Accessibility Resources


Welcome to Accessibility Resources (AR). We are glad you are here!

AR is a center for disability education, awareness, and resources for students, staff, and faculty. AR Staff are trained in determining college level accommodations for adult learners. AR Staff accomplish this through the facilitation of the interactive process. Unlike K-12, college students with disabilities are expected to engage with AR in exploring their institutional access barriers, ensuring students have access for participation in all campus programs and activities.

IMPORTANT: Every individual situation is unique; regardless of what medical documentation you may or may not have, please contact our office to have a discussion about how we may be able to work together. We understand obtaining documentation may be difficult and we want to partner with you to address any academic barriers you may be experiencing.

AR Facts and Figures

  • Over 300 students annually are registered with the AR Office and are qualified to use accommodations.
  • The overwhelming majority of SWDs at BTC have unapparent disability conditions, like mental health conditions, learning disabilities, AD(H)D, chronic and acute medical conditions, and neurological conditions.
  • AR Students are retained at a higher rate than students without disabilities at BTC.
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Getting Started with AR


AR staff do their best to ensure students with disabilities have equal access for participation in campus courses, programs, and activities. Once a student registers with AR, they are regarded as a student with a disability and receive protection against disability discrimination based on federal and state law.


  1. Click on the “AR Application” button at the top of this page.
  2. Be sure to read all information before submitting the application.
  3. Completely fill out the AR Application.
  4. If you have documentation you would like to share with AR to support your application, you may upload it when you complete the AR Application.


  • You will be invited to an Access Planning Meeting (APM) by email where you will have the opportunity to discuss your history of disability, understand the purpose of academic accommodations in the college setting, learn what type of documentation works for college-level accommodations, and discuss the barriers you experience or may experience in the college classroom.
  • Based on your discussion, there will be a determination of college-level accommodations based on your specific disability(ies). These accommodations are determined by (a) your self-report in your AR Application, (b) information obtained through your Access Planning Meeting, and (c) your disability documentation.
  • You will have access to myAR where you will be able to interact with AR staff, renew accommodations, and manage your AR requests.

If you have specific questions about this process, please email

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Quarterly Accommodation Renewals

Renewing quarterly accommodations:

In college, accommodations do not roll over from quarter to quarter. It is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations each quarter they would like to use them. While AR does their best to remind students, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility. Accommodations are not retroactive.

How do I renew through myAR?

Go to the myAR page to renew your accommodation.

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Student & Family Resources


Accessibility Resources (AR) at Bellingham Technical College is committed to providing a place for students with disabilities to grow and develop as adult learners. As students with disabilities become their own advocates, they take on specific responsibilities as college students and are responsible for much of their own learning. AR will do their best to help families understand the expectations we have for their students, as well as connect students and families with the resources necessary to promote student learning. The individual advising and collaborative interactions students experience with Accessibility Resources professionals are intentionally designed to help students identify and articulate their strengths and challenges as they prepare to pursue a career path.


We understand that the transition from High School to College can be difficult for parents as well as students. Please keep in mind, college students are adult learners and are expected to do their own work, fill out/submit forms, and engage with campus staff/faculty independently. College staff and faculty are not required to provide information to parents or third-party advocates on student progress, attendance, grades or accommodations. 

Any third party individual (parent, vocational counselor, etc.) who logs into any BTC student portal (Canvas, myAR, ctcLink, etc.) with someone else's student identification and credentials constitutes improper use and is in violation of State and Federal Privacy Laws. 

Accessibility Resources staff will not meet with parents or third-party advocates without the student present. Accessibility Resources staff also reserve the right to meet with the student alone. It is expected the student will communicate their needs to AR as an adult learner. Requests by parents or third-party advocates will not be accepted.

Future Students & Families

Current Students

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Documentation, Rights & Responsibilities

  • Documentation

    What is Documentation: Documentation is an assessment or evaluation verifying a diagnosis of disability from a qualified professional. A qualified professional is someone who has the credentials and training to diagnose specific disabilities. Prescription pad notes and after visit summaries are not acceptable.

    Why do I need Documentation of Disability: Documentation is one tool Accessibility Resources uses to verify a student meets the definition of disability and to determine a student’s eligibility to receive accommodations in the educational setting. Documentation also helps Accessibility Resources determine effective and appropriate accommodations. Documentation is used to support the accommodation request and inform the Access Plan.

    Ideal Documentation should include:

    • A diagnosis of the disability/health condition by a medical doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, other professional diagnostician, or other qualified medical professional trained to diagnose disability.
    • A description of the current impact/limitations of the disability/health condition with specific focus on barriers to the educational environment.
    • A discussion of whether the disability/health condition is permanent or temporary.
      If temporary, please provide information on the expected duration of the disability/health condition and timeline for reevaluation.

