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Disability Services Resources

The mission of Disability Services at Ocean County College is to assure all students equal opportunity and access to our College’s courses, programs, services, activities and facilities. Our philosophy is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and with the Americans with Disabilities Acts, as Amended in 2008.

To achieve this mission, Disability Services will:

  • Provide campus-wide guidance, consultation, and training on disability-related topics, including legal compliance, universal design, assistive technology and course support strategies.
  • Coordinate high quality, accessible, and individualized reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities in an inclusive setting.
  • Provide each individual student with quality, student centered services to ensure that students feel valued and respected at Ocean County College.
  • Collaborate with various stakeholders to remove barriers both physical, sensory and attitudinal to create an atmosphere of access and acceptance.
Jamie Prioli from disability services helping a student

Disabilities Services Staff:
Gina Zippo-Mazur, Coordinator of Accessibility Services
Jamie Arasz-Prioli, Adaptive Services Specialist

Contact Disability Services:

Phone: 732-255-0456
Fax: 732-864-3860

Services & Procedures

The student (prospective and current) with a disability has the following options to initiate self-identification:

  1. Students self-identify by informing college personnel in person, phone or by e-mail.
  2. The student is referred to Disability Services, which coordinates the provision of reasonable accommodations, services, and supports.
  1. Relevant documentation (educational or medical records, reports and assessments created by health care providers, school psychologists, teachers, or the educational system) of the permanent or temporary disability must be on file in Disability Services. Ocean County College (OCC) does not provide medical or learning disability evaluation for diagnosis of disability. Assistance in how to get documentation will be given to the student if needed.
  2. The documentation must be recent, (preferred documentation within 5 years) to be applicable at the college level, and be from a qualified professional not related to the student (ie. Immediate family members such as parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins etc.) The documentation must indicate specific recommendations for accommodations considered appropriate for the college level and include supporting tests results. Modifications provided at the high school may not be determined reasonable by Ocean County College.
  3. Students can submit OCC’s medical verification forms to a medical provider, and then submit the completed forms to the Disability Services Office. The forms must be completed in full and signed with the credentials of the provider. These forms are available on our Disability Services page under the forms section at the bottom.
  4. Disability Services Staff will authorize the provision of services based on the documented or observed need of the individual with a disability. Disability Services will provide “reasonable accommodations” based on self-reporting through the interactive process during an student interview and based on relevant documentation.
  5. An accommodation will not be provided if it is determined that the accommodation is a “fundamental alteration of the course” or is determined to be an “undue burden to the college.”
  6. OCC will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. However, students must meet all academic requirements and technical standards of our courses and programs.
  7. OCC approved accommodations may be specific to OCC, and may not necessarily be accommodations granted by other institutions or license or certification granting organizations.
  8. A student’s file is kept for two years after a student becomes inactive and then the College reserves the right to destroy the student’s file.
  9. After documentation has been received by the Disability Services Office, disability information will not be released to anyone except as designated by a student on a release form.
  10. OCC reserves the right to request additional documentation prior to accommodation approval.
  1. Students will complete the online intake form on the OCC website.
  2. Students can submit supporting documents (educational or medical records, reports and assessments created by health care providers, VA medical documentation, school psychologists, teachers, or the educational system) to Disability Services for review. Documents can be submitted by one of the following methods:
  3. Disability Services will contact the student within 5 business days after receiving the documentation by phone to set up an appointment for an information session OR to request documentation.
  4. Disability Services staff will make no more than 2 attempts, within a 3-week period, to outreach to the student by phone or email, to obtain additional documentation or to set up an appointment. Emails will be sent to the student to their Ocean Connect account on file, if they have an Ocean Connect email. Only if the student does not have an Ocean Connect email, will the student be contacted through personal email on file.  The student will be requested to contact the Center for Student Success at OCC.
  5. Completed applications are reviewed in the order that they are received. A determination of accommodations will not be made on incomplete applications or documentation. If the documentation is incomplete, an attempt to obtain the missing documentation will be made as specified in “d.” above.
