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Student Accessibility Services

Who We Serve

  • Any student with a documented disability who is registered for classes.
  • We also work cooperatively with instructors to provide academic adjustments to reduce barriers in the classroom (face-to-face or virtual).

How We Can Help You

We are available to meet with students in person or via phone for a wide variety of needs:

  • Organizational skills
  • Working with faculty
  • Self advocacy
  • Specific disability-related concerns

Learning techniques & assistive technology (e.g., Kurzweil, Dragon Dictate)

We help students determine appropriate and reasonable adjustments/services for their classes. We can provide limited screening or testing referrals for students who are not sure if they have learning disabilities. This is all provided at no cost to you!

How to Access Disability Services

  • Step 1: Contact our staff for an appointment (preferably before the start of classes).
  • Step 2: Provide documentation to our office from a qualified professional. If you need assistance with this, please let us know.
  • Step 3: Meet with Student Accessibility Services staff to develop a specialized plan (VISA form) that you will provide to your instructors regarding academic adjustments for their classes.For more specific information and forms, please visit the Student Accessibility Services Website
Accommodations and academic adjustments are made on an individual, case-by-case basis and may differ from services provided at other institutions, including high school.

What is “Documented” Disability

  • Written verification from qualified care provider such as a physician or mental health provider.  Recent (within three years) is best.
  • Documentation should clearly state both the disability and how it significantly impacts the student, especially in a learning environment.
  • For more specific information on documentation, please refer to our website or contact a staff member.

Contact Student Accessibility Services

Winget Student Life Center | 3rd Floor (above Dining Hall)
(651) 641-8272 or (651) 641-8207
Fax: (651) 603-6222
TTY: MN Relay 711
Email: sas@csp.edu

Mailing Address
1282 Concordia Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104-5494

Additional Information

  • Student Accessibility Services is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law. Information provided to Student Accessibility Services is considered confidential and is not disclosed to a third party without the written permission of the student. Information provided to Student Accessibility Services is shared within the university when there is a legitimate, “need to know” basis.

    Information regarding a student’s accommodation plan, however, can be released to faculty members, staff or advisers who are currently working with a student as this does not close the nature of disability. Students who choose not to have accommodation information disclosed must contact Student Accessibility Services before the start of the semester. Students are then responsible for providing this information to faculty before accommodations can be provided.

    If a student wishes to allow someone to have access to information about their documentation, they must sign a release of information. Students must sign a release of information that allows the Student Accessibility Services to speak to any individual on their behalf relative to their disability. This includes their doctor, therapist, or a student’s parents. Due to laws pertaining to medical documentation, communication between Health Services, Counseling and Student Accessibility Services also requires a release.

    On occasion, it may be necessary to disclose disability in order to assist you with situations that constitute harm to self or others, emergency situations, or hospitalizations. Also, please note that a student’s file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.

    It is the responsibility as a student to become informed about your disability, your granted accommodations and any policies pertaining to disability. Any student with questions or concerns should contact Student Accessibility Services at (651) 641-8272.

  • Student Accessibility Services (SAS) views access as a cooperative effort between the student, faculty, SAS and appropriate staff (as needed). We are committed to providing students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in courses, programs and other course-related or extracurricular activities in keeping with state and federal laws.

    The official process for students with temporary or long term disability who request adjustments is as follows:

    1) Student requests a modification or accommodation that is outside of course or program policies based on known disability, significant illness, mental health concern or other physical or cognitive condition.

    2) Faculty asks student for copy of accommodation form (VISA) or refers student to SAS.  Faculty may also contact SAS staff for consultation.  Modifications or accommodations should not be put in place prior to faculty receiving a VISA.  Modifications do not have to be retro-actively applied.

    3) Student Accessibility Services staff meets with and determines disability and adjustments that the student requires in order to access programs or courses. All such decisions are specific to the type and severity of the student’s disability and in keeping with federal and state laws.

    4) If not already developed, an accommodation form (VISA) is developed by SAS with the student and provided to instructional staff or program coordinators.  The student or SAS staff will provide this information.

