Policy Statement for Assisting Students with Disabilities
This is to inform each faculty member of the university’s policy concerning students with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (RHA 504) provides that
...no qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any academic, research, housing, counseling, financial aid, physical education, athletics, recreation, transportation, other extracurricular or other post-secondary education program or activity.
A person with a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one who:
...has a physical/mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. "Major life activities" include walking, hearing, seeing, speaking, learning or working. "Substantially limiting" is determined by factors such as the nature/severity of the impairment, its duration and impact. Temporary conditions (such as broken legs or pregnancy) are not covered.
The university is strongly committed to maintaining an environment that guarantees students with disabilities full access to its educational programs, activities, and facilities.
Under the regulations, we are required to make reasonable modifications to our academic requirements and practices as necessary in order to ensure that they do not discriminate against a qualified student. Such modification is commonly referred to as an "academic adjustment" or "reasonable accommodation." Examples of academic adjustments would include modifications to degree requirements (e.g., time to complete a degree, course substitution/waiver, adaptation in the manner in which a course is conducted), modification to course examinations (e.g., additional time, alternative testing methods), and the use of auxiliary aids (e.g., readers, interpreters, tape recorders). The student is not guaranteed any or all of the above accommodations. The decision as to which accommodations are provided for students with disabilities must be made on a case-by-case basis. The University is not required to relax its academic standards.
Some disabilities are obvious--a student in a wheelchair, for example. Some are invisible--as in the case of a learning disability. Some students may wish to identify themselves; others may not. Some may request assistance from you; others may not. Generally, you should not ask any student to state whether he/she has a disability, and you should discourage participation in an activity only when such participation will endanger the safety of the disabled student or other participants.
The Guidelines for Accommodating Students with Disabilities will help you respond to a student’s request for an academic adjustment. Students with disabilities, like any other students, have the responsibility to complete course requirements and to communicate directly with you with any questions they may have about the course. When a student makes a request for service, or if you have questions or concerns regarding a particular student or disability, please contact the Disability Services Office.