Disability and Access Services

Disability and Access Services

Disability and Access Services at Central Piedmont is committed to helping students with disabilities gain equal access to education. We provide academic accommodations, self-advocacy, and support to help enhance your educational experience and personal growth.

Accessibility Services at Central Piedmont

To request the following services, you will first need an approved accommodation. For approval, review the Request Academic Accommodations or Renew Previously Approved Accommodations instructions on this page. 

  • Disability and Access Counseling

    Working with a Disability and Access Services counselor is an important component in your overall success. We can provide you with referrals (within Central Piedmont and in the community), advocate for you, provide academic accommodations, offer support, and other assistance.

    Request Disability and Access Counseling

    After your are approved for an academic accommodation, a Disability and Access Services counselor will be assigned to you — meet with your counselor anytime during your enrollment at Central Piedmont.

  • Interpreting (Sign Language)

    Disability and Access Services has a staff of highly skilled interpreters who are the primary communication channel between you, faculty, and staff. Class schedule adjustments may be necessary to provide interpreting services if you are a student with a hearing loss. In addition to classroom accommodations, you may also request assistive listening devices and interpreting services for campus activities and meetings with instructors and advisors.

    Request Interpreting (Sign Language) Services

    For classes
    • You should have an approved accommodation. For approval, request academic accommodations or renew previously approved accommodations. All questions regarding class schedules and/or changes should be directed to the Interpreting Services coordinator at 980.553.0020.

    For all other Central Piedmont interpreting services on campus: 
    • If you are a prospective, current, or returning student in need of an accommodation(s)  to participate in a student-related meeting or event (not for classes), contact Disability and Access Services at disability.counselingservices@cpcc.edu at least 48 hours prior to the event to discuss how we can best accommodate you.
  • Assistive Technology

    An assistive technology device is defined as any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system (whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized) that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a person with a disability. It is a resource that allows you to complete tasks independently.

    Request Assistive Technology

    We encourage you to obtain personal assistive technology to have access when you are not on campus, and we have assistive technology available at the college. 

    For more information and to make a request, email the assistive technology specialist at assistivetechnology@cpcc.edu.

    For questions related to standard (not assistive) technology, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 704.330.2722 ext. 5000 or helpdesk@cpcc.edu.

    1. Disability and Access Services Testing Center

      The Disability and Access Services Testing Center offers specially coordinated services for accommodations to take tests. The testing center is a distraction-reduced testing room where the proctor may facilitate accommodations by using assistive technology, by using proctor-assisted intervention, or by coordinating accommodations for another proctor to provide.

      Request to Use the Testing Center

      To use the testing center, you must:  

      • be approved to use the testing center as an accommodation.
      • provide instructor(s) with accommodation form(s) each semester for each class.
      • meet with the assistive technology specialist before taking your first test in the testing center.
      • request a testing appointment with the assistive technology specialist one week in advance of the intended appointment day. Please include: 
        • your name and student ID number
        • whether you are requesting a virtual or in-person appointment 
        • course title and instructor’s name
        • date and time requested

      Appointments are first come, first serve. Virtual appointments may be offered when in-person appointments are not available. 

    2. Request Books in Alternative Format

      Students with disabilities may have difficulty using certain textbooks. If you have an approved accommodation for books in alternative format, you can request alternative formats for textbooks. 

      Request Books in Alternative Format

      • Attempt to purchase or rent the textbook in a version accessible for the specific print disability.
      • If there is not a version that suits your needs, purchase the textbook and keep proof of purchase. Disability and Access Services uses the proof of purchase to make special requests to the publishers.
      • Complete the Books in Alternative Format Request form for each textbook and include a copy of the proof of purchase. 
      • Check your voicemails and student email for updates.
      • Disability and Access Services will provide access to books in alternative format in Google Drive.

      Please keep in mind that the textbook publisher reserves all rights to the textbook and accessible copies are issued at the publisher’s discretion.

    3. Request Accommodation for a Student Meeting or Event

      If you need an accommodation(s) in order to participate in a student-related meeting or event, contact Disability and Access Services at disability.counselingservices@cpcc.edu at least 48 hours prior to the event to discuss how we can best accommodate you.

    How to Request Academic Accommodations

    Are you a current or prospective student looking to request academic accommodations at Central Piedmont? The following steps outline what you will need to complete in order to make your request.  Please submit all of the requested information together by email to Disability and Access Services at disability.counselingservices@cpcc.edu. Contact Disability and Access Services with questions.

    • Apply at Central Piedmont

      Apply at Central Piedmont and obtain a student ID number.

    • Complete the Student Intake Form

      Complete the Student Intake form in the Request for Accommodation packet [Insert link to Request for Accommodations Packet once guidelines, intake, and important things to know content is updated per recommended edits]

    • Submit your Health Documentation

      Refer to the Guidelines in the Request for Accommodations packet. [Insert link to Request for Accommodations Packet once guidelines, intake, and important things to know content is updated per recommended edits.]

