Welcome to Jacksonville State University and welcome home! Remember when you enrolled at JSU, you did more than just sign up for classes. You signed up for the resources necessary for success. We recognize disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to our campus community and our society. We strive to create an inclusive and accessible community for our students at JSU. Your staff at Disability Resources look forward to working with you and help make your time at JSU an exciting and memorable adventure.
Here, you will find information relating to the services and supports students can receive through Disability Resources to assist you in being a successful student at JSU. In collaboration with students and faculty, our staff coordinate accommodations and support to ensure equal access to a Gamecock education. We are here to listen, advocate, provide guidance, and connect you to campus and community resources.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this information and if at any point you need further information, a caring person to chat with, or some guidance and advocacy in your journey, Disability Resources is here for you.
Registering for Services and Requesting AccommodationsIn order to receive accommodation, you must first submit a request for accommodations and meet with one of our Disability Specialists to discuss your need. Please note that the accommodations listed in this handbook are comprehensive and may include some accommodations which you may not be eligible to receive. Completing a request does not guarantee you are eligible to receive accommodations.
Once the intake form is received by DR, a staff member will be assigned to you and will reach out to you for the next steps of your request. As part of these next steps, you will need to provide documentation of disability from a qualified healthcare provider, if you have not already done so. It is helpful if documentation includes recommendation of appropriate reasonable accommodations for the post-secondary setting. You can also provide any other relevant information such as psychological testing reports, copies of IEP’s, 504 plans, or other information pertaining to any previous accommodations received. For questions regarding documentation, reference our documentation guidelines later in the document.
Once the intake form is complete and documentation of disability is received, your specialist will develop an Individualized Post-Secondary Plan (IPP) with you. The IPP serves as the request for accommodations in the classroom. It is up to you, the individual student, whether to present your IPP letter (sent electronically from DR at your request) to your instructors and when you choose to do so. It is strongly suggested that you present your letters and discuss your accommodation needs early in the semester. An instructor is not obligated to retroactively provide accommodations. If you feel uncomfortable speaking with an instructor, a DR staff member can assist you. Remember that instructors may have a number of accommodations requests each semester and that you may have to speak with them out of class, during office hours, schedule an appointment, or communicate with them by email to request an online meeting. Students should have a face-to-face conversation with their faculty member either in-person or online to discuss the accommodations. Many students wish to follow up this meeting with an email to make sure your reasonable accommodations are worked out. If there is a problem with your request for accommodations in any course or you have questions about your accommodations, please contact DR as soon as possible.
Self-advocacy is key to becoming self-determined. We want students to be able to choose and set their own goals, make important decisions, and accept responsibility for those decisions. At the beginning of each semester, students will review their course requirements and notify Disability Resources of the courses which they want their accommodation letters sent. Our students then schedule time with their instructors to review the accommodations they are eligible to receive and discuss how those accommodations would be provided.
The Office of Disability Resources provides academic accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities. Students requesting accommodations must provide documentation from an appropriate, qualified healthcare professional. These healthcare professionals are those who are trained, certified, or licensed to diagnose and treat medical or mental health conditions. When a student with a disability needs an academic accommodation in K-12 there is a team of people who are assigned to discuss that student’s needs and instructional accommodations. This is not the case in postsecondary education environments. To receive accommodation in college and university settings, legislation states that a person with a disability must first disclose their disability to the institution.
The following list is suggested documentation that will be helpful to our staff in determining your disability-related information and what reasonable accommodations you may be eligible for and are appropriate in the post-secondary setting. Please know that each request is assessed on an individual basis and information will be gathered when you speak with one of our staff members.
A history of accommodation in and of itself does not promise the provision of a similar accommodation. The appropriate documentation guidelines for a disability are based on the totality of circumstances including objective medical evidence, individualized assessment, and informed clinical opinion so as to establish existence of the impairment and to explore the nature of functional limitations. The final determination of reasonable and appropriate accommodations is made by the Office of Disability Resources.
Documentation should be provided typed, signed, and on letterhead. At minimum the documentation should include: your diagnosis and date of diagnosis, specific evidence of impairment or symptoms, and documentation of any treatment / medication provided that should be considered when making a determination for your accommodation request. You are encouraged to attach any additional information or documents that you feel are relevant in making a determination. Examples of disability-related documentation examples are provided below.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Current audiogram
- High school records
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
- Current ophthalmologist or optometrist report
- High school records
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
- Current medical evaluation
- High school records
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
- Current Individually Administered Intelligence Test
- Current Achievement Test
- Psychologist/Psychometrist Validation of LD or high school records documenting prior identification and/or services as LD student
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
- Psychological Evaluation or ADD/ADHD assessment
- Information from diagnosing physician
- High school records
- Vocational Rehabilitation Records (if applicable)
Traumatic Brain Injury
- Current Individually Administered Intelligence Test
- Current Achievement Test
- Psychologist/Psychometrist Validation of TBI or medical documentation
- Functional limitations evaluation
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
- Letter from physician or any other appropriate professional documenting disability and impact on learning
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
Mental Health Conditions
- Letter from physician or other mental health provider documenting disability and impact on learning
- Vocational Rehabilitation records (if applicable)
In some cases, an injury or illness may substantially limit one or more life activities, but only for a short period of time (i.e., less than six months). In these cases, Disability Resources may be able to offer temporary and limited accommodations for a student on an individual basis. Students with temporary parking needs should discuss their situation with the University Police Department.
