Carisa AshDirector of International Student Services; Director of Services for Students with Disabilities; Adjunct Professor in Educational Ministries and Leadership 214-887-5368 Schedule Appointment

Welcome

We are glad that you are studying at DTS!

Dallas Theological Seminary works to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with psychological, medical, physical, and learning disabilities. Students desiring or needing accommodations on the basis of such disabilities or of medical incidents such as hospitalization or severe injury are to email the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities.

If you are aware of a condition that may impact your studies, please contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities before the semester begins or at the onset of a crisis in order to have all relevant documentation on file for the semester. Please note:

  • Accommodations are not retroactive, and
  • New accommodation request forms are required for each class each semester, and should be submitted prior to the class starting.

While accommodations cannot fundamentally change the major aspects of core requirements of courses or your program, they can aid you in successfully completing your work.

Accommodation

In accord with Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the seminary will make reasonable accommodation to ensure equal opportunity and access for qualified students to applicable programs, services, activities, and facilities.

After acceptance and prior to entering classes, a student with a disability must submit written requests for modifications or auxiliary aids to the Disabilities Coordinator. Documentation of disability may be required in order to receive appropriate modifications. Requests for auxiliary aids should be made at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester. Dallas Theological Seminary does its best to honor these requests but cannot guarantee that they will be met. The department responsible for the services requested will coordinate with the appropriate seminary personnel and/or federal or state agency to provide the student with maximal assistance.

Students are responsible to work with individual professors at the beginning and throughout the semester. If additional time beyond the end of the semester will be needed, the student must file a Credits Committee petition requesting an extension. This must be filed before the semester ends. Dallas Theological Seminary is unable to grant retroactive accommodations once the semester is completed.

The seminary will not make substantial adjustments in existing programs beyond those necessary to eliminate discrimination against otherwise qualified students, and will not modify existing programs to the extent it places an undue financial or administrative burden on the seminary. The seminary assumes no responsibility for personal-care attendants, health-care providers, personal devices, individually-prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or private tutors.

DTS Student Handbook (2018-19) 3.10.1

Applying for Accommodations

Specific accommodations provided are discussed and determined on a case-by-case basis only after acceptance as a DTS student.

Process

  1. Student collects the appropriate documentation (see Documentation Forms) from an licensed physician whose certification pertains to the disability. All documentation must be less than 3 years old.

  2. Student schedules an interview with the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities to discuss:
    1. Specific barriers to learning;
    2. Opportunities and resources to enhance learning; and
    3. Accommodations that DTS can make to facilitate learning (Potential Accommodations List forthcoming).

  3. Student submits accommodation request forms to the Director in a timely manner for each course taken each semester.
    1. All regular accommodations should be requested before the semester begins.
    2. Some accommodations (electronic books, interpreters, etc…) require at least a month’s notice.
    3. No accommodations will be granted retroactively.

  4. Student gives to their professors the signed Disability Accommodation form for their course(s).

  5. Student works closely with the Director to adjust accommodations, if necessary.

  6. Student follows recommendations by physicians or therapists to maximize health and learning.
  • Permission to record classes.
  • Use of individual rooms in the library for “in class” exams.
  • Use of an interpreter (if requested at least a month in advance).
  • Books in electronic format (if requested at least a month in advance).
  • Time and a half to take quizzes or exams
  • Extra day or week to submit an assignment (as long as it does not interfere with the progress of the course).
  • Presentations instead of minor papers, if this substitution does not alter the learning objectives for the course.

Additional Assistance, Resources, & Tips

What can students do to minimize barriers to learning? The list below is not exhaustive. Where a link to a particular resource is provided, this is an example and not a product endorsement by DTS. If you know of other sources, let us know, so we can add them to the list!

The Texas Workforce Commission’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWC-VRS) may provide financial assistance for documentation or accommodations for Texas students.

twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/vocational-rehabilitation-youth-students • 1-800-628-5115 • customers@twc.state.tx.us

Students are encouraged to check with their own state and local agencies for additional help.

