Rights and Responsibilities

Your rights as an individual with a disability are protected under federal law; primarily Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of of 1973. It is as follows:

"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity provided by an institution receiving federal financial assistance."

These are the major points of the law:

  • Students with disabilities must be given equal opportunity to gain the same results or level of achievement as non-disabled students.
  • The college does not have to change any requirements of a course that are essential to showing you have mastered the course.
  • However, if there is a part of the course that is not essential, and that part is preventing you from displaying your ability to master the content of the course, the college must alter its methods.
  • The results of tests should reflect your level of achievement in the course, and not your area of disability.

As an example, let's say your disability is in the area of written language. You are taking an American History class in which the instructor gives an essay exam on the course material. You are able to understand, remember and explain the course material. However, your spelling is so poor you can't get your thoughts down on paper and your instructor can't decipher what you have written.

Learning the causes of the Civil War is an essential requirement of American History, showing you can spell is not. In this case, it would be appropriate for you to either use a spell checker or assistive computer programs such as Drag and Dictate. In this way, the instructor is grading you on your knowledge of the course material and not on your disability.

Student Responsibilities

Before any academic accommodation or adjustment will be arranged, the GCC student must give the Center for Students with Disabilities adequate and verifiable evidence of disability.

By requesting services from the DSPS, students are agreeing to the following:

  • they will provide CSD the information, documentation, and/or forms (medical, educational, etc.) deemed necessary by CSD in order to verify a disability and authorize services and accommodations;
  • they will meet with a CSD counselor to complete a Student Educational Contract (SEC), determine accommodations and complete a GCC Student Educational Plan (SEP);
  • they will continue to meet with a counselor at least annually to update the SEC;
  • they recognize they must adhere to written service provision policies and procedures, and failure to do so may result in termination of services;
  • they must comply with the Student Code of Conduct adopted by the college;
  • they will assume responsibility for any loaned equipment and agree not to allow another individual to use such equipment;
  • they agree that DSPS services may be terminated if they fail to make measurable progress toward the goals established in the SEC.