Who is Eligible to Receive Services?
The provision of disability services in post-secondary education is mandated by two major federal laws: Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and as amended in 2009, and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, 1973.
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as: “Any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.” The Americans with Disabilities Act as amended in 2009 adds “Major Bodily Functions” to “Major Life Activities” in the definition of a person with a disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically requires that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.” An otherwise qualified individual is defined as being an person who: “Meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or provision of auxiliary aids and services.”
Accommodations are intended to prevent discrimination against students with disabilities by providing equal access to all of the educational programs, co-curricular activities, and services of a post-secondary institution. Accommodations must be effective (producing the intended or expected effect), but they must not be preferential, and they may not discriminate against non-disabled students.
Keeping all of this in mind, we may now answer the question: “Who is eligible to receive services?” To be eligible to receive services from the Support Services for Students with Disabilities office of Glen Oaks Community College, a student must:
- Complete an intake and register with the Support Services for Students with Disabilities office.
- (With only rare exceptions) Provide the Support Services for Students with Disabilities office with acceptable documentation of a disability as defined by Title II the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and as amended in 2009, and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Ideally, documentation of disability should:
- Be as recent as possible
- Provide a diagnosis of disability made by a professional qualified to make the diagnosis
- Address the functional limitations that result from the disability
- (If accommodations are requested) Recommend reasonable accommodations for the disability
- (If accommodations are requested) Connect the need for the recommended accommodations to the disability in general and to the functional limitations that result from the disability in particular
- Be on official letterhead