Both the Disability Support Services Office (DSS) and the Student Support Services Program Office (SSSP) would like to welcome the dozens of new students with disabilities to our campus. Our offices are a part of the Academic Support, Counseling and Career Services Office and are located in RCF 302, where career resources for students with disabilities may be found. Students with disabilities who are new to our campus should stop by the office or call 443-518-1300 in order to make an appointment with a DSS counselor. Information for the college community is available in both the Handbook for Students with Disabilities and the Faculty Handbook for Working with Students with Disabilities.
Disability Support Services is a college-funded office responsible for supporting students with documented disabilities who are enrolled in credit classes. Upon meeting with a DSS counselor, students will complete paperwork which will help the college determine whether they are eligible for the Student Support Services Program. SSSP is a support service program funded by a federal TRIO grant from the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. This program serves three populations of students: students with documented disabilities, students who are low income, and first generation college students. The SSSP offers services in order to increase student retention and the probability of a successful transfer to a four year school or completion of a degree or certificate program at Howard Community College. Both offices require that students must identify themselves as having a disability in order to receive accommodations, and to seek information, counseling and assistance as necessary.
In order to be eligible for accommodations through the DSS office, students need to bring in documentation of their disability. Guidelines for appropriate documentation are discussed on this website under “Documentation Guidelines”. Students with documented disabilities covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, should register with the DSS office to arrange for accommodations while they are enrolled in credit classes. No disability testing (testing for the purpose of identifying or verifying disability) is conducted on our campus. We do maintain, however, an informational listing of community practitioners who offer diagnostic services. Students are advised to make an appointment with one of our counselors if they suspect they may have a disability.
Students requesting accommodations for their disability should schedule an appointment with a counselor in Disability Support Services (DSS) by calling 443-518-1300 to request a meeting to discuss their disability, and prior academic and accommodation history. Before students receive any accommodations, they will need to provide documentation of their disability. Students will also need to complete an accommodation contract with their counselor. DSS counselors use the contracts to generate accommodation memos. It is every DSS student’s responsibility to pick up their accommodation memos from RCF 302 at the beginning of the semester and to deliver the memos to their instructors. Furthermore, students are advised to schedule an appointment with their instructors, perhaps during their office hours, to present them with the accommodation memo and discuss their accommodation needs with them.
The office of Disability Support Services strongly suggest students contact DSS staff as early as possible in order to give the staff appropriate time to arrange for accommodations. Some accommodations require special scheduling considerations as shown below:
After students discuss their needs with a DSS counselor, they may be referred to the Technology Specialist. If students need to use assistive technology such as text readers or voice recognition software, they must first receive training. Students who need assistive technology within their classroom labs need to notify the Technology Specialist as soon as possible but at least two weeks in advance of the beginning of class. Click here for more information on assistive technology.
Under defined circumstances, the staff of DSS and SSSP may find it necessary to assist a student in obtaining a substitution for a particular course. Students with disabilities requesting a course waiver/substitution should contact their DSS counselor for more information concerning the guidelines for eligibility and appeal procedures.
Students who use wheelchairs or who have limited mobility need to notify their instructors in advance if enrolled in a field trip course such as ARTT-221. If the college is providing transportation to all students, it must also provide accessible transportation to a student using a wheelchair. It is the responsibility of the person planning the trip to make sure this accommodation is met and that the field trip site has made arrangements for any necessary accommodations or modifications needed.
For more information about Disability Support Services please feel free to contact: