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MARGARET MCKENNA: I know there's a lot of you that were probably in the first session, this session which basically talks about how somebody would access reasonable accommodations from a college once
they have been an OVR client. They're working with their counselor. They're -- and they've determined a goal. They have an IPE, you know, they're developing some services. One of which is going to be
some training at some college in the community and how they will access reasonable accommodations as a student/client of OVR as opposed to a student in a high school setting. Now, they're working
with OVR and they're in college now. They're kind of, sort of a big girl now so to speak, and they're going to try to get the accommodations they need and how they're going to go about that. Some of
the requirements for accessing accommodations at the school and how the person would go about taking steps to ensure that the accommodations they get are going to be the accommodations they need and
how important it is to be involved as a student at the college level. Do not depend on the parent or the school system or the college disability service support person but how important it is for the
student/client to be active and involved in the process in accessing, requesting accommodations and following the proper criteria in getting those accommodations at the college. It's not something
that happens automatically. It's something that has to be sought out and it's something that there's a, you know, some type of a process for and something that's very, very student/client, you know,
involved. Once again, we'll start out real briefly for the people who did not attend the first session, just to give a brief overview of kind of who we are. I'm sure, you know, three of us are
missing, three of us are here. I'm sure you could figure out which three are here and which three are missing. The director, Steve Pennington, Jamie Ray-Leonetti, the managing attorney and the, you
know, Frank Leonetti who's our receptionist to administrative assistant there. They -- we left them back at the ranch for good or for bad and we are here to try to, you know, work with you to find
out the process for accessing reasonable accommodations.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. So, as Margaret just said, we are the Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program. I have a slide that talks about our staff. That'll be the?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: ?second slide there. Okay. Like Margaret told you, Steve Pennington is our executive director. Jamie Ray-Leonetti is our co-director. She is also an advocate so clients do go to her
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don't know.
for help and assistance. Margaret McKenna and Lee Lippi are also advocates. Frank Leonetti is our administrative assistant and I am Shirley Kopecki, I'm the paralegal and administrative assistant and
I'll be Penny in our skit today. Just briefly, I want to talk about kind of what -- next slide.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: What the Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program is. Some of you who were here so sorry it's a little redundant. CAP is the statewide advocacy program for individuals with disabilities
who are seeking and/or receiving services from either one of these agencies, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, otherwise known as OVR, the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, BBVS, the
centers for independent living throughout Pennsylvania and other programs, projects and facilities funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Okay. Although CAP is an advocacy program for people
with disabilities and we definitely try to reach out and help most of the people that call, there are some areas that CAP does not cover. These areas include Medicare or Medicaid, special education
or housing like Section 8, HUD, that type of thing. Although CAP doesn't really cover these services, if you call us and one of our advocates, you know, if you really don't know where to go and
you're just kind of getting runaround, you can leave a message or get someone of our advocates and they can try to refer you somewhere that may better be able to assist with your concerns. Okay. So,
now, we want to talk about who's eligible for CAP. The next slide, please?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yup. I'm on it.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. Any individual who is seeking or receiving services funded under the Rehabilitation Act is eligible for all CAP services, like I said. An individual who is not seeking or
receiving services from any of these funded programs under the act is eligible for information and referral only. Most people ask this, Cap services are free of charge, there's no cost to speak to
any of the advocates, no cost for advocacy services. Okay. So some of the services that CAP provides, I mean, these are not all of them obviously, but they provided but it's about rehabilitation
programs throughout the state of Pennsylvania, CAP does service all of PA even though our main office is in Philadelphia and Lee works out of our Camp Hill office. Our advocates are there to also
advice clients of their rights and responsibilities as it relates to their case with OVR or BBVS or any of the other programs we've already talked about. Cap can also help with mediation or problem
solving. There had been instances where CAP advocates will sit in on meetings with OVR counselors or other, you know, professionals to kind of help express the client's concern and kind of reach a
middle point where people can, you know, agree on what's best for the client. Cap also provides some representation in appeal processes and things like that. But before any CAP services can be
provided, a release is sent to the client after the initially intake. What happens is the client calls, they speak to one of our advocates, the advocate such as Margaret or Lee determine whether they
are or should be a client of CAP and at that time, they take an intake of initial information, they give it to me. I'm responsible for packaging up an intro packet that has a release in it and a
letter describing our basic services. The -- then the client has to return the release before any CAP services can be provided. Just real quickly, our website which has a lot of valuable information
on it is www.equalemployment.org. There you can find more detailed biographies on our staff, some frequently asked questions and just some really valuable information. We -- I didn't put this on
there, but we also -- the Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program also has a Facebook page and things like that where you can, you know, where you can find events that we'll be at and different
notifications like that. The next slide just gives you basic telephone information. You'll see under the Philadelphia office, I also put the admin email address. Some people are more comfortable with
email. I know we're, you know, they're better through email than on the phone so I've had instances where people -- this is my email address at work and they send it to me, and then I give it to our
assistant director and she will give it to one of the advocates there. Lee also on his business card, you handed them out right? Has his own email address so you can reach him there by email as well.
