Division of Student Affairs

AccessAbility Services : Faculty and Staff Resources

Legal Mandates

Both federal and state laws require WCSU to operate all programs and activities in a manner which is accessible to students with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 assure the equal educational opportunity of individuals with disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 including Section 504 states that “No otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities in the United States…shall by reason of his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”. Section 504 [29 USC 794] Sec 504

A person with a disability, as defined by law, is a person who has:

  1. a physical or mental impairment which significantly restricts one or more major life activities such as self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing or learning;
  2. a record of such an impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.

WCSU Implication:

As a public University which receives federal financial assistance, WCSU is required to make modifications to its academic requirements which are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discrimination, on the basis of a disability. Students with documented disabilities are entitled to modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids, which enable them to participate in and benefit from all postsecondary educational programs and activities. Academic requirements that the University can demonstrate are essential to the program of instruction will not be regarded as discriminatory.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) extends the protections regarding individuals with disabilities beyond programs that receive federal financial assistance. The ADA provides a clear mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

WCSU Implication:

WCSU “shall make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of a disability, unless the University can demonstrate that making the modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.” [28 CFR 35.130(b)(7)]