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Old 09-13-05, 10:36 PM
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Arrow Guide to ADA Accommodations

A lot of the problems we see in here are relatively easy to solve through the use of the Americans with Disabilities here's the skinny:

All public universities in the United States are required to comply with the ADA. This means they have to provide a learning environment which allows for equal learning by all individuals, no matter what the disability. ADHD is acknowledged as a disability, and so all public institutions are required to provide accommodations.

Your college has an office dedicated to this. Many colleges have special names for them, to try and put things nicely, but they all do the same thing. At my college, Ohio University, it's the "Office of Institutional Equity," but that's a silly name meaning "Disability Services."

Upon locating and contacting this office, you are well on your way to accommodations for ADHD. You will be asked to meet with an individual with that office whose job is to assess need and verify disability. You will need to provide that person with a doctor-written diagnosis. He will check into it, and you're set to go.

Common accommodations in Universities for ADHD include:

Extended test-taking time
Private places to take tests
Free tutoring
Use of a tape recorder/word processor to take notes

As well as the fact that many universities provide psychiatric and psychological counseling services.

At Ohio University, I currently have all of the above accommodations, though I don't necessarily use them all the time. It's good to know they're there when I need them, though.

I hope this very brief guide helps people. I'm willing to help people get accommodations at their universities by helping them do the legwork, but I really can't do much. If anyone has questions, I can try to find answers, because I'm familiar with the ADA and with bureaucracy.
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Old 10-06-05, 11:26 AM
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does anyone know which part or parts of the ADA apply to students in professional program
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Old 10-06-05, 08:33 PM
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How about modifications in the job area?
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Old 10-06-05, 09:50 PM
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ADA, Accommodations, and You

ADA, Accommodations, and You

Since its passage in 1990, the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) has stripped away the barriers that have restricted individuals with disabilities from reaching their full potential in the employment arena and from participating in the richness of activities offered by our communities. Simply stated, ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against disabled individuals in employment, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications.

Here we’re concerned with the employment provisions of the ADA, which have been in effect since 1992. These rules have one simple goal—to bring Americans with disabilities into the work force. The ADA prohibits employers and employment agencies from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, promotions, dismissals, compensation, and job training. (What constitutes “qualified” is discussed in more detail later.)

What does the ADA mean for you in terms of employment? First, what’s a disability? Under the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits an individual’s major life activities. This definition also applies to individuals who have had a history or record of an impairment and to those individuals who are perceived as having an impairment. The ADA not only covers discernible disabilities—impaired sight or hearing, stuttering, muscular and neurological disorders, for example—but also less obvious impairments, such as cancer, epilepsy, emotional disturbances, and learning disabilities. The law also protects individuals who have the AIDS virus or AIDS from discrimination, and it offers the same protection to recovered alcoholics and recovered drug addicts. The ADA does not cover occasional or chronic alcoholics or illegal drug users. It also doesn’t cover temporary conditions, like a broken leg or a sprained wrist.

The law says that an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability—but what constitutes “qualified”? You’re a qualified individual if you can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation and meet the employer’s objective requirements for the job, such as field of study, technical skills, and GPA. It’s important to recognize that it is not the employer’s responsibility to make you qualified for the job; nor is it the employer’s responsibility to change the job requirements to fit your individual qualifications. The ADA is not a guarantee of a job: Instead, it levels the playing field so that you’re judged on your job-related abilities. The guiding principle behind the ADA is that the focus should be on the job seeker’s abilities, not his or her disabilities.

An employer must make reasonable accommodations in the recruitment process or to the job itself for a qualified individual with a disability. The ADA defines “reasonable accommodations” as accommodations that do not impose undue hardship on the employer. An accommodation that causes the employer significant expense or difficulty is considered an undue hardship under the ADA; however, remember that what is considered a significant expense for one employer may not be for another. The nature and cost of the accommodations are weighed against such factors as the overall financial resources of the organization, the number of employees, the size of the company budget, the number and types of facilities owned by the company, and whether the accommodation would be disruptive to the company’s purpose. That means that the very same accommodation could be reasonable in one workplace and create undue hardship in another. For example, providing $12,000 adaptive equipment for computer use might be reasonable for a large corporation but unreasonable for a small business. Many of the accommodations that you may have been accustomed to in the educational setting—like readers, note takers, or interpreters—may not be considered reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

It has become common for employers to ask applicants up front to advise them of any type of accommodation needed to the recruitment process—a change in the interview site to one that is accessible, or an alteration to a preemployment test, for example. If you are made this offer and you know you may need an accommodation, advise the employer. The fact that you may need an accommodation during the recruitment process has no bearing on whether or not you’ll need an accommodation to perform the job.

