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Louisiana Tech University


Policies & Procedures

Policy 1433 - Americans with Disabilities Policy

Revision Date: 10/25/2013

Responsible Office: Dean of Student Development

Reference: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended; University of Louisiana System, Policy M-11, Board Rule Chapter 3, Section XIX


PURPOSE

To state the policy of Louisiana Tech University to provide equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to disability in the recruitment of, admission to, participation in, treatment in or employment in the programs and activities operated and sponsored by the University in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and other related federal and state law.

DEFINITIONS

Federal regulations provide the following definitions:

An individual with a disability is any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity, (2) has a record of such impairments, or (3) is regarded as having such impairment.

With respect to post-secondary services, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets the academic and other eligibility standards requisite to admission or participation in the recipient’s education program or activity.

POLICY

It is the policy of Louisiana Tech University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 504 and the ADA require that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University. Consistent with the requirements of the ADA, opportunities afforded generally to University students are equally afforded to students with disabilities.   The University enforces a policy that requires the deployment of accessible technology and course content in the University setting.  To that end, the University shall conduct a review of the accessibility of its technology and instructional materials and shall ensure that all technology, including websites, instructional materials and online courses, and other electronic and information technology for use by students or prospective students, is accessible.  The policy regarding the requirement of deploying accessible technology in the University setting follows this section.  

It is the policy of Louisiana Tech to respond to requests for accommodation(s) from qualified individuals and provide reasonable accommodations necessary to ensure equal access to employment, education opportunities, programs, services, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate.

1. Employees and Applicants for Employment

Louisiana Tech University will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required, affording equal employment opportunity to qualified disabled individuals. Reasonable accommodations will be provided by the employing unit/department in a timely and cost effective manner. Employment opportunities shall not be denied because of the need to make reasonable accommodations to an individual’s disability.

It is the responsibility of the individual employee or applicant to request accommodations from the Department of Human Resources. In all cases in which a reasonable accommodation is requested, the University representative receiving the request should comply with the ADA Employment Guidelines (Department of Human Resources).

2. Students and Applicants for Student Status

The University shall not discriminate on the basis of disability in any academic program or activity associated with the University and will integrate students with disabilities into the University community to the fullest extent possible. Qualified applicants with disabilities will not be denied admission or subjected to discrimination in admission or recruitment to the University on the basis of their disability. In its recruitment efforts, the University shall not limit the number of persons with disabilities who may be admitted. All admission criteria and testing will be selected, administered, and evaluated in a manner that is accessible and accurately reflects the applicant’s ability.

Applicants for admission may voluntarily self-identify as a person with a disability in the admissions process and will be routinely provided information on services available to students with disabilities at the University. A decision not to self-identify will not result in adverse treatment of the applicant. 

In all cases in which a student or applicant for student status requests an accommodation based upon disability, advice and assistance from the Office of Disability Services (318-257-4221) or ADA Coordinator (318-257-2445) should be sought by the University representative receiving the request. Students and prospective students should be encouraged to contact and/or register with the Office of Disability Services to secure information regarding services and accommodations that are available.

3. University Public Services

The University shall not discriminate on the basis of disability in any sponsored activity, program or service but will make such activities, programs and services available to persons with disabilities to the fullest extent possible.

It is the responsibility of University personnel and administrators responsible for activities, programs and services to respond to requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities seeking access to such activities, programs and services. In determining an appropriate response, advice and assistance may be obtained from the Office of Disability Services (318-257-4221) or ADA Coordinator (318-257-2445).

General questions about such services should be directed through the Office of Disability Services or Administrative Services respectively. Contact information for each follows. (Please see Grievance Policy)

CONFIDENTIALITY

Disability-related documentation is to be treated as medical documentation which is to be kept confidential and is not to be released to anyone outside the area to which it was submitted or outside the direct chain of command unless determined to be provided on a need to know basis to other university personnel.

RETALIATION

The University shall not retaliate against any individual for filing a charge of discrimination, opposing any practice or act made unlawful by the ADA, for participating in any proceeding under the ADA, or for exercising rights or aiding or encouraging any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of his rights under the ADA. If subject to retaliation based on disability, the individual should report such action to the appropriate vice president or ADA Coordinator who will commence an immediate investigation into the allegation.