    5) Faculty  or instructional staff determine what is essential to their specific courses and how accommodations may or may not fit into this in consultation with SAS.

    6) Student and instructor should then engage in a discussion regarding accommodations in courses/programs and what specific needs the student may have.

  • The mission of SAS is to foster an inclusive environment in which all students have the opportunity to equally participate in the academic experience. Student Accessibility Services works with the university community to provide an accessible education to students with disabilities through the provision of accommodations.

    Eligibility for Services

    Currently enrolled and qualified students who have a disability that significantly limits one or more major life activities are eligible for services. Recent and appropriate documentation of the disability (including diagnostic information from a qualified care professional) is required prior to providing accommodations.  This becomes part of the student’s confidential file prior to disability accommodations being put in place.

    Reasonable 504/ADA Accommodations

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all services, benefits, and programs provided by the University be accessible to students with a disability. All accommodations and adjustments are provided according to the law, the facts, and the needs of a particular individual with a disability. The central requirement for accommodations/academic adjustments is that they are both reasonable and effective and that the student has worked with both SAS staff in determining a reduction to any barriers within the parameters of what is essential to a course (which may require the input from instructors). Accommodations that fundamentally alter program or course requirements, or pose an undue administrative or financial burden are not required under the act(s).

    Who to Contact

    SAS staff at 651-641-8272 (V), MN Relay 711 or via email: SAS@csp.edu

    Students who have website access concerns can contact the Marketing and Communications Department to correct issues in a timely way: communications@csp.edu.

    Students whose concerns about site access remain unresolved may also contact SAS or follow the steps below:

    Grievance Procedure for Students with Disabilities

    The law is a guide that cannot and does not contemplate all possible situations. It is essential for all parties to understand that reasonable minds may differ in a given situation regarding a student with a disability. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against, retaliated against and/or denied a reasonable accommodation are encouraged to follow the steps for the grievance procedures as outlined below.  Due to the fluid nature of such disputes and the need to resolve them expeditiously, students are encouraged to utilize informal procedures prior to using the formal grievance procedure.

    Students are not required to remedy complaints through internal informal or formal procedures and can contact outside agencies at any time.

     

    A. Informal Grievance Procedure

    The University encourages the use of informal grievance procedures to resolve any conflicts. The informal process allows for more flexibility and will, in most cases, result in the fastest resolution to any conflict.

    The University’s ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer may be consulted on the informal steps, but first steps are handled within the SAS office.

    Informal Complaint Steps:

    • The student expresses concerns to SAS Director in writing (a formal email from the student’s CSP account; text is not appropriate documentation). The SAS Director will meet with the student to resolve concerns about accommodations.  This meeting will take place within 7 school days of the written complaint (student/ Director schedules dependent, but every reasonable effort is made to coordinate the meeting within that time frame).

    • During this meeting, the student concern will be discussed and any possible resolutions. Case note records are taking during this meeting. If the student remains concerned or feels additional follow up is required for resolution, progression to Step 3 will follow:

    3) The Director of SAS will then contact any individuals involved in the complaint and may ask for all emails or information related to this concern. All necessary information will be collected in order to make a determination regarding the complaint. If necessary and/or beneficial, the Director will meet with all parties involved to reach an appropriate resolution.

    4) Upon collection of all relevant information and discussion with the appropriate parties, the SAS Director will issue an email. This memorandum will be issued to the all parities involved student within 10 school days of the meeting.

    5) Upon receiving the SAS Director Memorandum, the student may:

    • Accept the findings of the SAS Director, or

    • Accept the finding of the SAS Director in part and seek to have the findings modified through a second meeting, or

    • Reject the findings of the SAS Director and continue on through the formal process which is listed next:

    B. Formal Grievance Procedure

    The formal grievance procedure is more involved and requires a greater level of documentation than the informal process. The student will receive in writing a request for additional documentation.  The formal process is an avenue a student can access if he/she wants to appeal the findings made in the informal grievance procedure. In either case, a student may begin the formal grievance procedure using the following steps:

    • The student will file a Formal Grievance with the ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer, The formal grievance should state clearly the grounds for the complaint. It should also clearly identify the disability issues involved, including names, dates, and witnesses.  The student will be sent an official grievance form by the 504/ADA Coordinator or SAS staff if needed, but an email from the student’s CSP account is also appropriate.
    • The ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer will then notify the involved university employee(s) that a formal grievance, based on disability discrimination, has been filed.  The Vice President for Academic Affairs will also be notified that a formal complaint has been filed if this involves a faculty member.

