AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
It is the responsibility of the EOP Office, through the ADA Coordinator, to ensure the Florida A&M University is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA provides civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. These rights are parallel to those rights that have been established by the federal government for women and minorities. A qualified individual with a disability cannot be denied admittance to participation in or benefit from goods services, facilities, programs, privileges, advantages, or accommodations at FAMU. Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336) Summary. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 extends to individuals with disabilities, comprehensive civil rights protection similar to those provided to persons on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. Title III also establishes accessibility requirements for new construction and alterations in places of public accommodation and commercial facilities.
Disabled Student's Rights/Responsibilities Summarized
- To not be denied access due to a disability
- To receive reasonable accommodations that provide equal opportunity.
- To have access to auxiliary aids/assistive technology.
- To not be counseled toward “more restrictive career objectives.
- To receive assistance from the Center for Disability Access and Resources (CeDAR) in removing any physical, academic and attitudinal barriers.
- To not be discriminated against due to a disability any retaliatory discrimination.
Faculty Rights/Responsibilities Summarized (when accommodating disabled students)
- To identify themselves to the disability service office, CeDAR.
- To provide documentation of disability.
- To initiate request for accommodations by providing a certification of disability letter to faculty within the first two weeks of the semester.
- To provide a minimum of a two-week notice for major accommodations request (special accommodations of equipment may need more time).
- To provide one week notice to the instructor and CeDAR when they will be testing in the center.
- To assume responsibility for testing procedures and notifying faculty and CeDAR accordingly.
- To provide for his/her personal independent needs or other disability related needs.
- To assume personal responsibility for meeting with faculty, requesting assistance through supplemental services and meeting university standards.
Students with disabilities are protected under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the civil rights laws.
- Taped Lectures – It is the faculty member’s right to request a written agreement before allowing the student to tape record the class. Request would come from Disability Services.
- Classroom Behavior – All university students must adhere to the university code of conduct regardless of whether they have a disability. Infractions of this code should be directed to the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs. If the student has been identified as a student with a disability, this information should be provided to the Dean to facilitate collaboration with the Director of Disability Services.
- Alternative Testing – An alternative testing site is provided by the CeDAR located at 667 Ardelia Court. Replicated research has been undertaken to determine the necessity of extended test-taking time for individual with disabilities.
- Challenge Accommodations – A faculty member has the right to challenge an accommodation request if she/he believes the student is not qualified, the accommodation would result in a fundamental alternative of the program, the institution is being asked to address a personal need, or the accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden. Accommodation request are based on documentation on file in the CeDAR (If warranted, interim services are provided while documentation is being obtained). Due to confidentiality, the nature of the disability may not be disclosed to the faculty unless there is a specific need to know. When beneficial to the faculty/student academic relationship, students are encouraged to self-disclose.
- Shared Responsibility – As an employee of Florida A&M University who has compliance obligations under federal laws, it is the responsibility of the faculty to assume a shared responsibility in providing reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities. The university is responsible for implementation and, as an employee, faculty are required to adhere to the policies and procedures The responsibility of meeting the academic needs of individuals with disabilities through reasonable accommodations has been assigned to the Director of the CeDAR.
- Referral – If a faculty member is notified by a student that she/he has a disability or if the student brings a medical statement to the instructor, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to refer the student with his/her medical statement to CeDAR. Also, if an instructor notices that a student is not performing up to standards and suspects there might be a learning disability, he/she must also refer the student.
A faculty member should never make any statements or implications that a disabled student is any different from the general student population.
EXAMPLES OF DISCRIMINATORY ACTS AGAINST DISABLED EMPLOYEES
- Do not ask the student to come to the classroom and then leave with the test in hand.
- Do not place the student in the hallway or any other obvious place to take an exam because you want to be close to them in case they have a question.
- Do not ask the student for documentation other than the letter from CeDAR.
- Do not discuss the student’s needs or accommodation other than in a private place.
- Do not make comparisons between students and their needs.
- Do not use a grading standard that is any different from the rest of the class.
- Do not give students with disabilities an advantage over the rest of the class; the idea of the law is to give equal access or equal opportunity provided through the recommended accommodations.
Discriminatory acts against employees are defined as the failure on the part of the employer to take positive steps to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.
Examples of discriminatory acts are:
- Making a decision concerning employment under any program or activity that limits, segregates, or classifies applicants or employees in any way and adversely affects their opportunities or status because of a disability.
- Participating in a contractual or other relationship that has the effect of subjecting applicants or employees with qualified disabilities to discrimination.
- This includes relationships with employment and referral agencies, with labor unions, with organizations providing or administering fringe benefits to employees of the university and with organizations, providing training and apprenticeship programs.
- Failure to recruit, advertise, process applications for employment, hire, upgrade, promote, or award tenure to a disabled person on the basis of a disability.
- Failure to make reasonable accommodations for job assignments, job classifications, organizational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression, sponsored activities, including social or recreational programs, leaves of absence, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.
- Failure to consider a person for selection of financial support for training, including apprenticeship, professional meetings. Conferences, and any other related activities, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of a disability.
All employees and students requesting a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must complete a Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statement and provide official documents pertaining to disability(ies).
EMPLOYEES MAY CONTACT:
The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP)
674 Gamble Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
STUDENTS MAY CONTACT:
The Center for Disability Access and Resources (CeDar)
Dr. Danette Saylor, Director
677 Ardelia Court
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
All request for parking accommodations based on disability and any physical access issues should be referred to the Office of Equal Opportunities Programs (850) 599-3076.