Jennifer garcia, instructional assistant (925) 439-2181, ex

Devices for Students with Visual Disabilities

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Devices for Students with Visual Disabilities

  1. Braille Embosser                             

  2. Tactile Graphics “Toaster”                

  3. CCTV                                    


  • Adjustable Chairs and Tables                          

  • AlphaSmart                                     

  • Headphones   

  • Microphones         

  • High Speed Scanner                       

  • Franklin Speller

Most seizure disorders stem from a brain disorder commonly known as epilepsy, in which there are abnormal electrical discharges, which cause temporary loss of control over certain body functions. Seizure disorders affect more than two million Americans, and can affect anyone. Ignorance and myths about seizure disorders often cause more problems for a person with epilepsy than the condition itself. Because it is so misunderstood, employers often feel more reluctant hiring a person with epilepsy than any other disability. Today, 80% of people with epilepsy have their symptoms totally or partially controlled through continuing treatment. This enables the vast majority to lead active, self-supporting and long lives. While causes for epilepsy are not totally understood, it is known that it can be related to head trauma, birth defects, poisons, diseases such as measles and encephalitis, circulatory disorders, tumors, and poor nutrition.
There are three main types of seizures grand mal, petit mal, and partial. Grand mal is characterized by loss of consciousness, stiffening, or shaking of the entire body, violent jerking of the limbs and irregular breathing. Petit mal seizures can take the form of having a "blank spell", losing awareness, twitching, and or staring and blinking. This is sometimes mistaken for daydreaming or inattentiveness. Partial seizures may involve mental confusion accompanied by armless movements (e.g., pacing, hand-rubbing and irritability). This is occasionally mistaken for alcohol drug abuse.

First Aid For Epileptic Seizures
Following are some simple procedures to follow if a student or staff member should have a seizure.

  1. Because of legal responsibilities, Contra Costa Community College District Policy requires that a member of the security force be summoned in case of grand mal seizures. Please call extension 3333.

  1. Remain calm. Students will assume the same emotional reaction as the instructor. The seizure is painless to the individual.

  1. Do not try to restrain the person. There is nothing you can do to stop a seizure once it has begun; it must run its course.

  1. Clear the area around the individual so that he/she does not injure himself/herself on hard or sharp objects. Try not to interfere with his/her movements in any way.

  1. Do not force anything between the teeth. If the person's mouth is open you may place a soft object such as a handkerchief between his/her side teeth to maintain an airway. Do not use a pencil, pen or spoon, etc.

  1. It is not generally necessary to call a doctor unless the attack is followed almost immediately by another major seizure, or if the seizure lasts more than about ten minutes.

  1. When the seizure is over, let the person rest if she/he needs to.

  1. Turn the incident into a learning experience for the class. Explain that the seizure is not contagious and that there is no need for fear.

Adapted from: Epilepsv Foundation of America and CSU Chico Handbook.

Students with other disabilities often need special considerations. If you have questions or considerations for any student, please call the DSP&S office at ext. 3133 for more information.
Students with Speech Impairments
Impairments range from problems with articulation or voice strength to being totally non-vocal. They include stuttering (repetition, blocks, and/or prolongations occasionally accompanied by distorted movements and facial expressions), chronic hoarseness (dysphonia), difficulty in evoking an appropriate word or term (nominal aphasia), and esophageal speech (resulting from a laryngectomy). Many students with speech impairments will be hesitant about participating in activities that require speaking.

Students With Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy
Although these symptoms are sometimes invisible, they may affect the student in a multitude of ways. These symptoms have a tendency to come and go, but they continue to progress. Understanding the fluctuations that may occur in the student's behavior makes it easier to understand variations in classroom performance.

Students with Psychological Disabilities
These are students who have psychiatric disorders, emotional problems that may or may not affect their academic performance, or a chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol. As a faculty, you are in a position to recognize behavior changes that may require a referral to the DSP&S counselor. Ask to speak to the student privately and confidentially. Indicate concern for the student’s welfare and ask them to see a DSP&S counselor. If the student seems to be going out of control, call the campus police to handle the situation.
Students With Diabetes
Students with diabetes occasionally may need to snack during class. Students generally schedule time to eat before strenuous physical activity. Problems such as diabetic coma and insulin shock may occur when there is an imbalance of insulin, food, and energy expenditure. If these problems arise, please call the campus emergency number, ext. 3333.
Students With Cardiac Disorders
Special considerations are generally not needed for students with cardiac disorders except when the course requirements involve an unusual amount of physical activity or if medical complications arise that cause them to miss class.

