Services and Facilities for Students with Disabilities
Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services
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: SEU’s Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services is located on the second floor of Buena Vida East.
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)
The Office of Academic and Auxiliary Services coordinates accommodations for students with documented physical, learning, and/or psychological disabilities. For detailed information about services provided for students with disabilities at Southeastern University please read below. To begin the process of requesting accommodations, please call 863-667-5283 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tests are administered at the Testing Center for students with disabilities who are registered with the Office of Academic and Auxiliary Services. For more information or to schedule an exam, please call 863-667-5116 or email email@example.com.
Purpose & Mission
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.
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.
Academic & Auxiliary Services’ mission is to facilitate accessibility to education and foster self-advocacy 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.
Academic & Auxiliary Services supports services and resources for students with documented disabilities through the following means:
- Ensures all services and academic programs meet ADA guidelines.
- Provides information regarding the application process to receive accommodations.
- Examines official documentation to determine accommodation eligibility.
- Counsels students with disabilities throughout the accommodation process.
- Facilitates reasonable accommodations for SEU programs and services.
- Provides up-to-date information to faculty regarding ADA guidelines, Academic & Auxiliary Services’ policies, and student approved 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. 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 the student’s disability is included on his/her transcripts.
Please Note: A student with a disability is not entitled to accommodations if he/she has not self-identified, has not provided appropriate documentation and has not requested accommodations. In order to receive accommodations, a student must provide appropriate documentation of his/her disability to Academic & Auxiliary Services.
A student who wishes to receive an accommodation based upon his/her disability must:
- Self-Identify through the Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-667-5283.
- Complete the New Student Registration Packet.
- Provide appropriate documentation. Appropriate documentation includes a diagnosis by a certified professional (licensed medical physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor), an IEP or a 504 plan from a public school system. The document must be on official letterhead and include a description of the limitations that are a result of the diagnosis and the recommended accommodations.
- Provide a copy of the current semester schedule.
- Meet with the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services for a final accommodation meeting.
- Once requested accommodations are approved by the Director of Academic & Auxiliary Services, a Letter of Accommodation will be create and electronically delivered to the student’s instructor(s).
- Students may request academic accommodations anytime during the semester; however, academic accommodations are NOT retroactive.
- 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.
- Students are responsible for requesting and signing the Multi-Semester Consent Form after their first semester in order to continue their accommodations for the subsequent semesters.
Examples of Accommodations
Southeastern University does not provide personal devices, personal attendants or transportation. Examples of accommodations that can be provided based upon the student’s documented disability can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Books in alternate formats through Bookshare, Learning Ally, etc. This accommodation must be requested 4 to 6 weeks before the start of the semester.
- Test accommodations, such as extended time, private quiet location to test, etc.
- Kurzweil Reader Software.
- Note taker services.
- Scribe/writing assistance during class or testing.
- Video Magnifier.
Additional Support Services
For information regarding accessible housing for students with disabilities, please contact the Housing Coordinator by email at email@example.com or by phone at 863-667-5148. Housing applications are due by May 1 for the fall semester and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Returning students who need accessible housing should submit their returning room selection request during the months of March and April.
The Reference Research Desk is available for all students from 7:30 am – 2:00 am Monday-Thursday; 7:30 am – 8:30 pm on Friday; 12:00 pm – 8:30 pm on Saturday; and 1:00 pm – 2:00 am on Sunday. For students with print and/or visual disabilities, the use of a Kurzweil Reader is available. It is recommended that students reserve a time to use the Kurzweil Reader. For students in wheelchairs, there are accessible tables located on the first floor of the library.
ACE provides free tutoring services to all SEU students. Services include: Academic Success Coaching, Group Tutoring Sessions, Online Tutoring and Workshops. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-667-5137 for more information.
The Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services at SEU serves undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at any of our extension sites. Students with disabilities, who have completed the registration process and been accepted by SEU, should contact the Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services at ADAservices@sey.edu or 863-667-5283 to begin the accommodation process.
The Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services at SEU serves undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled for online courses. Students with disabilities who have completed the registration process and been accepted by SEU, should contact the Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services at ADAservices@sey.edu or 863-667-5283 to begin the accommodation process.
Melanie Roberts (email@example.com) at The Center for Online Learning can provide information regarding closed-captioning or transcripts for videos.
