Student Disability Services Newsletter - September 2015

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25th Anniversary of the ADA!

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 25, 1990-2015

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. The purpose of the law was to acknowledge that every American was capable of adding to our country's narrative. This legislation established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination by ensuring the civil rights of people with disabilities.

"The ADA has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers, changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in community life. However, the full promise of the ADA will only be reached if we remain committed to continue our efforts to fully implement the ADA." Specific information retrieved from Celebrate the ADA (opens in a new window)

Student Disability Services fully embraces the legal and spiritual aspects of the ADA and on June 26th, celebrated this momentous occasion with other Southwest employees and students at the ADA parade and pep rally sponsored by the Memphis Center for Independent Living. This grand event sparkled with excitement and purpose as city officials, disabled persons, and other disability-related organizations converged to pledge our continued support of the ADA and all impacted by this important piece of legislation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Student Disability Services pay student tuition?

No. Student Disability Services does not pay for tuition or books. However, for eligible students, Student Disability Services issues a Disability Discount Waiver that adjusts the tuition to $100. These waivers are processed by the Cashier's office and only during specified dates each term.

What can an instructor do if they believe a student has a disability?

If it is not currently addressed in the class syllabus, the instructor may make a general announcement to the class that if anyone has or believes they have a disability, they may schedule an appointment with SDS for support. It is the responsibility of the student to request services.

Can a disabled student waive their right to their approved accommodations?

Yes. But in doing so, it would be prudent to put that decision in writing and ask the student to confirm with his/her signature. A copy of this waiver should be forwarded to SDS.

Can disabled students receive classroom accommodations/modifications by telling the instructor they have a disability?

No. In order to receive classroom modifications, a student with a disability must contact Student Disability Services and present appropriate documentation of their disability. The SDS coordinator will then process a classroom modification memorandum for the student to present to each instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to retrieve memorandums from SDS at the beginning of each term. Memorandums do not travel from semester to semester and they are not retroactive.

Can an instructor choose not to comply with the modifications listed on the SDS memorandum?

No. The memorandum is a legal document and the disabled student is legally entitled to the approved modifications. If the instructor has questions as to how to meet the modifications, they should contact Student Disability Services, but the modifications cannot be denied.

Disability Quote of the Month

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude."
~Scott Hamilton