Accessibility Services

Great Bay Community College is committed to providing meaningful access for students with disabilities. Supports are designed around the unique needs of each individual student.

  • Students with disabilities have access to equal opportunities to pursue programs of study.
  • A student may choose to disclose a disability at any time while enrolled at the college, including during the application process.
  • Potential accommodations at the college level may include:
    -Extra time for test taking
    -Use of a distraction-limited space for exams
    -Use of assistive technology, specialized software, or audio books
    -Access to written class notes
    -Ability to record class lectures
  • Students can arrange a consultation with the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator to learn more and ask questions about the accommodation process and their individual needs.
  • Information on what to expect is provided in the Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education.
  • There are differences between high school and college support for students with disabilities:
High SchoolCollege
Special EducationAccessibility Services
IDEA & Section 504 of the Rehabilitation ActAmericans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Free appropriate public educationAccess
Education is a right and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals.Education is an opportunity. Students must meet certain admissions criteria defined under the ADA as “otherwise qualified.” Students must also meet the criteria of the accepting institution such as health, character, technical standards, and conduct code and course objectives.
The school district is responsible to identify a student’s disability.Students must self-identify to Accessibility Services to access accommodations and services.
School district provides free testing and evaluation.Students must provide documentation that supports the requests for accommodations. Students are responsible for obtaining up-to-date evaluations and medical records.
School district develops Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or 504 plan to define educational services.A reasonable accommodation plan is available to eligible students. IEPs do not apply. Accessibility Services will work closely with students to support implementation of accommodations by faculty.
All teachers are contacted by Special Education staff.Students are responsible for presenting reasonable accommodation plans to faculty.
Fundamental alteration of programs and curricula are required.No fundamental alterations of programs and curricula are required. Students are given equal opportunity to pursue courses and they are evaluated against the same course objectives as other students.
Student’s strengths and challenges are determined by specialists.Students are expected to develop self-advocacy skills. Accessibility Services staff are available to work closely with students as they develop self-advocacy skills.
Personal services for medical or physical disability are required.The college is not required to provide personal services.
Accessibility Services may assist students in advertising such services.
*Adapted from Jeanne Kincaid, Esq., Presentations at AHEAD Annual Conferences
  • The student will need to disclose their disability to the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator.
  • The student will need to provide documentation of their diagnosis and information on the associated functional limitations as it relates to a major life activity.
    • Common sources of documentation are 3-year evaluation reports from high school, IEPs/504 Plans, evaluation/medical reports from practitioners, or use of the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form
    • Information can be brought to CAPS (room 210) or sent to the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator:

Amanda Voce
320 Corporate Drive
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Fax: (603) 559-1523
Email: [email protected]

  • Once documentation has been provided the student will participate in a meeting with the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator to create the Reasonable Accommodation Plan (RAP). The RAP will verify that the student has a documented disability and will outline the accommodations and supports for the student for that semester.
  • The student will provide the RAP to each faculty member for review and signature. The student is responsible for having a conversation with the faculty member regarding the accommodations for that class.
  • The RAP will need to be updated and renewed with the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator for each semester.
  • What is a Disability?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) notes a disability as:   

You must have, have a record of, or be regarded as having a substantial, as opposed to a minor, impairment. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.

  • What is a Reasonable Accommodation Plan (RAP)?

A RAP may include accommodations to make college activities, facilities, course participation, course content, and assessments accessible to the student.  A RAP will not modify curriculum or course content but may outline accommodations in instruction and assessment methods and/or adaptive technology that can be used to help a student with a documented disability to learn, take tests, and participate in a course.

  • Do I have to apply for accommodations if I had an IEP or 504 in High School or does it just transfer over to college?

You MUST request accessibility services with GBCC if you want accommodations. Having an IEP or 504 in high school is helpful for us to look at as part of your application for a Reasonable Accommodation Plan, but it does not guarantee services and there are other requirements considered. Please refer to the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form or contact the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator for more information.

