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Author Topic: 504 for College / University  (Read 11787 times)

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Offline Carefulmom

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504 for College / University
« on: February 10, 2012, 11:44:16 AM »
Has anyone on this board actually sent their child to college with a 504?  Either a new one or a 504 from high school amended to make it relevant to college.  Just looking ahead trying to figure things out.  The time is getting close.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 04:18:26 PM »
I don't have direct FA experience, but I do have experience with classroom-side accommodations under 504, and also with working with campus disability services (which should be your first stop, btw).  Let me know if you have questions that you think I can help with on either front.  Nameless may also have some info for you, as might Sarahfran. 

I can tell you what is "standard" for college students according to the two local institutions we've dealt with.

1. In-class announcement re: food (or specific allergens) which does NOT identify the student by name/face

2. enforcement on the part of the instructor.

3. student can 'teach' instructor on use of autoinjector.

Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline Carefulmom

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 08:36:23 PM »
So CM Deux, is this at educational institutions where you taught?  Or are you referring to accomodations for your dd while she took some college classes?  I would just love to see an all encompassing 504 for college the way some on the old board posted their 504 for elementary school.  I am sure that there are things that will need to be added just like for middle school and high school, just not sure what all needs to be in there. Cannot picture every scenario, just like when someone`s child is going to start kindergarten, they might not think of field trips or birthdays.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 09:36:40 PM »
Yes, I have had students with pretty comprehensive 504 plans for medical conditions (but not for FA-- for Type I and for seizure disorders).  They are certainly less comprehensive than high school would be, but that is primarily b/c students are more autonomous in their ability to leave unsafe situations, or to not enter them to begin with.  On the other hand, that may INVITE faculty to continue practices that present a barrier to inclusion, since attendance isn't mandatory in lectures or study sessions, for the most part.  KWIM?  In a college setting a student needs three things:

a) the ability to have the same SAFETY in their learning environment as any non-affected student, and to retain their anonymity about the reason.  No cheetos in the lecture hall if the student is MA with contact sensitivity-- and it's not the student's responsibility to tell others to leave food for other times and places-- it's the faculty member's.  Faculty also must be willing to make modifications to any exercise, demonstration, laboratory experiment, or classroom activity that poses a DIRECT risk to the FA student.  (Most don't, fwiw, but don't be entirely surprised to find food used as a manipulative or as a TRUE part of a laboratory exercise in a collegiate setting.)  Even if the use is legitimate, the FA student cannot be asked to compromise his/her safety in order to fully participate.  That one is quite basic, but it will definitely require cooperation with the instructor in science and art coursework, where materials may be problematic.

b) the ability to LEAVE an unsafe environemnt without repercussions (even during a lab or exam situation) and without having it called out to peers, and finally

c) to be treated without hostility as a result of those requirements.

Additionally, I'd argue that those in dorm situations need others who are epi-trained (RA, probably) and may need instructors to be willing to be trained, too.  This leaves gaps of course, since walking to and from class, etc. are not covered... but those gaps already exist in a high schooler's daily life anyway. 




The place where we were told this was "standard practice" was referring to what THEY do routinely for enrolled college students in their programs-- for DD, given her age, and enrolled in a "supplementary summer youth program" this was seen as a "baseline" to start from, and it was clear that at nine years old, she was hardly to be held responsible for self-administering and calling 911.  This was also an institution that I've worked for, btw...  yes, a public university.
It was quite the smack-down for the program director who had been giving us a ton of grief over Epipen training the course instructors (grad students), I'll say that.

The reason that I mention that is because individual departments and admissions offices may well be CLUELESS about the application of the law to students with LTFA.  But disability services offices most certainly are NOT.


Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline nameless

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 09:37:16 PM »
I found this:  http://disabilityservices.rutgers.edu/plans.html

I've worked with/in the undergrad system for 10 years now - never ever ran into a 504 but did work with the "disability resource center" (various names) at various institutions for students with learning disabilities. When I was in college and as a grad student I went to the DRC for myself to get food free classrooms. That was easy - simple rule the instructor announced and monitored. It was up to me sometimes to report violations or issues if the instructor didn't see. Food is everywhere and students expect to be able to bring it into class, unless the teacher or room has a very specific and monitored food/drink policy.

