Services and Facilities for Students with Disabilities
Southeastern University is committed to ensuring equal access to all programs for people with disabilities. Program access is provided in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual and to the maximum extent feasible. Southeastern University prohibits disability discrimination and assures equal access, including participation in all educational activities, academic programs and services.
Location: Academic & Auxiliary Services is located on the second floor of Buena Vida.
Phone: 863.667.5283 (TTY Users: Through the Florida Relay Service, people who use specialized TTY telephone equipment can communicate with people who use standard telephone equipment. To call Florida Relay, dial 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771)
Purpose & Mission
Academic & Auxiliary Services’ mission is to facilitate accessibility to education and foster independence in individuals with disabilities. This is accomplished through empowerment, support, resources and advocacy throughout Southeastern University’s programs and activities. Academic accommodations can be requested by Graduate and Undergraduate Students taking courses on campus, online, and/or at an extension site. Staff at our Extension Sites assist Academic & Auxiliary Services by providing information, resources and serve as a link between students with disabilities and the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services. For more information and additional related resources, please contact 863.667.5283 or ADAservices@seu.edu during office hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.).
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. A student who wants an accommodation based on a disability must:
- Have a disability covered by the law
- Be qualified with or without a reasonable accommodation
- Identify himself/herself as having a covered disability
- Request an accommodation
Qualified students with disabilities are not entitled to accommodations if they have not self-identified, have not provided appropriate documentation and have not requested accommodations. In order to receive accommodations, a student must provide appropriate documentation of his/her disability to Academic & Auxiliary Services. Appropriate documentation includes a diagnosis by a certified professional, as well as a description of the limitations that are a result of that diagnosis.
Federal Law Regarding People with Disabilities – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – “No otherwise qualified handicapped* individual in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination under any program activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Americans with Disability Act – ADA is a comprehensive Civil Rights Act protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the areas of private employment, public accommodations and services, transportation, and telecommunications. The Americans with Disabilities Act also prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability with regard to admission to educational institutions or vocational training programs (public or private); job application procedures; hiring, advancement or discharge of employees; employee compensation; job training; and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
New freshman and transfer students may apply for accommodations once admitted to the Southeastern University. Current students may apply at any time. It is your responsibility as a student to identify yourself to Academic & Auxiliary Services and present proper documentation of your disability if you would like to receive academic accommodations.
There are a few steps to the application process. Students must complete and submit the Student Application and Consent Forms along with current supporting documentation to register with Academic & Auxiliary Services. Once registered and approved, academic accommodations must be renewed every semester by completing and submitting a new Consent Form. This information can be obtained by contacting ADAservices@seu.edu or 863.667.5283.
Students who have never been approved or received Academic Accommodations at SEU must contact our office and schedule an interview with the Director. Academic Accommodations are not retroactive and must be renewed every semester by completing new consent forms. The Accommodation Process for every student is handled in the order they are received can take up to 10 days to process once all forms and documentation are submitted and approved by the Director. Please note, students enrolled for summer courses: ALL academic accommodation requests must be requested and submitted before the start of Summer Session I.
Supporting documentation can be emailed: ADAservices@seu.edu faxed: (863) 667-5200 (Attention: Academic & Auxiliary Services), hand delivered to our office in Addison 118, or mailed: Academic & Auxiliary Services, 1000 Longfellow Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33801-6034. All documentation is considered confidential. Academic & Auxiliary Services will not return documentation. Please keep copies for your records.
The normal review process takes 7-10 days for a coordinator to review your application and supporting medical documentation, then we will e-mail you at your SEU student email account to set up an intake appointment.
To finalize your accommodations, you will need to meet with the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services to discuss your approved accommodations, this appointments normally take about one hour.
Google Apps: Google Apps is an online suite of five applications:
- Gmail for E mail.
- Google Calendar to schedule appointments and reminders.
- Google Docs for documentation, presentation, and collaboration.
- Google Drive for documentation, presentation, and collaboration.
- Google Sites for wikis.
For more information, please visit the Google Apps User Guide to Accessibility Webpage https://support.google.com/a/answer/1631886?hl=en
Moodle for MyFire the online learning portal. Moodle supports two types of screen readers:
- JAWS (for Internet Explorer) For more JAWS features information visit http://www.freedomscientific.com/Products/Blindness/JAWS
- NVDA (for Firefox) http://www.nvaccess.org/
For more information about the accessibility features of Moodle please visit https://docs.moodle.org/dev/Accessibility
Additional Support Services
Housing for Students Living on Campus
For information regarding accessible housing for students with disabilities, please contact the Housing Coordinator by email email@example.com or by phone 863.667.5148. Housing applications are due by May 1 for the fall semester, and are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis. Staff will always do their best to arrange accessible housing for students with disabilities; however, after May 1st, there is no guarantee that the accessible housing will be available.
