It is the policy of Midwestern University to ensure that no qualified student with a disability is excluded from participation in or subjected to discrimination in any University program, activity, or event. Midwestern University makes reasonable accommodations to the physical and mental limitations of students to the extent that such accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on the conduct of its business. Disabled students’ rights are protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and its amendments (2008). Section 504 prohibits any program or activity, which receives federal funding from discriminating against qualified persons with disabilities in employment as well as all other activities. The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (42 U.S.C. d12101 et seq.) was developed “to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.”
Midwestern University has developed a set of technical standards. Students must meet the technical standards for their program throughout their period of enrollment. Individual programs at Midwestern University may include additional expectations related to essential functions or job duties specific to the practice of that profession. These standards do not apply to the Clinical Psychology Program.
Disability: The term "disability" means, with respect to an individual; a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; b) a record of such an impairment; or c) being regarded as having such an impairment. (42 U.S.C. § 12102 (as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008) Even if a condition is an impairment, it is not automatically a disability. To rise to the level of a disability, an impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities.
Impairment: A physical or mental impairment means; a) any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or b) any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. 28 C.F.R. § 35.104; 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 (under the original ADA)
Major Life Activity: Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. (42 U.S.C. § 12102 (as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008)
Substantially Limits: The term "substantially limits" means; a) unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or b) significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform that same major life activity. 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(j) - Substantially Limits (under the original ADA)
Policies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities
Midwestern University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Toward this end, Midwestern University policies and procedures ensure that students with a disability will not, on the basis of that disability, be denied full and equal access to academic and co-curricular programs or activities or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under programs offered by the University.
To ensure full implementation, three important areas have to be considered:
1. The right of the University to set and maintain standards for admitting and evaluating the progress of students.
2. The right of the student with a disability to be included on the basis of criteria that does not unfairly discriminate because of the disability.
3. The right of the faculty to establish and monitor standards of academic performance and to assess content domains.
- Request current documentation from a student completed by an appropriate professional source to verify the need for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
- Discuss a student’s need for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids with the professional source of his/her documentation with the student’s signed consent authorizing such discussion.
- Select among equally effective and appropriate accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids in consultation with students with disabilities.
- Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids if the documentation fails to verify the need for the requested services, or the documentation is not provided in a timely manner.
- Refuse to provide an accommodation, adjustment, and/or auxiliary aids that is/are inappropriate or unreasonable including any that:
- Pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others;
- Constitute a substantial change or alteration to an essential element of a course or program; or,
- Pose undue financial or administrative burden on the University or student.
- Ensure that University courses, programs, services, job opportunities, activities, and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are offered in the most integrated and appropriate settings possible.
- Provide information regarding policies and procedures to students with disabilities and assure its availability in accessible formats upon request.
- Evaluate students on their abilities, not their disabilities.
- Provide to a student reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids following a timely request.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication concerning students with disabilities except where disclosure is required by law or authorized by the student.
Rights and Responsibilities of Students
- Equal access to courses, rotations, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the University.
- Reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Appropriate confidentiality of all information pertaining to his/her disability with the reasonable choice of whom to disclose their disability to except as required by law.
- Information reasonably available in accessible formats.
- Meet the University’s and individual program’s qualifications and essential technical, academic, professional and institutional standards as any other student.
- Identify themselves in a timely manner as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation.
- Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
- Follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids.
- Have the responsibility to advocate for their own individual needs and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary, and within reason, to be effective self-advocates.
Rights and Responsibilities of the Faculty
- Identify and establish the abilities, skills, and knowledge that are fundamental to academic programs/courses and to evaluate each student’s performance against these standards. Fundamental program and course standards are not subject to modifications, although a student with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodations to assist him/her to meet the program/course standards.
- Determine which modification/accommodation it will provide the student with the goal of assuring that such modifications/accommodations are effective and to impose reasonable rules for the provision of academic adjustments and auxiliary aids.
- Select and administer tests used to evaluate students so as to best ensure that test results accurately reflect aptitudes or competencies and do not discriminate against a student with a disability. Tests designed to measure specific skills related to fundamental standards are allowable even when those skills are impacted by the disability.
- Has the responsibility to evaluate students in a nondiscriminatory manner.
Procedures and Information Regarding Requests for Accommodations
The following procedures and information serve as a guide for students seeking special accommodations for disabilities.
A written application for accommodation of a disability must be made by the student (RADA). Verbal disclosure prior to or following admission is not sufficient. Students may apply for special accommodations anytime during their academic curriculum, however, if granted, the accommodation is given only for the academic year in which it is requested. Subsequent applications must follow for each academic year the student is requesting accommodations (including requests during clinical rotations, clerkships, preceptorships, internships, or any other off-campus programs that are part of the students’ required college/program curriculum). In the following section ‘Dean of Students’ refers to the Dean of Students or his/her designee.