Rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities
Individuals with disabilities at Penn State have the right to:
- Not be denied access due to a disability.
- An equal opportunity to work and to learn, and to receive reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disability, except as disclosures are required or permitted by law;
- Information in accessible formats;
- Receive reasonable accommodations that provide equal opportunity;
- Receive assistance from the Disability Service Office in removing physical, academic, and attitudinal barriers;
- Not be discriminated against due to a disability or receive retaliatory discrimination.
Individuals with disabilities at Penn State have the responsibility to:
- Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities;
- Identify themselves as an individual with a disability and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary;
- Demonstrate and/or document (from an appropriate professional) how the disability limits their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities;
- Follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services;
- Assume responsibility for testing procedures and notifying faculty and Disability Services accordingly;
- Provide for his/her personal independent living needs or other personal disability-related needs.
Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty
- Request verification from the Student Disability Resources office for any student requesting classroom accommodations. Students Disability Resources is the only office designated to review disability documentation and determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations.
- Expect the student to initiate an accommodation request.
- If the student is taking their test through Student Disability Resources, expect SDR to administer exams in a secure and monitored environment.
Faculty do not need to consider a student’s request for classroom accommodations if the student has not provided an accommodation form from Student Disability Resources for that semester.
A faculty member has the right to question recommended accommodation request in the following situation:
- If he/she believes the student is not otherwise qualified
- The accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration of the program or an essential component of the course
- The institution is being asked to address a personal need
- The accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden.
Accommodation requests are based on documentation on file in Student Disability Resources, if warranted, temporary or provisional services are provided while documentation is being obtained. Due to confidentiality, the nature of the disability may not be disclosed to the faculty unless there is a specific need to know or signed student consent. Students are encouraged to self-disclose the nature of their disability and specific functional limitations related to their disability based on their level of comfort.
All Penn State Altoona students must adhere to the University Code of Conduct regardless of whether they have a disability. Infractions of this code should be directed to Student Accountability and Conflict Response. If the student has been identified as a student with a disability, this information should be provided to facilitate collaboration with the coordinator of Student Disability Resource.
It is the faculty member’s right to request a written agreement before allowing the student to audio record the class. Forms may be obtained from Student Disability Resources.
- Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, aids and knowledge of their courses and evaluate students on this basis. Students with disabilities should meet the same course expectations as their peer.
- Work to ensure that all audio-visual materials and web based materials used in class are accessible (e.g., that videos shown are captioned, and have availability of audio descriptions of graphs and charts, and audio tracks have transcript or captioning to describe important information.)
- Use a syllabus statement and class announcements to invite students to disclose their needs.
- Treat and protect all disability-related information as confidential. Faculty does not have the right to ask students if they have a disability. Due to confidentiality, the nature of the disability may not be disclosed to the faculty unless there is a specific need to know or a signed student consent5. Students are encouraged to self-disclose the nature of their disability and specific functional limitations related to their disability based on their level of comfort.
- For proctored testing through Student Disability Resources, the online testing modification form must completed in a timely manner. Student Disability Resources requires 3 days’ notice for all exam request.
It is the responsibility of the faculty to assume a shared responsibility in providing reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities.
If a faculty member is notified by a student that she/he has a disability or if the student brings a medical statement to the instructor, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to refer that student with his/her medical statement to Student Disability Resources. If a student is having academic difficulty, encourage them to talk with you about possible campus resources.
Maintain appropriate confidentiality and discretion regarding both records and verbal communication with working with students with disabilities. Any explicit or implicit inference to a student and the disability is inappropriate.
Rights and Responsibility of Penn State.
Penn State has the right to:
- Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge, and standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities and to evaluate students on this basis.
- Request and receive, through Disability Services current documentation that supports requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and service.
- Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted, if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation, or the request alters the essential components of the course.
- Select among equally effective accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Refuse an unreasonable accommodation, adjustment, and/or auxiliary aid and service that impose a fundamental alteration to a program or activity of the University.
Penn State has the responsibility to:
- Provide information to faculty, staff, students, and the general public with disabilities in accessible formats upon request.
- Ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are available and usable in the most integrated and appropriate setting.
- Provide or arrange reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services for faculty, staff, students, and guests with disabilities in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communications.
- To prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.
- To assist the student with self-advocacy and problem solving.
- To guide the student to possible resources that might assist him or her, whether it is on campus on networking in the community.