  • Are 504 Plans and IEPs accepted as documentation of a disability at the college level?

IEP’s and Section 504 plans are not accepted as the sole form of documentation of a disability. They will be accepted along with current evaluations. If you had an IEP in high school and are coming directly to college, chances are you were evaluated by the high school in the last 3 years and would not need to be re-evaluated. Be sure to contact your high school for copies of these if needed.

  • Will I receive the same accommodations that I received in high school?

Students should not assume that accommodations provided in high school will also be provided in college. In high school some IEP’s contained modifications as well as accommodations. The college provides reasonable accommodations and does not modify course content or objectives. Accommodations are provided to ensure equal ACCESS.

  • I have/ think I have a learning disability, but I do not have current documentation, or I have never been tested. What should I do?

If you feel you have a disability and you were never tested or received services in high school, you should meet with a qualified professional in your local area. Costs incurred for obtaining appropriate documentation are the responsibility of the student and are not provided by the college.

If you have questions, you may want to talk to your Primary Care Physician (your private insurance MAY cover it), a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist who can do the testing (or knows someone who can) or you can contact Vocational Rehabilitation if you are currently receiving services from them. The evaluator will decide the battery of tests to give you based on your situation.

  • When should I contact GBCC about my disability?

Students should contact the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator as soon as possible. If possible, start the process 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the semester to provide enough time to obtain the required supporting documentation; however, a request for accommodations can be made at any time during the semester.

  • What can be used as supporting documentation?

Preferably, supporting documentation must be completed within the last 3 to 5 years prior to the request.

Recent high school graduates with an IEP or 504 Plan: Copies of an IEP or 504 Plan AND last 3-year evaluation (ex. neuropsychological testing, speech language, etc.) completed in high school. If you do not have copies, contact your high school.

High school graduates who graduated five or more years ago or students who did not have an IEP/504 Plan in high school: Updated neuropsychological testing or other evaluation may be required. Contact the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator to discuss potential ways to obtain supporting documentation. The Reasonable Accommodation Request Form including the Verification Form may be considered.

Physical, mental health, and/or other diagnoses that impact learning: Your physician, therapist, psychiatrist, or other licensed treating provider can complete the Verification Form located in the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.

  • Are faculty members required to provide accommodations?

Once a student provides their Reasonable Accommodation Plan (RAP) to the faculty member, the faculty member must provide the listed accommodations. The faculty member may discuss with the student how specific accommodations will be met in their course. The faculty member can also contact the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator for questions or clarification.

Student participation in Accessibility Services is voluntary; however, GBCC is required by law to make services available to qualified students. If a student does NOT provide the RAP to the faculty member, the faculty member is NOT legally required to provide accommodations.

  • How can I access assistive technology?

Assistive technology is available to students with documented disabilities in the Center for Academic Planning and Support (CAPS). Examples include:

  • Specialized software such as voice recognition, zoom text, screen reader software, word processor, etc.
  • Ergonomic keyboards
  • Noise-cancelling headphones

Please contact the Accessibility Advisor & Services Coordinator at [email protected] for information about accessing these services.

*These FAQs are adopted from information on the Manchester Community College website and Nashua Community College website.

Great Bay Community College generally permits service animals assisting individuals with disabilities in all facilities maintained by the College. Therefore, an individual with a disability shall be permitted to be accompanied by his/her service animal in all areas of the College’s facilities where members of the public are permitted.

This policy applies only to facilities owned by the College or under its control. Please be advised that there may be restrictions imposed on the use of service animals in non-college facilities, such as hospitals, science laboratories or other clinical or internship experience locations. Such restrictions are established by the individual facilities according to their own policies and procedures and the College has no control over such restrictions.

Please click here for more information on this policy.

Great Bay Community College does not discriminate in the administration of its admissions and educational programs, or employment practices on the basis of disabling conditions in compliance with Federal and State civil rights laws including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act