    The ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer will coordinate a formal meeting with all parties within 14 school days of the grievance (based on scheduling) All parties involved may present evidence and testimony regarding the concern including any written or face to face interactions.

    Any participant in this formal meeting is welcome to bring one support individual, but legal counsel for any parties at this stage of the process will be declined.

    • This meeting will be recorded and maintained for two years; therefore, individual recordings are prohibited.
    • It is anticipated that this formal process will resolve the grievance and a reasonable solution will be determined. The ADA/504 Coordinator will send a formal memorandum (email) to all parities outlining this resolution and any remedies within 72 hours (or three full school days), of this meeting.
    • If it is found that the University and/or its employee(s) has engaged in discriminatory activities or failed to provide reasonable accommodations, the 504/ADA Coordinator will make directives with appropriate offices (including department chairs, Deans or Human Resources) to correct the situation.

    The decisions that result from a formal grievance procedure can be appealed by using the Appeal Procedure outlined below.

    C. Appeal Procedure

    The student complainant will decide if the matter has been resolved by the formal grievance procedure or if he/she wishes to appeal that decision. If the matter is to be appealed, the following applies. The student must present the appeal within 14 days of the formal grievance procedure memorandum.

    • The student’s appeal will be heard by the University’s Educational Concerns Committee. The Educational Concerns Committee is a joint committee of faculty and students. For additional information on the role of this group, please refer to the Educational Concerns Committee in the Faculty Handbook.
    • The ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer will disseminate notice of the hearing to the Educational Concerns Committee, any decisions made by the committee and is responsible for correspondence with the student.
    • The ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer may also be present at the Educational Concerns Committee the proceeding, but will not be involved in the issuance of a final decision.

    The decision of the Educational Concerns Committee is final and cannot be appealed further internally.

    D. Federal and State Contacts

    Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of a disability can at any time contact the appropriate federal or state agencies.

    Federal:
    The Midwestern Division of the
    Office of Civil Rights
    U.S. Department Of Education
    500 W. Madison St
    Suite 1475
    Chicago, IL 60661
    (312) 886-8434 (voice)
    (312) 353-2540 (TTY)

    State:
    Minnesota Department of Human Rights
    Army Corps of Engineers Center
    190 East 5th Street #700
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    651-296-5663 (Voice)
    651-296-1283 (TTY)

  • The transition to a university setting can be stressful for any student, but for parents or guardians of students with disabilities, it can feel especially overwhelming.  The following information may help clarify some of these roles:

    What are the responsibilities of the student if they have a disability?

    • Laws regarding confidentiality and responsibility for disclosure change when a student becomes 18, so it is important that your student is comfortable with taking the leading role in working with Student Accessbility Services. We strongly encourage students to make the first contact with Student Accessbility Services to develop a working relationship with our office early on.   Our intention is not to cut out your important support, but encourage a student to become a self-advocate.
    • Provide appropriate and current documentation (a 504 or IEP plan is a good start) that verifies the student’s disability and requested accommodations.Please note that some accommodations may require additional documentation from a qualified specialists.
    • Students should have a good understanding of their disabilityand any supports they need to be successful. They will need to be able to speak effectively with faculty or other staff regarding their accommodation plans and any support services they participate in.
    • Students sometimes assume that what was provided in high school will be the same in college. Students should work closely with Student Accessibility Services to understand what can and cannot be provided based on what is essential to a program or class.
    • It is important that students understand policies, procedures and timelines of Student Accessbility Services.

    What is the Concordia Univeristy–St. Paul’s responsibilities?

