Students with Disabilities


Thomas Nelson Community College complies with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides reasonable accommodations to its employees and those persons receiving services from the College who are entitled to such accommodations by law. Employees and persons receiving accommodations from the College are responsible for informing the appropriate college personnel of their disabilities that require such accommodations. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Making existing facilities accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities;
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment, desks and devices;
  • Adjusting or modifying equipment, examinations, training or academic materials or policies;
  • Modifying academic or work schedules;
  • Providing other reasonable assistance required

Individuals seeking information or voicing complaints should contact the Coordinator of ADA compliance. Any complaints must be written and be noncompliance issue must be clearly identified.

Disabled Student Services Staff

Hampton Campus
323 Hastings Hall, 99 Thomas Nelson Drive., Hampton, VA 23670

  • Richard Hurst, Counselor (757) 825-2833, hurstr@tncc.edu
  • Claude Jordan, Assistive Technology Specialist, (757) 825- 3510, jordanc@tncc.edu
  • Cheryl Whipple, Administrative Assistant, (757) 825-2867, whipplec@tncc.edu
  • Fax (757) 825-3697, TDD (757) 825-2853

Historic Triangle Campus
4601 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg, VA 23188


Who is Qualified?» Student Identification Process» Services & Accommodations» Arranging Classroom Accommodations» Parking» Physical Accessibility» Responsibilities» Documentation» Guidelines for Learning Disabilities» Guidelines for Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)» Guidelines for Physical Impairments» Guidelines for Visual Impairments» Guidelines for Hearing Impairments» Guidelines for Health Related Impairments» Guidelines for Mental Health Impairments»

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that a person with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, learning, and working. An “otherwise qualified” student is one who meets the academic standards required for admission to or participation in the specific program with or without reasonable accommodations.

The student is responsible for self-identification and for obtaining and presenting disability documentation from a professional who is qualified to assess his/her particular disability. Students should contact Disabled Student Services at (757) 825-2867 or (757) 825-2833 to schedule an appointment with the Disabled Student Services counselor. TDD users may call (757) 825-2853, use the Virginia Relay service, or contact by email to schedule their appointment. We recommend that students contact the office at least 30 days before the start of the semester in order to ensure that necessary services and accommodations are in place for the first day of class. Students will need to provide appropriate documentation (psychological evaluation, physician’s statement, audiogram, etc.) at the initial appointment. Specific documentation requirements may be found below or in the Disabled Students Handbook.

It is the individual’s right to self-identify or not to self-identify. All documentation is kept in a confidential file and is not released without the student’s written authorization.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, activity or facility to enable equal access for qualified students with disabilities. Students are eligible to receive accommodations ONLY if they request accommodations through the Disabled Student Services Office.

Requests for accommodations and services are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are determined by the nature of the student’s disability and functional limitations. Some examples of possible accommodations are:

  • Note Takers
  • Textbooks in alternative formats
  • Testing modifications
  • Sign Language interpreters
  • Assistive Technology
  • Braille services

  1. Provide a copy of your class schedule to Disabled Student Services 30 days before the start of each semester.
  2. Make arrangements each semester to pick up or have your letters mailed to you. The letter will only state that you are a student with a disability & the accommodations that you are to receive. Your specific disability WILL NOT be noted on the letter. It is your decision to disclose or not to disclose the nature of your disability.
  3. Give the Accommodation Letter to your professors. This is the official communication with your instructors notifying them that you are eligible to receive accommoda­tions. We suggest that you schedule an appointment with faculty to discuss your need for accommodations and the process for receiving them. (For example, work out the specifics for taking tests with extended time.) You do not have to tell them the nature of your disability, but you are encouraged to do so. You should give faculty the letter during the 1st two weeks, though you have the right to do so at any time during the semester. Please remember, however, that accommoda­tions begin at the time you give the letter to faculty. If you forget, or choose to wait, accommodations will not be provided for anything which occurred before faculty received the accommoda­tions letter.
  4. Once you have reviewed the accommodations with your instructor, both of you will sign the form, indicating agreement. The Accommodations Letter has two parts – please return the white copy to Disabled Student Services in Room 323.Your in­structor may keep the yellow copy. If your instructor has any questions or concerns about specific accommodations, please ask him/her to contact the office.
  5. Contact Disabled Student Services if problems occur. We are here to assist you if there are any problems regarding your accommodations, but it your responsibility to let us know.

