CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information
Reasonable Accommodations: Faculty Guide, Georgia Southern University
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Students with disabilities are a rapidly growing group al Georgia Southern University In Fall 1989, very few students identified them selves as having disabilities. In Fall 1994, over 315 students may require academic and physical accommodations to attend classes. Accommodating students with disabilities extends beyond the moral and ethical responsibility of our University to fulfill its commitment to the process of access. President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990. This mandate reinforces the concept of reasonable accommodations in education and greater access to employment, transportation and public accommodations. The legal imperative, embodied in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, often referred to as the "Civil Rights Act" for people with disabilities, states, in part: No other qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial as- sistance. In order to comply with this mandate, universities, such as Georgia Southern, that receive Federal assistance must assure that the same educational programs and services offered to other students are available to students with disabilities. Academic competence must be the basis for participation in higher education. To accomplish this mandate, both physical and programmatic access must be provided. This means more than the removal of architectural barriers and the provision of auxiliary services, e.g. cafeterias, theater performances, postal services, etc. It means that reasonable accommodations must be made part of the instructional process to ensure equal educational opportunity. This principle applies to curriculum and modes, as well as to institutional and departmental policies. The means of achieving this ideal require judgment, knowledge and sensitivity that most of us lack due to our inexperience in teaching students with disabilities. This handbook is designed to fill such gaps; to heighten awareness; and provide basic information for the benefit of both faculty and students. Acknowledgments The text of this publication has been tailored to Georgia Southern University by Sue S. Williams, ADA Compliance Officer.