Americans with Disabilities Act – Fast Facts for Faculty

I have procrastinated writing this post about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) , not because the information does not need to be shared, but because there is already great information available. Therefore, I have decided not to duplicate:

  • What is the ADA? The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. You can find general information at the ADA National Network.
  • What does the ADA mean for Hope? Title III of the ADA covers private institutions and ensures equal access to post-secondary education. This includes all aspects of college, including academics, programs, services, housing, and student life.
  • What should we know about the rights, responsibilities, and roles of institutions and students? The ADA Coordinator’s office at Ohio State University has a lot of great information about the ADA and the accommodation process for faculty as well as students. If you click on the link above to browse, also check out the Rights and Responsibilities.
  • You may not already know that faculty have the right to request verification that a student needs an accommodation for a disability. This verification can only be done through the Disability Services office, and students can register by completing a Request for Accommodations form.
  • The American Psychological Association has developed Toolkits of valuable information for both students with disabilities and faculty. While the information is geared toward those in the social sciences, Toolkit II and Toolkit III provide information relevant to all disciplines.

Differences between high school and college – Disability

Prior to working at Hope, I was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for seven years with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). Many of the transition-age students I worked with planned to attend college after high school. We spent a fair amount of time discussing the disability-related differences between high school and college, many of which were surprising to students. Transitioning to college includes major changes for any student, but students with disabilities have additional considerations.

If you have needed accommodations for a disability in high school, please review the information below. We want you to feel confident in your transition to Hope, so please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.

Parents are advocates for their children. YOU will be your best advocate. It will be your responsibility to share your learning and living needs with faculty and staff.
The school identifies and evaluates a student with adisability. You will need to identify yourself as a student needing accommodations for a disability.
The school automatically incorporates accommodations into the student’s daily schedule once a disability is documented. You will need to register with Disability Services and request needed accommodations. Approved accommodations will be implemented in collaboration with the responsible campus party (faculty, housing, etc.). Each semester you will need to meet with professors to discuss your learning needs and share information regarding approved accommodations. We will be here to help, but ultimately you will be in the driver’s seat.
The school modifies the educational programs as appropriate. The college will make reasonable adjustments in instructional programs. These adjustments will not alter the essential content or requirements of a course or program.
Special classes and placement must be available for the student. You must meet admission criteria for the college as well as specific classes, majors, and programs.
An IEP meeting is held to determine placement and appropriate services. You will work with Disability Services to determine what services may be appropriate.