Disability Services

A Disability Services Coordinator is available to assist students with disabilities in anticipating and planning for their full participation in the academic, labor, and social programs of Berea College. The Coordinator acts as a liaison with other College departments and offices in arranging responses appropriate to the student’s particular situation. Some of the services available to qualifying students with disabilities include: communication with faculty and advisor regarding student needs; accessible classroom and housing; determination of appropriate accommodations; classroom accommodations or modifications; assistance with obtaining recorded textbooks; extended testing time; and information and referral for additional services. A student must contact the Disability Services Coordinator and provide appropriate documentation in order to receive services. For an appointment call ext. 3212.

The Disability Services Coordinator works closely with the Section 504/ADA Coordinator to assure compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1992. Also, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator receives complaints related to possible discrimination based on physical access needs. The Vice President for Operations and Sustainability serves as the Section 504/ADA Coordinator.

Disability and Accessibility Services (DAS) Grievance Policy and Procedures

Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) is committed to promoting equal access to all programs, services, and activities at Berea College. Students who are concerned that they have been denied equal access as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) are encouraged to follow the procedures outlined below. Please see the U.S. Department of Education website for more information about Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities.,

Students have two ways to express their concerns: an informal resolution procedure available through the DAS Coordinator and a more formal grievance procedure through the ADA Compliance Officer. Although students are encouraged to solve disputes at the lowest possible level and to use internal procedures to the fullest extent, a student may choose to initiate a formal grievance at any time.

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), encourages individuals first to use internal grievance procedures, and when such procedures meet OCR's investigative standards, OCR will generally defer to the results reached if the process provided for fair consideration of the grievance (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/prevention.html).

Informal Resolution Procedure

Clear communication between students, faculty/staff, and DAS is vital to utilizing DAS services effectively. Where possible, students are encouraged to first address concerns and problems with the individuals most directly involved in the situation: the DAS coordinator regarding eligibility for accommodations and specific accommodations; the individual faculty or staff member in the cases of implementation or lack of approved accommodations.

Students are encouraged to express any concerns with the DAS Coordinator, Lisa Ladanyi (985-3327, 111 Lincoln Hall, lisa.ladanyi@berea.edu). If for a specific reason the grievance cannot be discussed with the DAS Coordinator, or if the complaint is about the DAS Coordinator, contact DAS supervisor, Curtis Sandberg (985-3237, 113 Lincoln Hall, Curtis_Sandberg@berea.edu).

Students who are experiencing difficulty in receiving authorized accommodations by a faculty or staff member, department, or program should first address their concerns with the faculty or staff member charged with providing the accommodation.

DAS is available to offer assistance by discussing and exploring options with the student and/or faculty or staff member, contacting the concerned party in an effort to clarify issues, facilitating a meeting with the concerned parties, and/or advocating for the student’s right to receive appropriate and effective accommodations to the extent required under either the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA.

The Kentucky Department of Education State ADA Coordinator is available for consultation in regard to any questions or concern a student may have about one’s accommodations (1-877-423-2933 or www.ada.ky.gov).

A student who is not satisfied with the resolution on this level may choose to file a formal complaint.

Formal Grievance procedure

The student may submit a formal written grievance to the Berea College ADA Compliance Officer, Derrick Singleton (985-3131, 230 Lincoln Hall, Derrick_Singleton@berea.edu). When making a formal complaint, a student should include specific information about the concern or problem (describe the issue(s), incident(s) and the action(s) taken; state the name of the individual(s) or office(s) involved; and show documented efforts to resolve the complaint). The Compliance Officer will meet with the student to discuss the complaint and will conduct any necessary investigation.

The Compliance Officer will issue a written decision including findings and remedial actions, if any, to be taken by Berea College and/or the student. This decision shall be issued to the student and any others deemed appropriate within fifteen (15) calendar days of the Compliance Officer’s receipt of the complaint. Files and records on all formal grievances shall be maintained by the ADA Compliance Officer.

Appeal procedure

If a student is not satisfied with the formal grievance procedure, the student may appeal to the President for de novo review of the Compliance Officer’s decision.  The appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar days of the decision. The determination of the President on any such appeal is final. 

If the grievance is not resolved internally at the College, the student may choose to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education (100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Tel: (215) 656-8541; Fax: (215) 656-8605; OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov. How to file a complaint of discrimination with OCR.

Approved by the Administrative Committee, February 2015.

Emotional Support Animals

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal, which provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating some symptoms of the disability, to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a signed statement from a physician or other qualified medical professional stating that the person has that disability and that the emotional support animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An animal does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal. In the United States, federal protection against housing discrimination is afforded under two federal statutes: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

Berea College requires all emotional support animals be registered through the Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) prior to being brought to campus and entering the residence halls. During this registration process you will need to make an appointment with DAS and provide verification of your disability and a note from a qualified individual of the purpose and need of the emotional support animal. While not an exhaustive list, examples of "qualified individuals" include treating physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed counselors. DAS will provide authorization that will indicate your animal has been approved and authorizes you to have your animal on campus and in your residence hall room. An updated vaccination record for the animal must be provided to the Housing staff.

College staff members are not responsible to provide care or food for any emotional support animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.

While your animal is on campus you have the following responsibilities:

  1. Maintain all required vaccinations.
  2. Maintain control of the animal by leash, harness or tether, or properly contained in an appropriate container any time the animal is outside of your room.
  3. Ensure the animal is well cared for at all times.
  4. Emotional support animals may not be taken into study rooms, laundry facilities, dining halls or other buildings on campus.
  5. Work cooperatively with Residence Student Life Team members and student staff to resolve issues that might arise due to the presence of the animal, including those involving other residents.
  6. Live animals cannot be brought on campus to be fed to emotional support animals.
  7. Properly contain and dispose of all animal waste in appropriate outside trash containers.
  8. You are responsible if your animal attacks or harms another person.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the requirement of the removal of the animal from the residence hall and campus. An individual with a disability may be charged for any damage caused by his or her emotional support animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that it charges other individuals for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. If either of these events occurs, the person being charged may appeal the decision through the Student Life Office.

For more information about Emotional Support Animals, requirements, and responsibilities, please see Assistance Animal Policy and Procedures in Disabilities & Accessibility Services.