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Disability Support Services at Holy Names University

Holy Names University is committed to fostering diversity and promoting cultural competency. In accordance with this value in line with and federal and state civil rights law, HNU strives to be accessible and inclusive for students with disabilities. HNU meets this need through the Disability Support Services (DSS) office on campus.

DSS can best assist students in the context of a partnership based on mutual responsibility and clear communication. Students are expected to maintain ongoing communication with DSS, with Faculty and with other staff on campus regarding their need for accommodations and special services. Staff and faculty can be expected to work with students to implement reasonable accommodations and to make every effort to find solutions to problems in good faith.

To request accommodations at Holy Names University:

  1. Contact DSS by calling, emailing, or stopping by:
    Disability Support Services
    510-436-1394
    dss@hnu.edu
    Located in Hester, room 5;
    Office hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
  2. Submit documentation from your healthcare provider and/or previous schools. Your documentation needs will vary depending on the nature of your disability. Complete an intake with the DSS Coordinator. An intake takes roughly 30 minutes and includes a personal interview about the nature of your disability and a review of your accommodation needs.
  3. Once accommodations and approved, activate your accommodations and pick up your official accommodation letters to distribute to your instructors. You will need to activate and receive new letters each semester.

Rights and Responsibilities of HNU Students with Disabilities:

  • You have the right to request accommodations.
  • You have the responsibility to disclose your disability, its impact, and make accommodation requests in a timely manner.
  • You have the right to express concerns of discrimination to DSS, including identifying barriers to access as you encounter them.
  • You have the responsibility to supply documentation of your disability to DSS and allow for a reasonable time period while your documentation and requests are reviewed.
  • You have the right to have your personal information, including medical and educational records, kept private and confidential in accordance with the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • You have the responsibility to grant explicit permission for HNU DSS staff to communicate with your healthcare professionals and others in your support system.
  • You have the right to be included in the logistics of implementing your accommodations and to work collaboratively with faculty and staff in order to meet your educational needs.
  • You have the responsibility to understand that accepted documentation and approved accommodations at HNU may not transfer to, or qualify you for, accommodations at outside institutions, including but not limited to post-graduate testing agencies, accrediting bodies, or professional schools. It is your responsibility to facilitate communication between institutions and ensure that your documentation meets other schools’ eligibility criteria.

Documentation Requirements:

Documentation of your disability must support the need for accommodations. The DSS Coordinator can assist you in determining what documentation is required in relation to specific accommodation needs. In general, documentation must include the following information:

  1. Specific diagnosis and its current status, i.e. acute, permanent, in treatment, remissive, etc.
  2. A brief history of the student and his or her disability, including a list of accommodations that have been effective in past academic environments, if applicable.
  3. A summary of the impact of the disability on the student’s life, including a review of functional limitations and a description of the barriers likely to arise in a postsecondary educational setting.
  4. Recommendations for accommodations.
  5. Documentation must be prepared and signed by a qualified professional.

Students are encouraged to submit documentation as soon as possible in order to facilitate accommodations in a timely manner.

Appeal and Grievance Procedures

At any time a student may file an appeal related to their eligibility for or access to disability support services (including specific accommodations) through the following channels:

Students seeking adjustment or augmentation of their existing accommodations should do so by submitting a request in writing to the Coordinator of DSS. Additional documentation may be required.

Students who wish to appeal the Coordinator’s decision regarding his or her eligibility for DSS or for a particular accommodation would submit their appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Students who wish to file a complaint regarding the provision (or lack of) accommodation by a faculty, staff, or other member of the University would also do so first in writing to the Coordinator of DSS, who will conduct a review and make a determination.

Students who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of a disability, regardless of their status with DSS, should do so by following the university process outlined in the policy on discrimination.

The Coordinator of DSS does not review grade appeals. If a student believes they have received a grade in error because accommodations were not provided they should notify the Coordinator of DSS (see #3). Students wishing to appeal a grade should do so through the process outlined in the HNU catalog and information regarding outcome of a review of provision of accommodations will be provided by the Coordinator as part of the grade appeal review process.

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