As a student with a disability leaving high school and entering postsecondary education, what are my rights and how they are addressed?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protect elementary, secondary and postsecondary students from discrimination. The University of Scranton is required to provide appropriate academic accommodations as necessary to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of your disability. 

May the University of Scranton deny my admission because I have a disability?

No. If you meet the essential requirements for admission, the University may not deny your admission simply because you have a disability. 

Do I have to inform the University of Scranton that I have a disability?

No. However, if you want the University to provide an academic accommodation, you must identify yourself as having a disability. Likewise, you should let the University know about your disability if you want to ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities. The disclosure of a disability is always voluntary. 

What academic accommodations must the University of Scranton provide?

The appropriate academic accommodation must be determined based on your disability and individual needs. Academic accommodations include modifications to academic requirements and auxiliary aids and services, for example, arranging for priority registration; substituting one course for another; providing notetakers, recording devices, sign language interpreters, extended time for testing, and equipping school computers with screen-reading, voice recognition or other adaptive software or hardware.

The University of Scranton does not have to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity or would result in undue financial or administrative burdens. Also, the University does not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature. 

If I want an academic accommodation, what must I do?

You must contact the Office of Student Support & Success (OSSS) and inform the appropriate staff members that you have a disability and provide the appropriate documentation. It is your responsibility to self-disclose your disability and follow procedures to request an academic accommodation.

When should I request an academic accommodation?

Requests for academic accommodations should be done before the semester begins or in the first two weeks of the semester. Some academic accommodations may take more time to provide than others. The Office of Student Support & Success (OSSS) needs time to review your request and provide an appropriate academic accommodation.

Do I have to prove that I have a disability to obtain an academic accommodation?

The Office of Student Support & Success (OSSS) requires you to provide documentation that shows you have a current disability and supports the need for an academic accommodation. The University of Scranton has adopted the Educational Testing Service (ETS) standards for documentation.

What documentation should I provide?

The required documentation may include one or more of the following: a diagnosis of your current disability; the date of the diagnosis; instruments used to make the diagnosis; the credentials of the professional; how your disability affects a major life activity; and how the disability affects your academic performance.

Although an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if you have one, may help identify services that have been effective for you, it generally is not sufficient documentation. This is because postsecondary education presents different demands than high school education, and what you need to meet these new demands may be different. Also in some cases, the nature of a disability may change.

If the documentation that you have does not meet the University’s requirements, the Office of Student Support & Success (OSSS) will tell you what additional documentation you need to provide. You may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation.

Who has to pay for a new evaluation?

Neither your high school nor your postsecondary school is required to conduct or pay for a new evaluation to document your disability and need for an academic accommodation. This may mean that you have to pay or find funding to pay an appropriate professional to do it. If you are eligible for services through your state vocational rehabilitation agency, you may qualify for an evaluation at no cost to you. You may locate your state vocational rehabilitation agency through the Department of Education website.

Once the school has received the necessary documentation from me, what should I expect?

The Office of Student Support & Success (OSSS) will review your request and documentation to determine the appropriate accommodations. It is important to remember that the University is not required to lower or waive essential program requirements.

What can I do if I believe the school is discriminating against me?

The Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity is the ADA Coordinator—who coordinates the school's compliance with Section 504 or Title II or both laws. You may contact The Office of Equity and Diversity at (570)941 - 6645.

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