By Leslie James, reporter
Students often need help as they navigate school and life, especially at semester’s end.
Accessibility Services (AS) at PPCC strives to assist all students with disability accommodations from allowing extra time on tests to guiding students to self-advocate towards successful education goals.
AS can also help students learn to manage their time, connect students with tutors, and even teach modern computer skills.
Students can apply for such accommodations through these steps:
- Students must first contact PPCC’s disability specialists. Call 719-502-3333 to schedule an appointment.
- Next, fill out the Accommodation Request Form on the homepage at https://www.ppcc.edu/index.php?cID=349
- Then, students need to meet with the disability specialist and communicate necessary accommodations to instructors.
Currently registered students are eligible for these services and are required to request accommodations four to six weeks before the following semester begins.
Kenna Donnell, PPCC student, has received accommodations on and off since 2010 from Accessibility Services, and says these services help her be more successful in achieving her degree as an English Major.
Accessibility Services has provided Donnell with Dragon-Naturally Speaking, a software for voice recognition. Donnell took a class through PPCC that taught her how to use the software.
Donnell also uses a voice recorder in her classes, which Accessibility Services provided her along with the authorization to record lectures.
Donnell appreciates everything Accessibility Services has helped her with.
“One thing is they meet my needs, even if it’s the smallest thing,” she says.
Donnell said she has never had difficulties working with Accessibility Services. She is required to complete a form every semester for her accommodations and while the form is online, she can complete it whenever It works for her. She has never had problems with communicating with instructors for her accommodations and says she finds the form easy to fill out.
PPCC’s Accessibility Services website also lists available testing procedures for students who qualify. Available testing rooms at the Accessibility Services Office accommodate for:
- Extended time.
- Alternate lighting.
- Breaks during tests.
- Colored paper.
Available links on the website also connect to schedules and locations of testing centers, and links to online resources for all students:
- Khan Academy for math assistance: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Purdue OWL for writing assistance: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/?
- PPCC Owl for writing assistance: https://www.ppcc.edu/writing-center/online-writing-lab-owl
PPCC has purchased several software programs that are available to students. Some programs include text-to-speech, voice recognition and Inspiration, which is a visual aid in organizing assignments and writings.
Accessibility Services offers a range of assistive technology to fulfill disabled student needs like aid in hearing, easy reading on computer screens and comfort in the classroom. Examples are:
- Audio amplifiers.
- Large print keyboards.
- Adjustable or standing desks.
Click here for the full list of 26 options in assistive technology: https://www.ppcc.edu/accessibility-services/assistive-tech
Other conditions include medical, physical or psychological limitations, and one may qualify for these. Accessibility Services are committed to assisting students with disabilities and providing equal access and opportunities, while raising awareness and understanding of diverse academic experiences.
The Accessibility Services website provides clear information on pregnant and parenting students. Although pregnant and parenting students do not qualify as disabled, they are still protected under the Education Amendments of 1972.
PPCC provides Accessibility Services through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act allows service animals to accompany students on school grounds.
Important guidelines about service animals can be found on the PPCC website (Accessibility Services > Information) and are required by the student and their service animal to be followed.
For more information on pregnant/parenting students and Service Animals, click here:
Sometimes instructors need to know what it’s like for students who struggle in the classroom, whether it be reading disabilities due to small print, hearing problems in the classroom or help with memorizing course material for test days.
Faculty can connect with students and their accommodations by accessing links on the PPCC website that simulate experiences of struggling students who deal with distraction problems, dyslexia, low vision or memory loss. These simulations provide a high level of understanding to faculty members about their disabled students, which in turn helps a diverse population of students succeed.
Simulations for promoting disability awareness can be found here: https://www.ppcc.edu/accessibility-services/faculty/disability-awareness