Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, is a civil rights legislation that affects some 43,000,000 Americans with disabilities. The purpose of this act is to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA applies to all institutions of higher education regardless of receipt of federal funds.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
“No otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities in the United States … shall solely by reason of his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
This Act now falls under the umbrella of the ADA.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, (including pregnancy), familial status, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, including perceived disability and AIDS and HIV status. The LAD prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, credit, and business contracts. Not all of the foregoing prohibited bases for discrimination are protected in all of these areas of activity. For example, familial status is only protected with respect to housing.
Definition of Terms
A person with a disability is an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. An individual is considered to be a person with a disability if he/she (1) has a disability, (2) has a history of a disability, or (3) is perceived by others as having a disability.
A “person with a disability” is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. In addition to those people who have visible disabilities – persons who are blind, deaf, or use a wheelchair – the definition includes people with a range of invisible disabilities. These include psychological diagnoses, learning disabilities, or some chronic health impairment, such as epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, cardiac problems, HIV/AIDS, and more. In addition, a person is considered to be a person with disability if he/she is regarded by others as having a disability.
Qualified individual with a disability:
A qualified individual with a disability is someone whose experience, education, and/or training enables the person, with or without reasonable accommodations, to perform the essential requirements of a job or an academic course or program.
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or change in the educational, employment, or general campus environment (or in the way things are customarily done) that enables an individual with a disability to have equal opportunities to fully participate in the particular activity. This term may include:
- Making existing facilities and programs readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
- Relocating classrooms, developing alternative testing procedures, providing educational auxiliary aids, readers, or interpreters.
- Defining a student who, because of a disability, takes less than 12 credits as full-time for institutional purposes, unless prohibited by Federal/State regulations.
- A reasonable accommodation is not a modification of policies and practices when such modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.
Provisions of Section 504
Monmouth University, as an institution of higher education that receives federal assistance, is legally bound to prohibit discrimination in the recruitment process, the admission process, and the educational process of students with disabilities. Students with documented disabilities are entitled to receive approved modifications, appropriate academic adjustments, or auxiliary aids that will enable them to participate in and have the opportunity to benefit from all educational programs and activities of Monmouth University.
Under the provisions of Section 504, Monmouth University may not:
- Limit the number of otherwise qualified students with disabilities who are admitted;
- Make pre-admission inquiries as to whether an applicant is disabled;
- Exclude an otherwise qualified student with a disability from any course of study;
- Provide less financial assistance to students with disabilities than is provided to non-disabled students, or limit eligibility for scholarships on the basis of disability;
- Counsel students with disabilities into more restrictive career paths than are recommended to non-disabled students;
- Measure student achievement using modes that adversely discriminate against a student with a disability; or
- Establish rules and policies that have the effect of limiting participation of students with disabilities in educational programs or activities.