Moodle, through MyFire, the online learning portal is supported by two screen readers:
- JAWS (Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and Firefox). Visit: http://www.freedomscientific.com/Products/Blindess/JAWS
- NVDA (Microsoft Windows). Visit: http://www.nvaccess.org/
For More information about the accessibility features of Moodle visit: https://docs.moodle.org/dev/Accessibility
Students who have a short-term medical condition or a temporary injury may benefit from services offered by the Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services. To receive a temporary accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 863-667-5283 for assistance.
Specific 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 identification/placard as approved by Florida State Law or the state in which the vehicle is registered may park in these designated spaces.
Exception: Any person 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.
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.
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 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.
Emotional Support Animal Guidelines
Southeastern University welcomes Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) based on the Fair Housing Act (FHA). ESAs provide a measure of support and comfort to individuals with qualifying disabilities. ESAs are a prescribed part of therapy for emotional and psychological disabilities and serve to alleviate symptoms of the disability.
There is much confusion about the role of ESAs; they are often mistaken for Service Animals. ESAs are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act. ESAs provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and can help to reduce symptoms of psychiatric disabilities and mental impairments, such as depression, anxiety, and certain phobias. ESAs differ from service animals in that they do not have specialized training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities.
Unlike a service animal that has access to public places where pets are not typically allowed, an ESA has limited access to places of public accommodation. Under the FHA, an ESA is a reasonable accommodation in a housing unit that has a no pet policy for its residents. Therefore, ESAs are permitted in residence halls, but are restricted to a student’s room and can only leave for nature breaks. ESAs are not allowed in classrooms, campus buildings, common rooms or areas in the residence halls, or campus events. ESAs must be under the control of their owner at all times, cannot be left alone overnight, and cannot be cared for by another student.
Below is a chart highlighting the differences between ESAs and Service Animals.
|Service Animals||Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)|
|Dogs||Species not specified, typically a dog or cat|
|Assists a person with a disability by performing a specific task||Alleviates symptoms of psychiatric or emotional disability|
|Trained to perform a specific task by a specialized organization||Not trained for a specific task by a specialized organization|
|Is recommended to register with Academic & Auxiliary Services.||Needs to register with Housing Department of SEU by submitting an application, documentation of disability, vaccination records of ESA, and meet with the Director of Housing.|
|Unlimited campus access||Restricted campus access to residence hall room or outside only for nature breaks.|
|Must be under the owner’s control at all times and must be with the owner at all times.||Must be under the owner’s control at all times. Owners cannot leave ESAs alone or with any other student.|
Steps to Register with the Housing Department of Southeastern University:
- Submit appropriate documentation of your disability with the application.
- Provide evidence to the Housing Department that the animal is in good health and has been vaccinated against diseases common to its breed of animal as recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary records attesting to the fact must be submitted and approved before the animal takes residence on campus.
- Meet with the Director of Housing to review the Housing Agreement and Expectations policy.
- Southeastern University Housing Department: 863-667-5148; email@example.com
- Be in the form of a letter or report from a psychologist, psychiatrist or other licensed clinician who is qualified to make the diagnosis and is currently treating you for the disability for which you are requesting the ESA.
- Be on official letterhead and should be signed and dated within the last three years.
- Include a specific diagnosis, a statement of your current condition, the date and a summary of your most recent evaluation, and the expected duration of your condition.
- State the current impact of (or functional limitations) imposed by the condition on your living situation.
- Explain how the condition relates to your request for an ESA. There must be a direct link established between the condition and your requested ESA and include which symptoms are alleviated by the ESA.
- Clearly state a specific recommendation for an ESA as a result of the condition.
- Include evidence that the provider is currently treating you for the condition for which the ESA is requested.
The Director of Housing will review the application once it is submitted with the appropriate documentation. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Documentation requirements are firm and are not flexible. You will be notified if any documentation is missing. If the documentation meets the requirements, you will be contacted to schedule an accommodation meeting with the Director of Housing.
You must contact SEU’s Housing Department with questions or concerns about your room assignment and/or your housing contract.
Student’s Responsibilities for the Emotional Support Animal:
- Provide your ESA’s health care and daily needs.
- Ensure your ESA is under your control at all times.
- Ensure you are the sole care provider for your ESA. No one else should care for the animal.
- Ensure the ESA is not left alone except for when you attend class and other academically related activities. They should not be left alone overnight, weekends, or holidays.
- Clean and appropriately dispose of the animal’s waste.
- Understand that any damage caused by the ESA is your financial responsibility.
Please note: If the ESA poses a health, safety, or welfare threat to the campus community, you will be requested to remove the ESA from the campus.
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.
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