The resource slide which is actually the second slide in this -- yeah. Can you hit it again?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: And yeah. Well?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh, dear.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: It's not going to come up, but that's okay. You can -- basically, you can find all this and more information in our step-by-step guide to vocational rehabilitation services which I
believe most of you should have gotten in the packet, right Margaret?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Yeah, they had -- you'll have -- you have our guide to OVR services in the flash drives. They're very good document.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yeah, it has all this information plus a lot more that I didn't talk about in there so you'll be able to find all of it. Now, I think Lee is going to talk about some resources and
LEE LIPPI: Well, once again, I did talk about this on our previous session but I'll -- I'm going to talk about it again. Now, we're all here for transition and we know that life is full of
transitions, and one of the more remarkable ones occurs when a student gets ready to leave high school and go out into the world as young adults. I know when I was at that age, 17 years old, getting
ready to graduate from high school, it was -- I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do at that particular time. We all remember our experiences. The fear, the unknown, what's going to be
happening out there? That's why it's really so important that students need to develop strong self-advocacy skills. Successful self-advocates understand their disabilities, the impact of their
disabilities on their daily lives and the supports they need to be successful in school, employment and in the community. Transition services are intended to prepare students with disabilities to
move from the world of school to the world of adulthood. These -- some of these services include post-secondary education like community colleges, four-year universities, trade and technical schools,
vocational education training, including programs funded through the Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, the county offices of MHMR or an agency administering the Medicaid home and community-based
waiver program. Employment integrated -- an integrated employment including supported employment, continuing in adult education programs including GED courses and adult services provided by agencies
like the Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, MHMR, Social Security administration and the independent and community living centers. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has 22 offices throughout
Pennsylvania. There are 15 known as the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and there are six known as the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services which is covered by the central office which is
located in the -- in the Harrisburg area. The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, not a part of OVR is located in the central office as well. For a listing of the offices, visit the Pennsylvania
Labor and Industry website as you probably all are well aware. I don't know -- I don't know how many of you are familiar with the centers for independent living. I -- it's -- it happens that I have
an office. My office is in with the center for independent living in Central Pennsylvania located in Camp Hill. And I can tell you that there's a lot of services that they offer for individuals who
are not going to be -- going into employment at any particular time soon. There are a lot of programs, a lot of waiver programs that they get people into and it's just -- it's worth your while if you
don't know about these -- about these services to find out a little bit about them. And what I usually do is I'll go onto -- I'll Google PCIL. Now, PCIL, P-C-I-L, stands for the Pennsylvania Council
of Independent Living. And I'll click on the map and then after I click on the -- on the small map there, there's a larger map that comes up and you click on your county and you could -- you can find
the services for your particular county. Transition services are expressly available as a service under the Rehabilitation Act. Transition from school to OVR services is as follows, application,
eligibility, development of IPE, that includes services leading to competitive employment, range of services needed to -- by customers, development of employment opportunities and financial
responsibilities. And as we go through this -- go through the script, we're going to be talking a little bit about that and the reasonable accommodations. In the first session, Penny went through --
Penny, my daughter, had gone through her first experience with OVR and her OVR counselor and came to the point where she was getting ready for eligibility, at the point of eligibility. So we're going
to begin the skit and I'm the dad and, hi, Penny, how are you? How is your day today?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Hi, dad. How are you?
LEE LIPPI: I'm doing just fine. What are you looking at on the computer? Anything interesting?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: So you guys?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: No, Penny is at her computer room. Sorry, we forgot to introduce the scene. Actually, dad, you'll be happy about this since you're all over me about college and working and all that.
I -- after talking to Ms. Glockenshire from OVR about my employment goal of becoming a legal assistant, I've decided to look up some college information on colleges or trade schools that might be
able to assist me in reaching that goal.
LEE LIPPI: Well, that's, you know, that's wonderful Penny. I'm glad -- I'm glad you're taking the responsibility to do that, researching the colleges. But one of the things that you should realize
when you're researching the colleges is to be sure that they have a disability services office.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: A what? A disability services office? You mean like a special place I need to go to get classes or something? Like, what is that?
LEE LIPPI: No, it's not quite that. The office where you will go if you need disability-related help, you're going to be doing a little research over -- I did a little research over my lunch today,
and I've discovered that the disability service office coordinates accommodations for students with disabilities to promote a supportive learning environment. The program supports student
independence, program accessibility and psychological support. I also read that in order receive disability services, you must submit documentation of your disability. We have that documentation.
Then, once you receive it, they'll schedule you to -- for an intake meeting and the information also includes that the student is responsible for submitting an assessment report. Now, the assessment
report must be completed by a qualified professional, your doctors and licensed psychologists. It contains the evaluator's name and title, assessment date. We'll have that information when we provide
that to the college and it identifies the disability, describes the limits and opposes and includes recommended accommodations. This is going to help the college to understand your disability and
your needs, the needs that you'll have for getting -- being successful in college.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, you know, dad, that seems like a lot of information but I guess they would be able -- the disability services office would be able to explain it a little better. Do you -- do
you have any idea where I would look or go to see if any of the colleges have one of these offices?
LEE LIPPI: I -- well, as you go to the website, all you have to do is to scroll down and take a look and see what services that they have available and there usually is a disability program office
that they have. Click on that and take a look at what your -- is going to be needed for your accommodations.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. Well, dad, I think, you know, while I was on there, I didn't really see one, a link for a disability services office. But I think I might try calling the college to see if they
can connect me to somebody or if they have an office over there.
LEE LIPPI: That's a good idea, Penny. Very good idea. You know, I'm very proud of you taking the time for this research. Are there any colleges that you've been looking at that stand out more so than
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, I think I'd like to go somewhere maybe in Westchester or maybe in Pittsburg somewhere. I really don't know. I guess it depends on the program, you know, as it relates to my
employment goal because Ms. Glockenshire from the OVR says it's really important for me to focus on, you know, what I need to do to reach my employment goal.
LEE LIPPI: Well, before you call the college, I thought that this would be a good time to discuss self-advocacy with you, which is a very important step. You're becoming a great self-advocate yourself
by doing all the research that you're doing but there are going to be times that you're going to need to stand up for yourself. Your mother and I aren't going to be there for you anymore like we were
through your IEP and you're going to have to make some easy and some hard decisions as time goes by.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, dad, you know, I guess we can discuss this now. But it all seems like a lot to me. But, I mean, you are right. I can't, you know, I can't hide behind you and mom forever so,
yeah, I think you can talk to me about -- I think we should talk about all this stuff.
LEE LIPPI: Well, the key to getting what you want out of life is to know what you want. Okay? All of us have to do that. We have to know what we want in order to get what we want. It has been our
pleasure, your mother's and I, to see you grow over the years. You've become a wonderful young woman and we want to see you to continue on that track. We've been all -- we've been the ones making all
these decisions as of this point and now it's time for you to make some of those decisions yourself. You've seen other students, you've talked to other students from your class who have -- are
attending college and have utilized their self-advocacy skills. Some are strong and some are weak. The ones that are weak, they have to become a little bit stronger and to become a little bit
stronger requires a little more time to be able to get to -- get into the -- into the frame of mind.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, I think I agree with you here, dad, I mean, you know, there's a lot of stuff that I'm sure that you've -- you and mom have done that I'm not really used to doing but, I think,
I'll get used to it. I mean, I just go to know where to start and where really to go with it.
