Services to Students with Disabilities

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is committed to assisting students with documented specific learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, visual, hearing, mobility, psychiatric, and other health impairments.  Students who have such impairments, as defined by the Americans with Disability Act, which substantially limit one or more major life activities, may be eligible for services. For more information visit: http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm#12102.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504/The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, provides the foundation for equal access for students with disabilities. Under this law, qualified individuals with disabilities are defined as persons with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include,  but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 furthers civil rights of persons with disabilities by mandating equal education opportunity. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College complies with these laws to serve students with disabilities.

A person with a disability is any person who:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities
  • has a record of such an impairment
  • is regarded as having such impairments

Some common disabilities are:

  • Visual Impairments
  • Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Orthopedic/Mobility Disorders
  • Psychiatric/Psychological Disabilities
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Acquired Brain Injury

Some accommodations or services include:

  • Extended time for class projects and tests
  • Preferred seating in classrooms
  • Permission to audio record classroom lectures
  • Tutoring services
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Readers
  • Volunteer note-takers
  • Magnification software
  • Books in electronic format
  • Other assistive technology
  • Referral to agencies serving people with disabilities

Laws and regulations governing services provided to students in secondary education and students in post-secondary education differ.  College is different from high school  In college, it is the student's responsibility to self-disclose and complete all paperwork required by the Special Services Office in order to receive support.

The Special Services Office serves students who have documented disabilities, have met the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College admissions criteria, and are otherwise qualified.  The Special Services Office is the centralized department for receiving disability related documentation and approving requested accommodations. Students voluntarily register with the Special Services Office and provide documentation to support their requested accommodations. Disability services staff  assess the individual’s disability with respect to the documentation presented and the accommodations requested. Documentation provided must meet Technical College System of Georgia criteria and should describe diagnosis, characteristics of the disability, as well as functional limitations for a college environment. Eligibility determination will be based on the degree (if any) to which the disability will affect a student's program of study and participation.

In addition to documentation, a student with disabilities must be otherwise qualified for admission to or participation in a program of study with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Student Responsibilities

Students desiring accommodations must:

  • Self-identify at the Special Services Office.
  • Participate in an intake interview to determine suitable accommodations.
  • Provide appropriate documentation of the disability that supports accommodation requests.
  • Meet all admissions requirements to be admitted to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
  • Meet all requirements to be admitted to the chosen program of study.
  • Request classroom accommodations through the Special Services Office each and every semester.
  • Understand that other student services (Financial Aid, Admissions, Career, etc.) are the responsibility of the student.
  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook.

Accommodations are determined on an individual basis, based on documentation provided, and the interview with the student. The intake interview, documentation review, and arrangements for accommodations can be a lengthy process. Students are encouraged to apply for services early to ensure that accommodations will be in place once classes begin.

Confidentiality

All disability documentation and information is confidential between the student and disability services staff but may be disclosed under need-to-know emergency circumstances.

Accommodation Delivery

The primary form of service delivery will be the Individual Accommodation Plan, which will describe recommended academic adjustments. The student is responsible for requesting services each and every semester and providing an Accommodation Plan to each faculty member the student is taking a class with that semester.

Instructors do not allow accommodations to a student who has not followed the procedures of self-identifying, providing appropriate documentation, and providing an Accommodation Plan from the Special Services Office each semester.

Students with disabilities who wish to request accommodations must contact the Special Populations Coordinator and set an appointment to meet with a disability services staff member to begin the documentation approval and academic adjustment process. Services are available on all campuses and may be coordinated by the Special Populations Coordinator or her designee.

The Special Populations Coordinator’s Office is located in Berrien Hall, Room 107, on the Valdosta campus; Charles Harris Learning Center, Room 632, on the Fitzgerald Campus; and Room 113 on the Coffee Campus. Office hours are posted at each of these locations. Please make an appointment by calling or emailing the Special Populations Coordinator, Nicole West, at (229) 333-5368 or nicole.west@wiregrass.edu. If the Coordinator is not available, students may contact the Director of Retention or staff in the Student Success Center on any campus.    

Grievance Procedures

Please refer to the Student Catalog, Student Grievance Procedures, for information concerning complaint resolution.

Special Services

Nicole West
Special Populations Coordinator
Valdosta Campus
Berrien Hall, Room 107
(229) 333-5368
nicole.west@wiregrass.edu

Amanda Walker
Special Populations Coordinator
Ben Hill-Irwin Campus
Room 302
(229) 468-2242
amanda.walker@wiregrass.edu

Office Hours
Mon-Thurs: 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Click here for a copy of "Best Practices when Interacting with Persons with Disabilities."