Disability Services

Disability Services at Lenoir-Rhyne is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to their education and to university life. We are the designated office for the promotion of equity and access in relation to disability.

With guidance from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, in addition to other federal, state, and local disability-related laws, the Disability Services works to provide an equal opportunity for students with disabilities in all aspects of the Lenoir-Rhyne experience.

As part of our overall commitment, we strive to provide individuals with disabilities with support to enable them to access programs, services, facilities, and activities as well as provide disability awareness among all constituents of the university.

Services Provided

Services to students with disabilities may vary, depending on the type and nature of the disability. Possible services may include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Extended testing time
  • Note-taking
  • Books on tape/e-text
  • Alternate testing arrangements
  • Adjustable furnishings
  • Assistive technology
  • Preferential seating
  • Referrals to other campus support services
  • Wheelchair accessible rooms
  • Single rooms
  • Deaf/hard of hearing equipped rooms
  • Accessible classrooms
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Captionists
  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

Requesting Accommodations

If you wish to request accommodations to courses, or to other university programs, services or activities, you must provide appropriate documentation of your disability to the director of disability services as soon as possible. After appropriate documentation is received, the director of disability services will evaluate the documentation and notify you of approved accommodations.

All documentation provided to the director pertaining to your disability will be kept confidential.

It is the policy of Lenoir-Rhyne University to provide accessibility for people with disabilities. The standard by which accessibility to our programs, services and activities will be measured is one of overall program accessibility. That means, while not all university facilities are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, the programs, services and activities of the university are accessible.

Examples of providing accessible programs, services and activities include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Reassignment of courses to an accessible location if the original classroom is not accessible
  • Offering a first-floor residence hall room for a student who is unable to use stairs
  • Structural alterations such as the installation of grab bars in restrooms or installation of a ramp over a step at a building entrance.

Steps to Requesting Accommodations

  1. Complete request for accommodations form 
  2. Submit a request form and supporting documentation (refer to the supporting documentation section below for specifics on each requested accommodation)
    • Physical Disability/Chronic Medical Condition
    • Psychological Disability 
    • Learning Disability
    • ADD/ADHD
  3. Meet with the director to discuss your needs and determine final accommodations
  4. Complete final disability services forms
  5. Accommodation letters are sent to faculty/staff as needed
Request for Accommodations Form

Documentation Guidelines

All documentation provided to the director pertaining to your disability is kept confidential.

  • Physical or Psychiatric Disability

    Students at Lenoir-Rhyne University who request special accommodations on the basis of a physical or psychiatric disability must submit appropriate documentation of the disability. Decisions regarding eligibility for reasonable accommodations can be reached only after appropriate documentation of the diagnosis and supporting data are on file with the University.

    1. Students must submit a written statement from a licensed physician or licensed therapist describing the disability.
    2. This statement MUST include: diagnosis, treatment plan, limitations caused by the disability, possible medical complications, and prognosis for improvement.
    3. The documentation should list associated lab, and test data, when appropriate.
    4. Documentation must also include recommendations by the physician or therapist concerning SPECIFIC accommodations that may be needed for housing and classroom/academic activities at Lenoir-Rhyne University. (Justification for each recommended accommodation must be included if not evident in the information listed in #1). All submitted documentation will be kept confidential.
  • Learning Disability

    Students who are requesting accommodations to courses or University policies and procedures from the Lenoir-Rhyne University Disability Services Office are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A diagnosis of a disorder/impairment alone does not automatically qualify an individual for specific accommodations under the ADA.

    The following guidelines are provided in the interest of ensuring that submitted documentation is appropriate and complete:

    Guidelines for Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability

    Appropriate documentation to support the existence of a Learning Disability would be a full psycho-educational evaluation, performed by a licensed psychologist, licensed psychological associate or other professional who is credentialed to perform such testing. A specific learning disability must be stated within the documentation submitted. If another diagnosis is applicable, it should also be stated. The diagnosis of a specific learning disability should ideally be presented in multiaxial format, as illustrated in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR or V). A statement should be included indicating current status of the learning disability and the functional limitations of the student as a result of the learning disability and how those limitations affect the student in an educational setting.

