Disability Services

Central Maine Community College is committed to providing the means to enable equal access to education for students with disabilities. Pursuant to federal law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008) individuals with disabilities (those defined as having “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment”) who are otherwise qualified, may be eligible to receive academic support and/or accommodation(s). Eligibility is based on documentation that establishes that the individual has a disability and the current functional impact of the disability as it relates to the school environment. Reasonable academic accommodations are provided on an individual, case-by-case basis to an admitted
or enrolled student. Essential components of any course of study may not be eliminated or circumvented. These accommodations are intended to promote equal access, not special privilege.

Procedure and Documentation

It is the student’s responsibility to make CMCC’s Disabilities Coordinator aware of his/her disability and need for accommodation in a timely manner including prior to or during the admissions process or prior to course registration. The Disabilities Coordinator may be reached by calling (207) 755- 5277 or submitting the contact form on the right side of this page.

Documentation must be typed on official letterhead of the diagnosing practitioner. The practitioner must be a licensed and /or certified professional who is qualified to diagnose the stated disability and not related to the student. It must be current for the disability (for learning disability, within five years and adult scales; for all other disability areas, within one year). Documentation must include the following components:

  1. Diagnosis must be described from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV or latest edition (if appropriate).
  2. Date first diagnosed and beginning treatments or services. A general history and clinical interview should be included.
  3. A description of the comprehensive diagnostic tests/methods used, including specific test scores (The report should contain raw scores, converted standard scores, index scores as applicable, including standard test scores and age equivalents) and examiner’s narrative interpretation. This description should rule out other disability areas.
  4. A clear, direct statement of diagnosis. The diagnostician should avoid the use of such terms as “appears” or “seems” or “is indicative of.” If the data does not confirm a disability, the evaluator should state that conclusion in the report.
  5. A description of the current functional impact of the disability. This must establish what major life activity is substantially limited. Explanation of functional limitations from the impairment that may adversely affect the individual in an academic college program must be included.
  6. A statement of the method of treatment including current use of any medications, ability/inability to control symptoms, effects of medication that may adversely interfere with clear cognitive functioning.
  7. A description of the expected progression of symptoms, especially during college years.
  8. A history of previous accommodations and their impact.
  9. Recommendations based on functional and substantial limitations for college academic and physical accommodation.

Once a student’s disability documentation is received, the Disabilities Coordinator will review the material to determine its completeness and validity. If further information is deemed necessary, the Disabilities Coordinator will inform the individual within 30 academic class days. When the received documentation is complete, the Disabilities Coordinator will contact the student to set up a meeting. In an interactive process the student and Disabilities Coordinator will agree on what if any reasonable accommodations will be supported. A letter of accommodation will be generated by the coordinator and supplied to the student. The student then shares the letter with instructors of her/his choosing. The student must make an appointment with the Disabilities Coordinator at the beginning of each semester to update the accommodation letter. If a student does not have documentation but feels that he/ she has a disability, a referral may be made by the Disabilities Coordinator. CMCC does not provide this testing; it is at the student’s expense.

Documentation minimums (for LD, NLD, AD/ HD, Brain Injury, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders)

  1. Cognitive Component (WAIS IV, preferred, other comparable accepted)
  2. Achievement Component (WAIT III, preferred, other comparable accepted)
  3. Information Processing Component (WMS IV, Bender, executive functioning, Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, or other appropriate tests)

Other tests should be included that are appropriate to the particular area of disability pointed to from the above required components. For example, if from the information gathered it indicates that the individual has a writing disability, then it would be appropriate to complete the TOWL3 or latest edition.

For AD/HD, it is appropriate to include rating scales by instructors, parents and the student, as well as the Connors Continuous Performance Test or other comparable test.

Disabled students, like all students, are responsible for maintaining an acceptable level of conduct and academic achievement. Essential components of any course of study may not be eliminated or circumvented.

Policy and Procedures for Substitution/Waiver of Program Course Requirements for Students with Disabilities

Student requests for a course substitution and/or waiver will be individually reviewed by the Central Maine Community College Committee on Curriculum Substitution/Waiver for Students with Disabilities (the Committee). The Committee will be composed of the academic dean, the disabilities coordinator, the appropriate department chair or program coordinator, the registrar, and ad hoc members as necessary.

As a general rule, academic requirements that the College reasonably determines as essential to the student’s program of instruction or to pertinent career licensing requirements will not be substituted or waived because such substitutions or waivers can significantly diminish the integrity of the degree.

