Request Services and Accommodations

Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with disability services after completing an application to Northeast. Disability related information provided directly to the Disability Services office.

Accommodations include a modification or adjustment that allows a student to have equal access and have equal opportunity to participate in Northeast's courses, services, activities and use of the facilities. Northeast is not obligated to provide an accommodation that requires a substantial change in the curriculum or alteration of any essential elements or functions of a program. Reasonable accommodations are provided on an individualized, as-needed basis.

Students May Request Accommodations Due to a Permanent Disability or for Temporary Health Conditions



Step 1: Self-identify and Contact Us

Make an appointment.

  • Call DS advisor at 402–844–7700 (Connie Meyer) or 402–844–7709 (Janet Johnson)
  • Or, email disability@northeast.edu
  • Or, you may stop by Disability Services at College Welcome Center, 1263 or 1264.

*This process is adapted in response to individual circumstances.

Disability Services Staff Directory

Step 2: Conversation and Application Paperwork

Complete a Request for Accommodations form with the Disability Services Advisor or designee during the intake appointment or it can be emailed to you by request. A disability services staff person will have a conversation with you about your abilities, interest, educational goals, challenges, your diagnosed condition that is considered a disability, and possible accommodations. During the conversation, you will have opportunity to discuss the impact your condition may have or has had on participating in education, activities, work and or accessing instructions material on line or in the classroom. Note: A diagnosis of a disability does not automatically qualify a student for accommodations under the ADA.

The DS application is separate from the admissions application. Any disability related information should be given directly to the Disability Services office and not to other Northeast employees. We strive to keep confidential your disability-related information.

Step 3: Provide Documentation

Acceptable sources of documentation for substantiating a student's disability and request for particular accommodations can take a variety of forms:

  • Student’s Self-Report – interview, questionnaire
  • Observation and Interpretation – impressions and conclusions formed by experienced disability services personnel
  • Information from External and Third Parties – educational, medical records/reports

We recommend you submit documentation either before or at the initial intake meeting with Disability Services Advisor. If you have not provided documentation, prior to meeting with the disability services advisor, you will be asked to sign a release of information form allowing DS staff to obtain disability related documentation from an appropriate source, such as educational institutions, healthcare providers, or community based programs.

What should be included in disability documentation?

Documentation from External or Third Parties that includes the following information is helpful:

  • A clearly stated diagnosis from a qualified professional.
  • Diagnostic criteria and evaluation methods used to include procedures, test with scores, clinical narratives, and date evaluation and diagnoses was completed.
  • Functional limitations of the disability and side effects of treatments on academia. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in physical and program/instructional access for which accommodations are being requested.
  • Recommendation for accommodations, adaptive equipment and services, and compensatory services in the post-secondary setting with rationale.
  • Testing and assessments used for diagnosis recent enough to reflect the impact of the disability on current life functioning and or age appropriate.

Recent high school graduates should provide a copy of their IEP, MDT, Psychological Test reports.

If a disability fluctuates or is progressive, updated documentation may be required. People with medical and psychiatric conditions benefit from providing documentation not more than 6 months old reflecting limitations and current impact of treatment on major life activities such as learning. The documentation should provide substantial, clear and convincing evidence that supports the need for requested academic accommodations.

A typed note on a piece of paper with limited information such as diagnosis on a prescription pad typically is not adequate documentation to support approval for requested accommodations. DS staff will send a medical verification form to the healthcare professional in this sort of circumstance to get appropriate documentation.

Students are responsible for paying costs associated with diagnosis, evaluation, or testing needed to document the existence of a disability and requested accommodations.

Documentation is confidential and kept in a locked file in DS. Documentation from a third party is not released unless required by law. Students are responsible for retaining their own disability related documentation. Failure to do so will require the student to return to the source of the documentation if the student needs it in the future.

What if you do not have any documentation or have inadequate documentation?

Any student unsure of having adequate documentation or if they know they do not have any documentation pertaining to a disability, but believe a disability may exist, should meet with us. We will help determine whether or not documentation is needed, and if documentation is needed, we will aid the student in identifying resources.

Inadequate Documentation

Northeast has the right to request additional information to determine if a student has a disability and or to determine if requested accommodations are appropriate. When DS cannot determine based on current documentation that a disability exist, the student will be provided information of resources to aid in getting assessed/evaluated to obtain adequate documentation to verify a disability exists requiring accommodations.

Northeast reserves the right to deny services or accommodations while the receipt of appropriate documentation is pending. DS will strive to identify other academic supports to aid the student to address academic challenges.


Disclaimer: Other institutions, agencies and/or programs (e.g. testing agencies, licensure exams, and certification programs) might not accept documentation accepted at Northeast. When working with other institutions and/or programs, ask them about their documentation requirements.

