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 Office of Disability Academic Support

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)

 


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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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mental Impairment: A mental impairment includes any mental or psychological disorder such as organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
  4. 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.

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Reasonable Accommodations

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.

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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.
Submit Accommodation Request Online

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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.
Submit Accommodation Request Online

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 Common Accommodations

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
  • Interpreters
  • Osborne Assistive Learning Technology Center:
    • JAWS for Windows: screen reading software for the visually impaired
    • Kurzweil 3000: scanning and reading software for students with reading disabilities
    • Dragon Naturally Speaking: speech recognition software which can turn speech into print
    • CCTV: magnification hardware for the visually impaired

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Contact Information - Resident Students

Mr. Denny McHaney, Director

Phone: (434) 582-2159
Email: wdmchane@liberty.edu
Location: Green Hall 2668

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contact Information - LU ONLINE Students

Email: luoodas@liberty.edu

Online Students Disability Support page

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Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services 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 note taking assistance
  • FM systems for lectures
  • Voice to text recognition software
  • Preferential seating
  • A modified test taking environment 

Nicole Thorn, MA, CI, CT

Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Assistant Professor of American Sign Language and Interpreting
Phone: (434) 592-5888
Email: ndthorn@liberty.edu
Location: DeMoss Hall, Room 2132
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Assistant: Adair Bolt
Phone: (434) 592-4016
Fax: (434) 582-2297
Email: ludeafdept@liberty.edu
Location: Green Hall, Room 2668

 

 

 

 

 

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