As an adult student with a disability, you may face a variety of obstacles unique to only you. Earning your degree here at UAC may at times be challenging, as it should be, but Disability Support Services is here to assist you in “leveling the playing field,” so to speak.
It is important for you to know that you do have a legal right to have equal access to a college education. The United States’ Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act establish that right. The ADA defines “disability” as “having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.” The ADA protects individuals from discrimination if they have a record of such impairments or if they are regarded as having such impairments. An individual with a disability is someone:
- With a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity;
- Who has a record of such an impairment;
- Who is regarded as having such an impairment
Section 504 prohibits discriminating on the basis of disability against participants in programs receiving federal funds. Campuses are required to be physically and programmatically accessible. Colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure equal access to college offerings. The ADA defines reasonable accommodation as: “changes or adjustments in a school site, program, or job that makes it possible for an otherwise qualified student with a disability to perform the duties or tasks required.” Colleges are not required to provide personal aides or assistants. A student with a disability is to have what is needed so that they may access every activity (or its equivalent) that is available to other students. Colleges are not expected to provide something which will cause an “undue hardship” on the college. “Undue hardship” is defined as: “action requiring significant difficulty or expense” when considered in light of factors such as: nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the overall size, resources, nature and structure of the college’s operation. Alternatives which may serve in place of the specific accommodation should be considered.
One of the major results this legislation has been the development of disability support services on college campuses. It is the goal of UAC Disability Support Services to assist students with disabilities in identifying what obstacles they may face based upon documentation of a disability and to work closely with the student in determining how we can overcome the obstacles together. It is important to remember that the keys to being successful as an adult student with a disability are: knowing your rights, knowing your responsibilities, and helping yourself. As Disability Support Counselor, I feel it is important for my students to know that I very much enjoy working with them to creatively find ways to solve any problems we may come across. I look forward to getting to know you better and assisting you in achieving your academic goals. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions, concerns, or comments.
Suzanne Ward, Counselor
Disability Support Services
1411 N. Constitution Ave, Ashdown, AR 71822
183 College Drive, DeQueen, AR 71832
1558 Hwy 371 W, Nashville, AR 71852
Phone: (800) 844-4471 Ext. 5261
Fax: (870) 898-4552
- Disability Support Services Home
- Requesting Academic Accommodations
- Common Accommodations
- Grievance Procedures