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Transition Handbook




Reasonable Accommodations for Students
Who are Otherwise Qualified

Federal law requires that no "otherwise" qualified person with a disability shall be denied a benefit or opportunity or excluded from participation solely on the basis of that disability. An individual with a disability is qualified if, with or without reasonable accommodation, they meet the same eligibility requirements and standards of behavior and performance demanded of anyone else.

The question of whether provision of an accommodation is necessary for an institution of higher education may not hinge on whether or not the person has a disability, but rather on whether or not the accommodation needed is reasonable.

In some instances, an individual with a disability may need no accommodation to fully meet the eligibility criteria and standards required for inclusion. In some instances, the individual with a disability may meet the criteria and standards provided that a reasonable accommodation is provided or a modification is made. In some instances, an individual with a disability may be able to meet the eligibility criteria or standards only if an accommodation is made that goes beyond what is "reasonable." In these instances, the person with a disability is not otherwise qualified and it is not discriminatory to exclude them from the benefit or opportunity.

There are three kinds of accommodations that are not considered reasonable:

  1. It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation or allowing participation poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
  2. It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum (educational viewpoint) or a substantial alteration in the manner in which you provide your services.
  3. It is not a reasonable accommodation if it poses an undue financial or administrative burden.

A student must meet the attendance, conduct and course requirements of the university. It is important to separate personal skills and behaviors from academic requirements. A student should be graded utilizing the same criteria used for all students.