· Disabled Individual A person with a disability is defined as any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. Examples of disabilities that can impact a student in postsecondary education include but are not limited to, AIDS, cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Epilepsy, head injuries, hearing impairments, learning disabilities, loss of limbs, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, psychiatric disorders, speech impairments, spinal cord injuries, and vision impairments. Some of these conditions are visible, while other conditions, such as learning or psychiatric, are "invisible. " Factors such as fatigue, pain, or medication side effects can also impact an individual's ability to perform specific life and academic-related tasks. Federal regulations note that a finding of disability: is not based on the name or diagnosis of the impairment…but on the effects of that impairment on the life of the individual. Thus determination of disability is made on a case-by-case basis considering (1) the nature and severity of the impairment, (2) the duration of the impairment, and (3) the permanent or long term impact of the impairment (29 C.F.R. Sec. 1630(j).
· Qualified Disabled Individual One who with or without reasonable accommodations meets the essential eligibility requirements of a program or course of study. For example, an individual who uses a wheelchair and has grades, necessary course work, recommendations, and other qualifications for admission to a medical program cannot be denied access to the program because the school does not have an elevator in one of the buildings or may need to provide some adaptive equipment or other reasonable accommodation.
· Accommodations An adaptation, adjustment, or modification to rules, policies, or practices. Removal of barriers (architectural, communication, transportation), provision of auxiliary aids and services
· Auxiliary Aid or Service Included in Auxiliary Aid or Services are Interpreters, note takers, transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices, assistive listening systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD's), videotext displays, or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments; Readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Brailed materials, large print materials, or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments
· Reasonable Accommodation Neither the ADA nor the courts have defined the precise parameters of the test for reasonableness of an accommodation. However, court rulings and examples provided by the Department of Justice make it clear that the determination involves a case-by-case fact specific inquiry that considers, among other factors, the effectiveness of the modification and the impact it may have on any essential or fundamental element of the program in question. The analysis is intended to strike a balance between the disabled individuals right to access and the legitimate interests of the institution in preserving the integrity of its program. Reasonableness is not a constant. What is reasonable in one situation may not be reasonable in another. Extra time for a mobility-impaired individual may be a reasonable accommodation for a classroom computer literacy test but be deemed unreasonable in the performance on a CPR practicum.
Reasonable accommodations typically include such modifications and adjustments as, redesigning equipment, assigning aides, providing written communication in alternative formats, modifying tests, redesigning services to accessible locations, altering existing facilities, and building new facilities.
For example, a student who is blind might speak test answers into a tape recorder, or a scribe might write them down. An assistant could read the test questions out loud, or a screen reading device would make the print accessible through Braille or speech output
· Non-Academic Attendant Services-not provided Personal aids and services, including help in bathing, dressing, transporting, or other personal care, are not required to be provided by postsecondary institutions. Reasonable accommodations do not include personal devices (hearing aids, wheelchairs, and glasses) or personal or attendant services (transportation to or from class, Feeding, medical or hygiene assistance or services)
The Section 504 regulation state: "Recipients need not provide attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature". Title II of the ADA similarly states that personal services are not required.
In addition, Postsecondary institutions do not have to provide personal services relating to academics activities of an individual nature. Personal attendants and individually prescribed devices are the responsibility of the student who has a disability and not of the institution. For example, readers may be provided for classroom use but institutions are not required to provide readers for personal use or for help during individual study time.