Simpson College administrators, staff, and faculty members share responsibility for ADA compliance. Each semester, the Director of Student Accessibility Services will contact by email faculty teaching students who qualify for accommodations or modifications. The email will clearly identify the student and the accommodations or modifications for that student. Some examples of accommodations and modifications include extended time for testing or a low distraction testing area.
Some faculty responsibilities found in the ADA include:
- There may be no exclusion on the basis of disability
- Participation should be in the most integrated setting possible
- There may be no discrimination through eligibility criteria
- Reasonable modifications in policies, practices and procedures based on the documentation of disability should be provided as necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability
- Examinations and courses must be accessible
- There may be no harassment or retaliation against individuals who are accessing their rights under the law or against those who assist people with disabilities in accessing their rights.
Additionally, faculty do not design and may not modify students’ accessibility plans. The Director of Student Accessibility Services, in collaboration with students and their representatives, design accessibility plans based on each students’ documentation and diagnosis. This documentation is secured in a locking file and on a password-protected computer in the Student Accessibility Services office.
Students have a right to privacy in accessibility issues, and they are not required to provide faculty with specific information regarding their diagnosis or documentation. Do not discuss a student’s accessibility plan or accommodations/modifications with others.
Within the Dean of Students Office, disability information is handled under guidelines of confidentiality similar to other medical information. The ADA stipulates that disability related information should be collected and maintained on separate forms and kept in secure files with limited access. Thus, under this guideline, faculty would not have the right to demand access to the actual documentation of disability, including results or scores on psychological or medical tests, and dates or names of professionals providing such documentation. Additionally, the disclosure of unnecessary, specific disability-related information to those without a legally recognized need to know may have the unintended consequence of increasing Hamilton’s and/or individual faculty member’s vulnerability to charges of harassment or retaliation.
If you have a question regarding an accommodation, you may contact the Associate Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs and Accessibility Services at ext. 4021, who has access to students’ documentation. Thus, verification of a student’s disability, and if the academic adjustment requested is appropriate can be provided. The confidential nature of disability-related information has been an over-arching principle of nondiscrimination since the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.