Student Rights and Responsibilites
Tacoma Community College is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities, in accordance with state and federal laws.
Tacoma Community College is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities, in accordance with state and federal laws. To ensure equality of access for students with disabilities, accommodations (including auxiliary aids and services) are provided on a case-by-case and individualized basis, through an interactive process with the Access Services office. As a student with a disability receiving accommodation from Access Services, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities outlined below.
Access Services students have the right to:
- An equal opportunity to learn and participate in the classroom environment.
- An equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the university community, programs and activities.
- Choose whether or not to disclose the specific nature of your disability to your professor(s). The information you provide to Access Services is protected by F.E.R.P.A. Our office shares a list of your approved accommodations but not your medical records.
- File a grievance if you feel you are discriminated against.
Access Services students are responsible for:
- Self-Identifying to Access Services as having a disability and needing accommodation.
- Completing an intake appointment with Access Services staff and engage in the interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations. This includes self-report of disability and disability verification.
- Meeting with each professor to discuss your approved accommodations in their respective courses. Typically, this meeting should take place once the Letter of Accommodation has been delivered to faculty within the first few weeks of the quarter.
- Submitting your renewal request for accommodations at the start of each new quarter by logging into your AIM student disability profile.
- Understanding that late notification does not require retroactive implementation of accommodations by your professors.
- Submitting updated accommodation requests in a timely manner by notifying Access Services staff as soon as possible.
- Contacting Access Services in a timely manner regarding any issues, concerns or delays in receiving approved accommodations.
- Notifying Access Services immediately when discontinuing an accommodation or when you choose to drop a course for which alternate format materials are required.
- Meeting the same academic standards (with or without accommodation) such as technical, performance and behavioral standards that are expected of all students at T.C.C., including Student Conduct Policies.
Tacoma Community College is committed to providing equality of opportunity and an environment that fosters respect for all members of the college community. lf you are having difficulty with a person, office or department at T.C.C. and believe you have or may be experiencing mistreatment or discrimination on the basis of your disability, you can contact the resources on this webpage to get assistance.
Steps to take if you have a conflict:
- Try to resolve the issue first with faculty and/or staff directly if you can. Sometimes resolution is simply a matter of clarifying misunderstandings or processes between individuals.
- Contact Access Services staff for assistance in resolving issues related to accommodations. This may include conversations with the faculty, Department Chair and Dean as appropriate.
- Engage T.C.C. campus/off-campus resources if initial avenues do not resolve the concern/complaint.
Strategies to help you get your concerns addressed:
- When making a complaint, be specific. lt can be helpful to document the incident(s) and the action(s) taken, including dates, times, names and a statement explaining the interactions.
- State what individual(s)/office(s) you believe has discriminated against you, when the incident occurred and describe the incident.
- lf you are attempting to resolve a problem that includes a number of offices, it may help to let each office know what other efforts you have made to try to resolve the complaint.
- Keep a record of all written correspondence between yourself and the various offices you work with.
Access Services Office is available to assist students in solving problems related to the provision of academic accommodations. Staff are often able to assist students in resolving complaints or concerns by assisting in communications with T.C.C. faculty and staff. Access Services can also refer students to other offices or individuals who can assist with resolution. Students can contact Access Services for assistance.
THE A.D.A./504 COORDINATOR is responsible for A.D.A. compliance and response across campus. They are an additional to assist in solving problems related to the provision of academic accommodations, or with concerns regarding discrimination due to a disability. Access Services may consult directly with the A.D.A./504 Coordinator as needed. Students contact Dr. Davi Kallman at phone and email.
This information is helpful if you wish to file a grievance complaint with an agency outside of the college.
THE WASHINGTON STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION is the state agency responsible for administering the Washington Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60). They serve as a neutral, fact-finding agency to investigate and resolve complaints of discriminatory practices.
You can contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission at 800-233-3247 (toll-free voice), 206-464-6500 (voice) or 206-587-5168 (TTY). For more information, visit their website at: hum.wa.gov
THE OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS in the U.S. Department of Education is the enforcement agency for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Office for Civil Rights will examine the factors of the alleged discrimination and interview appropriate persons to establish the facts, determine if discrimination has taken place and resolve the complaint. When a student is not satisfied with the on-campus efforts to resolve a complaint, The Office for Civil Rights is a place to turn.
You can contact the Washington State office at 206-607-1600 (voice) or 800-877-8339 (T.T.Y.) or OCR.Seattle@ed.gov (email). For more information about the Office for Civil Rights, go to their website: ocrcas.ed.gov
What is AIM?