    • To provide equal access to programs or services in accordance with federal and state laws.  
    • Determine if the student is eligible for services.  
    • Maintain confidentiality of disability related information. Provide an appropriate procedure for students to disclose accommodation information to faculty or staff or those with an academic or emergency need to know.  
    • To allow for reasonable accommodations, adjustments and modifications of courses, programs or services on a case-by-case basis. (As long as these accommodations do not alter core requirements classes/programs).  
    • grievance policy whereby students can have concerns about reasonable accommodations or modifications investigated.  
    • Support students in their academic goals!

    What are the responsibilities of parents or guardians of students with disabilities?

    • Understand that your role has changed. Parents are often used to advocating for their child in K-12 settings. In the collegiate level, this responsibility becomes one of self-advocacy. You are support and information for them, but the responsibility of disclosure, contact and follow through is up to the student.
    •  Encourage students to get services set up early. Sometimes students in college no longer want to be treated “separately”, which is normal. Encourage students to set up services and try them out, even if they never use them.
    •  Assist your student in getting appropriate documentation. This may require assistance because it may involve outside parties (e.g., physician, psychologist, school records).
    • Go through documentation with your student. What is their diagnosis? What things have helped them in the past? What does having a learning disability, depression or a health condition mean on a daily basis? What are they concerned about? What are their strengths?
    • Check in with your student on their progress. Ask questions not only about grades, but about what they are learningif they are seeking supportive services, and how they are handling the transition.
    • Help your student learn to help themselves. If your student has a concern, do they know who to contact? If not, help them figure out the next steps to take, but allow them to do the action. They should send their own email or make their own phones/appointments with appropriate people who can assist them. Problem solve with them, not for them.

     

    We are here to help!  We appreciate information from parents to help set up services, but please remember that confidentiality laws do apply.   We do work to ensure access, but also truly want the success of your student as well!

     

  • Concordia University-St Paul is committed to providing web-based information and services in an accessible manner to all users, including persons with disabilities pursuant to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508.

    Marketing and Communications, in cooperation with Student Accessibility Services strives to provide any information with the accessibility compliance (WCAG 2.0 Level AA). Retroactive changes are being implemented and as guidelines change, updates will be provided as soon as possible to ensure a high standard of access. Websites will be monitored regularly for compliance by both CSP and associated vendors as per VPAT agreements.

    This policy applies to any website creators or maintainers across campus including faculty, administrators, students and staff who update their own websites or third party vendors and contractors whose web presence is formally associated with Concordia University St. Paul.

    General guidelines for site accessibility:

    1. Add alternative text descriptions (ALT tags) for any graphics, videos, animations or other non-text elements on a page.
    2. Videos that are uploaded should be captioned for individuals who are deaf or hard or hearing (YouTube is the recommended option).
    3. Transcriptions may be needed for some auditory elements.
    4. Ensure color contrast is accurate.
    5. Ensure high readability font is used (Verdana or Arial and 12 point).
    6. List descriptive texts for hyperlinks (not “click here”).
    7. Avoid flickering elements on a web page that may stimulate seizures.
    8. Make sure the site can be accessed using keyboard functions alone.
    9. If a time response is required, alert the user and allow options for additional time.

    A cursory, general evaluation tool, the WAVE accessibility evaluator, can be accessed here: http://wave.webaim.org/
    Questions about access can be directed to Marketing and Communications or Student Accessibility Services.

     

    Adapted with permission from: University of Wisconsin System, The Web Accessibility Initiative, The University of San Diego and Fletcher Disability Consulting.

  • College can be a stressful time in any individual’s life. CSP is committed to supporting students’ success and one way is to encourage good mental health.

    In-Person Counseling
    CSP students’ have access to confidential, licensed professional counseling through MidWest Center.  Students can walk-in during open hours or schedule an appointment (preferred) to be seen by a licensed counselor in a professional and confidential manner.

    Counseling is available from 9:30am – 2:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during the academic year.

    To schedule appointments please send an email to counseling@csp.edu

     

    Telehealth Counseling
    Students also have access to private and confidential teletherapy through CSP’s partnership with META Health Teletherapy. Choose your provider and receive chat, video, and voice counseling through your smartphone.

    To sign up download the META Health app or visit their website