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Facilities for Students with Disabilities

Policies and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

NECI complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the requirements of the State of Vermont. NECI is committed to maintaining a nondiscriminatory environment and to providing reasonable equal access to all its services, benefits, and facilities, regardless of the physical or cognitive disabilities a student may have. Prospective students are encouraged to refer to the Academic Catalog, Essential Program Eligibility, to review the standards which must be met within their respective course of study.  Prospective and current students with questions or requests regarding disabilities and accommodations will need to contact the Learning Services Coordinator in order to begin the intake process including a review of appropriate documentation of the disability and accommodations request, as well as an interview to review approved supports and accommodations.  The Learning Services Coordinator is committed to working with students to arrive at workable solutions to support their particular needs. It is critical for students needing certain services to discuss their needs with the Learning Services Coordinator as soon as they make their decision to attend NECI, so that there is adequate time to develop and implement appropriate services. In the higher education environment, it is the student's responsibility to initiate the process of requesting accommodations/support, as well as to follow through on the use of accommodations offered, as NECI cannot provide supports without knowledge of a need for accommodation or without the student's active participation in this process. Accommodations do not guarantee successful program participation or graduation. Should challenges arise in the process, students are encouraged to contact the Grievance Coordinator to address any grievances.

A student who requires or requests accommodations will provide, at his/her own expense, documentation of an assessment/evaluation prepared by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, learning disabilities specialist, or neuropsychologist. This documentation must identify and review the specifics of his/her learning disability, psychological conditions, attention disorder, and/or other related condition(s).  This documentation will provide recommendations for specific accommodations and support, and should include testing/assessment in the following areas, as applicable: intelligence, reading, mathematics, spelling, written language, language processing, cognitive processing skills, and self-regulation. 

Section 504 Coordinators

Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. NECI has designated two Section 504 Coordinators in an effort to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Section 504 Coordinators are:

Grievance Coordinator:

            Karen Madigan
            Director of Human Resources
            New England Culinary Institute
            7 School Street
            Montpelier, VT 05602
            802.225.3231

Disabilities Coordinator:

            Anne Connor
            Learning Services Coordinator
            New England Culinary Institute
            7 School Street
            Montpelier, VT 05602
            802.225.3327

 

Disabilities Coordinator

Any student who is in need of a service, academic adjustment, or auxiliary aid should contact the Disabilities Coordinator to make such a request. The student's request is taken under consideration and a reply to the student is issued within a reasonable time. The student may be required to provide documentation of his or her disability to verify the need for the academic adjustments or auxiliary aids requested. The coordinator may request the student's permission to speak with the student's physician, social worker, or other health care provider in order to arrive at an appropriate accommodation.

Any student who believes that the school has failed to provide him or her with necessary services, academic adjustments/aids, or who believes he/she has been discriminated against on account of disability, has the right to file a grievance with the school.

Disabilities Grievance Coordinator and Grievance Procedure

The aggrieved student will submit a grievance, in writing, to the Grievance Coordinator who is the Director of Human Resources. The complaint should set forth, in as much detail as possible, the basis for the claim or requested accommodation.

If the grievance involves a claim of discrimination by a fellow student, faculty or staff member, the student should be prepared to identify the individual(s) involved so that the Grievance Coordinator can undertake an investigation. If the grievance involves a claim of denial of a requested accommodation, the student should submit any documentation in support of his or her request.

After receiving the complaint, the Grievance Coordinator will take the grievance under consideration. If the grievance involves a claim of denial of a requested accommodation, the Grievance Coordinator will review the prior decision of the Disabilities Coordinator and may speak with the student's physician, social worker, or other health care provider to evaluate the requested accommodation. If the grievance involves a claim of discrimination by another student or faculty or staff member, the Grievance Coordinator will undertake an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the allegation(s) of discrimination.

NECI recognizes that charges of discrimination can be extremely sensitive and will make every effort to ensure confidentiality of all parties involved. However, the school cannot guarantee such confidentiality.

The Grievance Coordinator will have the authority to take appropriate remedial action against any individual who has been found to have discriminated against the grievant. The Grievance Coordinator will also have the authority to overturn or modify any decision of the Disabilities Coordinator involving an academic adjustment, auxiliary aid, or service.

After the investigation of a discrimination claim, or the reconsideration of a denial of an academic adjustment or auxiliary aid, the Grievance Coordinator will issue a written report which outlines the investigation undertaken and the reasons for the Grievance Coordinator's decision. In a charge of discrimination by a fellow student, staff or faculty member, the report will contain the measures taken, if any, against alleged offenders. If the Grievance Coordinator finds there has been no discrimination, he/she will set forth his/her findings in the report.

The decision of the Grievance Coordinator may be appealed by either side to the Program Director within two (2) academic weeks of the written decision of the Grievance Coordinator. The Program Director may: (1) overturn the decision of the Grievance Coordinator, (2) remand the matter for further investigation, or (3) affirm the decision of the Grievance Coordinator.

NECI is committed to complying with both the letter and the spirit of Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If any student would like further information on NECI's policies or procedures, he/she should contact Learning Services. 

Students with Medical Conditions

NECI is committed to respecting student privacy and the responsibility of individual students for maintaining their own health. Students are expected to advocate for their personal health and safety. NECI is committed to working with its students to arrive at reasonable and appropriate accommodations should there be such a need.

During the admissions and orientation process, all students are given the opportunity to identify medical conditions that may affect their performance at the school. Examples include, but are not limited to, seizures, diabetes, heart condition, and food allergies. If a condition develops or worsens, students are encouraged to share this information at any point during enrollment with the Coordinator of Student Services. For personal safety, we ask that each student treat this opportunity seriously and share any concerns that may impact him/her at any time while at school.

If appropriate and feasible, an individual health plan will be developed that may involve alerting selected instructors and administrators, and assisting in making referrals to local health care resources. While NECI will assist students with such plans, students are ultimately responsible for ensuring their own health and safety and are encouraged to speak directly with instructors, dining facility managers, restaurant service staff, residence life staff or other support personnel regarding allergies or other issues that may impact them in a particular setting. NECI treats all health information in a confidential manner, in accordance with state and federal law.