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ADA/Students with Special Needs

Seminole State College, in support of and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), welcomes requests for reasonable accommodations. Students with special needs should contact the ADA specialist, Carmen Hutchins, located in the Walkingstick Student Services Building.  Mrs. Hutchins may also be reached by calling 405-382-9719.  Students may also contact the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, located just inside the north door of the Walkingstick Student Services Building, or by calling 405-382-9216.  A TDD telephone, located with the ADA specialist, Carmen Hutchins, located in the Walkingstick Student Services Building, is available for the use of hearing-impaired students.  The TDD number is (405)382-9291

Student Eligibility

For Seminole State College to provide services to special needs students, eligibility must be established.  Services are provided to each qualified person with a disability as defined by federal regulations. A “qualified person with a disability” means:  “An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the recipient of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity.” (Public Law 101-336, Section 201) The federal definition of a disability includes a person who:

  1. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such a person’s major life activities
  2. Has a record of such impairment
  3. Is regarded as having such impairment. (Public Law 101-336, Section 201)

Student Responsibility
You are required to provide documentation of a disability prior to the provision of services. In the case of a physical disability, documentation from a physician is needed. In the case of a learning disability, documentation must be submitted from one of two sources:

  1. If you are diagnosed with a learning disability prior to graduation from an accredited high school need to submit a copy of the psycho-educational evaluation on file at their respective high school.
  2. If you are diagnosed after completion of high school need to submit a psycho-educational evaluation performed by a licensed psychologist. (It is the policy of Seminole State College to base accommodations on the most recent psycho educational evaluation.)

Service and Emotional Support/Assistance Animal
Seminole State College (or, the “College”) is committed to compliance with state and federal laws regarding individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  All requests for emotional support/assistance animals should be directed to the ADA Coordinator’s Office; 2701 Boren Blvd., Seminole, OK 74868; c.hutchins@sscok.edu; 405-382-9252 or 405-382-9719.

The College will determine, on a case by case basis, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, whether the animal is a reasonable accommodation on campus.  In doing so, the College must balance the needs of the individual with the impact of animals on other campus patrons.  The College does not generally permit animals in campus buildings except as this policy accommodates.

Definition
Service Animal:  A service animal is a dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  Examples of such tasks include but are not limited to:

Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.  In some cases, the College may permit miniature horses on campus on a case-by-case basis, consistent with applicable law.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability.  When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, or when there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the animal might not be a service animal, staff may make limited inquires.  The College may ask these two questions: 1) is the dog a service animal that is required because of a disability, and 2) what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.  Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a service animal.  

Service animals are permitted everywhere on campus that the animal may reasonably accompany a person with a disability.  The College may on a case-by-case basis exclude the animal from laboratories or other areas where the presence of the animal may cause an unavoidable hazard, health risk, or where the animal’s presence would fundamentally interfere with the service or instruction provided.  The College will not require individuals with service animals to receive permission to have their animal with them on campus, nor will there be any pre-clearance requirement for the presence of the animal on campus.  However, pursuant to the two-part inquiry above, reasonable documentation and/or demonstration of the animal’s training may be requested.  

Although not required, it is encouraged that any individual with a service animal contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office.  When it is not obvious that a dog is a service animal, or if there are additional questions, it is recommended that the individual contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office in order to assist in the transition of the dog on campus.
                                                                                                      
The regulations provide that the College need not accommodate a service animal if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the owner cannot effectively control it, the animal has not been housebroken, or if it would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program.

Emotional Support/Assistance Animal:  Emotional support/assistance animals do not qualify as service animals.  An emotional support/assistance animal is an animal that provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a documented disability - the animal is deemed necessary to assist, support, or provide service to persons with disabilities.  The College permits emotional support/assistance animals only within residential facilities and outdoors, and not within the remainder of campus buildings.  

In order for a requested accommodation to qualify as a reasonable accommodation, the requester must have a disability, and the accommodation must be necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy Seminole State College housing.  An animal qualifies as a reasonable accommodation if: (1) An individual has a disability, as defined in the Fair Housing Act or Rehab Act, (2) the animal is needed to assist with the disability, and (3) the individual who requests the reasonable accommodation demonstrates that there is a relationship between the disability and the assistance that the animal provides.

An emotional support/assistance animal is prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional.  Support/assistance animals provide specific functions for persons with mental and emotional disabilities in the private setting of the home and are not generally allowed in the public spaces covered by the ADA.

Emotional Support/Assistance Animals in College Housing
Emotional support/assistance animals may not reside in Seminole State College housing without the express approval of college officials.  An exception to the Animal and Pet Policy is granted for approved animals provided that their behavior, noise, odor, and waste do not exceed reasonable standards for a well-behaved animal and that these factors do not create unreasonable disruptions for residents and other staff.  Dangerous, poisonous, and/or illegal animals are not permitted.  Such requests should be processed as follows:

  1. A person requesting an emotional support/assistance animal must provide the ADA Coordinator’s Office with appropriate documentation at least 30 days before prospective housing is needed.  The ADA Coordinator’s Office requires a 30-day notice period in order to do its due diligence by gathering and verifying the necessary documentation for the student.  This documentation includes, but is not limited to: Emotional support animal registration form, verification of a disability from a health care provider, the determination of any conflicting disabilities in the immediate vicinity where the animal will be housed, and verification of all vaccinations and the health of the animal.  If documentation is immediately available, the time for the approval process may be shortened.

To read the Service and Emotional Support/Assistance Animal policy in its entirety, click on the link provided.  https://www.sscok.edu/PPmanual/Part%20III/3%20Chapter%205/III'5'6.html
How Often Must a Student Request ADA Services?

Planned services are provided based upon student request.  Ordinarily, you must arrange services at the time of enrollment; therefore, services must be requested each semester or at the time a need is identified.  You must also meet with each instructor in whose class the student is enrolled at the beginning of every semester to sign an accommodation form.