Working with Students with Disabilities
Know the Law - Protect Yourself
Assuring that individuals with verifiable disabilities are protected from discrimination and are provided equal access is not only the ethical, "right thing to do," it is the law.
Any post secondary program receiving federal financial assistance is required, based on the Rehabilitation Act (1973) to provide accommodations for qualified people with disabilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), "no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of public entity." Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 includes the need for electronic information technology and web site accessibility standards, captioning and audio description of video, and access to telephone services.
People with disabilities have the same rights that are available under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended in 1991. Individuals with disabilities who experience discrimination can file complaints with the relevant federal agency or file a claim in federal court. Students with disabilities have filed complaints with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) because they were denied an accommodation, the opportunity to take a course, participate in a field trip, or to submit an assignment in an alternate format.