New DRS Procedure Involving Blind and Visually-Impaired Students
On October 8, 2018 Phoenix College entered into a Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to settle a claim of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. As part of this Resolution Agreement, Phoenix College and the OCR agreed there needed to be more communication between the DRS office and the blind or visually impaired student requesting accommodations. Pursuant to the agreement, the Parties agreed upon the following:
For blind students who seek accommodations from DRS, the DRS will meet with each blind student and each instructor in each course in which the student is registered well in advance of the beginning of each course to:
A. Review and discuss the course syllabus and other available information about the format(s) in which the course will be presented;
B. Identify all materials that will be provided to or used by students as well as written materials which will need to be converted each week of the semester; and
C. Confirm with the student that the format will be usable by the student’s assistive technology or, if appropriate, how equally effective alternate access will be provided. (Ensure you have documented what “equally effective” means for the student).
The College must offer the opportunity for a meeting (as described above) to visually-impaired students who seek accommodations from the DRS. If a visually impaired student accepts an offer for a meeting, the DRS will similarly meet with the student and each course instructor in which the student is registered, as outlined above in A-C.
This new procedure went into effect in Spring for Phoenix College and goes into effect Fall for the rest of the District. Please encourage faculty members to engage in the interactive process in order to provide our students reasonable accommodations in a reasonable time frame.
Naturally, we cannot force our blind students to schedule or even attend the afore-mentioned meeting. If a student declines the meeting, it is important to note it in DRS Connect. Documentation to this effect is imperative.
Thank you for your cooperation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Melissa Flores or Gene Heppard.
Intake Appointments for Incoming Students Filling Up - August 2019
As the Fall semester draws closer, intakes are continuing to fill up. We are booked well through the month of August untill September. The intake appointment must be completed before accommodations can be put into place for classes.
We are diligently working to fit as many students into the schedule as possible. If you have not yet filled out an application and provided documentation to our office, please begin this process as quickly as possible to ensure the soonest possible intake. Directions on how to complete this process can be found under the "DRS Connect" tab. After students are registered for classes the DRS office will call to schedule an intake appointment this can take up to 2 weeks and during peak weeks possibly longuer.
**If you will have the need for an interpreter, CART/Captioning, or accommodations for a visual impairment, please contact our office as soon as possible.*
Kurzweil in the Testing Center - August 2019
For the purposes of testing, students will no longer be using their personal Kurzweil accounts.
Kurzweil accounts specific to each testing station have been set up to ensure the integrity of the test taking process. The dictionary, translation, spell check, word prediction, brainstorm, and outline features have all been disabled and will not be able available anytime during the test.
Going forward, this will be the protocol unless otherwise allowed by your instructor and requested from the DRS Office at least 7 days prior to taking a test.