Students with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires institutions of higher education to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a documented disability, provided that the requested accommodation does not create an undue hardship.
An undue hardship refers to any accommodation that would be unduly costly, expensive, substantial, and disruptive to the college or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the college curriculum.
Students need to understand there are differences between what happens in secondary education and higher education.
|Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)||Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act|
|Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act||Americans with Disabilities Act|
|Americans with Disabilities Act||Civil Rights Restoration Act|
|Civil Rights Restoration Act|
The biggest difference, perhaps, is that in the college environment students are responsible to register themselves by filling out a special form for special needs and services with the RCC counselors. Accommodations are available upon request. The student must know what help is needed and take the initiative.
Postsecondary institutions (colleges and universities) have the right to ask for current and comprehensive documentation that clearly details:
- the diagnosis;
- the functional limitations;
- the need for accommodations.
Reasonable accommodations are those that will allow access to the educational program or activities. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Readily accessible facilities that are usable by persons with disabilities.
- Ask for extra time on tests
- Sit in the front of the class
- Sign language interpreters
- Provision of alternative print formats for handouts or tests
- Tape-record lectures
*It is the responsibility of the student to inform the institution of his/her need for accommodation and to provide all documentation to the counseling office at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. Incoming college students will find that the major theme for them as a college student will be a greater emphasis on personal responsibility and self-advocacy. While this is believed to be an important part of the developmental process for all college students, it can lead to difficulties for students who are used to having the bulk of the procedures related to accommodations handled for them.