Accessibility Definitions

Creating an environment that is truly accessible and inclusive of all persons requires the participation of everyone. The Office of Accessibility Services serves as a resource and a catalyst for change by providing information and assistance to faculty and staff. Below, we have defined some key accessibility terms.

Defining a Disability

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 define a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts a person from performing major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or caring for one’s self. An impairment or diagnosis does not necessarily constitute a disability. It must substantially limit these activities.


An eligible student is one who otherwise meets the academic and technical standards necessary for admission into a program or participation in a course.


The Office of Accessibility Services works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to identify appropriate academic accommodations, auxiliary aids and services that do not fundamentally change the nature of the course or academic program. Accommodations for private use or services of a personal nature, such as transportation or personal care attendants, are not available.

Accommodations are not retroactive. They begin once the student has provided the necessary information to determine the access needs and engage in the interactive process to make the best decisions regarding a plan of action. It is the responsibility of the student to follow through and submit the requested disability information so that a timely plan can be developed. Instructors are required to provide accommodations once they receive notification through an Accommodation Plan which details the access needs sent from Accessibility Services staff.

Temporary Disability

Students with a temporary disability or injury are not considered disabled by the law. However, they may need services or accommodations to access their courses. These students should contact the Office of Accessibility Services as soon as possible to discuss their options.


The Office of Accessibility Services is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student is kept confidential as required or permitted by law. All information filed with our office is shared only with those who have a legitimate need to know.


The Student Grievance Procedure provides a system to handle student complaints against faculty or staff (support and administrative) concerning allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, unfair grading, and other alleged violations of student rights.  The Student Grievance Procedure/Due Process in accordance with the Written Student Complaints Policy is in the Pitt Community College General Catalog under Student Development Services, subheading Disciplinary Action.