Support for Students with Disabilities
Cecil College is dedicated to working together with students with documented disabilities, through partnerships with students, faculty, and staff, to provide equitable access to all educational opportunities and services provided at Cecil College.
How to Obtain Accommodations
Once you have applied to Cecil College, you must complete a Disability Accommodations Request form on Cecil Accommodate. This includes providing disability documentation; learn more under Disability Documentation below.
If you need an alternative process, please reach out to Accessibility Services at email@example.com.
- Once received, you will receive an email through your chawk email account with a link to schedule a required intake meeting to learn about the services and support available to you, determine an accommodation plan, and learn about your role in securing accommodations each semester.
- After the intake meeting, you will receive a letter through your chawk email account detailing required next steps to secure accommodations for the semester through Cecil Accommodate.
About Accessibility Services
Accessibility Services works with students with documented disabilities to identify appropriate reasonable accommodations aimed at removing barriers to access and ensures that those accommodations are implemented effectively.
Accessibility Services is a member of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). AHEAD is the leading professional membership association for individuals committed to equity for persons with disabilities in higher education.
Do I Qualify for Accommodations?
If you are a student with a physical, medical or mental health diagnosis (Psychological, ADHD, Autism Spectrum, etc.), or learning disability that could impact your education, we want you to connect with Accessibility Services. We will help determine if your diagnosis qualifies for academic accommodations allowable under the Americans with Disabilities Act As Amended (ADAAA).
An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical, medical, or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as vision, hearing, movement, thinking, remembering, learning, communication, mental health, and social relationships.
If you experience a temporary condition, such as a broken limb or hand, surgery, or other temporary medical condition that is impacting your education, you may qualify for temporary accommodations until your condition resolves. To register for temporary accommodations, follow the steps above for ‘How to Obtain Accommodations’.
ECA, Dual Enrollment, or Transitioning from High School
Are you in the Early College Academy Program, a Dual Enrollment student, or a student transitioning to Cecil College from high school?
If you have or had accommodations (i.e., an IEP or 504 plan) in high school, we encourage you to reach out! You or your parents will need to initiate contact with Accessibility Services to arrange accommodations at Cecil College. We are available to answer any questions you may have about this process.
Accommodations at Cecil College vs. K-12 – Learn more below about the similarities and differences:
- In K-12, Accommodations are most often received through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
- The laws that govern K-12 are The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Subpart D), which include not only accommodations, but services and modifications that are focused on ensuring successful graduation.
- The accommodations listed in the IEP or 504 plan can be helpful as historical information, but they will not automatically apply at Cecil College or any other higher education institution.
Higher Education Accommodations
- The laws that govern Higher Education are different from K-12. Higher Education Settings are governed under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Subpart E), which requires institutions of higher education to provide reasonable accommodations focused on ensuring equal access to all educational opportunities and services as compared to their nondisabled peers, rather than ensuring academic success or degree attainment. The responsibility for learning and fulfilling academic requirements belongs to the student, whether they receive accommodations or not.
Before You Register for the English/Math Skills Assessments
Reasonable accommodations can be requested for English and/or Math skills assessments. If you require accommodations, please wait to take the assessment(s) until after you have registered with Accessibility Services for accommodations. To register for accommodations, follow the steps above for ‘How to Obtain Accommodations’. Once your accommodations are determined and approved, Accessibility Services will notify the appropriate party to implement accommodations—you will be copied on the email.
Examples of Accommodations
- Testing Accommodations (extended time, low distraction environment)
- Notetaking Assistance
- Access to PowerPoint Slides
- Audio Record Lecture
- Preferential Seating
- Breaks During Lecture or Exams
- Alternative Textbook Format
- Sign Language Interpreter
- Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology Available
Assistive Technology is commonly used as an academic accommodation. Below are some of the technologies that Accessibility Services provides:
- All student computer stations on campus have built in accessibility tools such as narrator, dictation, magnifier and zoom in, make everything bigger, dark mode, high contrast and color filters, closed captions, immersive reader, and focus sessions. To open Accessibility Settings, go to the Windows Icon (Start Menu), then to Settings, and select Ease of Access.
- Glean – A notetaking assistance program that is used to record and transcribe audio from lectures (both in person and online), and allow the user to take notes, upload PowerPoint slides or images, and then upon playback everything is synced up in real time with the audio recording, allowing for easy identification of key material and completion of notes when reviewing.
- Livescribe Smartpens – A notetaking assistance tool that records lectures and allows written notes to be synced up with the audio during playback so you can find and review what you need to focus on most.
- JAWS – Screen reading software.
- Dragon® NaturallySpeaking – Speech recognition software. Control PC using voice commands or dictate documents for word processing.
- Large Print Keyboard
- FM System – Helps the user hear more clearly by eliminating background noise.
- Adjustable Computer Workstation – Can be raised or lowered to accommodate a student's needs.
You will be able to upload disability documentation as part of the Accommodation Request Form if you have it available. We understand gathering this documentation can take some time, so you can also submit it at a later time. After you submit your Accommodation Request Form you will receive emailed instructions regarding documentation.
Please review the Disability Documentation Guidelines to request the required information from your provider.
Campus Accessibility Map
To determine an accessible route on our North East campus, please use our Interactive Campus Map and select "Accessibility" from the map legend on the right. Here you will find accessible pathways throughout campus as well as specific locations for accessible parking.
Accessible parking is available in all lots on each campus. Accessible parking permits may be obtained through the Public Safety Office, located on the North East Campus in the Technology Center (Building D), Room 103B. Please call (410) 287-1605 for more information.
Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center (ASC) offers students free tutoring as well as testing services.
All students are encouraged to take advantage of tutoring.
Be proactive—use it before you think you need it. If you earn a C or lower on any assignment, consider seeking tutoring on a weekly basis.
Testing Services – Schedule Exams
Testing Services in the ASC are used by prospective and current students for skills assessments, program admissions testing, academic testing and proctoring, testing with accommodations, and is also a Pearson VUE Test Center for certification testing. Appointments are not required but are recommended. If you have been approved for a reader, scribe, use of assistive technology, or use of private testing room, you will need to make an appointment for the quiet study room and indicate your accommodation in the notes.
Zen Den – A Sensory Retreat on Campus
Located in the Student Life suite, Building D (Technology Center), room 114, the Zen Den offers the following services to students:
- Sensory Retreat – A place to escape over stimulation and anxiety, featuring low lighting options, a weighted blanket, fidget toys, coloring supplies, and a white noise/nature sound machine. Door can be closed with a sign posted for additional privacy (time limit may apply).
- Relaxation – Space can be used for meditation, prayer, relaxing respite, etc.
- The Zen Den also houses a food pantry and can also serve as a private Lactation Room.
The Zen Den is open Monday–Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm when the campus is open. For more information on any services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know Your Rights
The ADA, Section 504, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protect every student with a disability who is participating in higher education.
ADA states "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by such entity." Section 504 states, "No otherwise qualified person with a disability … shall, solely on the basis of disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." FERPA is a federal law that provides all students with certain rights concerning their student education records and protects the privacy of such records.