    • The evaluation must have been completed within the last three years for students just graduating high school. It is preferred that individuals who are seventeen years of age or older be tested using diagnostic instruments normed for adults. If the entering student has graduated from high school more than 24 months prior to enrolling at Lenoir-Rhyne, and the documentation is in excess of three years old but less than five years old, the documentation may be accepted if the documentation clearly shows the Learning Disability has been stable over a period of time and clearly indicates present functioning.
    • Average broad cognitive functioning must be demonstrated on an individually administered intelligence test. Subscale/subtest scores should be listed. One of the following instruments is acceptable: WAIS-R; WAIS Ill; Stanford-Binet IV; WISC-R; WISC-Ill.
    • Specific cognitive processing strengths, weaknesses, and deficits should be discussed. Clear documentation of deficit areas is necessary in order for the university to provide appropriate, reasonable accommodations. Please discuss the following processing areas:
      • Visual special abilities
      • Memory (auditory and visual; short-term and long-term)
      • Fine motor/dexterity (speed/sequence of motor patterns)
      • Executive functions (verbal and nonverbal). It is also helpful to know about the student’s cognitive flexibility and automaticity with cognitive tasks
      • Selective attention/perception (auditory and visual)
    • Oral language skills should be assessed and discussed. Formal instruments or an informal analysis of a language sample are appropriate. Universities are primarily interested in whether or not a student's learning disability is impacting oral language and/or if a separate speech disorder is also present.
    • Social-emotional assessment is required in order to rule-out a primary emotional basis for learning difficulties. Social-emotional status should be assessed and discussed. Formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interview are appropriate. If applicable, a mental health diagnosis should be clearly stated. Universities need to know differential diagnoses of psychological disorders that impact upon academics from learning disabilities. Higher Education is typically quite stressful for students who have learning disabilities. In an attempt to better serve students, it is helpful to know about their personality characteristics, psychological welfare, self-esteem, and ability to respond to stress.
    • Significant specific achievement deficits relative to potential must be documented. Assessment results must be provided across the following areas:
      • Written language (spelling and written expression) -If a written language sample is available to review, this is most helpful. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age-appropriate norms]: BODER; WJ-R (Achievement); TOAL-3; informal writing sample; TOWL-3 (for high school students only); SATA; or WIAT/WIATII.
      • Reading (decoding and comprehension) -Please indicates the student's ability to comprehend longer passages, more typical of university texts than some assessment instruments provide. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age-appropriate norms]: WJ-R (Achievement); Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised (for high school students only); SATA; WIAT/WIATII; or Stanford Diagnostic Reading Tests-4th edition.
      • Mathematics (applied [word problems] and calculations) -Please indicate whether or not the student was successful with algebra problems. Scores rarely provide this. For example, students can score within the low average range on the WRAT-Ill without attempting any of the algebra problems. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age-appropriate norms]: SATA; WJ-R (Achievement); Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Tests-4th edition; KeyMath-Revised/NU; or WIAT/WIATII.
      • Oral expression -Please indicate the student's ability to convey information in a detailed, organized manner. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age-appropriate norms]: Informal assessment during evaluation or WIAT/WIATII.
      • Listening Comprehension -Please indicate the student's ability to comprehend complex verbal material or information. Examples of acceptable tests include (please use age-appropriate norms): Informal assessment during evaluation or WIAT/WIATII.

    The documentation must include the following information:

    • Name of the assessment instrument(s) used
    • Quantitative and qualitative information which supports the diagnosis
    • Severity of the learning disability and impact in and out of the classroom
    • Recommendations for specific accommodations
    • Notation of medication(s) prescribed if any, and potential impact on learning
    • Additional observations or recommendations, which could assist us in adequately serving the student.
    • The name(s), title(s), credentials, address(s), and phone number(s) of the evaluator(s), as well as date(s) of testing. The material should be on letterhead of the individual professional or the agency/firm of which the professional is employed.

