Disability Services

SCADS works with undergraduate and graduate students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, and psychiatric disorders in order to help students achieve their academic and personal potential. We facilitate equal access to the educational programs and opportunities offered at Stevens and coordinate reasonable accommodations for eligible students. Our services are designed to encourage independence and self-advocacy, backed by support from our staff.

Disability Services Confidentiality Policy

Student Disability Files are kept separate from academic files and are stored in a secure location within the office of Student Counseling, Psychological & Disability Services. The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34CFR, Part 99) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and records maintained by Stevens Disability Services. According to this act, prior written consent by the student is required before our Disability Services office may release disability documentation or records to anyone. An exception is made in unusual circumstances, such as the case of health and safety emergencies.

To Register for Accommodations Students Must Provide documentation of a disability. That request must include the following:

  1. Learning Disabilities:
    1. Psychological, Learning Evaluations or other testing reports conducted within the past 3 years.
    2. The assessment must reflect the current impact of the student’s disabilities on academic performance, particularly within the college setting. This must be addressed within the report.
    3. All documentation must be on official letterhead and signed by a credentialed professional.
    4. A Summary of Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and/or a 504 Plan are not considered adequate documentation. (Please see, US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights)
    5. Documentation must be submitted by a credentialed professional who is not a family member or friend of the student/family.
    6. Evaluators are encouraged to include any prior evaluations, assessments or reports together with the CURRENT information submitted.
    7. Evaluators should be licensed health care providers, such as a clinical or educational psychologist, neuropsychologist, learning disability specialist, and/or physician specializing in learning disabilities. License numbers should be included in evaluations, assessments and/or reports.
  2. ADHD:
    1. Psychological, Learning Evaluations or other testing reports conducted within the past 3 years.
    2. The assessment must reflect the current impact of the student’s disabilities on academic performance, particularly within the college setting. This must be addressed within the report.
    3. All documentation must be on official letterhead and signed by a credentialed professional.
    4. A Summary of Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and/or a 504 Plan are not considered adequate documentation. (Please see, US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights)
    5. Documentation must be submitted by a credentialed professional who is not a family member or friend of the student/family.
    6. Evaluators are encouraged to include any prior evaluations, assessments or reports together with the CURRENT information submitted.
    7. Evaluators should be licensed health care providers, such as a clinical or educational psychologist, neuropsychologist, learning disability specialist, psychiatrists and/or physician specializing in ADHD. License numbers should be included in evaluations, assessments and/or reports.
    8. Reports, evaluations and/or assessments must specify the type of ADHD diagnosis from the DSM-IV. That is, ADHD Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (NO S); ADHD predominantly inattentive type or ADHD combined type.
    9. Reports, evaluations and/or assessments must also include the date of when the individual was first diagnosed with ADHD and any co-morbid conditions if appropriate. Further, it must include background information relevant to the diagnosis and any prior accommodations received. Screening measures, test instruments, behavioral observations and clinical findings should be included in this documentation.
  3. Psychiatric Disorders:
    1. Psychological, Learning Evaluations or other testing reports conducted within the past 6 months from date of request.
    2. The assessment must reflect the current impact of the student’s disabilities on academic performance, particularly within the college setting. This must be addressed within the report.
    3. All documentation must be on official letterhead and signed by a credentialed professional.
    4. A Summary of Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and/or a 504 Plan are not considered adequate documentation. (Please see, US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights)
    5. Documentation must be submitted by a credentialed professional who is not a family member or friend of the student/family.
    6. Evaluators are encouraged to include any prior evaluations, assessments or reports together with the CURRENT information submitted.
    7. Evaluators should be licensed health care providers, such as a clinical or counseling psychologist, and/or psychiatrist.
    8. License numbers should be included in evaluations, assessments and/or reports.
    9. Reports, evaluations and/or assessments must specify the specific diagnosis from the DSM-IV. Reports, evaluations and/or assessments must also include the date of when the individual was first diagnosed with psychiatric disorder and any co-morbid conditions if appropriate.

I have a physical disability and/or a chronic medical or health condition. Whom should I contact?
For accommodations related to physical disabilities and/or chronic medical or health conditions, please contact Dean Ken Nilsen at 201-216-5699 or E-mail Dean Ken Nilsen, 10th floor, Howe Center. In cases in which a student has both physical disabilities and one or more of those listed above, it will be important to make contact with SCADS AND Dean Nilsen each semester and we will work together to coordinate accommodations.

Please note the following:

  1. A particular accommodation request does not guarantee that it will be granted if it is deemed not reasonable or other suitable techniques are available.
  2. Prior receipt of accommodations in high school or with the collegeboard for example, does not guarantee receipt of the same accommodations at Stevens.
  3. Missing paperwork may result in a delay of reviewing the requests for accommodations.

For more information regarding your rights in secondary education, please refer to: US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

Once your documentation is reviewed by our office:

  • Students will be contacted via their Stevens e-mail to meet with SCADS staff to review their applications and their approval/disapproval of accommodations.
  • If approved, it is noted that as an adult learner, students are responsible for requesting accommodations at the beginning of each semester. Initiate a request for the implementation of these accommodations as EARLY as possible each semester. You can obtain a “Consent form for Disability Accommodations” from the counseling office, our website or our bulletin board. The signed form provides consent to contact your professors about your accommodations.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to meet with his/her professor about the accommodations once SCADS notifies the professor.

Information for Faculty Regarding Students with Disabilities

What does the law require educators to do?
The American Disability Act (ADA) requires that educational institutions provide reasonable accommodations so that a student with a disability is able to learn and demonstrate proficiency by means other than those routinely used to teach and assess a student’s learning. For example, accommodations might include extended time on tests or taking an exam alone in a quiet environment, free of distractions routinely experienced in a classroom setting. Faculty and staff, as employees of Stevens, are required to support students in their educational development by providing accommodations.

Why do students with disabilities often need accommodations?
Academic accommodations are designed to give students equal access to the assessment and evaluation methods in the course. These accommodations can make the difference in a student’s success or failure in learning and demonstrating mastery of course material.

How are reasonable accommodations determined?
Accommodations are determined on an individual basis after considering the required documentation supporting the disability and the student’s individual needs. Documentation generally includes a psychological report involving psychological testing performed by a licensed psychologist or other licensed health care provider.

How will I know if a student with a disability is enrolled in one of my courses?
Students with disabilities who opt to request accommodations register with SCADS. SCADS will contact you via e-mail during the first weeks of the semester or soon after the student submits his/her documentation and request for accommodations, informing you that a student in your class is entitled to accommodations and what these accommodations are. You will receive a separate e-mail for each student identifying his/her specific needs. However, it is up to each student to approach you individually to discuss the implementation of these accommodations in your specific course.

What is the faculty’s role with respect to accommodations?
Faculty do not have to request documentation, evaluate it, or manage paperwork related to accommodations. All that is required is to speak with the student and assist in providing the accommodations that have been listed on communications from the SCADS office.

What should I do if a student requests from me an accommodation that was not included in the accommodation letter sent to me by Disability Services?
Please refer the student to SCADS and we will discuss the situation with the student and will consult with you to determine if the student’s requested accommodation is appropriate for that course and is consistent with provided documentation.

If I object to the accommodations, am I required to give them to the student?
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact SCADS at 201-216-5177 so that we may discuss the student’s legally required accommodations in the context of your specific course.