Overview of Laws
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits federal agencies and their grantees and contractors from discriminating against people based on disability in employment, programs and activities.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (ADA/504)
A federal statute that guarantees the rights of disabled people to equal opportunity in all programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. It prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals solely on the basis of disability. Section 504 regulations apply to state education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities, libraries, vocational schools and state vocational rehabilitation agencies.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The ADA was signed into law to protect individuals with disabilities against discrimination in employment, in programs operated by city, county, and state entities, public and private transportation, public accommodations and telecommunication services. The 2008 amendment act of ADA emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.
General Guidelines for Documentation
In order to determine eligibility, all students seeking accommodations are required to provide the Office of Accessibility Services with the appropriate medical, psychological, and/or educational documentation of their disability from a licensed professional.
Requests for accommodations are evaluated based on the review of documentation provided as well the student’s self- report and observation regarding current functional limitations.
Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Accessibility Services to discuss what documentation they may have and/or obtain assistance in getting linked to appropriate community provider to get an evaluation/testing done if you think you may be a student in need of accommodations.
Student Identification and Initial Steps for Receiving Accommodations:
- In order to determine eligibility for accommodations and/or auxiliary aides students must contact the Office of Accessibility Services and self- identify as a student with a disability and schedule an initial intake meeting.
- It will be discussed with the student what documentation they will need to provide the office as part of the process to determine eligibility. If the student has appropriate documentation or is working with a current licensed provider who can supply the needed documentation, the student can send the documentation ahead of time to be reviewed or plan to bring the documentation with them to their initial intake meeting. When possible, it is recommended for students to send the documentation prior to the initial intake meeting to ensure that it is sufficient. If a student submits documentation that is not sufficient it can then be discussed what additional information may be needed.
- If the student has:
- No prior documented disability, he or she can be referred for an appropriate evaluation; no accommodations will be given at that time until documentation is provided
- A prior documented disability, but the documentation provided is not sufficient or does not accurately reflect current functioning, the student may be granted provisional accommodations if they are in the process of obtaining updated testing/evaluation for the duration of the current semester until the updated documentation is provided.
- The student must meet with the Office of Accessibility Services for an initial intake meeting. During the intake meeting, the student will be expected to discuss their academic history and use of accommodations. The student will also be asked questions in regards to how their disability affects their current functioning in relation to the accommodations that they are requesting. This information will be taken into consideration in addition to the supporting documentation when determining accommodations.
- Once a student is found eligible for accommodations at the intake meeting, the student will sign the intake indicating they are in agreement with accommodations they are eligible for. Then a notification letter will be written on behalf of the student to current instructors for the classes that the student would like to utilize their accommodations for and chooses to make aware. A copy of that notification is given to the student as well as e-mailed to instructors.
- Students must schedule a meeting with each of their instructors and bring a copy of their notification with them to discuss how their accommodations will work for each of their classes and discuss any question, concerns, or information that may be beneficial to plan for.
- Students must schedule an appointment with The Office of Accessibility Services each semester they would like to utilize their accommodations for to review/update accommodations. Depending on the nature of a student’s disability updated documentation may be needed.
Please Note: While students can initiate the accommodation process at any time throughout the semester, it is recommended that if a student makes contact as early as possible. Accommodations begin at the time that is a student is found eligible and instructors are notified, and cannot be granted retroactively.
Our student’s privacy is important to us. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Student’s disability records are kept secured in the Office of Accessibility Services and are not released without the student’s permission.
Academic Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Testing Accommodations such as: extended testing time, testing in a less distracting environment outside of the classroom, use of assistive technology for test reading, scribes
- Permission to record lectures
- Books in alternative format
- Any reasonable accommodation
Lauren Ellis, Director of Wellness
Main Campus, Room 118
360 Choate AVenue
Buffalo, NY 14220