide a “level playing field” for students with documented disabilities. Accommodations may allow extended time in completion of work, a distraction-free environment during exams, provision of note-takers or use of laptops, recorders or other devices in the classroom, ASL interpreters, campus housing requests, etc. Accommodations also cover accessibility concerns in the online and hybrid classroom environment. Accommodations may not reduce or modify learning expectations, threaten the academic standards or integrity of a course, or place the institution under undue financial hardship.
How do I document my disability?
- An accepted student must contact the director of Disability Services, Jessica Mazaheri (706-385-1480; Jessica.Mazaheri@Point.edu) with the required documents listed below, preferably 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester.
- The disability services director will engage in an interactive process with the student, which requires completion of an application for disability services and formal requests for documentation. The process will include consideration of any recommended reasonable accommodation that would enable the student to have an equal opportunity to benefit from the academic and spiritual programs offered by Point University.
- Once evaluation of documentation is complete, the student will receive a Point University Accommodation Plan in writing. Accommodations are not retroactive and provision of accommodations by another institution does not guarantee eligibility at Point University.
- After discussion of its contents, both student and disability services director will sign the document and the student will present his/her instructors with letters notifying them of the accommodations for which the student is eligible.
- Required documents for students desiring disability services:
What documentation is required?
Documentation requirements vary depending on the individual’s specific disability and the needs associated with it. Explanations are provided in the following documents:
3. Documentation Guidelines for ADD|ADHD
4. Documentation Guidelines for Deafness | Hearing Impairment
5. Documentation Guidelines for Developmental Disorders
6. Documentation Guidelines for Head or Traumatic Brain Injury
7. Documentation Guidelines for Health Related Disabilities
8. Documentation Guidelines for Low Vision | Blindness
9. Documentation Guidelines for Psychological Disorders
10. Documentation Guidelines for Specific Learning Disability
If I had an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan in high school, can this be my documentation?
The University prefers additional documentation in addition to an IEP or 504 plan. Such plans do not always provide sufficient information. More in-depth documentation that discusses specific diagnoses is ideal.
What accommodations are available to me?
Accommodations depend on the individual’s need and are determined via a personal interview with the director of Disability Services. They may include, but are not limited to: extended time for testing, testing in a distraction-free environment outside of the classroom, access to adaptive technology for hearing or vision impairments, ASL interpreters, campus housing requests in collaboration with Student Life, priority registration, extended time on written assignments, proctoring and/or scribing exams, service animals, etc.
Is there an accommodation memo? Will my advisor and instructors know I have a disability?
Advisors, instructors, and administrators across departments are not informed about an individual’s specific disability unless the individual chooses to disclose that information. There are two forms:
- the ODS Release of Information Form-Point for release of information to Point personnel and professionals needing to provide Point with documentation
- the ODS Release of Information for Transfer to another university.
Otherwise, instructors of each class are only informed, via an official letter from the ODS, of an individual’s accommodations on a semester-by-semester basis.