Disability Services

Disability Resources

MCLA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities to ensure equal access to all MCLA programs. The Office of Disability Resources, located in the Center for Student Success and Engagement, provides eligible students with individual support services. Services offered will vary from student to student based on the nature of the documented disability. Our office provides a testing center located at the garden level of Eldridge Hall that is available to students with testing accommodations, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Special arrangements regarding use of the testing center may be made on an individual basis with the Accessibility Specialist based on the need of the student.

road maps with number 1-7

1. Review the Office of Disability Resources webpage for information. A pre-admissions visit to the college is highly recommended.

2. Complete the Registration form. Provide current and comprehensive documentation of your disability.

3. Schedule an intake meeting  with a staff member in the Office of Disability Resources cindy.macDonald@mcla.edu

4. Office of Disability Resources staff will review documentation to make a determination if the diagnosed condition rises to the level of a disability.

5. Through an interactive process student and a Disability Resource staff  member formulate an Accommodation Plan.

6. Student presents the Accommodation Plan to faculty members each semester. (Students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with each of their  instructors during office hours).

7. Students should keep a copy of all documents as well as the Accommodation Plan. It may be useful in the future for grad school or professional licensure.

Typical Accommodations Provided at MCLA

Based on documentation, reasonable accommodations might include:

  • Priority access registration 
  • Testing accommodations 
  • Note takers or recording devices 
  • Access to textbooks and course materials in alternate formats
  • Assistive technology
  • On-campus housing accommodations

Please note that these represent some accommodations provided to MCLA students.  Students' needs are reviewed on an individual basis and specific accommodations will reflect each individual student.  

Assistive Technology

  • Kurzweil 3000-Firefly is an easy to use, text-to-speech and study aid program that enhances reading and writing skills. MCLA currently has a site-wide license making this powerful software available to all current student, faculty and staff. This program is downloaded on computers in the Freel Library and in the computer labs on campus. 
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech-to-text software that allows the user to dictate text and control the computer functions with their voice. With a software program such as this, typing isn't necessary and the user can do away with a keyboard. Dragon is even 3x faster than typing with a 99% accuracy rate!
  • NVDA (non-visual desktop access reader) is a fast, functional and free, open-source, portable screen reader for Microsoft Windows. NVDA can also convert the text into braille if the computer user owns a device called a “braille display”.  
  • Read/Write is a text-to-speech program that has specialized dictionaries and word prediction features that can assist in writing papers and organizing. The free version provides text to speech and dual highlighting (yellow & blue) for any text on any website! 
  • Livescribe Smart Pen  is a multi-functional self-contained ink-pen that records everything one hears, says and writes, while linking the audio recordings to one’s notes in a specially designed notebook exclusive to smart pen users. Never miss a lecture again! This extraordinary tool captures all interactions, while supporting the user to independently take notes. MCLA currently has a loaner program for these pens and user need is determined by Associate Director of Disability Resources, Cindy MacDonald in Center for Student Success and Development (CSSE) according to one’s documented disability. Demonstrations are provided per appointment with Accessibility Specialist, Tammy Russell, Disability Resources in CSSE. Free notebooks are dispersed to students during these sessions. 
  • Frequency Modulation (FM) Systems are wireless listening devices that amplify speech to make it clearer and minimize background noise. With an FM system, the instructor wears a clip-on wireless transmitter microphone. The mic transmits her voice directly to a student’s personal speaker or earpiece. MCLA currently has a loaner program for these systems and user need is determined by Associate Director of Disability Resources, Cindy MacDonald in Center for Student Success and Development (CSSE) according to one’s documented disability. Demonstrations with student and instructor are arranged and provided per appointment with Accessibility Specialist, Tammy Russell, Disability Resources in CSSE. 

Meet with the Assistive Technology staff to discuss which form of technology would be appropriate for you.  All students must either receive proper training on each piece of equipment they intend to use, or show service competency before using the equipment independently. Training and demonstrations are provided by Accessibility Specialist, Tammy Russell, per appointment, after an accommodation plan is established with the Associate Director of Academic Support & Disability Resources, Cindy MacDonald.  All students must provide their own USB drives or other means to transfer electronic information.


Additional Resources                                 

Disability Resource Handbook (Word)

Disability Resource Handbook (PDF)