Initiating Accommodations Each Semester
Upon receiving accommodation approval, it is your responsibility to follow the process below at the beginning of each semester in each class you are seeking accommodations. Self-advocacy is key to becoming self-determined. Our office wants you to be able to choose and set your own goals, make important decisions, and accept responsibility for those decisions. This includes developing problem-solving skills and taking action to get what you want and need in ways others understand.
- Review your course’s requirements. This includes the design of the course and reading the course syllabus. Consider your individual needs in that course. You may find that some of your accommodations may not be needed or appropriate for each class.
- Contact your Disability Specialist directly or email the general email (email@example.com) a request to have your IPP letter sent. Please include the instructors for the courses you are seeking accommodations and their email address, if known. Your IPP will list the accommodations you are eligible to receive. It does not identify your disability.
- Meet with your instructors. Schedule an individual appointment or visit your faculty member during office hours to review your IPP and discuss how the accommodations will be provided. It is important that you request accommodations early in the semester. An instructor is not obligated to retroactively provide accommodations. If you feel uncomfortable speaking with an instructor, a Disability Resources staff member can assist you. Remember, you are not required to disclose or discuss the nature of your disability.
- Maintain contact with your instructor and your Disability Specialist as needed. It is your responsibility to arrange accommodations as needed. It is beneficial to touch base with your instructors prior to periodic accommodations (e.g., testing accommodations) in advance of needing them. If you need to utilize Testing Services, it is your responsibility to schedule your exams. Remember that instructors may have a number of accommodations requests each semester and that you may have to speak with them out of class or communicate with them by email to make sure your reasonable accommodations are worked out. If there is a problem with your request for accommodations in any course, please contact the Office of Disability Resources as soon as possible.
For some students, it can be intimidating communicating with instructors. You are responsible for communicating with them about accommodations. It is good practice for all students regardless of accommodation to establish and maintain relationships with their instructors. They are there to help ensure your success in their course. In the section below, you will find a list of helpful tips to begin discussing your accommodations with your instructors, if you have decided to share your IPP with them.
- Visit your instructors during their scheduled office hours. This is why they have scheduled office hours – to be available to students. If the office hours conflict with your schedule, reach out to them and schedule an appointment. Many instructors offer virtual meetings as well. Sometimes meeting with an instructor right before or after class is not always the best approach.
- You are encouraged to call your instructor’s office or send an email to your instructor if you have a quick question to ask. Make sure your email or voicemail is professional and appropriate. It is not a text message. It is best if you include your name (first and last) and the course number and section you are taking. Please note that it may take 24-72 hours for a response, and you may not receive a response outside of normal business hours.
- Address any concerns you have directly with your instructor before contacting Disability Resources. It is important that you address any questions or concerns you have as soon as you have them.
- It is a great idea to talk with your professors within the first few weeks of the semester about your accommodations.
Students often find having a template to go by can be helpful in setting up a meeting with their professors. Others want to feel prepared before the meeting and find a script to be helpful in making sure everything that needs to be covered is. If you plan on using the script, be sure to read through the completed script out loud and practice saying it without reading. Below are a few examples to help get you started.
Email Template to Schedule a Meeting:
Dear Professor (Name of faculty member/instructor):
My name is (Insert the name you are registered in the course as and include your preferred or chosen name if applicable). I am in your (name and course number of the course) class on (days) at (start time). I wanted to tell you that I am registered with the Office of Disability Resources, and I have accommodations. I would like to meet with you to talk about my IPP and the accommodations I’ll be using for your class. I am available (provide two or three times that you are free).
Hi Professor (Name of faculty member/instructor), my name is (your name) and I am in your (name of course) class. Thank you for taking time to mee with me today. As you can see by my IPP, I am a student registered with Disability Resources and their office has approved these accommodations specifically for me.
|Discussion of your Accommodations|
I wanted to review my IPP with you which explains the accommodations that I will need for your class. I am strong in (fill in this section with a few of your academic skills or abilities that come easy for you), but the accommodations really help me to (Identify some of your learning challenges/barriers). Although I am approved for all of these accommodations, the accommodation(s), I expect to use in your class is/are: (list the accommodations you need for the course).
Note: You may find that you need different accommodations for different courses. This can be due to a variety of circumstances to include, but are not limited to the course itself, teaching strategies in the classes, etc. Be sure to discuss any specifics about how to work with the accommodations in their class. Clarify any responsibilities. For example, how much notice will you need to provide a reminder/request for testing accommodations. How much extended time do you have on an assignment? How soon after missing a class will you be expected to notify your faculty member?
Thank you for meeting with me and working with me to provide these accommodations. I look forward to your course.
Templates and Scripts Adapted from: Going to College • VCU-RRTC • http://going-to-college.org/campuslife/sharing.html#talking
Common Accommodation Requests
Students applying for a permanent Jacksonville State University accessible parking permit must register for their parking decal before applying for their JSU accessible parking permit at with Parking Services located in the Theron Montgomery Building (TMB), 4th floor at the ID / Student Services window. If you have been issued “disability access parking privileges” by a state (e.g., license plate, placard, or hangtag), you must bring proof to Parking Services (i.e., vehicle registration showing the vehicle is registered to you, written letter from a physician, etc.) and you will be issued a JSU accessible parking hangtag. The Jacksonville State University accessible parking hangtag must be displayed in front of the state-issued hang tag on the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked on campus. Issuance of JSU accessible parking hangtags and enforcement of accessible parking is managed through JSU Parking Services. Please contact JSU Parking Services for questions or additional information.
