Student Disability Services

Disability Services through the Counseling and Wellness Center is a service for currently registered New College students. If you are a USF Sarasota-Manatee student inquiring about disability services, please click here.

It is the mission of Student Disability Services (SDS) to create and maintain an environment on the New College campus that recognizes and supports students with disabilities by assuring them equal access to all educational opportunities. There is a legal imperative for this mission, embodied in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

SDS offers a range of services to students including reasonable accommodations, referrals to campus and community services, advocacy and auxiliary aids. These services are designed to support the students’ participation in all programs and activities offered at New College. Services are individually designed and based on the specific needs of each student as identified and documented by SDS.

In order to be eligible for disability related services, students are required to register and provide documentation of their disability through the SDS. If special accommodations are necessary, the student will be assisted in the development and implementation of the plan. The process is intended to coordinate efforts with faculty members and college staff while maintaining privacy for the student.

Disability FAQs for Prospective Students

Definition of Disability
A “person with a disability” includes any person who (a) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such persons major life activities; (b) has a record of such an impairment or (c) is regarded as having such an impairment.

A “qualified person with a disability” is defined as one who meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in New College of Florida's programs and activities. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the civil rights of individuals who are qualified to participate and who have disabilities including, but not limited to the following:

ADHD, Arthritis, Asperger's Disorder, Autism Disorder, Cancer Cardiac Diseases, Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Diabetes, Drug/Alcohol Dependency, Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder, HIV/AIDS, Neurological/Neuromuscular Disorder, Orthopedic Impairment, Psychiatric Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Speech Disorder, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Guide to Disability Laws.

Eligibility and Registration for Services
Student Disability Services offers services to students who are currently enrolled and attending New College of Florida. Eligibility for reasonable accommodations under this program requires that the physical or mental impairment currently and substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students may request services by completing the SDS Registration Form, and providing documentation of their disability in accordance with the Disability Documentation Requirements.

Students seeking to continue accommodations are also required to meet with Student Disability Services at the beginning of each semester to renew registration and plan classroom accommodations for their new classes. Students are expected to participate in the development of reasonable accommodations for their classes and are responsible for meeting with their faculty at the beginning of each semester, to plan for the implementation of the accommodations that have been approved for that class. The office of SDS is available to assist and act as an advocate for the student as needed in this process.

SDS will provide notification to appropriate faculty, advisors and staff. Recommended accommodations are effective from the date of approval, apply only to the current school term and are not retroactive. Participation by the student is voluntary and services can be ended upon request by the student.

Disability Documentation Requirements
In order to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to those students who have disabilities, Student Disability Services requires documentation that shows the current disability and its impact on a major life activity. The documentation the student provides to SDS should include the information listed below. SDS will make the final decision as to whether reasonable and appropriate accommodations are needed and can be provided to the student. Please send or bring documentation in person to your scheduled registration interview at Student Disability Services.
— Documentation must be current. The determination of what is current documentation varies and depends on the nature of the disability, i.e. completed with the last five years for learning disabilities, the last six months for psychiatric disabilities including drug and/or alcohol dependency, or the last three years for ADHD and all other disabilities. This requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature. SDS reserves the right to make appropriate modifications to this time frame when deemed necessary by circumstances.

The name, title and professional credential of the evaluator including information about licensure, certification, area of specialization, employment and state in which the individual practices must be provided. Professionals conducting the evaluation/assessment must be qualified to do so and should have experience working with the relevant adolescent/adult population. 

 Reports must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and have the original signature of the evaluator and/or be completed on a form provided by SDS. Reports must be written in English or translated into English by a qualified translator.

 The report must clearly state the diagnosed disability or disabilities. Terms such as “suggest” or “is indicative of” are not acceptable. DSM IV or ICD-9 codes should be used when available.

The evaluator must describe the impact and functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities on a current major life function or activity, especially as it relates to functioning in an academic environment.

— The report should include complete educational, developmental and medical history when relevant to the disability for which accommodations are being requested.

Reports should include a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability. This requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.

The diagnostic report must describe the specific recommendations for the accommodation(s) requested and an explanation of the rationale for each.

If medications are prescribed, these should be listed as well as potential side effects that may impair the persons functioning.

A physician’s prescription pad note or a school plan such as an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is not sufficient in and of itself, but can be included as part of a more comprehensive evaluative report.

Housing Accommodations

New College of Florida, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities in on-campus housing. Accommodations are considered for new or current students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in New College’s traditional housing arrangement.