LEE LIPPI: Well, you know, I'm glad to see you don't have that iPod hooked up to your ears.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: But that's because you make me take it off, dad, you know, I'm trying to listen to a song here, you want to talk about this and talk about that. I figured if I let you talk about it,
maybe we'll get it all done and I could go back to listening to my music, so that's?
LEE LIPPI: But one of -- but the reason I'm telling you that is because it is very important. It is very important that you learn those skills and to be -- to be able to stand up for yourself.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, you're right, I mean, I already had my vacation. So, I guess, you know, we got to get the ball rolling here.
LEE LIPPI: Okay. There are several websites out there that I took a look at that have some good information about self-advocacy skills and it'll give you some kind of an idea of what to -- what to
look for. How to formulate some of your ideas, how to make some of the things -- some of the things that you want and need out there more available to you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay.
MARGARET MCKENNA: All right. A message from Aunt Lisa. You want to talk about Lisa? I want to introduce the next scene. After a few days, Penny and her dad sit down at the college to meet with the
director of disability services. Good afternoon, Mr. Jackson, good afternoon to you as well. How are you? I see you're going to be a new student here in our college.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Oh, good afternoon, Ms. McKenna. Yes, I will be starting here in this upcoming fall semester.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Are you looking forward to this?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: I am, I mean, I'm looking forward to getting away from home, anyway. I really don't, you know, I really don't know if I'm ready. I've never been on my own, you know, like that but I
think I'll be okay. I?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Are you planning to live on campus here with us?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Absolutely. That's one of the benefits?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, and the fun shall begin.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: ?to college, you know.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, that should be good. And I'm sure -- are you looking forward to this, Mr. Jackson?
LEE LIPPI: Yes. Yes, I am.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, my.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, you know, after I -- after I leave home, he won't have to interrupt me while I'm listening to my iPod.
LEE LIPPI: But I -- what I do have to tell you, Glenda, she's been doing a lot of work?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Okay.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: McKenna.
LEE LIPPI: Oh, I'm sorry. Ms. McKenna. She is doing a lot of work. She's been doing a lot of research on the -- on the -- with the different websites. She's becoming more focused. She's beginning to
know what she really wants to do and what she wants to focus on at school.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, that is good to hear, Penny. It sounds like you're moving in the right direction. I think you're going to be making some good choices. What made you select this college to come
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, I was talking with my dad and Aunt -- my Aunt Janet and also Ms. Glockenshire from OVR. I don't know if you know who she is.
MARGARET MCKENNA: I'm familiar with her name. Is her first name Glenda?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: It is. Her first name is Glenda.
MARGARET MCKENNA: I'm familiar with her.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: And, you know, I think we've decided that -- I've been looking into what my employment goal might be, like what I want to do after school and I'm looking into being a legal assistant
and I've seen that you have a -- your college has a good program so I thought this might be a good place to start.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, I do -- that's, you know, I'm not a guidance counselor per se here or your counselor, but I do know that our school here has a good program for a legal assistant, paralegal
work. We do well with that and I think that's something that if it's an interest of yours, you should pursue it if that's something you're interested in.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, I'm definitely interested in it, I mean, after, like, I've already been on the college website but again, my dad thinks and I -- well, this is true for me as well, I have to
know -- like I used to get accommodations in high school like I used to get extended time on tests and things like that. So I wanted to know if there was an office here that could help me get some
accommodations then after I made a phone call to the college, they referred me to you, so.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, yes, I am from the disability services support office. I'm a disability, you know, services coordinator and I will be the one that you'll contact and interact with to -- so I
could help you get some of those accommodations. Now, I want to let you know that the accommodations that you will get here for college are not going to be automatic like they were for you on high
school. It's a little different?
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?process here. It's a, you know, a whole new ball game, as they say. Now, it doesn't mean you're not going to get accommodations, it just means that the process here is going to be
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Uh-hmm.
different. So I don't want you to have the, you know, the mind frame or the perspective that because you got them in high school, then you're going to get, you know, the same way, the same
accommodations here for college.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well?
MARGARET MCKENNA: It doesn't necessarily work like that.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, wait a minute, Ms. McKenna. In high school, my parents were the ones that talked to the guidance counselor and whoever they needed to speak to about getting my accommodations.
Can they still do that while I'm here in college?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, yes, your parents could help you. I mean, they're a good support for you. I'm glad to hear that your parents are involved but we're going to, you know, try to make it so that
you and I develop a relationship so that you and I could work together so that I am clear of what accommodations you require and you provide me the information I need to make a determination to see
if those accommodations could be provided here if we have them and if it's something that we think could help you.
LEE LIPPI: Excuse me, Ms. McKenna. I'm sorry to interrupt but I have a question. The accommodations Penny received in high school were free. If she were to get any services while in college, will she
need -- will she need to pay for that?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, dear old dad is always worried about the green stuff.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Uh-hmm.
MARGARET MCKENNA: I understand. This is an expensive process for poor Penny and for poor dad. Are you going to be working by the way, Penny, to help your dad to, you know, pay for some of the
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, I don't -- I don't know if I'll be working here on campus. It really depends on what's available. I have to look into that.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, you know, I may -- I-- I'm looking for an assistant here in my disability service office here and, you know, if you're interested and, you know, it's early in the semester and
if you're interested, it's something you and I could talk about.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, we could certainly do that. I think I would like that. I think it would help me get some experience on what I'll, you know, doing some assistant work and help me to figure out
more of what I might be doing after college.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Yes, I think that would work out. Now, to answer your question, Mr. Jackson, the accommodations that Penny can receive here are free. Yes, Penny, you know, we try to provide
accommodations to students that they require and the accommodations will be free. If there happens to be something, you know, a special piece of software and we're jumping ahead of things but if
there's something that perhaps is not something that we have or have readily available, it is something that perhaps you could get from her OVR counselor and that's something we could discuss. But to
give you a simple answer to your question for the time being, the accommodations that she could get here are going to be free for her. So, I hope that helps to ease your mind.
