These guidelines were written to assist faculty and staff who interact with students with disabilities at DigiPen Institute of Technology. This document outlines the rights and responsibilities of faculty and staff regarding students with disabilities. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy; however, this is not a legal document, nor is it intended to offer legal advice.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a federal law which provides civil rights protection to persons with disabilities in regards to employment, public accommodations such as restaurants or day care centers, services made available by state and local governments, transportation, and telecommunications. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disabilities and mandates the removal of communication and architectural impediments for persons with disabilities. An individual covered by the ADA is a person perceived as having a disability or a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits life activities such as walking, talking, seeing, or hearing.
ADA Amendments and Act (ADAAA) of 2008: The ADAAA states that the definition of disability should be interpreted in favor of broad coverage of individuals. Congress made it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the statute.
Rehabilitation Act: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states that:
"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States...shall, solely by reason of...handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." [Source]
Washington State Law (28B.10 RCW): This law provides a summary of the rights outlined in the aforementioned federal laws and specifically defines services. It also establishes a grievance procedure that students may follow if they believe discrimination has taken place.
Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act covers institutions that receive federal funds. The ADA stands when it provides greater protection. Washington state law is intended to provide a clearer, more concise statement of those rights.
Students with disabilities must be afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all post-secondary education programs and activities. That includes any program of study, course, or activities associated with DigiPen either on or off campus.
The Disability Support Services (DSS) Office provides and supports implementation of reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities at DigiPen, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
DSS collaborates with students, staff, and faculty to ensure equal access to all of DigiPen’s programs, courses, activities, and events.
DSS recognizes and celebrates disability as an aspect of diversity. DSS is a part of the Student Affairs Department.
A person with a disability is anyone who:
Major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for one’s self, and performing manual tasks.
A qualified student has the right to:
A qualified student is responsible for:
Faculty and staff have the right to:
Faculty and staff are responsible for:
No. However, notifying students of the services available is the institution’s responsibility. You should inform all students about the DSS Office whenever possible. For example, faculty members are required to have a brief statement in the course syllabus indicating the availability of such services.
No. There are many students with disabilities who do not utilize DSS. Students can choose to register or not register at any time; however, if they choose to not register with DSS by disclosing their disability and providing documentation, they are not eligible to receive accommodations for coursework.
No. Students are not obliged to inform faculty or staff members about their disability — only the needed accommodations. If you have any questions regarding accommodations, you may contact the DSS Office.
Yes. Students with disabilities are protected under FERPA and the civil rights laws. Faculty and staff must maintain student confidentiality. At no time should faculty or staff make any statements or implications that a student is any different from the general student population.
Examples of behaviors to be AVOIDED:
A reasonable accommodation is a modification that allows the student equal access to the learning opportunity. Reasonable accommodations are determined after reviewing the student’s medical documentation related to her or his disability. DSS determines which accommodations are reasonable based on the specific ways the student’s disability affects their ability to access buildings, information, or resources related to their academic experience. The student will provide faculty with a letter from DSS outlining appropriate accommodations. Academic accommodations include, but are not limited to: testing accommodations, adaptive technology services, and assistance in arranging other support services (e.g., interpreters, note takers, scribes, and readers).
When available, you should always turn on captioning to accommodate the needs of students with disability. If captioning is not available, contact DSS as soon as you decide to use the video in your class, program, or activity. The DSS Office will help you caption the video as quickly as possible.
No. A college is not required to provide academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services if any of the following would result:
Yes, but accommodations are not retroactive. There could be numerous reasons why a student makes a late request. Some students try to take a class without accommodations, but find that they are not doing well and need to use them. As a rule, however, we strongly encourage students to submit their requests early in the semester. In some situations late requests may make the accommodation impossible to provide.
No. Providing accommodations means equalizing the impact of the student’s disability to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, accommodations should not be regarded as “special treatment.”
“Accessibility” means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe and with equivalent ease of use as individuals without disabilities.
Faculty should make a general announcement regarding the availability of DSS accommodations at the beginning of class each semester and at the beginning of on-campus programs and activities. Also, it is important to look at the student first and not his or her disability. Each person is unique with unique needs.
If an instructor feels that a particular student may have a substantially limiting disability, the instructor should contact the DSS Office to refer the student.
A student with a disability who is disruptive in class should be treated as an instructor would treat any student who is disruptive in class. If an instructor feels that there is a medical reason for the student’s behavior, the instructor can discuss this with DSS staff to determine potential solutions.
It is important for faculty to remember that providing reasonable accommodations to a student with a disability does not guarantee success in the course. Students with disabilities may fail to master the course material, just like any other student. Students with disabilities have the same right as other students to fail as part of their educational experience. Like any other student who is struggling in a course, you may wish to refer him or her to the Academic Advising and Tutoring Center.
The IT Accessibility Guidelines are designed to help keep your electrical documents accessible to students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. These guidelines provide steps to create or attain accessible electronic documents, websites, videos, software applications, and hardware devices that can be used effectively by everyone. It is the DigiPen community’s collective responsibility to assure the full accessibility of technologies we use.
Definitions of Service Animals: Beginning March 15, 2011, service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.
Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
Where Service Animals are Allowed: Under the ADA, DigiPen allows service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of DigiPen’s campus where the public is normally allowed to go.
Service Animals Must Be Under Control: As required by the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Removal of Service Animals: An official may require an owner/partner to remove a service animal from DigiPen Institute of Technology facilities under any of the following circumstances:
If such circumstances or behaviors persist, DigiPen officials may direct the owner/partner to not bring the animal onto campus. The owner/partner may remain on campus and participate in activities, but the animal will not be allowed to return until the issues have been resolved.
Only limited inquiries are allowed regarding service animals. Staff and faculty may ask two questions: