The Catholic University of America

ADA Guidelines

Self-Audit Checklist

II. Pre-Admissions/Admissions Checklist

More Definitions

Admissions material should be considered everything sent out to the applicant or potential applicant. Admissions materials and recruitment literature should contain this text which was approved by the Board of Trustees:

The Catholic University of America admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age or disability to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the university. It does not discriminate against students or applicants for admission, or employees or applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, or on the basis of sex, age or disability, in the administration of its educational or admissions policies or in any aspect of its operations.

DOs and DON'Ts

General Rule:

University admissions offices, schools and departments are not allowed to make inquiries about the applicant's disability or possible disability.

Prohibited Questions:

  • You may not ask, "Are you disabled?" or "I notice that you are in a wheelchair. Will you only be able to take classes in buildings that have elevators?"
  • Questions about alcohol and substance abuse should be limited to behavior and conduct, and not to status, treatment or history.
  • Questions about whether or not the applicant has sought counseling or treatment for an emotional or mental health problem may be in violation of the ADA. (See Clark v. Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, 880 F. Supp. 430 [E.D. VA. 1995]).

Permitted Questions:

  • You may ask about an admitted student's necessity for modifications provided the disability has been disclosed or the disability is obvious. For example, if you are supervising a law student with a disclosed learning disability who is on law review, and the student does not have the ability to do cite checks because of the learning disability, then you might ask whether a computer program that can do the cite checks for the student would be helpful.
  • A professor may ask what accommodations would facilitate the student's participation. An example would be a student in a wheelchair in a biology class who has trouble in accessing certain objects in the lab.
  • All inquiries must be made on a confidential basis (28 CFR 35.104; 34 CFR 104.42).

Checklist Questions 1-13

  1. Does your application conform to the requirement prohibiting certain questions to applicants by not requesting information on a disability?
  2. Do your brochures and any other recruitment literature explain who to contact for further information for applicants with disabilities?
  3. If your application contains questions about alcohol and substance abuse, are the questions limited to behavior and conduct, and not status, treatment or history? If such questions are included, please attach a copy to this checklist.
  4. Does your application contain any questions about treatment for mental health or emotional problems? If so, please attach a copy of the exact wording for review by the Office of General Counsel to ensure the questions are not considered discriminatory under the ADA.
  5. Is training on the ADA/504 provided for employees involved in the recruiting and admissions processes, as well as any alumni who may be involved in the recruiting and admissions processes?
  6. Do the admission applications contain a statement of CUA's non-discrimination policy?
  7. Do admissions materials include pictures of persons with disabilities?
  8. Is the written policy for admissions consistent with ADA/504?
  9. Do your eligibility criteria tend to screen out those with disabilities?
  10. Is recent discovery of a learning disability a factor that is considered in a readmission decision? Are applicants for readmission made aware of such a practice in writing?
  11. Are the confidentiality requirements of the ADA/504 followed by all parties connected with the admissions process? What procedure is in place to ensure confidentiality?
  12. What is your response if you receive a request for a catalogue or other admissions material in Braille or on tape?
  13. How do you deal with an application when the applicant's recommendation mentions a disability and the applicant has not disclosed the disability?

Checklist Questions 1-13

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