LEE LIPPI: It certainly does. That means that -- and especially, the little employment situation there. If that would be the case, would she be making a few extra dollars to pay for her iTunes?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, my goodness. Well, she will be making a few extra dollars if she's hired for the position. We have to get into that and she could pay for her iTunes or perhaps she could help pay
for her books perhaps, with some of the money that she would make if she works here as my assistant. But I see that dad has a -- has a one-track mind and he's definitely thinking ahead. But, I think
Penny's going to be able to figure out what to do. So, we should hope that, you know, she will do what's going to be best. If part of her, you know -- you know, becoming an adult, Mr. Jackson, is
she's going to need to learn to speak out for herself and to make some good choices no matter if it's getting accommodations or with spending her money. So, it's something you're going to have to
hope for the best.
LEE LIPPI: Well, thank you for clarifying that.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Now, Ms. McKenna, I had a question. I was wonder -- well, I have a couple of questions actually. In the -- earlier in our conversation you said that, you may need some documentation
to determine what type of accommodations that I might be getting or if I'm doing to be getting any. What type of documentation would you need?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, I'm going to need some, you know, medical reports and testing or an evaluation that was done, psychological evaluation that was done. Something that was done, you know, that you
have already or that you and OVR are going to work together to get. And so that I have some concrete, specific information as to what some of your limits are, your reading and Math levels and what
exactly are going to be the accommodations that are going to be best for you. If I don't have something, you know, in writing, you know, I have an -- I work in this field and I can have an idea of
what would benefit you. But, we want to know exactly the accommodations are going -- that are going to be best to meet your needs, so that you are going to be able to get good grades and you're going
to be able to continue to get OVR funding and that you're going to find this experience, you know, successful for you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Now, what happens -- I'm just curious -- what happens say, if I request something like extra time and it gets denied, what happens then?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, extra time would be maybe one of the accommodations that could be provided for you once I would get the information that we're talking about. And if there's an accommodation
that you think you require that's denied, there's a process that you could go through, you know, within the school here when you're denied an accommodation for school. And it's interesting that you
asked that. I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that point, but I'm glad that you're thinking ahead. You and your dad do think ahead, which is a good thing. But there is a process that you could go
through if by chance you believe you are denied an accommodation. The best thing to keep in mind is that if we do this process correctly -- step by step and you provide me the information I need and
then I pursue the steps I need to take to get you what's called a letter of accommodation that you present to your professors, hopefully things will work out and you will get the accommodations that
you need. Nothing will be denied if it's something you really require and you won't need to pursue that. But there is definitely an option for you if you feel that you're being denied services.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Now, if I -- I guess appeal the denial, does it mean that I will get the accommodation while they're looking over it?
MARGARET MCKENNA: When you are in appeal for the denial of the accommodation, we do still try to provide you the accommodation that you think you require. All the times, that does not happen. That's
-- something that will not be totally up to me if that process, you know, goes up, you know, the chain of command within the actual university. There's a process by which that would occur.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Now, okay. Well, that's definitely clear, but now, say I -- your office gives me an accommodation like, I don't know, extra time on tests or tape recorder in class, does the professor
have to follow have that accommodation or what if he or she has a problem with it?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, as I said, once you provide me the information that I need -- some testing, some evaluation, I provide what's called a letter of accommodation.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yes.
MARGARET MCKENNA: It spells out to you and to the professors what I have determined is going to be or are going to be the accommodation that you need based on your disability and the classes that
you're taking, the curriculum that you're in, the class size if it's small or large. All these things will play a factor, in me determining what accommodations are going to be best for you. Once we
determine that and this letter of accommodation is provided to you, it's something that you will provide to all of your professors. Once the professor gets that letter of accommodation, hopefully
they won't put it at the bottom of their pile or throw it in the trash. Hopefully, they will acknowledge that you're an individual in their class with a disability, who requires certain
accommodations. And they will see to it -- they work jointly with our office, they will see to it that those accommodations are provided to you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: So, even if -- so, even if the professor has a problem with it, after you give me that letter of accommodation as long as that accommodation is on that letter, the professor has to
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, yes, and we will all try to work together to make this work out. Hopefully, your advocacy and your cooperation in the class and your connecting with the professor, him or
herself, and developing a nice relationship with that professor should help all of us. All of the staff here are aware that we are required to provide accommodations to students who require them.
It's something that we're required to do. And most of our professors are pretty accommodating so to speak with that. And it's important though that you speak to the professor in advance and let them
know ahead of time what you're going to need and provide them this letter of accommodation. And throughout your semester, you should go up to your professor and let him or her know if this
accommodation is helpful. If it's not helpful, sometimes we have to try again and look at the accommodation that may not be the right fit the first time and sometimes we'll have to try something
different if it's not working. But that's all up to you, Penny because I have a lot of students and I, you know, I'm -- you are a big girl now here. And you have to come to me to let me know if
something isn't working. I'm not going to be calling you or your dad and making sure this is working out. This is something that's up to you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. I think I understand all of what goes -- or at least most of what goes into getting a reasonable accommodation. I just have one other question I think. Let's -- now I gave this
letter to the professor with my reasonable accommodation [inaudible] is that kept confidential between me and the professor?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Yes. As a matter of fact, it is. It is kept confidential between you and the professor. No other students or other professors that you don't have should be aware of the fact that,
you know, that you require these accommodations. That is something that would be strictly kept confidential. And I realize that that would be important to you and the professor is aware of that, as
well. And if we have any problems with that once again, it's something that you should come and mention to me because I wouldn't know unless you tell me.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. Well, thank you, Ms. McKenna. I think you have answered at least all of my questions for now. And if there's anything else that you need, please give me a call or, you know, be
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, I'm here in this office, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And I'd love for you to come and visit and stop by, you know, see what we have available here in this office in terms of
equipment and things that may benefit you. It's up to you to, you know, seek out what you think is going to help you. I have an open door policy and I'd like you to come and connect with me anytime.
