When Something Is A Reasonable Adjustment To Make
Whether something is reasonable depends on things like:
your childs disability and what support, if any, they receive under an education, health and care plan
how practicable the changes are
the resources of the school
the cost of making the change or providing the aid
if the change you ask for would overcome the disadvantage your child experiences
if there are other ways of overcoming the disadvantage
health and safety considerations and the interests of other pupils
The duty to make reasonable adjustments in education is ‘anticipatory’. This means schools must consider in advance what they need to do to make sure all disabled pupils can access and participate in the education and other benefits, facilities and services they provide for their pupils.
Its the school who must pay if they make reasonable adjustments and they are never allowed to charge you for them.
Nondiscrimination On The Basis Of Disability By Public Accommodations And In Commercial Facilities
This title prohibits private places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Examples of public accommodations include privately-owned, leased or operated facilities like hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctors offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, movie theaters, and so on. This title sets the minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of facilities. It also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense. This title directs businesses to make “reasonable modifications” to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities. It also requires that they take steps necessary to communicate effectively with customers with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities. This title is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.
More information and events related to ADA Title III .
What Schools Must Do
If your child is disadvantaged by something at school because of their disability there are 2 things you can ask them to do:
change the way things are done in the school, like a policy, rule or practice. The Equality Act calls this a “provision, criterion or practice”. For example, you could ask a school to change their uniform policy, their rules about lateness in class or to adapt their time tables
provide extra aids or services – for example, extra staff assistance, a BSL interpreter, specialist equipment like an induction loop or an adapted keyboard
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What About Religious Discrimination
Title VI doesnt directly address discrimination based on religion. But often, religious-based harassment includes slurs based on stereotypes about the victims ethnicity or national originlike calling them terrorists because they come from a predominantly Muslim country. In that case, the federal law would apply. And of course, all students have a constitutional right to the free expression of their religion.
Do Any States Have Laws That Prevent Discrimination Against Lgbt Students
Many states have implemented their own nondiscrimination policies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in the world of public education. But no voucher programs have such policies in place, research shows.
As a result, private schools are free to turn away LGBT students while still receiving public funding for accepting vouchers.
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Sample Letter To Request A Reasonable Accommodation
I am writing to request reasonable accommodations for my son/daughter, because of his/her disability/disabilities.
My child is . Because of his/her disability, he/she needs the following accommodations: .
My childs has deemed these accommodations/modifications necessary in light of his/her disability. Please see the attached letter from .
Federal and state law require that K-12 schools reasonably accommodate students and applicants who have disabilities. Please respond to this request by . Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions. Thank you.
The Ontario Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code is the law that provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. It applies to the social areas of employment, housing, goods, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations.
In employment, people with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as everyone else. Employment includes employees, independent contractors and volunteers.
The Code prohibits discrimination based on someones disability in all aspects of the employment relationship. This includes job applications, recruitment, training, transfers, promotions, apprenticeship terms, dismissal, layoffs and situations where an employee returns to work after a disability-related absence. It covers rates of pay, overtime, hours of work, holidays, benefits, shift work, discipline and performance evaluations. It also includes the extended workplace for example, business trips and off-site work events.
People with disabilities are a diverse group, and experience disability, impairment and societal barriers in many different ways. Disabilities are often invisible and episodic, with people sometimes experiencing periods of wellness and periods of disability. All people with disabilities have the same rights to equal opportunities under the Code, whether their disabilities are visible or not.
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Government Cant Discriminate Against Religious Schools But They Can Discriminate When They Hire Teachers
In two recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the government may not discriminate against private religious schools, but the schools may discriminate against their employees.
Sound troubling? It is. While there is a kernel of logic in each decision, the logic was stretched past the breaking point.
The first case involved a Montana scholarship program that allowed state-subsidized scholarships to be used at private secular schools but not private religious schools. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, held that the exclusion of religious schools violated the First Amendments Free Exercise Clause, which he said forbids discrimination against religion.
Here is the kernel of truth in Roberts opinion. There is no doubt that some forms of government discrimination against religion are unconstitutional. For example, the government may not favor one religion over another, such as by giving benefits to Buddhists but not Protestants or Jews. Likewise, the government may not favor secular institutions over religious if the discrimination reflects hostility toward religion. The court would not allow a municipality to provide police, fire and sewer services only to secular institutions and not religious.
