Americans with Disabilities Act & Section 504 Request for Accommodation

No.  3-34   Rev.  11-7-17 Date  3-12-96     

 

I. POLICY

Weber State University will provide full access to persons with disabilities to all University services, programs, and facilities, including multiple physical campuses and buildings, communication and information services, websites, applications, and technological resources, and any ancillary or associated entities contracted by the University to provide such programs and services, as required by law. WSU faculty and staff shall work cooperatively with qualified students, employees and others who request accommodations in order to provide access to the programs, services and activities of the University, as required by law. If there are disputes regarding the accommodations, faculty and staff will work cooperatively to resolve such disputes. PPM 3-32 prohibits discrimination and harassment against individuals with disabilities.

II. DEFINITIONS

A.  Academic Adjustments - Modifications to academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability, against a qualified applicant or student with a disability. For example, modifications may include, but are not limited to, changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted. Academic requirements that are essential to the instruction being pursued will not be regarded as discriminatory.

B.  ADA Coordinator - The ADA Coordinator is the individual responsible for overall compliance with protections for persons with disabilities. The ADA Coordinator is the Executive Director of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity.   (http://www.weber.edu/nondiscriminationandaccessibility)

C. Auxiliary Aids and Services - Auxiliary aids may include recorded texts, interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to students with hearing impairments, readers in libraries for students with visual impairments, classroom equipment adapted for use by students with manual impairments, and other similar services and actions. Auxiliary aids and services do not include attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.

D.  Deputy ADA Coordinators - Individual employees or offices designated by the ADA Coordinator to coordinate compliance, access and accommodation within particular areas of the University, including Academic Affairs/Faculty, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Facilities Management and Information Technology.  (http://www.weber.edu/nondiscriminationandaccessibility)

E. Disability Services - Disability Services is the office within the Student Affairs Division responsible for evaluating and approving academic accommodations, adjustments or modifications for students applying for admission to or attending the University.

F.  Individual With a Disability - Any person who has a physical impairment or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment (whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity).

G.  Undue Burden or Undue Hardship - An action requiring significant difficulty, expense or would change the essential nature of the program, service or activity.

H. Major Life Activities - Functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

I.  Physical or Mental Impairment -

1.  Any physiological disorder or condition, including, but not limited to 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, genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or

2.  Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

J. Student Accommodations - Academic adjustments or modifications or the provision of auxiliary aids or services.

III. REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATION

A. Students and Student Applicants:

1.  It is the responsibility of students with disabilities to begin the reasonable accommodation process by registering with Disability Services. Reasonable prior notice may be necessary in order to evaluate requests and to implement them, when appropriate. Disability Services may require the student to provide documentation in order to verify that the student has a disability that supports the need for a student accommodation. Therefore, students needing student accommodation services are advised to notify Disability Services as early as possible to ensure that there is sufficient time to review their requests. Some student accommodations, such as interpreters, may take time to arrange.

2. After requests are made, Disability Services will engage in good-faith interactions with qualified individuals with disabilities in order to cooperatively develop reasonable accommodations.

3. Students’ requests for disability-based student accommodations, including those made by student applicants seeking accommodation in any academic program application process, must be referred to Disability Services.

4. Disability Services will evaluate such requests, taking into account the content and the nature of the courses, programs or activities and individuals’ need as documented by qualified professionals.

5. Disability Services will then work with faculty and staff to approve student accommodations. Disability Services will notify students requesting student accommodations of the specific student accommodations which have been approved. Faculty will be informed of the approved accommodations in accordance with the confidentiality preferences of the student, to the greatest degree possible. Personal services or personal care do not have to be provided.

6. If there are disagreements regarding requested student accommodations, Disability Services will facilitate discussions between the students and faculty members and/or offices or departments being requested to provide the accommodations. While student accommodation requests are being considered, the University shall make good faith efforts to provide student accommodations on an interim basis.

7. If this interactive process does not result in student accommodations that are mutually acceptable, the requests will be forwarded to the Deputy ADA Coordinator for Academic Affairs/Faculty for assistance resolving the disagreements. The Deputy ADA Coordinator will attempt to mediate the accommodation requests. If agreements are not reached, the students may appeal the denials as outlined is Section III.E.