And the job posting that we have here, you should contact, go on the school's website and find out how to apply for that. And then you and I could get to know each other a little bit more. That may
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. Well, thank you very much, Ms. McKenna. That's all of my questions. I don't know dad if you have any.
LEE LIPPI: No, I think you've -- I think you've done a pretty good job here today. And Ms. McKenna, thank you very much for your time as well.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, you're welcome. It was nice to meet both of you. And I think you're going to be just fine, Penny. And I think it's going to be a whole new world for you to be out on your own
here at the school. And, you know, your dad's going to be just fine after his little girl, you know, moves on to greener pastures. I think it's going to be just fine.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, thank you very much. Let's hope so.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Are you not going to let your dad visit?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yes, of course. He'll have to bring me food from our refrigerator.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, so, he -- for him to visit you, he has to bring food or he need to come with?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Food or money or, you know, anything?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Food or money.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: His Visa Debit card, that's good, too. I mean we take that. All methods of payment is good here.
MARGARET MCKENNA: All methods of payment you'll take.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Oh, my.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yeah.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Especially around the beginning of the semester when we go to book store, like that.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, well, well, I'm hoping that it works out, Penny that you could get a job here in this office so that your poor dad could sleep easy.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: He could pay for my books and I'll pay for my iTunes.
MARGARET MCKENNA: And that's four years.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Okay. Well, we'll talk about some of those choices Penny. I think that you come through this office and work with the other guidance counselors here. I think you'll hopefully have
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: That's right.
some support to make some perhaps slightly, slightly better decisions in the future.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Oh, you know?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Dad will pay for -- the books would get paid for through.
MARGARET MCKENNA: But if?
MARGARET MCKENNA: We'll, we shall see how that works out.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yes.
MARGARET MCKENNA: But it's very nice meeting you and I think you're going to be just fine in our program and you try to have some fun while you're here in the college.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Right. I just got a new iTunes card, I can't wait to load it up. Thanks dad.
MARGARET MCKENNA: And if you -- if you, by chance, you have other, you know, friends that you make here who you think could benefit from the services that we offer here, sometimes the students,
unfortunately, are not very willing to make use of the services at our office. Unlike you, they're not motivated or they're not interested or they're unaware or they don't have such a good dad. So,
if you have someone, a friend of yours that you connect with, that you could think benefit please turn them our way. It's important that individuals with disabilities access the accommodations that
are here for them at the school but they must inquire about them, something that's important for them to know about and to seek out. Sometimes, you know, OVR informs some of us, sometimes not. And I
think you would be a very good spokesperson for individuals who could benefit from accommodations here at the school.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, thank you. I'll keep that in mind and I'll certainly let anybody know about services that I run into.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Now, in terms of the information I'm looking for, your testing and the evaluations that I'm going to need.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Uh-hmm.
MARGARET MCKENNA: You're going to send me those, you're going to bring me those.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yes. If you give me your information I will make sure I send them to you and then I'll follow up to make sure you got them.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, I will give you my card. It should be, you know, the first thing in your wallet after your dad's Visa Debit card.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: That's right.
MARGARET MCKENNA: So I'll give you my card. It has my contact information, my fax, my email and my telephone number of course. And as I said I'm here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So, we'll look for
that information because I will not make any determination on your accommodations that you need until I get that information. So you may want to talk with your OVR counselor and see if she has some
records in your file that are current, that could help me.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Uh-hmm.
MARGARET MCKENNA: But the last thing I want to mention to you is that, you know, the semester's going to start, you know, we're here in July, the end of July and semester is going to start very soon.
And, you know, if you don't bring me the information until October, the semester will have already started, you're not going to get this accommodations until after that.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay.
MARGARET MCKENNA: So I think it's important that you realize the time is of the essence for these accommodations. And if you come to me in October I want that, you know, if you don't provide me the
information until October, your classes start end of August, you're not going to get this accommodations for the first five weeks of class. And these accommodations are not retroactive so if you
don't do well in the first six weeks of class because you failed to give me the information timely, that will not be an excuse for you or, you know, will not help OVR. You do not -- do not do well in
the beginning of the semester because you did not get the accommodations you needed. So I hope I am clear.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. Well, thank you. Yes, and I will make sure I get you that information as soon as possible.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Very good. Good luck to you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Thank you.
LEE LIPPI: And just as a follow-up Ms. Mckenna, I'll make sure that she stays on top of this, you know. We'll get those bugs out of her ears.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Right.
LEE LIPPI: And we'll make sure that she's on track to get the services that she's -- that she needs. And thank you again.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Well, you're welcome. Penny, you're awful lucky.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, thank you. I know. Cool dad.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Very good.
LEE LIPPI: Okay. So folks that ends the -- that ends this session right here of the -- or skit, but what we've discussed earlier between the three of us or between the five us at our office in Philly
as well is that Penny, Shirley Kopecki here has agreed to discuss her experiences going through OVR as a student. And she would like to talk about these, about her experiences right now.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Thanks Lee. What -- I guess my -- now, I graduated in 2002 so we are talking about 10-11 years ago now. So my experience is?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Excuse me. Are you telling your experiences as Shirley or Penny?
FEMALE: Uh-hmm. Okay. Okay. I just want to clarify. Uh-hmm.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Shirley. Shirley.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay. Well, sorry about that. I graduated in 2002. I went to a school that was primarily for individual -- all different types of individuals with all different types of disabilities,
you know. And my experience was maybe a little different than it would be for somebody transitioning from high school to college. They -- for those of you that were here for the first presentation, I
heard some people say, during the discussion, and also I think Margaret pointed out that it is, at least, you know, they -- at least people try to have the OVR counselor sit in for some of the IEP
Sessions, is that right Margaret?