Students with some disabilities may require additional absences from class or have difficulty submitting assignments due to a temporary or permanent medical condition. To assist students, attendance and assignment deadline accommodations may be in place to support the occasional absence or missed deadline from disability symptoms. Students most likely to request adjusted attendance or assignment deadline policies as an accommodation are those with serious health or mental health related disabilities that flare up episodically (i.e., autoimmune disorders, Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerated colitis, sickle cell anemia, seizures disorders, forms of arthritis, conditions requiring chemotherapy or dialysis, psychiatric disorders, etc. This accommodation is considered on a case by cases basis and is an occasional exception and adjustment to policies when it is educationally feasible. This accommodation offers a bit more flexibility for students and the accommodation may vary from course to course. However, this modification does not mean that unlimited absences or assignment deadline modifications should be permitted. Additionally, absences for a non-disability related reason would not be excused by this accommodation.
Students who are approved for this accommodation are expected to contact their instructors in advance of any anticipated absence when possible. This is especially important when an anticipated absence would result in the student missing a quiz, an exam, or other assignment deadline. For instances where there is an emergency or an unexpected disability-related absence, the student should inform their instructor as soon as possible to explain the absence and discuss any makeup work, when applicable.
In some instances, extended and or excessive absences that would limit workable adjustment options may not be reasonable. As with all accommodations, our office requests students with this accommodation meet with their instructors for each course early in the semester to discuss what this accommodation would look like in their course.Students are required to meet all academic course requirements and to complete all assignments and examinations. Generally, assignments with more than one week to complete should be completed on time with proper time management and planning, and would only warrant an accommodation if there is an unexpected disability-related episode preventing you from following through. The amount of flexibility provided should be determined on the basis of the structure of the course and the essential requirements that a student must complete to fulfill course requirements. This accommodation does not exempt students from meeting the core competencies and objectives of a course regardless of the attendance modification. Continual requests for extensions beyond the agreed upon timeframes, retroactive requests, or requests due to non-disability related reason are not within the scope of this accommodation.
Students with this accommodation can request to have tests, study guides, teacher handouts, etc. be formatted into braille or enlarged print. To make this request, you should email the document or have the instructor email the document to firstname.lastname@example.org with at least 2 days advanced time of it being needed. If the document is a math document that needs to be brailed, a week of lead time will be needed.
If documents are not in electronic format (word document), or if the document is more than 3 pages, The Office of Disability Resources will need a longer lead time to get the document formatted. It is your responsibility to pick the document up in a timely manner.
You may request alternative textbook formats as a reasonable accommodation, based on your diagnoses and approved accommodation. It is imperative that you contact the Office of Disability Resources regarding alternative textbook requests as soon as possible before the beginning of each semester. You can email email@example.com to submit the request. Your request must include the following information:
- Your name and Student ID#
- Book title (Include ISBN number, if known)
- Book author
- Edition needed
- Class for which book is needed
- Desired alternate format
In order to release any alternative texts, a receipt of purchase for all books must be on file in the Office of Disability Resources. If you prefer audio versions of the textbooks, you should obtain a membership with Bookshare or with Learning Ally.
DR has several types of assistive technology that can be signed out on loan to students. These items are loaned out on a first come, first serve basis.
In order to borrow equipment from DR, the student must come into the office and sign an Equipment Loan Agreement for the item. The item must be returned at the end of each semester. Failure to return the equipment by the end of the semester in good working condition will result in a charge being placed on the JSU student account for the replacement amount of the equipment and will forfeit any future loan of DR equipment.
Most of the building and facilities on JSU’s campus pre-date the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and modifications have been made to make the facilities more accessible. If you have difficulty entering or utilizing physical spaces on campus, please contact DR regarding your concerns. Some modifications or adjustments can be addressed quickly with the help of building managers and JSU Capital Planning and Facilities. Other accessibility concerns can be prioritized for modification as they are identified.
If you have a question about restricted elevator access in a building, please know that those buildings will allow you to check out a key for the semester/s that you will be attending classes in the building. To check out an elevator key for Stone Center, please see someone in Dean of Arts and Humanities’ Office.
If there is a need to change a class location due to accessibility issues or if you need an accommodation regarding seating, desk, or workstation in the classroom, please contact the DR office prior to the beginning of classes to arrange the necessary and appropriate adjustments and accommodations. If the need is identified or develops after the start of classes, please contact your faculty member and your DR specialist as soon as the barrier is identified.
Housing accommodations can be provided to students with a documented disability whose ability to live in a standard housing environment is impacted. Students may require accommodations such as a private room, private bathroom, wheelchair access, visual fire alarm, kitchen access, among others. Disability Resources will coordinate with Housing Operations and Residence Life to work out any needed accommodations. In order to receive housing accommodations, you will need to complete the following:
- Apply for University Housing- Only accepted students can apply for housing. You will need your MyJaxState username and password before applying. You will also need to pay the non-refundable application fee.
- Register for DR Services- There are two ways that students can apply for DR services. Students may submit the online request for services form or fill out an intake form in the DR office. The printable version of the intake form is available on the DR website. An online form can be submitted electronically through the Office of Disability Resources’ website.
