The Catholic University of America

ADA Guidelines

Answer Guide to Self-Audit Checklist

Programs and Services Checklist Questions 19-34

19. Is training provided to all those within your school or department on the requirements of the ADA and 504?

This question goes beyond the training about disabilities referred to in the last question. All personnel should be provided with a summary of the ADA/504 and what their obligations are as employees of the University. More information regarding this topic can be found at the Office of General Counsel ADA Page. Training by the Office of Disability Support Services can also be scheduled.

20. How are your students made aware of the existence of the Office of Disability Support Services and what it offers?

A brief summary of the function and location of the Office of Disability Support Services should be provided to students at various times and through different methods of dissemination throughout the year.

21. If you assist any outside employer in hiring students, have you verified that the employment opportunities as a whole do not discriminate on the basis of disability? How is this verification accomplished?

The non-discrimination policy of the school or department should be made clear to outside employers who recruit on campus. A review of job opportunities by the Office of Career Services should verify that discrimination is not occurring in terms of the availability of job opportunities.

22. Have you reviewed internships and extracurricular activities to make sure that equal opportunity is provided to those with disabilities? Are the organizations to which students are sent for internships provided with any written statement of CUA policy on disabilities?

A regular review should be conducted of all internships and extracurricular activities to make sure that any necessary modifications have been carried over to these programs. A simple questionnaire completed by the prior year's students with disabilities might be useful as a way of reviewing program accessibility. The need for modifications must be communicated not only to regular faculty but also to those who supervise students' off-campus educational experiences. OCR has suggested in a case that the latter task is the university's rather than the student's. See "Disabled Students in Higher Education: Administrative and Judicial Enforcement of Disability Law" by Adam Milani, Journal of College and University Law, Vol. 22, p. 989, at pp. 1038-1040. The university non-discrimination policy should be sent to all organizations involved in internships.

23. Are faculty and appropriate staff provided with training on the important issue of confidentiality of student records?

Training on student record privacy (also known as FERPA training) is mandatory for all those who will have access to student education records. As with other student records, the existence of a particular student's disability should be disclosed only to those with a legitimate educational interest. The custodian of the records must be satisfied that that interest has been demonstrated before releasing the record. See CUA's Student Records Policy online for further information on what constitutes a legitimate educational interest.

24. Are you aware of the university's policy for scheduling outside events?

The Co-curricular Scheduling Policy requires that all meetings and events at the university open to the student and university community, or open to the public, will be scheduled in accessible rooms.

25. Is there a checkpoint at which accessibility for outside events sponsored by your school or department is reviewed?

A checklist or some other trigger on this requirement is recommended.

26. How are individual professors and all other instructional staff apprised of the university's policy on reasonable modifications?

Department meetings should include periodic updates on reasonable modifications and other ADA issues, as well as an opportunity for professors to bring up problem areas. Much of the information will be available through the Office of General Counsel ADA Page or from the Disablity Support Services page. Similar opportunities should be provided for lecturers, adjuncts and other instructional staff. See also the CUA Policy on Disability Services.

27. If the school or department has a separate library, does the library follow the university policy on ADA compliance?

As usage of the library is an integral part of the program being offered, it is especially important to ensure that library materials are accessible to students with disabilities. The methods offered do not have to be high tech, but the services must be in place and made known to those with disabilities. For example, easy access to library shelves for those with mobility impairments should be the rule. This may simply mean having someone retrieve a book for those with mobility impairments, but it should be done in a manner which enables the disabled student rather than serving as a reminder that they have a disability.

28. Do the continuing education programs sponsored by the school or department comply with the ADA?

As continuing education programs are a program or service being offered by the school, ADA compliance must be met in this area as well.

29. Do alumni and development functions comply with the ADA?

The OCR takes the position that Title III of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit an institution from holding an off-campus event at a site which would prohibit participation by alumni with disabilities. There may be an exception allowed for a location that is one-of-a-kind, unique or, no logical alternative is available. On campus events for alumni should clearly be held in an accessible location.

30. Do all appropriate publications provide information on how to obtain reasonable modifications?

Program and service publications should contain information on how to request modifications.

31. Do you provide direction on where to find counseling services for students with alcohol and drug problems?

The university's resources for those with alcohol/drug or psychological impairments should be communicated to the students. Where appropriate, a professor or academic counselor may want to suggest the availability of these resources to those whose behavior or conduct is currently interfering with their full participation in the university's programs. Note the distinction: focus is on observable behavior and conduct; advice to seek counseling should be given based on conduct and not on status.

32. Do you sponsor any intercollegiate club or intramural activities? If so, are they available and accessible to students with disabilities?

Athletic and other recreational or club activities need to be integrated to the maximum extent possible. Although all facilities are not yet accessible, the university is still required to assure access to programs and services. Meetings or events need to be scheduled at accessible locations.

33. Is the student given the choice of participating in the non-separate program or activity even though a separate program may be offered?

The student must be given the opportunity to participate in the non-separate program or activity unless it would result in a direct threat to health or safety, an undue burden, or a fundamental program alteration. See Coleman v. Zatechka, 824 F. Supp. 1360 (D. Neb. 1993). In that case, the court held that a student with cerebral palsy who required an attendant to visit the dorm room three times per day was not ineligible for random roommate assignment. The school violated 504 by giving her a separate room when she had requested a roommate, and the student was awarded costs and attorneys fees, as well as $1,000 in compensatory damages.

34. For study abroad programs, does the brochure provide information about the level of accessibility for students with physical disabilities?

It is unclear to what extent study abroad programs must be accessible. It would be helpful to students with disabilities if the brochure stated how accessible or inaccessible the setting is for students with various disabilities.

links updated 5/29/08 rab

text updated by mlo 2/20/09