MARGARET MCKENNA: Yup.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Well, I can tell you that I wasn't even invite -- in my four years of high school I was not invited to my IEP until 11th grade. My -- I did not need an OVR counselor until my 12th
grade IEP. I had no idea what OVR was. And in my IEP just like one of the gentlemen brought it up earlier as kind of, you know, you kind of get talked around because it's not really -- the student
really doesn't have much input. In fact, I remember, because I went to a school that was primary for people with special needs I remember the liaison there not for OVR but just from the school
itself, asking my mom saying that they had me prepared to graduate in June, it was earlier that year. But they wanted her permission to make sure that was okay. And then asked me if I was ready to
graduate or what I thought they asked her she said yes and then I was allowed to graduate. Also, I -- and then after high school, much like Penny's friend Cathy in the first skit, that is exactly
what I did. I didn't want to go to college right away because I didn't really know about OVR or a different -- even services for financial, you know, reasons. I didn't know about, like, trust fund
file all that stuff. So I didn't really think I could afford to go to college. So what I did was I took a couple of months off and then I got in contact with my school -- high school guidance
counselor who was actually in contact with somebody who was in the process of opening a photo license center in Philadelphia. And they asked me if I wanted to work there. So I went and worked there
for a few months -- about six months, maybe a year -- no, I don't think it was that long. I really decided then even though there is actually nothing wrong with that job, I just decided that I wanted
to do something different. So I think it was at that time that I remembered the OVR lady coming to my 12th grade IEP. I -- mind you, I still do not know what OVR was all about. But I figured, between
her my guidance counselor, I could figure out what I needed to do next. So actually what I did was I went down to Philadelphia OVR because that's where I'm initially from. I sat there and filled out
an application. I handed it in, you know, after some time I was connected with an OVR counselor who then was able to talk to me about what I wanted to do and my different goals and things. And since
I wanted to go to college one of the things that OVR did end up helping me to do was to, you know, fund some of my schooling. I, you know, while I was in college I went to Philadelphia Community
first. And again, even when I started there it was assumed, I guess, that my parents would be handling it. My parents really did not. I handled most of it myself. I had a lot of help in my first at
Community from the Office of Disability Services. The counselors there were really nice and they helped me a lot just to get acclimated to school because I, you know, I had been kind of sheltered in
the school that I was at. So I really wasn't used to being, just handling things on my own as far as college went. Then I went -- from Community I went to Westchester University where -- their
Disability Services Office operates completely different. You know, I had to give them different documentation than I had to give the Center for Disability at Community. I went in -- what I did for
my accommodations that the Community Disability Office I gave them my IEP. The people at Westchester wanted something different so I had to get in contact with my OVR counselor to setup a
psychological evaluation. I had to have somebody come out and, you know, had -- to have all evaluation done before I could have services. And even the way services were rendered was a little
different. So it was a whole different and new experience for me. But Margaret did say, I think, again that it's becoming a little better now where OVR is more involved. I think it's really good
because we have a lot of people that call our office now that still don't really know about OVR services. And, you know, OVR does provide so much as for as helping with employment issues. I, you
know, employment services and things like that I think, you know, it's to everybody advantage whether they're actually go to be able to use the service or not. So at least know what's out there
because I think part of the problem is, especially in transition, is it's hard to leave the place where you start. Like you start at home, you're sheltered, you're parents are the ones that call your
doctors, call your teachers, call everybody and then when you, in a certain age, you want to get to a certain a place in your life, you don't really know, as a person with disability, what types of
services whether it's OVR or whether it's service for independent living that help with sometimes, housing or other things like that. You don't really know what's out there. So I think that's, you
know, a part of the -- one of the biggest components in transition is just knowing what your resources are and not being thrown into them. So I'm glad to know, you know, the process is changing now
as far as OVR's involvement in -- with high school students so. Thanks for listening and, that's me. Margaret, I think is going to talk a little bit for you.
MARGARET MCKENNA: I'm going to go over some specifics -- is this working?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: I think you had to change the battery. Can everybody hear her?
LEE LIPPI: Yeah, it's on.
MARGARET MCKENNA: [inaudible]
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yes.
MARGARET MCKENNA: I'm sure you could hear my booming voice. I'm going to give some specifics because, you know, that -- the key component of this session is, reasonable accommodations and accessing
them in college. And there is kind of, you know, a criteria or process, so to speak, a general process as to how to do that. And I want to take sometime to go over some of the things that I think are
important for you to know, either as a student, a student who's an OVR client, a parent, you know, someone in the disability community who is a support person for this person -- the student, to just
kind of have an idea of really what is expected, what's required and kind of some of the steps you should take so that you're prepared and that you have an idea of receiving the necessary
accommodations in a timely kind of smooth process. When the first -- the first thing when a student has an interest in going to a particular college to take up, you know, doing legal work or to take
up bookkeeping or whatever they're looking to do. There's so many things that -- to consider when you choose a college. How far -- away from it? You know, or how far away from you -- from daddy
you're going to be? You know, is it going to be sunny where I go to college? I only want to go the school where it's sunny. I want to go to a school that's, you know, very, you know, or in a urban
because I'm difficult with transportation. And I checked out that this urban area is going to be better for transportation for me. All those things are very important. Now some of us, you know, we go
to the college where our best girlfriend went because she drives and she's going to take me back and forth. That's it. And it's -- hopefully that college will have the course and the curriculum I
like. So, I mean we all make decisions based on different things, for good or for bad. And that could work out. But for an individual with a disability, one of the most important things that you
should look at when you're looking at college not if it's in a sunny climate, not if it's near or far from home. Although I know that's what you think is the priority. The priority is does that
college -- community college, university no matter where they're located -- and we're talking primarily in Pennsylvania. But no matter where they're located, do they have an active Disability Service
Office? Where is that office located in the college? Who is the person who runs that office? These things are key before you even look quite frankly at the curriculum of the school. These are the
things that you really should be the first thing that a student with a disability should investigate when they're looking at colleges. Check -- initially you go and check the website of the college.