    • Complete the FERPA Form

      You have rights as a student of higher education under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. You are entitled to decide who is given information about your education. If you would like for your parent, guardian, or other entity to have access to your educational information from Disability and Access Services, you will need to sign and submit a Student Information Release Authorization.

      Complete the Student Information Release Authorization in the Request for Accommodation packet. [Insert link to Request for Accommodations Packet once guidelines, intake, and important things to know content is updated per recommended edits.]

    • Check your voicemails and student email.

      A Disability and Access Services counselor will contact you to schedule an appointment about accommodation requests. The process of being approved for accommodations may take up to 10 business days. Request accommodations as soon as possible for timely review of requests and arrangement of approved accommodations.

    How to Renew Previously Approved Accommodations

    • Maintain regular communication with your Disability and Access Services counselor.

    • Request accommodation forms for each semester enrolled.

    • Returning to Central Piedmont after a long break? Email Disability and Access Services to renew accommodations or be assigned a new Disability and Access Services counselor.

    Academic Accommodations Offered at Central Piedmont

    The following are some types of academic accommodations available at Central Piedmont. We offer more as well. Contact Disability and Access Services to learn more about the types of accommodations we offer and for guidance on how to apply a specific accommodation.

    • Attendance Leniency

      Attendance leniency is an accommodation that is activated by an attendance leniency plan. You will submit a normal accommodation form that will state the attendance leniency accommodation, but the attendance leniency plan will be submitted as a different form. The plan is designed to help with a conversation about what steps will occur as you continue to miss class as a result of the disability. The plan is not designed to get around college policies about attendance unless the implications of the disability leave no other reasonable option. As with all accommodations, the attendance leniency plan is not retroactive and should be initiated at the start of the class for the best results.

    • Audio Format for Tests

      Audio format is also known as read-aloud, read out loud, reader, or text-to-speech. The function is to make information audible. There are many ways to implement audio format, including having another person read aloud to you, have you use text-to-speech software, or have you or another person pre-record the spoken information so you can play and replay the recording as needed. Audio format for tests is a testing accommodation. You may use similar accommodations or study techniques to obtain audio format when studying or in a classroom setting. One classroom accommodation that serves this purpose is the audio recorder accommodation, which allows you to use a device to record lectures in class.

    • Extended Time

      Extended time is usually granted for tasks that would ordinarily adopt a timer, such as a test or quiz. The accommodation is not usually granted for tasks that adopt a due date rather than a timer, such as homework or projects. Extended time is implemented by determining the original amount of time you have to complete a task and multiplying that time by the extension listed in the accommodation. The formula for extended time is regular task time multiplied by the extension. For example, if you have double time (2x) for a task, and other students are expected to complete the task in one hour, then you would get two hours because 1 hour (regular time) multiplied by 2 (the double time extension) equals 2 hours.

    • Interpreter (Sign Language)

      An interpreter is a person who assists with conversation between people who use different languages. A hearing person's inability to understand the language of another hearing person who is speaking a different language is not inherently a disability. Disability and Access Services provides accommodations to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. When "interpreter" is listed on the accommodation form, it is indicative of a sign language interpreter who assists with conversations between the hearing and the deaf. Sign language interpreting at the college is usually facilitated through American Sign Language. To provide effective communication, the sign language interpreter may elect to use other methods.

      As with all accommodations, the interpreter is there to remove a barrier, specifically those related to communication. If two people speak or sign the same language, an interpreter is not required. The interpreter is not a personal care attendant and is not responsible for interacting on behalf of you or the instructor. However, an instructor's direct communication with an interpreter can be beneficial to you. This might include giving the interpreter a lesson plan ahead of schedule or reviewing the spelling and meaning of any technical vocabulary.

    • Personal Care Attendant

      A personal care attendant is a person who joins you in day-to-day activities to mediate some of the difficulties posed by these activities. The personal care attendant's specific functions are based on your functional limitations. For example, if you are both in a wheelchair and without fine motor skills, you may have a personal care attendant help you get dressed or open doors.

      In an academic setting, your personal care attendant may take notes or type on your behalf. For another example, if you have an intellectual disability, it may be difficult to make proper or healthy decisions. The personal care attendant, in this situation, might practice a step-by-step process for decision-making with you or may assist in conversations where you have to make decisions. You are still primarily responsible for making the decision, but the personal care attendant ensures you understand what is being asked, and helps you identify benefits and risks. In an academic setting, the personal care attendant may go to an advising meeting with you or implement a study plan so you are prepared for situations where the personal care attendant may not be present. To compare and contrast these two examples, the personal care attendant who helps with fine motor skills does not need to help with decision-making. You simply make a request of what you want to do and the personal care attendant carries out the action. It is also possible that you will have functional limitations from both examples — the personal care attendant would serve all of the related functions.

      The personal care attendant is not hired by the college nor issued by Disability and Access Services. In fact, the personal care attendant can be anyone that you agree to have follow you through your academic process. There may be one personal care attendant or there may be several. You and the personal care attendant will sign an agreement form to highlight the expectations of the personal care attendant's role in relationship to the college policies and to identify who is allowed to be a personal care attendant for you at the college. The personal care attendant is listed on the accommodation form.

