Houston Community College is committed to creating an accessible learning community where individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to pursue their educational goals, limited only by their abilities, not their disabilities. Ability Services strives to empower students, foster independence, and promote the achievement of the student’s career and educational goals.
Ability Services Office is a welcoming, engaging, and supportive environment which offers educational support services for students with varying abilities so they can be accommodated and included in the rich diversity of HCC. The office provides a wide variety of accommodations and supports to students based on their individual needs so they will have equal access to the college environment. The office also works collaboratively with partners across campuses to ensure that all aspects of campus are inclusive in nature.
In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Ability Services at each College within the Houston Community College System is responsible for arranging reasonable accommodations for all qualified students with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) to ensure equal access to all programs and activities at the College. Students who need to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Ability Services at the College(s) (Central, Coleman, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest) the student plans to attend. Due to the high demand for services and the nature of certain disabilities, it is recommended that students meet with an ADA Counselor at least 60 days prior to the beginning of each term. Every effort will be made to arrange accommodations; however, failure to provide sufficient advance notice may impede service delivery.
Online Students and ADA Accommodations:
Students enrolled in all online classes may utilize the same or comparable support services that are afforded to all HCC students. Students only enrolled in online classes may request their accommodation in the same manner as students taking classes on the College’s premises. Students can schedule the required appointments with any of the Ability Services offices. Although we recommend face-to-face appointments, these appointments may be done via telephone, video conference, or in another format that suits both the Ability Services Office and the student. Once the student receives the accommodation letter, the student must still sign the letter and then present it to the online instructor for the courses in which the student desires accommodation – normally via e-mail. Students are urged to follow-up with the instructor regarding the accommodation(s) and determine whether technical support will be needed to implement the accommodation(s). If the student or instructor needs assistance with this process, they may contact the Ability Services Office that provided the accommodation letter.
Dual Credit Students and ADA Accommodations:
Students enrolled in dual credit courses may utilize the same or comparable support services that are afforded to all HCC students. Students are required to self-disclose with the appropriate HCC Ability Services. Coordination of required accommodations will be afforded through a collaborative effort between HCC and the student’s governing high school institution, such as their school district. Dual credit students may request accommodations in the same manner as other HCC students. Students can schedule the required appointments with the Ability Services office that they are referred to by their high-school. Although we recommend face-to-face appointments, these appointments may be done via telephone, video conference, or in another format that suits both the Ability Services Office and the student. Once the student receives the accommodation letter, the student must sign the letter and present it to the instructor - whether in person or by e-mail. Students are urged to follow-up with the instructor regarding the accommodation(s) and determine whether technical support will be needed to implement the accommodation(s). If the student or instructor needs assistance with this process, they may contact the Ability Services Office that provided the accommodation letter.
The process for obtaining reasonable accommodations is an interactive one that begins with the student’s disclosure of his/her disability. The student has the responsibility of providing Ability Services with the appropriate documentation from a qualified Physician or Clinician who has diagnosed his/her disability. Students with disabilities should contact Ability Services directly. The contact must be made by the student and not a representative of the student, however parents/family are encouraged to participate in the process. Students taking online classes can contact any of the Ability Services to request reasonable accommodations.
Students must be on file with our office in order to obtain services including, but not limited to:
- Placement testing with reasonable accommodations, if needed
- Reasonable classroom accommodations
- Interpreting or CART services
- Textbooks in an alternate format
- Assistive technology
- Referrals to agencies such as the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, etc.
HCC Counselors encourage students who witness a crime or are a victim of a crime to contact HCC police at 713-718-8888. If students are off-campus and need immediate police assistance, they should dial 911. Students also have the option to file an anonymous report at Student Incident Report Form.
Note: Ability Services works closely with other College departments, but does not replicate those services. We direct students to the appropriate service and facilitate referrals as needed.
Whether you are a student with a disability, or an Instructor working with a student with a disability, we look forward to assisting you.