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Faculty Legal Insight on Disabilities

Two of the primary laws that effect higher education and disability are Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Title II of ADA, as it is commonly referred to, states that: "No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

Section 504 defines a person with a disability as "any person who...

At Texas Tech University, a "qualified person with a disability" is defined as one who "meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the educational program or activity."

Section 504, along with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, protects the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities. Section 504 contains more specific information regarding compliance issues in post secondary institutions. However, the ADA legislation extends the law to private institutions of higher education as well as those receiving federal funding.

Disabling conditions may include:

Acquired Brain Injuries
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Blindness/Visual Impairments
Cerebral Palsy
Deafness/Hearing Impairments
Learning Disabilities
Orthopedic/Mobility Impairments
Psychological Disorders
Speech and Language Disorders
Spinal Cord Injuries
Tourette's Disorder

Chronic Illnesses may include:

Epstein Barr Virus
Lyme's Disease
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscular Dystrophy
Renal Disease/Failure

Texas Tech University is required to provide reasonable accommodations that allow students with disabilities equal access to an education. It is important to note that Section 504 does not require institutions to alter their academic standards.

As specified by Section 504, Texas Tech University may not:

Modifications and accommodations that Texas Tech University provides for qualified students with disabilities may include:

What is a reasonable accommodation?