- Submit Documentation to Disability Resources
- DR will work to arrange accommodations for Housing Operations and Residence Life-Please note that students requesting accommodations for residence halls should submit the request as early as possible, preferably before the May 1st priority date. Every effort will be made to arrange reasonable accommodations, but this becomes increasingly difficult as residence halls approach capacity before the fall semester.
Students with disabilities are assigned roommates in the same manner as all other applicants unless they specifically request a private room and depending on availability.
Our office recognizes that some students require and benefit from the use of service and emotional support animals. The policies regarding the use of service and support animals in housing is outlined below.
Service and Emotional Support Animals Policy
Jacksonville State University is committed to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities who require the assistance of “service animals” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and “emotional support animals” under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The University is also mindful of the health and safety concerns of the campus community. The University must balance the need of the individual with the disability with the potential impact of the animal on other members of the campus community. This policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of service and emotional support animals. The University reserves the right to amend this policy as circumstances require. The successful implementation of the policy requires the cooperation of individuals, faculty, and staff.
Disability: “Disability” is defined as a physical, mental, or medical condition or impairment that limits one or more of a person’s major life activities or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques. These limitations may include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning.
Owner: The “owner” is the student or individual who has made the requested accommodation and has received approval for an Emotional Support Animal or is the individual who owns a service animal.
Service Animal: A “service animal” as defined in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is any animal (most often a dog) that is individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including physical, psychiatric, intellectual, sensory, or other mental disabilities. The tasks a service animal provides is directly related to the functional limitations of the individual’s disability and include but are not limited to guiding individuals with visual impairments; alerting persons with hearing loss to intruders or sound; providing minimal (non-violent) protection or rescue work; pulling a wheelchair; assisting an individual during a seizure; or fetching dropped items. A service animal may be present in residence halls as well as academic buildings and other campus facilities unless the animal presents an unreasonable threat to health or safety. Animals younger than 4 months of age are not considered service animals. A pet or other animal whether the animal is trained or untrained whose sole function is to provide companionship, comfort, or emotional support does not qualify as a service animal.
Emotional Support Animal: An “emotional support animal’ (“ESA”) is an animal that provides comfort to an individual with a disability upon the recommendation of a qualified healthcare or mental health professional. An emotional support animal does not assist persons with a disability with activities of daily living but rather its role is to live with a student and alleviate the symptoms of an individual’s disability to provide equal opportunities to use and enjoy residential life at the University. An ESA is primarily limited to residence halls and designated outdoor areas on campus and is not permitted in academic buildings and other campus facilities. Animals younger than 4 months of age are not considered emotional support animals. An emotional support animal is not a service animal. Emotional Support Animals are governed through Housing and Urban Development’s Section 504 regulation and the Fair Housing Act.
Pet: A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship unrelated to a disability. A pet is not considered a service animal or an emotional support animal, and therefore, is not covered by this policy. Individuals are not allowed to have pets on university property, except where allowed by Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life and Residence Life in specific housing units. Students are encouraged to contact housing about specific pet-friendly housing areas.
Reasonable Accommodation: A reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces.
Responsibility of Persons with Service or Emotional Support Animals
Care and Supervision: Care and supervision of the service or emotional support animal is the sole responsibility of the student who benefits from the animal’s use. The student is required to maintain control of the animal at all times. The student is responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal’s waste and, when appropriate, must relieve the animal in areas designated by the University. Animal owners should purchase and utilize disposal bags for solid pet waste and place in trash receptacles. Students accompanied by assistance animals must comply with local laws and public health requirements concerning vaccinations, licensing, and registration that applies to all animals of that species. Appropriate vaccination/health records (which may vary depending on the type of animal) must be submitted to Disability Resources before emotional support animals can be brought to campus. Annual updates regarding the ESA’s health and vaccinations are required to be submitted by the student. The University may ask that the animal be removed if it is deemed to be neglected or in need of medical care.
Health and Safety: The student is responsible to ensure that the health and safety of others is not threatened by a service animal or emotional support animal. Similarly, animals authorized to live in university housing must not interfere with others’ enjoyment of the residential space (e.g., by barking except in conditions consistent with the animals training, creating unsanitary conditions, etc.). The University reserves the right to request vaccination and licensing information for emotional support animals, but this information will not be requested for service animals.
Emergency Contact Information: Students with service animals are encouraged to voluntarily register their service animals with Disability Resources to assist with the identification of the service animal in the event of an emergency. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) must be registered. Students with ESAs are to provide emergency contact information to Disability Resources and Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life in the event that the owner of an ESA is hospitalized or there is another form of emergency where the owner is incapacitated and unable to care for the animal. These shall be individuals who agree to remove the ESA from campus for temporary care. Failure or refusal to remove the ESA may result in the University relocating the ESA to an animal boarding facility at the student’s expense.
Other Conditions: In response to a particular situation, Jacksonville State University may impose reasonable conditions or restrictions, if necessary to ensure the health, safety, and reasonable enjoyment of others.
Misrepresentation of Service or Assistance Animals
According to Ala. Code 1975 § 21-7-4, A person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents himself or herself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, and in addition to any fines and penalties provided by law, shall perform 100 hours of community service for an organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for another entity or organization, at the discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than six months. A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection of code shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100).