  • How many hours you can juggle in light of life circumstances (Time Management Calulator)?
  • What combination of courses will best help you succeed?
  • What type of assignments best enable you to demonstrate what you’ve learned?
  • Will online or on campus courses best help you learn?
  • Identify the best times and places for you to read, write, and study and create a regular schedule.
  • Avoid courses where all of the work is due at the end if you procrastinate.
  • Observe dietary and sleep needs.

Medical Emergencies

Sometimes major accidents occur or major health issues arise during the course of a semester. If this happens to you, please reach out (or have a spouse or close friend, if you cannot) to the Director for Services with Disabilities in order to alert DTS to the issue. The director will contact professors and let them know of your absence. Then, as soon as possible, obtain an official notice from the doctor (on paper that includes the person’s name, title, place of work). The notice should include initial date of the issue and date the person projects a return to study (or a follow up appointment for clearance), as well as the impact this will have on your studies. The physician can email the notice to cash@dts.edu or fax it to 214-887-5535.

When your situation permits, you will have a consultation (typically over the phone) with the Director for Services with Disabilities to discuss the best route forward with your courses. You will need to provide a list of your classes and where you are in the completion of your work. Professors will then be notified of any accommodations granted.

Faculty and staff pray regularly for our students. If you wish, you may submit your prayer request here. If you would like to speak with the campus pastor, please email chapel@dts.edu or call 214-887-5363.

Service and Emotional Support Animals

Dallas Theological Seminary strives to ensure that individuals with disabilities who use service and assistance animals will be able to receive the benefit of the tasks these animals provide or the therapeutic support they offer in accordance with the requirements of federal law.

Definitions

Service animal means a dog (or in rare cases, a miniature horse) that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or task that the dog performs must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Service animals are working animals, not pets. Examples of service animal tasks include but are not limited to guiding a person with blindness, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair.

Assistance animal means an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy Seminary housing. An assistance animal provides emotional support which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s documented disability. Such animals generally have no formal training and are not limited to canines. Unlike service animals, these animals do not assist a person with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany the owner at all times. Such animals are sometimes also known as, comfort, therapy or emotional support animals.

Pet means an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered a service animal or a assistance animal and is not covered by this policy. Residents are not permitted to keep pets, other than birds and fish, in seminary housing.

Procedures and Responsibilities

Service Animals

DTS generally allows service animals in its offices, buildings, classrooms, housing, meetings, dining areas, activities and events when accompanied by an individual with a disability who indicates the service animal is trained to provide and does provide, a specific service to them that is directly related to their disability. Service animals may not be permitted if the animal poses a substantial and direct threat to health or safety or when the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of a seminary program or service.

In general, individuals who are accompanied by a service animal must not be asked to identify the nature or extent of their disability.

If it is not readily apparent that an animal is performing work or a task on behalf of an individual with a disability, the individual should immediately be referred to the Disability Office to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. The Disability Office may inquire:

  1. Whether the animal is required because of a disability; and
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform.
  1. Service animal owners/handlers are responsible for any damage or injury caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage and/or injury to others while on campus.
  2. Service animals must be under the control of the owner/handler at all times.
    1. a service animal should be on a leash when not providing a needed service;
    2. to the extent possible the service animal should be unobtrusive to other individuals and the learning, living, working environment;
    3. service animals should not be permitted to block aisles or passageways or fire exits;
    4. to the extent possible the owner/handler should ensure that the animal does not sniff people, dining tables or the personal belongings of others; and
    5. While in common areas or public spaces, a service animal must wear some type of commonly recognized identification symbol, identifying the animal as a working animal, but not disclosing the owner/handler’s disability.
  3. Cost of care, arrangements and responsibility for the well-being of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the owner/handler including keeping the animal free from fleas and ticks or other pests that may cause infestation.
  4. Cleaning up after the service animal is the sole responsibility of the owner/handler. In the event that the owner/handler is not physically able to clean up after a service animal, the owner/handler must hire another individual who is capable of meeting this requirement. The owner/handler will be responsible for any costs incurred by the Seminary to clean up after a service animal.