  6. 6. US Postal Mail or other delivery methods may be available upon request but students must first receive approval from a member of the Office of Disability Services via email or phone. To discuss alternative delivery methods, please call 732.255.0456 or email accommodations@ocean.edu. If arrangements are not made prior to mailing documentation, a delay may occur with intake requests and services.
  1. The student will be called to schedule an Information Session once all of the documents have been fully submitted.
  2. Disability Services Staff and the student, together, determine reasonable accommodations through the interactive process at an interview and through discussion.
  3. Students who bring a support person or family member to the session must complete a FERPA release form supplied by DS. The release form will be kept on record with the student’s file, and will be effective unless or until the student informs DS in writing of any changes to the FERPA release.
  4. The student and Disability Services Staff discuss college supports, resources, and student responsibilities.
  5. An accommodation plan is created by Disability Services Staff and is approved by the Coordinator of Accessibility Services and is based on the interview and discussion with the student.
  6. Disability Services Staff discusses, with the student, how to implement the plan, and provides the student with specific instructions on providing the plan to Faculty. This information is provided both in writing and orally.
  7. The student is provided with an appropriate number of print copies of the plan and the plan is sent by email upon request.
  8. A copy of physical documentation will be made and kept in the DS student file. Original documentation will be returned to the student at the end of the meeting.
  1. Students can schedule testing appointments online. The date and time that a test is to be taken in the Testing Center is NOT a student decision.
  2. The student must contact the Faculty at least 5 business days before the test, and the student and Faculty must agree on a date and time for taking the exam.
  3. If the student plans to take the test in the Testing Center during the regularly scheduled class time, an appointment is recommended in order to guarantee a seat for that specific date and time. The Testing Center cannot guarantee a specific date and time, unless an appointment is made at least one calendar week in advance.
  4. Accommodation testing is available at the SEC-Manahawkin by appointment only. Email accommodations@ocean.edu for more information.
  5. A valid photo ID is required for all tests, at all locations; no exceptions will be made.
  6. The following timeframes apply:
    • No Appointment Needed/Walk-In: Paper/pencil testing, extra time on tests/quizzes, use of a calculator.
    • 48-hour notice and appointment required: Use of a computer without adaptive software
    • One week notice and appointment required: Private room, reader/scribe, computer with adaptive software (e.g. Jaws, Read&Write), and proctored accommodation testing at the SEC- Manahawkin
  7. Students may choose to test in the standard classroom environment and not in the Testing Center or take a proctored accommodation test at the SEC. IMPORTANT:  Testing in the standard classroom environment along with peers may result in the inability to provide the full accommodations as per the student’s accommodation plan.
  8. If the student chooses to test outside of the Testing Center or be administered a proctored accommodation test at the SEC, the student acknowledges that the right to certain accommodations may be waived for that test/quiz that would otherwise be available.
  9. If the student needs assistance with scheduling or navigating the testing registration website, please contact accommodations@ocean.edu.
  1. The student will contact Disability Services staff by phone, walk in, or appointment if there are issues with the provision of their accommodations with Faculty. DS offices are located in Building 3, Room 016.
  2. Disability Services Staff will work directly with the student to address issues reported by them and will not address issues reported by supporters or family members.
  3. Disability Services Staff will ask to see a signed copy of the Accommodation Plan.
  4. Disability Services Staff will help the students advocate for themselves through coaching strategies.
  5. The student is encouraged to have an in person conversation with Faculty, or send an e-mail to Faculty.
  6. If the issue is not mediated by the student or if the issue is determined to be have not been resolved, Disability Services Staff will call or email the faculty on the student’s behalf.
  7. The resolution to the issue will be communicated to the student by Disability Services either by phone, appointment or email.
  8. If the issue is not resolved, Disability Services Staff will talk with the Dean of the department to address the issue.
  9. The nature of the meeting and Faculty/Dean Consults will be documented.
  1. The student contacts Disability Services Staff by phone, walk in, or appointment.
  2. The student meets with Disability Services Staff and makes their request.
  3. Disability Services Staff evaluates the request based on the documentation on file.
  4. If additional documentation is needed, the student will be informed in the meeting.
  5. The decision to revise a Plan will be completed within ? days and communicated to the student.
  6. If the Plan is revised, a new Accommodation Plan and appropriate copies will be provided to the student for the student to give to Faculty.
  7. If the Plan is not revised, DS will provide an explanation to the student in writing.
  8. Revised Plans ARE NOT RETROACTIVE to the beginning of a semester that has already commenced.
  9. The nature of the meeting will be documented.
  1. Class schedules must be finalized and submitted to the Disability Services Staff no later than one calendar month prior to the start of classes. Failure to do so may result in a delay of services.