    For students wishing to request entrance into LR’s cultural enrichment program to satisfy the foreign language requirement, the evaluator must clearly state that as a result of the diagnosed impairment the student is unable to learn a foreign language. Merely showing that learning a foreign language will be difficult or challenging is not sufficient for entrance into the cultural enrichment program, as the study of a foreign language can be difficult or challenging for non-disabled students. Also, being exempted from foreign language in High School under the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not automatically mean the student will be exempted from the study of a foreign language in a post-secondary institution. Please contact the Director of Disability Services for details about the cultural enrichment program.

    The aforementioned guidelines are provided so that the Disability Services Office can respond appropriately to the individual needs of the student. In regard to the evaluator(s) recommended accommodations, the evaluator(s) recommendations will be considered, however, the Director of Disability Services will make the final determination regarding what accommodations will be provided based on the severity of the diagnosis and whether the requested accommodation will fundamentally alter the nature of the course/assignment or the program. Additionally, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the university can deny a requested accommodation that poses an “undue” financial or administrative burden on the institution.

    *Note: All documentation submitted will be retained in the Disability Services Office and will be considered confidential information.

    Please send documentation along with the Request for Accommodation form to Sherry Proctor

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    In order to establish that an individual is covered under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, documentation must be provided that indicates that a disability substantially limits some major life activity, including learning. The following documentation guidelines are provided to assure that documentation of ADHD demonstrates a significant impact on a major life activity and supports the request for accommodations.

    It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the documentation and present a copy to the Disability Services Office. Any correspondence regarding the adequacy of the submitted documentation will be sent to the student. It is the student's responsibility to obtain additional information or clarification.

    Qualifications of the Evaluator

    The name, title, and license/certification credentials of the evaluator must be stated in the documentation. The following professionals are considered qualified provided they have training in the differential diagnosis of ADHD and direct experience with an adolescent or adult ADHD population: A licensed/certified psychologist (e.g., clinical or school psychologist) or a member of a medical specialty (e.g. psychiatrist, neuropsychiatrist. neurologist or relevantly trained medical doctor) who has expertise in evaluating the impact of ADHD on an individual's educational performance. A diagnosis of ADHD by someone whose training is not in these fields is not acceptable. All reports must be on letterhead, dated, and signed.

    Documentation Should Be Current

    Evaluation should be no more than three years old; however older documentation may be considered under appropriate circumstances, and on case-by-case basis. Current documentation is particularly important because reasonable accommodations and services are based on the assessment of the current impact of the disability on academic performance. If the documentation is not adequate in content or does not address the individual's
    current level of functioning and need for accommodation(s), a reevaluation may be requested by Disability Services. In some
    cases changes may have occurred in the student's performance since a previous diagnosis or new medication may have been prescribed or discontinued. In such cases it may be necessary to have a reevaluation. The update should include a detailed assessment of current impact of the ADHD.

    The examiner should also include an interpretive summary of relevant information from the previous diagnostic report. Documentation must specifically address and substantiate the need for accommodations based on the student’s current functioning in an educational setting.

    Documentation must be comprehensive

    A comprehensive evaluation must include a clinical interview, evidence of early impairment, statement of presenting problems, evidence of current impairment, rule out of alternative diagnoses, assessment of attention difficulties, and a diagnosis of ADHD using all DSM-IV-TR criteria.

    A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a Section 504 Accommodation Plan is insufficient documentation to support a student's eligibility for accommodations but may be included as part of a more comprehensive report.

    Clinical Interview

    ADHD is by definition first exhibited in childhood and manifests itself in more than one setting; as such, relevant historical information is essential. A student's academic history should be included. Medical, developmental, and social histories should be investigated and reported, along with any family history of educational medical or psychosocial difficulties. A description of the individual’s presenting attentional symptoms should be provided as well as any history of such symptoms. A family history of ADHD and the student's medication history also are important.