The Reference Research Desk is available for all students from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday. Additionally for students with print and/or visual disabilities, the use of a Kurzweil Reader is available. It is recommended that students schedule and reserve a time to use the Kurzweil Reader. For students in wheelchairs, there are also accessible tables located on the first floor of the Steelman Library.
Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE)
ACE provides free tutoring services to all students at SEU, including students with disabilities. Services include: Academic Success Coaching, Group Tutoring Sessions, Online Tutoring, Workshops, etc. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 863.667.5137 for more information.
Online and Extension Site Students
Services for students with disabilities at SEU serves undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled online and/or at one of our Extension Sites. Students should begin the registration process to receive reasonable accommodations once admitted to SEU and have finalized their schedule. Please contact ADAservices@seu.edu or 863.667.5283 for Application and Consent Forms.
Students who have short term medical conditions or temporary injuries may benefit from services. Students seeking assistance with a temporary injury or medical condition should contact Academic & Auxiliary Services (ADAservices@seu.edu or 863.667.5283) for assistance.
There are times when a student’s documentation supports a more individualized accommodation. These accommodations would be determined and approved by the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services.
Parking for People with Disabilities
Certain parking spaces at SEU are designated for people with documented physical disabilities. These spaces are marked with the international symbol of accessibility. Only vehicles displaying the appropriate identification/placard as designated by Florida State law or the state in which the vehicle is registered may park in these designated spaces.
Exception: Any person who is chauffeuring a person with a physical disability shall be allowed to park, momentarily, in any space designated as parking for persons with a physical disability, for the purpose of loading and unloading a person with such a disability.
Academic & Auxiliary Services: The Accommodation Process
Academic & Auxiliary Services is the office that has been designated to facilitate services and resources for students with documented disabilities. We do not provide personal devices, personal attendants or transportation. Academic & Auxiliary Services:
- Maintains documentation related to a student’s disability and student accommodation requests.
- Supports and assists students with a disability.
- In collaboration with the student and instructor determines and reviews accommodation requests each term.
- Uses student provided documentation to determine if a student is an individual with a disability.
- Facilitates reasonable academic accommodations.
- Collaborates with the SEU Community to promote and advocate accessibility and potential barriers in both real and virtual environments.
- Maintains confidentiality of all disability records.
Students who feel they meet the qualifications as an individual with a disability must self-identify and provide appropriate documentation to Academic & Auxiliary Services. Without appropriate documentation, no accommodations can be provided to the student. Accommodations are based on the documented disability. For example, a student with a back injury will require different accommodations than a student with a learning disability. Accommodations are developed on an individualized, case-by-case basis.
Accommodations must be requested each semester a student is enrolled in classes. If a student is registered with Academic & Auxiliary Services, but has not developed and signed accommodation requests, he/she will not be eligible to receive accommodations. Furthermore, students may request academic accommodations anytime during the semester; however, academic accommodations are NOT retroactive and may take up to 10 days to process once approved.
Academic & Auxiliary Services may require up to six weeks’ notice to have time to provide disability related accommodations. All disability-related information obtained from students is confidential and shared with faculty and staff on a need-to-know basis.
The process for requesting accommodations is as follows:
- Request and obtain disability documentation from your medical, educational or psychological professional. Please note, an IEP might not be sufficient documentation to support the request for academic accommodations.
- Call 863.667.5283 or ADAservices@seu.edu to make an appointment with the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services.
- Complete the Student Application, Consent Form, and Responsibility Form to register with our office. Request forms by contacting our office.
- Bring a copy of disability documentation to your appointment, or the contact information for certified professional to obtain documentation.
- Be prepared to discuss and explain how your disability impacts the courses for which you are registered.
- Request accommodations based on the provided documentation and registered courses.
- Documentation and accommodations requested will be sent to the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services for review.
- Academic & Auxiliary Services may contact the student to discuss requested accommodations.
- Once approved by the Director, Academic & Auxiliary Services will create an ADA Accommodation Letter for academic accommodations; new students are required to meet with the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services. Students at Extension Sites and Online will schedule a phone conference.
- Approved ADA Accommodation Letters will be electronically delivered to the instructors. Students are responsible for notifying Academic & Auxiliary Services of any changes regarding courses or scheduling.
Students should discuss their requested accommodations with each instructor to clarify expectations. All disability related information is confidential and is shared with faculty and staff of SEU on a need-to-know basis and no information pertaining to your disability is included on your transcripts.
