Chapter 240: Financial Aids and Awards
240.040 Policy Related to Students with Disabilities
Executive Order No. 21, 11-1-84; Amended 2-25-97.
- Equality of Access —The University of Missouri (UM) strives to assure that no qualified person with a disability1 shall, solely by reason of the disability, be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of any program or activity operated by UM. Each such qualified person shall receive reasonable accommodations to provide equally effective access to educational opportunities, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate unless provision of such reasonable accommodation would constitute an undue hardship on the University or would substantially alter essential elements of the academic program or course of study or would otherwise compromise academic standards. This policy shall apply to all programs, services, and activities of the University, including but not limited to recruitment, admissions, registration, financial aid, academic programs, advising, counseling, student health, housing and employment.
- Federal and State Laws—This policy is intended to be consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which states that no recipient of federal financial assistance may discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities solely by reason of disability. This policy is also intended to be consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Missouri Human Rights Act.
- Facilities—Each program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, shall be accessible to otherwise qualified and eligible students with disabilities. Facilities, or parts of facilities, constructed or renovated for UM use will be designed and built so that they are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, in accordance with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines or other accessibility standards properly adopted by the campus. Accessible on-campus housing and food service will be provided at the same cost and with the same program options to qualified students with disabilities as are afforded to non-disabled students. When any UM classes, programs or activities are held in private facilities, thorough efforts shall be made to obtain facilities which are accessible.
- Coordination of Programs and Services for Students with Disabilities
- Campus disability support service (DSS) offices or other designated campus units are responsible for coordination of programs, services, and classroom accommodations for qualified applicants for admission and qualified enrolled students with disabilities. Such coordination relates solely to disability issues. Determinations as to whether a student is otherwise qualified often will be based on the academic requirements developed by the faculty. Specific services available to qualified students with disabilities will be provided by the University in conformity with the requirements of federal and state law.
- Determinations as to whether requested services and requested accommodations are required will be made initially by the Coordinator of DSS. Accommodation of the disability will be determined by the coordinator and faculty member, and if either disagrees with the prescripted accommodation, such disagreement shall be described in writing promptly and submitted to the Chancellor or his/her designee for resolution in a prompt manner.
- Initial determinations and any disagreements submitted to the Chancellor or his or her designee will take into consideration all relevant factors including, but not limited to, the following:
- current documentation of the specific disability and of the need for the requested services or accommodations;
- the essential elements of the academic program or course of study being pursued;
- the fact that the law does not require a University to substantially alter essential elements of its academic program or course of study or to otherwise compromise its academic standards.
- All students seeking disability-related services and/or accommodations must disclose the presence of a specific disability to DSS. Before receiving requested services and/or accommodations, the student will be required to provide the DSS office with current medical or other diagnostic documentation of a disability from a qualified physician or other qualified diagnostician, as well as current documentation of the need for accommodations. In cases where existing documentation is incomplete or outdated, students may be required to provide additional documentation at the student’s expense.
- It is the student’s responsibility to self-identify, to provide current and adequate documentation of his/her disability, and to request classroom accommodations, through the DSS office. The appropriate documentation must be provided in a timely manner to ensure full resolution of accommodations prior to the student’s entrance into the program or course of study. Documentation review and accommodations planning by DSS, including consultation with faculty and/or other campus entities that may be affected in providing accommodations, will be done on an individualized case-by-case basis.
- Reasonable classroom accommodations will be provided to otherwise qualified and eligible students with disabilities who have self-identified and who have provided satisfactory documentation in support of their timely request for such accommodations, in compliance with federal and state mandates. These accommodations shall not affect the substance of the educational programs or compromise educational standards.
- In addition to providing accommodations needed to ensure nondiscrimination in access to educational opportunities by otherwise qualified students with disabilities, the University is responsible for ensuring that no qualified disabled student is denied the benefits of or excluded from participation in a University program because of the absence of auxiliary aids, services, and/or other reasonable accommodations. Auxiliary aids, services, and/or other accommodations include but are not limited to interpreters (sign or oral), readers, scribes, adaptive equipment, and other appropriate services or equipment necessary for course or program accessibility.
- While funding for accommodations to ensure equally effective access is provided by the University, funding for auxiliary aids, accommodations, and/or services in some instances may be shared with state vocational rehabilitation agencies. The law does not require and the University does not provide prescription devices or other devices/services of a personal nature (e.g. personal attendants) for students with disabilities.
- Establishment of Campus Policies—Chancellors are directed to establish campus policies and/or procedures consistent with this order. These should cover, at a minimum, treatment of disability-related information and appropriate regard for confidentiality, responsibilities of students in applying for services through DSS, time lines to assure that students make accommodation requests in a timely manner, guidelines to assure that disability documentation is reasonably current, a description of the process of individualized assessment of each student’s disability documentation and accommodation request(s), the role of faculty in determining the essential elements of the academic program or course of study and the academic standards involved in the accommodations planning and review process within the context of academic program requirements, and processing of complaints and grievances including a procedure for appeal when faculty and/or academic administrators or administrators in other involved campus entities do not agree with the DSS on the requirements of this policy.
- From the U.S. Justice Department’s ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual, Section II-2.8000: Qualified individual with a disability. In order to be an individual protected by Title II, the individual must be a “qualified” individual with a disability. To be qualified, the individual with a disability must meet the essential eligibility requirements for receipt of services or participation in a public entity’s programs, activities, or services with or without—
1) Reasonable modifications to a public entity’s rules, policies, or practices;
2) Removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or
3) Provision of auxiliary aids and services.
The “essential eligibility requirements” for participation in many activities of public entities may be minimal. For example, most public entities provide information about their programs, activities, and services upon request. In such situations, the only “eligibility requirement” for receipt of such information would be the request for it. However, under other circumstances, the “essential eligibility requirements” imposed by a public entity may be quite stringent.
Illustration: The medical school at a public university may require those admitted to its program to have successfully completed specified undergraduate science courses.