Disability Advocacy & Support
Disability Assessment and Accommodation
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is committed to serving students with disabilities by providing appropriate accommodations to assist them, in compliance with federal and state laws. Under Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine policy and federal and state laws, qualified people with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations that will allow them access to Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine programs, services, and activities.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine does not have a structured program of classes designed just for students with disabilities. A person with a disability is anyone who either has a record of, or is regarded as having, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (such as learning, caring for oneself, seeing, breathing, walking, or working). A qualified person with a disability is someone whose experience, education, and training enables the person to perform the fundamental job duties or meet essential course or program requirements, with or without reasonable accommodation(s). An accommodation is any change in the work or learning environment, or in the way that things are customarily done, that enables a person with a disability to have equal employment or educational opportunities.
As described in the Technical Standards for Medical Students, individuals with disabilities (as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act) may be qualified to study and practice medicine with the use of reasonable accommodations. A request for accommodation is deemed reasonable if it:
- Is based on current individual documentation (within the last three years)
- Allows the most integrated experience possible
- Does not compromise essential requirements of a course or program
- Does not pose a threat to personal or public safety
- Does not impose undue financial or administrative burden to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
- Is not of a personal nature (e.g., hiring of personal care attendants)
Procedure for Receiving Accommodations
The Office of Student Affairs serves as the central point for the coordination of disability assessment and for implementing any recommendations for accommodations or modifications. The school has designated the Learning and Writing Center, located in the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital building, room 507, as the office that coordinates evaluations and services for students with possible disabilities.
Students with disabilities who desire accommodations should take the follow steps:
1) Schedule a meeting to discuss program accessibility and individual needs with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or the Director of Academic Counseling and Enrichment Services.
2) The student should then contact the Learning and Writing Center at (540) 985-8449 to schedule an appointment to discuss their diagnosis and desired accommodations. Students should plan to bring documentation of a current (within 3 years) diagnosis. Details regarding previous accommodations would also be helpful to the Learning and Writing Center Coordinator of Disability Services.
3) If a diagnosis is no longer current, please contact the appropriate physician, psychologist, or other professional qualified to diagnose the disabling condition and collect updated documentation.
4) Once the student has met with the staff of the Learning and Writing Center, a recommendation will be generated and the student is to forward this recommendation along with a written request for a specific accommodation to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
5) Once this request is received, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will meet with the student to discuss the accommodation request.
6) The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will then meet with the Senior Dean for Academic Affairs to discuss the request in relation to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine technical standards.
7) A meeting of the Medical Student Performance and Promotion Committee (MSPPC) will then be scheduled by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to present the student request and to discuss the recommended accommodation(s). The MSPPC has oversight of student advancement and would determine whether the accommodation(s) is/are appropriate in light of the technical standards for the school and has the purview to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove a request for accommodation. Should a request for accommodation be denied and as consequence place a student out of compliance with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine technical standards, the MSPPC would request a dismissal hearing for the student.
8) For accommodation requests that are approved by the MSPPC, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will work closely with the Senior Dean of Academic Affairs, Course Directors, Clerkship Directors, Director of Academic Counseling and Enrichment Services and faculty members to insure implementation of the accommodation for the student.
*Please Note: It is not necessary for a student to disclose his or her disability when making application to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Students may elect to contact the Learning and Writing Center for formal identification at any time during their enrollment. The point in time at which a student chooses to identify a disability remains at the student’s discretion. However, VTCSOM is not responsible for making retroactive accommodations, or paying for current (within last 3 years) evaluation and appropriate documentation of the disability from a medical or other licensed professional qualified to diagnose the disabling condition.
Student Disability Discrimination Complaint Process
Under 34 C.F.R. § 104.7(b) the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is required to adopt a grievance procedure providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging non-compliance with Section 504 or its implementing policies that incorporate appropriate due process standards.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has a complaint procedure to deal promptly and fairly with concerns and complaints about discrimination based on disability as well as other areas of discrimination. The procedure may be used by any student who believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran’s status.
Anyone may bring forth information or a concern about discrimination or harassment. Complaints are handled as confidentially as possible to protect the rights of both the complainant and the person accused. Retaliation against anyone who makes a complaint or participates in a complaint process will not be tolerated.
Disability Grievance Procedure
All Section 504 complaints, excluding those filed against the Section 504, should be addressed to:
Disability Services Coordinator
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Room 427
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
101 Elm Ave, SE
Roanoke, VA 24013
All complaints filed against the Section 504 Coordinator should be addressed to:
Senior Dean for Student Affairs
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
2 Riverside Circle Room M155
Roanoke, VA 24016
Complaints must be filed in writing within 180 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. It must contain the name and address of the person(s) filing the complaint and a description of the alleged violation.
An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow the filing of the complaint. The section 504 coordinator or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, depending upon the nature of the grievance, shall conduct the investigation. All interested persons and their representatives will have an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
Either the section 504 coordinator or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will issue a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution. A copy will be forwarded to the complainant no later than thirty (30) working days after receipt of the complaint. Upon receipt of the decision of the section 504 coordinator, if the student is not satisfied, he/she may file an appeal to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs must receive the appeal no later than thirty (30) working days after the date of the written determination by the section 504 coordinator. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs, as may be appropriate, shall conduct an investigation and shall issue a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution. A copy will be forwarded to the complainant no later than thirty (30) working days after receipt of the complaint.
If the student wishes to appeal a decision of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, he/she may file an appeal to the dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. The Dean must receive the appeal no later than thirty (30) working days after the date of the written determination by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The Dean, as may be appropriate, shall conduct an investigation and shall issue a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution. A copy will be forwarded to the complainant no later than thirty (30) working days after receipt of the complaint. The decision of the Dean is final.
The student may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights by accessing the complaint form and instructions at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR/complaintintro.html.
By writing to:
District of Columbia Office
U.S. Department of Education
1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Rm. 316
P.O. Box 14620
Washington, D.C. 20044-4620
FAX: 202-208-7797; TDD: 202-208-7741
The student may initiate legal proceedings through the attorney of his/her choosing.