A Guide to Legislation
The following discussion highlights Section 504 as it pertains to the academic and program aspect of community colleges. The discussion is not inclusive of all aspects of Section 504 or even of all those relating to post-secondary institutions.

For the purpose of explaining who is covered by this law, 504 offers the following definitions:
Handicapped Person
Any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity (functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working); has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment, or has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitude of others toward such impairment.
Qualified Handicapped Person
A qualified handicapped person is a person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the educational program or activity.
Program Accessibility
Section 504 prohibits discrimination against handicapped individuals in recruitment, admission, and treatment after admission. It mandates all recipients of federal funding to make adjustments and accommodations in their programs and activities in order to provide qualified handicapped persons with opportunities equal to those enjoyed by qualified non-handicapped persons.
Section 504 requires that each program or activity operated by the institution be readily accessible to handicapped persons when viewed in its entirety. An institution is not required to make each of its existing facilities or every part of a facility accessible. Extensive facility renovations are not always necessary to meet this requirement as long as other methods can be used to effectively achieve program accessibility. Priority must be given, when using other methods, to those alternatives which would offer programs and activities "in the most integrated setting possible." Any programs that are currently inaccessible because of need for major structural modifications should have been changed no later than June 1981. Your continued input is vital if the goal of full participation for students with disabilities is to be met.
SECTION 508 STANDARDS for Electronic & Information Technology

Los Medanos College must provide access to District programs and services to individuals with disabilities to the fullest reasonable extent possible, as guaranteed by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Access has two distinct areas: access to technology and access to programs and courses.
Access to technology includes:

  • procurement of Electronic and Information Technology

  • accessible Computer Stations, and

  • access to Campus Web-Sites.

Access to programs and courses includes:

  • providing access to Web Enhanced Instruction,

  • providing access to all Informational or Instructional Video Media, and

  • providing access with Alternate Media Formats.

I. Access to Electronic and Information Technology

Access to technology and electronic information is comprised of three facets: (a) the purchase of products and services, (b) assistive software, and (c) accessibility of web pages.

a. Every product that we purchase has to meet 508 standards and/or has the capability to use assistive software and hardware. Product examples include: software applications, telecommunications, videos, multimedia, self-contained closed products (e.g. ATM’s, copiers, information kiosks, fax machines), and desktop and portable computers.

b. Student computer labs with more than ten stations shall have a minimum of 10% immediately accessible stations for students with disabilities. Computer labs with less than 10 stations will have at least one accessible station.

c. The College’s home web page and every individual web page hosted by the college’s web site shall follow the Section 508 web standards.
II. Access to Programs and Courses

a. Web-Enhanced Instruction

Access to web-enhanced programs and courses includes: distance learning courses and informational presentations such as Powerpoint, streaming video and multimedia resources.

b. Video Captioning

All instructional and informational video media must be closed captioned. For example, closed captioning of all television broadcasts and video taped distance education course materials shall be provided to persons with hearing disabilities. In order to comply with this law, all videotapes purchased through Los Medanos College must be in a captioned format.
c. Alternate Media

Alternate Media provides the production of alternate print materials for students with verifiable print disabilities. Alternate formats include but are not limited to: Braille, electronic text, audio recording, large print, tactile graphics and captioning.