Assistance Animals

Assistance animals will be permitted in seminary housing when the assistance animal is approved by the Disability Office and is necessary for the resident with a documented disability to have equal access to housing.

  1. Assistance animals are not permitted in Seminary housing until expressly approved by the Disability Office.
  2. Approved assistance animals must be contained within the campus housing unit of the owner/handler, except when transported outside the residential area in an animal carrier or controlled on a leash or harness. Assistance animals are not permitted on any other seminary property.
  3. An assistance animal will be an unreasonable accommodation if the assistance animal presents an undue financial or administrative burden on the Seminary, poses a substantial and direct threat to personal or public safety, or constitutes a fundamental alteration of the nature of the service or program of the Seminary.

Written requests for an assistance animal must be filed with the Disability Office.

The owner of an assistance animal approved as an accommodation in Seminary housing must:

  1. Assure that the assistance animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the housing facility or cause difficulties with other residents.
  2. Assume full financial responsibility for any expense incurred for cleaning above and beyond a standard cleaning, and for any costs related to pest control or pest mitigation.
    If the assistance animal relieves itself in a public space within the building, housing must be notified immediately. The Facilities Department will be contacted to clean and disinfect the area. The owner/handler will be responsible for all cost required to clean the area.
  3. Assume full financial responsibility for the cost of care, arrangements and responsibility for the well-being of the assistance animal. Assistance animals must be removed by the resident when the resident will be away from the DTS housing unit for an extended period.
  4. Assume full responsibility for cleaning up after an assistance animal, including disposal of all animal waste in accordance with guidelines established by the Housing Office. Assistance animals may not relieve themselves in the courtyard area of Swiss Tower. Please use the grassy areas of the parking lot or take the assistance animal off housing DTS premises to relieve themselves and clean up after the animals to be a good neighbor to our community.
  1. Vaccinations – Assistance animals must be immunized against diseases common to the type of animals and comply with any county requirements for vaccinations.
  2. Licensing – assistance animals must be properly licensed.
  3. It is required that an assistance animal wear some type of commonly recognized identification symbol, such as a vest, when in public spaces.

Service and assistance animals may be removed by the DTS Police, Housing Office, or the Disability Office. When a service animal or a assistance animal is removed pursuant to this policy, the Disability Office will work with the owner/handler to determine reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in the seminary service, program or activity without having the service or assistance animal on seminary premises. Service and assistance animals may be removed for the following reasons:

  1. Out of control service or assistance animal: An owner/handler may be directed to remove a service or assistance animal that is out of control when the owner/handler does not or cannot take effective action to control the animal. If the improper animal behavior occurs repeatedly, the owner/handler may be prohibited from bringing the service animal into any Seminary facility or assistance animals may be excluded from seminary housing until the owner can demonstrate that she or he has taken significant steps to mitigate the behavior. (Examples of improper animal behavior include but are not limited to: excessive barking, unleashed in public areas, aggressive behavior towards other residents/staff.)
  2. Non-Housebroken service or assistance animal: An owner/handler may be directed to remove an animal that is not house-broken.
  3. Direct Threat: An owner/handler may be directed to remove an animal that the Disability Office in consultation with the Housing Office determines to be a substantial and direct threat to the health and safety of individuals. A direct threat may be based upon the poor health of the animal, a substantial lack of cleanliness of the animal, or the presence of the animal in a sensitive area such as mechanical or industrial areas. Instances of abuse of a service or assistance animal will be referred to the Dean of Students and/or other appropriate authorities.

Removal procedure:*

  1. Owner/handler will receive written warning from housing staff on first occurrence.
  2. Owner/handler will receive written warning from the Director of Housing on second occurrence.
  3. Director of Housing will notify resident in writing that the service or assistance animal must be removed from housing within 5 calendar days of date listed on letter.

*If the service or assistance animal is believed to be a direct threat to the safety of other residents or staff, the owner/handler will be required to remove the animal from seminary premises immediately.