HARASSMENT

It is the policy of the University to provide a professional environment for members of the University community. Harassment on the basis of any of the following is unlawful: race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. If subjected to disability harassment, the individual should report such action to the appropriate university official–immediate supervisor, appropriate vice president, or ADA Coordinator–who will commence an immediate investigation into the allegation. If an individual has knowledge of disability harassment to another person or by another person, that individual should report such action to the ADA Coordinator.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Office of the President: Has final authority for all decisions regarding the implementation of this policy.
  2. Department of Human Resources: Is responsible for developing and administering procedures to provide for compliance with regard to employees and applicants for employment.
  3. Office of Testing and Disability Services: Coordinates disability-related support services and provides accommodations for enrolled qualified students with documented disabilities. Provides information on services for students with disabilities to potential students and their families and serves as a campus resource for matters concerning persons with disabilities. The University’s Office of Disability Services serves as the main point of contact on issues related to ADA compliance for all persons involved in providing class instruction at the University.  If a student makes a disability-related complaint to a person involved in providing class instruction, that person must notify the Office of Disability Services immediately so that the Office of Disability Services can ensure appropriate resolution of the complaint and, where appropriate, be involved in facilitating such resolution. 
  4. Physical Plant: Provides technical support on matters involving University facilities and premises and is responsible for monitoring accessibility of University facilities and premises by persons who are disabled. Monitors new construction and major repairs for compliance with codes and regulations.
  5. University ADA Council: Is responsible for continuing development, implementation and monitoring of the University’s compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, as applicable to the University. The Council membership includes the ADA Coordinator (Chair), Director of Admissions, Director of Human Resources, Director and Coordinator of Testing and Disability Services, Physical Plant representative, Assistant for Administrative Services (telecommunications/capital outlay/deferred maintenance), Director of the University Counseling and Career Center, and Rehabilitation Sciences staff member.

CONTACT INFORMATION

ADA Coordinator, Dr. Linda D. Griffin, Keeny Hall 315, (318) 257-3396

Administrative Services/Physical Plant, Mr. Joe Thomas, Keeny Hall 115, (318) 257-2769

Human Resources Director, Mrs. Sheila Trammel, Keeny Hall 418, (318) 257-2235

Testing and Disability Services, Director, Mrs. Stacy Gilbert, Wyly Tower 206, (318) 257-4730

Testing and Disability Services, Coordinator, Mr. Stacy Lolley, Wyly Tower 318, (318) 257-4221

POLICY FOR EMPLOYMENT ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES UNDER THE ADA-TITLE 1

This policy applies to faculty, unclassified staff and civil service employees. Student employees, graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants, and post-doctoral personnel should seek assistance with the student policy addressing accommodations for students with disabilities under the ADA.

POLICY

  1. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Louisiana Civil Rights Act, and Louisiana Tech policy prohibit discrimination in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Louisiana Tech University to provide reasonable accommodations when necessary for persons qualified under the ADA. These accommodations must be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis.

  2. It is the responsibility of the individual employee to identify him/herself as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation. It is also the responsibility of individual employees to document their disability (from an appropriately licensed professional) and to demonstrate how the disability limits their ability to perform the essential functions of their job or limits participation in programs or services of the university. Medical documentation will be kept confidential.

  3. Employees must maintain institutional standards of performance, attendance, and conduct as specified by the department or unit.

AREAS OF EMPLOYMENT ADDRESSED BY THIS  POLICY

  1. The performance of the essential functions of a position currently held by an employee or one being sought by a qualified employee or applicant.

  2. The application and selection process in which employees and applicants participate.

  3. Equal access to employee benefits and employment privileges such as training, facilities and university-sponsored events.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. All medical information or other information related to an individual’s request for accommodation is confidential and should be maintained in the University Department of Human Resources in Keeny Hall.

  2. Funding for accommodations will be handled in the same manner as any other departmental expenditure. If the unit has insufficient funds, it must seek additional resources through its regular administrative channels.

PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS

REQUESTING AN ACCOMMODATION TO PERFORM THE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF A POSITION

  1. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, requires reasonable accommodation as a means of overcoming unnecessary barriers that prevent or restrict employment opportunities for otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

  2. A person may request an accommodation to perform the essential functions of a position. This may be for the person’s current position or a position for which the person is applying.