What -- is there something about the Disability Service Office on the website? Is it easy to find on the website? Tells you something, is it one line about the Disability Services Offices? Or is it a
paragraph? Is there actually a name connected on the website? You know, Ms. Mary Smith runs our Disability Service Office, she's the Disability Service Coordinator, or not. You know, make a phone
call to the college. You know, go through their menu. Find out who the person is who runs the disability office. That should be one of the very first things you do in narrowing down or eliminating
colleges. And then you decide, is it in the sunny place, is it, you know, really far from dad, do my girlfriend go there, do they have my curriculum? Because if the school or the college is not going
to be able or does not have what you're comfortable with in terms getting accommodations, it's probably not going to be the best experience for you. Even if it is in a sunny place because what you
need, I mean, most importantly are the accommodations to get you through college. Which for some people even non-disabled, is it -- it's not an easy process. It's a big jump from high school to
college. It's a whole new game. And you need as much as support. Support here meaning accommodations to make that work for you especially if you're receiving over funding and you must maintain that
certain grade point average. Now, even financially aid is on top of you. If you don't meet a certain grade point average?
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?you're not going to be eligible for continued financial aid.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Yeah.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: 2.0.
MARGARET MCKENNA: So that finding out exactly about the accommodations, "Are they available? Is there a real lady in that office or is just an office that has a broom in it and an empty desk?" And the
woman retired three years ago and they didn't hire anybody else. Now they have Joan over here who does clerical, and she is sort of the lady you go to. So it's something that should be a priority
when you're investigating these colleges and an actually getting to talk to that person. I have an -- huh?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: I just wanted to say something while you were touching on these points. I think it's also -- having done this, I think it's also important that the person -- this person is going to
be -- the student, realize that not every college or university is aware of everything that everybody needs. You know, I went to Philadelphia Community first that had, you know, they had a lot of
disabled, so -- for however -- you know, they had a lot of physical disabled students things like that. When I went to Westchester I was one of the first ones that stayed on campus and there was a
whole, you know, they had two sides of campus and the one was further away and there was a whole issue about how we're -- how am I going to get because the shuttle bus wasn't accessible. So how are
they going to get me from the north campus side to the south campus side? That wasn't an issue. I was at Westchester for three and a half years. That wasn't the issue until my second going into my
third year there. They had -- so then once I made the Disability Office aware of it. Once it became, you know, a bigger thing to where I needed to go class and this was a necessary, you know,
accommodation too. They then had to contract the crops bus or whatever service to, you know, that had -- a bus that had a lift on it to be able to get me from -- to and from the class that I needed
to get to. So it was a whole new thing for them. That's not something they had experienced before I had to do that. So, I think it's important to make sure that they know that there are -- you
realize that there are needs that you may have, that they're just not aware of. Not that they're just not providing to you.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Right. Right. And that's all part of up to you when you research, you know, that services to kind of know, to have an idea of what some of your needs are, so you're better prepared
to tell the person that -- all his needs. I went with a client about eight, nine years ago and met with them, an OVR client and met with them for -- to talk about a OVR services, they were starting
college and we're getting their funding in gear. There was no real problem; we just wanted to meet, to finalize some things for the paperwork, for the person to start. We go to the college, thinking,
you know, I mean, I didn't do any of this research, you know. I've had my college years, I'm -- I did all that, you know, where the fault was that there was a disability office at this college and
the OVR counselor didn't, you know, seem to have information, good or bad if there was a person there who does the disability services or not, but the student should know. So we go, we meet, we get
to the college and at first, we were meeting at the college to talk with the OVR counselor doing -- finalizing some paperwork, all of that. But we just chose the college as a good meeting place. I
said to the student as we were finishing up the meeting, "You know what, while we're here, you know, we did our part, you know, with the OVR counselor, I think things are going to be fine. While
we're here, I would like to meet the person here; curious who's the disability service coordinator -- do -- where is she at?" You know, where is her office, you know, where is she at? All she says, I
think I saw on the website there's a disability office here at the college. Okay. I mean I would have liked if that was me, I would have -- for my kid, I would have liked the person to have a little
more, you know, convincing of that. I said, "Okay. Well let's go, I'm sure there is." This was -- yeah a local?
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?this was about nine years ago. So we go and there is a door that says, you know, disability services on the door placard. I was like, "Okay. That's good." So I knocked on the door,
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: And hope for it.
the door is closed and I -- you know, these disability service coordinators are not always there everyday, that's fine. So we knock on the door, no answer. I knock on the door again, no answer. I
tried to open the door, it's locked, that's fine. She's out, she's at lunch, she's on vacation. So they hear us talking in the hall and there's an office next store with the door open and they hear
us talking and they, "Is there something I can help you with?" I go in there, I tell her a little bit about who I am and what I'm looking for and I wanted to meet the disability service coordinator
lady. "Oh, she went on maternity leave." Two years ago?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: What?
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?now, so and so does some of that. So she helps a little bit with people who have a -- need accommodations, they have not yet been able to find someone to replace [inaudible]. I
said, "Okay." Now that happens, happens everywhere. Now it's -- there are no fault in anyone particularly. My point in that story and I find -- and I am very adamant now when I speak to students,
yes, you saw it on the website that there's a disability service office, that's great. You did some research. Who is that person? Is she real? Is she a broom? Is she dead? You know, I mean, where is
she? You know, is she -- you know, is she working from home and doing this? Who is this person? Meet them. It is worth your while to connect with them. Not just to see that they're real, that there's
a real person, but for you to start to develop a rapport and a relationship, a connection with that person immediately because the sooner you do that, the better. Because you go into the college and
you take these classes and you assume either you're going to get accommodations because you got them in high school which is wrong. Or you try to bicker it out with the professor which is not going
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: [inaudible]
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?work. You have to go through the actual office that provides these services, sooner than later. And then the end and this happens with folks, if you do not do well and you get below
that 2.0 average and then the OVR stops their funding. And you really did not take heat to really seek at those services from the beginning. In the end, it's going to be on the student, not the?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Uh-hmm. Yes.