  2. The student will notify Disability Services Staff at least 24 hours in advance of a class, if the student is unable to attend the class for which an interpreter has been scheduled. The student will notify Disability Services Staff email at accommodations@ocean.edu.
  3. If unforeseen circumstances make it impossible to give the 24-hour notification, the student will still notify Disability Services Staff of the absence, as soon as possible. If no advance notification is given, the student understands that the interpreter and/or note taker will wait 15 minutes for them to arrive for the class.  If the student does not arrive within 15 minutes, the interpreter and/or note taker will leave and report to Disability Services Staff.
  4. In an emergency situation when no advance notification can be given, the student will notify Disability Services Staff via email accommodations@ocean.edu of the absence within 24 hours after the absence. If no notification is provided by the student for an absence, the absence will be considered an Absence Without Notification.
  5. Interpreters and/or note takers will be assigned by Disability Services Staff based on availability. Requests made for specific interpreters will not be honored.
  6. The student is required to use the online form to request interpreting and/or note taking services for non-classroom activities, such as appointments at the math and writing labs, tutoring, special programs, etc. The form must be submitted 5 business days in advance of the activity. The same notification of non-attendance is required for such an event, as listed above, for a class.
  7. Disability Services Staff cannot guarantee any request for interpreters) if the request is submitted less than one weeks’ notice.
  8. After two Absences Without Notification within a semester, interpreter and/or note taker services will be suspended. To have services reinstated, the student must meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services.
  9. The student is required to notify the Disability Services Staff within 24 hours when dropping any class.
  1. Every effort will be made to provide sign language interpreters for students who: request the service, have provided documentation, and engaged in the interactive process (attended meetings, returned calls, answered emails, etc.) with Disability Services Staff.
  2. The student is required to give one-month notice prior to the beginning of the semester for interpreter services for courses.
  3. The student is required to give and at least five business days’ notice for services for appointments, programs, or special events outside the classroom, such as advising, tutoring, math and writing labs, workshops, and special events. Disability Services Staff cannot guarantee the service if the request is not made within this timeframe.
  4. In the event an interpreter is not available, Disability Services Staff will consult with the student to offer alternate, short-term accommodations.
  5. If the interpreter does not arrive within 15 minutes of the start of a class or activity, the student should notify Disability Services Staff immediately at accommodations@ocean.edu or in person at the Disability Services office.  Once notified, Disability Services Staff will make every effort to rectify the situation. In the event an interpreter is not available, Disability Services Staff will consult with the student to offer alternate short-term accommodations.
  6. Complaints concerning interpreting services should be submitted to Disability Services Staff via email at accommodations@ocean.edu or in person at the Disability Services office.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Class schedules must be finalized and submitted to the Disability Services Staff no later than one calendar month prior to the start of classes. Failure to do so may result in a delay of services.
  2. The student will notify Disability Services Staff at least 24 hours in advance of a class if unable to attend. The student will notify Disability Services Staff via email at accommodations@ocean.edu.
  3. If unforeseen circumstances make it impossible to give the 24-hour notification, the student will still notify Disability Services Staff of the absence. If no advance notification is given, the student understands that the onsite or remote CART will wait 15 minutes for them to arrive for the class.  If the student does not arrive within 15 minutes, the onsite or remote CART will leave and it will be reported to Disability Services.
  4. In an emergency situation when no advance notification can be given, the student will notify Disability Services Staff (via email accommodations@ocean.edu) of the absence within 24 hours after it occurs. If no notification is provided by the student for an absence, the absence will be considered an Absence Without Notification.
  5. Onsite or remote CART will be assigned by Disability Services Staff based on availability. No guarantee of a preferred onsite or remote CART will be honored.
  6. The student will use the online form provided (click here) to request onsite or remote CART services for non-classroom activities such as appointments at the math and writing labs, tutoring, special programs, etc. and submit the form 5 business days in advance of the activity.  The same notification of non-attendance is required for such an event as listed above for a class.
  7. Disability Services Staff cannot guarantee any request for onsite or remote CART if the request is submitted less than 5 business days’ notice.
  8. After two Absences Without Notification within a semester, onsite or remote CART services will be suspended. To have services reinstated, the student must meet with The Coordinator of Accessibility Services.
  9. The student will notify the Disability Services Staff within 24 hours when dropping any class.