Note: Students are responsible for requesting and signing Consent Forms each semester to ensure that the accommodations are appropriate and that the instructors are informed of any new or changed accommodations that are needed.
Examples of Academic Accommodations
Southeastern University does not provide personal devices, personal attendants or transportation. Some examples of academic accommodations that can be provided based on individual documentation include:
- Books in alternate formats. (Bookshare, Learning Ally, etc.) (We will not scan books without proof of purchase. Additionally, we will not scan books that are in an accessible format. Must be requested 4 to 6 weeks before the start of the semester.)
- Test accommodations (extended time, private quiet location to test, etc.)
- Kurzweil Reader Software (located in the Steelman Library)
- Note taker services (upon approval)
- Scribe/writing assistance (Upon approval for academic purposes: during class or testing)
- Priority seating
- Sign language interpreter (must request six weeks in advance)
- Medical exit/re-entry
- Modified furniture
- Digital recorder (student purchase)
- Assistive Listening Devices (Upon approval for academic purposes only: during class, lecture, testing)
- Alternate Media (Sensus Access file conversion service on website for students with an SEU email domain to use to make documents more accessible. Please note the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.)
Documentation serves two purposes in post-secondary education:
- To establish protection from discrimination AND
- To determine the accommodations to which the individual may be entitled.
This documentation must be provided by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor. Documentation must be on an official letterhead. Disability Documentation for the purpose of providing accommodations must establish the disability and provide adequate information on the functional impact of the disability so that effective accommodations can be identified. This documentation is confidential and will be used for the sole purpose of determining which accommodations are appropriate. All documentation will be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Guidelines for Documentation
A school plan, such as an IEP or 504 is helpful, but may not be sufficient documentation unless it contains the items listed.
|Disability||Report Needed||Contents of Report|
|Learning Disability||Psychological or educational evaluation that includes a comprehensive assessment and a diagnostic report addressing the student’s current level of functioning and the need for accommodations in the following areas:
|Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder||A formal psychological or neurological assessment which demonstrates impaired attention and/or hyperactivity must be provided. Assessment of the following areas must be assessed by a certified or licensed professional.||A full signed written report that includes:
|Blindness or Visual Impairments||A report outlining medically certified loss by an ophthalmologist or MD listing diagnosis, limitations and recommendations.|
|Deafness or Hearing Impairments||An audiogram and subsequent report by certified audiologist listing limitations and recommendations.|
|Mobility Impairment||Medical documentation from a qualified professional with a diagnosis, limitations and recommendations.|
|Traumatic Brain Injury||Current (within last 3 years) neuropsychological assessment by a qualified neurophysiologist with a DSM-IV or ICD-10 diagnosis, limitations, and recommendations.|
|Psychological Disability||A psychological evaluation and treatment summary by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist within the last 12 months with DSM diagnosis, limitations and recommendations.|
|Chronic Medical Conditions||An assessment by a qualified professional with a written report that includes an ICD-10 diagnosis, limitations and recommendations related to the condition for which the student is requesting accommodations.|
|Temporary Impairments||A letter on letterhead from a qualified professional stating diagnosis, functional limitations necessitating the temporary accommodation and the period of time services will be needed.|
Requirements for students who do not have a standard diploma or a GED and do not meet Admission qualifications:
- Must have transportation.
- Be able to safely navigate the campus independently (SEU does not provide personal aids or nurses for students).
- Follow the Code of Conduct.
- Audit the course (online or face to face).
- Not permitted to live in University Housing.
- Students with intellectual disabilities take: There are no special or modified courses specifically for students with ID.
- Students in this program also take these specially designed courses: There are no special courses specifically for students with ID.
- Amount of instructional time spent only with other students with intellectual disabilities: There is no specific or set amount of time spent with other students with intellectual disabilities.
- Students are eligible to earn a degree or certificate: Students will not receive college credit, a certificate, or a degree.
- This degree or certificate is available to: There are no special certificates or degrees available to students with ID.
Service Animal Guidelines
Southeastern University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations pursuant to the American’s with Disabilities Act and other relevant laws. These guidelines provide information regarding the accommodation process for individuals using service animals.
A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability.
Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. In certain situations, a service animal may include a housebroken miniature horse.
In the event that a member of the community is attending an event or using the library they will not be asked to document a disability to bring a service animal onto campus. Questions or concerns regarding the appropriateness of a service animal being on campus are to be brought to the attention of Academic & Auxiliary Services.
As with any other accommodation, Southeastern University students who use a service animal on campus are required to register with Academic & Auxiliary Services and engage in an interactive accommodation process, which may require certain documentation.