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?school, not OVR. So I think it's an important thing to really know that is something that should be like one of your top concerns in terms of going to these schools. If you can't
actually talk to -- per human being who tells you, yes, you know, I'm Suzie and I'm the disability coordinator. This is -- I'm the person you'll talk to. If you don't hear something like that, I
would go to the next college no matter how great the program is there because in the end, that's the service for good or for bad that's going to be the most beneficial to you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Absolutely.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Once you find the college that has the person, disability service person and you find a college that meets the rest of your needs, you know, you -- I make that. When you buy a house,
I want a house that has two bathrooms, so I don't look at any other house that -- unless it has two bathrooms because I'm not giving that up. I don't care if it has a garage, it will be nice, but I
want it to have two bathrooms. When you go and you're a student and you're looking for colleges, but they don't have a disability service office that you are comfortable with and that you could
connect with, I will go to the next college because in the end it's going to make or break to some of the grades especially this -- you know, considering your limits. It's going to make or break your
success there and it's not?
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: Okay.
MARGARET MCKENNA: ?something that's automatic that because you got accommodations in high school, you'll get them now. So once you find the college that has the disability service office and you
connect with the person. There is a process, we tried somewhat to go over that a little bit through the skit, but there is an actual process that it's kind of -- as a -- has criteria for you to get
these accommodations. It varies to some degree, not just within the community colleges for instance, themselves, but it also varies community college versus a university. They vary a little more but
there are some general very good guidelines that a person should be aware of as to have access to use the accommodations. The testing or evaluations, documentation, absolutely needed, the IPE
although once again it's helpful.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: IEP.
MARGARET MCKENNA: IEP. What you got in high school is not necessarily what most of these colleges are going to take or look for to determine your level of accommodation. They want some type of current
report testing, something from a license psychologist, something from your medical doctor regarding some physical limits in terms of campus access, something like that. So they do want some type of
written documentation, OVR can help with that. The student can go and get the evaluation, it's not something that the colleges require to pay for. It's something the student must provide. Once the
documentation is submitted and then it's reviewed by the person of the disability office, the accommodations and there's list of them. I mean, there are literally lots and lots and lots of
accommodations from simple, something you wouldn't even think of, it's so simple to something that's more expensive, a little more complicated, there's lots of accommodations out there that people
could get and could think about, be creative about. Once you start really working well with the disability coordinator and once you provide the documentation she needs. So work together with that
person because there's a lot that you could gain from getting some services that are really going to make the classes there, much easier for you to be successful with. Once the coordinator gets --
reviews the information you provide, there is something that's actually called a letter of accommodation. Some schools may call something else, but it's something that you go in hand. You meaning the
student, go in hand to the professor as your, you know, key or your ticket so to speak, your, you know, that you -- because you're an individual with these disabilities and have these limits, you
require [inaudible] you require to be tested in the separate room, you know, you require this, you require that. That's spelled out on this letter of accommodation based on the documentation that was
provided. The professors really require to file through with those things, it is information that's kept confidential. If the professor has any questions about it, he talks with you directly as the
student. You can have a little [inaudible] with the professor and the disability service coordinator person to make sure everyone's clear. Some professors, they're much more on board, other
professors not, it's a -- somebody -- a professor whose been there for 35 years, professor whose new like in anything, but for the most part it's something that the professor is aware that something
he must do, it's just a matter of him implementing the accommodation for you in that class, you know, at that time depending on what that class is, how large it is, all these things could have an
impact. But the professor should work with you to do that. I mean that something that's the role of the student. The disability coordinator has definitely some hand in that, but most -- for the most
part, it is really an experience that is definitely student driven. And the disability coordinator is not obligated to be on top with the student or the professors to see if that's working out, you
know, see no evil, hear no evil. She doesn't hear from the student, she's just hoping that things are fine, if the student has problems they should let the disability coordinator know. The other
piece that we try to bring out in the skit, once again you need accommodations in September and you don't get your paperwork or get things in order until beginning of November and you're having a
tough time in the class from September to November, that's tough beans. Nothing -- there's no real, you know, recovery or remedy for that. It has to be done in a timely fashion. It's not, you know,
like anything else. It takes to process to follow through, but that professor even if he would visibly see that you require certain accommodations or you go up and you talk to him, you know, "Hey,
buddy. I have a learning disability. I do need some extra time reading." He needs to have the information as outlined, the letter of accommodation and he needs you to coordinate with the disability
service office. He's really not obligated to do much until you take those steps. These accommodations that you're going to get whatever they are, they could be changed, so if you're -- if something
happens, you get some -- your condition worsens, something, you know, you find the accommodations are not working, you know, they spout these [inaudible] and they're really not working out for
whatever reason, go to bed. They should be reviewed, checked out, don't just go on another semester where you're forced to withdraw or fail a class because you figure, "Well, I got these
accommodations. I assume they would work." If they don't work just like if you take a medicine for a month and doesn't work, you know, keep taking it just because you were told it's good. It maybe
good, but maybe not good for you. So, it's something -- it's up to you to go once again to the professor, to the disability coordinator and to say, "Hey look. I know you're trying to help me out, but
I don't know if it's helping. Let's try something else." So, it's important that you speak up and we are clear on that as opposed to -- I got these accommodations I thought they would work and I'm
not doing well in class. Sorry." Well, it's not sorry on them. Sorry on you.
SHIRLEY KOPECKI: We have a question in the back.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Go ahead.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. I just want to verify. Just one step back, are you saying that if it's in the neuropsychology report if the professor wants to provide those accommodations?
MARGARET MCKENNA: I'm saying that once the disability coordinator has the documentation that she requires which would be then something from the neuropsych. That's when it's up to the college to
determine if that accommodation could be provided and that's when the instructor is informed that that would be provided.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. So, I was [inaudible] student depending on the provision the professor can decline them and probably the more -- the most important or the most common, what I've come across is,
if it's a math class and there told that you can't use a calculator and neuropsych says, "Calculator will help them," but the professor will still say no."
MARGARET MCKENNA: Right.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because that can actually just confuse the very essence of the class. [inaudible] will do the math [inaudible] a calculator.
MARGARET MCKENNA: Right. The math class has come up again and again and again and again as a thorn in the sides of many, but quite frankly technically, you know, that professor would definitely be in
the wrong to not allow something like that. But that comes up over and over and over again.
MARGARET MCKENNA: That's exact example. Yes? Anybody else while we're pausing?