Eligibility for Services
disability services office
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that:
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, 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 . . .
Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit the discriminatory assignment of disabled students to segregated classes or facilities. These laws apply to elementary and secondary as well as postsecondary schools. In elementary and secondary schools, disabled students may be assigned to separate facilities or courses of special education only when this placement is necessary to provide equal educational opportunity to them. Any separate facilities, and the services provided in separate facilities must be comparable to other facilities and services.
To determine what the educational needs of a disabled student may be, schools must carry out preliminary evaluation and placement procedures.
To be considered eligible for services through the Disability Services Office, students should 1) make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities and 2) provide documentation of their disability. The documentation serves as the foundation for legitimizing the request for a reasonable accommodation. Appropriate documentation must include the following:
- A clear diagnosis of the disability by a licensed professional who has firsthand knowledge of the student's condition and has experience and training in diagnosing and treating people with disabilities.
- Documentation of the disability must be current, preferably within four years. (The age of the required documentation also may be dependent upon the nature of the disability and the specific requested accommodation.)
- A statement of the functional impact and limitations of the disability on major life activities.
- A list of recommended accommodations with an explanation of the relevance of each to the diagnosed disability.
- Documentation must be on letterhead from diagnosing physician or primary care physician's office.
Should students not be able to receive adequate services as defined through their documentation, they have the right to seek assistance through the Student Grievance Procedure for Students with Disabilities.
Temporary impairments are not listed as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); however, every attempt is made to provide support and assistance to students who experience a temporary disability. Accommodations may include the use of a laptop, extended time on exams, use of the Eagle Transportation van service, or having swipe card access to the Government Documents Room in order to bypass the O'Neill Library stairs next to 21 Campanella Way.
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