Disability Services and Accommodations
The University is required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students and employees with physical, learning, or psychological disabilities. It is the responsibility of the person with a disability to make the University aware of a documented disability and the need for accommodation(s). There must be evidence that the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities related to learning.
Guidelines for Accommodations
The University has established the following guidelines for accommodations.
- The student is required to provide appropriate documentation from an authorized agency, individual, or health care provider. The documentation must include the names, titles and professional credentials of the evaluator(s). This documentation must describe the disability and provide an explanation of how this condition may affect the student in an academic setting. The documentation must be current. The University reserves the right to judge the appropriateness, timeliness, and source of the documentation.
- The student must initiate the request for accommodations, and such requests must be made each semester.
- It is the responsibility of the Coordinator of Disability Services, on behalf of the University, to determine the most appropriate accommodation(s). The Coordinator of Disability Services may deny the request for accommodation(s) if the requested accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of the program or course, or if it can be demonstrated that the cost would place an undue financial burden on the University.
- An official form describing the accommodation(s) will be developed and signed by the student and the Coordinator of Disability Services each semester for each class or activity. This form is given to the student to give to the appropriate faculty member(s) and/or supervisor(s), and the student is urged to make an appointment with each faculty member/supervisor to discuss his/her unique needs.
- To allow sufficient time for thorough review of documentation and consultation, appropriate written documentation should be provided to the University’s Coordinator of Disability Services as soon as possible, preferably at least four weeks prior to the beginning of classes or, in the case of new students, prior to summer registration.
- Accommodations cannot be retroactive.
- The participation of other support persons or providers (e.g., vocational rehabilitation counselors or parents) is welcome provided permission has been obtained from the student. In all cases, the student, not the support person, must speak directly with the Coordinator of Disability Services.
How to Request Accommodations
Requests for accommodations must be made directly with the Coordinator of Disability Services in the Academic Support Center (Babcock Hall, (802) 468-1428) who will follow the guidelines stated above and make referrals to the appropriate University offices as needed.
Requests by employees for accommodations should be made in writing to the Director of Human Resources at (802) 468-1208.
Accommodation for specific testing situations, such as ETS/Praxis Teacher Licensure, require specific documentation. Please contact the Coordinator of Disability Services in the Academic Support Center for assistance.
To request an accommodation at a public performance in the Fine Arts Center, contact the Director of the Fine Arts Center at (802) 468-1424. To request an accommodation at a public performance in another campus venue, please contact the Conference & Events Office at (803) 468-6039.
If a student is denied a requested accommodation or believes the final accommodation(s) provided is not reasonable or the accommodation was not provided as agreed, the student should first seek to discuss this with the Coordinator of Disability Services. The student should provide the Coordinator with any additional documentation supporting the student’s position, such as additional disability documentation or documentation demonstrating the failure to provide an approved accommodation. If the student is unable to resolve the matter with the Coordinator of Disability Services, the student may use the following appeal process. During the appeal process, any academic accommodations or services that have been put into place will continue uninterrupted.
Appeals should be submitted, in writing, to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, with a copy to the Coordinator of Disability Services. The appeal may be submitted by hand delivery, email, inter-office mail or U.S. Mail to:
ADA/Section 504 Coordinator
Kelley Beckwith, Associate Dean of Student Success
Woodruff Hall, Castleton University, Castleton, VT 05735
The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator or the Coordinator’s designee has the discretion to conduct any investigation deemed appropriate, including requesting documents and interviewing witnesses, prior to making a final decision on the appeal. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator or the Coordinator’s designee shall respond to the appeal in writing, with a copy to the Coordinator of Disability Services, and, if the appeal is denied, shall explain the reason for the decision.
If a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of a disability, the student may file a complaint pursuant to VSC Policy 311: Non-Discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct.
Emotional Support Animals
In accordance with the Fair Housing Act which provides for assistance animals for persons with disabilities, emotional support animals (ESA) may be allowed in a residence hall, in certain cases, if the following qualifications are met:
- The individual resident making the request has a documented disability;
- The animal is necessary to afford the individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy campus housing;
- There is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.
If an ESA is allowed, the following policies shall be enforced:
- The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of the ESA
- The ESA must be under the control of its owner at all times.
- The ESA shall have a harness, leash, other tether or cage as appropriate.
- The owner must show proof that all vaccines, if required, are up to date.
- The ESA is only allowed in the individual residence to which the individual with a disability is assigned by Residence Life.
Requests for emotional support animals will be treated as requests for accommodations and should be directed to Coordinator of Disability Services Gerry Volpe in the Academic Support Center. Decisions will be made collaboratively by the Coordinator of Disability Services, Director of Residence Life, and the Associate Dean of Students.
Medical Single Policy
Castleton University is committed to the support of students with disabilities. There are a limited number of medical single rooms available for students with medical, psychological, psychiatric, mobility, visual, or hearing impairment-related conditions, whose symptoms preclude the student from living with a roommate. Requests for medical singles will be treated as requests for accommodations and should be directed to the Coordinator of Disability Services in the Academic Support Center (Babcock Hall, 802-468-1428).
The University’s Disabilities Access Committee is comprised of faculty, students, and administrators. Its mission is to educate the University community about disability-related issues and to support members of the University community who have disabilities. For more information contact Coordinator of Disability Services Gerry Volpe at (802) 468-1428.