  3. To receive an accommodation under the ADA, employees and applicants can complete an application with the Director of Human Resources in Keeny Hall, using the Faculty/Staff Accessibility Concern Form.

  4. During the initial meeting with the Director of Human Resources, two things will be accomplished:

    1. The Director of Human Resources will determine what documentation from a licensed professional is needed to support the employee’s request for accommodation.

    2. The responsibilities of the university and the employee will be clarified.

  5. After reviewing the documentation and the facts of each request, the Director of Human Resources will determine if the employee is eligible for accommodations under the ADA.
  6. The Director of Human Resources will review the essential functions of the job, the functional limitations of the disability, and the reasonableness of an accommodation. The Director of Human Resources will then facilitate a discussion with the supervisor/unit head/dean and the employee to determine what accommodations may be reasonable.
  7. The Director of Human Resources may seek advice from third-party experts when necessary. Only the University Department of Human Resources will retain medical documentation, which will be kept in a separate confidential file and will share medical information on a need-to-know basis. Supervisors will be informed of the functional limitations and the accommodation.
  8. It is the responsibility of the Director of Human Resources to determine the reasonable accommodation in a particular case after reviewing all the facts. The Director of Human Resources will outline the process for providing the accommodation, both verbally and in writing, to the employee and the department.
  9. The employee is responsible for contacting the Director of Human Resources if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective and timely manner or if the accommodations are not working. The Director of Human Resources will work with the employee and the department to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations.
  10. If an employee with a disability cannot be reasonably accommodated, continued employment will be considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with state and federal laws.

REQUESTING AN ACCOMMODATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SELECTION PROCESS OR TO PARTICIPATE IN EMPLOYMENT-RELATED UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS

  1. A person with a disability, whether an employee or applicant, who needs an accommodation to participate in a selection process (such as a test or an interview) for a university position must contact the department or unit that is administering the selection process to request an accommodation.

  2. An employee who meets the definition of a person with a disability and who needs an accommodation to participate in an employment-related university program, event, or benefit must contact the department or unit that is sponsoring or holding the program to request an accommodation.

  3. The request for accommodation must come in a timely manner to allow the department or unit to respond to the request.

  4. The department or unit that receives a request for an accommodation may contact the Director of Human Resources for assistance in determining if the individual is a person with a disability as defined by the ADA and, if so, for assistance in making a reasonable accommodation.

  5. The department or unit will document all requests for accommodations, responses to the requests, and forward any records to the Director of Human Resources.

GRIEVANCE POLICY FOR UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES

It is the policy of the University that issues concerning accommodation of persons with disabilities for employment and participation in academic and other programs, activities and services of the University should be expeditiously resolved between the person requesting the accommodation and the University employee representing the department within which the employment, academic program or other program, activity or service is located. If the person requesting an accommodation is not satisfied with the proposed accommodation, the following procedure should be utilized:

An individual who believes the university has not met its obligations under the ADA should contact the Director of Human Resources or the ADA Coordinator within thirty (30) days of an adverse decision by the Director of Human Resources. The employee can file a grievance via the Faculty/Staff Grievance Form, available in Human Resources, Keeny Hall 418, (318) 257-2235. The ADA Coordinator will convene the ADA Council, which will consider the request and render a decision within thirty (30) days after receiving the appeal.

Specific inquiries can be addressed to any of the following:

In each case the university representative will investigate the complaint and render a decision within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, if possible. If the grievant is not satisfied with the response, the grievant (within 30 days of notification) may appeal to the ADA Coordinator who will convene the ADA Council to review the complaint and make a recommendation to the President. The decision of the President will be communicated to the grievant and will be the final University administrative action on the grievance.

An individual has the right to file complaints of ADA violations with

US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYAV, Washington, DC 20530,

ADA Information Line: 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

Main Section Telephone Number: 202-307-0663 (voice and TTY)

Fax (202) 307-1197

TEXT BOOK ACCESSIBILITY POLICY STATEMENT

Louisiana Tech University is committed to providing a learning environment that affords equal access to instructional material to all members of the University community. Both Federal law and State law classify accessible instructional materials to be all forms of communication; therefore, materials must be available in a manner that is equally effective for persons with disabilities. These laws pertain to any material required by an instructor including (but not limited to) textbooks, software packages, websites, in-class assignments/resources, and supplemental reading.  Any questions relating to accessibility should be directed to the Department of Testing & Disability Services (tds@latech.edu or 257-4221). (Refer to Policy 2220 found at

http://www.latech.edu/administration/policies-and-procedures/2220.php.

