Consideration for students with disabilities

Consideration for students with
Council of Academic Programs in Communication
Sciences and Disorders
April 9-12, 2014
Lynnett Van Slyke, CRC
Director Disability Resources and Services
University of Pittsburgh
Disability Laws
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
• prohibits discrimination of handicapped individuals from any
entity receiving federal funds
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
• prohibits discrimination against any qualified individual with
a disability. Defines who is an individual with a disability
and mandates appropriate aids or services
Disability Laws
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008
• revises the definition of “disability” to
more broadly encompass impairments
that substantially limit a major life
How does the College meet its obligations under the ADAAA
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act?
• Modifying policies and practices of the college.
• Reduced course load
• Extending clinical rotation (reducing days in the clinic)
• By providing auxiliary aids and services/accommodations.
• Interpreters
• Assistive technology
How does the College meet its obligations under the ADAAA
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act?
• Removing architectural barriers
• Installing power doors
• Assigning student to accessible clinical site
• Establishing procedures for effective communication
• Clearly established policies and procedures for
requesting accommodations
The Process
• Student
– Meet the academic/technical standards of the program
– Contact the disability office and schedule an intake
– Submit appropriate documentation to disability office
– Request academic accommodations
– Participate in the interactive process (faculty, DS provider,
clinic supervisor)
– Contact disability office if accommodations are not being
The Process
• Disability Services Responsibility
– Determine disability status
– Maintain appropriate updated documentation
– Engage in a conversation regarding academic
– Engage the appropriate faculty in the interactive process to
determine reasonable accommodations
– Educate clinical faculty about the implementation of
reasonable accommodations and other relevant disability
The Process
• Faculty Responsibility
– Refer student to disability office
– Participate in the interactive process to determine
reasonable accommodations
– Assist with implementation of reasonable accommodations
– Hold student accountable to academic/clinical standards of
the program
Meghan Wilson's impossible dream to be doctor comes true
Paralyzed 17 years ago, she gets her M.D. from Pitt Monday.
May 19, 2013 Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Meghan Wilson chats with her personal aide, Laura Leigh Watson, 20, on their way to a meeting at the School of Medicine in April
Read more:
Student who is low vision (birth) is admitted into the SOM
Admitted in 2000, no technical standards
Multiple problems with technology
Established precedent that SOM procures technology (magnifier for ENT care)
Agree to loan technology to UPMC for residency
Student who is an individual with a spinal cord injury (C-4/5) is admitted into
the SOM
Established technical standards are waived (2005)
University is committed to non standard degree program
Student agrees to pay for all required intermediary services*
Clinical faculty determine what procedures/courses can be done by intermediary or waived
Student who is blind (acquired) is admitted DPT
Technical standards were not established (2009)
Significant problems with came into play for accessing images in textbooks, etc. School takes
on responsibility for hiring pictorial describer
No ability to make EMR’s accessible
Student could not effectively/safely execute procedures on patients
Student is dismissed from program
OCR investigated no discrimination
Student who is congenital dominate arm amputee is admitted into SON
Nurse Anesthesia masters degree program
Student did not disclose disability
Multiple problems with technology
Long delays in waiting for CDC and other regulatory agencies approval for prosthetic
equipment in OR
Hospital staff not willing to work with student
What we learned
1. Disability office must be actively engaged in the
2. Disability office must actively and continuously
educate the health sciences community about the
rights of students with disabilities.
3. Department faculty must continually be engaged in
the process.
4. Clinical faculty and staff at clinical sites must be
actively engaged in the process
5. The interactive process must continue at all levels

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