As for activities --- like using food in chem lab (example: the burning peanut/calorie lab) the DRC will help the faculty identify an adequate alternate activity. There really is no: make it that way for the whole class b/c of xyz.  It's about identifying accommodations and alternate plans for the person needing the accommodation.

So somethings are straight forward (like no food in classroom during that class time) and some aren't. Now - what happens when a diabetic student needs to eat during class time b/c of meds or the schedule? The DRC sorts it out.

Good luck, and the disability resource center/person/office will be your DD's best friend and a lot of things she will need to advocate and ask for herself.

Adrienne
40+ years dealing with:
Allergies: peanut, most treenuts, shrimp
New England

twinturbo

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 07:41:28 AM »
One key difference is between K-12 and college is that more than likely the instructors will want clear direction from a comprehensive 504. DH has to keep on top of any directives from the support office for students with disabilities. He follows them to a T whether it means going in on a day off to proctor an exam or softer items like extending a deadline. Furthermore, the class size can be huge and no matter how well an instructor uses "get to know you" exercises for his/her students... there's a lot of them with frequent change from term to term or semester to semester. Highlighting for the instructor is going to be important due to the prof's time restrictions, class size and turnover, and following the system in place.

I knew of one student with LT peanut allergy in Early Childhood education that had to work with kids who sometimes came to class fresh from eating PBJs. Although the preschool was very nut free there were some faculty in separate parts of the building that did not adhere to the 'request' to not bring nuts in to the building. So I can see some areas where it could get difficult even with solid 504 coverage because the area was shared, separate area and the other faculty did not oversee the program the student was in. Lucky for the student that there was about 5 of us with epi experience.

Online YouKnowWho

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 09:24:34 AM »
Can 504 coverage also go into the dorm setting?  The need for a single with kitchen facilities or finding roommates that would either understand or share similar allergies?

Our local colleges have been going the way of shared apartments with no choice of roommates as a getting to know you kind of thing.  So you have 3-4 people sharing an apartment, each with their own bedroom, single or shared bath (no more than 2 sharing), shared kitchen and living room facilities (with additional study areas outside of the apartment but within the building).  Not being able to pick roommates or mismatching allergies is concerning to me.  DS1 has airborne allergies to flour in the air.

Ugh, thinking too much and too far ahead. 
DS1 - Wheat, rye, barley and egg
DS2 - peanuts
DD -  tree nuts, soy and sunflower
Me - bananas, eggplant, many drugs
Southeast USA

Offline CMdeux

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 10:06:20 AM »
Yes, a 504 can be used as a tool for mandating particular residential needs.

What TwinTurbo says is ABSOLUTELY true, however-- no college student should assume that a faculty member knows from having a conversation with the disability office.

They may not-- and certainly not the first week of classes.

Also recognize that in this setting, a "teacher" may only have perfect control over his/her own office, since virtually all other instructional spaces on campus are shared.  Wiping down a seat and desk at the start of an exam may be something that just has to be done by some students. 

Finally, it's extremely challenging to need a modification and not have any idea HOW to do it.  A frank conversation with the student in question is generally the best strategy, because obviously the student with the disability is the one who is the expert on management at this point.  If the professor doesn't OFFER a particular accommodation, it isn't that s/he is unwilling; they may simply not have thought about it.  Do be willing to compromise where you can, however.  The 'reasonable' clause does apply in post-secondary settings, I believe.  So a faculty member writing an alternative assessment  for a single student seventeen times during the term may stretch that...  as might a full redesign of a laboratory exercise.  Simple substitutions and flexibility on everyone's part lead to the  best outcomes. 


« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 10:07:52 AM by CMdeux »
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

twinturbo

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 12:19:19 PM »
Yeah, making it a first stop or near first stop after getting on campus, etc., would be prudent as well as making sure ALL the necessary steps and paperwork are perfectly in order. Although I'm sure offices differ across universities basing it on ours they are all about compliance.