    • Scribe/Dictation

      Scribing is a function where another person writes or types on your behalf. Dictation is a function where you speak to a computer that then types what it hears. Dictation is also known as speech-to-text. The accommodation form would list scribe and dictation together as the same accommodation because you might use either method to produce responses. There may be many people who intermittently function as a scribe, such as a personal care attendant or a proctor in Disability and Access Services. There is not one specific person designated for this task. In any function, the scribe is there to record your thoughts and responses, but not to think or respond on your behalf.

    What to Expect with Accommodations

    As you begin your transition to college, we advise you to build a mindset around independence and self-advocacy. Unlike high school, college will be centered around personal decision-making, time-management, planning, and organization. We are here to guide and assist in this new milestone. The following provides information on what to expect when requesting accommodations.

    • How to Prepare and What to Know

      We strongly encourage you to read Central Piedmont's Accommodations Requests for Persons with Disabilities Policy and maintain consistent communication with Disability and Access Services as well as your instructors. Reach out to Disability and Access Services for additional guidance on accommodations. 

      When you report a disability, the accommodations that are considered reasonable are approved for you to use in each course. You further choose to use the approved accommodations by submitting an accommodation form to the instructor. (We encourage you to independently submit the form in a timely manner). Even after a form is submitted to the instructor, you can elect to deny use of an accommodation for a specific task or assignment. 

      Accommodations are not retroactive. If you do not use an accommodation for a task that one could be used for, you are not entitled to receive an additional attempt.

      Accommodations are categorized on the accommodation form by the situation or setting that would be reasonable for the accommodation. For example, some accommodations are only reasonable in the classroom setting, some are only reasonable in a testing situation, and some are only reasonable for supportive student services.

    Examples of Accommodations

    The following examples are meant to help you understand why certain accommodations might be approved and how they would be applied. They do not represent any particular student's experience, do not guarantee a Disability and Access Services counselor's actions or approvals, and are not intended to be medically accurate. 

    • Example 1: Recent, Permanent Loss of Sensory Function

      If the student recently lost their sight and request an accommodation for scribe/dictation for testing, likely, they will be using a person to scribe when implementing this accommodation. This is because the disability is a new development and they are still learning how to function without sight. (Once they become familiar with how to use screen reader technology, they may decide not to use scribe as an accommodation because they are able to remove their own barrier).

      The disability would also warrant audio format for testing. Since the student is already using a scribe, it would make sense for the scribe to also read aloud. When the person is serving both functions, they are sometimes referred to as a reader/scribe. The reader/scribe has to have a conversation with the student without disrupting other students. This need warrants a separate testing area, which is often represented by the testing center accommodation. However, in this case, the conversation would still disrupt other students in the general testing center, so the Disability and Access Services counselor may approve testing in the Disability and Access Services Testing Center, where the proctor can coordinate a space for this interaction. The process of reading/rereading the test questions, waiting for the student to understand and process the questions, waiting for them to respond, and then accurately recording their responses can dominate testing time. For this reason, the Disability and Access Services counselor will likely approve extended time for testing.

    • Example 2: Permanent Hidden Disability

      In this example, the student has both a learning disability and an intellectual disability. The specific functional limitations are that they have a slow processing time when producing and communicating thoughts. If they are not able to communicate quickly, they could literally lose their train of thought and have to start again. The Disability and Access Services counselor approves the use of an audio recorder for the classroom so they can replay the lectures as many times as needed. The Disability and Access Services counselor also approves scribe/dictation so they can use dictation to speak their responses before they forget what to say. The slow processing time of the disability and the need to make revisions while using dictation warrants the Disability and Access Services counselor to also approve extended time for testing.

    • Example 3: Temporary Medical Disability

      For this example, this disability is temporary. The student is diagnosed with a benign tumor after the start of a semester. The doctor is certain that a three-month course of weekly chemotherapy will shrink the tumor enough that the student can fully recover. The schedule for chemotherapy conflicts with class time. They hope to continue participating in class for various reasons and have requested accommodations. The Disability and Access Services counselor approves attendance leniency as a temporary accommodation and they supply the instructor with an attendance leniency plan. The student already has one absence not related to the disability.  The student and instructor negotiate how they will communicate absences related to the disability and how that would impact them relative to the attendance policy. The student contacts the Disability and Access Services counselor before the next semester of classes to update the need, or lack of need, for accommodations.

    • Example 4: Mental Health

      For this example, the student worked at a convenience store that was recently the target of two robberies in a long string of robberies in the area. They cannot sleep at night as a result of the incidents, and are falling asleep in class and waking up from the daytime nightmares with loud outbursts. They visit a psychologist who has diagnosed them with Acute Stress Disorder (a short-term form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and they request accommodations. The Disability and Services counselor approves the request for preferred seating to reduce distractions from paranoia and breaks during class to prevent drifting to sleep in class.