AIM is a confidential database that helps track student information and implementation of accommodation services. Each student registered with Access Services will have a student profile inside AIM. Inside your profile, students can sign Agreement Forms, upload disability documentation, request and renew accommodations each quarter, view the Message Center and more.
Reasonable Deadline Extension Accommodation Guidelines
- In order to use the reasonable deadline extension accommodation, it must be approved by Access Services Manager and stated in your current Accommodation Letter.
- Accommodations are not applied retroactively. For example, if the Accommodation Letter is requested by the student and sent to your professor week 5, your professor is not obligated to apply accommodations week 1-4 of the quarter.
- Ask your professor for extra time on an assignment as soon as possible, before the deadline has passed.
- The goal is to work together with your professor when discussing extra time for assignments.
- Reasonable extensions are generally between 1 and 3 extra days beyond the original deadline. This includes weekend days.
- When considering your request, your professor will assess how much extra time is reasonable depending on the assignment difficulty, pace of class and your Accommodation Letter details.
- If you are unable to submit the assignment by the new deadline that your professor has communicated to you, your professor is not required to allow an additional extension for that same assignment. Your professor may choose to make exceptions, depending on circumstances.
- You are still responsible to complete all course work by the end of the quarter.
- Try to ask for an extension 24-48 hours before the due date. This may not always be possible, but do your best!
- If sending an email request:
- Include a greeting to your professor.
- Briefly state your request.
- State the amount of extra time for an assignment you would like your professor to consider. Your professor may agree to a different amount of time than your original request, depending on circumstances.
- If you can, speak with your professor in private after class or during office hours.
- Keep a copy of student’s Accommodation Letter on file.
- Discuss preferred method of communication with student.
- Offer private space to talk with students.
- Review student’s request for extra time and respond in a timely manner, working with student to determine the reasonable extension.
- Professors are not required to allow extensions if the student’s request is made after the deadline has passed. Professor may choose to make exceptions however, depending on the circumstances related to the request.
- Contact Access Services Manager with questions or concerns.
- Incomplete Grades and Medical Withdrawal Petitions are different and separate options than the Deadline Extension Accommodation.
- The deadline extension accommodation does not automatically guarantee approval of an Incomplete Grade at the end of the quarter. Incomplete Grade agreements are granted by the professor.
- Please speak with the Enrollment Office to learn more about Medical Withdrawal Petition.
- Please speak directly with your professor about Incomplete Grades.
Access Services recommends an additional 1, 2, or 3 days to complete an assignment upon the student's request. The instructor will take into consideration the nature, complexity, and size of the assignment when determining duration of the extension. The instructor may also agree to a longer extension than 3 days if/when possible, when considering the student's needs.
When extra time is needed for an assignment, the student should inform their instructor before the original due date. The new due date must be discussed and agreed upon by the instructor and student. The new due date should be documented in Email or another form of writing between the student and instructor. You may choose to notify Access Services staff of the new due date agreements if desired.
This accommodation does not apply to group projects and is intended to be used for individual work. This accommodation does not extend past the last day of Finals Week of the quarter.
The instructor and student are encouraged to discuss together upon receiving this notification. Please contact the Access Services Office with questions and for assistance in negotiating this accommodation.
Reasonable Flexibility in Attendance or Disability-Related Attendance Guidelines
- Flexibility in attendance is defined as occasional exceptions to absentee/tardiness policies when educationally feasible.
- Students are expected and encouraged to attend class; the accommodation does not include waiving attendance or participation requirements. Faculty have the right to establish attendance policies. However, if a student has a disability that may occasionally impact their ability to attend class and/or complete assignments and tests at the scheduled time, flexibility in attendance is considered an appropriate accommodation. Hopefully, a student’s disability will not interfere with attendance; however, if the student has disability related absences during the semester, the accommodation allows for flexibility in attendance policies and make-up work.
- Students may request the accommodation at any time during the term. However, the accommodation does not apply to any absences or late/missed work prior to the student’s request or prior to the student discussing a plan with the instructor, as described below.
- Student provides appropriate documentation of a disability to Access Services.
- Student discusses impact of his/her disability with an Accommodations & Learning Specialist.
- If deemed appropriate, flexibility in attendance is added to the student’s Accommodation Letter.
- Student checks the box for “Reasonable Flexibility for Attendance or Deadlines” when requesting accommodations in AIM. Notification to the instructor must occur before the student can use the accommodation.