Disability Services Staff Responsibilities:

  1. The Disability Services Staff will provide onsite or remote CART for special events outside of the classroom (i.e., math and writing labs, tutoring, workshops, special events, etc.) when given at least 5 business days’ notice. However, Disability Services Staff will make every effort to provide those services with less notice.
  2. If the onsite or remote CART does not arrive or connect within 15 minutes of the start of a class or activity, the student should notify Disability Services Staff immediately at accommodations@ocean.edu or in person at the Disability Services office.  Once notified, Disability Services Staff will make every effort to rectify the situation. In the event an interpreter is not available, Disability Services Staff will consult with the student to offer alternate short-term accommodations.
  3. Complaints concerning onsite or remote CART services should be submitted to Disability Services Staff via email at accommodations@ocean.edu or in person at the Disability Services office.
  1. The college does not provide personal devices, such as wheelchairs; individually prescribed devices, such as hearing aids; laptop computers or services of a personal nature including, but not limited to assistance in eating, toileting, dressing, or walking. Should these devices or services be required, it is the student’s responsibility to provide for their own assistance.
  2. Disability Services does have a limited inventory of assistive technology for demonstration purposes. At any time during the semester, a student can request a device demonstration to see if a device may be appropriate for the student’s personal purchase. Devices available for demonstration include those for:
    • Computer access
    • Vision aids
    • Hearing amplification
    • Organization
    • Reading and Notetaking
  3. Students may request a device loan for up to one semester. Device loaners are based on which device availability and approved accommodation plan. Students requesting a device loan must submit their request in writing to accommodations@ocean.edu. After the initial request, Disability Services Staff will contact the student within two business days to discuss the device loan request.
  4. In the event a loan request is approved, the student will be given a loan agreement form which states:
    • Name and model of equipment that has been loaned.
    • Time period for loan.
    • The student is responsible for returning all components at the end of the semester and use it for my educational program at Ocean County College. The equipment will be returned in good working condition with only normal wear and tear.
  5. Anytime during the semester the equipment fails to work, is damaged, lost or stolen, the student will immediately notify Disability Services Staff in person or via email at accommodations@ocean.edu.
  6. If the student does not return the equipment by the end of the semester or the date indicated on the loan agreement, or it is not in working order, a charge for the device, as solely determined by Disability Services Staff, will be entered on the student account and the student will be responsible for payment in full.
  7. The student agrees to follow all applicable intellectual property law that relates to the use of the device, including, but not limited to agreeing not to illegally copy or distribute any software loaned through the Disability Services Staff. Upon completion of the loan period, if a software license has been loaded on a personal computer, the student will uninstall it.
  8. In the case of theft, the student will not be held responsible as long as they immediately report the incident to the police and provide a copy of the police report to Disability Services Staff.
  1. The college does not provide personal devices, such as wheelchairs; individually prescribed devices, such as hearing aids; or services of a personal nature including assistance in eating, toileting, dressing, or walking. Should these services be required, it is the student’s responsibility to provide for their own assistance.
  2. The student and the personal attendant must meet with Disability Services Staff to discuss the nature of services that are provided to the student and college policies including behavior in the classroom and conduct.
  1. Course waivers and substitutions will be processed through the Waiver of Courses Policy #5160.
  2. Students registered with the Disability Services office can seek guidance from Disability Services about the policy.
  1. Students with disabilities have the right to file a grievance concerning any allegation of failure to comply with laws, regulations and procedures set forth by with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and with the Americans with Disabilities Acts, as Amended in 2008.
  2. Grievances shall be processed through the official grievance policy, #5230, for the college, which is available in the college website.
  3. Although students are encouraged to attempt to resolve complaints pertaining to disabilities by using the Ocean County College Grievance Procedures, they have the right to file a complaint directly with the S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Enforcement Office, 32 Old Slip, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005-2500 or the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Civil Rights.

