PCA&D’s mission is to provide an opportunity for all its students to gain a professional-level education in the visual arts.
All students are admitted to Pennsylvania College of Art & Design on the basis of evidence and experience which indicates the potential for success in the College’s professional programs. PCA&D does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students with disabilities in its admissions procedures or educational programs.
Although colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations as necessary, ADA laws do not require the provision of devices or services of a personal nature including tutoring, coaching, training, devices for personal use or study, personal attendants, and other related services.
The ADA and
Contact the PCA&D team with questions and/or submission of documentation
How to request disability accommodations
starting the process
After acceptance to the College, students with present disabilities who plan to request academic or other accommodations must identify themselves to PCA&D’s ADA and Accommodations Support Team by submitting the request form. All records concerning disability accommodations are kept confidential by the team.
Students requesting accommodations must demonstrate that they are qualified students with current disabilities entitled to reasonable accommodations under section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or the ADA Amendments Act of 2009.
- Disability documentation should confirm the existence of a disabling condition; identify current deficits that cause limitations, preferably in a college setting; and relate the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodations.
- Documentation should indicate the date of the most recent evaluations and include the signature, title, and credentials of the evaluators or professionals who prepared the documentation.
- All requests for reasonable accommodations will be considered and evaluated. Reasonable accommodations that the institution deems likely to facilitate a student’s access to the educational opportunities provided at PCA&D will be approved.
- Accommodations which present a fundamental alteration to the structure or content of PCA&D’s professional programs of education in the arts, or which are determined to represent an undue burden on the College, will not be approved.
- Pennsylvania College of Art & Design reserves the right to require additional testing or documentation for any student with disabilities at any point in the process of considering an accommodations request, or at any other point during the student’s subsequent enrollment in any of the College’s programs.
Reviewing the Request
Once all necessary documentation is received, a meeting of the ADA and Accommodations Support Team will be scheduled. Students or applicants requesting accommodations are invited to dialogue with the committee when a meeting is called regarding their needs and additional personal information. However, the decision to accept, decline, or modify requested accommodations is made by the team in conjunction with contracted professionals.
The student will be notified, in writing, of any accommodations approved by the team. After the student registers for courses, the team will inform appropriate faculty and the Registrar of the accepted accommodations.
If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the team, a written appeal may be submitted. The Provost and the Vice President of Student Affairs will discuss the appeal and send a written response to the student. Their decision, at this stage, is final and may not be appealed further.
responsibilities moving forward
To ensure success, all students with approved accommodations are responsible for self-advocacy with their instructors.
- At PCA&D, it’s the student’s responsibility to gain a clear understanding of each instructor’s curricular and attendance expectations (which may be in addition to the requirements of the College’s attendance policy) and act consistently to meet them.
- Students should initiate regular meetings with instructors to monitor their own progress—particularly if they are having greater-than-normal difficulty with course materials.
- If a student’s approved accommodations include special provisions for taking exams, it is the student’s responsibility to work out the details with the instructor IN ADVANCE of any exam date. Exam dates are published in an instructor’s syllabus. All students receive copies of instructors’ syllabi at the beginning of each course every semester.
- PCA&D places a particularly high programmatic value on regular class attendance—it is mandatory. The College-wide attendance policy – published annually in the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design Catalog and Student Handbook and in all faculty syllabi – states that after multiple absences in any course in any semester, failure is possible. Faculty and major-specific policies are the final arbiters of this decision in every course in the College’s various programs.
Faculty, administrators, and staff are given information about accommodating students with disabilities based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2009 (ADAAA). They are required to read and subscribe to the above PCA&D Students With Disabilities Policy. Once the appropriate persons—faculty, staff, administrators—are notified of accommodations approved by PCA&D for a student with disabilities, failure to participate in implementing these accommodations may make individuals personally liable.