Adapted from Gavilan College’s Section 508 Standards
Reasonable Adjustments to Academic Requirements
Section 504 prohibits exclusion of qualified handicapped students from any course or area of concentration on the basis of handicap. Moreover, it is considered discriminatory to counsel handicapped students toward more restrictive careers than non-handicapped students, unless such counsel is based on strict licensing or certification requirements in a profession. Post-secondary institutions are, therefore, required by 504 to make reasonable adjustments to permit handicapped students to fulfill academic requirements. Reasonable adjustments may include the following: increased time allowances to complete degree requirements, substitution of equivalent courses for those that cannot be made accessible for handicapped students, changes in teaching methods, and changes in the manner of conducting classes.
Course examinations and other methods of evaluating a student's academic achievement must be conducted in a way that will reflect the student's achievement rather than his impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except when such skills are the factors which are being measured).
Post secondary institutions must take steps to ensure that handicapped students with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills are not, in effect, excluded from programs because of the absence of education auxiliary, aids. "Auxiliary aids" may include taped texts, interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to students with hearing impairments, readers in libraries for students with visual impairment, and other similar services and actions. Institutions, however, need not provide attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.
It is unlawful to prohibit handicapped students from using any auxiliary aid, including tape recorders, in the classrooms when the aid is needed to ensure full participation of the student.
It is the policy of Los Medanos College to provide equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Pursuant to Title 5, Sections 56000-56076, the college has developed Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSP&S) to assist students with disabilities in securing access to the full range of instructional programs and services offered at the college. It is the intention of the college to insure that individuals with disabilities are served by regular classes and programs whenever possible. To that end, students with disabilities shall be admitted to, and matriculate through, such courses and programs on an equal basis with all other students.
LMC policy is to provide students with academic adjustments, educational auxiliary aids, and accommodations to ensure that students are not discriminated against on the basis of disability. However, LMC is not required to modify academic requirements that are essential to an academic program or to a directly related licensing requirement that would result in lowering of academic or technical standards, or to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of the program. In addition, LMC is not required to make accommodations that would cause the College to incur undue administrative or financial burden. LMC will give primary consideration to the academic adjustment, auxiliary aid or other accommodation requested by the student, but may consider equally effective alternatives in consultation with the student.
Procedures for Determining Whether Proposed Accommodation Is an “Undue Burden
In determining whether a proposed accommodation is an undue burden, LMC shall apply the following legal standards:
a. LMC recognizes that the burden is on the College to establish that undue financial or administrative burden exists;
b. A decision that a proposed accommodation would constitute an undue burden can only be made by the “head of the public entity” or designee. For most programs, the appropriate designee will be the acting Dean.
c. The Dean shall first consider all resources available for use in the funding and operation of the applicable Department or Program.
d. The Dean shall consider the following factors: (1) the nature and cost of the accommodation requested; (2) the overall financial resources of the Department; (3) the number of persons employed in the Department; (4) the effect of the accommodation on expenses and resources of the Department; (5) legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation; (6) other significant impacts on the department including employee rights under the applicable collective bargaining agreements; (7) the geographic separateness and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the department to the District; (8) the overall size and financial resources of the District; and (9) the goals and purpose of the District in educating a large and broad number of students. For clinical placements, the Dean shall also consider and consult with the clinical placement facility regarding the logistics of implementing the accommodation.
e. If it is determined that the proposed accommodation is an undue burden, the Dean shall provide a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
f. When there arises a direct and unavoidable conflict between a necessary accommodation for a student and a provision of one of the College’s collective bargaining agreements, to the extent that the collective bargaining agreement is an equal or superior source of law, this conflict will be taken into account in determinations of undue burden. Where undue burden is established, the President of the College will certify this determination, record in writing the determination and its basis, and provide a copy of the written determination and basis to the student. The College will not take more than fifteen (15) instructional days to reach its determination and will provide the student with interim accommodations as effective as possible without entailing the alleged conflict.
g. For clinical placements, if LMC has approved the proposed accommodation, and the clinical placement cannot or will not implement it, LMC shall do one or more of the following: (1) work with the placement to implement the accommodation or negotiate implementation of an equally effective alternative; (2) place the student in another placement that is equally effective for the student; or (3) end the relationship with the placement.
h. Whenever the President concludes that undue burden has occurred, the College will engage with the student in an interactive process to determine whether there is an equally effective alternative accommodation that does not entail an unavoidable conflict with any legally equal or superior provision of the collective bargaining agreement.
i. Whenever the President concludes that undue burden has occurred, the student will also be advised of his/her right to file a grievance under the College’s Section 504/ADA disability grievance procedure as well as his/her right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

