Why does the University strive to create an inclusive environment for students with disabilities?
The law reads in pertinent part that, "No Student shall on the basis of a disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any University program or activity." Gonzaga University is committed to providing qualified students with a disability an equal opportunity to access the benefits, rights and privileges of its services, programs and activities, in an accessible setting appropriate to students' needs, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Washington State Laws. Perhaps more important than the law, is that the University strives to provide an inclusive community for students with disabilities because it is consistent with themes of justice, respect, and dignity in the Mission and Jesuit Tradition.
Are students with disabilities admitted under a special program?
No. These students are admitted through the same university processes as any other student.
Can faculty or staff choose to not provide accommodations?
Providing accommodations is not a choice. Since the University is a recipient of federal funds, it must comply with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act & the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title III, which sets regulatory standards for access for students with disabilities.
What should a faculty member do if it appears an accommodation will not work in the classroom or for a course?
If you have received an Accommodation Notification letter from Disability Access, and believe the listed accommodations would cause a fundamental alteration to your course please contact Disability Access x4134.
Through a discernment process with Disability Access, if a fundamental alternation can be shown, we will assist you in utilizing a protocol based on Office for Civil Rights letters of finding and technical support.
Our goal is to work with you and the student to find a solution that will allow the student to participate in your course, and avoid civil action.
A student is using accommodations, but she's already doing great in the class. Why does the University need to continue to accommodate her?
The laws that govern disability access in higher education are not about creating success, but rather about creating access. Unlike K-12, where the special education model encourages altering the difficulty of the curriculum to meet the student's needs, college students with disabilities must meet the same academic requirements as the rest of the class. Often, it is only the mode of delivering the materials that changes. Providing equal access and accommodations allows the student to succeed or fail on their own merit - so the accommodated student who is doing great is able to do so because she has no barrier to showing you her knowledge of your course content.