- Student schedules an appointment to meet with the professor to determine a reasonable number of absences for the class and to establish a specific written plan for making up missed work.
- Student will contact the professor (not Access Services) as soon as possible to inform the professor that the absence was medically necessary.
- Student will adhere to the agreed upon plan and complete make-up work within the agreed upon alternate timeline.
- Student will contact Access Services immediately with any questions or concerns.
- Student is responsible for missed class material and requirements.
- Professor meets with student during scheduled appointment to discuss flexibility in attendance and to determine a reasonable number of absences for the class and to establish a specific written plan for making up missed work.
- Professor considers the parameters below in determining the number of acceptable absences and/or late work acceptance.
- Professor will maintain the essential standards/learning outcomes of the class.
- If the student notifies professor of a disability-related absence or need for deadline adjustment, professor will return student’s voicemail/email as soon as possible and verify the agreed upon alternate timeline for make-up work.
- Professor will contact Access Services immediately with any questions or concerns.
- Discuss accommodation needs with the student and review student’s documentation. If appropriate, the Accommodations & Learning Specialist determines eligibility for the accommodation.
- Generate student accommodation letters to faculty when students have made their requests in AIM.
- If necessary, help faculty and student develop a plan for completing make-up work.
- Address student/faculty questions and concerns regarding accommodations.
- Policies in the syllabus
- What does the syllabus say about attendance?
- If you do have an attendance policy, do you require all students to provide a doctor’s note if absent? Note: Students with disabilities that affect attendance often do not go to the doctor when their condition flares up and might not be able to provide a doctor’s note for each absence.
- Is attendance and/or participation factored into the student’s final grade?
- Does student participation (whether in discussion or activity) constitute a significant component of the learning process?
- What is the “time in seat” expectation for this class?
- How are students expected to interact with each other (in class, group work outside of class, via Moodle/email)?
- Is the material being learned in the class sequential? Does each week’s material build on the material learned in the previous week(s)?
- Are there other sections of the class that the student could attend to catch up on missed material?
- What class guidelines exist for making up missed exams/quizzes? Turning in late work? Note: Mere presence of a stated guideline or policy does not automatically negate the accommodation.
- Does the class use Moodle?
- Could missed assignments be turned in via discussion board/email?
- Is it possible for students to “work ahead” in this class?
- Policies in the syllabus
- Instructor allows 3 absences and then students’ grades drop by a letter grade. A student with flexibility regarding attendance meets with the professor and they determine that the student may be allowed 6 absences and 24 hours to make up any work, provided the student contacts the instructor within 12 hours after a missed class.
- In a foreign language course, a student is told at the start of the semester that the professor cannot allow much flexibility regarding attendance as much learning depends on classroom interactions. However, the instructor will keep the student’s accommodation in mind. Student is hospitalized for a week at the end of the semester and cannot complete a presentation. Instructor allows the student to make the presentation up with only the instructor as this does not essentially alter the course objectives.
- Instructor gives clicker points for attendance. Instructor allows student to respond to questions via email. However, student must contact instructor and answer questions within 24 hours of class.
- Student and instructor agree that student can miss class more often than classmates as long as all of the work is completed. However, it is nearing the end of the semester and student has not turned in assignments, has not been in contact with the professor, and has not attended class. In this case, the instructor would not be expected to extend deadlines as student has not taken responsibility for maintaining communication and is not completing coursework.
Memory Aid/Note Card Accommodation Guidelines
- A Memory Aid is a testing accommodation for students who have documented disabilities that affect memory functions such as:
- Rote memory
- Sequencing memory
- Working memory
- Long-term memory
The Memory Aid Accommodation helps students that encounter a barrier trying to recall information for tests. The term "test" refers to any quiz, test or exam. It gives students an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of course materials to the professor on a test without further taxing already compromised memory functions.
A proper Memory Aid will not be very useful unless the student has already studied and understands how to apply the information the Aid refers to. It is important to understand that the use of a Memory Aid does not guarantee a passing or failing test grade.
A Memory Aid is approved as an accommodation by Access Services staff. This is done through the interactive intake process, review of student’s barriers, and verification of disability.
Typically, a student is approved a single side of a 5x8 size card. Some students may require the use of an 8.5x11 single-side page if they have also have disabilities that affect handwriting, typing or reading smaller fonts.
- “Use of note-card during exams (5x8): Due to a disability, this student may use a 5x8 inch note-card (single side) during tests. The purpose of the note-card is to serve as a memory trigger and cue card for disability-related barriers, and not as a substitute for studying or applying concepts: it is NOT an answer sheet. Please refer to the Memory Aid Guide for more information about process. Contact Access Services with questions.”
