ADA/Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Excelsior College is committed to the principle that every individual should have an equal opportunity to enroll in an Excelsior College degree program, to register for courses or examinations in order to demonstrate their knowledge and skills under appropriate conditions, and to complete a degree. The College seeks to assure access by providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with physical, mental or learning disabilities recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Reasonable accommodation is the provision of aids or modification to testing, services or a program of study, which allows access by individuals with disabilities.
What is a Disability?
The ADA defines a disability as “any mental or physical condition that substantially limits an individual’s ability to perform one or more major life activities” as compared with the average person in the general population. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for one’s self, working and learning.
The ADA requires an institution of higher education to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a documented disability, provided that the accommodation does not create undue hardship. An undue hardship refers to any accommodation that would be unduly costly, substantially disruptive or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the program. Both matriculated and non-matriculated students may request reasonable accommodations from Excelsior College.
Section 504 Provisions
Additionally, the College is required to abide by the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which protect otherwise qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. In order to be considered otherwise qualified a student with a disability must be capable, either with or without accommodation, of fulfilling the essential requirements of the educational program.
Individuals requesting reasonable accommodation are required to self-disclose to the accessibility services coordinator and submit a request in writing or an accessible format appropriate for their limitation which generates a durable record. The request must be accompanied by official documentation of the disability from an appropriate, licensed professional, which must address the current functional limitation(s), their prognosis, and recommendation(s) of appropriate accommodation. Once eligibility has been established, accommodations are requested on a course-by-course (or exam-by-exam) basis.