General Requirements for Individuals Using Service Animals
Except for licensing and vaccination requirements, SEU will make reasonable accommodations for individuals who are not able to comply with these requirements due to disability.
- A service animal will be permitted to accompany a person with a disability unless:
- The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
- The animal fundamentally alters the nature of the place, services or activities.
- The environment poses a threat to the health or safety of the service animal.
- The animal poses an undue burden.
- The animal is unruly or disruptive.
- Note: Except in an immediate safety situation, Academic & Auxiliary Services should be contacted prior to excluding a service animal.
- The animal must be immunized in accordance with the county and/or city requirements where the animal is being brought on to SEU property.
- The animal must be licensed in accordance with the county and/or city requirements where the animal is being used, and must display the license as required by that county or city.
- The user must be in control of the animal at all times while on SEU property.
- The care and control of the animal is solely the responsibility of its user.
- The user must clean up the animal’s waste.
- The user is responsible for damage caused by the animal.
Rights and Responsibilities
Every qualified student with a disability has the right to:
- Equal access to educational and student programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities throughout SEU.
- Reasonable and effective accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, and services, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Appropriate confidentiality regarding information pertaining to disability, including disability disclosure, except as permitted or required by law.
- Information reasonably available in accessible formats.
- Utilize, without retaliation, the Grievance Procedure, if the student believes that they have been discriminated against, by the University, on the basis of a disability.
- Utilize, without retaliation, complaint processes and investigative processes within the University, the Office of Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education, or the United States Department of Justice.
Every qualified student with disabilities has the responsibility to:
- Meet the University’s qualifications, including essential academic and code of conduct standards.
- Identify as an individual with a disability and request accommodation in a timely manner. This includes the student’s responsibility to advise his/her instructor regarding approved academic accommodations, and may also include the responsibility to make special arrangements with the instructor and/or the Academic & Auxiliary Services.
- Provide documentation from appropriate professional sources verifying the nature of the student’s disability, functional limitations, and the rationale for specific accommodations being recommended.
- Follow the specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids, as outlined in this policy.
Southeastern University has the right to:
- Maintain SEU’s academic standards.
- Request qualifying disability documentation in order to verify eligibility for disability accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
- Discuss the student’s eligibility with diagnosing professionals given a signed consent from the student.
- Confirm disability status and request and receive current, relevant documentation that supports requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
- Select from among equally effective/appropriate accommodations, adjustments and/or auxiliary aids in consultation with the student.
- Deny requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids (1) when disability documentation does not identify a specific disability, or (2) despite ongoing dialogue, including one or more requests that the student submit missing documentation, a student is unable to present documentation to verify the need for the requested service(s).
- Deny requests for accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids that are inappropriate, unreasonable based on disability documentation, including any that:
- Pose a direct threat to the health and safety of the student or others that cannot be adequately reduced or eliminated by reasonable accommodation;
- Constitute a fundamental change or alteration of an essential course element/program standard;
- Pose undue financial or administrative burden on the University.
Southeastern University has the responsibility to:
- Provide or arrange reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
- Provide information to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request.
- Give primary consideration to the specific type of auxiliary aid or service requested by the student.
- Ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible to and usable by students in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual student.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication except where permitted or required by law.
- Not retaliate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any student for exercising these rights.
*Updated procedures are in progress. Once approved, the following information will be updated. In the meantime, the procedures indicated below will be followed to address concerns or complaints.*
Grievance procedures provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints pursuant to and in accordance with Federal Law.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides that no qualified individual with a disability be denied access to or participation in services, programs, and activities of a public entity. Southeastern University strives to maintain the highest standards of integrity and fairness in its policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability.
In most instances the academic adjustment determination made by Academic and Auxiliary Services will be acceptable to the student and faculty; however, if a student has a complaint or concern regarding an academic accommodation, the following procedure should be followed:
- Student will notify the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services in writing (via email) of any concerns regarding their Academic Accommodations.
- The Director will respond to the written complaint via email to gather additional information if needed. It is the student’s responsibility to respond to the email from the Director in a timely manner with the necessary information.
- Director and student will schedule a meeting to clarify the student’s rights in the situation at hand, and coach him/her about how to best discuss the accommodations further with their instructor.
- The Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services may phone the instructor to further clarify the issue and to ensure he or she understands the student’s civil rights.
- Student and the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services meet with instructor.
- Student and/or the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services may contact chair or dean for assistance with the situation.
- Student and/or the Director will ask for a meeting in writing with the Provost, Dean, Department Chair, Instructor, and other necessary personnel to resolve the matter quickly