Step 4: Determination of Accommodations and Services

The Director of Disability Services reviews all information and completes a needs assessment and justification for accommodations. The Director of DS will visit with you, review information you have shared during the intake conversation, your documentation, and program requirements. This review allows us to identify to appropriate accommodations and support services. We will complete an "Accommodation and Academic Support Plan" which will list of approved accommodations supported by the disability related information. Accommodations are designed to address disability-related needs.

What are Accommodations and Support Services?

Accommodations are supports provided to qualified students with disabilities so they have equal access and equal opportunity to benefit from Northeast's classes, programs and activities. Accommodations and academic supports are critical to student access and success.

Accommodations Must:
  • Be Effective! They must eliminate the barrier
  • Be appropriately related to the student's disability/functional limitations
  • Maintain essential elements of the course (academic integrity)
Accommodations Must Not:
  • Fundamentally alter the essential functions of a course. For example, spellcheckers or calculators may not be permitted if using them fundamentally alters a course's requirements. For instance, a spellchecker would likely not be allowed in a medical terminology course that requires students to know the exact spelling of certain words. However, these adjustments are likely available in other courses.
  • Modify or waive academic and technical standards
  • Be of a personal nature. (i.e. Transportation, personal attendant care, Kurzweil on a student's home computer)
  • Impose a direct threat to others
  • Disruptive behavior whether due to a disability or not is not permitted. Disruptive behavior may be a Code of Conduct Violation
  • Give a student an unfair advantage
  • Present an undue hardship

While "reasonable accommodations" (auxiliary aids and services and academic adjustments) are just one path to access, they, along with campus-wide consultation and training, are often necessary to afford access to individuals with disabilities. Decisions regarding whether an accommodation is appropriate requires an individualized, interactive process and an understanding of the context the accommodation will be used.

Typical Accommodations

There is no one list of reasonable academic accommodations that will serve the needs of all students with disabilities. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis.

Examination Accommodations:

Testing poses barriers for students with a variety of disabilities because tests usually assume the ability to see, hear, concentrate in a crowded environment, and work under time pressure, among other things. As a result, tests often measure the impact of an impairment rather than measuring what the student knows or has learned. Adaptive exam administration is an accommodation designed to alleviate these barriers so that a test is effective in measuring a student's aptitude, skill, or achievement.

  • Distraction-reduced testing environment
  • Extended time—common is 1.5 times (does not typically mean extended preparation time)
  • Use of technology, such as a computer program to listen to exams (Kurzweil) or screen reader (JAWS)
  • Usage of speech recognition software (Dragon NaturallySpeaking)
  • Use of dictionary or spell checker
  • Rephrasing instructions for clarification
  • Test materials provided in alternative format such as large print or
  • No Scantrons

Testing Accommodations coordinated with Northeast Testing Center. Guidelines are provided to schedule exams with the Testing Center. Northeast strive to ensure that administrative procedures do not create an undue burden on the student.

Alternate Media /Text Books in Alternative Format
  • E-textbooks accessible with text to speech recognition programs or screen reader software
  • Braille
  • Digital files of print material
Classroom Accommodations
  • Preferential Seating
  • Note-taking accommodations may include:
    • Copies of Power Point Presentations
    • Copies of Peer Class Notes
  • Use of a Digital Devices such as Laptop or Smart Pen
  • Audio/Video Record Classes (The student will provides own recording device and should discuss with the instructor the best placement of the recording device.)
Adaptive Furniture & Equipment
  • Comtek (FM System)
  • Bariatric Chairs
  • Adjustable tables

Adjustments to policies, practices, or procedures and syllabus requirements

Examples: Flexibility in attendance, course substitutions, and extending timelines for completing assignments without grade reduction. Exception to the attendance policy will not be possible in all courses because class attendance is an essential, integral part of some courses. Alternate assignments may be determined appropriate when not in attendance due to medical needs.

Non-Academic Accommodations
  • Residential Life Accommodations
  • Animals on Campus
  • Dietary access & accommodations
Auxiliary aids and services
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Media material closed captioned
  • Using digital recorders
  • Computer software such as the Kurzweil/ Natural Reader/Dragon NaturallySpeaking software for in class assignments and for taking exams
  • Other auxiliary aids and services supported by documentation

Colleges have flexibility in choosing the specific aid or service provided to students, as long as the aid or service selected is effective. Successful effectiveness of the aid and/or service is determined by its success in equalizing the opportunity for a student with a disability.

Sufficient advance notice is required when requesting accommodations. Some accommodations may require a six-week advanced notice to arrange.

