Access to education is not limited to simple admission to a college. Many of our students are overcoming great physical, learning, emotional, and mental challenges to give college a try. It is an ongoing, twofold process that involves understanding how to accommodate their needs and remain in compliance with the law. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, ensure that all qualified persons, regardless of the presence of any disability, have equal access to education. Course substitutions, auxiliary aides, and classroom modifications are all examples of effective tools through which access to education is provided for the student with a disability. Failure to make such reasonable accommodations can place the college in violation of federal and state statutes, resulting in substantial penalties. The new bottom line is no student should be denied equitable access to higher education.
This Resource Guide for Faculty and Staff is designed to raise awareness among all St. Petersburg College (SPC) faculty and staff with the intention of providing meaningful educational opportunities for all students with disabilities. Compliance and its relationship to accessibility and inclusion is fundamental throughout this document, as well as, the variables of language and universal design (UD). Compliance issues can often be difficult to maneuver through; thus, this guide offers terminology, descriptions of varying disabilities, suggested teaching methodologies, testing procedures, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and more. There’s important work to be done with and on behalf of our students with disabilities. The goal is to level the playing field in order to promote academic success across the board.