All spaces that are marked Handicapped Parking may be utilized by individuals who have a handicap license plate on their vehicle or display a current handicap card in their front window. Several spaces are specifically marked Wheelchair Handicapped Parking Only. These spaces are to be utilized by individuals who use a wheelchair to move around campus. Students requesting a temporary handicap permit may have to provide the Office of Campus Police with a doctor’s slip stating the type and degree of the handicap. Permanent handicap stickers may be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Vehicles found parking illegally in handicap parking spaces will receive a one hundred dollar fine.

  1. Building approaches are available at all buildings on campus for easy access.
  2. Wheelchair ramps are strategically located in all buildings on campus.
  3. Elevators are available in Hastings Hall and Templin Hall.
  4. Restroom facilities are accessible on every floor in every building on campus.
  5. Drinking fountains are accessible in each building on campus.
  6. Pay telephones are wheelchair accessible in every building on campus.

  • Disabled Student Service Office Responsibilities
  • Determine student eligibility for services
  • Authorize appropriate academic accommodations
  • Assist/consult with faculty and staff (regarding accommodations, questions or concerns of general disability information or individual student issues)

Student Responsibilities

  • Register with Disabled Student Services
  • Provide current documentation of disability
  • Complete accommodation forms with DSS office each semester
  • Give accommodation forms to faculty
  • Review procedures for receiving accommodations with faculty
  • Inform DSS of any problems or concerns throughout the semester

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Respect students’ right to privacy and confidentiality
  • Review accommodations forms with students. Contact Disabled Student Services prior to signing form, if they have any concerns about requested accommodations
  • Provide accommodations, as agreed to on forms

In order to establish that one is a student with a disability and has a need for accommodation, the student should provide appropriate documentation regarding the nature of his/her disability and the functional limitations of his/her ability that may be addressed through accommodation. Appropriate documentation from a recognized professional should be submitted to Disabled Student Services prior to obtaining any accommodations. Thomas Nelson Community College does not provide testing of disabilities for any student.

Documentation should be as current as possible. Guidelines for specific disabilities will indicate how recent the documentation must be and can be found in the information that follows. Once documentation is provided, Disabled Student Services will work with the student, and faculty when necessary, to identify suitable accommodations.

Documentation should support the need for services and accommodations based on the student’s current level of functioning in an educational setting. An I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 Plan are not sufficient documentation by themselves, but may be included as part of the documentation package. All documentation must be typed on letterhead, dated and signed and include the name, title, and credentials of the evaluator or professional.

All documentation will be kept in the student’s confidential file in the Disabled Student Services office. Documentation is kept for three (3) years after the student’s last semester of attendance and then will be destroyed.

In order to determine accommodations for students with learning disabilities, an evaluation must have been completed when the student was a young adult (16 years or older), using adult instruments and scales, or within the last three (3) years. Documentation should consist of a report from a licensed educational psychologist, clinical psychologist, or learning disability specialist. Assessment must be comprehensive and include a test from each category that follows:

Aptitude:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revision 3
  • Woodcock Johnson – Revised
  • Tests of Cognitive Ability
  • Kaufman Adult Intelligence Test
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale – 4th Edition

Achievement:

  • Woodcock Johnson – Revised: Tests of Achievement
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – Revised – Forms G or H
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults
  • (The WRAT 2 or 3 is not acceptable as a sole measure of achievement).

Information Processing:

Any appropriate assessment of information processing including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revision 3, Woodcock Johnson – Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability, Wechsler Memory Scales, Wide Range Test of Memory and Learning, SCAN-A, L.E.T., Halstead-Reitan subtests, DTLA, etc.

