College Policy/Disability Law
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This section of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) governs the accommodation services CVCC provides students with disabilities. Detail regulations regarding the implementation of 504 may be found in 34 Code of Federal Regulation Part 104. The law states: "No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the U.S. shall, solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Some of the specific implications of this law include:
- No student can be excluded from any course, major, or program solely on the basis of a disability.
- Certain accommodations are mandated, such as the provision of alternate testing and evaluation methods for measuring student mastery.
- Modifications, substitutions, or waivers of a course, major, or degree requirement may be necessary to meet the needs of some students.
- It is discriminatory to restrict the range of career options for students with disabilities as compared to non-disabled students with similar interests and abilities, unless such advice is based on strict licensing or certification requirements that may constitute an obstacle.
Please Note: According to recent court decisions, if students mention having difficulty with their class work due to a disability, even though they don't ask for specific accommodations, the College is responsible for directing them to Disability Support Services for information.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights guarantee for persons with disabilities signed into law on July 16, 1990. There are five main parts to the law:
Title I Employment
Title II Public Services
Title III Public Accommodations
Title IV Telecommunications
Title V Miscellaneous Provisions
As a recipient of federal funding, CVCC is most affected by Title I and Title II. Many of the ADA regulations come directly from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To maintain compliance with the ADA regulations, the college strives to be compliant with Section 504.
The ADA definition of disabled is "someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits that person in some major life activity, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment."
The ADA requires the College to conduct a self-evaluation for ADA compliance and review the compliance plan for Section 504. The plan must include a review of access to facilities as well as programs. Changes that are "readily achievable" must be accomplished if they can be completed without "undue hardship." The ADA self-evaluation should reflect changes in policies and procedures since the initial evaluation.
Definitions of Disability
In relation to students disability is:
- a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual one or more of the major life activities of an individual (caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.)
- a record of such an impairment, or
- being regarded as having such an impairment.
Individuals with disabilities may include persons who have: mobility, sensory or speech impairments; cosmetic disfigurements, mental illness, mental retardation or learning disabilities. Individuals with disabilities may also include persons who have neurological, psychological, or physical disabilities.
Documentation of disability is required and must be certified by a licensed professional, i.e. doctor, psychiatrist, licensed psychologist etc.
Qualified Individual with a Disability
With respect to:
Educational opportunities - a person with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in an education program or activity.
Public adult educational services - a person with a disability can be of any age during which non-disabled individuals are provided such services.
Other services - a person is "otherwise qualified"; if qualified for receipt of educational opportunities, public adult education, or other services because he/she meets the academic/technical standards; essential eligibility requirements and the fundamental selection criteria.