For example, the College regards written communication as an integral and essential component of every program that Central Maine Community College offers. Any modification of that requirement would substantially alter the nature of the educational preparation at Central Maine Community College. Accordingly, the college regards the curriculum of ENG 101 to contain core requirements that cannot be substituted or waived.

Again, each request will be evaluated and decided on a case-by-case basis given the nature and degree of the student’s disability and the nature and essential character of the course or program at issue.

Substitution/Waiver Procedure

A student seeking a course substitution and/or waiver must complete the following steps:

  • Meet with and present to the disabilities coordinator documentation of the student’s reasonable attempt to complete the course;
  • Complete Central Maine Community College’s accommodation process and have provided appropriate, current disability documentation (as outlined in the College’s Disability Service Procedure and Documentation”) that establishes the impact of the disability on the course required;
  • Request in writing the need for substitution/waiver of a course in the degree program and why the student believes they should be granted the substitution/waiver will be provided by the student to the disabilities coordinator; and
  • Sign a release of information so that the documentation can be shared with Committee members, who understand the confidential nature of this information.

The disabilities coordinator will then:

  • Make the initial assessment of the relationship between the requested substitution and the disability; and
  • Forward the student’s request for substitution/waiver (including disability documentation) to the academic dean, who is the chair of the Committee.

The academic dean will then convene the Committee within ten (10) working days of receiving the request, and the Committee will:

  • Meet and engage in a deliberative process to review the program requirements and the purpose of the requirement at issue;
  • Once the purpose of the requirement has been established, the Committee will consider courses in other disciplines where the requirements and goals might approximate those of the course in question;
  • After the alternatives have been examined, the Committee will determine, consistent with any legal advice, whether another course(s) would be an acceptable substitution for the program requirement. The Committee will have fifteen (15) working days from the first meeting to carefully review all information and come to a reasoned decision.

If the Committee determines consistent with any legal advice that:

  • There is no reasonable substitute for the required course, and that elimination of the requirement would result in a fundamental alteration of the program of study, the request for substitution/waiver will not be granted; or
  • That reasonable substitute(s) do exist, a waiver for the required course will be granted and the opportunity to take the substitute course(s) will be granted.

The academic dean will then:

  • Notify the student and Committee members within ten (10) working days of the end of the Committee’s deliberation period of the Committee’s decision, and indicate what, if any, actions are necessary to take. If the substitution/waiver is granted:
    • This will be indicated on the student’s transcript;
    • All other degree requirements, such as the total number of credits required for the degree, must be met; and
    • A record of this process will be well-documented so that others who were not involved can understand the deliberate, reasoned process completed, the alternatives considered, and the reasons for the final decision.

If the student does not agree with the decision of the Committee, the student may file a grievance.

Disabilities Grievance Procedure

The following grievance procedure must be used by a student for complaints regarding claims of disability and requests for accommodation.

Contents of the Grievance

The grievance must be in writing; contain the name, address and telephone number of student; and the location, date and description of the alleged discrimination. Alternative means of grieving, such as a personal interview or tap-recording, are available upon request, if required by disability.

Filing the Grievance

The student or, if necessary because of disability, a designee must submit the grievance to the ADA Compliance Officer (“Officer”) as soon as possible and no later than twenty (20) calendar days after the alleged violation. The Officer may be contacted at Central Maine Community College, Affirmative Action Office, Jalbert Hall (207) 755-5396.

Officer’s Decision

As soon as practical after receipt of the grievance, the Officer will meet with the student to discuss the complaint. As soon as practical after the meeting, the Officer will respond in a format accessible to the student (such as large print, Braille or audiotape). The response will explain the position of the College and, where practical, offer options for substantive resolution.

Student Appeal to College President

Within fifteen (15) calendar days after receiving the Officer’s decision, the student may appeal to the College President or designee.

Decision of the College President

As soon as practical after the receipt of the appeal, the College president or designee will meet with the student to discuss the appeal. As soon as practical after the meeting, the College President or designee will issue in a format accessible to the student a final decision regarding the grievance.

Record Retention

The College will retain all grievances, appeals and responses in the above procedure for at least three (3) years.

Service Animal Guidelines

For guidance on the use of service animals on campus, contact the Disabilities Service Office at (207) 755-5277 or (800) 891-2002 ext. 277.

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