In essence, the student and her legal team are attempting to reframe a behavioral/conduct issue into an accommodation issue. Therefore, I have discussed the pertinent legal principles in each area.
Students have the following three specific responsibilities with respect to the accommodation process: a) provide sufficient notice of the disability; b) make a direct and specific request for accommodation; and c) adhere to established policies and procedures for receiving accommodations. Ashford University, No. 05-14-2481 (February 2, 2015). The responsibility to know and follow published accommodation procedures includes advising the proper administrators, as soon as possible, when there is a need for additional or different accommodations. The student had properly requested accommodations, been provided an effective academic adjustment (extended test time) and had successfully completed her coursework the previous semester. Therefore, it was legitimate for College personnel to offer her the very same adjustments for the semester, in question. Thus, if the student needed additional and/or different academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services with respect to a previously undisclosed psychiatric medical condition, as is now being asserted, she was obligated to provide notice of her need, offer evidence of the existence of the claimed condition and to make a specific request for accommodation. The student did none of those things.
Thus, the student’s present claim that College administrators should have determined, based upon her extreme behavior, that she needed further accommodation and as a consequent should have unilaterally provided her additional or different accommodations is unsupportable. “Under the requirements of Section 504 and Title II, a student with a disability is obligated to notify the college or university of the nature of the disability and the need for a modification, adjustment, aid or service. Only after a college or university receives such notice does it have an obligation to engage the student in an interactive process concerning the student’s disability and related needs and to subsequently provide necessary supports.” See Folsom Lake College, No. 09-14-2055 (OCR May 2014). Further, it is a well-established legal principle that the after the fact assertion of a student that a college or university was obligated to take some action to accommodation him/her does not establish that an adverse decision that the student takes exception to is discriminatory. Bahl v. New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, No. CV 14-4020 (E.D. NY 2015).