    Documentation of disability must meet the federal definition of disability and be from a qualified healthcare provider and include:

    • Contact Information of provider
    • License number and/or credentials
    • Signature or electronic signature
    • Date(s) of testing / evaluation
  • Rights

    Bellingham Technical College is committed to providing students with disabilities an equal opportunity to access the benefits, rights and privileges of college services, programs, and activities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and State of Washington Laws of 1994, Chapter 105 ensure that students not be discriminated against due to their disability.

    Students' rights include:

    • The opportunity to engage in an interactive process to determine college-level accommodations
    • The ability to appeal any decisions made regarding college-level accommodation determination
    • Confidentiality regarding their disability conditions
  • Responsibilities

    Effectively implementing accommodations for students with disabilities requires coordination and effort by AR, instructors, and most importantly students. The following is a nonexhaustive list of Student Responsibilities in the accommodation process.

    • Submit the AR Application, providing accurate information.
    • On a daily basis, monitor student email and personal email for correspondence and requests from AR.
    • Engage with AR in the interactive process in order to develop a college-level access plan.
    • Follow through with any additional tasks requested by AR to ensure the smooth implementation of your accommodation plan.
    • When receiving approved accommodations that require a third party (ASL Interpreting, TypeWell transcription, etc.), the accommodation provider will give the student ways to reach them in case of an emergency. The student is responsible for:
      • Notifying AR, your provider, and your instructor at least 24 hours in advance of a planned absence so services can be canceled.
      • Notifying AR, your provider, and your instructor as soon as possible if you have an unanticipated absence.
    • Promptly notify AR of any problems encountered in receiving approved accommodations.
    • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    • Adhere to the BTC Student Conduct Code.
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  • What are AR's Student Learning Outcomes?

    Students registered with Accessibility Resources (AR) will be able to: 

    1. Identify and articulate their specific disability(ies).
    2. Describe the institutional barriers they experience in academic settings.
    3. Articulate the steps required to self-identify and register with AR at BTC.
    4. Articulate the steps required for quarterly renewal of accommodations.
    5. Discuss their accommodations with their instructors, as well as promptly notify AR if they are not receiving their approved accommodations.
    6. Identify, locate, and utilize additional campus and community resources available
    to them

  • How will I know what accommodations I qualify for?

    Accommodations are determined using a three-pronged approach. They are:

    • Student self-report, including academic history, accommodations used at previous educational institutions, and description of institutional barriers the student currently experiences in the classroom environment
    • Professional judgment of the AR professional conducting the APM as well as application information
    • Third-party documentation prepared by a qualified diagnostician trained to diagnose the student’s specific disability

    During your Access Planning Meeting, you should be prepared to discuss:

    • The history of your disability;
    • The limitations or challenges you experience in learning environments due to your disability, and;
    • list of accommodations you have received in previous institutions of learning.

    College level accommodations will be determined in order to eliminate institutional barriers to
    your education based on your documented disability. There are times when a facilitated discussion with your instructor may be requested in order to gain more information regarding the classroom environment and how accommodations will impact that environment.

  • Do I have to request my accommodations each quarter I am a student at BTC?

    Yes! Your accommodations do not roll over from quarter to quarter. Just like registering for classes, it is your responsibility to make accommodation renewals a part of your quarterly academic planning.

    IMPORTANT – Verbal requests for accommodations are not honored. All requests must be made through the myAR portal.

  • Will more documentation or information be requested?

    If AR does not have enough information to determine reasonable accommodations, the following may be requested:

    ● Additional documentation from a qualified diagnostician trained to diagnose the student’s specific disability
    ● A facilitation with the student’s instructor(s) in order to make sure accommodations will not impact the course learning outcomes
    ● Consultation with medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, prior educational personnel, and/or other applicable agencies

  • How are college level accommodations different from high school?

    College level accommodations are intended to level the academic playing field for adult learners with disabilities. Accommodations:

    ● Do not guarantee success, but instead provide access
    ● Do not provide specialized instruction that is common within IEPs and 504 Plans;
    ● Do not modify college curriculum;
    ● Do not replace mastery of course and/or program outcomes, and;
    ● Are not retroactive

  • Is my high school IEP or 504 Plan transferable to college?


    While Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans may provide some useful information when determining college accommodations, students may be asked to obtain more detailed documentation from a qualified diagnostician to support their request for accommodation.

  • If I sign a FERPA for my parent or other third party, are there limitations to their rights?

    Yes. FERPA pertains to the release of records only. It does not give others the right to act on the student's behalf or to change their records.

    If the student DOES sign a Student Release of Records form:

    • College staff and faculty are not required to provide information on student progress, attendance, grades, or accommodations directly to third parties, include vocational counselors and parents.
    • FERPA pertains to the release of student educational records only. It does not give others the right to act on a student's behalf, to change their records, or to individually meet or make contact with college staff without the student present.
    • A third party who logs into the website or identifies themselves with someone else's student identification constitutes improper use and is a violation of State and Federal privacy laws.
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