Bottom line: Religious schools must not be discriminated against when government benefits are being distributed, but the schools may discriminate against their teachers with impunity.
Alan Garfield is a professor at Widener University Delaware Law School.
The Americans With Disabilities Act
The ADA prohibits disability-based discrimination. Title II of the ADA applies to government entities and includes public schools. More information about Title II can be found here. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination by businesses, or public accommodations, including private schools. The ADA does not cover religious schools. More information about Title III can be found here.
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How Does Ocr Address Disability Harassment Against Students
OCR investigates and resolves allegations that educational institutions that are recipients of federal funds or that are public entities have failed to protect students from harassment based on disability. Where OCR identifies concerns or violations, educational institutions often resolve them with agreements requiring educational institutions to adopt effective anti-harassment policies and procedures, train staff and students, address the incidents in question, and take other steps to restore a nondiscriminatory environment.
In addition to resolving investigations, OCR takes steps to inform schools of their obligation to provide a nondiscriminatory environment. To see relevant policy guidance relating to disability-based harassment or harassment of students with disabilities, please click here.
OCRs field offices also engage in a variety of technical assistance activities in collaboration with state and local education and law enforcement agencies to encourage educational institutions to improve their anti-harassment policies and procedures and to assist students and their parents to work with schools to enhance the schools anti-harassment capability.
What Are Section 504 And Title Ii
Section 504 is a federal law that prohibits any entity that receives federal financial assistance from discriminating against persons with disabilities.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against persons with disabilities.
In general, Section 504 and Title II nondiscrimination standards are the same, and in general, actions that violate Section 504 also violate Title II. However, where Title II requirements exceed Section 504 requirements, public school districts, colleges and universities, and libraries must also comply with the Title II requirements.
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What Are Some Sources Of Federal Funding That Require Religious Schools To Comply With Section 504
Many religious schools receive federal funding, including a large percentage of Catholic schools and school systems. Possible sources of federal funding may include:
- Free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs
- Special education grants
- Technology assistance or program grants
- Funding for textbook or supplies
- Professional development programs for teachers and staff
- School choice voucher programs
Educational Rights: Public Vs Private Schools
Are you beginning to see declining grades, increased school-related anxiety, or behavioral issues from your child? It may be time to talk with your childs teacher about a more formal academic accommodations plan for your child affected by ADHD.
Parent as advocate
As your childs parent, you are her best educational advocate, says Robert M. Tudisco, Esq, a former CHADD Board of Directors member. Writing in The Four ATEs of Effective Student Advocacy for CHADDs Attention magazine, Mr. Tudisco reminds parents that they need to communicate effectively with emotion, but not become overcome by the emotion.
There is a very big difference between being effectively assertive and being argumentative, he says. Do not be confrontational, but do let the school know what you want for your child and why your child needs it.
Educational rights for students in public schools are established by federal law and supported by individual states laws. Students affected by ADHD and co-occurring learning disabilities or other conditions are included in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, which can be used to create an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, for your child. If your child doesnt qualify under IDEA she might be eligible under Section 504 of civil rights law and the Americans with Disabilities ActAmendments Act.
What are your childs educational rights?
Finding an advocate
Resources to find an advocate:
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Equal Employment Opportunity For Individuals With Disabilities
This title is designed to help people with disabilities access the same employment opportunities and benefits available to people without disabilities. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees. A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable an applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.
This portion of the law is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employers with 15 or more employees must comply with this law. The regulations for Title I define disability, establish guidelines for the reasonable accommodation process, address medical examinations and inquiries, and define direct threat when there is significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual employee with a disability or others.
When Harassment Is Discrimination
Harassment based on sex, race, or national origin is a form of illegal discrimination. That means that private schools receiving federal funds must take action to stop this kind of harassment, whether its coming from fellow students or from school employees.
Title IX doesnt mention discrimination based on sexual orientation, so it doesnt prevent private schools from denying admission to students because they are gay. But according to the U.S. Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights , the law bars harassment based on gender, including a students perceived sex, gender identity, or gender expression.
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Disabled Children Shut Out Of Private Schools
A worrying number of private schools are refusing to enrol students with a disability or asking them to leave, a peak advocacy group says.
