Disability Services

Mount Mercy University is committed to equal educational opportunity for all students. Disability reflects diverse characteristics and experiences and is an aspect of diversity integral to society. To that end, we collaborate with students, instructors, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are accessible, equitable, inclusive and sustainable. Disability Services are coordinated through the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) to help assure individual support, technology assistance, alternative testing or other accommodations as appropriate.

Core Functions of Disability Services at Mount Mercy University

Mount Mercy University is committed to equality of educational opportunity for all students. The Disability Services Office, located in the Academic Center for Excellence in University Center, facilitates accommodations and services so that students with disabilities are able to access the same exceptional opportunities as their peers with the greatest degree of independence possible. Core functions related to accommodations and disabilities include:

  • Establish and communicate criteria for disability services at Mount Mercy University.
  • Verify eligibility for disability services through student interview, review of documentation, and identification of individual student need.
  • Facilitate academic and environmental accessibility accommodations and services for qualified students with disabilities.
  • Assist students in identifying reasonable accommodations and developing self-advocacy skills.
  • Provide awareness and education opportunities for the campus community about disability issues.
  • Support faculty and staff in meeting the needs of diverse learners.
  • Maintain confidentiality of student disability requests and documents in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

According to The Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (as amended), “a qualified student with a disability” is defined as a student who:

  •  Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  •  Has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
  •  Has met the admission requirements in both academic and technical standards to a post-secondary institution.

A community in which this universal charity reigns, is capable of surmounting all difficulties.

Catherine McAuley

Reasonable Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended) and Section 504 Rehabilitation Act (as amended) provide guidelines for reasonable accommodations in higher education.

  • Reasonable accommodations may include modification of policies, practices, and procedures, provision and access to auxiliary aids and services, academic adjustments, and modification to the environment intended to remove barriers to equivalent access.
  • Reasonable accommodations are limited to those which do not cause an undue financial burden to the institution or a fundamental alteration to a course or program of study.
  • Reasonable accommodations will not compromise the essential elements of a course or curriculum or weaken the academic standards or integrity of degree programs at Mt. Mercy University.
  • Reasonable accommodations are identified and designed based on a student’s unique characteristics and needs and are determined on an individual basis.

Requesting Disability Services and Accommodations

If you have used accommodations in the past (such as with an IEP or 504 plan) or think you may have a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for accommodations or services. To begin the process of requesting disability services and accommodations, contact Mount Mercy University’s Disability Services Coordinator, 319-363-1323 x1204 to request an accommodation planning meeting.

The Disability Services Coordinator meets with students and reviews documentation to determine eligibility for services. Together, we discuss academic needs, reasonable accommodations and the process for working with instructors and university support systems. The need for specific documentation varies and will be determined during the initial discussion with the Disability Services Coordinator. Disability documents and accommodation plan records do not become part of a student’s academic or administrative records.

Do not delay the eligibility application process out of concern for obtaining appropriate documentation paperwork. Temporary accommodation plans may be initiated during the documentation verification process.

Disability Documentation

Appropriate and proper documentation is required to determine eligibility for disability-related accommodations at Mount Mercy University. Disability documentation should include the following:

  • Clear statement of the diagnosis or identified disability from a qualified medical provider.
  • Description of how the disability impacts the student’s major life activities which will be addressed with the accommodation plan (i.e. learning, reading, writing, hearing, vision, mobility, daily living, etc.).
  • Recommendations for reasonable accommodations which are appropriate at the postsecondary level.

Mount Mercy University accepts the following types of disability documentation:

  • A recent IEP, 504 Plan, Support for Accommodation Report (SAR) or Summary of Performance.
  • A recent psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation.
  • A letter from a current physician, psychologist, counselor, or other licensed professional.
  • A relevant medical record.
  • A copy of an accommodation letter from a previous college or university.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

A Mount Mercy University student with an identified disability has the right to:

  • Request reasonable accommodations based on identified need and documentation recommendation(s).
  • Access MMU courses, facilities, activities, programs, services and jobs with equal opportunity as non-disabled members of the MMU community.
  • Maintain confidentiality of identified disability and disability documentation.
  • Access to campus environments, events and interactions that are accessible, equitable, inclusive and sustainable.

A Mount Mercy University student with an identified disability has the responsibility to:

  • Meet Mount Mercy University admission requirements as well as all technical, academic and university expectations and standards of the student’s chosen program.
  • Follow Mount Mercy University guidelines for behavior and conduct as outlined in the student handbook, The Good Book.
  • Notify the Disability Services Coordinator of a request for accommodations and provide appropriate documentation verifying the need for accommodations.
  • Communicate with faculty in a reasonable timeframe before accommodations are required.
  • Notify the Disability Service Coordinator promptly if a current accommodation plan is not effectively meeting the needs of the student.
  • Attend class regularly and meet all course requirement expectations.
  • Maintain open communication regarding academic progress with the Disability Services Coordinator and faculty as needed.
  • Communicate with faculty members regarding self-disclosure of the disability accommodation plan.
  • Communicate with Disability Services Office staff to update and renew their accommodation request each semester.

It takes an open minded individual to look beyond disability, and see that ability has so much more to offer than the limitations society tries to place upon them.

Robert M. Hensel

Information Technology Accessibility Policy

Creation and dissemination of knowledge is a defining characteristic of a university, fundamental to Mount Mercy University and our mission for learning. Using electronic delivery of such information is central to our mission. MMU strives to provide equal opportunity in all educational and administrative services, programs, and activities. Facilitating equal and effective access is the responsibility of all university staff and faculty.

It is the policy of MMU to make information technology resources and services, programs, services, and events reasonably accessible to all MMU students, faculty, staff and the general public. This includes all instructional or informative materials as well as the technology products that deliver the programs.