Series 11: Webinar 1

ACCOMMODATION DETERMINATIONS…THE KEY TO AVOIDING COMMON MISTAKES

Tuesday, November 5, 20191:30 pm EST

A student provides a psycho-educational evaluation in which the clinical psychologist diagnoses a slow reading rate and processing speed and recommended double time on exams, access to large print materials, permission to record lectures and a semi-private room for exams. The Law School uses an outside expert to review the documentation and requests. The consultant and determines that the student “appears to have visual scanning deficits and possible attention deficits related to a traumatic brain injury.” He recommended that the student receive time and ¼ for exams and agreed with the other requested accommodations. The Law School approved extended time of time and ¼. OCR found the School in violation for failing to “meaningfully engage” in the interactive process. OCR stated that if a school decides to deny a request for an accommodation, it should clearly communicate the reason for its decision to the student, so that the student has a reasonable opportunity to respond and provide additional documentation that would address the school’s objections. There must be “an interactive and collaborative process between the student and the School. Whittier Law School, No. 09-14-2407 (OCR June 2015).

This case reflects one of the most common accommodation determination mistakes that postsecondary institutions make. In this webinar we will discuss those mistakes and provide guidance on how they may be avoided. Key compliance imperatives that will be discussed include:

  • Engaging in the interactive process;
  • Conducting an individualized assessment;
  • Remembering to properly strike the balance between access and protecting academic integrity;
  • Avoiding methods of administration that that are unsupportive of the goal of providing equal and meaningful access;
  • Ensuring that due process and proper dispute resolution procedures are in place and
  • Saying No in a manner that will ensure deference.

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