Disability Services

Students requesting DSS services or faculty with questions regarding the implementation of accommodations outlined on the Instructional Accommodation Plan (IAP) should email Dr. John Hicks at john.hicks@southside.edu. He will contact the student to determine if the intake should be handled via phone or Zoom.

Disability Intake Packet Online Form

Disability Intake Packet (Word Doc)


Southside Virginia Community College welcomes students with disabilities or chronic health problems. These students are encouraged to identify themselves to a Disability Services Counselor so we can make appropriate arrangements. 

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) welcomes students with disabilities and is committed to ensuring that all qualified students impacted by disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, its programs and services. Services for students with disabilities are provided for all students qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADAAA of 2009, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, who request and are eligible for accommodations. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) is the SVCC department designated to coordinate accommodations that would allow students to have equal access and inclusion in all courses, programs, and activities at the College. Students are encouraged to contact a Disability Services Counselor so that appropriate arrangements may be made.

Any student who may need an accommodation based on the potential impact of a disability should contact Dr. John Hicks, at 434-949-1070,  john.hicks@southside.edu to establish eligibility and to coordinate reasonable accommodations.  The Disability Services Office is located in Room 213 in the Student Services department.  

Differences between high school and college

As students make the transition from high school to college, it is important to recognize the significant differences between the two education levels.

By law, public high schools guarantee all students an education up to age 21. Schools are required to screen and evaluate students who may have a disability. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) must be developed for any student identified as having a disability, and schools must provide appropriate fundamental services and accommodations to meet that student’s needs.

While they are not guaranteed an education at a college, students cannot be discriminated against. Colleges are not obligated to screen or evaluate students for possible disabilities. Students are responsible for providing documentation, when requested, to the College’s disability support specialists, and colleges must provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.

Taking a lead role

Self-advocacy is key for any student entering college. Students are encouraged to articulate their needs. Doing so will help students gain confidence, assist them in taking responsibility for their college choices, and help them realistically plan for their futures. Family members can help with the transition by offering support and encouragement.

The student’s obligations

A student with a disability has an obligation to:

  • Meet with the Disability Support Specialist in the Student Development Office to identify that she/he has a disability;
  • Identify the need for accommodations;
  • If needed, provide documentation that supports the request for accommodations at least 30 days prior to the need for accommodations, and
  • Utilize support services and accommodations in college. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    I have a special need and want accommodations for placement testing and classes.

    Students with disabilities or chronic health problems are encouraged to identify themselves to a Disability Services Counselor as early as possible. DS Counselors are on all campuses. Students should plan to see a DS Counselor at least 45 days before classes begin. Students with documented disabilities may qualify for an alternate placement testing format and/or academic accommodations.

    I have a physical disability and do not need any accommodations. Do I need to see a DS Counselor?

    Students with physical access concerns are strongly encouraged to meet with the DS Counselor to learn about specific campus access, parking, wheelchair access availability, and evacuation plans.

    Will my special need keep me from being admitted to SVCC?

    No. Complete your application for admission and submit it to the College as soon as you decide to attend.

    I don't want anyone to know that I have a special need or need accommodation.

    Disabilities Services maintains confidential contacts and records. Disability is never indicated on college student records. With the support of Student Development, students receiving accommodations are typically responsible to interact with instructors, tutors and programs regarding implementing accommodations.

    What do I have to do to receive accommodations?

    You must submit documentation of a disability and it must meet SVCC guidelines.

    I am graduating from high school this year and will need accommodations. What do I do?

    Be sure that any testing related to your disability has been revised to meet SVCC guidelines. Learning disability documentation must be no older that three years unless the testing was done after your 18th birthday.

    I just need tutoring.

    Each campus provides a tutoring center with free tutoring for SVCC students. Writing centers, math labs, and language labs are available on campus.

    I am sure I must have a learning disability. Can I get tested?

    Yes, all student request for testing and faculty/administrator referrals should be made directly to the Special Needs Counselor on the Christanna Campus who will schedule an interview with the student.

  • SVCC Accessibility

    Southside Virginia Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policy: Shannon Vassar Feinman, Vice-President for Finance and Administration; SVCC, 109 Campus Drive, Alberta, VA 23821; Telephone 434-949-1005; Email shannon.feinman@southside.edu.

  • Resources -Disability Support Services