Educational Planning

Disability Services

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is understood and carried out in classes offered by Alvernia University. Anyone covered by the ADA who has specific needs will receive reasonable accommodations.  The Disability Services Office is located in Bernardine Hall Room 105 (within the Learning Center.)
Our Disability Services Coordinator & Staff:
Darla Timberlake, Academic Learning Specialist & ADA Coordinator (610)-568-1499
Kayla Kressler, Administrative Assistant (610)-796-8266

Who is responsible for facilitating accommodations at Alvernia?

At the college level, responsibility for facilitating any accommodations rests with the student, who must provide the appropriate documentation outlining a diagnosis and request for accommodations. Your IEP from high school does not follow you. However, will be considered and referenced for purposes of accommodation planning.

What kinds of accommodations can Alvernia provide?

Reasonable services and accommodations include, but are not limited to, extended time for testing and assignments, testing in a sequestered site outside the classroom, use of tape recorders, and preferential seating in the classroom.

I think I might qualify for disability services, but I’m not sure. What do I do?

The first step in getting the process moving is to submit a request for accommodations and a copy of your IEP and/or 504 and/or professional evaluation to the Office of Disability Services, who will then review this information.  You will be notified if further documentation is required or you will receive a draft proposal of accommodations.  The Disability Services Coordinator may contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss any questions and concerns you may have, and to make sure that all the tools are in place to help you to succeed academically.

When should students request accommodations?

Each semester, as soon as possible, students qualifying for accommodations must see Darla Timberlake & Kayla Kressler, Disability Services, to request that letters for instructors are generated.  Students will recevie PDF versions of their formal accommodation letters via Alvernia Student Email. It is the student's responsibility to distribute these letters to each intructor. 

Receiving information regarding any physical concerns in a timely manner is important as accessibility arrangements can take some time. Please contact Darla Timberlake & Kayla Kressler (610-796-8266) as soon as possible if there are any mobility or other issues of a physical nature. Official documentation will be needed to establish and maintain any accommodations.

Please be advised that it takes time to review documentation. It may take a week or more between the submission of documents and the start of accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive.  Please plan accordingly.

What type of documents must the student submit?

1. A request for accommodations form

2. A request for testing form (if applicable)

3. Official documentation that meets the following criteria

Official Documentation should:

  • be current — i.e., completed within the last 5 years for LD, last 6 months for psychiatric disabilities, or last 3 years for ADHD and all other disabilities (NOTE: this requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature)
  • identify a diagnosis
  • describe the current academic, emotional or health function, as appropriate
  • describe the functional limitations
  • include suggested educational recommendations justified by assessments
  • be supported by complete relevant educational, developmental and medical histories
  • include the names and scores of testing assessments used to make specific determinations. 
  • be prepared by a qualified professional in the appropriate field of concern, who is not a family member of the student 
  • be typed, signed and on official letterhead

Records supporting the use of services in high schools or other institutions are helpful in assisting Alvernia staff, although reports such as IEPs, SOPs and letters from disability service providers at other colleges are not, in themselves, automatically considered sufficient to meet this documentation request. Alvernia professional staff reserves the right to request additional information to determine appropriate services or eligibility, if necessary.

Who has access to my documentation once I submit it?

Documentation is maintained in a secure file accessible only by the ADA Coordinator. Documentation is not shared with others, although if requested, general information about the student’s accommodations may be discussed on a need-to-know basis with faculty or administrative professionals. The ADA Coordinator is committed to maintaining utmost discretion in matters involving students’ disabilities and related matters. Pertinent information related to records may be shared with University personnel only when deemed necessary and appropriate to facilitate the student’s access to programs and services. Requests to share information with persons acting in roles external to the University will be considered only with prior written approval by the student. Files are usually maintained for five years beyond a student’s last registration with the ADA Coordinator, after which they are destroyed.

educational planning

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