8. Once student accommodations have been agreed to or approved by the Deputy ADA Coordinator or ADA Coordinator, faculty and staff cannot deny use of the student accommodations or make the students repeatedly request to use the student accommodations.

9. Nothing in this policy requires academic units to fundamentally alter the essential nature of their academic programs, services or activities or implement accommodations that would otherwise create undue financial or administrative burdens The University shall give primary consideration to the student accommodations that students request, but the University may choose to provide alternative student accommodations if these are effective.

10. Students with disabilities are responsible for notifying Disability Services if approved student accommodations are not implemented in effective and timely ways.

11. Students with disabilities shall not be required to pay part or all of the costs of such aids and services, nor shall students with disabilities be charged more for participating in programs or activities than students who do not have disabilities are charged.

B. Employees and Employment Applicants

1. It is the responsibility of employees or applicants with disabilities to begin the reasonable accommodation process. Reasonable prior notice may be necessary in order to evaluate requests and to implement them, when appropriate.

2. Once disability-related accommodation requests are received, the University will engage in a good-faith interactions with the qualified individuals with disabilities in order to cooperatively develop reasonable accommodations.

3. Employees’ requests for disability-based job or benefit-related accommodations, including requests made by job applicants seeking accommodation in any employment application process, must be referred to the Human Resources Department (HR) employee designated to receive such requests. (http://www.weber.edu/HumanResources/Contact_Us.html)

4. The designated HR employee will evaluate such requests taking into account the essential functions of the jobs, and the individuals’ needs, as documented by qualified professionals.

5. The designated HR employee will then work with the hiring authorities or supervisors to provide appropriate reasonable accommodations.

6. If there are disagreements regarding requested accommodations, HR will facilitate discussions between the employees or job applicants and the hiring authorities or supervisors requested to provide the accommodation.

7. If these interactive processes do not result in accommodations that are mutually acceptable, the requests will be forwarded to the Deputy ADA Coordinator for Human Resources for assistance resolving the disagreements.

8. Nothing in these procedures requires a department to provide accommodations that create an undue burden.

9. Employees and job applicants are responsible for notifying HR if approved accommodations are not implemented in effective and timely ways.

10. Employees with disabilities shall not be required to pay part or all of the costs of accommodations provided to them.

 C. Requests for disability-related access to University facilities or University-sponsored activities by persons, including, but not limited to spectators, visitors and patients, may be made to the departments sponsoring the activities or providing the services for which the accommodations are being sought. They may also be made directly to the ADA Coordinator, who will designate a particular ADA Deputy Coordinator to assist in the interactive process.

D. Departments shall consult with the appropriate ADA Deputy Coordinator before finally denying requests for disability-related accommodations.

 E. If a request for an accommodation is denied, the individual may appeal the denial to the ADA Coordinator, in writing. The appeal must be provided to the ADA Coordinator within ten calendar (10) days of date of the denial. The ADA Coordinator shall consider the appeal and issue a final written decision. There shall be no appeal from this decision.  Faculty and staff shall abide by the final decision of the ADA Coordinator. A Deputy ADA Coordinator or the ADA Coordinator may require an accommodation or other interim measure be implemented during any consideration of a request or appeal of a denial.

 IV. CONFIDENTIALITY AND CLASSIFICATION OF RECORDS

 Faculty and staff are expected to discuss requests for accommodation privately and maintain confidentiality. The record of each request for accommodation and appeal, and all written records produced or received as part of such actions, are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act where student education records are involved, and classified as “Controlled,” with a secondary classification as “Private” under the Government Records Access and Management Act for all other records.  Disclosure will only be made to non-University entities as permitted by law and University policy.

 The University reserves the right to internally share ADA information on a “need to know” basis. Supervisors and faculty who are to provide accommodations, however, will receive only information about such limitations and needed accommodations and not information regarding the requestor's disability, unless there is a direct threat or other reason permitted by law.

 

V. RELATIONS TO OTHER LAWS

 This policy does not prohibit or limit the use of other remedies, including filing complaints under the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act, Section 67-19-32; the federal ADA  (28 CFR Sub-part F. beginning with Part 35.170, 1990 edition); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (34 C.F.R. § 104.61); or any other Utah or federal law that provides equal or greater protection for the rights of individuals with disabilities. Disputes regarding student accommodations can be directed to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights; 1-800-421-3481; TTY: 1-877-521-2172; E-mail: ocr@ed.gov.