The Alabama Assistance and Service Animal Integrity in Housing Act prohibits the misrepresentation of entitlement to an assistance animal (e.g., an emotional support animal) or service animal (Ala. Code 1975 § 24-8A-4). A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of entitlement to an assistance animal or service animal if the person intentionally 1) misrepresents to another person that a person has a disability or disability-related need for the use of an assistance animal or service animal in housing; or 2) makes materially false statements for the purpose of obtaining documentation for the use of an assistance animal or service animal in housing.
This law further prohibits the misrepresentation of an animal as an assistance animal or service animal. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of an animal as an assistance animal or service animal if a person intentionally 1) creates a document that misrepresents an animal as an assistance animal or service animal for use in housing; 2) provides a document to another person falsely stating that an animal is an assistance animal or service animal for use in housing; or 3) fits an animal, which is not an assistance animal or service animal, with a harness, collar, vest, or sign that the pet is an assistance animal or service animal for use in housing.
Upon first offense, a violation of either provision shall be subject to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) or treated as a Class C misdemeanor. Any second or subsequent violation shall be a Class B misdemeanor.
Any concern regarding a potential violation under this section may be reported to the JSU Police Department.
Expectations of Faculty, Staff, and Other Members of the University Community
Members of the University community are expected to abide by the following practices:
- Allow a service animal to accompany its owner at all times and in all places on campus, except where the presence of the service animal would present an unreasonable threat to health or safety. In extraordinary situations or settings, such as animal research laboratories and areas housing research or teaching animals, it may be necessary to ban service animals. In those situations, the University will work with individual to determine other options for the individual to receive the benefit of the University’s program.
- Do not touch or pet service or emotional support animal without express permission from owner.
- Do not feed a service or emotional support animal.
- Do not deliberately startle a service or emotional support animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate an owner from his or her service or emotional support animal.
- Do not inquire for details about a person’s disabilities. The nature of a person’s disability is a private matter.
Removal of Service or Emotional Support Animal
The owner of a service or emotional support animal may be asked to remove the animal from university facilities if the owner or animal fails to comply with the policy. The following describes behaviors which may result in the removal of the animal.
Disruptive Behavior: An animal may be removed if its behavior is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, growling, damaging personal belongings of individuals’ other than the owner, running around, or displaying aggressive behavior). The owner may be prohibited from bringing the animal on campus until the owner takes significant and effective remedial steps to correct the animal’s behavioral problems. Disruptive or destructive behavior of service animals or ESA’s may be considered a violation of the JSU Student Code of Conduct.
Poor Health: Animals with health conditions that pose a threat to others are not permitted.
Uncleanliness: The animal must be kept clean and free of pests. Owners who fail to properly clean up and dispose of the animal’s waste may be required to remove the animal from university property. It is the responsibility of the owner to relieve the animal in designated areas and to bag and dispose of solid pet waste in a trash receptacle. An animal that becomes wet from walking in the rain, mud, but is otherwise clean, is considered a clean animal.
Responsibility for Damage and/or Uncleanliness: Owners of service or emotional support animals are solely responsible for any damage to persons or property caused by their animal. The owner’s residence and/or work area may be inspected for physical damage, fleas, ticks, or other pests. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence or work area will be treated using approved fumigation methods from a university-approved pest control service. The owner will be billed for the expense of any treatment. The owner’s residence and/or work area may be inspected to ensure that it is being properly cleaned and that sanitary and safe conditions are maintained. If required, the owner will be billed for the expense of the additional cleaning required.
Service and Emotional Support Animals in University Housing
Service and emotional support animals may not reside in university housing without express written approval of university officials. Student requests should begin in the Office of Disability Resources (DR) (2nd Floor, Houston Cole Library) who will verify the need for reasonable accommodations. If the request is approved, DR staff will communicate with appropriate staff in Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life about the request for service animal or ESA. Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life may make adjustments on room assignments as needed to ensure that the preferences of students not wishing to live with animals are respected. Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life will obtain a roommate memorandum of agreement for those living in the same room as someone utilizing a service or emotional support animal. Faculty or staff requests for reasonable accommodations including service and emotional support animals should be directed to the Human Resources.
If it is readily apparent that the individual has a disability and that the animal is a service animal, no further information will be requested. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a “service animal” such request should be processed as follows:
- A student requesting to live with a service animal should provide the Office of Disability Resources AND Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life with as much notice as possible.
- An individual may be asked if the service animal is required because of a disability and to explain the work or task that the animal has been trained to perform. The animal will not be required to demonstrate this task and no documentation of training will be required.
Emotional support animals
- A student requesting an emotional support animal should provide the Office of Disability Resources and Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life with as much notice as possible. A student is not permitted to live with an emotional assistance animal until expressly approved to do so by both offices. Disability Resources will review submitted information and determine if a qualifying disability exists.
- All students requesting accommodations, including those involving an emotional support animal, must complete Request for Services form.
- The form will be reviewed, and the request will be assigned to a Disability Specialist.
- The student should provide a signed letter, on professional letterhead, from a qualified medical or mental healthcare professional. This can include the person’s psychiatrist, licensed mental health provider (LPC or LICSW), licensed psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or medical practitioner (M.D., DO, CRNP). The provider or therapist should have a clinical, therapeutic, or treatment-based relationship with the student requesting accommodation, be licensed in Alabama or the student’s home state, and be familiar with the professional literature concerning the assistive and/or therapeutic benefits of assistance animals for people with disabilities. Staff employed in Counseling Services may not be able to issue documentation regarding requests for ESA’s.
