The rights of qualified students with disabilities are protected by Section 504 0f the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), both of which are laws aimed individuals with disabilities.
Assurance of equal educational opportunity rests upon
legal foundations established by federal law, specifically the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973 including Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990, as amended in 2008.
Federal statutes govern the
rights of individuals with disabilities;
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) states that no “otherwise
qualified person” with a disability can be excluded from, denied the benefits
of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity within an
institution that receives federal financial aid.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (as amended, 2008) defines a person
with a disability as any individual who (1) has a physical or mental impairment
that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record
of such an impairment; or (3) is perceived by others as having such an
impairment. For further information, please go to ADA Amendments 2008: http://www1.eeoc.gov//laws/statutes/adaaa.cfm
Taken together, Section 504 and the ADA (and ADAAA) require institutions of
higher education to provide equal access to educational opportunities to
otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.
Reasonable accommodations in college programs and services, are modifications of those programs, policies, practices, and procedures that enable qualified students with a disability to have an equal access to college programs, and equal opportunity to benefit from those programs and services while providing auxiliary aids and services.
A student is a person enrolled at the college.
A qualified student is one who, with or without reasonable accommodations, meets the academic technical standards required for admission to, participation in, and/or fulfilling the essential requirements of college programs or activities, and who has provided appropriate documentation of his/her disability.
A student with a disability is a student who (1) has a physical, mental or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more of his/her major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment or; (3) is regarded as having a disability.
A physical impairment is any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.
Undue hardships is any excessively costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive modification or one that would substantially alter the nature or operation of the institution or any of its programs or services or threaten the health or safety of the college community.
Program accessibility means that all programs and services, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible to persons with a disability.