Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, qualified students with disabilities are entitled to equal access and opportunity to participate in all University programs, services and activities. A qualified student with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the programs, services and activities offered by the University.
Following is a summary of the primary provisions relative to qualified students with disabilities under the aforementioned federal regulations:
- Discrimination is prohibited against qualified persons with disabilities in the areas of recruitment, admission and treatment after admission.
- All programs, services and activities must be available to students with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible. This requirement includes academic programs, field trips, practicums, internships, research, campus employment, graduate assistantships and all student services and student life activities.
- No student may be excluded from any course or any course of study solely on the basis of disability.
- When necessary, reasonable modification of course or degree requirements must be made for students with disabilities unless the requirements can be demonstrated as essential to the program or unless modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the program.
- Prohibitive rules may not be imposed on qualified students with disabilities, such as banning audio recorders, service animals or other necessary equipment or aids in the classroom.
- The institution must provide appropriate auxiliary aids to qualified students with disabilities when necessary for full educational access. Auxiliary aids include interpreters, note takers, readers, books in alternate format, adaptive equipment, captioned films/videos, etc.
- Teaching techniques, as well as special equipment and devices used in the classroom, should be adapted in individual cases, when necessary, to ensure equal access.
- Educational materials must be provided in an alternate format that is effective for the student, when necessary, to ensure access to educational information.
- Alternate testing and evaluation methods must be used, when necessary, to ensure the student's achievement is being measured rather than his or her impaired sensory, manual or speaking skill, except where such skills are the factors that the test purports to measure.
- Classes must be relocated, when necessary, to permit access for students with mobility impairments.
- It is discriminatory to counsel students with disabilities toward more restrictive career objectives than other students with similar interests and abilities.
- Communications with persons with disabilities must be as effective as communications with others and sometimes must be accomplished by the use of auxiliary aids such as interpreters, telephone relay service for the deaf, the use of a computer, or alternate format materials such as large print, audio recording, etext or Braille for persons with visual impairments.
- A student with a disability cannot be required to accept an accommodation, aid, service, opportunity or benefit.
- It is unlawful to retaliate, coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual who exercises his/her rights under ADA, or who aids or assists others in doing so.
- Disability information is confidential and should not be disclosed without individual consent.