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Disabled Student Services

Erie Community College is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse student body which includes about 1200 students with disabilities each semester. The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 expanded the definition of disability and redirected the focus away from proving disability and toward determining if the accommodations being requested would be effective and appropriate while still maintaining the integrity of the academic program. The college does not modify or alter curriculum requirements that are essential to that specific academic program. Students and potential students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the course descriptions and required technical standards for their program of study. The college is dedicated to providing access to content in all courses including online and hybrid courses. Please contact the Counselor for Students with disabilities to discuss the nature of online courses and needed accommodations.

All identification of students with disabilities must be voluntary. Within a college setting, students with disabilities are personally responsible for meeting with the campus counselor to identify needs, provide appropriate disability documentation and arrange for accommodations. To assist students each campus has a Disabled Student Services office staffed by a counselor and a Technical assistant or Mentor. The counselor meets with each student to determine what accommodation(s) might be needed and whether or not the student has provided enough information to support the request. Documentation will vary by student and by disability and is submitted to the Counselor at the campus the student will be attending. Documentation recommendations should include diagnosis, current impact to the individual, functional limitations and must be presented on professional letterhead from an individual qualified to provide such an evaluation. Students with learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD who had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or a 504 Plan in high school are encouraged to provide that final document and the most recent psychological testing. Students who are deaf must provide an audiogram and those who are legally blind must provide a vision report. Students with mental health conditions will need a letter from their psychiatrist/counselor/therapist stating that they are able to hand the rigors of the campus and the classroom. Conversation with the DSS counselor will clarify for students what, if any, documentation is needed.

Once a student has met with the counselor accommodations can be arranged. Accommodation determinations are made on the basis of student/ counselor interview, documentation, and program requirements on an as-needed basis. Students must make arrangements for accommodations for courses by contacting the counselor each semester. The student is required to submit an accommodation form to each instructor and for each semester accommodations are needed. Frequently requested accommodations include extended time for tests, alternate test location, textbooks in alternate format, class notes and use of specialized software such as JAWS, Zoomtext, Read and Write Gold or Dragon Naturally Speaking. A current list of technology and location of technology is available by contacting the campus Technical Assistant. Erie Community College does not provide equipment or services of a personal nature such as personal attendants, hearing aids, wheelchairs etc.

DSS Offices

City Campus
Aimee Spahn
45 Oak Street - Room O102L
(716) 851-1189 (V/TDD)
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Evenings by appointment

North Campus
Heather Hewson
Room S213
(716) 851-1495 (V/TDD)
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Evenings by appointment

South Campus
Frances Moyer
Room 3120
(716) 851-1933 (V)
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Evenings by appointment


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