Legal Guidelines

Newman University De Mattias

Newman University views the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities as a cooperative effort, involving faculty, staff, and students. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 state that a university shall provide academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Auxiliary aids must be provided, which are necessary to ensure that students with disabilities are not “denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in” any program. That is, the university is required to make accommodations for the known physical and cognitive limitations of otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The intent is to provide an equivalent academic experience and learning opportunity, not to guarantee the outcome of the student’s educational endeavor.

Roles and Responsibilities

The director of Disability Services has been delegated the authority and the responsibility to approve academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. The director will act as a liaison between student and faculty members to assist in the process of determining appropriate academic accommodations.

The following is a list of the responsibilities of each member:

Students with disabilities are responsible for:

  • Identifying themselves to instructors and to the director of Disability Services.
  • Providing the Department of Disability Services with documentation of the disability.
  • Providing current (no more than 3 years old) documentation of testing and evaluation results.
  • Consulting with the director of Disability Services prior to the beginning of each semester and whenever changes to accommodations are needed.
  • Communicating with the professor about necessary course accommodations.

Faculty Members are responsible for:

  • Providing accommodations that have been approved by the director of Disability Services.
  • Consulting with the director if a question arises regarding specific recommendations for accommodation for an individual student, particularly if special exam procedures or adaptations for an exam are involved.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of all accommodations made for students with disabilities. In accordance with the federal law, it is critical to stress that all matters relating to a student with a disability remain confidential.

The Director of Disability Services is responsible for:

  • Determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities.
  • Sending letters to instructors with specific accommodation recommendations.
  • Working with instructors to provide recommended accommodations.
  • Providing disability-related counseling and advising.

Disability Statement for Course Materials:

The Newman University Department of Disability Services coordinates support services so that students with disabilities can be self-sufficient and can develop to their maximum educational potential. For more information, contact the director of Disability Services. Please advise the instructor of such disability and the desired accommodations at some point before, during, or immediately after the first scheduled class period.

Appeals

If a student with a disability believes that he/she has not received the accommodations requested, the following steps are recommended:

  1. The American with Disabilities Act requires that accommodations be developed in a give-and-take dialogue process between the institution and the person with a disability. The student needs to meet with the director of Disability Services, to discuss and explore appropriate, reasonable accommodations. The student and/or the director of Disability Services may need to meet with the instructor as well.
  2. Colleges are not required to provide the requested or preferred accommodation. They are required to provide reasonable, appropriate, and effective accommodations for disabilities which have been adequately documented and for which the accommodation has been requested. Therefore, the student should ask, “Is the accommodation that has been offered reasonable and effective?”

If a student has considered both #1 and #2 above and believes the accommodation that has been offered is neither reasonable nor effective, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Schedule a meeting with the director of Disability Services who arranged the original accommodation. If the accommodation is related to a specific course or action by a specific instructor, the student’s instructor may be asked to attend the meeting.
  2. If the student is not satisfied with the results of the meeting with the director of Disability Services, the student may file a grievance through Newman University’s Student Grievance procedure. To do so, the student should first provide a written statement to the director of Disability Services, who will convene with the Department of Disability Services to review it within 10 days. A complaint can often be resolved in a timely manner by following the above-mentioned steps.