Office of Disability Academic Support (ODAS)
Under the umbrella of the Center for Academic Support and Advising Services (CASAS), the Office of Disability Academic Support was created to coordinate academic support services for Liberty University students who have documented disabilities.
New: Submit Accommodation Request Online
New: Submit Request for Liberty University Interpreting Services (LUIS)
New: Submit Student Request for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (Classroom interpreting)
The Law and Institutional Responsibilities
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability against students in institutions of higher education. Section 504 mandates “reasonable” accommodations to provide equal program access to all students with disabilities. Faculty must provide accommodations that meet the special needs of each student with a disability. Developing reasonable accommodations is a real challenge for everyone involved.
DEFINITION OF DISABILITY
A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual.
Major Life Activities: The phrase major life activities refers to normal functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
Physical Impairment: A physical impairment includes any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory and speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
Mental Impairment: A mental impairment includes any mental or psychological disorder such as organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Learning disabilities: A learning disability is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders occur in persons of average to very superior intelligence and are presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.
Specific disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: blindness or visual impairment; chronic illnesses; psychiatric and emotional disabilities (ADHD, anxiety and related disorders, depression, etc.); deafness or hearing impairments; epilepsy or seizure disorders; orthopedic impairment; specific learning disability; speech disorder; spinal cord or traumatic brain injury; and neurological and neuro-muscular disorders.
The university has an obligation to make reasonable accommodations in policies, practices or procedures when accommodations are needed to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability unless making the accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity, or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens.
AccomModation Request - Resident Students
A student who requests accommodations is required to sign a waiver form each semester giving Disability Support Advisors permission to send written summaries of the individual’s disability, as well as the requests for accommodations. Then each student is instructed to individually seek a private meeting with professors to discuss any accommodations that may be necessary. Professors only need to arrange for those accommodations which have been identified.
Accommodation Request - LU ONLINE Students
A student who requests accommodations is required to contact the Associate Director of Academic Support each semester giving permission to send summaries of the individual’s disability, as well as the requests for accommodations. Then each student is instructed to make contact with their professors to discuss any accommodations that may be necessary. Professors only need to arrange for those accommodations which have been identified.
Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for some of the following services:
· Extended time for testing
· Testing in a quiet environment
· Note-taking help
· Priority pre-registration
· One-on-one academic advising
o Kurzweil 1000 – scanning and reading software for the visually impaired
o JAWS for Windows – screen reading software for the visually impaired
o Kurzweil 3000 – scanning and reading software for students with reading disabilities
o Dragon Naturally Speaking – speech recognition software which can turn speech into print
o Inspiration – software which helps students learn visually and streamline projects
o CCTV – magnification hardware for the visually impaired
Contact Information - Resident Students
Director: Mr. Denny McHaney
Phone: (434) 582-2159
Location: DeMoss Hall 2016
Contact Information - LU ONLINE Students
Hands of Liberty has been providing services to the Deaf and hard of hearing since 1973. We recognize that each student is an individual with distinct strengths and challenges. We encourage self-advocacy and endeavor to provide the necessary accommodations to equalize their opportunities for success. Some of the more frequently requested services from this department are:
Sign Language interpreters in the classrooms (and for all campus-related events)
Peer notetaking assistance
FM systems for lectures
Voice to text recognition software
A modified test taking environment
Nicole Thorn, MA, CI, CT
Coordinator of Hands of Liberty, Assistant Professor
Voice: (434) 592-5888
VP: (coming soon)
Location: DeMoss Hall, Room 2132
Administrative Assistant: Emily Ellenburg