Good in the sense that they know they answer to the laws of the land so they would unflinchingly demand compliance from even the most tenured fossil, bad if you neglected to get the proper documentation at the appropriate times. So in that sense be bureaucratically bulletproof from the start and stay that way. Meaning your kid needs to stay on top of it his or her self and not abuse the system... not that I'm saying about any one child in particular just that I wouldn't expect mercy, only compliance.

Offline Carefulmom

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 12:33:37 PM »
I am glad to get so many replies.  I thought this thread might not, since most of the kids on this board are younger than mine.  I have talked with a few Disability Services Offices at a few colleges.  The whole idea of food allergies being a disability is foreign to them.  They were very nice and willing to accomodate (we did not talk specifics), but one in particular just saw themselves as being there for kids with learning disabilities.  I really hate being the trailbrazer (again).

I go back and forth about whether to let dd go away to school or not, and would just love to see one 504 for a food allergy kid.  The schools dd is interested in are huge, around 35,000 students.  There is one school very close to us that is small.  Average class size is 19.  However, this school is not all that hard to get into, and dd feels it is not the right fit for her.  They are more of a theater/motion picture/liberal arts school and dd is a math/science person.  However, they already have great food allergy accomodations in place in the dining hall.  All food is posted on a marque with which of the top 8 allergens are in it.  It would be great for dd as far as allergies, but not really the best match academically.

Offline yellow

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 01:21:17 PM »
Did you speak with food services at the larger school yet? I thought you were planning meals with her anyway for college? If that's the case then would you be able to do so for the larger college as well?

twinturbo

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2012, 01:37:06 PM »
I was in a different area of public service many years ago before DH was in education. What I was both trained and learned along the way is it's not up to the individual government worker what civil rights a citizen is entitled to, if it's in the job description, it's part of the system and paperwork is up to specs, I'm a neutral processor and it doesn't matter if the person in question was a dirtbag. "Favor" was a dangerous word. We were compelled to inform that we will look in to it and if it was part of our job description we would do it, we do not do favors. At times that meant the worst dirtballs exercised their civil rights to the max (rudely, too) because they knew the system so well, and others who weren't so bad who did not know system exploits maybe had a harder time but our hands were tied we could not 'help'.

Point? When you get static ask if it is their job description to process a 504 underscoring you have the binding paperwork all in order and up to date.

On school choice I'd pick a school over quality of program and not school size, tier. Some top tier programs run from non-top tier schools. Looking even further ahead a thriving, involved alumni assocation could be important for networking, as are the faculty ties to industry, and how rich the internship choices are for students. Not to harp on adjuncts themselves but it might not be a good choice for a place top heavy on adjuncts, it depends on how they are professionally qualified versus academically qualified. Maybe CM has better advice.

Offline Carefulmom

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 01:41:47 PM »
It was as a result of speaking with food services at the larger colleges (two of them) that I decided I will need to prepare most of dd`s food.  The food services want to accomodate, but they are clueless about cross contamination.  Some people on this board who are pa will not go to restaurants that serve nut items due to concerns about cross contamination.  For dd to eat three meals a day seven days a week in the dining hall there is an even greater chance with all those meals of a reaction due to cross contamination.  So yes, if she goes to a larger college near home, I would prepare most of her meals.  She will probably still need a 504, though, especially if she lives on campus.

It would be great if she could go away away to school (nowhere near us), but unfortunately it just seems too risky, with the MFA.

Offline Carefulmom

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 01:46:07 PM »
TT, school size seems like a real issue, because of her MFA.  The small schools would know who she is.  At a school of 35,000, I fear that she would just fall through the cracks.  She could be lying on the sidewalk unconscious and maybe no one would notice.  And the dining hall seems much riskier at a large school, even for an occasional meal.  When they are so high volume, I worry about mistakes more and also higher turnover if they have more employees.

What do you mean by "adjuncts"?

twinturbo

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Re: 504 for College / University
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 02:27:30 PM »
CM will probably be a better choice to distinguish the variety of instructors and what that has to do with retaining accreditation, why published research matters, tenure, grants, etc. I'll defer to her as I couldn't do it without wiki.