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Access - Americans with Disabilities Act

Access - Americans with Disabilities Act

It is the policy of Alpena Community College (ACC) to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). These acts provide for equal opportunity for students with disabilities in educational activities, programs, and facilities. ACC is committed to affording equal opportunity to persons with disabilities by providing access to its programs, activities, and services.

For additional details, view the Access for Students with Disabilities document 

The Law and its Implications
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, “No otherwise qualified individuals with handicaps in the United States… shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”.  Since Alpena Community College receives federal financial assistance, the Rehabilitation Act applies.

The Americans with Disabilities Act also applies to ACC by prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications relay services.

Both the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA require that ACC make reasonable accommodations to allow otherwise qualified individuals to participate in a program or activity.

These laws do not mean that academic standards should or will be lowered. Nothing in the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA abridges the freedom of an institution to establish academic requirements and standards. Before ACC is required to make an accommodation, the individual must make her or his disabilities known. She/he must also establish that they are otherwise qualified by meeting the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the program or activity.

Determining a reasonable disability accommodation in the post secondary learning environment requires individual analysis. The key is accommodating the disability, not altering course content.

Materials written by Patricia Almon of Marquette University and Keith Leafdale of Oklahoma Community College are used in this publication with permission from the authors.