Alternative Format Text (AFT)

The Office of Disability Services provides accessible text and alternative format materials to students with documented mobility-related and print disabilities, including those with vision or reading impairment. Alternative Format Text (AFT) is the term applied to course materials such as textbooks, electronic documents, exams, and other print materials, which students with print disabilities need converted into accessible formats. AFT may include but are not limited to: braille (braille file or embossed), audio (MP3 or Daisy), large print, Microsoft Word files, and electronic format.

Requests for alternative format text is used for required textbooks or reader packages related to a student’s current academic course work. Some textbooks are available electronically so that a computer program or app can read the book to you. These are often referred to as electronic text, E-text or E-books.

Eligibility for AFT as an accommodation will be determined by the review of documentation and active participation during the Intake Process. If alternate format is determined to be an appropriate accommodation, students will be provided with guidance to facilitate access to alternative format materials. All students who are eligible for alternate format text will be required to set up an account at bookshare.org, which is a database of accessible books. Disability Services staff will initiate this when meeting with students.

When requesting books, students are asked to please check to see if Bookshare has their book available. If the Bookshare file is inaccessible to them, they will proceed to the next step in the process and contact accommodations@ocean.edu for further assistance. Students who are registered with Disability Services and have a documented need for printed material to be reproduced in an alternate format for one of Ocean County College’s courses must submit their request online. Request Alternate Format Text (AFT) is located on the Disability Services website under “Disability Service Links”.

  1. Verify that the text which you are requesting is not available through E-book/Accessible digital file.
  2. Complete the Request Alternate Format Text (AFT) form for each individual book recommended four weeks prior to the start of the semester.
  3. Provide proof of purchase for requested material and copy of the syllabus to accommodations@ocean.edu.
  4. Notify Disability Services of any changes in class schedule or course syllabus, which affect book requests immediately by email to accommodations@ocean.edu
  1. In order to request Alternate Format Textbooks (AFT), the student must follow these steps:
    • Purchase or rent their textbook(s) from the OCC Bookstore or other vendor.
    • If possible, purchase or rent a digital (online) copy instead of the hard copy. This online version may be suitable for the student. If another format such as audio or braille is needed, proceed to step #3.
    • Hand deliver or email a copy of the bookstore receipt to accommodations@ocean.edu.  The request for AFT will not be processed until a copy of the receipt is received by DS.
    • Enter the request for each textbook online using this link to request using AFT.
  2. The request will be placed in the order it was received. It may take the publisher up to 5 weeks to process the request, so students should submit their request as soon as possible.
  3. Once our office receives the AFT from the publisher, a link will be sent to the student’s Ocean Connect email to download.

Frequently Asked Questions about AFT

Alternative format textbooks are available in the following formats: braille (braille file or embossed), audio (MP3 or Daisy), large print, Microsoft Word files and electronic format.

Examples of reading disabilities may include dyslexia or dysgraphia. A competent authority (e.g. medical “MD” or osteopathic “DO” doctor, LD consultants, vocational rehabilitation counselors) may conduct an evaluation or certify that you have a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent reading printed material in a normal manner.

No. Alternative format textbooks are reserved for students with documented mobility-related and print disabilities, including those with vision or reading impairment. However, your course may be participating in Ally, which can provide you with access to audio versions of materials. Visit the Ally for Canvas web page for more information.

Alternative format textbooks are available for qualified students registered with the Office of Disability Services. Qualified students are individuals with documented mobility-related and print disabilities, including those with vision or reading impairment.

Standard print copies of the textbook are not considered alternative format textbooks. You may contact the following individuals or programs to inquire about the availability of standard print copies:

Office Contact Information

Location: Library (#3), Room 016
Phone: 732.255.0456
Fax: 732.864.3860
TTY/TDD & Voice: NJ Relay 711
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Email: accommodations@ocean.edu

Local Disability Agencies

OCR Office for New Jersey
New York Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500

Telephone: 646-428-3900
FAX: 646-428-3843; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR.NewYork@ed.gov
How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights
Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF)

Northeast ADA Center
Website: https://northeastada.org/
Telephone:  800-949-4232
Email: northeastada@cornell.edu

National Disability Agency

OCR National Headquarters
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Telephone: 800-421-3481
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR@ed.gov

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