Diagnostic report must include:

  1. Clinician’s name, title, license number, phone number, and address; summary of all instruments and procedures; dates of evaluations.
  2. Written summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioral observations.
  3. All test scores (subtests and standard scores, percentiles), and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Clearly describe intracognitive and or aptitude-achievement discrepancies (reflecting significance criteria typically greater than 1.5 standard deviations), or the clinician’s rational for clinical judgment.
  5. Statement of how the learning disability substantially interferes with the student’s educational progress, along with recommendations with academic accommodations.

In order to determine accommodations for students with ADHD, documentation should be in the form of a letter or report from an appropriate professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or physician and should include the following information:

  1. Clinician’s name, title, license number, phone number, and address; summary of all instruments and procedures; date(s) of examination.
  2. Written summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioral observations.
  3. A clear statement of the DSM-IV diagnosis; summary of evaluation results, including all standardized scores, if appropriate.
  4. If applicable, information relating to current use of medication used to treat ADHD and the impact of the medication on the student’s ability to meet academic demands.
  5. Statement of specific functional limitations relating to academic performance.
  6. Recommendations for specific academic adjustments and accommodations to minimize the impact of functional limitations on the student’s academic performance.

In order to determine accommodations for students with Physical Impairments, documentation of mobility impairment should consist of a letter or report from a qualified health care professional (i.e. physician). The letter or report should include:

  1. The type of disability.
  2. A statement of the functional limitations(s) caused by the disability.
  3. A description of the duration of functional limitation(s), such as any distance limitations.
  4. Whether the condition is stable or progressive.
  5. Whether the condition is temporary or permanent.
  6. Information about current medication(s) used to treat the disability.
  7. Possible side effects of any prescribed medications.
  8. Suggested recommendations for effective and reasonable accommodations.

Documentation of a visual impairment should consist of a letter or report from an optometrist or ophthalmologist and must include the following:

  1. An explanation of the extent of the individual’s visual fields.
  2. A specific diagnosis.
  3. The degree of visual acuity.
  4. Whether the condition is stable or progressive.
  5. A statement of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disability.
  6. Possible side effects of any prescribed aids or medication.
  7. Whether visual aids are recommended.
  8. Suggested recommendations for effective and reasonable accommodations.

Documentation of a hearing impairment should be in the form of a report from an audiologist. This report must include:

  1. The results of an audiogram that shows the type of hearing loss (either conductive or sensory neural).
  2. The degree of hearing loss.
  3. A specific diagnosis.
  4. Whether the condition is stable or progressive.
  5. Possible side effects of any prescribed medication.
  6. Whether the condition is mitigated by medication or hearing aids.
  7. A statement of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disability.
  8. Suggested recommendations for effective and reasonable accommodations.

Documentation of a health-related impairment should consist of a letter or report from a qualified health care professional (i.e. physician) This report should include the following:

  1. A specific diagnosis.
  2. The functional limitations of the impairment.
  3. Whether the condition is stable or progressive.
  4. Whether the condition is mitigated by medication or another form of treatment.
  5. Possible side effects of any prescribed medication.
  6. A description of situations that may exacerbate the condition.
  7. Suggested recommendations for effective and reasonable accommodations.

Documentation of mental health impairments should consist of a detailed report by a qualified mental health professional (i.e. psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker with appropriate competencies related to the student’s diagnosis).

All documentation must be current, within the past year, and should include the following:

  1. A complete DSM-IV diagnosis with an accompanying description of the specific symptoms the student experiences.
  2. The diagnosis should be based upon a comprehensive clinical interview and psychological testing (when testing is clinically appropriate).
  3. A complete description of the impact on academic functioning of the student’s symptoms must be provided. Descriptions of the impact upon study skills, classroom behavior, test taking and organizing research would be examples of academic functioning.
  4. Possible side effects of any prescribed medication.
  5. Whether the condition is mitigated by medication or any other form of currently prescribed treatment.
  6. A statement of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disorder.
  7. Recommendations for effective and reasonable accommodations. Diagnostic information and its impact upon student functioning must be related to the academic accommodations that are recommended.