Rights and Responsibilities
Shepherd University seeks to empower students with disabilities to achieve their academic and personal goals.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and its subsequent amendments, Shepherd University is committed to fulfilling its ethical and legal responsibilities to ensure equal opportunity for all students. In addition, the University prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual on the basis of disability.
A person with a disability is generally defined as any individual who has:
A physical or mental impairment; a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment, and the impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities such as self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, or learning.
Students with disabilities at Shepherd University have the right to:
Equal access to curricular and co-curricular programs across campus, including academic courses, student services, employment, and student activities; reasonable and appropriate accommodations; information available in a timely manner and in an accessible format; expect all disability-related information will be treated confidentially by all University employees, and appeal any disability-related accommodation decision.
Students with disabilities must act as self-advocates.
In order to obtain disability-related accommodations, students are responsible for completing all necessary forms and providing all requested documentation to the appropriate disability service provider.
All accommodations will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the University has an obligation to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all campus programs, services, and functions.
Schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions have a responsibility to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. This responsibility is based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), which are enforced by the Offices for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice. Section 504 covers all schools, school districts, and colleges, and universities receiving federal funds.
Title II covers all state and local entities, including school districts and public institutions of higher education, whether or not they receive federal funds. Disability harassment is a form of discrimination prohibited by Section 504 and Title II. Both Section 504 and Title II provide parents and students with grievance procedures and due process remedies at the local level. Students are also covered under the West Virginia White Cane Law which may provide additional, separate protections. Individuals and organizations also may file complaints with OCR.
Shepherd University has the right to:
- Identify and establish essential skills, knowledge, and standards for courses, programs, services, and activities, as well as evaluate students with disabilities on this basis.
- Confirm disability status, as well as request and receive current, relevant documentation that supports requests for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, or auxiliary aids and services if the documentation does not demonstrate that the request is warranted or if the student fails to provide appropriate accommodations.
- Select among equally effective and reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Refuse unreasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services, that impose a fundamental alteration on a program or activity of the university or place an undue financial burden on the university.
Shepherd University has the responsibility to:
- Inform applicants and students regarding the availability of accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Provide information to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request.
- Ensure that courses, programs, services, and activities when viewed in their entirety, are available and useable in the most integrated and appropriate settings.
- Evaluate students on the basis of their abilities and not their disabilities.
- Respond to requests in a timely manner.
- Provide or arrange reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality as outlined by the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA).