Disability Services Program

Intent

Ohio Technical College does not discriminate against students, applicants, visitors or employees on the basis of disability.  It is the intent of OTC’s Disability Services Program to provide all students with disabilities equal access to the education provided through the college.

Policy Statement

In compliance with the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Ohio Technical College has established a comprehensive Disability Services Program.

Policy

Ohio Technical College will accommodate students and applicants with disabilities where the individual is otherwise qualified to meet the fundamental requirements and aspects of a program offered at OTC and otherwise in compliance with applicable law.  Discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual, asserted, or perceived disability status is prohibited by OTC.

In response to a request for accommodation, Ohio Technical college will offer to make an accommodation where the student is otherwise qualified, the accommodation would be effective and not alter a fundamental aspect of an Ohio Technical College program of instruction, or impose an undue hardship on Ohio Technical College when there are equivalent alternatives.  Once approved, no individual instructor will have unilateral authority to deny an eligible student a college approved accommodation.

 

Procedure for Students with Disabilities

When a student requests assistance, the student will be provided with an Accommodation for Disability Form to complete. Once the Form has been completed, the student will turn in the Form and necessary supporting documentation to the VP of Education who will act as the main point of contact for the student seeking the accommodation.

The VP of Education will meet with the student, review their paperwork and discuss the student’s needs for accommodation. The VP of Education will seek input from not only the student, but college staff, Department Heads, and others who have experience and/or expertise in the area of disability services.

Following appropriate consultation, the VP of Education will make a decision as to the accommodation to be provided.  If the request for accommodation is denied, the letter of denial will include specific reasons for the denial and the student may request a meeting with the College President to review and discuss the decision. If approved, the VP of Education will generate a Letter of Accommodation for the student to provide to their instructors.  The instructors are then responsible for meeting the needs of the student as detailed in the Letter of Accommodation.  The Department Heads will be involved as needed to assist instructors with making and adhering to the appropriate accommodations.

College staff designated to oversee the academic adjustments/auxiliary aids and services shall distribute a list of these to all faculty of the student enrolled in their courses.   No individual instructor will have unilateral authority to deny an eligible student an academic adjustment or other accommodation that has been approved by OTC pursuant to the policy and procedure stated in this document.  A faculty member’s challenge to implementation shall not be considered cause to reconsider the accommodation. However, should a Department Head raise a validated concern that the approved accommodation may in fact require modification of an essential element of a program, the VP of Education may reopen the interactive process outlined above to determine an alternative adjustment that does not result in a fundamental alteration of an essential element of a program.

Procedure for Visitors with Disabilities

If an individual with a disability is visiting the school, it is their responsibility to notify a school representative that they have a disability and request accommodation. In the event that a visitor makes their disability known, the visitor should be connected with the VP of Student Engagement to discuss the available accommodations.

Once the VP of Student Engagement and the visitor have discussed and agreed on the accommodation(s), the facilities department will be contacted to help prepare for the visit.

Procedure for Employees with Disabilities

If an employee with a disability requires assistance, it is their responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing. An individual should request accommodation from the Human Resources (HR) Department. Once the request has been made, an HR representative may request documentation that validates the need for accommodation. Once a decision has been made, the employee and their supervisor will be so informed, and appropriate steps will be taken to implement the agreed accommodation(s).

OTC Contact Information:

Please check with Ohio Technical College reception for current information at 1-216-881-1700 or 1-800-322-7000.

VP of Education:  Michael Peth, mpeth@ohiotech.edu

Compliance Manager:  Cara Kirtley, ckirtley@ohiotech.edu

VP of Student Engagement:  Bonnie LaCorte, blacorte@ohiotech.edu

Human Resources:  Shirley Cline, scline@ohiotech.edu

SECTION 504 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

It is the policy of Ohio Technical College (“OTC”) not to discriminate based on disability.  OTC has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations implementing the Act.  Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.  The Law and Regulations may be examined in the office of Mike Peth, VP of Education (mpeth@ohiotech.edu, 1-216-881-1700), who has been designated to coordinate OTC’s efforts under Section 504 is the Section 504 Coordinator.

Any person, including employees, students and third parties, who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination based on disability carried out by other employees, other students or other third parties may file a grievance under this procedure.  It is against the law for OTC to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance.

The procedure consists of the following elements:

  • Grievances must be submitted to the Section 504 Coordinator within five working days of the date the person filing the grievance becomes aware of the alleged discriminatory action.
  • A complaint must be in writing, containing the name and address of the person filing it. The complaint must state the problem or action alleged to be discriminatory and the remedy or relief sought.
  • The Section 504 Coordinator (and/or her/his designee as needed to provide for an impartial investigation) shall investigate the complaint. This investigation may be informal, but it must be thorough, affording all interested persons an opportunity to identify witnesses and to submit all evidence relevant to the complaint.  The Section 504 Coordinator will maintain the files and records of OTC relating to such grievances.
  • The Section 504 Coordinator will communicate to administration concerning the nature of the discrimination and assure that plans are implemented to prevent recurrence to the complainant and others in the future. Following an investigative finding involving substantiated findings, the college will take steps to correct the discriminatory effects of the harassment on the complainant and others as appropriate.
  • The Section 504 Coordinator will issue a written decision on the grievance no later than 30 days after its filing.
  • The person filing the grievance may appeal the decision of the Section 504 Coordinator by writing to the college President within 15 days of receiving the Section 504 Coordinator’s decision. The President shall issue a written decision in response to the appeal no later than 30 days after its filing.
  • The availability and use of this grievance procedure does not prevent a person from filing a complaint of discrimination based on disability with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

OTC will make appropriate arrangements to ensure that disabled persons are provided other accommodations, if needed, to participate in this grievance process.  Such arrangements may include, but are not limited to, providing interpreters for the hearing impaired, providing audio recorded material for the sight impaired, or assuring a barrier-free location for the proceedings.  The Section 504 Coordinator will be responsible for such arrangements.

Ohio Technical College’s Disability Services Program Policies and Procedures can be viewed HERE.