Legal Guidelines

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 state that a university shall provide academic accommodations. Auxiliary aids must be provided which are necessary to ensure that students with disabilities are not "denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in" the program. That is, the University is required to make accommodations to the known physical and cognitive limitations of otherwise qualified students with disabilities, unless it can be demonstrated that either of the following two exceptions pertains:

  1. The University can demonstrate that the accommodations are not necessary to ensure nondiscriminatory participation by a student with a disability; or
  2. The University can demonstrate that the academic requirement for which an adjustment is requested is "essential to the program of instruction being pursued by the student."

The intent is to provide an equivalent academic experience and learning opportunity, not to guarantee the outcome of the student's educational endeavor.