Skip to main content

Student Accessibility Services

Seeking to Create a Barrier Free Environment

You may schedule an appointment by contacting the Meredith McLaughlin, Student Accessibility/504 Coordinator at 434-832-7299.

  • Schedule an Appointment

  • Provide Current Documentation

  • Review and Sign a Letter of Accommodation

  • Accommodations Provided Each Semester with Request

Differences Between High School & College Accessibility

An important issue for potential and current college students with disabilities is to understand the differences between disability rights laws in high school and college. In college, responsibility is placed on the student.

High School


Applicable Laws

  • IDEA
  • Section 504

Applicable Laws

  • ADA
  • Section 504

Required Documentation

  • IEP or 504 Plan
  • The school provides evaluation at no cost to the student
  • The school conducts evaluations at prescribed intervals

Required Documentation

  • Varies depending on the disability
  • IEP and 504 plans are not sufficient - documentation must include testing on which the accommodations are based
  • Students must be evaluated at their own expense

The Student's Role

  • The student is identified and supported by parents and teachers
  • The primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to the school
  • The decision to receive accommodations is made by educators and parents – the student has little input

The Student's Role

  • Self-identify and request services
  • Provide recent documentation of disability
  • Documentation must support accommodations
  • Student is primarily responsible for accommodations

The Parent's Role

  • The parent has access to the student's records and participates in the accommodation process
  • The parent advocates for the student

The Parent's Role

  • Does not have access to student records unless the student provides written consent (FERPA)
  • Student advocates for self

Student Accessibility Services documentation Policy

6.0.4 Students with Documented Disabilities

Consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the VCCS guarantees that no qualified individual shall by reason of disability be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of college. Each qualified person shall receive appropriate, reasonable accommodations upon request to insure full and equal access to educational opportunities, programs, and activities.

In order to provide appropriate, reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities who seek them, colleges should require documentation from a qualified professional that includes a full clinical description and current functional limitations. This documentation should also include information about the methodology used to make a diagnosis, specific results of the assessments used, summary data, and specific assessment scores based on adult norms where having such additional information will assist colleges in engaging in a deliberative and collaborative decision-making process that considers each student’s unique situation and experience, but not where requesting such information becomes overly burdensome to a student.

Student Accessibility Services Motorized Equipment

Register your device

Power-driven devices must be registered with Campus Police and the ADA Coordinator.  If the operator of the device needs assistance on campus, he/she is to contact Campus Police and/or the ADA Coordinator. The mobility device owner is responsible for maintaining the vehicle for personal safety and for safety toward others always. The person prescribed the mobility device is the only person who may operate the vehicle on campus.


means a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor, or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion. This definition does not apply to Federal wilderness areas; wheelchairs in such areas are defined in section 508(c) (2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12207 (c) (2).

Other power-driven mobility device

means any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines, whether or not designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities, that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, electronic personal assistance mobility devices (EPAMDs), such as the Segway® PT, or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair within the meaning of this section.


Optimum safety is the primary concern when using mobility devices. Mobility devices, manually-operated or power-driven are to keep to the right in hallways, on sidewalks, and in common areas maintaining movement with traffic. Mobility devices are to be parked inside the classroom, lab, library, etc., not blocking entrances or exits, allowing for space for persons to navigate around the device.

Personal care attendant

The college makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In keeping with this commitment, Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) may be necessary to address the personal needs of a student with a disability so he/she may participate in the College's activities, services, and programs. Therefore, PCAs who accompany individuals with disabilities documented through DSS will be allowed entrance into the classroom. A qualified student who requires personal attendant services must decide to provide for his/her own personal attendant service. It is in the student's best interest to hire an impartial PCA who is not a family member or close friend. The College does not assume coordination or financial responsibilities for personal attendant services.

It is the Student's responsibility to:

  • Submit appropriate documentation to SAS that supports the necessity of having a PCA.
  • Secure a PCA prior to attending any college-related activity (i.e. placement testing, enrollment and class attendance). The College will not be responsible for providing a PCA on an interim basis.
  • Ensure that each PCA registers with SAS and signs the PCA agreement each semester.
  • Ensure that if personnel changes occur during the semester, he/she and the new PCA register with SAS and sign a new PCA Agreement Form.
  • Direct the activities of the PCA while at the College.
  • Have a back-up plan or alternative plan of action should the regular PCA not be available on a particular day or in a particular class.
  • Follow the College's policies and abide by the Student Handbook.

It is the PCA's responsibility to:

  • Follow all applicable College policies, rules, regulations, and procedures.
  • Allow the student to take responsibility for his/her own progress or behavior.
  • Refrain from contact with or asking questions of faculty, staff, or others on behalf of the student.
  • Refrain from intervening in conversations between the student and faculty, staff, or other students.
  • Refrain from discussing any confidential information about the student with faculty, staff, or students.
  • Refrain from actively participating in the class except when facilitating communication.
  • Refrain from actively participating in the testing or assessment process.
  • Refrain from carrying on conversations with the student during class.
  • If a PCA fails to abide by the above policies and procedures, SAS may decide that the PCA will not be allowed to accompany the student to the classroom and/or other College sites.

Student Accessibility Services resources

Service Animals

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), CVCC allows service animals in all College facilities. There may be exceptions in certain areas, which are addressed below.


  • Service Animal - The ADA defines a service animal as "an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair for a person, or fetching dropped items." Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars or harnesses and have licenses, certificates or special identification papers. 
  • Pet - A pet is a domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship. Pets are generally not permitted in College facilities.
  • Partner/Owner - A person that uses a service animal.
  • Emotional Support Animals are not service animals under DOJ Regulations/ADA and Section 504, and are not permitted on campus.

Transition Program

The Transition Program presents employment and independent living skills to adults with disabilities.

Students receive instruction in employment skills in a variety of fields, mentoring to assist in transition to college life, and an opportunity to participate in assessments and internships in local businesses.

Enrollment is accomplished through the partnering school division in your district.

The CVCC Transition Program (CTP) presents employment and independent living skills to adults with disabilities. The program is an innovative collaboration between Central Virginia Community College, Region 2000 school divisions, local businesses and government. Students receive instruction in employment skills in a variety of fields, mentoring to assist in transition to college life, and an opportunity to participate in assessments and internships in local businesses.

CTP not only empowers young adults with disabilities, it trains new workers to take their places in the community. Many of this year's students will already be employed upon completion. This successful program received the 2007 Department of Rehabilitative Services Commissioner's Award and has inspired other programs around the state. Enrollment is generally through partnering school divisions.

Additional Resources