Academic Support Services

Support services available but not limited to the following include:

  • Disability Awareness Counseling in relation to how one's disability affects participating at college and to assist students in developing social and behavioral strategies to address impairments.
  • Regular appointments to address disability related challenges and benefits of accommodations.
  • Assistance with developing learning strategies to work around the impact of the disability.
  • Assistance with goal setting, problem solving and personalizing organizational tools.
  • Assistance with registration.
  • Referral to other campus services and appropriate community agencies such as VR, Assistive Technology Partnership, Liberty Centre, MidTown, Professional Partners,etc.
  • Referral to community resources for diagnostic assessment as necessary.
  • Self-advocacy training.
Academic
  • Orientation to personalized accommodations and support services.
  • Training on the usage of adaptive technology.
  • Assistance in arranging for note takers, interpreters, and scribes.
Physical
  • Arranging for classroom accommodations and access.
  • Temporary Handicap Accessible parking.
Advocacy and Guidance for faculty, staff and students
  • Physical and programmatic assessment of access issues.
  • Assist faculty in understanding access barriers to instructional material and implementing accommodations.
  • Provide information about specific disabilities, appropriate accommodations and disability related laws.
  • Liaison with faculty, high schools, community agencies, and families.

What Accommodations are not provided in college to students?

Services of a personal nature (such as homework assistance or personal tutors) or providing diagnostic evaluations of disabilities. Personal devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids or glasses, nor personal care assistance such as assistance with getting into bed, toileting, or dressing.

Personal Care attendants in the classroom or in residential life need to meet with the Director of Disability Services to discuss procedures. Students requiring personal attendant care assume full responsibility for arranging these services. DS staff are anxious to help students not only have access but success in reaching their educational and career goals. Northeast has the responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations; it is the responsibility of the person with the need to request and use reasonable accommodations.

Instructors are Informed of Approved Accommodations via Academic Access Letter (AAL)

AAL is a confidential document emailed to each of the student's instructors to communicate approved appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. The AAL typically does not disclose the nature of a student's disability.

Step 5: Discuss Approved Accommodations

The student and instructors share a mutual responsibility to discuss the AAL content confidentially; how to implement the accommodations and how the instructor will ensure course content is accessible. The student informs the assigned DS advisor of having the discussion with their instructors. The instructor confirms receipt of AAL by email, acknowledging responsibility for meeting with the student to discuss procedures for implementing accommodations, academic supports and commitment to ensure course content is accessible. Faculty and staff are informed to not refer to a student's disability in class or in front of other students, faculty, or staff members.

Instructors should not provide accommodations to students unless they have received an official DS AAL. Instructors should not ask nor should a student feel a need to discuss his or her disability with the instructor. Faculty will provide accommodations once they have received from DS the AAL. Faculty should not take it upon themselves to provide accommodations to students before receiving the AAL nor should they provide additional accommodations not marked on the AAL.

Disability Services staff are available to work with students and faculty if there are any difficulties implementing the accommodation plan.

Adjustments to this process are made for students taking classes online and at the extended campus sites. Communication regarding accommodations can take place via phone or email between the student and instructor. If possible, discussions should not take place via email. Students are responsible for contacting DDS if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in a timely way or are not effective.

Students must meet the academic and technical program standards expected of all students.

How do I talk to my instructor about my accommodations?

Each student and instructor combination is a new experience. We encourage open communication lines between students, faculty, and disability services. We are here for you.

Contact your instructors to discuss your accommodations

You may wish to email your instructor to request a meeting. If meeting in person is not possible, you can arrange other means such as phone or online session. The important thing is that both you and your instructor are comfortable with your accommodation plan. By communicating directly with each instructor you ensure any questions or concerns can be addressed early on. Disability Services should be consulted to resolve any concerns.

When you meet, introduce yourself. Here’s an easy introduction you might try: "Hi, my name is (blank) and I'm in your (blank) class. "I'm working with Disability Services, and you should have received a notice about the accommodations I'll need in this class."

Focus on access

Information about the nature of the disability you experience is confidential. You are not required to share disability specific information with your instructor. If you are asked about it, you can refer your instructor to Disability Services.

Remember that requests for other accommodations not noted on the AAL or exceptions to course policies require collaboration between disability services, instructional faculty, and you. Instructors should not to provide additional accommodations or adjustments based on your disability.

Use the interactive process – if something gives you questions or concerns, bring them to Disability Services. We will work together to resolve. Students may contact the assigned Disability Services Advisor or the DS Director if they have any questions or concerns at any point during the semester regarding the benefit of accommodations or being able to access all course instructions.

Step 6: Assistive Technology Training and Orientation

Upon the accommodation and academic support plan, DS staff provide an orientation to DS services, academic supports, accommodation procedures and technology training in the usage of technology.

Assistive technology (AT) makes it possible for individuals with a wide range of disabilities to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Here in Disability Services at Northeast, we do our very best to support success in each of our students through one-on-one personalized training and ongoing support. Through training, students are exposed to and gain knowledge of tools which enable them to use their accommodations and assist with study and organizational skills.



Need help or additional information?

If you need assistance or more information, please contact:

Director of Disability Services

Phone: (402) 844-7343
Toll-Free: (800) 348-9033, Ext. 7343
Fax: (402) 844-7412
Office: CWC 1263