Some websites market and sell certifications, registrations, and other licensing documents for assistance animals to anyone who completes a brief survey or answers a brief questionnaire and pays a fee. These forms of documentation from such vendors may not be considered reliable. Documentation lacking a demonstration of an evaluation that the provider has personally evaluated/treated a student are likely to be considered unreliable. Under the Fair Housing Act, reliable documentation may be requested when an individual is requesting a reasonable accommodation and the disability-related need for an accommodation is not obvious or otherwise known. Documentation from the internet is not, by itself, sufficient to reliably establish that an individual has a non-observable disability or disability-related need for an assistance animal. We recognize that some healthcare professionals do deliver services remotely including over the internet. All requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, the letter should include the following terms:
- The credentials and contact information of the evaluators.
- The provider’s professional opinion or diagnostic statement that the individual’s condition qualifies as a disability and the basis for that opinion. The provider has a personal knowledge of the individual.
- The provider’s opinion that the emotional support animal is required to help alleviate symptoms associated with the person’s disability and to allow the person to use and enjoy university housing services.
- A description of the comfort of assistance that the animal will provide or how that animal serves as an accommodation for the verified disability.
- The letter from the provider must be signed by the provider with their credentials listed and on their official letterhead.
- The Office of Disability Resources will review documentation and, if the Office of Disability Resources determines a qualifying disability exists, it will forward a recommendation to the Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life. If the student is approved for an ESA, the Disability Specialist will have the student complete a Memorandum of Understanding and will forward it to Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life. An Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life staff member will meet with the student requesting that an emotional support animal be housed in university housing, as housing deems appropriate. This policy will be carefully reviewed with the person at that time. The request for an ESA may be denied if proper documentation is not presented or if such an accommodation is deemed unreasonable. Examples of unreasonable accommodations may include one that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others that is not able to be mitigated by another reasonable accommodation, the animal would cause substantial physical damage to property or belongings that cannot be mitigated by another reasonable accommodation, one that provides an undue administrative or fiscal burden to the university, etc. The submission of a request for an ESA does not guarantee the specific accommodation request will be approved. Students are expected to complete the ESA request process and receive approval from Disability Resources and Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life before engaging in any activities or behavior related to the requested ESA accommodation.
Service and Emotional Support Animals in Areas other than a Residential Unit
If it is readily apparent that the individual has a disability and that the animal is a service animal, no further information will be requested. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a “service animal”, the individual will be asked if the service animal is required because of a disability and to explain the work or task that the animal has been trained to perform. The animal will not be required to demonstrate this task and no documentation of training will be required. Emotional Support Animals should remain primarily in the residential unit and should not be present in academic buildings or other campus facilities.
Visitors are permitted to bring service animals to campus in accordance with ADA and existing policy. Visitors may not bring emotional support animals. All visitors with service animals must adhere to the same service animal policies, guidelines, and mandates as students attending JSU.
JSU’s Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life will make a reasonable effort to notify individuals in the residence hall where the animal will be located of the existence of a service or emotional support animal in the building.
Individuals with medical condition(s) that are affected by animals (respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) should contact Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life if they have a health or safety-related concern about exposure to a service or emotional support animal. The individual will be asked to provide medical documentation that identifies the condition(s) and will allow determination to be made as to whether the condition is disabling and whether there is a need for an accommodation.
Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life will resolve any conflict in a timely manner, considering the conflicting needs and/or accommodations of all persons involved. In the event an agreement cannot be reached; the final decision will be made through the applicable grievance policies.
Questions or concerns related to this policy should be addressed to:
- Disability Resources, 2nd Floor, Houston Cole Library (256-782-8380)
- Office of Housing Operations and Residence Life 111 Angle Hall (256-782-5122)
- VP for Student Success, 1st Floor, Houston Cole Library (256-782-5020)
Adapted from Syracuse University Service and Emotional Support Animals policy. Consulted with websites from University of Minnesota, Catholic University of America, NACUA Notes, Brigham Young University, Columbia University, University of Alabama – Birmingham, and University of South Alabama for additional adaptations.
Additional Resources and References below.
Any student requesting an interpreter or captionist should first be enrolled in the DR program. Once a student is enrolled, the interpreter/captionist request can be found online on the DR webpage. A request should be completed for each class or academic meeting that an interpreter or captionist is needed.
Requests for interpreters and captionists should be made in a timely manner with at least 24-hour notice.
DR makes every effort to honor requests from students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing for interpreting and captioning services. However, there may be instances when an assignment cannot be filled, and alternate arrangements may need to be made.
The Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services will assign interpreters and captionists based on the course subject matter, student’s communication style, and skills and availability of interpreters and captionists.
If a student is dissatisfied with his/her interpreting or captioning services, the student should first approach the service provider to discuss the problem. If this does not resolve the issue, the student should contact the Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, or the Director of DR.
Starting from the time an assignment is scheduled to begin, interpreters and captionists may wait ten minutes for a student to arrive. If the student does not arrive within that time frame, the interpreter or captionist is free to leave. Students should make every effort to notify their service provider in advance when they will be unable to attend a class or scheduled meeting.
