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Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (see Laupus diversity topic about ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions. Discrimination related to hiring, firing, recruitment, advancement, compensation, job training, etc. are prohibited under the ADA.

A person with a disability is someone who:
Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
Has a record of such impairment;
Or is regarded as having such an impairment (ADA, 1990).

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 works in conjunction with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It deals primarily with non-discrimination on the basis of disability in education. Any educational institution that receives federal funds, whether public or private is bound by Section 504.

To be in compliance with Section 504, educational institutions and their programs for students must meet the needs of students with disabilities to the same extent as that of students without disabilities. These needs can be met in a number of ways. Assistance items such as Braille machines and adaptive computer terminals must be provided, upon request, for individuals with disabilities. It is the responsibility of the individual, in conjunction with their diagnosing professional to make the disability known and to recommend and request the appropriate assistance; the post-secondary institution has no obligation to identify students with disabilities as defined by the ADA.

ECU's Policy

East Carolina University policy says that no qualified individual with a disability may be discriminated against because of a disability. Qualified persons are encouraged to seek employment at East Carolina University and qualified applicants are encouraged to seek admission to the university. Accommodations for people with disabilities are extended to student programs, employment practices, elimination of physical barriers, and special assistance to students and employees within the university community.

Resources for further information

East Carolina University’s ADA

Department for Disability Support Services
Links and resources at ECU
ADA links of interest from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity

ECU's Frequently asked questions about students with disabilities rights
US Dept of Education website
National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
General information about disabled college student’s rights
US Dept of Education website, Office for Civil Rights

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