    Statement of Presenting Problems and Evidence of Current Impact

    A statement of the presenting problem as well as a history of the individual's presenting attentional symptoms should be provided. This should include evidence of ongoing impulsive/hyperactive or inattentive behaviors that significantly impair functioning in two or more life activities.

    Rule out alternative diagnosis

    The evaluator should include any assessment data that supports or refutes a diagnosis of ADHD. It is imperative that the evaluators investigate and discuss the possibility of a dual diagnosis. This process should include exploration of alterative diagnoses and medical and psychiatric: disorders as well as educational and cultural factors affecting the individual, which may result in symptoms that mimic ADHD.

    Assessment of ADHD

    Assessments such as checklists and rating scales are very important, but checklists, surveys, or subtest scores should not be used as the SOLE criterion for a diagnosis of ADHD.

    Diagnosis of ADHD Using DSM-IV-TR Criteria

    Individuals who exhibit general problems with organization, test anxiety, memory and concentration alone do not fit the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Likewise. A positive response to medication by itself does not confirm a diagnosis of ADHD. The diagnostician should use direct language in the diagnosis of ADHD. Avoiding the use of terms such as "suggests", "is indicative of ", or "attention problems". A specific statement that the student is diagnosed as having ADHD with the sub-type and the accompanying DSM-IV-TR criteria are required for services and accommodations.

    It is important to determine the current impact of the disorder on the individual's ability to function in multiple settings. As such, the evaluator must describe the substantial limitation(s) to academic learning, emotional and psychological functioning, interpersonal relationships, and independent living skills. All data must logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning for which the individual is requesting accommodation.

    Recommendations for Accommodations

    The diagnostic report should include specific recommendations for academic accommodations. It is important to reflect upon the functional impact and limitations of the disorder on the student's ability to learn in the classroom. A history of accommodations does not in itself warrant the provision of similar accommodations. If accommodations are not identified specifically in the diagnostic report, the Disability Services Office must request and receive this information before services can be provided. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodation rests with the Disability Services Office.

    A summary of diagnostic findings is a valuable component of the report. The summary might include an indication of how patterns of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity validate the presence of ADHD, elimination of alternative explanations for academic problems (e.g., poor study habits, lack of motivation, psychosocial or medical problems), and a rationale for the academic accommodations requested.

    *These guidelines have been developed with the assistance of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Psychology Clinic and adapted from The Consortium Guidelines for Documentation of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adolescents and Adults (1998).

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Should students submit original copies of documentation?
    No. Students should only submit copies of documentation. The student should retain the originals for their records.

    Will disability related documentation have to be updated while a student is enrolled at Lenoir-Rhyne?
    Typically no. Lenoir-Rhyne University does not require students to update their documentation. However, if an accommodation is requested that is not supported by the student's existing documentation, additional documentation will need to be submitted.

    Additionally, testing agencies such as the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the PRAXIS (for education majors) and other outside testing agencies, may require that documentation meet their own criteria. For example, a student with a learning disability who submits documentation to the Director of Disability Services that is two years old when they enter as a freshman will in all likelihood need to be re-tested for their learning disability if they want accommodations on an ETS administered test taken during their senior year. This is because ETS requires that learning disability documentation be no older than five years old. While LR does not require that students be re-evaluated to receive services, students may have to be re-evaluated to be eligible for accommodations in other organization's testing programs.

    Does Lenoir-Rhyne provide diagnostic testing for students who may have a learning disability or for students who need to update their learning disability related documentation?
    No. Lenoir-Rhyne University does not provide diagnostic testing. However, we do keep an up-to-date listing of agencies in the area that provide diagnostic testing.

    Will a student with a disability receive the same accommodations they received in high school?
    Not necessarily. College and universities are under very different obligations than high schools. Universities look at how an accommodation will affect the nature of the class and can deny accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a class or institutional program or service. Additionally, universities do not have to provide accommodations that will pose an undue administrative or financial burden.

