Frequently Asked Questions


What laws protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the college setting?

Individuals with disabilities are protected by Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, as well as other state and local regulations. The Americans with Disabilities Act is chiefly civil rights legislation; oversight is provided by the Department of Justice and the Office of Civil Rights.

To whom do these regulations apply?

All enrolled students, faculty and staff members are protected by these laws.

Who has a duty to comply with disabilities regulations?

All staff and faculty of Cherry Hill Seminary should be aware of and comply with these regulations.

For Students

How do students at Cherry Hill Seminary access Accessibility Resources?

A student must disclose disabilities to the Office of Accessibility Resources and provide documentation that demonstrates that the individual has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Professors who have concerns about an individual who is not registered as a student with a disability are encouraged to refer that student to the Office of Accessibility Resources.

What accommodations and services are available to students with disabilities?

All accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis; there is no list of approved accommodations that will be provided to all individuals that have any particular diagnosis.

When should I notify Cherry Hill Seminary about my disability?

Students are encouraged to register with the Accessibility Resources office at any time after they have been admitted to the Seminary – the sooner the better. Documentation will not be processed until after students have been admitted.

Should I disclose my disability during the admissions process?

That is entirely up to the individual. There are some students who feel that disclosure is necessary in order for admissions officers to understand the type of students they are; these individuals may want to include information about their disability status in an admissions essay. An opportunity for disclosure is included in all admissions forms.

Who do I need to contact regarding my disability?

Office of Accessibility Resources OAR@Cherry Hill, or by phone at (803)862-9088.

Am I required to show documentation of my disability to professors?

No. Professors are provided accommodation letters (delivered by the student) which identify the individual as a student with a disability and list the accommodations that have been approved for that student. No additional documentation is required for the professor. Students must provide this letter to the professor promptly at the beginning of the course. Students are encouraged to have discussions with their professors about what their needs are and how their accommodations will be put in place; however, students are not required to disclose the specific nature of their disability issues.

For Faculty and Staff

How do I know that the accommodations that have been approved are appropriate?

Documentation for students with disabilities is reviewed and all requests for accommodations must be appropriate and reasonable in order to be approved. Upon presentation of the accommodations letter, professors are expected to help provide the accommodations that have been approved for each individual student unless such accommodations constitute a fundamental alteration of the curriculum.

May I look at my students’ documentation to see if I think accommodations are reasonable?

No. All disabilities-related information is shared with Cherry Hill Seminary faculty and staff on a need-to-know basis only, and documentation will never be shared. The records of students with disabilities are confidential and are securely digitally stored in a confidential file.

What should I do if a student asks for accommodations after they have attempted an assignment?

Accommodations are never retroactive; professors are under no obligation to provide accommodations in this situation. Professors are encouraged to refer all non-registered students who indicate that they have disability-related needs to Accessibility Resources.

Must I change my attendance policy for students with disabilities?

No. However, sometimes professors are encouraged to be flexible in figuring the weight that attendance should play in a student’s grade. Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances, particularly with students who have chronic illnesses, which should be considered. The final decision regarding this issue, however, rests with the individual professor.

How do I know what accommodations I have to provide to a student?

Students who require accommodations are provided with notification letters to share with their professors. These letters identify the individual as a student with a disability and list the accommodations that have been approved by Cherry Hill Seminary.