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Academic Accommodation for Pregnancy

Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to accommodations under Title IX and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pregnant students are offered services and accommodations similar to those offered to other students who have a temporary medical condition.  If you experience complications or other medical conditions related to your pregnancy, you can seek accommodations through those same offices. If you are a pregnant student, you can make an appointment with the SVSU Disability Service Office to develop a plan around your pregnancy.  We will create a “Faculty Notification Letter for Temporary Academic Adjustments” which you can provide to faculty to coordinate any approved academic adjustments. The staff will work with you to identify and coordinate reasonable academic adjustments and accommodations on an individual basis and where they do not pose an undue hardship.

The Saginaw Valley State University seeks to treat all students equally regardless of their actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Schools that receive federal funds must not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, including a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination or recovery therefrom. The Saginaw Valley State University, as an institution established and maintained by the people of the state, is committed to providing equality of opportunity and an environment that fosters respect for all members of the University community. This policy has the goal of promoting an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  University policy prohibits discrimination or harassment against a member of the University community on the basis of sex or disability. It also prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports concerns regarding discrimination or harassment, or who cooperates with or participates in any investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation (from Executive Order No. 31).  Under Title IX, it is illegal for schools to exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program. Therefore, in order to be in “good standing” with the law, Saginaw Valley State University, its employees, and the pregnant student(s) will follow the protocols and procedures set forth in this document.

 
Procedure to Request for Academic Accommodation Pregnancy

The request for temporary medical accommodations must be submitted with the following stipulations. Failure to fully complete procedures may delay any assistance being requested. 

 

Register for Disability Services in 3 easy steps! 

Confidentiality is our priority.

1. Complete an online Disability Services New Student Registration using our AIMs System at:  www.svsu.edu/disabilityservices  Click on the red button and complete form as a new student.

2. Submit your medical documentation by upload to the AIMs system, or fax documentation about your disability from your doctor, or mental health provider, must be submitted on their professional letterhead  (no notes or prescription slips) and provide any additional documentation as follows:

•    Documentation must be on doctor’s letterhead and have a medical diagnosis (pregnancy).  Dr must also indicate if the student is classified as a high risk pregnancy.

•    Documentation must be signed by a medical doctor or appropriate specialist.

•    Documentation must include a “due date”.

3. Call to make an appointment!  All new DS Students are required to meet with our Disability Services Professional to determine eligibility and potential accommodations. Call 989-964-7000 and ask for an INTAKE appointment.

 

Please note that you must have the online application and documentation uploaded or delivered to meet.

Registrations for Disability Services are only accepted from fully admitted and registered students.

It is important to note that a change in accommodations may occur due to the progression of the pregnancy. Any requests for different accommodations must be submitted with additional documentation justifying/verifying the adjustment.

 

On the online application form, please list the accommodations you are requesting.  For example:

Excused Absence

Separate table and chair

Excused for tardiness

Frequent bathroom breaks 

Limited exposure to chemicals

No lifting over ten pounds

Frequent breaks to walk around

Permission to leave class suddenly

Permission to eat/drink in class

Susceptible to heat/cold

No prolonged standing

 

If the student classified is in the “high risk” pregnancy category, please have your doctor state that on the information they provide on their letterhead and indicate so in the online application.

 

Accommodations

With proper documentation, students who are pregnant or have given birth within six months will be entitled to assistance/accommodations. The accommodations vary pertaining to the type of pregnancy, medical documentation, as well as the academic program the student is enrolled. To ensure a pregnant student’s access to an educational format, when necessary, a program must make changes to the regular schedule that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. For example, a classroom might be required to provide a larger desk, or allow frequent trips to the water fountain or the bathroom.

In addition to allowing a pregnant student to attend classes, SVSU will make allowances for extra-curricular activities. The pregnant student will have the ability to participate in school clubs, class activities, interscholastic sports, and other school-sponsored organizations as long as they are in academic “good standing”.

As stated earlier, Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, with medical approval. A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course credit recovery program, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially after longer periods of leave.  The student and the instructor, choose how to make up the work as long as it doesn’t create an undue burden.   Should they not be able to come to agreement, the Director of Disability Services will mediate an agreement that will satisfy the Title IX laws.

If some instructors have their own policies about class attendance and make-up work, then they must make sure their policies do not conflict with Title IX. The instructor’s policies can be more lax than the Title IX policy, but it cannot be more restrictive. SVSU must ensure that the policies and practices of individual teachers do not discriminate against pregnant students. For example, a teacher may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth.  Additionally, if a teacher’s grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before the leave.

Duties and Responsibilities

Student

1. Review Student Pregnancy Policy.

2. Request Assistance due to pregnancy through the DS Online Application (link above).

3. Have Health Care Provider complete paperwork.

4. Submit paperwork to the Office of Disability Services or upload to your online application.

5. Upon approval, give documentation letters to instructors.

6. As changes occur in pregnancy and accommodations are upgraded, update steps 3-5.

7. Assist your instructor in charting an action plan for the semester, which includes deadlines and expectations.

 

It may be necessary for an academic contract to be addressed in order to track deadlines and progression of course materials. It is advisable to agree on this course of action and implement this matter early on in the semester.  We suggest you file a copy with Disability Services.

Instructor

1. If student asks for academic assistance due to a pregnancy, refer student to the Office of Disabilities website www.svsu.edu/disabilityservices.

2. When the documentation letter is received from the Office of Disability Services, talk to the student about the accommodations.

3. Chart an action plan for the semester with the student, include deadlines and expectations.   It may be necessary for an academic contract to be addressed in order to track deadlines and progression of course materials.  It is advisable to agree on this course of action and implement this matter early on in the semester.  Note our preference is for the student and the instructor, to choose how to make up the work.   Should they not be able to come to an agreement, the Director of Disability Services will mediate an agreement that will satisfy the Title IX laws.

4. If changes are needed to the accommodation, contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible.

5. Sign and return agreements to the Office of Disability Services if you choose to file your planned agreement.

 

Do not give accommodations that are not specifically cited in the accommodation’s letter. Get permission from the Office of Disability Services before any accommodations not listed are suggested/requested.   Only grant accommodations to persons that have approved documentation from the Office of Disability Services.