Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990) and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) creates ongoing challenges for both public and private colleges and universities. All educational institutions must comply with these laws as a result of being funding recipients. Title II of the ADA applies to public colleges and universities and Title III to private colleges and universities. In 2008, Congress passed amendments to the ADA which restored many of the rights previously eroded through judicial decisions, and additionally expanded the categories for "major life activity" that allows an individual with a disability to meet the standard of having a "qualifying disability." This resulted in a higher standard for institutions to meet in order to comply with the law in providing appropriate accommodations.
Institutions are challenged with establishing a fair and comprehensive protocol for documentation of disabilities and provision of accommodations. Additionally, institutions must have in place an internal grievance process (generally overseen by the Title IX Coordinator) that will enable an individual who believes he/she has been discriminated against by the institution to seek internal redress of the complaint.
The NCHERM Group ADA Assessment, coordinated by NCHERM Partner, Saundra K. Schuster, provides comprehensive review of all disability related policies, procedures and response protocol and provides guidance and direct assistance to enable the institution to be fully compliant with both 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as all elements related to Title II and Title III of the ADA. The following areas create challenges for institutions regarding ADA compliance and your institutional audit will be individually tailored to address any of the following compliance challenges you wish. These include:
- Review of Policy, Protocol and Documentation of disability
- Academic accommodations
- Accommodations related to clinical placements and field experiences
- Physical accommodations
- Facilities accommodations
- Pets on campus and in living facilities
- Challenges related to Direct Threats and ADA
- Disability accommodation and athletics
- Pregnancy and parenting students
- Disability and study abroad
Ms. Schuster brings to The NCHERM Group over 30 years of experience as a university administrator and faculty member and college and university attorney, including nine years as the Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, and as General Counsel for Sinclair College. In addition, Ms. Schuster has worked with many clients on ADA issues, including responding to OCR complaints and compliance, development of CAS Standards, and development of institutional protocol and accompanying forms. Ms. Schuster will provide a comprehensive audit of all areas of ADA risk, or an audit of specific areas of concern. Additionally, Ms. Schuster will assist in the development of compliant policies and forms or provide advice or training for targeted groups, or the institution on ADA issues.
For more information, contact Kate Halligan, Vice President of Client Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or (610) 579-3725.