Americans with Disabilities Act

I. Statement of University Policy

"Programs and activities conducted by Montclair State University shall be made accessible to all qualified participants regardless of disability.  No individual, solely by reason of disability, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination by any program or activity conducted by Montclair State University.

This policy applies to persons who are qualified to work or study at Montclair State University but whose disability substantially limits one or more life activities.  Included are those with learning disabilities as well as those with disabling illnesses.  In accommodating students with disabilities, Montclair State University shall develop alternative methods for, rather than exemptions from, the satisfaction of academic requirements.

This policy statement is in compliance with both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990."

II.  Summary of the Pertinent Sections of Legislation

-  Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336, 42 U.S.C.):

"The nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for [persons with disabilities.]"

-  Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93-112, 29 U.S.C.):

"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of this disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program receiving Federal financial assistance."

Section 504 prohibits any program or activity which receives federal funding from discriminating against qualified persons with disabilities in employment as well as all other activities.

III.  Disability Terminology

      - A "person with a disability" is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

 

      - In addition to those people who have visible disabilities - persons who are blind, deaf, or use a wheelchair - the definition includes people with a whole range of invisible disabilities. These include psychological problems, learning disabilities, or some chronic health impairment such as epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, cardiac problems, HIV/AIDS, and more.

 

      - Major life activities include caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and experiencing leisure.

 

    - Programs for students include but are not limited to:  academic majors and degree plans, including coursework, and pratica; research; housing; counseling; financial aid; physical education; athletics; recreation; transportation; student organizations; placement; and any other programs offered by the University.

IV.  Employment Policies

A. Modifications for Employees

Employees should discuss any needs for modifications with their supervisors. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to utilize Human Resources as a resource in this process. If an employee and supervisor cannot agree on appropriate modifications, they should contact Human Resources to assist in establishing reasonable modifications. Human Resources will review the concerns of both parties in light of the employee's documented needs, the written job description, the position announcement, and office/department practices.  Based on this evaluation, Human Resources will provide an access plan, if possible. 

B. Grievance Procedure

Montclair State University Notice of ADA Procedure

Montclair State University has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Title II states, in part, that "no otherwise qualified disabled individual shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination" in programs or activities sponsored by a public entity.

Complaints should be addressed to Montclair State University's Employment ADA Coordinator, who has been designated to coordinate ADA compliance efforts for employees, at the following address:

Partricia Kelly
Director of Employee Services for Benefits and Payroll
Montclair State University
College Hall - 314
Montclair, New Jersey 07043
Phone: (973) 655-7141

1. A complaint may be filed in writing or orally, but should contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violation. A form for this purpose is available from the ADA coordinator. The procedures established by the Department of Personnel, NJAC 4A:7-1.1 et seq. will be followed where applicable.

2. A complaint should be filed promptly within 20 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.  (Processing of allegations of discrimination which occurred before this grievance procedure was in place will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

3. An investigation, as may be appropriate, will follow the filing of a complaint. The investigation will be conducted by the ADA Coordinator.  The rules contemplate informal but thorough investigations, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.

4. In most cases, a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, will be issued by the designated decision maker and a copy forwarded to the complainant no later than 45 days after its filing.

5. The ADA Coordinator will maintain the files and records of Montclair State University relating to the complaints filed.

6. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder will not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.

7. The rules will be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that Montclair State University complies with the ADA and implementing federal rules.

D. Designated ADA Coordinator

The designated coordinator of ADA compliance and complaint investigation for employees of Montclair State University is: Patricia Kelly, Montclair State University, College Hall Room 314, Montclair, NJ 07043, Phone: (973) 655-7141.

All inquiries regarding Montclair State University's compliance with the ADA and the availability of accommodation which would allow a qualified individual with a disability to receive services or participate in a program or activity provided by Montclair State University should be directed to the designated coordinator identified above.

All complaints alleging that Montclair State University has failed to comply with or has acted in a way that is prohibited by the ADA should be directed to the designated ADA coordinator identified in this section.

V.  Notes for Faculty about Students with Disabilities

A. Information About Enrolled Students

Students with disabilities have the right to confidentiality of all information and have the right to choose to whom information about their disabilities will be disclosed.

With the student's permission, however, faculty may be notified regarding students with disabilities enrolled in their classes. According to disability law, information pertaining to a student's disability can be released only on a need-to-know basis. To this end, faculty may have a need to know the manifestations of the disability that may in some way impact the student in their classes, as well as accommodations necessitated by the disability. Information can include general information about the disability, and any manifestations that may in some way impact on the student's academic career, as well as any accommodation necessitated by the disability. This information should be obtained as early in the semester as possible to enable the instructor to make any adjustments or arrangements that are necessary. Faculty do not have, however, a need to know the specific diagnosis or details of the medical documentation; the Disability Resource Center is prohibited from releasing such information by law.

B. Reasonable Accommodations and Faculty Advocacy

Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, the use of auxiliary aids in classroom settings; allowances for time and energy considerations such as reduced courseloads, additional time for taking exams, etc.; substitutions of other acceptable assignments, courses, tests or test formats when necessary to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities; and physical modifications such as ramps, elevators, lifts, curb cuts, etc.

Students with disabilities have the responsibility to demonstrate or document how their disabilities limit their ability to benefit from a particular delivery system, instructional method, or evaluation criteria when they make a request for an accommodation.  Students with disabilities must identify themselves to the Disability Resource Center and follow the proper procedure for obtaining accomodations through this office, including the submission of appropriate documentation to verify their disability and necessitate their request for accomodations.

Once reasonable and appropriate accomodations have been determined by the DRC office, the student will receive an official Accomodation Request Form, which is used to notify faculty of the necessary accomodations. Faculty are always welcome to contact DRC for questions or assistance in providing requested accomodations.

C. Faculty Are Encouraged to Define A Policy

Faculty are encouraged to add a policy statement regarding students with disabilities to their respective syllabi.  Ex. "If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please contact the Disability Resource Center for assistance.

Students have the responsibility to follow published procedures for making such requests and to do so in a timely fashion.

D. Resources for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center (973-655-5431) is the primary resource for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities have the option of utilizing the services of the office. However, if they would like any disability-related accommodations or services, they must self-identify to the office and follow appropriate procedure for obtaining requested accommodations.