Students will receive captioned notes by email within approximately 24 hours after class is dismissed.
If an interpreter or speech-to-text service has been requested, and you know that you will be unable to attend class, you should provide your Service Provider with at least 24 hours advanced notice. In some situations, students may not be able to provide 24 hours notice; however, any advanced notice is helpful. Failure to provide any advanced notice is considered a “No-Show”. To give advance notice a student should Communicate directly with their Service Provider the class and day student will not be able to attend.
After the third (3rd) “No-Show”: Services will be temporarily suspended. Services will remain suspended until the student makes an appointment and meets with the Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.
Jacksonville State University requires that all first-year students living on campus (with the exception of those residing in apartment areas) purchase a meal plan, to ensure nutrition and well-being. At times, students with a documented disability may need accommodations to the required meal plan. The student should first meet directly with Dining Services to discuss options and dietary needs. If Dining Services is unable to meet the needs of the student, Disability Resources will assist with reasonable meal plan accommodations.
Preferential seating refers to a student’s need to sit in a specific location in the classroom that is most beneficial to learning. A student may need to sit away from doors or windows, at the back of the classroom, or in the front, all depending on the individual student’s needs. This should be an arrangement between the instructor and the student. Disability Resources will be available to assist with the arrangement.
Students receiving accommodations through Disability Resources will receive priority registration as an accommodation. Priority registration enables students with disabilities needing this accommodation the ability to register early each academic semester. The purpose of priority registration is to allow students with disabilities the ability to schedule classes in a manner which allows their schedule to conform to the needs associated with their disability. The Office of Disability Resources will send out at least one email to all registered students a month prior to the priority registration date as a reminder.
Please note that Disability Resources is not able to remove holds from your accounts. You should regularly monitor your MyJaxState account and your JSU Navigate App and address any holds that appear.
Steps are as follows:
- Consult with your academic advisor for course scheduling.
- Complete Trial Schedule form with your advisor.
- Bring or email your completed and signed trial registration form to Disability Resources to receive priority registration pin number.
- Go to MyJaxState to register. A DR staff member is available if you need assistance.
When a disability impacts a major life activity such as learning, it can often inhibit a student’s ability to take adequate notes while also attending to lectures, classroom discussions, or presentations. In order to provide equality in these areas, note-taking may be requested as an accommodation. There are two primary methods utilized for notetaking. You may utilize a peer-note taker. This is the most common method and is when another student assists with taking notes. You may also utilize an electronic method of note taking using a recording device with specific software to assist transcribing notes. Even with the note taking accommodation, students are encouraged to take their own notes. This accommodation does not lessen your academic responsibilities (e.g., learning, attendance, and participation); however, it does assist you in capturing and organizing information. If you are absent from the class, you may not receive the notes under this accommodation. Notes are only expected for the dates you are in attendance.
If this is an accommodation you are eligible for, you should ensure your instructor receives a copy of your IPP and then meet with that instructor as early in the semester as possible. Typically, your instructor will arrange for a note taker by asking for a volunteer. During your initial meeting with the instructor, you should discuss whether you want the note taker to know your identity. If you choose to disclose, you and the note taker can arrange when and how you would like to receive a copy of the notes. If you choose to remain anonymous, you should work with your instructor to determine a process for receiving the notes. NCR (carbon) paper is also available for students in the DR office.
Students encountering limitations or barriers related to exams or testing environments may be eligible for exam accommodations. If you need to request exam accommodations, you should communicate with your Disability Specialist.
Common examples and types of testing accommodations:
- Extended times for exams.
- Taking the test or exam in a distraction reduced environment.
- Using assistive technology.
- Brailled and alternative media formats
- Short Breaks
You should reach out to your instructors to discuss accommodations early in the semester. The preferred method to provide exam or testing modifications is through your own testing environment. This allows you to have access to your instructor or their designee just as the other students would. If your instructor determines that you are not able to have your specific accommodation met, proctoring can be arranged through Testing Services in the Student Success Center. Testing Services is a convenient location to assist you and your instructors with providing exam accommodations for those that need to be completed in a distraction reduced environment or in some cases, extended time. Testing Services is located on the Ground Floor of the Houston Cole Library in Room B22. To contact Testing Services and schedule an exam or for more information you can call 256-782-TEST (8378) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to schedule with as much advanced notice as possible.
Students with a documented disability may be eligible to receive reasonable accommodations for national and standardized exams. Students should contact the corresponding testing agency to request accommodations. JSU Testing Services administers certain state and standardized exams such the PRAXIS and ACT. A full list of tests administered at Testing Services can be found on the Testing Services website.
Accommodations are only determined by the corresponding testing agency. Disability Resources can assist students with completing requirements and supporting documentation for requesting accommodations from testing agencies, if necessary, but is ultimately not responsible for making determinations of eligibility for national and standardized testing. For questions or more information, contact Testing Services by phone 256-782-TEST (8378) or email email@example.com. You may also contact the testing agency for specific accommodation information. Below you will find some of the most frequently utilized national and standardized exams by JSU students:
- The American College Testing (ACT) Exams
- The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Exams
- The English-Language proficiency assessments (TOEFL IBT and TOEFL Essentials) by ETS
- The Graduation Record Exam (GRE) by ETS
- The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
- The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) through AAMC
- The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) through NCSBN
- The North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NVALE)
- The Praxis Test by ETS
- The Professional Engineering Exams through NCEES
- The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
While the Office of Disability Resources seeks to meet the unique needs of students, there are some services that we do not provide. These are outlined below:
- Assessments – One of the primary ways to establish a student’s eligibility for accommodations is through a variety of clinical or medical assessments. The Office of Disability Resources does not conduct assessments. However, we are able to refer you or provide you with information to providers that can complete the assessments you are seeking.
