Approximately one in 11 students on today‟s college campuses has a disability, triple the number in 1978 and the numbers will continue to rise for awhile. Unlike K-12 education, colleges do not have to identify and provide programs for students with disabilities; they do have to provide reasonable accommodations without fundamentally altering the program.
The ADA does not guarantee equal results, establish quotas, or require preferential treatment for persons with disabilities over those without ADA should accommodate the disabling condition without compromising the integrity of the academic program -level the playing field -be reasonable in relation to the course The law is becoming increasingly restrictive concerning who may claim disability services
Who is Protected?
Any individual who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity; has a record of having such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Professors do not have to make determinations of qualifications.
What is the Institution’s Responsibility?
Must make reasonable accommodations in order to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in the institution‟s courses, programs and activities Must make “academic adjustments”to ensure that a student has an equal opportunity to participate. Must ensure disability statements appear on every syllabus Must ensure services are provided consistently.
When a Student Requests Accommodations:
Ask if he or she has applied for services with the Learning Center Disabilities Coordinator If not, provide directions and support to contacting the Center If so, you should receive documentation from the LC recommending accommodations for the student. Do not provide accommodations without the appropriate documentation returned to you.
Once student has provided documentation from the Learning Center
Talk with the student as to how to best implement the accommodations - CONFIDENTIALLY Keep a copy for your own records and refer back to it as needed. If at any time you have questions regarding the accommodation plan, call the Disabilities Coordinator while continuing to provide the accommodations.
What is a faculty member’s responsibility?
Compliance with the law happens in the classroom. Although it is not the responsibility of the faculty to determine the validity of the accommodations, concerns should be immediately reported. Protect the privacy rights of the student – they are not required to give information to peers May have to provide information about texts and videos early so alternate print can be obtained
Faculty members should not
Philosophical debate „fairness‟ with disabled and/or non-disabled students.
– It is a law.
Decide not to provide the approved accommodations
– This leaves you open to liability
Faculty members should not:
Leave a student without accommodations Refuse to provide the accommodations granted Insist on personally reviewing documentation Make assumptions about a person‟s ability to pursue a particular program or career path
In case of disagreement
If a faculty member believes that an accommodation provided with permission of the Learning Center fundamentally alters the nature of the course or program, he or she must notify the Learning Center
Can faculty make decisions to provide accommodations?
Faculty members have the right to respond to any student requests for accommodations as they deem appropriate, but this cannot be called an accommodation and cannot be provided in the Learning Center.
Are SWD required to meet the same standards?
Yes. SWD must meet the same admissions and retention standards as is required of other students. They are graded in the same manner The “reasonable” accommodations refers to an accommodation that allows a swd equal participation in and benefit from all educational programs and activities.
What if students request accommodations retroactively
Students can request accommodations at any time during a semester or their college career. They cannot insist that they be delivered retroactively, however. Services begin at the time of determining eligibility. This often happens with time extensions. Time extensions are reviewed carefully and are not endless.