Accordingly, Florida Southern College prohibits discrimination against any qualified student with a disability. We invite students to visit Student Disability Services to discuss their use or need of accommodations and any barriers they anticipate or may be experiencing at FSC.
If you are returning in Fall 2021, are a person with documented disabilities, and wish to seek medically necessary residential accommodations for the first time, the housing request process runs from March 1 to March 17, 2021. Dr. Pospichal will need to receive and review medical documentation and determine eligibility for residential accommodations by Friday, March 12, 2021, for a student to have the best chances for residential accommodation availability. A student found eligible for residential accommodations after that date will be less likely for accommodation availability. Students will be able to apply on the Community Living Engage Page under the form name: Medical Accommodation-Housing Selection Request Form 2021-2022.
The presence of an animal at Florida Southern College may impact numerous aspects of the community living experience for many residential students. Thus, student eligibility for an Emotional Support Animal ideally takes place in tandem with the more global community placement process.
The housing request process runs from March 1 to March 17, 2021. If you are returning in Fall 2021, are a person with documented disabilities (typically mental health disabilities), and wish to seek an Emotional Support Animal as a residential accommodation for the first time, documentation of a student’s disability, as well as the likely species of ESA to be sought, will need to be received and reviewed by Dr. Marcie Pospichal by Friday, April 23, 2021 for approval for the Fall 2021 semester. This way, the college may ensure that prospective roommates/space mates are willing at the outset to reside with an ESA. A student found eligible for ESA accommodations after that date will be less likely for accommodation availability in the Fall 2021 semester.
Student eligibility is only the first of several steps for the college to welcome an ESA. For more information, including guidance on acquiring disability documentation for ESA eligibility, please see below.
Because this is the case, ESA approvals are no longer available for the Spring 2021 semester, but we will be very happy to explore the process for Fall 2021 ESA approval.
The college engages in an interactive process with the student and, as appropriate, with professionals documenting the disability and the student’s family. If you have a disability and would like to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, written relevant documentation from a licensed physician, psychologist, or other qualified professional is ideal. A high school plan such as an IEP or 504 Plan may or may not be fully sufficient documentation, but can be helpful.
Florida Southern College values diversity and prioritizes equal access for all students, including those with disabilities. The mission of Student Disability Services at Florida Southern College is to ensure equal access to all Florida Southern College students to the full range of college experiences including curricular, co-curricular, and residential opportunities. We will serve as a resource and advocate for students with disabilities, encouraging student growth and self-advocacy. Student Disability Services also strives to keep all community members informed of the most promising practices for access, accommodation, and compliance and to promote collaboration between students, faculty and staff ensuring appropriate accommodations and universal design practices are being implemented through education of the Florida Southern College community.
Student Disability Services at Florida Southern College will be a leader in promoting universal design practices in facilities, communication, and instruction. We will do this by encouraging educational thought and conversations in disability while strengthening relationships between Student Disability Services, students, faculty and staff. We will assist students in accessing tools and technologies that will allow them full access to the educational experience. Florida Southern College students with disabilities will be fully engaged learners and will thrive as global citizens.
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Documentation must be relevant — that is, reflect the current status of the student and her/his disability needs. Ideally, documentation will describe the functional limitations resulting from the disability and how accommodations can improve student access to their full college experience. Requests for disability accommodations must be made each semester, and students must meet with their instructors to determine how the requested accommodations will be made in each class.
Although numerous accommodations may be offered — extended time on tests, access to classmates’ notes, and preferential seating to name only a few — students with documented disabilities are encouraged to utilize academic resources generally available to FSC students, including peer tutoring, study skills resources, and support assistance from their faculty advisor, instructors, and members of the Student Solutions Center. Student Disability Services is available to guide students to needed resources.
Florida Southern College has an attendance requirement and a requirement that students participate in Engaged Learning activities in the classroom. Once accommodations are approved, how they will be implemented in each class is determined in an interactive process between the professor and the student. Each faculty member has attendance and Engaged Learning requirements in the course syllabus and the student and faculty member should review these together and determine the degree of flexibility that can reasonably be offered in each class.
Here is more information on requesting accommodations and what documentation should be submitted with your request.
In order for the Office of Student Disability Services to release an Academic Accommodation Plan to professors and faculty advisor, a Consent Waiver must be completed and submitted to the Student Disability Office each semester. This Consent Waiver is also needed to permit the Office to notify roommates and relevant college offices about the approval of an ESA or the presence of a Service Animal.
Further documentation may be needed if you are requesting an Emotional Support Animal as a reasonable accommodation. Please see our Residential Accommodation Policies including Animals for information. The college appreciates the opportunity to prepare to welcome Service Animals. Please contact Dr. Pospichal at 863.680.4197 for more guidance.
Students may request accommodations at any time [and the college will always work to accommodate persons with disabilities in a timely and reasonable manner]. However, residential accommodations — including animal accommodations — may impact the greater community and may require actions such as housing reallocation or modification or collaboration with roommates. Thus if the individual makes a residential — including animal — accommodation request fewer than 6 weeks prior to moving into college housing, Florida Southern College cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first term of occupancy.
Documentation of health and licensing will be required for any animal residing on campus.
Florida Southern College has in place an internal grievance procedure for prompt and equitable resolution of challenges to the accommodations provided.
Dr. Marcie Pospichal
Associate Vice President for Student Support
Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801-5698
863.680.4197 (4197 if dialing from campus phone)
Zoom: By appointment
Associate Vice President for Student Support