Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act provides:

  • That no student may be excluded from any program or any course solely on the basis of disability;
  • That modifications in degree or course requirements may be necessary to meet the requirements of some disabled students;
  • That auxiliary aides, such as tape recorders, must be permitted in the classroom when they are required to ensure the full participation of disabled students;
  • That alternate testing and evaluation methods for measuring student achievement will be necessary for students with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those are skills being measured);
  • That classes may have to be relocated to permit access for students with mobility impairments;
  • That special teaching equipment or devices used in the classroom (and in some cases teaching techniques that rely upon the sight, hearing, or mobility of students) may require adaptation in individual cases; and
  • That it is discriminatory to counsel disabled students toward more restrictive careers than non disabled students unless such counsel is based on strict licensing or certification requirements in a profession.
     

Admission & Transition:
Norwich University will not discriminate against any applicant, who is otherwise qualified, solely on the basis of disability. No inquiry will be made regarding any possible disabling condition until after the admission decision has been made and the applicant informed of acceptance or rejection.

Physical Standard:
Because of the physical training component of the Corps of Cadets program, a physical examination is required for all students admitted to that program. A physical examination is also required of any student participating in intercollegiate sports. Students must meet certain standards of physical ability to participate in these programs. In addition, all students admitted to Norwich University will receive a standard form requesting information about diagnosed disabilities which may have an impact on functioning in the college setting.

Note: Disability disclosure on the University form is purely voluntary; the form must be returned to the University, regardless.

Documentation Procedure:
Any student who has identified him/herself as having a disability shall submit the following as written documentation in order for accommodations to be made. As appropriate to the type and severity of the disability, written documentation must include: A comprehensive neurological, medical, psychological or educational report by an appropriate licensed medical or educational specialist. This report must contain:

  • Date of evaluation and/or date of original diagnosis and diagnostic statement identifying the disability with a medical or DSM-V code (learning disability reports may be no more than five years old; AD/HD reports, no more than three).
  • Explanation of diagnostic criteria and/or evaluation measures used with all test scores included;
  • Explanation of current/future functional impact of the condition;
  • Services, accommodations, treatment, medication, and/or assistive devices currently in use or prescribed;
  • Credentials of diagnosing professional(s) [all reports must be on standard-size letterhead, signed by the evaluator(s)].
     

Requests for Accommodation:
When information is received relating to a disability, which may directly affect the academic, psychological or environmental lifestyle of the student, the appropriate university departments or individuals (e.g. Counseling, Commandant’s office, Dean of Students, Infirmary, faculty) can be contacted to coordinate the necessary accommodation only after the student’s permission is secured. The following is the procedure.

  1. Information will go to the Director of the Academic Achievement Center for review. If documentation is not sufficient, the student will be referred for further evaluation/verification.
  2. The Director will determine student eligibility. If the student chooses, an educational profile may be developed listing suggestions for classroom accommodations. (NOTE: The student must formally register with the AAC before accommodations can be arranged.)
  3. The Director at the signed request of the student will send the academic advisor and course professors a copy of the educational profile. The student must then meet with these individuals to assist with developing a plan for the execution of accommodations pertinent to each distinct course; this should be done within the first two weeks of classes with or without direct consultation with the AAC Director. A written contract can be agreed upon, signed by both parties and sent to the Academic Achievement Center Director for placement in the student’s file.
  4. Decisions about specific adjustments to the Educational Profile can be made only in consultation with the student and further diagnostic information; the AAC Director may then revise the list of legal accommodations included in the student’s profile. (NOTE: All accommodations must be based on comprehensive, written diagnostic information from a qualified professional. They cannot be based on school programming reports (IEPs), notes or short letters, conversations or informal observations.)
  5. Degree requirements will not be waived for students with disabilities, but course substitutions may be petitioned for in extreme circumstances where accommodations alone have been demonstrated as insufficient to serve the needs of an otherwise qualified disabled student.
     

Confidentiality:
The material provided by the student or by professionals who have been involved in the student’s diagnosis or treatment will be treated as confidential information. Access will be granted only to those involved in the process described above, and only to the extent that it contributes to developing an individual educational plan for the student. Information will be shared with others only with the written permission of the student.

Appeal:

  1. Any student dissatisfied with the adjustments made to accommodate a disability will have the right to appeal. The appeal process will be as follows:
  2. A written statement will be sent by the student to the Director of Human Resources, the University ADA/504 Coordinator: This statement should include all the relevant information and should request clear remedial action.
  3. Based on this statement, the Coordinator will either:
    1. Reactivate the individual planning process, or determine that the plan as developed is appropriate.
    2. Reject the appeal; it may be resubmitted to the Committee on Academic Standing and Degrees (CASD)
  4. CASD will conduct an informal hearing on the issue, and either change the individual plan or sustain the original decision.
  5. The final level of appeal will be the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University or a designee. This decision will be final.