Appendix A

Terms Definitions
Students with disability in higher education Refers to those who self-disclose that they have one or more of the following conditions during their years in college: a specific learning disability, a visual handicap, hard of hearing, deafness, a speech disability, an orthopedic handicap, or a health impairment.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Formerly PL 94-142, a/k/a Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA)) is the federal law governing special education (20 U.S.C. §1400, et. seq.) for students from birth to 21 or graduates high school, whichever occurs first. Not all children who are disabled qualify for this program. There are criteria for eligibility. Those who are qualified have access to an individualized education program designed to meet the individual student’s unique learning needs. This law was reauthorized in 2004 as Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Basically an anti-discrimination law which requires that the educational needs of students with disabilities be met as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students. This civil rights law states:
“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance....” 29 U.S.C. §794(a) (1973).
Postsecondary School Provision In Section 504, Subpart E, postsecondary schools are obligated to provide auxiliary aids and services to qualified students with disabilities in a timely manner in order to ensure equal access and opportunity. However, unlike K-12 public schools where teachers and specialists arrange for support services for students with disabilities, in postsecondary institutions, the students themselves must disclose the need for appropriate academic adjustments.
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq.) Uses the similar criteria for eligibility as §504 (has a physical or mental impairment, a record of an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment). ADA seeks to eliminate barriers and create access to buildings, transportation, and communication for people with disabilities. The courts have over the years interpreted §504 and the ADA as almost identical.
“Appropriate academic adjustment” “Appropriate academic adjustment”Used in Subpart E of §504 in discussing “reasonable accommodation” postsecondary education. In the context of higher education, an accommodation is reasonable if it does not:
  1. substantially alter the essential elements of the curriculum or the manner in which instruction is being delivered;
  2. it does not pose a threat to the health and safety of anyone; and
  3. it does not incur an undue burden on the institution.
Institutions are only required to make “reasonable accommodations” so far as to ensure equal access to opportunity for persons with disabilities.
Auxiliary Aids and Accommodations Under Section 504, aids, benefits, and services may not produce the same results but individuals with disabilities must be afforded the same opportunities and access as any nondisabled person. Examples of aids and services:
  1. Note-takers, audio-taped class sessions, captioned films, visual and tactile instructional demonstrations, taped texts, lecture notes, recording of lectures, typed texts, film transcriptions, voice synthesizers, readers, interpreters, video-text displays equipment, electronic readers,
  2. Computer with voice output, spellchecker, and grammar checker, computer with voice output, Braille screen display and printer output, enlarge screen, computer equipped with special input device (e.g., voice input, Morse code, alternative keyboard)
  3. Braille calculators, FM system, assistive listening devices, TTY in your dorm room, amplifiers, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning
  4. Lab assistant, group assignments, Braille lab signs, auditory lab warning signals lab equipment located within reach, adaptive lab equipment (e.g., talking thermometers and calculators, light probes, and tactile timers)
  5. Adjustable tables, calculators or keyboards, class assignments available in electronic format, raised-line drawings, tactile graphic materials
  6. Extra exam time, alternative testing arrangements, quiet environment, test read to student
  7. Field trips in accessible locations
  8. Priority registration, reducing course loads, substituting courses.