Disability Support Services

About Disability Support Services

The primary focus of the Disability Support Services office is to ensure all students have equal and equitable access to an education at Bates Technical College regardless of physical, mental or learning disabilities a student may have. If you are a prospective student or returning learner and think you may be eligible for academic accommodations due to an existing disability, please contact our Disability Support Services Office at 253.680.7012 or email dss@batestech.edu.

As with all departments and programs at Bates Technical College, the DSS office adopts and carries out anti-discrimination policies and perpetuates inclusivity to individuals with disabilities, but also to individuals who are economically disadvantaged, those who are limited or non-English speaking, single parents, individuals exiting the criminal justice system, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.
To be eligible for disability-related services, a student must identify as having a disability as defined by the American Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and must request accommodations. Per the ADA and Section 504, an individual has a qualifying disability if one or more major life activities are substantially limited – major life activities are defined as but not limited to the following: self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, speaking, and learning.
As soon as you register for classes, begin planning for accommodations for the academic quarter by contacting the Disability Support Services coordinator. Accommodation plans are individualized to each student receiving disability services.

All requests for access, academic adjustment and accommodations should first be provided to the Disability Support Services office using the following steps:

  1. Student should first schedule an appointment with the Disability Support Services coordinator (DSSC) at any time during the quarter, however it is strongly encouraged that students reach out 4-6 weeks prior to needing accommodation.
  2. Student either completes the Student Intake Form during the initial appointment or may download and bring in completed form to appointment in addition to documentation of the student’s disability.
  3. The student and DSSC work in collaboration to determine student’s needs, what accommodations would be appropriate and reasonable to meet those needs, and then will develop an accommodation plan if approved for services.
  4. DSSC creates a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) outlining student’s accommodation plan and ensures student and student’s instructors receive LOA.
  5. Student and instructor work in collaboration to implement approved accommodations and/or adjustments – DSSC assistance with implementation can also be requested.
  6. Student must request accommodations each quarter, even if those outlined in LOA remain unchanged.
  7. If a student determines an accommodation is ineffective or the approved accommodations in student’s LOA are not being implemented, student should immediately contact the DSSC.

PLEASE NOTE: Some accommodations such as interpreting services, text in alternate formats (e.g. Braille, tactile text, large print), and specific ergonomic furniture may require significantly more advance notice such as 15 to 30 business days and in some cases even more time is needed.

Examples of Documentation
(Information to come.)

Examples of accommodations or auxiliary aids that DSS provides
  • Ergonomic furniture (classroom use only)
  • Alternative text format e.g. large print, audio conversion, Braille, E-Text
  • Alternative testing arrangements e.g. additional testing time and/or alternative testing location
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Note taking assistance
  • Specialized equipment e.g. ergonomic keyboards, voice recognition software
  • Extended assignment deadlines on a case-by-case basis

PLEASE NOTE: List of accommodations above does not reflect the entirety of aids and services provided, and accommodations listed may not be appropriate for every student or disability.

Services that DSS does not provide
  • Service animals
  • Diagnostic testing and services
  • Extended deadlines on ALL assignments
  • Personal care aides or attendants
  • Personal equipment or devices (eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc.)
  • Specialized tutoring/individual instruction

Students receiving accommodations through the DSS office are held to the same expectations and attendance standards that all students attending Bates Technical College are held to. Instructors determine the number of absences that are permissible in their class. If a student should have to miss class due to circumstances relating to a disability, student should contact DSS Office and must provide documentation to support reason for absence. Students are responsible for contacting their instructors regarding any missed assignments, exams, and course material missed even if absence is due to disability-related circumstances.

For more information regarding Bates Technical College’s attendance policy, please refer to your Student Handbook.

Students with disabilities who have believed their rights have been violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by staff or faculty of Bates Technical College should contact the Disability Support Services Coordinator immediately. Please view our Report Concerns page for specific processes and procedures.

Bates is accessible to students with a physical disability through the Pierce Transit shuttle service.

Bates Technical College does not substitute courses or waive course requirements that will alter essential program requirements. The college considers requests for course substitutions or waivers according to procedures outlined in the Policies and Procedures Regarding Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Under 504-ADA. Further information is located in the Disability Support Services office.

Helpful links

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