Procedures For Determining Whether An Accommodation Would Fundamentally Alter College Academic Requirements
To be successful in a course or program, each student must achieve the required outcomes of the course or program by demonstrating that he or she has mastered the essential skills and knowledge for that course or program. Students with disabilities are not excused from this requirement. However, they are entitled to acquire and demonstrate this knowledge and these skills while using acadic adjustments and auxiliary aids (accommodations).
There may be instances where a College faculty or Disabled Students Programs and Services member believes that providing an accommodation requested by a student with a disability would fundamentally alter the course or program requirements for that student. This may arise when the student initially requests an accommodation from DSP&S or be raised by an instructor after DSP&S approves an accommodation. For example, a student may request as an accommodation a course substitution for course that a faculty member believes is essential to the program in which the student is enrolled or believes that the course proposed for substitution fails to provide knowledge of an equivalent value. Or, a student may request as an accommodation a modification to a particular course, such as requesting that the student be tested only with essay questions when the instructor only uses multiple choice questions. These are case-by-case determinations that may vary, for example, based on the major area of academic concentration.
If DSP&S, an instructor, or the department raises a concern about fundamental alteration, DSP&S, in conjunction with the department chair and applicable Dean, will determine whether the accommodation or an equally effective alternative will be implemented pending a review and determination by the College as to whether the accommodation would be a fundamental alteration of a program requirement.
The Factors to be considered in determining whether an accommodation is a fundamental alteration shall include the following:
a. What is the purpose or objective of the course, requirement, standard, testing practice, procedures or rule in question (For example, what is the purpose of a requirement that a student demonstrate a particular skill or pass a test)?
b. How is the purpose or objective related to the requirements for the student’s program or degree?
c. What skills and knowledge must be mastered by students who take the course, or enroll in or complete the degree/program?
d. What is the minimum level of mastery that must be demonstrated by students?
e. What are the reasons for the chosen instructional methods, evaluation methods, and evaluation requirements?
f. Are the answers to these questions generally consistent between all instructors of a course, or in a program?
Process to Determine Whether Accommodation is a Fundamental Alteration
If a student seeks an accommodation that either DSP&S, a faculty member, or the department believes would be a fundamental alteration of a College academic requirement, the Senior Dean of Student Services will implement the following process in a timely manner to resolve the question:
a. The Senior Dean will determine whether there is a reasonable (logical and credible) basis for the position that implementing the accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration of a requirement; the objection to the accommodation cannot be merely a pretext for discrimination. If there is no reasonable basis, the Senior Dean will require that the accommodation be implemented immediately. (For example, a faculty member objects to an accommodation that has routinely been allowed, and offers no new information to support the objection; or the faculty member objects to the accommodation on an impermissible basis, such as the faculty member does not believe the student really has a disability, which should be decided by DSP&S).
b. If a reasonable basis exists, the Senior Dean will verify that the instructor, department, and/or program have articulated the essential requirements for the course and/or program and provided notice of them to students.
c. The Senior Dean will appoint a committee of objective persons who collectively are knowledgeable about the academic area; any related licensing requirements, any applicable accreditation for the course of study, the student’s disability, and accommodation methods. The committee will not be limited exclusively to individuals from the department that provides the course or program.
d. The committee will identify the objective of the requirement, taking into consideration the information provided by the instructor, program or department concerning essential requirements, including curriculum approval or course creation documents. The committee will ensure that the requirement is not simply based on tradition or routine practice without direct connection to essential requirements.
e. The committee will consider whether the requirement is consistent with similar programs at other educational institutions, and with relevant national and expert guidelines; and whether there is any unique justification for a requirement that is not generally adopted by other educational institutions.
f. The committee will consider information provided by the student relevant to determining whether notice of the essential requirement in question has been provided to the student, and whether the accommodation requested by the student would invalidate or is significantly inconsistent with the objective of the requirement.
g. The committee will determine whether the accommodation requested by the student would invalidate or is significantly inconsistent with the objective of the requirement. If not, the accommodation will be implemented.
h. If the requested accommodation would invalidate or is significantly inconsistent with the objective of the requirement, the committee (or designated members) will promptly and diligently search for alternate accommodations in consultation with the faculty member, DSP&S, and the student. The committee will address the following: (i) are there alternate ways that the student can acquire or demonstrate mastery of the skill that would meet the same fundamental objectives of the course or program; (ii) has the Department/College diligently searched for potential alternatives?; (iii) has the Department/College included all necessary people in the search; (iv) has the Department/College identified whether other postsecondary institutions have identified alternatives that achieve the objectives of the College without fundamentally altering requirements?
i. If identified, alternate accommodations not entailing a fundamental alteration or an undue burden will be implemented. (Final undue burden decisions can only be made by the President of the College.)
j. The Senior Dean will ensure that the student is provided the opportunity to give information to the committee and that the student is given prompt written notice of committee decisions. The Senior Dean will also facilitate any discussions between the student and the committee, department, program or instructor, and DSP&S, concerning accommodations for the student.

