Accommodation Services Office

Prospective Students

Champlain seeks to admit motivated students who have the intellectual ability and drive to succeed at Champlain and who will make a positive contribution to the campus community. Admission decisions are made without regard to disabilities. All prospective students are expected to present academic credentials at or above the minimum standards for admission as established by the Admissions Committee.

Incoming Students

To register for accommodations, please complete the Accommodations Registration Form.

Requests for applications for admission to Champlain College should be directed to the:

Office of Admissions, Perry Hall

After acceptance to Champlain College, students with disabilities who will be requesting reasonable accommodations should contact the Counseling & Accommodation Services Center to begin the process of establishing eligibility for services and/or accommodations.

Once Admitted to Champlain College

Champlain College is committed to providing equal educational access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAA) of 2008.  An individual with a disability who is qualified for admission will have the same access to programs, services and activities as all other students.  Champlain will make reasonable accommodations unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, activity or if it poses an undue administrative or financial burden.  Champlain will provide services in a manner that promotes independence and inclusion in all aspects of campus life.

Once a student has been admitted to Champlain College, the following guidelines will assist in making a smooth transition into the College:

  1. Review the Counseling Center and Disabilities Services Office web pages for information about accommodations, services, policies and procedures.
  2. Contact the Counseling Center and Disabilities Services Office at (802) 865-5484 or (802) 651-5961, to begin the process of establishing eligibility.
  3. Submit current, comprehensive, professional documentation of your disability to the Counseling Center.
  4. Schedule an appointment to register with the Disabilities Coordinator to discuss your documentation, appropriate accommodations, services, and the impact your disability may have on course selection and scheduling.

PLEASE NOTE: It is the student's responsibility to arrange for certain services which are outside the scope of the Counseling Center and the College. These services include, but may not be limited to: attendant care, mobility training, items/services of a personal nature and sources of financial aid. Counseling Center staff would be glad to consult with you regarding your special needs and possible local resources.

Who Is Eligible?

Disability Services are available to all currently enrolled students who have a documented disability that substantially limits them in one or more of life's major activities. Individuals eligible for services include, but are not limited to students with mobility, orthopedic, hearing, visual, speech and learning disabilities.

What documentation is needed?

In order to fully evaluate requests for accommodations or auxiliary aids, Champlain's Counseling Center and Disabilities Services Office will need documentation of the disability that consists of an evaluation by an appropriate professional that describes the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation(s) requested.

Once Champlain's review is complete, the Coordinator will contact the student to inform him/her of any accommodations for which s/he was approved, and what must be done to implement those accommodations. If accommodations are denied, the Coordinator will explain why and what can be done to support those interests.

Did you have an IEP or 504 Plan in high school?

For individuals who have recently been receiving services from a public school system, the information requested would most likely be contained in the Psycho-Educational Evaluation report from your most recent Triennial Review. Some of the information may also be contained in an IEP, 504 Plan, or Transition Plan. You may wish to include this with your Psycho-Educational Evaluation report as supportive documentation. You must request this information separately from your high school transcripts and should make sure that it is received by the Counseling Center. It is very important to understand that IEPs and 504 Plans do not suffice as adequate documentation to accompany a student to a college since both are required under laws that do not apply once the student attends college.

Are you transferring from another college or university?

For individuals transferring from another college or university, information related to your disability will not be sent with a transcript request. You must request that information be sent to Champlain's Counseling & Accommodation Services Center separately. Additionally, the information Champlain is requesting may or may not have been a part of your previous college's evaluation process. If you have any questions please contact the Counseling & Accommodation Services Center at (802) 865-5484 or (802) 651-5961.

Confidentiality Statement

All contact information and documentation received by the Counseling Center is kept in separate confidential files within the office. No information concerning inquiries about accommodations or documentation will be released without consent by the student.

What Kinds of Accommodations are Typically Provided?

Services may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Accessible classrooms
  2. Course aids (such as extended time for exams, recorders, note takers and text in alternate format)
  3. On-campus housing accommodations

How do I register for services & Request Accommodations?

Eligibility must first be determined in order to make arrangements for using services and receive accommodations from the Counseling & Accommodation Services Center. It is the student's responsibility to provide current documentation to the Counseling Center that establishes a disability.

INCOMING FRESHMEN: Contact the Counseling & Accommodation Services Center after acceptance to Champlain College in order to determine what documentation is necessary to determine eligibility for services.

  • Register for services
  • Identify special needs
  • Discuss the impact of the disability on course selection and scheduling
  • Create a plan for the upcoming semester

Once Champlain's review is complete, the Coordinator will contact the student to inform him/her of any accommodations for which s/he was approved, and what must be done to implement those accommodations.  If accommodations are denied, the Coordinator will explain why and what can be done to support those interests.

CURRENT STUDENTS: Please contact the Counseling Center prior to, or as early in the semester as possible and provide appropriate documentation of your disability. After appropriate documentation is received, student information will be gathered and eligibility will be discussed. The Coordinator will then determine, with the student's input, what services and accommodations are needed for each course. Preferably well before the start of each semester, students must work with the Disabilities Coordinator to review their course schedule, determine which accommodations will be requested of instructors and obtain notices for them which contain specific accommodations or raises awareness in regard to a condition which may require special consideration. The student is responsible for promptly providing the notices to their instructors and may not receive accommodations until that communication occurs. Students must obtain faculty notices each term of enrollment and provide them at beginning of the semester in order to receive accommodations. Instructors are not obligated to provide any accommodations which are not presented in the notice to faculty.