Housing accommodations, including requests for off-campus housing, are determined on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the Housing Office; according to documented need and prevailing standards for reasonable accommodations. Housing accommodations are made after a determination of the student’s disability status and the necessity of adjustments to the living environment and usual housing options. Note: Accommodations only relate to the type of room, not a specific room.

All students are required to complete the Housing Accommodation Request Form as well as to meet with SDS. Students must also comply with Residential Life and Food Service policies and must meet deadlines for submission of Housing Preference Forms.

Housing Request Deadline
In order to receive a disability-related housing accommodation for the academic school year, your request and letter of accommodation must be completed prior to the Spring Housing Selection Process. Prior to fall housing, during the Spring Term, if you qualify for disability-related housing at that time, housing accommodations will be recommended for the next academic year.

In order to be considered for a disability-related housing accommodation for the Spring Term, students must apply to Student Disability Services by the first week of December. At that time applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be issued housing accommodations based on room availability. For the Spring Term, accommodations are entirely subject to room availability and are not guaranteed. Accommodations only relate to the type of room, not to a specific room.

While requests for accommodations submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, SDS cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ accommodation needs, including any that may develop during the course of the semester.

Please note that the housing accommodation request deadlines listed above are also applicable to other disability-related accommodations, including Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals. In order to fulfill student requests for all housing accommodations, dates are firm.

Students requesting housing accommodations should refer to the Disability Documentation Requirements. All information and inquiries regarding accommodations should be directed to:
Student Disability Services
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
Telephone: (941) 487-4254
Fax: (941) 487-4256

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Procedures
Florida law concerning service animals has recently changed. The updated New College policies will be posted here soon.

Meal Plan Accommodations

Students with disabilities may require residential and/or meal plan accommodations in order to fully participate in campus life. Meal plan accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. Dietary preferences not relating to the corresponding disability should be addressed with Dining Services.

Eligible students should register with SDS and provide documentation from a licensed medical professional addressing specific dietary restrictions. Meal plan accommodations will only be granted following approved medical documentation stating specific dietary restrictions, not dietary preferences.

Please note that students will first be referred to the meal service provider to evaluate whether or not their dietary needs can be accommodated. The maximum accommodation granted to students will be for an off-campus meal plan.

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)

Student Disability Services is available to assist students who require the services of a Personal Care Attendant. Examples of services may include transfer from a car/van to a wheelchair, transportation around the campus or to/from the classroom, administering medication, and addressing feeding, dressing or other tasks of daily living.

There can be circumstances in which a PCA may be required to address the personal needs of a student thus allowing them to participate in college. It is the student’s responsibility to hire their own personal care attendant and to secure funding for these services. It is also the student’s responsibility to have the PCA in place prior to participation in any college related activities, (i.e. orientation, mini-classes and class attendance). SDS cannot be responsible for providing PCA services on an interim basis until the student secures a personal care attendant.

SDS will assist in identifying and making referrals to community agencies who specialize in either providing or identifying qualified service providers. SDS cannot take an active part in the interviewing or hiring process, but upon request, will assist the student with information relative to securing and effectively using a personal care attendant in the college setting.

Direction of the activities of the personal care attendant while on campus is the student’s responsibility. The PCA must abide by the college’s student code of conduct. PCAs will not be allowed to proctor tests. If the student requests the PCA to provide notetaker services, SDS will not pay the PCA a notetaker stipend. PCAs will not actively participate in a class unless appropriately directed by the student and approved by the faculty instructor.

It is essential that the student have a backup PCA or an alternative plan of action should the regular PCA not be available to work with the student on a particular day or within a particular class.

Appeals Process

Student Disability Services strives to work with students to meet each person’s needs by offering services designed to support the students’ participation in all programs and activities offered at New College of Florida. In the event a student desires to appeal the offer or denial of an accommodation, the student may appeal in writing within 15 days of the event to the Program Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center.

If the Program Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center is unable to resolve the problem, the student may request in writing and within 15 days of receipt of notification, that the appeal be advanced. Final consideration and decisions as to student accommodations will be made by the Dean of Students or Provost with approval by the President of New College of Florida.

In the event the Director of Student Disability Services and the person or unit requested to implement an accommodation on behalf of New College (e.g. a faculty member) are unable to reach agreement, the final decisions as to student accommodations will be made by either the Dean of Student Affairs or Provost with approval by the President of New College of Florida.

Johnson Scholarship Program

Student Examination Request Form

Counseling & Wellness Center
5805 Bay Shore Road
New College of Florida
CWC 120
Sarasota, FL 34243

Phone: (941) 487-4254
Fax: (941) 487-4256