- A Memory Aid should not provide direct answers to a test questions. This means a note card should NOT:
- Exceed more than one single side of a 5x8 note card
- Serve as an answer sheet
- Include copied pages from textbooks
- Include open textbooks
- Access to homework materials or open notes in the testing environment
- Contain full and complete summary of course materials
A Memory Aid should serve as a cue or trigger for the student to recall information and make connections related to the actual material and processes that being evaluated by the professor on a test. Some examples include:
- Word banks
- Key words without definitions
- Unsolved formulas, depending on the class
- In Math: if a test is evaluating a student’s ability to perform the order of operations correctly, a memory cue could have the acronym “PEMDAS” written on it to help recall the order of operations since the word PEMDAS doesn’t give step by step instructions if a student doesn’t know what the letters stand for. A memory cue could not have the full, written terms of PEMDAS, “Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction” because the additional terms outline exactly what is being evaluated.
- In Science: if a test is evaluating a student’s knowledge of the various food groups and recommended servings of each, a memory cue could have a blank outline image of the food pyramid and perhaps a simple drawing to recall food types. A memory cue could not have a completely filled-out image of the food pyramid with names of each food group because including the group names and serving size are what the test is directly evaluating.
- In Social Sciences: if a test is evaluating a student’s knowledge of army generals who participated in a particular war, a memory cue could have lists of battles grouped together according to which general was in charge without the generals’ names to help recall the generals’ names. A memory cue could not have the names of the generals with the lists of battles because the generals’ names are the direct answers to the questions.
- In Health Sciences: if a test is evaluating a student’s ability to effectively go through a process of diagnosing a patient, a memory cue could have the mnemonic “O.P.Q.R.S.T.” written on it to help recall how to discern reasons for a patient’s symptoms since O.P.Q.R.S.T. does not give step-by-step instructions. A memory cue could not have the full, written terms of “Onset, Provocation/Palliation, Quality of Pain, Region & Radiation, Severity, Time” because the actual terms explain the process that is being evaluated.
We advise the student and professor to discuss this accommodation together. Please agree on communication methods regarding the accommodation, and timelines to turn in the note card in advance for review.
- Student completes their Memory Aid and turns it into the professor 48 hours before the scheduled test or 1 class period before the test (to be determined between professor and student.)
- Professor reviews the note card for direct answers.
- If portions of the Memory Aid are not approved: Professor will indicate these items to the student. The student will white out the items. If new information is included in these spaces, the professor will need to reapprove the Memory Aid.
- If the entire Memory Aid is not approved: The professor will indicate this to the student and the student is allowed to create a new Memory Aid using feedback from the professor. The new Memory Aid will be reviewed and approved by the professor. The original deadline for submitting the Memory Aid may still apply – check with your professor.
- Once the Memory Aid is approved:
- Professor will initial the note card.
- Professor will take a picture or scan a copy of the note card for their own records.
- Professor MUST INDICATE on the Proctor Form if they have approved the Memory Aid or
not. If the professor indicates it is NOT approved, the Memory Aid will not be allowed in the exam room.
- Professors may not deny the use of a Memory Aid solely based on personal opinion or preference.
- If the student does not allow the professor adequate time to review the Memory Aid or is unable to create an acceptable note card without direct answers (after receiving feedback), then it is the professor’s discretion to deny the Memory Aid.
- The student will present the initialed Memory Aid to proctoring staff when checking-in for a scheduled test.
- Proctoring staff with scan and return the Memory Aid to professors along with the completed test.
- The contents of the Memory Aid Accommodation are at the professor’s discretion and are NOT intended to fundamentally alter or reduce the essential requirements of the course. What is considered a direct answer varies between classes and test design. Therefore, it is crucial for professors to consider what is being evaluated not how a student recalls the information or demonstrates their knowledge.
Please contact email@example.com
Assistive Technology Available to Access Services Students
This document is meant to be a starting point to research Assistive Technology tools. If you’re registered with Access Services or a prospective Access Services student, the Assistive Technology & Accommodations Assistive Technology Coordinator welcomes you to meet, talk and discover what tools best fit your strengths and challenges. Contact Access Services at 360-504-6357 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to meet. For all other students or individuals who visit, we hope this website serves as a starting point for researching and finding tools and programs that best fit the tasks you need to complete.
Video Tutorials for ReadSpeaker, Otter A.I. and more