For accomodating students
This situation is ameliorated somewhat by the assistance provided by administrative units such as Student Disability Services (SDS).
This and similar units are responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students and for making a determination as to eligibility status and appropriate accommodations and adjustments, if any.
However, such units often are inadequately funded, given the growth in the number of students requesting accommodation, and seldom have experts on staff who are knowledgeable about the wide range of disabilities that colleges are now attempting to accommodate.
Organizationally, this article briefly reviews Section 504 and the ADA and identifies the criteria that are used to determine whether a student is "disabled." Then, specific areas of admission, accommodation, and dismissal are examined.
Thomas Today, there are more students with documented disabilities in higher education than ever before -- 140,142 freshmen reported having a disability in 1996 (HEATH Resource Center, 1998).
University of Vermont, 1992), and in the same way, and are ill-prepared either to adapt their instruction to address the individual needs of students or to identify appropriate, fair, and reasonable accommodations. This section includes a discussion of preadmission activities, the process used for making admissions decisions, judicial deference that typically is given by courts, and the use of probationary admission practices. Typically, preadmission activities include the completion of forms, the payment of fees, interviews, and testing. Importantly, the burden of showing that an appropriate alternative is available rests with the assistant secretary of education. § 104.44(c); see also University of Minnesota, 1995). Two caveats, however: Students without disabilities need not be accommodated; testing services need not provide an accommodation to a student with a disability that would "advantage" the applicant rather than simply "accommodate"' his or her disability. Where appropriate and needed accommodations are provided by testing groups (e.g., National Testing Service), it is common that college officials are alerted (e.g., with the placement of an asterisk by the score) to the fact that the test was not taken under standard conditions. The application must be completed honestly and accurately and submitted prior to deadline. § 104.42(c)), colleges may not make preadmission inquiries as to whether an applicant has a disability, although postadmission inquiries may be made on a confidential basis when the disability may require accommodation (34 C. Nonetheless, those tests that are used must accurately reflect the applicant's aptitude or achievement level (or whatever other factor the test purports to measure), rather than the applicant's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (34 C. And, admissions tests that are designed to accommodate persons with disabilities must be offered as often as are other admissions tests and be made available in facilities that are accessible (34 C. For example, one court has ruled that to require testing boards to grant accommodations without proof of qualifying disabilities would allow persons to advance to professional positions through the "proverbial back door" (Price v. When an application includes a nonstandardized score, it becomes even more important for admissions officers to thoroughly scrutinize the candidate's file. Nonetheless, once it is determined that a plaintiff is impaired and that such impairment substantially limits a major life activity, it then is necessary to ascertain whether the plaintiff also is "otherwise qualified." Actually, only Section 504 employs the term "otherwise qualified" (29 U. Accordingly, her participation would have required major program modifications and the lowering of standards. In ruling for the college, the Supreme Court held that the plaintiff was not otherwise qualified and that legitimate physical requirements at times may be necessary (see also County of Los Angeles v. Furthermore, the Court noted that Section 504 did not require affirmative action, but conceded that the distinction between accommodation and affirmative action might not always be clear.