Female student looking into a microscope.

Disability Services FAQ

Who is eligible for Disability Services?

Any student who has a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities is eligible to receive services. At Gateway, the life activities would most likely be those involved with learning.

What are the differences between high school special education and college Disability Services? 

There are many differences between obtaining and receiving services in high school and college.  This chart illustrates some of the major differences. 

What is documentation of a disability?

Documentation is the paperwork that proves that a person has a disability. A person’s disability is diagnosed by a professional qualified to make the diagnosis. For example, a family physician is qualified to diagnose a person’s back injury, but most likely is not qualified to diagnose a learning disability. Please see the Documentation Guidelines.

What are accommodations?

Accommodations (like these examples) refer to academic adjustments and auxiliary aids. Accommodations are the actions that the college takes or the equipment the college provides to give students with disabilities the ability to participate in courses or college activities. Deciding on accommodations is an interactive process. It involves a conversation between the student and Disability Services. We determine accommodations on a case-by-case basis. We build those accommodations based on what you tell us in our conversation and the functional limitations that your professional described in your documentation. The conversation enables you to tell us how your disability affects your learning.

How does a student receive accommodations?

Follow the steps detailed here, and remember that you have certain responsibilities as part of the process.
Will my advisor and instructors seek me out to make sure I am provided services and accommodations?
Not usually. You must self-identify as an individual with a disability to receive accommodations from the Disability Services Office. Each semester you must initiate contact with our office to complete your request for each class. You must then give the accommodation memo to the instructor in order to obtain those accommodations.

Why can’t a student just ask his/her professors for accommodations?

Most colleges have policies and procedures in place to provide services for students with disabilities. They also have an office or person who is in charge of approving services. This protects the rights of the students, faculty, and college.

At Gateway, involving Disability Services in the process helps assure that the student truly does have a disability and the accommodations are needed for that student to gain access to college courses or activities. Also, these policies and procedures help ensure that the college is providing consistent services. They also create proof that accommodations were requested and approved or denied and the reason for denial. Finally, they help ensure confidentiality of the student’s disability documentation.

Will requirements of a program or the content of a course be modified?

Not usually. All students must meet the essential academic and technical requirements (be otherwise qualified) to enter a program and maintain them to remain in that program. Students must show mastery of course material to earn college credit. Classroom behavioral standards must be met.

What does a student do if a professor won’t cooperate with accommodations?

Contact Disability Services immediately!
Complying with anti-discrimination laws is a college-wide responsibility. All employees of the college are required to comply. Disability Services will talk with the professor. Perhaps the professor simply forgot about the accommodation. Also, if the professor believes an accommodation changes an essential requirement, talking with Disability Services and the student may reveal other accommodations that might work as well. Providing accommodations while maintaining the academic integrity of courses is a team effort.
What does a student do if the accommodation is not working?

Contact Disability Services immediately! It is up to the student to let Disability Services know when an accommodation is not working as planned. Remember, too, that accommodations do not guarantee success in a course, just access.

Are Interpreters and Captioning provided?
Unfortunately, Gateway does not have full-time interpreters or captioning for students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a communication disability. If you stop by the college unannounced, an interpreter or captioning is not immediately available. You will need to communicate through writing.

Contact Disability Services at 859-442-4120 through VRS or by email at colleen.kane@kctcs.edu to schedule an interpreter or captioning. This practice applies to scheduling an interpreter or captioning for information sessions, placement testing, Financial Aid appointments, advising appointments, or any college entrance activity.

Are instructional aides, personal care attendants, or specialized tutoring provided?

No. Students are responsible for arranging and providing these services. This includes, but is not limited to, medical equipment, personal care attendants, or specialized tutors. For example, if you need to be reminded to take medication, need assistance to get from place to place, etc., that is a personal service that you need in order to function on a daily basis, whether you are in college or not. However, there are situations when Disability Services may provide an in-class academic assistant. You will talk about this at your accommodation meeting.
Please note that there is no medical facility on campus. If you have a personal attendant that will need to accompany you to class, prior notification must be made before any non-student can attend a course. Faculty will be notified of the non-student's defined role.

Why can’t parents make accommodation decisions for students?

Students who attend college are considered adults and are held responsible for making decisions about their education at GCTC. This applies even if the student is not yet 18 years old. Also, students with disabilities who attend college do not have to let anyone know that they have a disability (see Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). However, parents are a wonderful source of support and information. Students are encouraged to have open communication with their parents or other significant family members.
If you want your professors to share information with your parents, please sign the Student Records Disclosure Form and turn it in at the Registrar’s Office.