To ensure equality of access for students with disabilities, academic accommodations and auxiliary aids shall be provided to the extent necessary to comply with state and federal laws and regulations and shall specifically address those functional limitations of the disability, which adversely affect equal educational opportunity. The goal of all academic accommodations and auxiliary aids is to minimize the effects of the disability on the educational process. The student needs to be given the opportunity both to acquire information and to be evaluated in a way that allows the student to fully demonstrate his/her knowledge of the subject. The goal is not to lower academic standards by giving the student reduced assignments or assignments that are not comparable in content or complexity. The college recognizes that when the severity of a disability of an otherwise qualified student precludes successful completion of a required course, despite a good faith effort on the part of the student to complete the course, and despite provision of accommodations and/or auxiliary aids, a course substitution shall be considered. A complete copy of LMC’s Substitution Policy can be obtained from the DSP&S Program or the Academic Senate.

Overview of the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extends federal civil rights protection in several areas to people who are considered "disabled." Built upon a body of existing legislation, particularly the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act states its purpose as providing "a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities."
The ADA is not an affirmative action statute. Instead, it seeks to dispel stereotypes and assumptions about disabilities, and to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for disabled people. To achieve these objectives, the law prohibits covered entities from excluding people from jobs, services, activities or benefits base on disability. The law provides penalties for discrimination.
Not every disabled person is covered by the ADA. Certain standards must be met for a person to qualify for the act's protections. To be considered "disabled" under the ADA, a person must have a condition that impairs a major life activity or a history of such a condition, or be regarded as having such a condition.
A disabled person must be qualified for the job, program or activity to which he or she seeks access. To be qualified under the ADA, a disabled person must be able to perform the essential functions of a job or meet the essential eligibility requirements of the program or benefit, with or without an accommodation to his or her condition.
Much of the language in the ADA is taken from existing, federal civil rights law and court decisions. Definitions of terms, such as employee, employer, commerce, etc., are taken from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Other terms, such as "reasonable accommodations”; “qualified individual with a disability”; "essential functions" and "undue hardship" come directly from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits federal fund recipients from discriminating on the basis of disability in their programs and activities.
The ADA has five titles, which cover employment, public services and transportation, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions. The various sections of the act become effective at different times. An overview of the separate provisions follows:

Employment (Title I)
The ADA prohibits employers with 15 or more employees (25 or more workers for the first two years at the effective date) from discriminating against qualified job applicants and workers who are or become disabled. The law covers all aspects of employment, including the application and hiring process, on-the-job training, advancement and wages, benefits, and employer-sponsored social activities.
A qualified disabled person is someone who, with or without a reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. An employer must provide reasonable accommodations for disabled workers, unless that would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Public Services and Transportation (Title II)
Title II of the ADA prohibits state and local governments, and educational institutions from discriminating against disabled people in their programs and activities.
The law requires bus and rail transportation to be accessible to disabled passengers. Air transportation is not covered by the ADA. New public buses and new train cars in commuter, subway, intercity (Amtrak) and light rail systems must be accessible to disabled riders. All new stations and facilities and "key" subway and light rail stations must be made accessible. Where fixed-route and rail bus service is offered, a public transit agency must also offer para-transit service.
Public Accommodations (Title III)
The ADA prohibits private operated public accommodations from denying goods, programs and services to people based on their disabilities. Covered businesses must accommodate disabled patrons by changing policies and practices, providing auxiliary aids and improving physical accessibility, unless that would impose an undue burden.
New and renovated commercial buildings must be accessible. Existing public accommodations must remove architectural and communications barriers where such removal is "readily achievable." Title III also requires providers of private transportation service, such as private bus lines and hotel vans, to make their vehicles and facilities accessible.
Telecommunication (Title IV)
Title IV of the ADA requires telephone companies to provide continuous voice transmission relay services that allow hearing and speech-impaired people to communicate over the phone through telecommunications devices for the deaf. In addition, Title IV requires that federally funded television public service messages be closed-captioned for hearing-impaired viewers.
Other Provisions (Title V)
Miscellaneous provisions in Title V require the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board to issue accessibility standards; attorneys fees to be awarded to prevailing parties in suits filed under the ADA; and federal agencies to provide technical assistance. Title V states specifically that illegal use of drugs is not a covered disability under the act. It also provides that states are not immune from suits under the ADA and those other federal, state and local laws that provide equal or greater protection to individuals with disabilities are not superseded or limited by the ADA.

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