Support for Students with Disabilities
The Academic Resource and Writing Center (ARWC) at Goshen College provides accommodations for students with special needs. Students facing the challenges of physical, sensory, psychological, or learning disabilities must provide documentation to the ARWC director prior to receiving services. In order to develop an individualized support system for qualifying students, Goshen College requires documentation to verify the presence of a disability, its possible impact on the student’s academic processes, and recommendations for reasonable accommodations.
Students are invited to meet with the ARWC director prior to scheduling their first semester classes. The ARWC director can help with informal advising in order to optimize student strengths and minimize difficulties during the transitional semester. The ARWC director will work with students to develop an individualized support system and implement the plan in conjunction with students and their professors. If needed, the director can provide an appropriate referral for assessment and evaluation.
Documentation for specific cognitive, physical, psychological, and sensory limitations is required. It must include the following:
- A clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability. Include a full clinical description of how the disability generally limits function and the typical progression or prognosis of the condition.
- A description of the diagnostic methodology used. Include names of assessments and dates of their administration, summary data, and narrative. Note: Evaluations must have been completed within the past three years.
- The credentials of the evaluator(s). Quality documentation comes from licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professionals in an appropriate field.
- A thorough description of how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the student. A combination of formal evaluation results, clinical narrative, and the individual’s self report is the most helpful.
- A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability in this individual. Include information on its cyclical or episodic nature when appropriate.
- A description of current and past accommodations, services, and/or medications. Documentation should convey any side effects.
- Recommendations of accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services. To be most helpful, recommendations should be logically related to any functional limitations. Otherwise, clearly explain their relationship to the needs of the particular student. Please note that post-secondary institutions are not obligated to provide or adopt such recommendations, but those that are congruent with the programs of the institution may be appropriate. Even when recommendations aren’t suitable for the institution, they may still be useful in suggesting alternatives.
- Please see the ARWC Services for Students with Disabilities Handbook (pdf) about documentation for various types of disabilities.
Continuation of 504 or Vocational-Rehabilitation Services
Any student presently receiving services supported by Vocational Rehabilitation or other 504 funding must provide documentation as outlined above. To remain eligible for continued Voc-Rehab funding, the student must also:
- Meet with the high school’s Special Needs Coordinator or Guidance Counselor for an exit interview. During this interview, the educational professional must document special accommodations that have been implemented during high school and identify recommended accommodations at the postsecondary level.
- Submit a letter summarizing the exit interview. Specify special accommodations received and suggestions for college. The person who facilitated the exit interview must sign the letter.
- Meet with the ARWC director to begin planning for the first semester of college.
- Meet with your Voc-Rehab advocate to discuss continued financial support.
- Provide the ARWC director with contact information for your Voc-Rehab advocate prior to the beginning of the semester.