Academic services constitute an integral component of equalizing the post-secondary environment for students who experience disabilities. Disability Services (DS) is responsible for coordinating services for UAS students who experience disabilities. DS also serves as a resource; providing information to the Sitka campus community. The mission of UAS Disability Services is to provide equal access and opportunity for all students to enhance student learning and achievement.
When barriers do arise, Disability Services assists in the identification of reasonable adjustments. DS can provide details about services and accommodations that are available to qualified students with appropriate documentation. Early planning is encouraged and necessary to allow DS staff adequate time to arrange for services. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with and provide the appropriate disability documentation to DS.
Disability Services works with students who have a variety of different abilities and strengths.
- Learning Disabilities
- Psychological or Mental Health Issues
- Autism Spectrum
- Physical Disabilities
- Medical Issues
- Chronic Illness
- Neurological Conditions
- Veterans: Service-related Issues
The Sitka campus consists of a single building, but students with mobility challenges will need to take into consideration the layout of the campus facilities when determining if they can navigate it.
For more information about Disability Services for UAS Sitka classes or for use on the Sitka Campus, contact the Sitka Campus Disability Services Coordinator.
UAS Sitka provides accommodations for students with disabilities under provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. It is the student’s sole responsibility to request services in writing and to provide documentation for the purpose of determining eligibility for services.
Eligibility under ADA requires that a person has a diagnosed impairment which significantly limits one or more major life activities. Current case law defines major life activities as walking, sitting, standing, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, reading, writing, working, performing mathematical calculations, and caring for oneself. Both the impairment and the limitation of a major life activity must be established to be eligible under ADA. Diagnoses are primarily derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) version IV, Revised or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) version 10.
UAS does not provide diagnostic testing for disabilities but can refer students to appropriate clinicians and diagnosticians for assessment.
Disabilities Services staff respect and promote the dignity and worth of all individuals and embrace human diversity within a warm, accepting, and confidential environment. Students can expect to receive the following from UAS Disability Services:
- Examination accommodations (extended time, distraction-reduced testing environment, readers, scribes, etc.)
- Communication accommodations (interpreters, note takers, assistive listening devices, etc.)
- Other adaptive accommodations and assistive technology (alternative text books, speech to text/text to speech, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Livescribe Smart pens)
- Assistance to get access to academic courses
- The highest ethical, legal, and professional standards of confidentiality
A disabilities accommodation can be requested in the following way:
- A Request for Services form must be completed and submitted to the campus Disability Services Coordinator with supporting documentation.
- After these materials have been reviewed, the student will be contacted by the DSS Coordinator to set an intake meeting to discuss the disability, eligibility for services, and appropriate accommodations that are available.
- The student will then indicate which services he or she will accept from UAS, and for which classes (or other aspects of campus life) the services should be applied to.
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance, and each semester the student must indicate, in writing, which instructors should be notified of the required accommodations. Only those employees who the student requests to be notified will be informed of the accommodation decision. No description or history of the disability will be provided, only instructions for the approved accommodation(s).
The Request for Services form must be submitted with documentation of the disability to Christopher Washko, Disability Services Coordinator, by mail, email, or fax. Documents may be submitted by the student or released from clinicians and diagnosticians directly to the DS Coordinator. Submit required documents confidentially:
- (907) 747-7703
- Christopher Washko
Disability Services Coordinator
University of Alaska Southeast - Sitka
1332 Seward Ave.
Sitka, AK 99835
Upon initial receipt of all required documentation, the review process may take up to 10 business days for a decision to be made.
UAS Sitka Campus accommodation determinations will be applicable to other UAS courses delivered from Juneau or Ketchikan, but courses delivered from institutions other than UAS will require the student work through that institution’s Disability Services office. UAS Sitka DS will release disability and determination documentation to another institution upon the student’s expressed written consent.
The following classifications are given to assist the student and their diagnostician in determining what information is needed to adequately document a disability. Letters from a clinician, psychological evaluations, high school IEPs or 504 plans, or other formal reports are all acceptable forms of supporting documentation.
Documentation should include the following:
- Dated (within 3 years) typed on professional letterhead.
- Name, title, credentials, and signature of the qualified professional writing the letter or report.
- History of the individual’s disabling condition.
- Diagnosis of disability (referring to DSM or ICD where appropriate).
- Description of the individual’s functional limitations as a result of the disability and/ or treatment recommendations.
- A student may use the Release of Information form to request documentation from a provider or other educational institutions. Please authorize each agency to release records to Christopher Washko, Disability Services Coordinator.
The following supporting documents are useful in determining appropriate accommodations:
- Suggested accommodations for the individual’s disability.
- Reports of successful and unsuccessful accommodations the individual previously received in school, tutoring, and/or employment.
- Test results
- Recommendations for accommodations based upon test results or formal evaluations.
The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student. He/she must be a medical doctor, licensed clinical social worker, or a licensed psychologist. He/she must be qualified to diagnose under the DSM/ICD guidelines and have training and relevant expertise in the specific area of disability in which he/she is providing the diagnosis.