POLICY REGARDING THE REQUIREMENT OF DEPLOYING ACCESSIBLE TECHNOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY SETTING

This Exhibit clarifies the requirements of Paragraph 13(a) of the Settlement Agreement between the United States of America, Louisiana Tech University, and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“Settlement Agreement”).

Under Paragraph 13(a), the University must implement a policy that requires the deployment of accessible technology and course content in the University setting.  To that end, the University shall conduct a review of the accessibility of its technology and instructional materials and shall ensure that, from the effective date of and consistent with the Settlement Agreement, all technology, including websites, instructional materials and online courses, and other electronic and information technology for use by students or prospective students, is accessible.  The required policy will include provisions to the following effect:

Web Pages

Instructional Materials

Other Technology for Effective Communication

Technical Assistance, Exceptions, and Monitoring


POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

POLICY

No qualified student or applicant for student status shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which the University sponsors or operates. Benefits and services to the individuals with disabilities must be in the most integrated setting appropriate to the person’s needs and be equally as effective or equivalent to those provided to other university students.

PROCEDURE

The Office of Testing and Disability Services (TDS), Wyly Tower 318, phone (318) 257-4221, functions to provide information, reasonable accommodations and other assistance to students and applicants at Louisiana Tech University. A student requesting accommodations must provide documentation from a case-appropriate licensed/certified professional to the TDS for review and determination. The TDS Committee, which meets weekly, will determine appropriate accommodation(s) and inform the student of the accommodation(s).

ROLE OF OFFICE OF TESTING AND DISABILITY SERVICES (TDS)

The TDS is committed to facilitating the self-advocacy of students with disabilities in order for them to experience full participation in all activities, programs and services of the University. The TDS serves as a resource center for the University community and acts as a liaison between students and faculty, as well as with community agencies. Services provided through the TDS are open to students with qualifying documented learning, physical, or psychological disabilities. The Office of Testing and Disability Services takes an active role in working with all persons involved in providing class instruction to students (and others within the University) to promptly and effectively resolve students’ disability-related concerns. 

Additional information regarding students’ rights and responsibilities and established University procedures for requesting and utilizing accommodations may be obtained from the TDS by contacting:

Office of Testing and Disability Services

Director, Mrs. Stacy C. Gilbert

P. O. Box 3009
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, LA 71272
(318) 257-4221
Office: Wyly. Tower 318

 

ADA Coordinator

Dr. Linda D. Griffin
P.O. Box 3164
(318) 257-2445
Office: Keeny Hall 305


GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

It is the policy of the University that issues concerning accommodation of students and applicants for student status in regard to participation in academic and other programs, activities and services of the University should be expeditiously resolved between the person requesting the accommodation and the University office representing the department, program or service. The University’s Office of Testing and Disability Services (TDS) serves as the main point of contact on issues related to ADA compliance for all persons involved in providing class instruction at the University.  The TDS will work with students and departments to provide effective and satisfactory accommodations.

Unresolved requests for accommodations or complaints regarding alleged violations of requirements should be presented via the grievance form (http://www.latech.edu/students/ods/pdfs/complaint_form.pdf) to the Office of Testing and Disability Services or the ADA Coordinator within 30 days after the individual becomes aware of the unresolved issue. The written request should provide the name and address of the individual filing the complaint and a brief description of the alleged violation and requested resolution. Students may also raise accessibility concerns verbally. Specific inquiries can be addressed to any of the following:

In each case the university representative will investigate the complaint and render a decision within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, if possible. If the grievant is not satisfied with response, the grievant (within 30 days of notification) may appeal to the ADA Coordinator who will convene the ADA Council to review the complaint and make a recommendation to the President. The decision of the President will be communicated to the grievant and will be the final University administrative action on the grievance.

An individual has the right to file complaints of ADA violations with

US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYAV, Washington, DC 20530,

ADA Information Line: 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

Main Section Telephone Number: 202-307-0663 (voice and TTY)

Fax (202) 307-1197


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