    How do professors know a student is to receive disability related academic accommodations?
    Each semester that a student wishes to receive academic accommodations he/she needs to meet with the Director of Disability Services to request accommodations. The Director will provide the student with letters that state the accommodations the student is to receive in class. These letters are sent via e-mail to each professor and are CC'd to the student. Students must request renewal each semester. 

    If a student has a class with a professor that is already aware of the student's disability, do they still need a modification letter at the beginning of the semester?
    Yes. Don't assume the professor will remember what types of accommodations a student is eligible to receive. Also if the student does not present the letter to the professor and the student does not get the accommodations they need from the professor, the student will have little recourse, as they never requested a modification in that class.

    The accommodation/modification letter is verification that a request for a disability related modification was made by the student and approved by the Director of Disability Services.

    If a student with a disability begins a course and does not request accommodations but has difficulty later in the semester, can they request accommodations and re-take prior tests with accommodations?
    No. Accommodations are not granted retroactively. However, if the student in the above scenario is approved for accommodations during the semester, he/she will receive the approved accommodations from that point forward.

    Are all learning disabled students allowed into the foreign language substitution courses?
    No. All requests for entry into Lenoir-Rhyne's cultural enrichment program are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students who wish to enter the cultural enrichment program to fulfill the foreign language requirement of the core curriculum will need to provide clear documentation from an appropriate professional that illustrates that as a direct result of the diagnosed impairment they cannot learn a foreign language. Merely showing the presence of a disabling condition, or that foreign language courses will be difficult or challenging, is not sufficient to enter the cultural enrichment program as foreign language courses can be difficult or challenging for all students.

    Does LR provide 'un-timed testing' as an academic modification?
    No. As with all accommodations, the request for additional testing time is made on a case-by-case basis. Most students who receive additional testing time as an accommodation receive time-and-a-half. This means if the in-class test or quiz is to take 50 minutes, the student approved to receive time and a half would be allowed to use up to 75 minutes. Untimed testing is typically not deemed reasonable at the university level. 

    Remember, as with all accommodations, additional testing time is used as a reasonable accommodation to provide disabled students equal access to the test. The provision of extended testing time does not guarantee a student will be able to complete the test. This is because, in classes where tests are timed, non-disabled students may or may not be able to complete the exam.

    Does the Disability Services Office provide note-taking services?
    Yes. Note-taking services are available for students who qualify for this service. Notetakers are typically students from within the class. They are typically obtained by the Disability Service Office in conjunction with the course professor. Notes are electronically uploaded to a designated CANVAS site. 

    Can students with disabilities tape record classes?
    Yes. Students who qualify for this accommodation may request to record lectures. These recordings are for individual students and can not be shared, posted, or made available to others in any format. 

    Are textbooks available in e-text or audio format?
    Yes, for students with documented reading impairments textbooks are available electronically. However, there are times when particular books may not be available.

    Some publishers provide E-Text materials for students with disabilities. The Director will try various outlets to locate books electronically. Also, text to speech programs are available for student use.

    For more information, contact the Director of Disability Services about available assistive technology.

    What other campus resources are available for students with disabilities?
    Students with disabilities have access to the same support services that are available to all students.

    • Lohr Learning Commons - provides assistance with writing, public speaking, course-specific tutoring, math tutoring lab, and general learning strategies.
    • Writing Center - uses peer consultants and faculty members to assist students in improving their writing ability.
    • Career and Professional Development Center - educates students and alumni about effective career decision-making and planning as well as helping with resumes and interview skills. 
    • Cornerstone Counseling Center - provides individual therapy, crisis intervention and referral services for LR students. All services are provided in an accepting and confidential manner. 

    Where can I find faculty questions on accommodating students?
    Refer to the Disability Services Faculty FAQ Handbook for frequently asked questions by Lenoir-Rhyne faculty members.