Children with Disability Australia receives about 500 reports a year of schools, both private and public, mistreating or discriminating against students with a disability.
Children at an elite private shool.Credit:Louie Douvis
These range from schools refusing enrolment because they already have “their quota of autistic students” to teachers asking students to leave.
Some wealthy private schools have told parents they lack the resources to accommodate disabled children or requested families pay additional money for teachers’ aides.
There are also concerns that non-government schools are using NAPLAN results to screen out students who have learning disabilities.
The organisation’s chief executive Stephanie Gotlib said some schools were also concerned about students with a disability bringing down their results.
“If I took my son with significant disability to any high-performing private school they would probably recoil in horror,” she said.
She said public schools accommodated 80 per cent of students with disabilities, and there should be a greater representation of these students in private schools.
Melbourne mother Karen Jones has accused Melbourne Girls Grammar of discriminating against her daughter, who has ADHD.
“Some schools are very good at saying your child won’t be supported here,” the associate professor said.
Rights Of Disabled Children Under Ada
Rights of Disabled Children Under the ADA
Under Title II of the ADAAmericans With Disabilities Actpublic schools cannot discriminate against students because of their disability.
This page covers some of the ways the ADA impacts your child.
The purpose of the ADA is to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities. The law is broken up into three Titles that protect different groups of people. Title II of the ADA is the section that affects children in public schools.
Who is Covered?
In order to be protected by the ADA, a person must be a qualified individual with a disability. This means that your student has to pass two hurdles. First, the student must be disabled. The definition of disability under Title II of the ADA is:
1. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual
2. a record of such impairment or
3. being regarded as having such an impairment.
Exception: The following are not included in the definition of disability under the ADA: Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual impairments compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, or psychoactive substance abuse disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.
The School Must Be Accessible
How to Make a Complaint to the School
So, to make a complaint, you should:
More Information on the Web
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How Does The Americans With Disabilities Act Protect Me At College
In both Title II and Title III , the ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability.
Specifically, within Title II, it states in Section 12132 that Subject to the provisions of this subchapter, no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity, where a public entity is any State or local government any department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or States or local government and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, and any commuter authority of title 49). Public colleges and universities are covered by Title II.
In Title III, Section 12182, it states, No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases , or operates a place of public accommodation. The previous section details that this applies to a nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school, or other place of education. Private colleges and universities are covered by Title III.
Colleges and universities run by religious organizations are not covered by the ADA.
Is There Someone At My School Who Can Help Answer My Section 504 Questions
Generally, yes. All school districts, colleges, and universities receiving federal financial assistance and employing 15 or more persons must designate at least one employee to coordinate their efforts to comply with and carry out their responsibilities under Section 504. This person is often, though not always, referred to as a Section 504 coordinator.
Your school is required to publish your Section 504 coordinators contact information in your schools notice of nondiscrimination, typically found in any bulletins, announcements, publications, catalogs, application forms, or other recruitment materials. The Section 504 coordinators contact information should also be prominently posted on your schools website. Section 504 coordinators for public school districts can also be found on OCRs coordinators website at .
Frequently Asked Questions About Disability Accessibility and Services
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California Government Code Section 11135
Section 11135 is similar to Section 504, but it prohibits discrimination by any program that receives state funding. This usually always applies to public schools. If a private religious school receives any funding from the state government they are subject to this law even if it is exempt under the Unruh Act.
Using Vouchers To Avoid Integration
In response to federal desegregation orders following Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Prince Edward County, Virginia, slashed its education budget and then closed its public schools altogether in 1959.19 Local officials worked with the Virginia General Assembly to create a tuition grant program that allocated vouchers to white students to attend segregated private schools or other nearby public schools.20 This course of events in Prince Edward County provided a blueprint for other communities to avoid integration efforts. By the end of the 1960s, more than 200 private segregation academies had opened in the South, relying on vouchers to cover significant percentages of student tuition as well as on other state resources to operate.21
Lack of educational protections for students with disabilities
Denying admission to other religious groups
The aforementioned private schools are able to discriminate against students because they do not receive federal funding and thus are exempt from Title IX. However, even in cases where private schools do receive federal funding, many of them are able to claim an exemption to Title IX protections on the basis of religious tenets.45
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