Access for Students with Disabilities
August 1, 2020
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Minnesota State University, Mankato recognizes that disability is an aspect of diversity and students with disabilities must be ensured equitable access to programs, opportunities, and activities at the University.
All programs, services, facilities, technology resources, and activities of the University, when viewed in their entirety, will be accessible to and usable by students with disabilities. All classes, meetings, programs, or other events will be held in facilities that are accessible. Announcements of meetings or other events will contain a statement indicating the availability of accommodation of disabilities upon request.
Requests for accommodation must be initiated by the student and supported by documentation of the disability. Reasonable accommodations may include: alterations to rules, policies, or practices, removal of architectural or communication barriers, and/or the provision of auxiliary aids.
Minnesota State University, Mankato has the right to refuse to provide an accommodation that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, constitutes a substantial change or alteration to an essential element of a course or program, results in undue financial or administrative hardship to the University, or is considered a personal device or service (i.e. wheelchairs, hearing aids, personal transportation).
All students with a disability may request accommodation through Accessibility Resources.
Responsibilities of students seeking accommodation for their disability include:
- Self-identify as an individual with a disability through Minnesota State University, Mankato Accessibility Resources.
- Provide current documentation from an appropriate professional that describes the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
- Follow specific Accessibility Resources procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, including meeting timelines each semester. Faculty and staff are not required to provide accommodations when students do not fulfill their responsibilities.
- Abide by the Minnesota State University, Mankato Student Code of Conduct.
- Meet the University’s qualifications and essential technical, academic, and institutional standard
Responsibilities of Accessibility Resources include:
- Determine eligibility for participation of students with disabilities in the accommodations process based upon a review of appropriate documentation.
- Determine reasonable accommodations for each student based on the individual’s disability related needs.
- Assure the student receives appropriate accommodations.
- Support and advise faculty and department staff regarding student disability accommodations as they relate to program standards.
Responsibilities of faculty and staff include:
- Understand and comply with the University’s policies and procedures for providing accommodations to students with disabilities.
- Notify students, through the class syllabi and/or departmental electronic and printed materials, that accommodations are available.
- Discuss with Accessibility Resources staff any concerns related to the accommodation(s) or arrangements that have been requested by the student.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality of information and communication regarding students with disabilities, except as permitted/required by law
- Determine the essential elements and academic standards of the course or program.
Denial of Accommodation Request Grievance
This grievance process shall apply to situations where a student has followed the established procedures to request accommodations on the basis of disability and the request has been denied or otherwise not provided.
- Written or emailed grievances should be filed within 30 days of the date the incident occurred with the Director of Accessibility Resources.
Discrimination Complaint Procedures
- If an informal resolution is not reached through the Denial of Accommodation Request Grievance filed with Accessibility Resources, the student should file a complaint through the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX (507-389-2986; email@example.com)
- Students also may file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html) or with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (www.humanrights.state.mn.us). The Statute of Limitations for filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights is 180 days from the date the incident occurred.
Confidentiality and Maintenance of Records
All disability-related documentation will be centralized in a confidential file in Accessibility Resources. Departments, faculty, and staff may not access diagnostic or other information regarding a student’s disability and may not keep copies of such documentation. Information concerning a student’s disability should be disclosed only to those with a legitimate “need to know”. Sharing of information with other faculty and staff needs to be balanced with the student’s interest while maintaining their privacy. Confidentiality is not maintained in the case of child abuse, suicidal or homicidal intent.
A confidential file is maintained on each student that includes demographics, documentation of the disability, a record of each contact and action taken. An electronic database is utilized for caseload management purposes for Accessibility Resources staff only. Student records will be shredded seven years after the last contact, but Accessibility Resources will maintain a record of each student and their dates of affiliation with the Office.
Minnesota State University, Mankato, is committed to achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for persons with disabilities. Achieving full participation and integration of individuals with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts of all the departments, offices, and personnel. Assurance of equal educational opportunity rests upon legal foundations established by federal law, specifically the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 including Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.
By federal law, a person with a disability is any person who: 1) has a physical or mental impairment; 2) has a record of such impairment; or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, or learning.
A qualified individual is a person who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for receipt of services or participation in a university program or activity. Essential eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in an education program or activity. (MnSCU Board Policy 1B.4, Subpart C)