Disability Laws Affecting Colleges

Many students and families find it difficult to understand how different disability laws affect the provision of services at college. Below are three very important laws to understand.The IDEAThe IDEA stands for The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The IDEA is a federal law that governs special education service delivery for schoolchildren ages 3-21 (or until high school graduation). The IDEA, and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed under its authority, ensures that the student is successful in the K-12 system.Section 504Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a law that protects individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The Act is divided into seven Subparts and Subpart E applies to postsecondary institutions. Subpart E states that postsecondary students must be granted the opportunity to complete with their non-disabled peers.Section 508The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 covers access to federally funded programs and services. The law strengthens section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires access to electronic and information technology provided by the Federal government.The ADAThe ADA stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA is a federal civil rights law designed to provide equal opportunity for people with disabilities. The ADA ensures equal access and opportunity and also protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination.The ADAAThe ADAA stands for The American with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008, which retains the ADA's basic definition of "disability" as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.

How College and High School Differ

It is very important to understand that IEPs and 504 Plans do not suffice as adequate documentation to accompany a student to a college since both are required under laws that do not apply once the student attends college. Although college students are covered under Section 504, they are covered under Subpart E, a different section of the law. The key point to remember is that the purpose of the IDEA is to ensure that students are successful in the K-12 system whereas the ADA and Section 504 only ensure access because success in college is up to the student!Overall, the responsibilities of the student and of the school are very different at the post-secondary level. Here are some key points:Identification

  • At the high school level, the school is responsible for identifying students with disabilities, testing those students and providing services.
  • At the college level, the student must locate the office that provides services for students with disabilities (the Counseling Center in Champlain's case), identify him- or herself to the office, request accommodations and provide documentation to support the need for accommodations. Any student who needs additional or updated information to support accommodation requests, or who has never been identified before college, is responsible for paying for any testing.


  • At the high school level, students are typically assigned time to attend the resource room where strategy instruction is taught with a teacher who is specifically trained in working with students with disabilities.
  • In college, unless the student chooses a school with a specialized program that provides such services, the student must make his/her own appointments at a learning center (Champlain has several learning labs), where services are generally the same for all students (i.e. no special kind of instruction is typically offered for students with disabilities) and the staff does not typically have special training or background in working with students with disabilities.


  • At the high school level, part of a student's plan may include mandated follow-up by school staff to inform parents of the student's academic performance, completion of homework, etc.
  • A college may not, by law, contact parents about a student's academic performance unless the student gives the college permission to do so. Champlain encourages parents wishing to know how their student is doing to ask the student directly and highly discourages communication with faculty and staff that excludes the student.
  • At the high school level, a formal plan (IEP or 504 plan) makes it the school's responsibility to arrange for the student to receive accommodations.
  • At the post-secondary level, the student must, once approved, request his or her accommodations in each instance that they are needed. For example, the student must provide a purchased copy of a text in order to have it converted to an alternative format. For testing accommodations, the student must provide the appropriate office with the dates and times of his or her exams and may be required to have more participation in the arrangements for such accommodations. Colleges are not responsible for knowing a student's schedule and arranging accommodations without some form of initiation from the student.

Objective of accommodations

  • In high school, accommodations and services are usually designed to maximize a student's potential.
  • In college, accommodations are granted to create a "level playing field," rather than to help a student reach his or her greatest potential. Often, the reason certain accommodation requests are rejected is that they go beyond the scope of this goal.

It is important to understand that services vary from college to college. Students transferring from one post-secondary institution to another may experience differences in the level of service offered. Any student with questions should contact Champlain's Counseling & Accommodation Services Center .(The above information provided courtesy of the Office of Disabilities Services at Rutgers University.)

Message to Parents

We believe that college is the place for students with disabilities to develop self-advocacy skills and independence that will lead to their success after graduation. Please read the sections entitled "Disability Laws Affecting College" and "How College and High School Differ" to understand the legal basis for our philosophy, policies and procedures. You will note that the service model changes significantly once students are in college and the emphasis is on 'equal access' and not 'ensuring success.' Success is up to the student.Along with excellent academic programs leading to career success, we also provide a developmental environment that starts with where the student is and encourages independence, self-sufficiency and involvement in all aspects of campus life. Therefore, we ask parents to work directly with their student when they seek information about their academic progress and not ask faculty and staff to provide that information privately.We also ask that you understand when we resist having private conversations with you about your son or daughter. It is our intention to honor the fact that students are legal adults who have the opportunity to form meaningful and lifelong relationships with many of the faculty and professional staff members who mentor them. It is our preference to work with your son or daughter directly, so that we can preserve the integrity of our relationship with your student.This is perhaps the last opportunity for your student to be in an environment which is sensitive to their disability and therefore this is the perfect "proving ground" for your son or daughter to gain personal and professional self-confidence as well as self-advocacy skills.

Additional Resources & Website links

Tips for Succeeding in College

Housing Accommodation Request Form

Champlain College students with documented disabilities may request special housing accommodations within the context of current housing policies. Download PDF here.Housing accommodations forms need to be returned by the following dates:

  • Incoming Students: June 15
  • Returning Students: By Housing Deposit Deadline (usually mid-March)

Forms not received by deadlines will be accepted and considered, but there is no guarantee that late requests will be met.