2650 East End Blvd. South
Marshall, TX 75671
Information about the American Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), patterned after Section 504, protects qualified persons with disabilities from discrimination in many areas of postsecondary education including admission, academics and research. Given legal mandates under the ADA, postsecondary institutions must make reasonable accommodations in order to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in courses, programs, and activities. These accommodations can be in the form of academic adjustments or modifications such as extended time for test taking or completing course work; substitution of specific courses to meet degree requirements; modification of test taking or performance evaluations so as not to discriminate against a person’s sensory, speaking or motor impairments, unless that is what is being tested. Accommodations can also take the shape of auxiliary aids and services such as qualified sign language interpreters, note takers, readers, braille, large print, and electronic formats of print materials, and adaptive equipment.
Colleges and universities do not have to provide accommodations that would “fundamentally alter” the educational program or academic requirements that are essential to a program of study or to fulfill licensing requirements. The determination of what is a fundamental alteration, however, requires specific steps and a reasoned, determinative process on the part of the campus community, and necessitates that colleges and universities question their notions of what is truly fundamental and provide for alternate methods of achieving the results intended by the educational program.