While employers are free to ask you to advise them about accommodations to the recruitment process, they are not permitted to ask if you have a disability—and they’re also not allowed to ask about the nature and extent of the disability. Generally speaking, at this stage employers can ask about your ability to perform job-related functions, but they can’t ask you if you need an accommodation to do a particular job or what type of accommodation you might need to do the work. And, they can’t require you to submit to a preemployment physical before extending a job offer to you. After the employer has made a job offer to you, the employer can require that you take a medical exam—as long as all other candidates who have received job offers from the employer are also required to take it.

The whole issue of when you should discuss accommodations to the job is tricky, and ultimately the decision is yours. Legally, during the recruitment process, you don’t need to bring up job accommodations; moreover, if you are not fully aware of what the job requires, you’re not really prepared to discuss accommodations. Legally, the employer can’t ask you about the need for a job accommodation until after making you a job offer. You need to understand, however, that many employers don’t know very much about accommodations. For example, the employer may not be aware that, in some cases, no accommodation is necessary. Or, the employer may be unaware of the variety of accommodations that can be made—and may in fact think that there are no reasonable accommodations for certain impairments. The employer may also be unaware of how simple (and inexpensive) many types of accommodations are—raising a desk off the floor to provide wheelchair access, for example. The employer lacks the knowledge that you have—but can’t ask you to share that knowledge in the preemployment stage.

Keep in mind that the interview is where you’re showcasing your abilities and skills, and it’s not inappropriate for you to touch upon accommodations that you used to perform a project or assignment that highlights your abilities and talents. You can let the employer know if you performed without an accommodation, if that’s been the case, or you can let the employer know what modifications enabled you to carry out a project, responsibility, or assignment. Remember, however, that your conversation should focus on the end result, the achievement.

If you choose to discuss accommodations to a particular job before you’ve received a job offer, proceed with caution. Before you discuss any job or workplace accommodations, learn as much as possible about the job and its work site. Ask the employer questions regarding the exact job requirements and be sure to ask about the facility in which the job is performed. If possible, tour the plant or office to get a feel for the work and the workplace. By researching the job and workplace, you’ll be better able to discuss job accommodations, should you choose to do so prior to being made an offer. And, when discussing possible accommodations—either before or after you’ve received a job offer—you need only discuss accommodations, not your disability.

What if you are asked an illegal question about your disability? You have three basic options: You can remind the employer about the ADA’s restrictions on questions related to disabilities; you can try to answer the question behind the illegal question—Is the employer really asking if you have the ability to do the job?—or, you can answer the illegal question. In the end, it’s up to you to decide how to handle such a situation. The good news is that most employers now have had several years of experience with the ADA and are versed in the dos and don’ts of the law; your chances of being confronted with an illegal question are much slighter than might have been the case a few years ago.

Finally, remember that the ADA’s bottom line is this: All job seekers have a right to be judged on their abilities, and that’s what you should focus on in your job interviews. Showcase your talents. Let the employer know what you have to offer to the organization—and what you will bring to the position.

The Job Accommodation Network

Need information on accommodations that might enable you to perform job functions? Want more information on the ADA? You can get free, accurate, up-to-date information from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the President’s Committee on the Employment of People With Disabilities.

JAN can provide you with information on:

* type of accommodation needed;
* estimated cost of accommodations (FYI: Most of the accommodations JAN suggests cost less than $1,000, which is good information to pass along to your employer);
* name, address, telephone number of manufacturer/distributor of the product that may be necessary for the accommodation;
* listing of resources and products designed for people with disabilities.

Call JAN toll-free at 1-800/JAN-7234 (voice/TDD) in the United States or 1-800/JAN-2262 (voice/TDD) in Canada. You can also get answers to general questions about the ADA through JAN by calling toll-free 1-800/ADA-WORK (voice/TDD). Or tap into JAN through its computer bulletin board (1-800/DIAL-JAN). You can also write for information to JAN, West Virginia University, PO Box 6080, Morgantown WV 26506-6080.

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Old 10-11-05, 01:26 PM
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An couple of additional accommodations my pyschiatrist ask for on my behalf at Capella University, an online university based in Minneapolis, MN, that I use most often is:

1. Additional time to submit assignments without points deducted for tardiness. It is usually an additional week, in more cases.
2. Two-week Advanced Receipt of the Detailed Course Syllabus prior to the course start date.

Like the other poster, I do not us the second one often but the first has increased my weekly scores by several points, enough to change my grade from C to B or B to A, because I no longer am penalized for late postings.
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