- Therapy – We understand that students face a multitude of challenges and stressors that can be overwhelming. When working with these issues and crises it is hard to focus on your academic success. If you need support or someone to talk to, please consider working with our Counseling Services and find the support you need. While this office does not provide therapeutic intervention (mental health counseling and psychotherapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc.) we can connect you to the services you need.
- Accessible Parking Placards and Stickers – Students in need of temporary or permanent accessible parking must register through Parking Services located in the Theron Montgomery Building (TMB), 4th Floor at the ID/Student Services Window. Reference the section on Accessible Parking above. There may be times where students need access to an application to apply for a ‘Disability Access Parking Privileges” through the Alabama Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division. We are able to assist you with access to the application in an effort to help you obtain access placards and/or license plates.
- Animals – Disability Resources does not locate, provide, or assign animals to students seeking service animals or emotional support animals.
Rights and Responsibilities
The Office of Disability Resources offers support services to any qualified student with a disability who requests such services. Students have the right to equal access to courses services, programs, jobs, activities, and facilities offered at JSU. They have the right to an equal opportunity to learn and work. Students have the right to receive reasonable accommodations that they qualify for and receive information in accessible formats warranted by provided documentation. They have the right to confidentiality of information regarding their disabilities except disclosures that are required or permitted by law.
- Meet qualifications and standards for courses, programs, services, employment, activity, and facilities.
- Self-identify as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and to seek information, advice, and assistance within a reasonable amount of time.
- Provide documentation from an appropriate professional about their disability and how it limits participation in courses, programs, services, employment, activities, or facilities.
- Arrange schedules and transportation.
- Adhere to all standards of conduct, rules, and regulations of JSU.
- Meet criteria in the courses of study (e.g., attendance and grading policies).
- Sit in a place that provides the best opportunity for learning given the learning environment and accommodations you receive.
- Meet with their Disability Specialist as early in the semester as possible to assure appropriate accommodations are in place and work with their instructor to create an agreement that will assure student learning outcomes can be met in the course.
- Notify instructors, disability specialist, and any staff providing accommodations in the event they have difficulty receiving services or will not need them on a day they were previously scheduled (e.g., due to missing a class or a class being cancelled).
- Collaborating with students with disabilities and the Office of Disability Resources to create an accessible classroom and learning experience.
- Provide the approved accommodations, outlined on the students IPP in a fair and timely manner.
- Encourage students with disabilities to approach you early in the semester and be available for accommodation conversations. Doing this during office hours or scheduled appointments offer the best opportunity to discuss in a manner that protects the student’s privacy. Focus conversations and questions on how to best provide the accommodations within the context of your course.
- Protect the student’s privacy. Their IPP is confidential and should not be shared without the student’s prior written permission. Faculty are responsible for sharing the information with teaching assistance whose responsibilities include providing oversight or implementing the student’s accommodations.
- Accommodations may be requested at any point in the semester, but they are not retroactive.
- Grade the performance of a student with disabilities as you would all other students.
- The Office of Disability Resources is a resource for faculty and staff. We welcome you to contact us with your disability and accommodation-related questions.
Information that is related to a student’s disability is protected as students are entitled to confidentiality of this information under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Office of Disability Resources treats all student information as confidential; therefore, medical, psychological, and educational information contained in the DR record will be maintained as protected and confidential. Faculty members do not need to have access to information regarding a student’s disability, only the accommodation(s) that are appropriate and necessary to meet the student’s needs. Records are held and maintained in compliance with applicable state and federal laws (e.g., FERPA and HIPAA, where applicable) concerning medical records and professional codes of conduct.
It is the student’s decision whether to share disability-related information with instructors or staff. Students who wish to request accommodations are responsible for making that request and sharing their accommodations with the instructor through the Individualized Postsecondary Plan (IPP). The IPP only contains information related to the student’s accommodations. There is no information listed about the student’s diagnosis or disability in this plan.
The Office of Disability Resources cannot normally discuss any information about a student’s progress at Jacksonville State University with a third party, including parents, unless the student authorizes us to do so in writing in advance. Authorization can be obtained on the Request for Services Intake Form and the JSU Authorization for Release of Medical Information. The student may also provide authorization through the University’s PROXY process through the Registrar’s Office. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the University policy regarding the release and disclosure of student information generally prohibits the Office of Disability Resources from disclosing confidential information to anyone but the student without prior consent.
There are limits to confidentiality when a student discloses that they are at risk for harming themselves or others or in cases where information involving child or elder abuse is disclosed.
Our Mission and Overview of Disability Rights
Individuals with disabilities are entitled by law to equal access to postsecondary programs. There are two laws that protect persons with disabilities in postsecondary education: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. No. 93-112, as amended) and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (Pub. L. No. 1001-336). According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990), a student with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment, has a history of impairment, or is believed to have a disability that substantially limits a major life activity such as learning, speaking, seeing, hearing, breathing, walking, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks.